Meet Our StartUp Zone Advisory Board

                   A Special Thanks To...

Tony Saldanha, President, Transformant

Tony’s career at P&G began in 1991 in Marketing and Research & Development Systems in India. He has since had several IT and Shared Service assignments globally, including in Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Geneva, Boston and currently Cincinnati. Tony has held various positions including interim-CIO during the integration of the Gillette IT organization into P&G, as well as program manager for P&G’s successful multi-billion outsourcing deals with HP, JLL, and IBM. Tony has been co-chair of P&G’s Asia-Pacific American Leadership Team, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati, and been on the Advisory Board of Indiana University Analytics program and the University of Cincinnati IT Department. In his spare time, Tony likes to travel and stays busy with various hobbies, including carpentry, gardening, and cooking. A native of India, Tony earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s of business administration from the Indian Institute of Management. He is married to Julia and has two children. Tony currently resides in Cincinnati.


 Michael Frankel, SVP, Financial Shared Services, XPO Logistics 

Michael is an accomplished executive in the shared services and finance fields with 20+ years of experience. Proven success in multiple business environments, from multinational corporations to startup/entrepreneurial ventures. Built and led global teams for Fortune 500 companies in industries including Biotech, Beverages, Power Generation and Logistics. 10 years of consulting experience in finance strategy, ERP design/implementation, automation, RPA, and post-merger integration. Academic foundation in Finance with an MBA from The University of Miami and a BBA from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University. 

Shakti Jauhar, Digital Transformation Leader, Global Functional Executive, and a Board Member 

Shakti Jauhar is a global leader and data-driven executive recognized for his operational expertise in Manufacturing, IT, Finance and HR. Known as a transformational leader, he has a track record of setting clear strategies, driven by rigorous analytics and insights. Shakti leverages technology innovation across geographies to optimize processes, which deliver technical competencies, reduce costs and simultaneously increase efficiencies. Mr. Jauhar’s successes include leading Digital Transformation and Automation in multiple functions and companies including PepsiCo, Reliance and ABB. He served as Senior Vice President for PepsiCo Global Human Resources and Shared Services and led their strategic HR Digital Transformation. During this time, he established technology, global operations and shared services across 83 countries with 300,000 employees and contractors for PepsiCo’s HR function. Mr. Jauhar also served as a member of the Information Security Council for PepsiCo Data Privacy and Cyber Security Program. Mr. Jauhar sits on the board and is a compensation committee member for the World Education Services organization. 

Laurence Collins, Managing Partner, Digiworkz

Laurence is the managing partner of Digiworkz – a specialist global accelerator for Start-Ups and Enterprises focussed on the application of digital capabilities across the Future of Work spectrum. Over a career which has spanned many forms of digitally inspired business innovation, Laurence has been at the forefront of the design, development and adoption of Work and Workforce solutions. From previously founding an A.I. powered people analytics Start-Up to running a global HR outsourcing practice, to leading multi-million transformations in large Enterprises, he is widely regarded as a Future of Work thought leader. His efforts to develop mechanisms for linking Workforce capability to business performance improvement, at a major retailer, saw him formally recognized by the Management Consulting Association (MCA) for his outstanding contribution to the field of labor productivity. Currently, Laurence is focussed on the development of Digiworkz as the number one digital accelerator with a mission to shape the future though work-centric innovation.  He is also a strategic advisor to several consulting firms for next-generation thinking into shaping, sizing, skilling and structuring of workforces in a world that is transforming through cognitive intelligence and automation. His areas of industry specialism include energy and resources, retail and consumer business.

Lee Coulter, Chief Intelligent automation officer, sson  

Lee Coulter is SSON's Chief Intelligent Automation Officer. He is a change leader with expertise in shared services, business process outsourcing, and technology developed over nearly 30 years in leadership positions in companies including General Electric, AON, Kraft Foods, and Ascension.  Lee serves as an advisor to SSON in his role as Chief Intelligent Automation Officer and chairs the IEEE Working Committee guiding standards development for Intelligent Process Automation.   

Tarun Chopra, President, Clements Worldwide 

Awarded CFO of the Year – Rising Star by Washington Business Journal, Tarun brings over 20 years of experience. He has held leadership positions with Fortune 500 companies, including Fannie Mae, Whirlpool, Boston Consulting Group, and Ernst & Young. At Clements, he handles the operations side of the business, including finance, IT, HR, and corporate compliance. Tarun is a Chartered Accountant and earned an MBA from Melbourne Business School, Australia. Tarun plays as a top-order batsman in the Washington Cricket League and is an aspiring sports broadcaster. 

Vesanthi Chalasani, Director, Next Generation Shared Services, P&G

Vasanthi has been with Procter & Gamble for the last 16 years and held many positions across Marketing and Global Business Services. Vasanthi has a Master with major in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with minor in Business.

 Deborah Kops, Founder, Sourcing Change

With experience as a shared services executive, buyer, provider, and private equity adviser, she works with leading companies to manage globalization challenges.

Her career includes managing directorships at both FleetBoston Financial (now Bank of America) and Deutsche Bank, partnerships at Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers, and chief marketing officer of a leading Indian-legacy outsourcing company. 

Deborah frequently presents at major industry forums, and leads The Conference Board’s Global Business Services and Emerging Shared Services Councils. She also leads a research group comprised of leading companies investigating the impact of shared services and outsourcing on finance transformation for ACCA, the British finance accreditation organization.

A strategic advisor to technology companies,, and, Deborah serves on the board of social impact outsourcer Digital Divide Data, and is the founder and chair of Liberty Source PBC, the first BPO harnessing the talents of US military spouses to perform finance functions.

Raj Thiagarajan, Director and Startup Advisor, Microsoft for Startups

Raj is a startup “growth” adviser at Microsoft. He advises solution ready AI ML IoT data science startups globally on joint go-to-market strategy, to drive their revenues and valuation, by working with Microsoft field sellers and Microsoft Channel partners. Startups in his portfolio market to Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail, Manufacturing, Automotive, Media & Entertainment, and Public Sector (Fed, State and Local Government). Before taking this role, Raj was the COO of Microsoft HealthVault (a healthcare startup from Microsoft). Before joining Microsoft, Raj was a startup executive, and the startup was sold to an Enterprise competitor as part of a Digital Transformation acquisition. Raj comes from a strong global background, has worked in Asia, Europe and North America, and has proven experience in product management, launching V1 & MVP products to market, go to market, and driving revenues for early stage startup companies. Raj works with global startups, investors, channel partners, and enterprise customers from around the world. Raj is selectively open to Board membership to growth companies.

 Suzanne Leopoldi-Nichols, President, Global Business Services, UPS

Suzanne Leopoldi-Nichols is President, Global Business Services (GBS) for United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS.)  Founded in 1907, UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company with $72B in Revenues and 481,000 employees.  Delivering packages each business day for 1.5 million shipping customers to 9.1 million receivers in over 220 countries and territories. In 2018, the company delivered an average of 20.7 million pieces per day worldwide, or a total of 5.2 billion packages annually.  Customers are attracted to the broad set of services that are delivered as promised through its integrated ground, air and ocean global network. 

United Parcel Service’s GBS team is comprised of nearly 17,000 FTEs in a blend of co-sourced and captive sites in 87 global locations.  Suzanne and her teams manage key processes in the Back, Middle and Front office including functions in Customer, Finance, HR, IT, Procurement, and Sales Support. The GBS team strives to become a high performing and strategic business partner that provides process and service excellence to support the UPS enterprise with a goal of delivering strategic value, innovating, and enhancing services over time to meet the changing needs of the business.   The teams are focused on delivering solutions through transformative performance improvements enabling enterprise agility, increasing the effectiveness of services delivered; providing better services by championing end-to-end process optimization that starts with the customer experience.

Immediately prior, Suzanne was the Global Head of Shared Services for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM.)  When she joined, ADM was an $89B agricultural business with 33,000 employees.  Suzanne led the expansion and the transformation of the multi-functional (Finance, HR, Procurement, and IT) global Shared Services organization creating a continuous improvement culture that returned substantial savings and enabled the Centers to expand support to larger geographies and broader processes.  Suzanne’s team was instrumental in successfully piloting and launching Robotics Process Automation in addition to completely transforming and implementing new Electronic Invoicing technology, Travel Policy, Travel Methodology, and T&E processes that resulted in significant saving.

Suzanne has held leadership roles at American Greetings, H&R Block, NPS, Inc., and ITPS where she focused on creating excellence in Shared Services.  Suzanne’s passion for process re-engineering won her ADM team Innovates Excellence in Accounts Payable award and her H&R Block team the APA’s Prism Award for Overall Best Practices in Management, Process, and Technology.