Winter 2021

PDMA Pittsburgh Winter 2021 Newsletter cover

PDMA Pittsburgh logo

Pittsburgh PDMA Community,

I would like to wish you and your families a very Happy & Healthy New Year! I’d also like to acknowledge and thank you for your support of the Pittsburgh PDMA Chapter. Your sponsorships and participation in our events keep our Chapter thriving.

As I think back on 2021, the year was filled with many challenges for product managers, product developers, and innovators – from delays in manufacturing to continuous changes in consumer behaviors. The challenges are not going away and are likely to be more complex in years to come. However, the resiliency and tenacity of Pittsburgh innovators to meet and overcome these obstacles in unique ways is amazing.

The PDMA Pittsburgh community is facing similar development, design, and manufacturing uncertainties. Our chapter strives to bring you valuable learning opportunities that provide you with practical knowledge to help you face the challenges to come.

We are currently working on a full events calendar for 2022. This year, we will be offering a mix of workshops, webinars, and in-person events that focus on meaningful topics that you can apply to your product development projects and activities. In February, we will be starting the Spring session of the Body of Knowledge (BoK) Professional Development Training. We will also be hosting an interesting workshop on Industrial Design. We unfortunately had to postpone our January Winter Social due to the recent rise in Covid cases, but we will reschedule the event at a later date when we can safely meet in person (hopefully in March or April). I really enjoy our social events because it gives all of us the opportunity to meet up in a relaxed setting to catch up with friends and colleagues.

If there are product development and management topics that you would like PDMA Pittsburgh to explore for an upcoming event, please send your ideas to

I look forward to an exciting 2022, and I hope to see you soon.


Chip Chomyn
President, PDMA Pittsburgh Chapter

Upcoming PDMA Pittsburgh Events

Mark your calendar! We have a full schedule of events planned for the first quarter of 2022.

Body of Knowledge TrainingMarch 22 – May 10 (every Tuesday) Body of Knowledge Training

This eight-week professional development training program will provide you and your team with core concepts, classic tools, and proven methodologies that can help you effectively manage your product development projects, product lines, and product challenges.

You’ll learn from expert product development practitioners and talented educators who will focus on: strategy; portfolio management; product innovation process; culture, teams, leadership; product design and development tools; market research; and product innovation management. In addition to instructor-led discussions, you’ll use real-world situations and apply the tools, methodologies, and strategies to your own projects for a more meaningful learning experience.

We will determine the class format (in-person, virtual, or a mix of the two) in early- to mid-March (based on state and federal Coronavirus recommendations). We will only be accepting 10 participants for this session. Be sure to register by March 4th to receive the "early bird" discounted registration rate.

Download the brochure for more information.

Here's what a Fall 2021 participant had to say about BoK Training:
“I particularly liked the diversity of the instructors who all brought a different set of expertise and experiences to the training.”

Back to Basics Industrial Design Virtual WorkshopFebruary 24th "Back-to-Basics" Industrial Design Virtual Workshop

PDMA Pittsburgh and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) are co-hosting an engaging Industrial Design Workshop. In previous workshops, we have explored ways to navigate through the “Problem Space” of Design Thinking to identify customer requirements and opportunities. In this workshop, PDMA Pittsburgh and IDSA Pittsburgh are collaborating to deliver an interactive experience covering the “Solution Space” of Design Thinking.

  1. Introduction to Design Thinking
  2. Tools to generate solution concepts
  3. Activities to refine one desirable, viable, and feasible solution concept
  4. How to engage with a design firm

There are only open 20 spots available. We expect a sell out.

Register today to reserve your spot.

ProductCampApril 2nd ProductCamp Pittsburgh

PDMA Pittsburgh is a proud sponsor of the fourth annual ProductCamp Pittsburgh. This year’s event will be held in-person at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Headquarters in Coraopolis, PA on Saturday, April 2, 2022. (The original date in October 2021 was postponed and moved to April due to Covid concerns.)

ProductCamp is a free, full-day event that is filled with presentations, discussions, and workshops that cover a wide range of product development, innovation, and marketing topics. You'll learn best practices, share insights, and make connections with top minds in the local product community.

If you pre-registered for the October event, your registration has been automatically transferred to the April event. If you have not yet registered, be sure to reserve your spot now. Space is limited at the facility to ensure the safety of all participants. Log on to to learn more and register today.

To view a full list all PDMA global events, log on to

Carnegie Museum EventRecap of Q4 2021 Events

We started the fourth quarter with a product design event at the Carnegie Museum, hosted the Pitt/Duquesne/CMU Student pitch competition, and closed the year with a pricing event. Here are the key highlights from each event:

September Carnegie Museum Event

Over 40 innovators, product developers, managers, and students joined us at the Carnegie Museum of Art for an “extraordinary” event focused on product design. After an educational tour of the Extraordinary Ordinary Things Exhibit, four designers provided great insight into product design.

Key points of discussion included:

Carnegie Museum Event
  • It is critical for designers to “make friends” with marketing and engineering. When you can speak the language of engineering, business, and marketing, this can become the glue for the design.
  • The ergonomics and aesthetics of a product design go hand-in-hand.
  • “Form follows function” is an old notion and an interesting concept, but those who said it, don’t practice it.
  • Brand harmony is key to any product design. Determine the anchor point. Look at the mission statement, vision, and trends, and then bring it all together.

Thank you to Laura Vinchesi, Lead Visual and Information Designer at Seegrid, Matt Beale, President of Daedalus, Dino Mariano, Design Director at Bally Design, and Wayne Chung, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the CMU School of Design for sharing their design expertise.

Student Pitch Competition

November Student Pitch Competition Results

Three teams from the University of Pittsburgh took home the win in the Undergraduate, Graduate, and Best-In-Show categories during the 5th annual PDMA Student Pitch Competition. There were twelve total teams – two undergraduate and two graduate teams from CMU, Duquesne, and Pitt – competing for cash prizes and access to resources from ‘in kind’ sponsors. Each team gave impressive 60-second product pitches, making it very difficult for the judges to pick the final winners.
The teams included:

Undergraduate Teams:

  • 1st Place Winner: ReSolution (Pitt) – automated contact lens case for proper contact lens care
  • Allegro (Pitt) – music recording app to streamline the recording process
  • Pralent (CMU) – all-in-one community management platform for professional communities
  • Flurry (CMU) – software to monitor road conditions and car diagnostics
  • Safe Stroll (Duquesne) – multi tool with unique set of safety components to provide personal protection
  • Athletes U (Duquesne) – platform for students to connect with student, college, and professional athletes

Graduate Teams:

  • Best in Show: HealthENose (Pitt) – breath-based lung cancer screening/scanning system
  • 1st Place Winner: I-SPI (Pitt) – camera-based surgical training
  • CompassionateSynergy (CMU) – subscription based innovative e-greeting card company
  • Happy Hour (CMU) – platform to assist content creators develop the right content for their target audiences
  • Career Readiness Center (Duquesne) – internship arrangements/preparation for student athletes
  • Little Luxuries Kid Spa & Boutique (Duquesne) – full service licensed professional spa/salon for kids

A special thank you to all of the sponsors for providing the winning teams with access to the special resources to help them continue to move their innovative product ideas forward.

Pricing for Value Virtual Event

December Pricing for Value Virtual Event

The December Pricing for Value virtual event gave attendees a deep dive into pricing pitfalls, rules to abide by, pricing methodologies, and when to use them. Eric Whetstone and Brian Witt from AMG Research shared insights gleaned from their years of market research and academic experience investigating not just the “what” but the “why” of successful pricing strategies.

Key takeaways from the presentation included:

  • Focus on customers who place the highest value on the product, not the total market
  • Targeting the wrong customer and setting prices too low results in a loss of potential revenue
  • The value of your product is what defines the price, not the cost of its production
  • Unless your product has a high degree of fungibility with competing products, competitor pricing should be only one of many factors considered when setting prices

The feedback after the event from many attendees was extremely positive. A common sentiment was that this was one of the most valuable presentations that they have ever experienced. A recording of the event is available to view for free in the KHUB section on You must have an account on the PDMA website to view the presentation.

We would like to thank Eric and Brian for sharing their pricing expertise and presenting such valuable information.

Special Thanks to Philips

Philips logoWe would like to extend a special thank you to Philips for being a Platinum Sponsor of the Pittsburgh Chapter. Philips has been a sponsor for many years, and their support has allowed us to bring you the valuable programs and events each year.

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2020 sales of EUR 17.3 billion and employs approximately 78,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

If you would like to learn how you can become a PDMA Pittsburgh sponsor, contact Alex Trader, PDMA Pittsburgh VP of Outreach, at

Download our sponsorship flyer to learn more.

Please email if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for PDMA Pittsburgh.
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