40 Under 40 2013 Profiles: Al-Saadi, Berry, Chiou, Clark, Cohen, Dickerson, DiTullo, Fleury
Background: Grew up in Cheverly, Md., now lives in Alexandria, Va.
Higher education: B.A. Communications, University of Delaware
Career: Thirteen years in the industry. Dickerson oversees the conferences and events department at CEA, including the CES conference program and keynotes, as well as CEA events throughout the year.
Industry accomplishments: Identifying high-caliber and diverse speakers at CES. She is also instrumental in doubling the size of the CES conference during the past three years.
Awards: Convene magazine profile, November 2010
What you like best about your job: “The ability to try something new each year.”
What you like least: “Not enough hours in the day to do all we would like to do.”
Favorite pastime: Reading and watching HBO.
Last book read: “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson
Favorite movie: “Dirty Dancing”
Best concert: Madonna, 2012.
Favorite CE Product of the Year: “Products with connectivity that make sense, like cameras that can post directly to Facebook via Wi-Fi. I like the products that eliminate steps.”
If you could be anyplace else right now, it would be: “On a lovely beach somewhere with a tropical drink in hand.”
Michael DiTullo, 36, Chief Design Officer of Sound United/DEI Holdings
Twitter: @michael_ ditullo
Background: Grew up in Hudson Valley, N.Y., and now lives in San Diego.
Higher education: B.F.A. in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and Domus Academy in Milan.
Career: Fifteen years in the CE industry. As chief design officer of Sound United, DiTullo manages a team of designers and product line managers that help to refine the unique position of each of the company’s brands. For each of the audio brands, DiTullo helps to define long-term product strategies, design languages, product requirements, and industrial design.
Industry accomplishments: Collaborating with some of the most accomplished acoustic engineers in the industry to bring 40-plus years of loudspeaker innovation to the personal audio category this year, through Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and AirPlay speakers for Definitive, Polk, and BOOM.
Also, building out our new design center in Southern California was a huge accomplishment. This facility is a studio for our industrial designers and has become an interdisciplinary collaborative space where we review ethnographic research, hold portfolio strategy and product definition workshops with engineering and product line management, and develop the iconic look and feel for each of our brands.
Awards: BusinessWeek IDSA Silver Industrial Design Excellence Award, ADEX Platinum Award for Design Excellence, Shonan World Design Award Grand PrizeWinner, American Society on the Aging Universal Design Award, and Interviewed for the book “Dieter Rams: As Little Design As Possible,” by Sophie Lovell.
What you like best about your job: “It doesn’t feel like a job. When I was a kid, I told my parents, ‘I want to draw stuff from the future when I grow up.’ Whenever your job is doing what you said you wanted to do when you were 13 years old, it isn’t really a job. My greatest high points right now, though, are when I am working with and mentoring our younger designers.
What you like least: That I can’t be three places at once. I’ve pretty much figured out how to be in two; I’m still working on three.
Favorite pastime: Eating gourmet food, craft cocktails, sketching, and driving too fast.
Last book read: “Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon”
Favorite movie: Toss up between “Blade Runner” and “The Empire Strikes Back”
Best concert: The Bad Plus. I’ve seen them five times. They never disappoint.
Hero: Hartmut Esslinger, the founder of frog design, where I worked before Sound United. Hartmut coined the phrase “form follows emotion,” and he believed that if we made products that we felt people could form a deeper emotional connection to, they would be happier. With this belief, frog helped to create some of the most iconic consumer electronics ever made, from the Apple //e and the Macintosh, to the Sony Walkman and Trinitron. Designing disruptive products is difficult, but he made it clear it was the only option if you wanted to be relevant, and in this way got his designers and his clients to do the best work of their lives.
Favorite CE product of the year: The Polk Woodbourne
If you could be anyplace else right now, it would be: “In our 3,000-square-foot studio that we built out this year, sketching up the next generation of products with my team.”