Plenary Speakers

OPENING PLENARY:  Monday, April 11  |  8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.


Paul Ballew
Global Chief Data & Analytics Officer
Ford Motor Company

Transforming the Automotive Industry with Data and Analytics

Paul Ballew will provide an overview on how the Global Data, Insight & Analytics organization is helping to transform Ford Motor Company. Paul will present the journey Ford is currently undertaking as well as the challenges and opportunities that come along with it.


Paul Ballew is the Global Chief Data and Analytics Officer at the Ford Motor Company. Appointed in December 2014, Ballew leads Ford’s global data and analytics teams including development of new capabilities supporting connectivity and smart mobility.

Prior to joining Ford, he was Chief Data, Insight & Analytics Officer at Dun & Bradstreet. In this capacity he was responsible for the company’s global data and analytic activities along with the company’s strategic consulting practice.

Previously, Ballew served as Nationwide’s Senior Vice President for Customer Insight and Analytics. He directed customer analytics, market research, and information and data management functions, and supported the company’s marketing strategy. His responsibilities included development of Nationwide’s customer analytics, data operations and strategy. Ballew joined Nationwide in November 2007 and established the company’s Customer Insights and Analytics capabilities.

Prior to joining Nationwide, Ballew was employed by General Motors and served as General Motors Corporation’s Executive Director for Global Market and Industry Analysis. He was responsible for the company’s research, consumer data and information, forecasting and sales, and customer, economic and industry analytic functions. He also directed the company’s Sales and Marketing strategic planning activities in North America and served as a senior director for global product planning activities.

Prior to joining GM, Ballew was a Partner for J.D. Power and Associates from 1995 to 1999. At J.D. Power, Paul was responsible for global analysis, forecasting and the establishment of the firm’s consulting activities. During his tenure, he was the company’s senior advisor on industry conditions and corporate strategies.

Before joining J.D. Power, Ballew was a Research Officer and Senior Economist with the Federal Reserve from 1988 to 1995, specializing on the automotive industry. Responsibilities included the oversight of the Fed’s automotive research activities, serving as an advisor to the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and advising the Board of Governors. Ballew was born in January 1964. He has bachelor’s and master’s degree in Economics from the University of Detroit.

PLENARY:  Tuesday, April 12  |  10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.

Eldersveld-bio-picSamuel K. Eldersveld, Ph.D.
Lead, Director of Operations Research
Uber Technologies, Inc.

OR in Today’s Dynamic Business Environment

This presentation will provide an overview of data and optimization-focused methods designed for logistics-based systems addressing challenges presented by fast-changing business environments. The focus will be on quantitative tools designed for commerce that rely on the effective blending of applied quantitative research, engineering development, and data analytics. The survey will include a discussion of robotics, geo-location, and geo-spatial data systems and also focus on modeling approaches. Dr. Eldersveld will also briefly discuss statistical learning, forecasting and pricing ideas designed to address demand and logistics needs in dynamic competitive environments.


Samuel K. Eldersveld received his Ph.D. in Operations Research from Stanford University in 1992. Dr. Eldersveld worked as a Mathematician for manufacturing and planning at Boeing from 1991-2000 in the Phantom Works division. He joined Expedia as a startup and spent time at Starbucks before moving to Amazon as a Principal Research Scientist in Seattle, WA. Dr. Eldersveld joined Uber Technologies Inc. in 2015 to work with the data sciences teams in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Eldersveld was also affiliated with the University of Washington Foster School of Business as a non-tenure-track Auxiliary Faculty member and lecturer in the department of Information Systems and Operations Management from 2005-2008.