Paul (Tom) Van Wert Iii

Paul (Tom) Van Wert Iii

Work History

Work History

Rochester, NY, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Asia                        

Varied career with numerous positions in sales, marketing, and product management that have led to a broad and varied base of experience with 12 positions, in 5 cities, in 4 divisions of the company.

Worldwide Marketing Manager 35mm Color Negative Films - Consumer Imaging

  • Major Accomplishments - Defined the marketing requirements for development of two new lines of advanced film.Directed international marketing teams in development of marketing and launch plans, developed success metrics, in-depth competitive analysis, business research projects, and a product differentiation strategy for a premium product line extension.

Worldwide Marketing Manager Single Use Cameras- Consumer Imaging

  • Major Accomplishments - Redefined and relaunched the entire line of Single Use Cameras resulting in growth from $700 million to $1 billion in revenue.Grew revenue on average of 8% per year, sales unit growth of 16% per year, share growth of 5%, and reduced SKUs by 24% all in a climate of severe competitive price pressure. Directed up to 15 functional reports and chaired several cross-functional international teams.Achieved customer satisfaction ratings as high as 93%.

Worldwide Product Line Manager - Digital Imaging (Consumer), Digital & Applied Imaging

  • Major Accomplishments - Led a team that developed and launched Kodak Picture Disk and Kodak Picture Disk Viewer Software.Grew revenue by $3 million (+27%) and kept costs on budget.Managed product line P&L, forecasts, and communication budgets.Achieved consumer satisfaction of 77%, with first year actual sales 31% higher than plan.

Director, Consumer Product Planning- CD Imaging

  • Major Accomplishments - Responsible for developing and implementing the global Photo CD player program.Negotiated development and supply agreements, and outsourced manufacturing to suppliers in both Europe and Asia.Negotiated cost reduction savings of over $250K with suppliers.

Other Kodak Positions- Consumer Products Division

National Sales and Marketing Manager, Sales Incentive Manager, Marketing Education Specialist, Regional Acct Coordinator, Marketing Consultant to U.S. Military Bases in Asia, Pacific, and Alaska, and Sales Account Exec.

Reason for Leaving – With the technology shift to digital imaging Kodak was remaking itself.After surviving a dozen downsizing programs I became tenured and was eligible to take a buy-out.While I would have stayed my whole career, it was clear that I would eventually be laid off so I decided to leave on my terms.

Sr. Marketing Manager

  • Major Accomplishments - Grew business over 5% in a flat market, developed a new marketing program to bundle product offering for a greater market presence, P&L responsibility for a $50 million category, and managed integration ofproduction from a new company owned plant with several co-packers.
  • Reason for Leaving – Downsized; was managing a near commodity status product and when the company changed strategy to emphasize high margin categories my position was no longer needed.

Marketing Director

    Personal care products, including HBA, Oral care, and OTC cough/cold categories.

  • Major Accomplishments - Launched two major new product lines, hired new agency, developed marketing and communication plans, advertising campaign, managed creative and media schedule, and developed 3-year product roadmap.
  • Reason for Leaving – Voluntary, due to the company’s poor financial position not having been disclosed to me prior to accepting the position.The depth of the financial difficulty prevented me from meeting objectives.

Director New Product Development

Synergy Business Management

Direct order (mail/internet) business for CPG products.

  • Major Accomplishments - Created a stage gate process for NPD and developed the company product roadmap.  Using research and competitive market analysis identified two under served segments for which I developed two new consumer brands.  Wrote the business plan for expansion of the wholesale business.
  • Reason for Leaving – Downsized; due to legislative and other competitive pressures, business took a down turn and I was part of a general layoff.

Global Brand Director


    Occupational Safety Products

  • Major Accomplishments – Managed the company’s largest and most profitable brand on a global scale. Launched a new brand identity and developed new packaging. Developed a 5-year Brand Roadmap incorporating core enhancements as well as a new product pipeline utilizing new technologies and governed by unmet user needs research.Managed market research, new product definition, and NPD as part of global product line management.Worked with cross functional global teams to identify and fulfill customers’ needs.  Discovered an under utilized patent that satisfies the number one unmet user need and incorporated the feature into the product line.  first year results included Volume growth of 18% with Gross Profit growth of 19%.
  • Reason for Leaving – Downsized; 60% of our product was sold to the auto industry and when the industry tanked, we tanked.Being relatively new, I was part of a company-wide layoff.
Jul 2009 - Present


Digital Vision Marketing, LLC

Digital Out of Home Signage, Advertising and Marketing Consulting Services 

Pioneered web based and interactive digital signage solutions, and digital network solutions that address customers’ needs.  Built a digital signage network in SW Ohio.  Provide complete marketing solutions for small businesses with little or no budget that have minimal resources to advertise and grow their businesses.

Provide consulting services in marketing and product development/management.  Teach a course I authored entitled Marketing 101 which gets back to the basics including developing a winning value proposition, defining your target market segments, positioning, unique selling proposition, understanding the competition, and paying attention to the "whole product", among other basics.

Jun 2012 - Present

Vice President

Excelsior Institute of Business and Finance

The Excelsior Institute is a not-for-profit dedicated to assisting start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses get started and grow. We provide several services and programs that include identifying start-up financing, incorporation options, business plan, marketing plan, and sales plan development, accounting services needed, and much more. We are holding our first expo in May 2013 called the American Dream Small Business Expo ( where we are making booth space available to small businesses for only $75. This will give them a chance to exhibit at an expo, which they have never had due to high booth prices. We will be offering free seminars to help businesses understand what they need to do to get established and grow. This expo will be followed up with a series of boot camps that will be more comprehensive than other boot camps and again, are designed to help start-ups and small businesses.



BS Business Administration

Auburn University

More than MBA equivalent experience.




General – 18 years experience ·      Cross-Functional team management for product development and marketing planning. ·      Global experience includes over 35 trips to Asia and 20 to Europe, and product sourcing. ·      Business Development includes entrepreneurial experience, introducing new technology to the marketplace, and establishing a new business in new markets.  


Sales – 12 years experience ·      Sales Rep - Called on national and regional accounts in most of the mass channels and many specialty channels.  Strong understanding of retailers needs in the B2C process. ·      Management - Have managed direct reps, independent reps, brokers, and merchandisers. ·      Sales Training - Trained new sales reps as well as developed and run dealer training programs.      


    ·      Established a new business as a start-up in Digital Signage.  Invested my own money and developed a digital network.  Business is currently operating and generating revenue at a growing rate.  

Key Competencies

  ·    Passion for learning customer’s needs and satisfying them better than anyone else. ·    Managing Innovation and New Product Development and developing product roadmaps. ·    Branding, segmentation, positioning, packaging and developing value propositions. ·    Marketing financial management, leading to sound marketing and business decisions. ·    Strategic and tactical marketing experience, including food, drug, mass, and specialty channels. ·    Writing Marketing Requirements Documents (MRD) is a particular strength. ·    Worldwide product line management including P&L, business cases, market readiness/launch plans, forecasting, critical success metrics and life cycle management. ·    Managing cross-functional teams for product development, marketing and launch planning. ·    Marketing, sales, and sales management experience in consumables, durables and services. ·    OEM sourcing from Asia with extensive international and domestic travel experience.  


 Financial – 12 years experience  (Secondary major in Accounting) ·        Management - created and managed marketing budgets with P&L responsibility. ·        Analysis – pro forma income statement projections, margin analysis, and expense projection.  

Product Development

      Product Development  – 18 years experience ·    Stage gate Commercialization Process - 17 years experience commercializing new products.  Created stage gate processes for two companies utilizing best practices.  ·    Innovation – Have utilized innovation methods to identify technology/solutions for unmet user needs. ·    New Products - have developed and launched over 30 new products in 10 CPG product categories. ·    Research - experience defining market research projects and utilizing data to make decisions. ·    Strategic Planning – developed product roadmaps, competitive analyses, and market situation analyses ·    Marketing Requirements Documents - Strong in MRD/PRD development, and product line management.  


      Marketing & Brand Management – 18 years experience (Primary degree in Marketing) ·    Brand Mgmt. & Identity – managed brands and product lines, have developed value propositions, positioning, packaging and graphics, rebranding/relaunch of brands, and SKU rationalization. ·    Communication - have written marketing and launch plans, communication plans, advertising plans, developed promotional plans, and media schedules. ·    Agency Management - hired and managed agencies for the development of advertising for TV, Radio, Print, FSIs, and Sampling programs, including creative and production. ·    Trade Shows - Managed booths, staffs, signage, displays, and collateral needs.    


Volunteer and VP of Excelsior Institute of Business and Finance, a not for profit organization that helps start-ups and small businesses grow.

Certified Public High School Sports Official

Professional Umpire (in my spare time)

Swimming Official

Diving Judge

Competitive Tennis player


Put experience to work for you.As an executive with 20+ years of progressively responsible leadership in marketing, brand and product development/management, and sales experience on a global basis, I will make a positive impact.If you need a marketing/brand management professional, or an expert in NPD and stage gate commercialization processes, I have the background to make a difference.I have been responsible for numerous new product introductions, sales, share, profit growth, P&L, and cost reduction programs.

With my extensive knowledge of brand management, B2C and B2B, NPD, multiple sales channels, and product line management I bring fresh new ideas and the know how to break down barriers to your success.I have taken Voice of the Customer (VOC) from initial stages to profitable product line for multiple product categories, and managed cross-functional global teams through product development and launch/marketing planning for product lines in excess of $1 billion in revenue with sales increases as high as 45%.