Susan Zelicoff Hired as Director of Business Development

November 12, 2010

MAYA Design Sharpens Focus on New Research Opportunities in a Connected World

Pittsburgh, PA, November 12, 2010–MAYA Design, a technology design and innovation lab, has announced the appointment of Susan Zelicoff as director of business development for research. Zelicoff will lead MAYA’s continuing efforts to build a pool of research opportunities in both the government and commercial sectors, based on MAYA’s human-centered design approach.

“Susan’s depth of experience in new product and service development, strategic planning, and technology transfer will contribute much to MAYA’s commitment to further our research agenda, which has had historic successes through projects funded by government agencies,” said Mickey McManus, president and CEO of MAYA Design.

McManus gave the example of MAYA’s collaborative data-visualization technology, designed and developed under funding by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). A MAYA spin-off that became part of General Dynamics hardened the technology into a commercial decision-support product called CoMotion, which was the basis for the Command Post of the Future (CPOF). CPOF was deployed to Baghdad in 2004 and is considered one of DARPA’s biggest success stories, having won multiple Significant Technical Achievement Awards from DARPA and a 2009 Network Centric Warfare Award for Outstanding Government Program.

McManus noted that MAYA’s research also extends to helping its commercial clients who are looking 5-10 years into the future. The company’s pervasive-computing practice helps clients to kick-start innovation around business challenges in the connected world, anticipated to grow in complexity to more than a trillion nodes.

“MAYA’s strong dedication to addressing human needs by advancing technology innovation in both the government and commercial sectors sets it wide apart from your typical product-design firm,” said Zelicoff. “I’m very excited about helping a company that is so savvy about technology, yet understands how innovation in an information-driven culture must be tempered by what is truly important to, and needed by, real users.”

Zelicoff’s lustrous career has focused on strategic planning, business development and marketing in various technology sectors. Most recently, she addressed strategic approaches to new business creation for Nuclear Services at Westinghouse Electric Company. As executive vice president of AMTV LLC, Zelicoff was responsible for developing new business for the group’s technology transfer and commercialization practice. Concurrently, she marketed the FirstLink program, an initiative supported by Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation and AMTV that is sponsored by the Department of Defense to connect Defense science and technology efforts to industry. Zelicoff also helped to establish and launch the FirstLink program, beginning as senior consulting manager in 2004, during the program’s origination at the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence .

Prior to joining the FirstLink team, Zelicoff worked for nearly two decades at Bayer Corporation where she was manager of strategic planning, leading the development and implementation of major strategic initiatives for Bayer’s North America region. Her earlier years at Bayer, and previously at Air Products and Chemicals, were spent analyzing opportunities and launching an array of innovative products and services. Among them was a groundbreaking eCommerce start-up cofounded by world leaders in the industrial and specialty rubber market. Zelicoff led the new company as the managing director.

About MAYA Design
MAYA Design is a leading technology design and innovation lab that works to turn human experiences with technology products into positive, fruitful interactions. For over 20 years, MAYA Design’s team of experts in human sciences, engineering and design have been working with a range of Fortune 500 companies and start-up businesses to design innovative products and solutions that improve the interactions between people and information. For more information, please visit