The Pragmatic Institute Story

Founded as Pragmatic Marketing in 1993, Pragmatic Institute has a strong track record of providing real-world insights, actionable best practices and proven tools to product managers and product marketing managers around the world.


In late 2018, recognizing the power of data and the increasing need for a real understanding of data science and AI among business and product professionals, Pragmatic Marketing purchased The Data Incubator (TDI), a leading data science training organization.


Together, the two companies became Pragmatic Institute, and combine their dedication and efforts to provide exceptional training across a wide selection of topics essential for product professionals, business leaders and data practitioners. All delivered by instructors with exceptional experience with some of the leading companies and universities in the world.

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Executive Team

Philip Alexander

Philip Alexander has spent more than two decades on the front lines of senior-level and international marketing. In 2000 he founded BrandMuscle Inc. in a Boston incubator. Prior to that Philip served as vice president of brand management for Pearle Vision; and as vice president of marketing and advertising for Western Auto.

“As we enter a new phase of growth at Pragmatic Institute, I see such potential; we have a great product and superb instructors. I am excited to lead the company as we expand our mission to deliver training that helps people elevate their products, companies and careers.”

April Garcia

With more than 20 years of experience in finance, accounting and information systems, April Garcia has a wealth of knowledge in strategic leadership and planning. Before joining Pragmatic, April was CFO and member of the Leadership Council for Eberle Design Inc., and CPA and business advisory firm Eide Bailly LLP.

“The more I learn about Pragmatic Institute and its product offerings and services, the more excited I am to add my piece of the story. I look forward to helping our companies build a better, stronger Pragmatic Institute that will continue to have a positive impact on our customers.”

Rebecca Kalogeris

Vice President, Marketing & Product Strategy
Rebecca Kalogeris is a proven marketing executive and turnaround specialist. She’s made a career of building up world-class, results-focused marketing departments. Prior to Pragmatic, Rebecca held marketing leadership roles at a variety of software and services companies, including TRIRIGA, Shift4 Corporation, Client Development Services and eCommLink.

“In marketing, it’s rare to work on a brand that you are truly passionate about, but that’s what I get to do here. Now, being able to help spread our training and see the impact that it has on people is truly amazing.”

Christine Plitt

Vice President, Education Services and Delivery
Christine Plitt leads the strategic planning, financial management and operations of all Pragmatic Institute training events. In addition, Christine established the company’s in-house travel agency, NIHITO Travel, an IATAN-recognized corporate travel agency. Chrisitne has taken over the leadership of The Data Incubator’s intensive data science fellowship program and hiring partner program.

“With each event, we’re equipping our attendees with the practical knowledge to be market- and data-driven and create meaningful products. I’m enthusiastic about our future as we expand our global footprint.”

Ben Newcomb

Vice President, Sales
Ben Newcomb leads the Pragmatic Institute sales team, helping the team create meaningful and lasting relationships with organizations of every size. Previously, Ben worked at Spear Education, managing a large team of sales representatives in new customer acquisition and customer growth.

“Helping others grow their knowledge and network with like-minded peers by aligning the Pragmatic Framework to make market and data-based decisions is my passion.”

Muhammad Zahid

Vice President, Technology
Muhammad Zahid brings more than 15 years of technology experience successfully leading software development, dev ops and infrastructure teams. At Pragmatic Institute, Muhammad plans, coordinates, designs and directs the company’s technology activities.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to implement new training delivery platforms that will help move this company forward. We are expanding our training offerings to include online, interactive content that complements what is already the best classroom training available.”

Our Tireless Instructors


Cindy Curzado

Cindy Cruzado has more than 25 years of product and go-to-market experience in the high-tech software industry. She has worked with multiple industries, including higher education, meteorology, finance and CRM.

“After seeing how successful Pragmatic Institute’s lessons were for my own portfolios and teams, I wanted to share my passion for product management with others and help them do some remarkable things.”

Steve Gaylor

Steve Gaylor has been developing product management and marketing teams and growing organizations for more than 25 years. He has demonstrated success in strategic-leadership roles, providing solutions to a broad variety of industries, including electronics, consumer products, IT and financial services. He has held executive-level positions in companies including Texas Instruments, Harbinger, Peregrine Systems, Inovis and PrimeRevenue

Amy Graham

Amy Graham has more than a decade of experience in product management, development and operations. Amy has launched and managed a variety of products, including multi-million dollar software projects and mobile apps. Prior to joining Pragmatic Institute, Amy was vice president, client services and product development at TalenTrust. She previously served as director of technology solutions at Bright Horizons Family Solutions and on the leadership team at Work Options Group.

Todd Middlebrook

Todd Middlebrook has more than 20 years of experience as a leader in product management and marketing at companies ranging from startups to large technology companies, including Microsoft. He also served as product manager at IBM Tivoli Software, product line manager at Torchquest Inc. and vice president of product management at Virtual Bridges. “I jumped at the chance to become an instructor so that I could share that method and have a similar impact on the careers of my students.”

Rich Nutinsky

Rich Nutinsky has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry, including 15 years in product management. He has launched several successful software products using the Pragmatic Institute Framework. Rich has held product management pricing and purchasing roles including at D&B Software, IMI, Arasys Systems, Spring Lake Technology and McKesson. “I discovered Pragmatic Institute training in 1999 and began adopting the Pragmatic Institute principles. It changed my career trajectory.”

Diane Pierson

Diane Pierson has more than 20 years of experience delivering product management and marketing results in the big data/analytics, publishing and digital marketing industries. Prior to joining Pragmatic Institute, Diane led product teams at Dun & Bradstreet, LexisNexis, InfoGroup and Copyright Clearance Center. “I joined Pragmatic Institute because the principles work in the real world. I wanted to help others succeed by sharing this content with product teams still in the trenches.”

Clarke Smith

Clarke Smith has more than 20 years of experience in the product marketing space, having worked for such well known companies as Hallmark and Advanced Auto Parts. He also helped leverage a groundbreaking service model that utilized domestic and offshore resources to plan, execute and track cost-effective local marketing programs for clients including DirecTV, Allstate, Spring, Ameriprise and US Cellular.

Paul Young

Paul has more than a decade of experience in hardware, software and services product management and marketing. During his career, Paul has launched and managed dozens of products, started his own business and successfully implemented the Pragmatic Framework at several companies. His focus on building market-driven teams gives him a unique ability to relate to product management teams and executives that are transforming their business.


Dylan Bargteil

Dylan is from Maryland and moved to NYC to complete a Ph.D. in soft condensed matter physics. Previously, he was a research assistant and adjunct professor at NYU and was a teaching assistant at the University of Maryland where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in physics and math. In addition to being interested in quantitatively reasoning about the world, he enjoys writing, performing, climbing and cooking.

Michael Cullan

Michael studied mathematics and music as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona before obtaining a master’s degree studying computational statistics at Arizona State University. He has developed usable software tools alongside cutting edge statistical theory, putting new ideas in the hands of researchers and practitioners. In his free time, Michael turns this passion for math and science toward art, creating code-based visual art and organizing events for digital art and music.

Don Fox

Born and raised in deep South Texas, Don studied chemical engineering at MIT and Cornell where he researched renewable energy systems. Don was attracted to data science because it is an interdisciplinary field that combines math, statistics and computer science to derive insights of processes using data. Don has worked as a model developer for GreenFire Energy. He enjoys puns, wearing ties, cardigans and everything fall.

Ana Hocevar

Ana obtained her Ph.D. in Physics before becoming a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University where she worked on developing and implementing an underwater touchscreen for dolphins. Previously, Ana worked as a doctoral research at Jozef Stefan Institute and a teaching assistant at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. Now she combines her love for coding and teaching as a data scientist. She spends her free time doing pottery, sometimes climbing and every now and then scuba diving.

Russell Martin

Russ was born in TN, grew up in NY, and got his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Georgia Tech. After that, he lived and worked for seventeen years in the United Kingdom, including Warwick University and the University of Liverpool, where he was a lecturer. In his spare time, Russ reads all sorts of science-y things he probably doesn’t really understand and plays board games.

Richard Ott

Rich moved from particle physics to data science when he left academia, and is excited to be joining his interests in data and programming with his love of teaching. Previously, he worked as the lead systems consultant for Verizon. He was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, and a research and teaching assistant at MIT. In his spare time, he’s a fan of science, speculative fiction, board games and hiking.

Robert Schroll

Robert studied squishy physics in Chicago, Amherst and Santiago, Chile, before uniting his loves of computers, teaching and making pretty graphs at The Data Incubator and Pragmatic Institute. In his free time, he plays tuba and right field, usually not simultaneously.

And The Team That Makes It All Happen

Philip Alexander


Philip Alexander


Philip Alexander


Philip Alexander

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