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Joanne C. Penne

Joanne is known for consistently balancing strategic rigor and creativity with discipline and a bias for action,  while proving that better work happens when you have fun along the way. This unique combination is at the heart of The Innovation Umbrella.

During her 16 years at Unilever, Joanne mastered world-class innovation practices, and generated hundreds of millions of incremental sales dollars for brands such as Suave and Dove. As a seasoned Consultant, she has built innovation organizations from scratch and led the strategy, design and innovation pipelines for a range of clients. In each case, she quickly navigated situations, built trusted relationships and adapted best practices to meet the unique needs and culture of the organization.


Joanne brings a natural sense of curiosity, a high level of energy, and a passion for cutting through the clutter to focus on what’s important. She has extensive experience leading consumer-centric innovation on brands in Food, Beauty, Healthcare, Retail, Non-Profit and more. She has launched new brands on a global scale, reignited growth on stalled brands, and positioned entrepreneurs to jumpstart their dreams.

Joanne earned an MBA from Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management and a BS in Economics from Cornell University. She spent a semester studying abroad at The London School of Economics.


A fantastic collaborator, Joanne is flexible enough to not be tied to one way of doing things but with the depth of experience to end up in the desired location whatever the path to get there. 

Owner, Entrepreneur Client

Joanne has been an incredible partner for us, setting the bar for the kind of diligence and thought leadership our innovation process needs. 

CMO, Nonprofit client

Achieving what, to many, appeared unthinkable – Joanne led breakthrough communication campaigns, industry leading cost structures and truly new-to-the-world innovation.  She ignited unprecedented growth on seemingly tired brands and created enduring market positions for new ideas. Best of all, Joanne accomplished her goals with humor, humility, and humanity.

GM, Personal Care CPG


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