Helping Our Clients Find Their Way
Ursa Major Associates’ consulting team comprises accomplished industry leaders, successful executives, experienced entrepreneurs and skilled subject matter experts who have each played critical roles in the growth of extraordinary postal – parcel – delivery industry success stories. And, they continue to thrive on addressing the challenges of this rapidly evolving environment. Their disciplines include strategy, planning, finance, marketing, sales, customer relations, operations, information systems, e-commerce and general management.
We draw from our talent pool to meet the specific needs of our clients. Ursa Major Associates is not an overhead-burdened organization driven by demands for headcount productivity. We take a scalable approach to our assignments and are pleased to accept short-term, highly focused tasks and build on them toward long term comprehensive engagements as required.
Ursa Major consultants work hard to earn our clients’ appreciation and confidence. As experienced executives we naturally take a collaborative approach to our engagements working closely with clients to solve problems that we feel to be our own. Together, we develop winning strategies that are practicable and we assist with execution as required.
A Virtual Constellation of Stars
John Callan – Managing Director
John’s Specialties: Visioning, market trend analysis, opportunity identification, growth strategy formulation, alliance structuring, business development, mergers and acquisitions.
A highly regarded visionary, thought leader, strategy and business development consultant in the postal-parcel-logistcs space, John leads consultancy Ursa Major Associates, LLC as well as PostalVision 2020, the bold initiative and Conference designed to re-invent the postal ecosystem in America.
Based on early entrepreneurial successes, John has applied his intuitive inclination toward the creation and execution of innovative growth strategies to corporations and clients for more than thirty years. As senior operating executive and consultant for public and private, large and small, domestic and international companies alike, John has led innovative strategic business development initiatives in the mail and parcel logistics and digital imaging fields.
He founded and grew pioneer global courier service, Calico Air Courier, merged it into DHL Worldwide Express and served DHL as VP Marketing. He served TNT Skypak as President and Purolator Courier as SVP Marketing and Sales. He created remailing firms International Remail Inc. and Belgian Distribution Systems and organized New York Air Courier Clearance (NYACC).
He served Polaroid Corporation as Director of Entertainment Imaging and Director of New Business Development and since 20o1 has served on the Board of Directors of biometric industry leader, Imageware Systems (IWSY). He served venture-backed Milestone Systems, creators of Click & Send as Chief Operating Officer and introduced online shipping to USPS leading to its highly successful Click-N-Ship application. He served DHL Global Mail Americas as VP Strategy and Business Development and member of the Executive Committee, responsible for inorganic growth initiatives, M & A and postal relations.
John served PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) postal practice as Thought-Leader on strategy projects for USPS; including the Expedited Packages Business Plan that created Parcel Select; International Business Unit Strategic Plan that created the Postal Service’s first-ever competitor alliance with DHL and its innovative co-branded express productGlobal Express Guaranteed; as well as PostOffice Online.
He co-founded logistics consultancy Ursa Major Associates and advised ventures in online shipping, postage payment, mail presorting, direct mail, hybrid mail, postal software, USPS work-sharing, parcel consolidation, e-commerce fulfillment and express and expedited delivery.
John is a recognized postal – parcel – delivery industry expert, active in industry associations; Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), Parcel Shippers Association (PSA), US Dept. of State Advisory Committee on International Postal and Delivery Services (FACA), Global Address Data Association (GADA) and on USPS Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) workgroups.
He has served industry leading clients; USPS, USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG), Pitney Bowes, Neopost, FedEx, DHL, YRCW, Kodak, Aramex, Royal Mail, TNS Reaserch Int’l, as well as entrepreneurial ventures; E-Stamp, RMX (acquired by UPS), DigitalToPrint, Skyshop Logistics, Immediate Mailing Systems (IMS), Zippy Blue, Tailwinds.
John earned a BA in Russian at the University of North Carolina where he was a Morehead Scholar.
Mike Comstock- Co-founder and Senior Consultant
Mike’s Specialties: Strategy Development, Business Planning, Business Process Design, eCommerce, Logistics Outsourcing, Project Management, Value Chain Transformation ,International Operations and Cross-border trade.
Mike is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of broad management experience. Starting with DHL Worldwide Express in its formative days, Mike played a pivotal role in many aspects of the company’s evolution both in the US and globally. He held numerous positions with DHL in operations and general management with the responsibility for over 3000 staff. His corporate staff experience includes numerous leadership roles as Senior Vice President of Business Systems Development, Senior Vice President of E commerce, and Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy. Mike has been a key member of numerous DHL global steering groups including Operations, Information Technology and ECommerce. He also led DHL in the development of the innovative Global Express Guaranteed service collaboratively offered through USPS.
Mike is the co-founder of Ursa Major Associates, LLC, as well as Global Online Trade Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm which provides clients with the capability to move efficiently into global markets by addressing the barriers that complicate cross border trade, logistics process transformation and outsourcing.
Consulting clients include Pitney Bowes, FedEx, DHL Global Mail, Innovapost, Triangle Management Services, Swift Optics, Rincon Technologies, InterSchola, and ShippingEasy.com
Mike also held the position of Vice President of Operations for TestMart, an online marketplace for electronic test and measurement equipment. Mike also was the General Manager-Americas for Borderlinx, a Belgium based startup which facilitates cross border eCommerce.
When not working, Mike serves as the President of the Board of the Bear Valley Snow Sports Education Foundation (BVSEF). The mission of BVSEF is to support Bear Valley’s snow sports athletes in achieving their athletic, academic and personal goals.
Patrick Bartlett – Senior Consultant
Patrick’s Specialties: Strategic thinking, creativity, pragmatic problem solving, catalyst, effective leader and team builder.
Patrick is recognized as an innovator with a practical leadership style committed to getting things done efficiently. He has served as a Senior Executive with a proven track record in identifying and exploiting business opportunities that drive bottom line results. He brings to his clients an entrepreneurial management style that has been successful in driving change in large organizations. Known as someone who thrives on getting new projects and ventures started within an organization, appreciated as a creative problem solver, planner and strategist. His exploratory thinking style provides insightful analysis and forthright judgments.
For over 20 years, Patrick has worked in the logistics business in a number of senior marketing and sales roles for both Canada Post and Canpar Parcel Services. Some of the roles included; President, Borderfree Division, General Manager, International Sales & Product Management, Vice President, Marketing & Sales, General Manager, Parcels.
One of Patrick’s key areas of expertise lies in helping US based companies go international, providing guidance and assistance on market entry strategies, supply chain optimization and marketing tactics.
Clients served are Aramex, Canada Post, Kodak, LL Bean, Neopost, Pitney Bowes and USPS – OIG.
Patrick holds a P. Log. Certification from the Canadian Logistics Institute and a MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Rod DeVar – Senior Consultant
Rod’s Specialties: Direct and multi-channel marketing, marketing communications, product innovation, project management, team building.
Rod became an independent business and strategy consultant following a career with the U.S. Postal Service leading marketing projects, programs and functional groups at its Washington DC Headquarters. Known as a marketing innovator inside USPS and to many postal industry professionals outside USPS, Rod was at the center of producing and executing strategy for numerous new business/product development initiatives and advertising and promotion campaigns.
The following is a sampling of Rod’s experience.
- Provides support to Creative Solutions Consulting, LLC as a Facilitator for a management leadership training program for the U.S. Postal Service aimed at providing high potential managers with the necessary skills to take on positions of greater responsibility.
- Was the lead on a project for Ursa Major Associates to assist Kodak in responding to a USPS RFI for an online direct mail service.
- Produced the Postal Service’s first five year Retail Strategic Business Plan which recommended closing unprofitable post offices, expanding the use of contract units and significantly expanding the range of services and products offered at post offices.
- Started an Assets Development Group tasked with leveraging USPS physical and brand assets to generate new income.
- Devised and implemented a strategy to provided day certain delivery of Standard Mail.
- Created a variation on Parcel Post delivery to provide highly reliable next day delivery of local originating and destinating pieces (ultimately lead to the creation of the Parcel Select product which produces annual sales in excess of $500 million for USPS).
- Conceived and executed a sustained marketing communications program aimed at large spending advertisers to promote direct mail which contributed to five straight years of market share growth.
- Drove the creation of the Postal Service’s first integrated corporate advertising campaign (‘We Deliver’) and its first advertising campaign for Priority Mail. Both campaigns produced record sales for Express and Priority Mail.
- Provided the organizational design for and establishment of the Postal Service’s first New Product Development Group.
Rod earned a BA Communications Arts (Advertising Management Program) at Michigan State University and a Masters Management Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan Business School
A Galaxy of Resources
Ursa Major Associates is widely known and respected for its extensive collegial network of industry experts, consultancy affiliates and associated advisors. Our resources enable us to tap into highly specialized functional and technical fields, including market research and data collection, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory and labor affairs, cross-border operations, and virtually any other aspect of the industry.
In order to provide comprehensive consulting services to our clients while retaining our firm’s core focus on strategy, we deliberately work with a number of specialized individual Associate Consultants on an as - needed basis and when advisable and agreeable with our clients, we collaborate with and/or sub-contract to a select group of Affiliated Consultancies.
decision/analysis partners (d/ap) – http://www.decisionanalysis.net/
Direct Communications Group - http://directcomgroup.com/
Innovapost – http:// www.innovapost.com
NGI Systems - http://www.ngi-solutions.com/
David R. Allen, OBE, Chairman of DHL Express (UK) Limited
Gene DelPolito, President, Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom) link to- www.postcom.org.
Jeff Jarvis, author What Would Gogle Do?, blogger, www.buzzmachine.com.
Charles Prescott, The Prescott Report - http://prescottreport.com/charles-prescott/about-charles-prescott
Larry Weber, Chairman, W2 Group, author Everywhere: Comprehensive Digital Business Strategy for the Social Media Era, www.w2group.com