Helping Our Clients Find Their Way
Ursa Major’s 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. And, they continue to thrive on addressing the disruptive challenges of this rapidly transforming environment. Their disciplines include strategy, planning, finance, marketing, sales, customer relations, operations, process design, information systems, e-commerce and general management.
A Virtual Constellation of Consultant Stars
Co-Founder and Managing Director
John founded The PostalVision 2020 Initiative in 2010 out of frustration with what he perceived as the postal industry’s reluctance to acknowledge the approaching tsunami of digital disruptive innovation that was barreling down on our traditional USPS operating model. He sensed a critical need to expose the crisis and collectively discuss what to do about it in an open and objective conversation with all stakeholders.
Having started his career in the seventies as a Postal Service disrupter himself by founding Calico Air Courier, then merging it into DHL Express, John spent the next few decades pushing the postal/parcel envelope at DHL, TNT Skypak, Purolator Courier and pioneer online shipping system developer, Milestone Systems, before beginning his strategy consulting practice advising USPS. Under Coopers & Lybrand and PwC, he thought-led projects on the USPS’s Expedited & Package Services Business Plan, PostOffice Online and International Business Unit strategy. For the latter he led the breakthrough alliance with DHL to create Global Express Guaranteed, the first co-branded USPS product with a competitor. And his counterpart at DHL was Mike Comstock, with whom he would later found Ursa Major Associates in 2000.
John and his Ursa Major colleagues have advised mailing and express delivery industry leaders such as, Pitney Bowes, FedEx, DHL Global Mail, Neopost, as well as many start-ups on strategic issues in the progressively integrating mail and parcel value chain. John has played key advisory roles in several USPS-OIG studies regarding Expanding the Postal Platform into the Digital World, Parcel Strategy, Retail Strategy and IP Strategy. As a well-known and highly respected postal industry expert, John has appeared on CNBC, NPR’s Morning Edition and Marketplace; has been interviewed by the Washington Post, Kiplinger Letter, Post & Parcel and E-Commerce Bytes; has authored Op-Eds for The Hill; is a familiar speaker at industry conferences in the U.S and abroad and has written numerous articles for trade publications.
In all his work, John likes to begin by taking a high-level ‘Google Earth’ view of the postal ecosystem, carefully exploring the transformative nature of its landscape. He endeavors to track the trajectory of the industry and its players while keeping a cautious eye out for hazards and a sharp focus on opportunities. PostalVision 2020 represents the most challenging expedition of John’s career and he welcomes all to join him and his team in exploring what lies ahead for America’s postal ecosystem.
Mike is a seasoned executive with over 35 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. Mike was the DHL architect of the innovative Global Express Guaranteed service developed and implemented jointly with US Postal Service.
Based on his broad experience, Mike founded Ursa Major Associates with John Callan in 2001. Mike has also held the position of Vice President of Operations for TestMart, an online marketplace for electronic test and measurement equipment; Vice President of Operations for InterSchola, an online seller of surplus public agency equipment, and was the General Manager-Americas for Borderlinx, a Belgium based startup which facilitates cross border eCommerce. Mike has also directed the production of three PostalVision2020 conferences.
Mike’s Expertise – Strategy Development, Business Planning, Business Process Design, Cross-border eCommerce, Logistics Outsourcing, Project Management, Delivery Operations
Patrick is a Senior Executive with a proven track record in identifying and exploiting business opportunities that drive bottom line results. Patrick was President of Canada Post, Borderfree until 2008. He held various other senior positions at Canada Post, including General Manager of International Sales & Product Management, General Manager of Parcels.
In his consulting role Patrick has lead projects in the both domestic, cross border and international parcels, ecommerce, ecommerce fulfiment, supply chain, omni-channel fulfillment and Automated Parcel Lockers for Google, Bufferbox, Pitney Bowes, USPS, Aramex, Borderlinx, Cleveron.Shoppers Drug Mart, Zipments.ca and Neopost. Projects have included; Postal Customs Clearance, Current state, Trends and Regulatory Changes, US Regional Parcel Market, Size, Structure and Trends, US Small Parcel Market Overview and Growth Opportunities, Automated Parcel Locker Pilot, Alternate Delivery, International eCommerce Fulfillment & Payment Solution Build.Cross Border eCommerce Study and eCommerce Fulfillment.
Patrick holds a P. Log Certification from the Canadian Logistics Institute and a MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business
Patrick’s Expertise – Postal Issues, Parcels, Courier, eCommerce, Fulfillment, Cross Border, International, Alternate Delivery, Automated Parcel Lockers, Supply Chain, Omni-Channel Logistics
Bernhard is the Managing Director of the Postal Innovation Platform (PIP), an initiative focusing on the future for the postal industry with a solution-oriented approach. PIP operates under the umbrella of an academic research center (EPFL-MIR based in Lausanne, Switzerland), the Universal Postal Union, and Swiss Post. It is an open platform inviting all postal industry stakeholders to join, contribute and thus create innovation, value and solutions for the postal sector. He previously worked for the Austrian Post as Director of Regulatory Affairs, and served as the Director of Inter-company Pricing and Regulation at the International Post Corporation in Brussels for over five years. Among his current activities Bernhard is also a management trainer, moderator at various conferences and the co-editor of a publication on postal services in the digital age.
Bernhard is also an entrepreneur, who founded and manages Vinaficio, an e-marketplace that supports European wineries. Studying and working on eCommerce and cross-border issues for many years Bernhard put his knowledge to practice and launched together with his partners his eCommerce company which connects today buyers and sellers across nine European countries, providing full logistics, payment, tax and duty administration support.
Bernhard holds a LL.M from George Washington University and a J.D. from the University of Graz, Austria.
In his current consultancy role Bernhard strives to connect postal market stakeholders, strategic thinkers, innovation gurus and leading business people in order to come up with ideas and solutions that can help to shape the changing postal industry. The new postal ecosystem requires all parties to cooperate closely and to be always ahead of the newest trends and customer needs and Bernhard helps them to identify ideas, opportunities and possible solutions.
Bernhard’s Expertise - Postal and express logistics, innovation, management, eCommerce, cross border solutions, digital solutions, postal regulation and politics, communication, inter-company pricing, international, European affairs, trainer & moderator, connecting people, entrepreneurship
Chuck does work for Northrop Grumman IS as their USPS Advocate and also consults with the USPS OIG’s Risk Analysis Resource Center working on technology and innovation topics such as trust networks, e-mailbox, peer-to-peer e-commerce, IP strategy, Internet of Postal Things and innovation management.
Chuck’s experience in financial services (10 years), postal information technology and marketing (24 years), government contracting (7 years) and small business ownership (25+ years) provides the foundation for understanding situational threats and opportunities and then to craft creative solutions with an emphasis on asymmetrical responses, discovery of longer term trends and low investment trials. Through use of a structured innovation management toolkit, situations may be rapidly triaged to better identify and understand available alternate options. Traditional innovation processes are full of unstructured idea generation which results in white space gaps and wasted effort. Typically, brainstorming ideas are prioritized and then quickly stagnate due to an organization’s inability to effectively evaluate and manage innovation. The “Monkey’s Typewriter” Innovation & Opportunity Discovery Analysis Process was created to provide a better toolkit for idea generation, opportunity discovery and assessment and change planning.
Chuck is retired from the U.S. Postal Service where he held various positions including Manager, Business Development and Manager, Strategic Marketing. While at the Postal Service, Chuck participated in development of the Electronic Postmark and served on the Clinton Administration’s National Information Infrastructure’s Privacy Work Group and eCommerce Strategy Work Group. Chuck co-authored the NII eCommerce Strategy paper with NIST.
Chuck still pursues active interests in the areas of conservation (both in the US and the Amazon), historic preservation and outdoor recreation.
Chuck’s Expertise – secure electronic transactions and trusted identities, privacy, innovation management, information technology, asymmetric responses and business strategy.
Dennis most recently served as Director for Postal Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, where for nine years he acted as the chief U.S. government official responsible for U.S. foreign policy related to international postal and private-sector delivery services. In this role, Delehanty regularly led U.S. delegations to major international postal meetings.
Delehanty entered USPS headquarters in 1979 as a junior international postal affairs officer, and from 1986 to 1992, worked at the UPU in Bern, primarily responsible for EMS (Express Mail). Returning to Washington, Delehanty led the UPU team that negotiated contracts with private courier companies for the delivery of EMS items in Europe and Canada. The experience gained in this effort led Delehanty to form the EMS Cooperative, which the 1999 Beijing UPU Congress formally endorsed, electing Delehanty as Chairman of the organization’s Board, a position he held through 2003. The programs initiated by the Cooperative, which has now over 170 member postal operators, have dramatically improved the quality of EMS worldwide, and the organization itself serves as a structural model for other UN specialized agencies. Delehanty maintains a vast network of postal contacts worldwide, covering the globe.
A native New Englander, Delehanty majored in Russian at Colby College and earned his Master’s Degree in Russian Studies at George Washington University. He also completed studies at the Pushkin Institute (Moscow) and the Shanghai Foreign Language Institute. Delehanty speaks Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese and Portuguese.
Dennis’s Expertise-Private-postal partnerships, Cross-border e-commerce, Cross-border customs and IT issues, International postal policy/U.S. foreign policy regarding international postal and delivery services, International express services/EMS
Rod became an independent business and strategy consultant following a career with the U.S. Postal Service providing managerial leadership to 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. While leading the USPS Advertising Office he was able to develop breakthrough campaigns that lead to record package services and Standard Mail sales. His campaigns were recognized with some of the highest awards in the advertising industry. In the Product Development positions Rod held he brought more than a dozen significant new services to market.
Today, Rod provides strategic analysis support to Ursa Major Associates projects and has been an ongoing contributor to PostalVision2020 since its inception. In addition to his Ursa Major Associates work, Rod is a professional Facilitator for Creative Solutions Consulting, LLC facilitating two week management leadership training classes for the U.S. Postal Service aimed at providing high potential managers with the necessary skills to take on positions of greater responsibility.
Rod’s Expertise – New Product Development, Marketing/Advertising Strategy Development, Leadership Training
Bryan is a recent college graduate from Elon University who has gained experience in policy, postal innovation and social media since graduating from school. After graduation, Bryan went to Washington DC where he worked for Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate. During his tenure in DC, he assisted legislative staff with policy research and legislative correspondence. Since late 2013, Bryan has joined the team at UrsaMajor Associates and PostalVision2020. Drawn in by the team’s vision and expertise, Bryan has become educated in the nuances of the Postal Ecosystem. He assisted in the organization’s social media and promotional efforts for the PostalVision2020 4.0 event, that helped create a successful event that brought together thought leaders from around the industry.
Bryan’s Expertise – Postal and Regulatory Policy, Postal Innovation, Social Media
With a career spanning over 30 years in the Automotive and eCommerce industries, Anthony brings a wealth of experience encompassing all areas of logistic, including regulatory compliance, international transportation, and warehousing.
As founder and owner of Material Control Technologies, a Supply Chain and Program Management Company, his clients encompassed some of the largest automotive manufacturers and suppliers around the globe, including Ford Motor, General Motors, Fiat, Visteon, and Delphi Automotive. As an expert in international transportation and import and export compliance, his expertise is creating new logistics programs and salvaging current international logistics programs for clients in the automotive and retail sectors.
Tony’s Expertise – strategy analysis, process design, and program implementation, allowing companies to streamline operations, improve performance, and reduce costs.
Bob is a senior management consultant, an adjunct professor of public policy at Georgetown and a former government executive with more than three decades of experience providing strategic counsel to senior leaders and serving in management positions in the federal government. He has been deeply involved with postal and delivery industry matters for the past 20 years since being recruited by the Postmaster General to the position of Vice President for Technology Applications of the USPS. In that position, his mission from 1993 through 1996 was to lead the development and implementation of a digital strategy for the Postal Service to answer the challenge of the Internet. He led the group that was responsible for developing kiosk services (deploying more than 5,000 kiosks), a hybrid mail demonstration, the Electronic Postmark, the First Class Phone Card, the Web Interactive Network for Government Services (WINGS) and the first tests of CONFIRM. In 1996 he became Vice President for Strategic Planning of the USPS and continued to serve on advisory panels guiding the digital initiatives of the USPS for the next five years.
While leading strategic planning Bob lead the development of the Five-Year Strategic Plans of 1997 and of 2000 which forecast mail volume decline and discussed its implications. He was responsible for leading the development of the performance planning system under GPRA and the first Transformation Plan in the fall of 2001.
Since 2001 when he returned to private sector management consulting, his clients have included the Treasury and the President’s Commission on the USPS, the USPS, the inspector General of the USPS, the National Association of letter carriers (after being introduced by the Postmaster General) numerous mailing customers and trade association leaders as well as foreign posts and postal suppliers. In sum, Bob has a unique 360° perspective of the dynamics of the postal ecosystem and it’s implications for new product development and postal strategy. He has served these various client needs through his boutique management consulting firm, Transformation Strategy, and as a senior advisor to a number of global consulting firms including AT Kearney, IBM, the Monitor group (now monitor Deloitte) and Accenture. He has also worked with specialized firms such as IHS Global Insight.
Bob’s Expertise- E-commerce,. strategic planning, performance planning and assessment, managing product innovation, competitive analysis, market research, marketing and global postal transformation.
Following a 38 year career with the United States Postal Service, Kent Smith has become an independent consultant and Research Director for Ursa Major Associates. He entered the Postal Career Executive Service in 1986, winning multiple performance awards in assignments that included Field Director, Marketing and Communications; Officer-in-Charge, Rockville, MD; Manager, Market Research; and Manager, Strategic Business Planning. He also has prior experience in Finance, and in Rates and Classification. Prior to joining the Postal Service, he was an economist for the Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice and the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
He is well known in the Postal Service and the industry for thought leadership and practical development of strategic vision based on carefully documented research. He supported the development of strategic marketing plans, functional operational plans, the Strategic Transformation Plan and the Five-Year Strategic Plan. He was responsible for the Business Environmental Assessment distributed annually to postal executives, and for the Annual Performance Plan and Report to Congress required by the Government Performance and Results Act. He led the effort that resulted in the Postal Service’s induction into the Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame in 2006, and represented the Postal Service at the Office of Management and Budget’s GRPA consultative committee. He managed the first study of Competition and Demand for Postal Services, a multi-year, multi-client study on the Future of Global Mail, and introduced new research techniques such as Customer Value Analysis and the Mail Moment study to the Postal Service. He has presented before the Universal Postal Union, the International Postal Corporation, and the numerous industry conferences, including the National Postal Forum.
Mr. Smith designed the USPS all-officer Strategic Leadership Program at Harvard in 2005, and designed strategic planning modules for the USPS Advanced and Managerial Leadership Program, as well as part of the new employee orientation program. He has provided technical assistance and guidance to the USPS Household Diary Study, the Customer Satisfaction Survey, and the Employee Opinion Survey.
Kent’s Expertise – Strategic and market planning, research, business environmental assessment and risk analysis, futures research and trend analysis, forecasting, scenario development, performance measurement and analysis, strategic communications and reporting. His current research is focused on the evolution of the mailing industry ecosystem and the impact of the “Internet of Things” on the industry.
Elmar Toime is an independent advisor to the postal sector based on his broad experience as a senior executive in the industry. He is a regular commentator and speaker at industry events. He lives in London, United Kingdom. He is chairman of Postea, Inc, a postal technology group incorporated in 2006 and is a member of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Post DHL, the world’s leading logistics company. He advises at the board and corporate level as well as working with start-up firms in the postal and logistics sector. He has particular interests in corporate governance, business strategy, and organisational development.
Elmar was the chief executive of New Zealand Post Limited from 1993 to 2003 where he diversified its business base into new areas of activity, including into courier and express services, third party logistics, digital services and in 2002 the establishment of a new, full service retail bank, Kiwibank Ltd. This move into banking exemplified his long interest and commitment to extracting value from the post office retail network. Through the New Zealand Post subsidiary company, Transend Ltd of which he was Chairman, at its time the largest postal consulting firm in the world, New Zealand Post acquired a 30% share of Malta Post, the first postal privatisation. In this period New Zealand Post had top executives managing postal companies including South Africa Post, Namibia Post, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, amongst others.
In 2003 he moved to the UK when he was appointed Executive Deputy Chairman of the Royal Mail Group, with roles including chairman of the Royal Mail management board and chairman of GLS B.V., a leading parcel delivery logistics company in Europe. He left Royal Mail at the end of 2004. During a period in 2007/8 he was interim CEO of the SKYCITY Entertainment Group, a major New Zealand listed company, stepping in from the Board where he had been a long serving non-executive director. He led the company in a period of transition and including a takeover attempt, requiring him to deal interactively with the financial markets.
Elmar has been voted by his peers for a life-time achievement award for leadership in the postal industry. Born in Italy, Elmar grew up and was educated in Melbourne, Australia and has qualifications in Science and in Economics from the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Science and Manufactures.
Elmar’s expertise – Strategic development of postal businesses, in all aspects from governance, management structures, operational best practice, retail business development, and scenario modelling. He is particularly interested in the robustness of strategic plans and the link between these and both the existing business and its existing capabilities. He is able to organise best practice seminars across all management disciplines. He advises on privatisation and the soundness of business plans.
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