Ray Tilkens


Innovation Academy University of Notre Dame 1400 E. Angela Blvd South Bend, IN 46617
South Bend, IN 46637

Email Ray


Ray Tilkens serves as Innovation Project Leader for Eastman, leading growth efforts in the company’s most strategic areas and working to ensure long-term innovation capability through best practice sharing and coaching. 

Before joining Eastman, Ray led innovation efforts at Greenheck as Director of Innovation and Collaboration, and he worked for John Deere in a similar role leading innovation across the company's global innovation network. He has also worked in government sales, corporate business development, and technical training. A veteran of Desert Storm, Ray served a combined 21 years in the U.S. Army and the Wisconsin Army National Guard and retired as a MLRS battery executive officer in 2004.


Ray studied manufacturing engineering at Marquette University, received his bachelor of science degree in business and human resources from Cardinal Stritch University, and earned a master’s degree in business administration from St. Ambrose University.

He has earned several certifications from Scrum Alliance, including CSM, CSPO, and certified Scrum Professional, and is a PDMA-certified New Product Development Professional. Ray was the first person ever to be certified through our own Certified Innovation Mentor Program—and he believes in its principles so strongly that he returned as a facilitator to share his extensive experience with others on the innovation journey.