SIEGEL & GALE, A NEW YORK-BASED brand consulting agency, has created a new position to reflect the agency's commitment to helping clients simplify their businesses. Last month, Denis Riney joined the agency as executive director-simplification. "The simplification practice is focused on helping companies simplify every point of interaction with their customers," Riney said, pointing to legal contracts, pricing plans, instruction manuals and employee training. "We want to turn these into simple, clear and positive customer experiences." Riney returns to Siegel & Gale after working there in the early 1990s. Most recently, he was a partner at Prophet, a marketing strategy firm, where he worked on accounts such as IBM Global Services and GE.
THEY HAD A MOVIE MADE ABOUT THEM starring Tom Hanks as astronaut Jim Lovell, but the NASA engineers who were the heroes of the Apollo 13 mission had never been specifically honored for their efforts. GlobalSpec, an online engineering search engine, has rectified that, giving the engineers the first annual Great Moments in Engineering Award last month. The engineers received the award for improvising a number of ingenious and jerry-rigged solutions to bring the crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft safely to earth in 1970. The award ceremony was held at Space Center Houston, near the Johnson Space Center. Robert E. "Ed" Smylie, retired chief of the Crew Systems Division, accepted the award on behalf of his fellow employees. "This award and the event it recognizes epitomize the Crew Systems Division's history of rising to challenges," he said. Also on hand at the ceremony were Fred Haise Jr., Apollo 13's lunar module pilot; T.K. Mattingly, an astronaut who did not fly on the mission but tested the Crew System Division's rescue solutions back in Houston; and GlobalSpec President John Schneiter. GlobalSpec plans to honor a great engineering feat every year.