The Research Triangle Park

Biography

Keith Pigues is a data-driven creative. As founder and CEO of the consulting firm Luminas Strategy, he assists companies in developing, quantifying and improving their customer value propositions – helping clients to accelerate profitable growth strategies. Keith founded Luminas Strategy in 2015 after serving as a partner in Keen Strategy.

“I really help organizations to develop effective strategic marketing and customer engagement based on analytics.” He explains that he calculates true differential value, a metric based on a rigorous financial measure of how much additional money a company’s customer earns by using its products or services.

The Memphis, Tenn. native came to North Carolina in the early 1990s to attend graduate school at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business, where he received his MBA.

He left the Tar Heel state and later returned as a senior vice president at Ply Gem Industries—a leading manufacturer of building product brands. While working at the Cary-based company, he taught a leadership course at Kenan-Flagler as an adjunct professor.

He eventually moved into academia, becoming the dean of North Carolina Central University’s School of Business in 2011. During his three-year tenure, he led the launch of NCCU’s entrepreneurship laboratory at The American Underground @Main in downtown Durham. The lab offers students real world experience working with local entrepreneurs to advance their development of startup ventures.

Kevin Dick, director of the City of Durham Office of Economic & Workforce Development, says NCCU students benefitted from Keith’s private sector experience. “It’s really critical for students to have real world experience so they are better equipped to be more successful entrepreneurs and employees.”

Keith was awarded the Frost & Sullivan Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. B2B Magazine recognized him as a leading senior marketing practitioner and a member of “Who’s Who in B-to-B” in 2007 and 2010. He was featured by Savoy Magazine as an influencer of the influential in the 2016 issue of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.

Black Enterprise Magazine named Keith as one of its top executives in marketing and advertising for 2011.

In 2014, Keith returned to corporate life as a partner at Keen Strategy based in Raleigh.

Alan Hart, one of the managing partners at Keen, recalls meeting Keith about six years ago when he was interviewing chief marketing officers for a white paper on leadership. “He didn’t talk like 80 percent of the other CMOs,” he says. “Most CMOs don’t see their challenge as a business challenge. They silo themselves into the marketing function of the company.”

“Keith is a cross functional thinker. He’s respected, very articulate and a relatable person,” Mr. Hart says. “A lot of executives are not relatable. He can talk to a grandma at church or a Fortune 100 CEO. He can talk to anybody and hit the message home.”

Mr. Hart invited Keith to join forces with the team at Keen because he was impressed with his talent, skills and broad relationships in the global business community.

Keith was ready for the transition. “While I enjoyed academia, my passion is to help companies grow,” says Keith, the co-author of “Winning with Customers: A Playbook for B2B. His book is a step-by-step guide for building valuable customer relationships, outperforming the competition, and delivering profitable growth.

As the Park transitions from a landlord to a developer, Keith brings his strategic marketing expertise to the RTF board.

“It has always been an attractive place for technology-based companies to grow and thrive,” he says. “It is quickly becoming a place the next generation company and worker will create the next generation of work around the globe.”

RTF is working on a Park Center, a collaborative destination where knowledge workers, entrepreneurs and young professionals will want to possibly live and work. Park Center will become a visible landmark alerting Triangle residents of the research and entrepreneurial hub right in their midst.

“An employee of companies in the Park might live in Shanghai or Dubai,” he says. “Accordingly, we have moved beyond the notion of the Park being just physical location, it’s physical and virtual.”

So while some people will work at the Park, others may attend meetings now and then and others may connect to the Park as collaborators on projects from their computer screens or smart devices oceans away.

“The current and future employee can experience the Park from Singapore or Brussels, as well as she can in person with technology,” he says. “It’s global, it’s not local. We can develop and create together.”