In January 2019, Colin joined The Renaissance Network as Chief Operating Officer. In partnership with CEO Lisa Sacchetti, he is tasked with setting and driving the organization’s vision and long-term strategy to build world-class teams in innovative education organizations. He acts to steward the strategic plan while designing and leading organization-wide goal setting, performance management, and annual operating planning to accommodate the organisation’s rapid growth.
Colin Homer Gillespie is a strategic and purpose-driven GM with significant global experience and a product innovation and business transformation record. An executive who has guided international businesses for the LEGO Group and social entrepreneurs for a pioneering venture fund, Colin is known for building cohesive, high-performing teams. He has launched successful product categories, reinvented multinational businesses and energized partnerships that spurred learning and youth development.
Over 16+ years at LEGO Group, Colin had a diverse portfolio of product, marketing and P&L positions, with on-the-ground roles in the US, Germany and the UK. As President of LEGO Education North America (2013-2016), he was at the forefront of the company’s focus on STEM, driving an innovative shift in learning cultures and opportunities for students throughout their education. Under his direction, LEGO Education NA transitioned from a joint venture, moved from Kansas to new and inspiring headquarters in Boston, and reenergized strategic alliances with partners like MIT, Tufts, FIRST Robotics and Google.
Previously, Colin was Vice President of Marketing at LEGO Latin America (2013), where he developed the long-term marketing strategy for LEGO Group’s prioritized expansion in Brazil. He also designed the first localized EU own-brand business strategy, with a heightened focus on integrated retail and e-commerce experiences, as GM and VP of Direct to Consumer Europe (2011-2012). Before that, Colin led as Global Head of Marketing for Direct to Consumer (2009-2011), where he established multichannel marketing strategies across 24 countries.
After leaving LEGO in 2016, Colin joined the Boston-based venture philanthropy fund New Profit as its first Executive-in-Residence, working with entrepreneur clients to break down barriers that stand between people and opportunity. A member of the Advisory Committee, Colin helped screen and select social change organizations funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. He advanced numerous entrepreneur CEO engagements and also guided New Profit on its business model, marketing approach and human capital path for transformative growth and social impact.
Colin has an MBA in Marketing (with distinction) from the Wake Forest University School of Business and a BS in English Language and Literature/Letters from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. An avid cyclist, Colin participated in the Pan-Mass Bicycle Challenge for Cancer for many years and is active in several community organizations, coaches and mentors youth, and has served as the head of a local community board. Colin splits time in Newton, MA and West Hartford, CT, with his wife and two children.