U.S. Bank has named intellectual property expert, innovator, programmer and designer Don Relyea as Chief Innovation Officer to lead the company’s innovation efforts. Hired to U.S. Bank in December 2019, Relyea was most recently Chief Digital Officer for the Employee Segment and head of the bank’s Intellectual Property Office.
As Chief Innovation Officer, Relyea will work with the Digital, Innovation, Legal, and Technology teams to develop strategic assessments of emerging technologies and products, and their potential role within the bank. He will also negotiate intellectual property agreements in partnership with business lines, in-house legal experts, and outside counsel.
An avid inventor with more than 100 U.S. patents, Relyea’s career has spanned sectors in banking, telecommunications, interactive gaming, and web development, with focus areas in innovation, technology, design, and customer experience.
Prior to U.S. Bank, he held leadership roles covering design, intellectual property and innovation. His background also includes time as a video game designer, including a Star Wars 3D game that was featured on the Conan O’Brien show. His first job out of college included designing and developing the first website for Coke.
Relyea’s patents and innovations have been licensed to top technology and communications companies, incorporating augmented reality, computer vision, key-based encryption, and location-based social advertising technology.
“Don has a mind for seeing the future and customer obsession that aligns really well with what we’re doing at U.S. Bank,” said Dominic Venturo, chief digital officer at U.S. Bank. “He’s designed and developed award-winning applications for all screens – TV, mobile, web, and desktop. Don has also built talented teams from scratch and led them as they built amazing things. He is a huge asset to our employees and customers.”
“U.S. Bank has a leadership role in financial services innovation,” Relyea said. “It’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Also an artist, Relyea has had his print, video, and interactive artwork displayed in juried and curated exhibitions all over the world, including Oslo, Norway, The Hague, and Korea, and has created and released electronic music since the mid-90’s. He also writes his own computational art software in C++ and Xcode, using many of the same techniques he learned programming video games.
Relyea earned his BFA in Fine Arts and his BBS in Management Information Systems from Southern Methodist University.
Antoine J. LaFromboise, U.S. Bank