SoTeC has built a reputation over the past thirteen years for providing an environment for knowledgeable and interesting speakers to share their ideas and experience. The SoTeC 2015 Speaker Committee is dedicated to finding speakers who can cover a variety of technical, personal and leadership topics in an interactive and entertaining manner. Below you will find more information on the speakers and topics already confirmed for SoTeC 2015. Check back often a the speaker slate continues to grow!

Keynote Speakers

SoTeC 2015 Presentation Tracks & Panelist

Project Management/ Business Analysis Track

Quality Assurance/ITIL Track

SMAC – Social, Mobility, Analytics & Cloud Track

Personal Development / Social Networking Track

Alliance Partners Case Studies Track

Ageism Panel

Risk Assessment Panel

Doing More With Less Panel

Aparna Suresh
Sr. Business Systems Analyst
First American Title

“Successful Product Design: The 5 Key Steps to Building Products that Deliver!”

How many iconic companies from Kodak to Blackberry have fallen from their thrones because they continued to doggedly design products that no one wanted anymore? Why do companies continue to churn out products at great expense that are much worse than their previous versions, Windows 8, anyone? Why, in spite of the big bucks and hype, do products like the Amazon Fire Phone crash and burn? To see this up close and personal, how many times have you personally worked on a death-march project, one that went over budget and over time, with ungodly hours and heroic effort, but in the end failed to deliver the goods?

What can we as product owners, project managers or business analysts do to escape this fate?

In this interactive presentation, you will discover the critical things you must know, the crucial questions you must ask, and the key steps you must take to build a product that your customers actually need and your users want to use! Discover why user goals need to drive product goals, how to leverage personas, mental models and scenarios to guide product design, and what you need to do to create a coherent product vision that will jumpstart your product delivery!

Aparna Suresh is a Business Analyst with over 10 years of global business experience, in designing products and delivering business solutions, at Fortune 500 companies including Experian, GE Healthcare, Vodafone and Motorola. She is currently a Senior Business Systems Analyst at First American Title.

Aparna works with business stakeholders and technical teams at First American Title to design products and solutions, leveraging agile frameworks to deliver significant business value. As a Certified Scrum Master and Scrum Product Owner, Aparna helps cross-functional teams apply agile principles to plan and execute agile projects aligned with business goals.

She brings to the table an uncanny ability to simplify complexity, identify business drivers, and articulate key concepts. Her cross-cultural skills, honed by working in the U.S., Europe and India, enable her to coach IT managers, business leaders and offshore teams to collaborate effectively.

Having earned a Master’s in Engineering and Information Sciences from the University of Reading, England and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University, Ms. Suresh is uniquely qualified to bridge technical and business worlds.

Aparna is an engaging presenter, adept at integrating innovative concepts with interactive learning, and has spoken at several events and conferences in the United States.

She is also a die-hard Trekkie and Dr. Who fan, whose dream bumper sticker would proclaim: “My other vehicle is a Tardis!”

James Hilliard
Sr. Director of Product Management
Experian Consumer Services- Affinity

“Leading Agile Program Management”

Building a clear and effective product backlog to deliver on strategic initiatives in an enterprise attempting agile can be difficult. Now add the competing needs of other work with various stakeholders across the organization. And that’s not the hardest part. The real challenge is prioritizing and coordinating considering risks, technical viability and planning dependencies.

The Product Owner Team wrestles with these organizational challenges to provide Agile Teams with the support they need to get the job done. This team ensures the work is strategically aligned and prioritized with Portfolio Management. Only then can the team establish, maintain and coordinate a clear feature backlog for Agile Teams in a complex environment.

The Product Owner Team will improve and accelerate an organization’s agile transformation. This talk presents a proven framework for leading Agile Program Management including the roles, artifacts and activities for an effective Product Owner Team. Additionally, this talk introduces an Agile Program Management starter kit so participants can get started quickly in their own organization.

Participants will:
Understand the goals of Agile Program Management
Learn the roles and responsibilities of the Product Owner Team members
Understand the key activities and artifacts for the PO Team
Understand how the PO Team provides the coaching and support that Agile Teams need to get the job done

James is Senior Director of Product Management at Experian Consumer Services – Affinity. In this role, James is responsible for the management of the Affinity Product client portfolio, product strategy and leadership of the product management function. He has a keen emphasis on product vision and strategy, identifying new opportunities and capitalizing on rapidly changing market dynamics with existing clients.

James joined Experian in 2009 and has already garnered experience working in all four divisions of the company – Credit Services, Decision Analytics, Marketing Services and now Consumer Services. Each role has been diverse delivering new products to market at speed, contributing to merger and acquisitions activity and developing talented product managers within the business.

James has over twenty years experience in large corporations and start up organizations with a focus on business strategy and leadership. Previous roles working in Research, Information Services and Telecommunications covered sales, marketing, product, research and data. James has a passion for the customer and collaborating to meet their needs with best in class products, services and efficient business processes.

James holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Strategy, Marketing and Advertising from the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom.

Dean Stevens
MBA, PMI-ACP, CSPO, Enterprise Agile Coach
LeadingAgile, LLC

“Leading Agile Program Management”

Building a clear and effective product backlog to deliver on strategic initiatives in an enterprise attempting agile can be difficult. Now add the competing needs of other work with various stakeholders across the organization. And that’s not the hardest part. The real challenge is prioritizing and coordinating considering risks, technical viability and planning dependencies.

The Product Owner Team wrestles with these organizational challenges to provide Agile Teams with the support they need to get the job done. This team ensures the work is strategically aligned and prioritized with Portfolio Management. Only then can the team establish, maintain and coordinate a clear feature backlog for Agile Teams in a complex environment.

The Product Owner Team will improve and accelerate an organization’s agile transformation. This talk presents a proven framework for leading Agile Program Management including the roles, artifacts and activities for an effective Product Owner Team. Additionally, this talk introduces an Agile Program Management starter kit so participants can get started quickly in their own organization.

Participants will:
Understand the goals of Agile Program Management
Learn the roles and responsibilities of the Product Owner Team members
Understand the key activities and artifacts for the PO Team
Understand how the PO Team provides the coaching and support that Agile Teams need to get the job done

Linda Reinstein
President/CEO and Co-Founder
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

“Leveraging Social Media for Success and Social Good”

Technology’s greatest power lies in its ability to instantaneously, efficiently, and effortlessly connect the world. During “Leveraging Social Media for Success and Social Good,” attendees will learn about social media platforms, how to reach out to diverse audiences or establish a niche market, how to expand your client base, and best practices for maximizing your voice while remaining authentic. Learn how to become an “influencer” and leverage social media to increase success and social good within your personal and professional life.

Linda Reinstein became an activist after her husband, Alan, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos, in 2003. In 2004, she co-founded the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) to prevent asbestos exposure and eliminate asbestos-caused diseases. Recognized as an expert with nearly 40 years of experience in public health, public policy, and community outreach, Reinstein has been a strong political voice for justice in every major asbestos-related issue, frequently serves as a U.S. Congressional witness, and has presented persuasive testimony and keynote speeches in nearly 20 countries. Now serving as President and CEO of ADAO, Reinstein has embraced and lead social media health and public policy campaigns within the U.S. and around the world.

Cornelius Fichtner
OSP International, LLC

“How To Successfully Use Social Media on Your Projects”

Where does social media fit into project management? Is social media even used on projects? This presentation examines how social media has affected individuals, organizations and most importantly projects. It aims to inspire you to transform how you operate your projects using social media, and concludes that it is the project manager who must lead the team through the transition.

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM is a noted PMP expert. He has hosted The Project Management Podcast since 2005. In this weekly program he interviewed over 250 PM experts from around the world. In 2006 he developed The PM PrepCast, which is still the only podcast focused on helping project managers prepare for their PMP Exam. Currently in its 3rd iteration, The PM PrepCast has helped over 30,000 students prepare for their exam. In 2011, he launched The Agile PrepCast for The PMI-ACP Exam. He is the 2007 president of The PMI Orange County chapter as well as a founding member of both PMI’s New Media Council and PMI’s Social Media Advisory Group.

Cornelius lives in Silverado, California with his wife and their three computers.

Gian Gonzaga
Director of Content Algorithms and Data Science

“Building a Big Data Culture in the Entertainment Industry”

For decades the entertainment industry has relied on small data (e.g., test audiences, focus groups, etc.) when making decisions about programming and developing new projects. With the rise of online content distribution and internet TV, companies now have access to massive and unprecedented amounts of viewing data. This creates a new challenge: How to marry the power of big data and big analytics with the creative force of the entertainment industry to make both better. I will talk about how Netflix has tackled this issue, and in doing so, created a dynamic new force in Hollywood.

Gian Gonzaga is the Director of Content Science and Algorithms at Netflix. His team is uses cutting edge big data techniques to help Netflix create their domestic and international content catalogs and program their award winning slate of originals. Before moving to Netflix, Gian was head of Research and Development at eHarmony and received his Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology from UC Berkeley. He has published more than 20 papers and had his work has been highlighted in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the New Yorker.

Chris Garlington
Manager- IT Vendor Assessments
The Walt Disney Company

“Vendor Risk Management”

Vendors constitute an important part of an enterprise’s external environment. The increased use of outsourcing and cloud computing implies that vendors are taking on an increasingly fundamental role in the operations of an enterprise. As the scope, scale and complexity of vendor relationships and services increase, the risk related to them and the importance of effective vendor management increase proportionately. Managing external vendors should be a key competency for every enterprise and can lead to optimally mitigated risk and significant benefits.

This presentation will give you templates tips and ideas on how to manage vendor risk and mitigate actions in order to avoid a faulty vendor management relationship.

Chris Garlington is responsible for the Enterprise IT Vendor Assessment program at The Walt Disney Company in Burbank, CA. He is a California CPA, CISA, CRISC, CIPT, and ITIL practitioner with 11+ years of strategic and operational experience in information technology, information security, IT GRC, IT and financial audit, internal audit, third party reporting, and vendor contracting.

Chris is also an adjunct professor of Information Technology at California State University Northridge teaching classes about business technology and project management. Prior to joining The Walt Disney Company, Chris was previously a Senior Manager with Ernst & Young’s Advisory Services Practice in the Los Angeles and London offices.

Kathy Lomax
VP and Sr. Manager
Capital Group Companies

“QQ – The Quality Quotient – Insightful Strategies for Quality IT Project Releases”

Quality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder – realized when the perception of quality exceeds the expectation. As with many other Quotients (IQ, EQ, MQ, DQ, etc.), the maturity of a quality implementation can be evaluated based on the practices and techniques for actualizing quality – introducing the Quality Quotient (QQ). Determining the right quality approach for multi-million dollar IT Projects can be a daunting task for highly complex projects that amass a broad spectrum of applications and business areas. How do you know the right mix of integration testing, account for other teams to do their testing, and influence early defect capture within a right-balanced cost to value paradigm?

In this presentation, we’ll explore ways to develop a well thought out quality test approach that includes QQ with focus on strategy, capabilities at scale, fast and agile delivery along with organization and talent.

Kathy Lomax is a Vice President and Sr. Manager at Capital Group Companies, home of the American Funds family of Mutual Funds. As an IT executive with over 25 years’ experience, she’s led a variety of global infrastructure teams focused engineering and operational support and currently directs a 400 person Quality Management organization. Ms. Lomax has extensive experience in managing large scale projects and programs leveraging globally distributed resources with an eye towards budget control and capacity management, and has demonstrated a proven ability to build new departments and establish well-organized, productive business units. Prior to joining Capital Group, Ms. Lomax served as Administrative Director at Loma Linda University Medical Center leading all aspects of IT Infrastructure including data center and print operations.

Ms. Lomax also serves as the Regional Network Director for Women In Technology International (WITI), a professional advisory organization and the world’s leading trade association for tech savvy women. WITI is focused on building, empowering and inspiring women through both technical and soft skill/leadership programming to help promote, support, and improve gender equality for Women in Technology.

Ms. Lomax holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton, and received her Masters of Business Administration with emphasis in Computer Information Systems from National University.

Lorena Connolly
Senior Software QA Director, Quality Assurance
Experian Consumer Services

“Utilizing QA Metrics to Measure Agile Team Productivity”

A goal of any agile transformation is to gain faster speed-to-market while maintaining or improving quality. In this session the speaker will share her approach to understanding the goals of the organization and using a set of metrics to measure agile practice goal-attainment and improvement as the organization continues the agile journey. Using data to objectively assess the current state and progress toward improvement, the speaker will share specific examples of how sharing data helped bring about behavior change and improvement. Further, she will share some of her lessons learned and human reactions from metric introduction.

Lorena Connolly is the Senior Software QA Director at Experian Consumer Services. She is a Senior level leader with multi-discipline delivery expertise. Her emphasis on delivery, process improvement, team development, quality, and training. She recently coached her team through an Agile transformation. With a unique blend of software, financial, and organizational development experience, she is focused on providing value to client base and using metrics and data to drive performance improvement. She has thirty years of leadership experience, team and leadership development, coaching, producing excellent and measurable results.

Sreekesh Menon
Director of Applications

“Requirements Gathering using Enterprise Gamification”

Taking the concepts and techniques of Gamification beyond marketing, customer retention and training into Requirement Gathering. It is not about designing or playing games, but learning from them and applying the insights into other areas. This will discuss on how to identify human motivation and leverage people’s natural desires for socializing, learning, competition, and rewards to engage and apply the mechanics into gathering business requirements. We will also discuss about types of rewards include points, achievement badges, levels and virtual currencies and how to choose the right reward to meet your specific requirement elicitation goals.

Sreekesh Menon is a Sr. level Information Technology leader with over 14 years experience working multiple roles including Systems Engineer, Programmer, Business Systems Analyst, Project Manager and IT Director. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and a Master’s degree in Control Systems Engineering. His expertise extends to both the Infrastructure and Application sides of IT with core emphasis on designing, developing and maintaining large enterprise applications. He adopts a metric driven approach to create and communicate strategies and roadmaps for IT projects and applications. He has worked on industry groups to implement technology standards to improve data quality and information exchange.

Paul M. Dooley
President and Principal Consultant
Optimal Connections LLC

“The Intersection of DevOps and ITIL: Where They Meet, and Why it Matters”

DevOps is the latest buzz word in IT best-practices. But what is it? A methodology? A model? A tool? What sort of “best-practice”? In this session, we will define and describe DevOps, and why it is becoming such a popular topic for discussion within IT. We will consider how DevOps relates to Agile methods, techniques and bestpractices, and how it adds value not just to Agile, but also to ITIL – and can in fact work within an overall ITIL framework to help optimize specific ITIL stages and processes.

We will consider how DevOps, when employed within an overall ITIL framework, can help break down the barriers that so often arise between development and operations organizations, resulting in improved communication, collaboration, and performance across IT and development groups.

Finally, we will delve into where DevOps specifically impacts the ITIL framework, and how a DevOps approach can add value across the IITL service lifecycle.

Paul is the President and Principal Consultant of Optimal Connections LLC. With over 30 years of experience in planning and managing technology services, Paul has held numerous positions in both support and management. Corporate experience includes working for such companies as Motorola, FileNet, and QAD. He is also experienced in service desk infrastructure development, support center consolidation, deployment of web portals and Knowledge Management Systems, as well as service marketing strategy and activities. Currently Paul delivers a variety of services to IT organizations, including Support Center Analyst and Manager training, ITIL Foundation and Intermediate Level training, Best-practice Assessments, Support Center Audits, and general IT Consulting.

His degrees include a BA and an MBA. Paul is certified in most ITIL Intermediate levels and is a certified ITIL Expert. He is also on the HDI Faculty, and trains for ITpreneurs, Global Knowledge, Quickstart Intelligence, Phoenix TS, and other IT training organizations. For more on Paul, visit www.optimalconnections.com.

Stephanie Telander
Program Manager- Service Management Office
Los Angeles County

“itSMF-USA 2014 Project of the Year – LA County ISD”

This highly successful project was established to help transform the Internal Services Department’s (ISD) Informational Technology Service (ITS) to a service aligned organization that delivers IT services to the nearly forty Los Angeles County departments.

This extensive effort involved implementation of a new Service Management Solution, new organization responsibilities, and service management processes across a large IT organization. Attendees of this session will hear about the project, lessons learned, how the team obtained and maintained executive buy in, how the team coordinated cross-organizational teams to build a more effective delivery system, organizational culture, control processes, new service management technologies, service catalog, reporting, and governance.

In this presentation we will provide an update on how this project has enabled ongoing service management activities to address technical silos, reverse undesirable trends, chart a future state, provide a foundation for ISO/IEC 20000 certification and improve the customer perception of the organization’s IT service delivery value.

Stephanie Telander is the Service Management Office Program Manager focused on Strategic Programs to improve Service Management with the Los Angeles County Internal Services Department. She helps to improve enterprise processes, tools, quality and organizational roles and responsibilities in support of the department’s strategic plan and operational goals. She has ITIL certifications and maintains her PMP. She helped establish ISD’s ITSM Program, was the Program Manager for the itSMF Project of the Year and is the 2016 itSMF President-elect for the Greater Los Angeles Local Interest Group.

Randy A. Steinberg
Migration Technologies (MiTECH)

“itSMF-USA 2014 Project of the Year – LA County ISD”

This highly successful project was established to help transform the Internal Services Department’s (ISD) Informational Technology Service (ITS) to a service aligned organization that delivers IT services to the nearly forty Los Angeles County departments.

This extensive effort involved implementation of a new Service Management Solution, new organization responsibilities, and service management processes across a large IT organization. Attendees of this session will hear about the project, lessons learned, how the team obtained and maintained executive buy in, how the team coordinated cross-organizational teams to build a more effective delivery system, organizational culture, control processes, new service management technologies, service catalog, reporting, and governance.

In this presentation we will provide an update on how this project has enabled ongoing service management activities to address technical silos, reverse undesirable trends, chart a future state, provide a foundation for ISO/IEC 20000 certification and improve the customer perception of the organization’s IT service delivery value.

Randy A. Steinberg is a principal with Migration Technologies (MiTECH) working with the Los Angeles County Internal Services Department since 2012 as a Lead CSI Consultant and Lead for the 2014 ITSMF Project of the Year. His role provided expert guidance during the implementation of the Service Management Solution and Continual Service Improvement Programs using ITIL v3 framework and ISO20000 standards. He provided support in maturing ISD’s ITSM Program and underpinning CSI Program approach, project plans, methodology, processes, procedures, roles, responsibilities and measurements for service delivery. Randy has over 25 years of hands-on IT Service Management and operations experience and was the lead author for the ITIL 2011 Service Operation book. One client went on to win a Malcolm Baldrige award for the quality of their IT services. He carries ITIL Expert, ISO20000 and PMP certifications.

Jim Thomas
Director, Optum Advanced Solutions
Optum Technology

“Why Should I Partner with You?”

IT leadership has long sought opportunity to partner with the business. In the traditional provider/customer relationship IT often operates in a diminutive role and one limited to support/break fix, helpdesk and other sometimes reactive services.

Without mature operational processes to move away from the tactical and reactive, the business is not incentivized to discuss the benefits of a service focused organization. In some cases, IT has over engineered their processes making them more consumable to IT and less meaningful or valuable to the business.

We have to structure our organizations to be in a position of leverage, one that consistently delivers reliable services and more importantly opens the door to meaningful engagement and partnership.

This presentation will focus on creating, developing and fostering meaningful relationships with our key stakeholders. More importantly, we will discuss how a mature service delivery and support organization provides the opportunity in answering the question; Why Should I Partner with You?

The question of Why suggests uncertainty from a customer point of view. It is perhaps less contentious to ask How can we partner or What will it take for us to partner. However, it’s important to illustrate extreme behaviors and conditions in order for the audience to connect on this topic.

Come join us to hear how we are solving for this at a Fortune 100 Healthcare Company and how to make strides in your own organization.

Jim is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in leading IT in the delivery of solutions and services. Jim is currently serving in a leadership role with Optum Services focused on Pharmacy Benefits Operations while engaging stakeholders in the delivery and ongoing improvement of business services.

Prior to his current position, Jim served as Director of PMO & IT Service Management with Pacific Life Insurance responsible for leading the corporate IT project portfolio in determining priority, budget and initiation of enterprise initiatives aligned to corporate strategy.

Jim has also served as Area VP for the Orange County Chapter of itSMF USA for the past four years and has been an active member since 2008. Jim has presented on numerous occasions to include itSMF, SoTeC, Fusion and CIO panels. Jim is ITIL certified an earned his degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Phoenix.

Galen Gruman
Executive Editor | Editorial CTO
InfoWorld IDG Enterprise

“The Mobile Revolution: A Reality Check”

It’s been eight years since the first iPhone, seven since the first Android phone, and five since the first iPad. Mobile technology has revolutionized many aspects of business technology and operations — but at the same time many of its predicted revolutionary changes have not happened. Likewise, the BYOD trend that many IT organizations feared has turned out to be a low-risk shift that has created more heat than light. This session explores where this all leaves us today in managing and strategizing around mobile technology at our organizations.

Galen Gruman is editorial CTO at IDG US Media, which publishes technology sites such as Computerworld, PCWorld, and CIO.com. He is also the executive editor of InfoWorld, which focuses on emerging IT-oriented technologies, where he covers mobile technology and the user-IT relationship.

Benjamin Uminsky
Executive Assistant: Data Science
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/ County Clerk

“Predictive Analytics”

In this session, we will describe how the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office has used data science to clean and tidy its voter file, conduct exploratory data analysis, and ultimately develop a predictive analytic that could comb through 4.9 million voters and help the Department determine who is likely and not likely to work as a poll worker (if called by the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office). This analytic is intended to assist with poll worker recruitment efforts and cut down wasted time, energy, and resources.

Benjamin Uminsky joined the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorder/County Clerk’s office in 2007 where he worked as a HR analyst for six years. He joined the Department’s Executive office in 2013 to head up the newly developed data analytics program, where he has been working on various data science projects involving revenue forecasting, poll worker classification modeling, voter file duplicate identification, and low voter turnout insights.

He received his BA at UCLA in 2001 and stayed at UCLA to complete his Masters in Urban Planning in 2003. In 2007, he obtained a Masters in Public Administration from CSU Northridge. Since entering into the data analytics field he has obtained a data science certification from John Hopkins University in 2014.

Kelly Fitzgerald
Sr. Principal Cyber Security Analyst
Symantec Corporation

“Clever: Securing the Savvy Vector”

Depending on your age, you may remember Superman or Office Space and the clever scheme to take the portions of a penny from huge number of transactions in order to unnoticeably get rich quick.

What about cybercrime in the real world?

In this talk we will look at the clever side of cybercrime. Real world examples, events and protection. This information will help you as a security professional look at your world with a clever view and make you better at securing your world from the clever, savvy vector.

Kelly has a BS in Computer Science from CSUSB. She was awarded a full academic scholarship from the National Science Foundation. In her senior year of college, she took a job at EvidentData doing computer forensics. From there she fell in love with the dark side and purposely went in pursuit of a career in computer security looking at the bleedy places where people and technology bruise.

Kelly has worked at Symantec since 2003 and has two single-filer patents pending.

Brandon Cipes
VP of Information Systems

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the… Cloud? The Unknown Super Power of the Cloud”

The “Cloud” has become one of the preeminent tech buzz words of the day, but what does it really mean? Beyond data centers and virtualization, the power of the Cloud stretches far and wide and IT WILL DISRUPT how your company operates.
In a world of pervasive technology, understand how this new paradigm shift will affect you, wherever you sit in your organization. See how businesses are evolving to harness the power of the Cloud and stay ahead of the competitive curve.

Brandon Cipes has spent his career at the cross roads of technology and business, applying the ever evolving digital landscape of possibilities to new business models and ideas. He is currently the Vice President of Information Systems for Guthy-Renker, one of the world’s largest Direct to Consumer companies, where he has helped lead a radical technology infrastructure transformation. Brandon has previously worked at an ecommerce startup that was acquired, a public policy think tank, a boutique consulting house, and another startup that wasn’t so lucky. He earned his degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.

Cheryl Santor
Information Security Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

“Governance for Social and Mobility tools in the Organization”

What is necessary to insure DATA is protected when using Social media and Mobility within an organization? Do you need a tool to manage use of new technologies or policies that define what is permitted? Or, do you need both. Working with Legal and External Affairs to define company policies is just part of the equation, what do your employees want/need, expect? Can you open up social environments to be used by your company employees, what are the risks? Are you using mobile devices to connect to core/critical systems within your infrastructure? How can you assure connectivity is secure?

Attendee will come away with ideas on how their organizations might provide the right governance over these technologies.

With over 28 years of Information Technology experience and the first part of her career spent in the financial field, Cheryl has experience with every aspect of Information Technology. Associating with Metropolitan Water District 12 years ago has exposed her to SCADA and Process Control Systems bringing a new aspect to her Information Technology skills.

She is a Board Member of the Los Angeles Regional Alliance of Infragard, which is sponsored by DHS, FBI and other highly respected organizations. Also, she is also a member of ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) and is a Past President of the ISACA (Information Systems and Audit Control Association) Los Angeles Chapter. Cheryl has presented at several conferences on various topics related to Cyber Security, Privacy, Governance, etc.

Abhi Nemani
Chief Data Officer
City of Los Angeles

“Data in the City of Angels”

Data is one of the largest but historically underused assets governments have. But that’s now changing. The city of Los Angeles is exploring new ways to use data to both engage citizens and reinvent public service delivery.

Abhi Nemani is a writer, speaker, organizer, and technologist. He is currently serving as the first Chief Data Officer for the City of Los Angeles, where he leads the city’s efforts to build an open and data-driven LA.

Before joining the city, he helped build, launch, and run the national non-profit, Code for America, a technology organization dedicated to reinventing government for the 21st century. Abhi led CfA’s product strategy as its teams tackled local government challenges ranging from transparency and business licensing to food stamps and public safety. He also led the organization’s efforts to scale through building multiple new programs: a first-of-its-kind civic startup accelerator, an international volunteer corps, and a collaborative network for hundreds of government innovators. Additionally, Abhi developed the organization’s policy portfolio — working hand-in-hand with area experts and local leaders — to enact over 30 municipal policy reforms on topics including open data, healthcare, and procurement.

Abhi is a Member of the Board of Directors for the OpenGov Foundation, a member of the Board of Advisors of Significance Labs, and has served as Innovator-in-Residence at GovDelivery.

Previously, Abhi worked for Google, developing social engagement strategies, the Rose Institute, managing multiple local government transparency research teams, and the Center for American Progress, focusing on connecting a national network of public-minded advocates. He graduated magna cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a honors degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), and studied political philosophy and rhetoric as the University of Oxford.

Abhi’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Government Technology, Government Executive, and Forbes, and he has been featured as a speaker at SxSW, the World Bank, and various universities and conferences around the world.

Annie Flippo
Data Scientist

“What Managers Need to Know About Data Science”

We have read stories and case studies of companies using big data and teams of data scientists, engineers and the latest technology to tackle their biggest business challenges. There are companies spending millions of dollars to build, design and implement big data solutions. In this session you can get a glimpse of the people and especially the quintessential leader, the data science manager, who put it all together. Get to know the skills needed to successfully manage an eclectic team of people from the view of a working data scientist. If you’re already a manager and would like to move towards managing big data projects, this presentation will help you get started on that path.

Annie Flippo is a Data scientist at Edmunds.com, a car research and buying site. She has over 20 years in the IT/data field and has worked as a quantitative analyst, software engineer, product manager, entrepreneur and data scientist.

She holds a B.S. in Math and Economics and an M.A in Economics from the University of Alberta, Canada. Her passion includes making math and computing science fun and passing on the love of learning to kids.

Dr. Cynthia Boccara
Wellness For Life, Inc

“Embodied Leadership: Using Posture, Power and Presence to Impact Your Team and Your Customers.”

Transformation requires leadership, and not just at the C-suite level anymore. If you expect to lead a project, sell your ideas to your team, your customers or even your children, you need to inspire them. But before you take another seminar on leadership management consider that over 70% of your communication with those around you is not with words, it is happening long before you utter your first syllable.

In this highly interactive workshop you will learn the basis of Power and Presence, key factors in creating impact, innovation and high performance. Additionally, Presence is one of the reasons cited for why taller people statistically make more money. While we can’t teach you height, you will discover new tools that will help you project a level of power and presence that will be instantly recognized, respected and ultimately rewarded by others.

Just imagine… If you could be more engaging, entertaining and
charismatic, how soon would you put that skill to use? We’ll show you in only one hour how a few simple, yet strategic changes, will easily transform your “presence” and have an immediate positive impact on everyone you meet!!

Your body and mental state reveal everything about you. Are you ready to discover just how effective you can truly be?


1. Attendees will understand the physiological basis of Power and Presence
2. Have a profound experience of putting themselves in a state of power and presence
3. Be able to turn those indicators on at will to impact and influence those around them
4. Be able to calm themselves down before important meetings and presentations

Dr. Cynthia Boccara graduated Magna Cum Laude from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic . She has been in practice for over 25 years helping patients from octogenarians to infants and Olympic athletes from 6 different countries. Dr. Cynthia also had the honor of being selected as the Chiropractor for the All Women’s America’s Cup team as they made history. More recently Dr. Cynthia has put her experience in the language of the body to help organizations and individuals use the most powerful tool they have, to be better communicators, both with themselves and with others, so they can be more persuasive, make more money and live happier, healthier lives.

Paula Markgraf
Vice President Talent
Tribune Publishing Company

“Interviewing for Your “Job Fit” — Knowing Your Brand and Discovering an Employer’s Culture”

Plan a job search knowing it takes information, self awareness, networking and time. Start your search for the right companies, not the job postings you are suited for. Step back and assess what your value proposition is — your brand. Know whether there is a “fit” between an employer’s needs and culture and your brand and the culture you are most successful in. This comes from within, from your network, and from thorough preparation for each separate interview.
From there, interviewing is the easy part. With research done and increased self awareness and confidence, you can take the next steps of selling your skills and strengths, handling tough questions, and asking the questions that let the interviewer know what that you are familiar with their challenges and what you bring. That includes your values and “attitudinal assets” and what you are like at your best — all part of your brand. The outcome you and the interviewer want is knowing if there’s a fit. This session covers finding that match.

Paula is a career Human Resources executive and professional with experience in media, defense electronics, software development, and non-profit companies. She also has experienced as a business owner and consultant. She is currently Vice President of Talent Management at Tribune Publishing, owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and 7 other major market news outlets and 150 other publications. In her current role, she oversees talent acquisition and talent development.
Paula’s current projects include:
• Leveraging social media and process improvement to upgrade talent acquisition practice and implement a world class on-boarding experience
• Building effective performance management through assessment of employee competency and commitment
• Overseeing implementation of an enterprise LMS for Tribune Publishing, a 135+ year old start up, after 7 years in a bankruptcy and divestiture cycle
• Working with cross-functional teams to identify and implement best practice pre-hire assessments to improve selecting candidates with the right sales skills and behavior fit
• Implementing behavioral/style assessments to support improved management communications and collaboration across teams.
Paula received her bachelor’s from the University of Michigan, and master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. She is a certified Predictive Index analyst, DiSC analyst and holds a coaching certification as well as membership in the International Coaching Federation. Paula recently finished four years serving on the Board of Directors of Association of Talent Development Los Angeles chapter. She is a member of SHRM .She does pro bono projects for non-profits in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, including acting as a coach and mentor for ATD and their community outreach.

Pan Kao
Honda North America, Inc.

“Communicating with Influence: The Art of Persuasion”

Being able to communicate effectively is the most important of all life skills. Learn simple yet powerful techniques that will help you:

• Negotiate Desired Outcomes
• Learn How To Change Minds
• Persuade with Power
• Deliver Effective Presentations
• Engage & Hold Any Audience

Pan Kao is a consultant and professor. His areas of expertise include leadership, communication, and project management. He has more than 30 years of experience in the IT, automotive, and legal industries. Pan successfully creates and communicates global strategies for IT projects, leads global project teams with diverse cultures, and manages vendors and resources for employers including IBM (FileNET) and Honda North America, Inc.

As a professor, Pan has earned his PhD degree in Management – Leadership and Organizational Change from Walden University. He enjoys teaching project management online and face-to-face courses at several universities, including UCLA, UC Irvine, Minot State University, and APUS.

Pan has been a member and active volunteer for the Project Management Institute (PMI) since 2001, including serving as the President of the PMI Los Angeles Chapter in 2012. He graduated from the prestigious PMI Leadership Institute Master Class (LIMC) in 2007. Currently he is serving as a trustee for the PMI Los Angeles Chapter.

Pan is also a member and active volunteer with Toastmasters International. He has accomplished the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award. Currently, he is serving as the Founder’s District Director.

Abby Kohut
Absolutely Abby

“Exposing the Hidden Job Market”

Although the economy is improving – this still isn’t your Grandma’s job market! Many of the jobs are hidden from plain view and unless you learn about the new way to job hunt, you’ll be left out in the cold. Absolutely Abby will teach you how easy it really is to uncover the hidden job market. You will learn:

  • Why the job market is hidden in the first place
  • 3 ways to hobnob with CTOs, CFOs and other C-suite members
  • How working for free can be the best idea you ever had
  • How to solve problems for companies who don’t know that they have them
  • 3 ways to use social media to generate opportunities you didn’t know existed

Abby Kohut is an award-winning speaker with 25 years of corporate human resources and business experience. Abby is credited with offering over 10,000 people jobs from a variety of industries and at all levels of employment during her HR career. Abby is well known in the career development industry as “Absolutely Abby.”

AbsolutelyAbby.com was selected as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career” by Forbes because it teaches candidates secrets the absolute truth about the job search process that other recruiters typically don’t share. Fast Company Magazine rated Abby as “One of the Top Influential People Online” and CEOWORLD Magazine rated Abby “One of the Top 25 Women To Follow On Twitter for Your Job Search”. Both Rutgers University and the University of Rochester received awards for tele-seminars developed and delivered by Abby. In 2014, Abby presented a keynote at a Veterans Resource Fair in Atlantic City, while sharing the stage with Mayor Guardian & Miss America 2015. After that presentation, Abby was presented with a “Statement of Support for the Guard & Reserve” by the Department of Defense. In addition, SHRM awarded Abby a Pinnacle Award for a presentation to returning soldiers at Fort Dix.

Abby has gained much media attention since she wrote the book “Absolutely Abby’s 101 Job Search Secrets”. She has been featured on 100+ television and radio segments, including CNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, Good Morning Texas, and Bloomberg Radio. Her advice has also been featured in newspapers such as the NJ Star Ledger, The Daily News, Inc. Magazine, Urban Male Magazine, Real Simple, and LA Weekly and on top career sites such as Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice, AOLJobs, and The Ladders. You can see these clips and learn more about Abby at www.AbsolutelyAbbySpeaks.com

Patrina Wisdom
Mindful Living Inc.

“Mindset Mastery for IT Success”

Is something blocking you from having everything that you want in life or career?

The old myth or viewpoint of a computer nerd has changed somewhat. Usually one thought that you (a) had zero social skills and (b) you wore black thick framed glasses, black clothes and hibernated in your bedroom all year round! (if you’re still keeping this look up, it’s time to change buddy!)

3 Benefits & Takeaways:
1) You are the common denominator, Where You go You go
2) Gain the confidence and clarity to get ahead of trends and achieve your goals faster
3) Break open floodgates of personal power

Patrina Wisdom known as the “Fresh Start Specialist”, is a dynamic speaker, singer, certified life success coach, retreat facilitator, NLP therapist, vlogger, mother, published author and founder/leader of the Badass Bodacious Life Movement.

Patrina’s mission in life and with her company Mindful Living, Inc is to LEAD, INSPIRE, and EMPOWER individuals to stand boldly in their personal power and create a BadAss Bodacious Life! With two decades of experience as an entrepreneur, Patrina’s experience as a business leader includes international speaker, singer, performer and recording artist, 12 years experience as owner of a financial business running a team of over 100 agents, salon/spa owner, and founder president of The Hands of Comfort Foundation non-profit organization and has been mentored directly by top leaders in her industry such as Lisa Nichols, Rae Majors-Wildman, and Marsh Engle just to name a few and was featured in the very popular TEDX Talks.

Her visionary work allows her to travel the world inspiring and empowering others through her Wisdom Teachings. Her incredible journey and delivery of her message leaves you feeling acknowledged, encouraged, and equipped.

Rob Swineford
Speaker, Author, and Coach
R.D. Swineford Group

“The Essential Elements for Making Presentations Powerful, Speeches Sensational and Meetings Matter “

In this workshop, Rob “Coach Rob” Swineford, will discuss some of the concepts he shares with his corporate clients on how to be memorable anytime you are in front of an audience. Coach Rob takes time to touch upon each of the five elements he believes are essential whether we are making a presentation, giving a speech or conducting a meeting.

His workshops are always fun, entertaining and interactive. In this workshop you will . . .

* Learn the 10 ways to structure a presentation for flow and effectiveness
* Find out what questions must be answered before you speak to establish a purpose that serves
* Learn how silence plays a part in a great talk and how pace is vital for a comfortable cadence
* Understand the several ways you can actually build collaboration with your audience
* See how standing before any group requires much more than just the confidence to speak

Each of us has something to share, that when presented effectively, can be memorable for others. Whether your intent is to inform, entertain, teach or inspire this workshop will provide you with a method so that your message is never missed. Your next audience will thank you!

Coach Rob is a dynamic speaker, author and coach dedicated to helping companies, schools and organizations improve their players and strengthen their teams.

As a successful business owner since 1989, he has employed hundreds of individuals and served thousands of businesses in a
fast paced segment of the transportation industry.

Coach Rob has been a youth coach for 19 years and also operates The Game of a Lifetime® Basketball Academy for boys and
girls from 6 -14 years old. He now speaks to companies, schools and organizations from a variety of industries and interests.

With stories that inspire, he captivates, invigorates and motivates his audiences with presentations custom designed to tickle with humor, touch with heart and transform with honesty.

Coach Rob is the proud father of four children and resides in Orange County, California.

Kathryn Kuhn
Transformation Consultant
Rally Software

“Unlock Excellence with Agile Metrics and Data”

Using an Agile approach promises fast, predictable delivery of high-quality products and software with real business value. But how do you really know whether you’re getting the most out of it?

The right metrics — in easily digestible charts and reports, and considered in light of the right KPIs for your business — can provide the insights you need to make essential decisions, improve performance, and reliably deliver on your critical initiatives.

Join Rally Transformation Consultant Kathryn Kuhn on how you can unlock 3-4x performance improvements with an Agile Metrics initiative in your organization.

– Learn how to build an effective Agile metrics scorecard
– Identify common metrics pitfalls and actively manage them
– Make the right adjustments to continuously improve your teams’ productivity, predictability, quality, and velocity
– Guide your delivery team performance to meet business commitments

Kathryn is an Enterprise Agile Coach and Transformation Consultant. Kathryn believes this is truly the best-job-ever. Kathryn works with teams all over the world – from small research and development teams working on Horizon 3 (and longer) product inventions to large-scale product development teams – and help them sort out how to develop products in a more nimble and resilient fashion.

Kathryn began her career at Accenture in Washington DC, has done service work in Guatemala, moved her family to Singapore and now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home. She’s been practicing Agile techniques in its various forms for about 12 years in large and small companies. She holds several Agile certifications which are meant to impress you. Kathryn is an accomplished public speaker and story teller. Kathryn hopes to be a disruptive force to anyone who thinks that the way we develop products is just fine.

Diane C. Buckley-Altwies
Core Performance Concepts, Inc.

“Managing Multiple Priorities”

We’ve all heard that setting priorities in our personal lives is key to achieving our goals. Some of us hire personal coaches to get our lives in order, but when it comes to what we do within the office, all of that planning goes out the window. Organizations today are running at a much faster pace than ever before. We have technology glued to us at all times so that we can quickly respond to things. But should we really?

In this workshop we will talk about the benefits of prioritizing our days both at home and at work. We understand that you don’t always have control over the priorities that may be set for you in the office, but we will discuss some strategies and approaches to gaining clarity of purpose when your supervisor says something is urgent or if you are feeling like you have too many projects on your plate.

Diane Buckley-Altwies is the Chief Executive Officer of Core Performance Concepts, Inc. (CPC), a training and consulting firm, whose focus is on helping people work better together, creating organizations that can adapt and change faster for increased profitability. Through great partnerships, we can help individuals succeed in both their business and personal lives.

Ms. Buckley-Altwies has over 25 years managing software development projects and training thousands on best practices in project management. She has a proven track record of delivering completed projects to the marketplace through effective leadership of multi-disciplinary teams with a strong customer focus. Her expertise is in evaluating business processes to determine and quantify the value-added and non-value added processes. She creates achievable plans to eliminate waste in operations taking into consideration the total cost of delivery to the customer. Her success can be attributed to her ability to bring together both internal and external resources, including a variety of off-shore and/or international development.

Her passion is to help companies, large and small, build and nurture an engaged, accountable and effective workforce in order to deliver on strategic initiatives for organizational growth. She is an author of three books Achieve PMP® Exam Success; A concise study guide for the busy project manager, Achieve CAPM® Exam Success: a concise study guide and desk reference, and Program Management Professional; a certification study guide with best practices for maximizing business result.

Ms. Buckley-Altwies is a dynamic speaker, presenting regularly to organizations and corporations around the country. She has a Masters degree in Finance and Marketing, and a BA degree in MIS & Production Management, both from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She is an active member of PMI Orange County, where she served as the Marketing Director in 2004 -2005 when the PMI-Orange County chapter was awarded the PMI-Chapter of the Year. In 2012, she was honored as a PMI Fellow for her contribution to the profession of project management.

Shelly Wright
Wright1 Consulting, Inc.

“Securing Technology Tips to Protect Your Business Data”

Wright1 Founder Shelly Wright, PMP, CISA, CSM, is a recognized thought leader in integrating IT security, project management, corporate governance, quality assurance, and business processes. For over 15 years, she has helped clients from startups through Fortune 500 businesses improve their IT systems with dramatic and sustainable results.

An innovative leader in IT and business strategy, Wright loves to share her passion for IT, simplifying technology so others can easily embrace it. Wright is a Certified Project Management Professional, Certified Information Systems Auditor and Certified ScrumMaster.® Besides holding several additional corporate, board, and volunteer positions, Shelly teaches university-level project management and quality assurance courses on behalf of the University of Redlands and the University of California – Irvine Extension.

“I love using technology to open new opportunities for clients, help their businesses succeed and grow, and enable them to move confidently into the future.” –– Shelly Wright, Wright1 Founder

Kevin Parikh
Global CEO and Sr. Partner

“Driving Digital Business Transformation through the CIO Suite”

The session addresses a real-life example of a large and complex organization with critical socioeconomic considerations beyond the financial bottom line driving fundamental change in its operating model through the definition and adoption of digital business strategies leveraging emerging technologies.

An interactive discussion with the CIO and the lead consultant who worked together to define the strategy and architected the relationships will provide insights into the potential for digital business strategies to transform organizations, the impact on the traditional role of the CIO and Procurement, and practical considerations on structuring and executing the strategic partnership to execute on the strategies.

You will learn:

• Potential for digital business strategies to transform core business operations
• Changing roles of CIO and Procurement in driving this change
• Approaches to defining value to go beyond cost reduction
• Approaches to structuring and executing strategic partnerships to realize benefits

Kevin Parikh is the Global CEO and Sr. Partner of Avasant, a global management consulting firm and #1 ranked business process advisory firm that provides information technology, knowledge, and business process consulting services for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Prior to joining Avasant, Mr. Parikh led the Global IT Sourcing practice for Gartner Consulting. Mr. Parikh specializes in IT and business process (BP) outsourcing, contract and service‑level negotiations, joint ventures, captive centers, strategic management, business risk evaluation and software licensing. His practice engages in both nearshore and offshore sourcing solutions.

Over his career, Mr. Parikh has been involved in more than hundreds of IT sourcing and business transactions. These deals have ranged from US$20 million to US$2.5 billion, involving major Tier 1 and Tier 2 service providers, including: IBM, Amazon, and Infosys. Mr. Parikh has also worked closely in support of government clients that seek to increase foreign direct investment (FDI). In this regard, he works on a global basis with the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. Government, and other United Nations funded and driven projects. As an attorney by training, he specializes in negotiating complex and global transactions where he works toward bridging the gaps between legal counsel and business team objectives.

He also was a U.S. Presidential appointee in the Clinton Administration for the One America Commission and has testified as an expert on numerous technology issues before the California Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee. Kevin also serves as the Chairman of Avasant Foundation. He is an advisory board member of South Asia Bar Association, Southern California and Comstock Advisors.

Scott Dunn
Agile Coach and Trainer
Rocket Nine Solutions

“Case Studies in Agile Adoption – Models, Key Points & Classic Mistakes”

Looking at several local agile adoptions, we’ll look at their journey, milestones and results. What does executive support, a transformation team, and changes in management, HR, PMO look like? What did they do about deadlines, scope, funding, reporting, multiple locations, and cross-team dependencies?

Scott Dunn is the founder of Rocket Nine Solutions, an agile coaching and training company based in the Southern California area. He is a Certified Scrum Trainer with 20 years of experience in management, project management, engagement management and software development (MCSD) in various industries as well as state and local government, from Fortune 500 to Inc 500 and start-ups. A practicing ScrumMaster for several years, in 2009 he went on to coach and train at dozens of companies transitioning to an agile approach using Scrum. Clients have included Yahoo!, Kaiser Permanente, Technicolor, eBay, GE Healthcare, and others while working at two leading agile companies, Rally and BigVisible. His training style uses humor, energy, stories, drawings and no PowerPoint.

Since founding Rocket Nine in 2012, Scott’s passionate about strengths-based teams and solutions-based approach to people and organizational issues and spoke on those topics previously at RallyON, Scrum Gathering and the national Agile20XX conferences. He is a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Program Consultant, and a Certified StandOut strengths coach through The Marcus Buckingham Company as well as Pragmatic Marketing Certified. The company’s nine values are explored further here – http://rocketninesolutions.com/about/vision/

Scott lives in Yorba Linda, CA with his wife, Jill, and children, Katie, Ally, Mary and Ian.

Wes Kliewer
Founder and Partner, Director of Training
Project Insight

Wes co-founded Metafuse in 1996, the corporation which launched Project Insight cloud-based project management software in 2002. Since that launch Wes has implemented and trained thousands of users worldwide in the use of resource scheduling and management. He has extended the resource management training sessions for Project Insight customers to use resource cost analysis, financial forecasting and professional services billing for customers who need to keep tight controls on billable costs for their clients.

Craig Williams
Senior Solution Engineer

“Driving DevOps with Data as a Service”

As the DevOps community has been rapidly building out capabilities and driving innovative improvements to the traditional software development lifecycle through 3rd party, OpenSource and home grown tools and methods, the number one constraint to achieving the promise of DevOps remains data management and data delivery. We will explore DevOps solutions where Delphix has been leveraged to remove all data constraints from client DevOps environments.

Hollie Choi
Director of Information Technology
20th Century Fox

Hollie Choi is an IT professional with more than 15 years experience managing teams who design, support, and implement software solutions. She is the Director of IT for 20th Century Fox where she oversees the Studio Operations IT support team, the Digital Asset Management Metadata Services team, and the Digital Asset Management systems 24X7 Help Desk.

She has been with Fox for just over 10 years. Prior to that, she worked in mortgage banking and in Federal government service. Hollie specializes in governance, information security processes, business intelligence, metadata, and enterprise software management and support.

Hollie holds a BS from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California in the area of Organizational Leadership. Also, she is an entrepreneur who owns a cosmetics business that allows her to pursue her passion of empowering women by helping them to establish their own businesses and position themselves for financial independence.

Carole Schlocker

Carole Schlocker has been with iSpace since it was founded and has been instrumental in building the company’s foundation base of clients. Prior to joining iSpace, Carole was Sr. Vice President of D.P. Specialists where she was one of the principal contributors in building the company into one of the premier IT Staffing and Solutions companies in S. California. She started her IT career at Candle Corporation where she was Manager of West Coast Technical Support.

Carole is currently on several Boards including Stem Advantage, The Westside Center of Independent Living (wcil.org), Association of IT Professionals (Los Angeles Chapter), and the Southland Technology Conference (SoTeC). She serves as the Chair for the Speaker Committees for SoTeC and AITP-LA. She is a past board member of Tech Serve Alliance and she was the Co-Director of the Los Angeles Chapter of Women in Technology where she helped to build the chapter from the ground up. Also, she is also a long time member of the UCLA I.S. Associates and has served on their board.

Carole holds a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Temple University.

Celeste C. Collins
Sr. Project Manager
World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT)

Celeste Collins is a proven technical project manager and has extensive experience in the Information Technology industry. Her varied IT background ranges from program/project management and technical support to major accounts client liaison, management consulting and staff management. She has served as principal consultant in a variety of industries, project types and sizes.

A key objective for Ms. Collins is to ‘create a positive difference’ for each organization, project and project team that she leads and supports. Celeste is passionate about leading her projects and teams through successful implementations. Her expertise is creating “teams” to achieve the clients’ business goals. Ms. Collins has received many awards and accolades for her employer and client contributions.

Gary Michael
Manager of Talent Acquisition

Gary Michael is the Manager of Talent Acquisition for KARL STORZ-ENDOSKOPE, a global manufacturer and distributor of endoscopes, medical instruments, and devices. Gary has been placing talent since 2000 through agencies, in-house and his own consulting practice. He previously worked in financial services, information technology and defense industries in Virginia and NYC before relocating to California.

Gary is passionate about helping businesses make the most of their resources and talent and helping individuals make the most of their job search. He is a leader in finding top, difficult to recruit talent, reducing time to hire, and creating outstanding candidate and hiring manager relationships.

In addition to his accomplishments in HR, Gary has also provided career transition services for more than 10 years through one-on-one coaching, group workshops, and educational seminars at colleges and universities and nonprofit organizations. He is an alumnus of the University of Nebraska where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government.

Heidi Kujawa
Risk & Cybersecurity Media & Entertainment Sector Leader
Ernst & Young Advisory Services

Heidi is an executive director in EY’s Advisory Services practice focusing on information security and enterprise risk transformation. In her role, she serves as EY’s Americas Media & Entertainment Risk & Global Cybersecurity Sector Leader. She was formerly the CISO for a major Hollywood studio and has held key executive positions at some of the largest motion pictures studios in the industry; successfully establishing and leading large-scale global enterprise technology and security/risk/compliance related initiatives; specializing in developing security departments from the ground up and/or re-aligning security functions to meet the needs of the business.

Heidi was also a CISO Summit Governing Body Member (2010-2011), awarded Oracle Corporation’s Content Management Architect of the Year (2007) and has spoken internationally on the topics of content management, content security, information security, identity management and access controls. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Management and is a certified PMP and ITIL.

Silvia Tejero-Suarez
Director, Project Management Office
Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting

Silvia Tejero-Suarez is the Director of the Project Management Office (PMO) at Wolters Kluwer TAA US, a global information services company. Silvia has over 18 years of Project and Program Management experience in the Document Management, Communications, Health, and Financial industries.

Throughout her career Silvia has accumulated invaluable experience managing a variety of large and complex software development and IT projects and has been able to apply industry best practices to bring projects to successful completion. In addition, Silvia and her team have championed the transition and transformation from RUP and Waterfall methodologies to a full Agile model and continues to drive the standardization of processes, best practices and governance for Agile Program and Project Management functions across her organization.

Silvia earned a BS degree in Computer Science from Wichita State University, and a MBA from CSUDH. She is Project Management Professional (PMP), a Certified Scrum Master and a SAFe Agilist.

John Angelini
Director of Technology
20th Century Fox Filmed Entertainment

John Angelini is a Director of Technology at 20th Century Fox Filmed Entertainment (Fox) and has over thirteen years of IT project and product management experience. John joined Fox 10 years ago as a project manager and has consulted and partnered with internal business units on dozens of software development, product implementation, and business process improvement projects throughout the years. Over the last three years, his core focus has been to help optimize several content management solutions and related workflows under Fox’s digital media supply chain.

John has a BSBA in Decision Information Sciences from the University of Florida and a certificate in Project Management from UCSB. He is a Project Management Professional (PMP)® and a Certified Scrum Master®.

Téa Brojeni
Executive Director, Program Management
Tribune Publishing

Téa Brojeni has over 8 years of experience in the Project/Program Management area. Her interest in Project Management first piqued in college, where she received her Project Management certification from the University of California, Irvine. She began working with a boutique interior design company, where she managed 45 – 50 concurrent projects for such clients as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Carl’s Jr., and Del Taco. Téa has since worked with Disney Interactive Media Group and Tribune Publishing, where she introduced Agile to the team which allowed them to be more flexible and achieve more under tight deadlines.

At the Tribune she was part of the team that revamped the website and introduced a responsive platform and new mobile apps to all of the Tribune Publishing websites, most notably LATimes.com and ChicagoTribune.com.

Marcela Bailey
Chief Digital Officer
Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Marcela is the Chief Digital Officer for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). She is responsible for setting and executing the non-profit’s nationwide technology, social media and digital strategy. Her charter is to align HSF’s purpose to provide scholarships to the best and the brightest with its complimentary array of compelling programs and resources for students and parents. By virtue of technology, she works to drive the broad-based acquisition of individual donors and ignite stakeholder engagement via relevant media channels, two-way marketing, and analytics focused on current scholars, prospective applicants, alumni and parents, while continuing to provide value for HSF’s fortune 500 corporate sponsors.

Prior to joining HSF, she was Vice President and Divisional CIO for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE), a multi-billion dollar division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. She oversaw the Global Information Technology strategy and direction to support and enable Home Entertainment’s business operations, including sales, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, business intelligence, finance, and digital functions.

Marcela has more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, having held various management and leadership roles in accounting, customer service, sales, operations, and IT. Her rich experience in tactical execution, management processes, and strategic planning has allowed her to helm many strategic initiatives, company projects, startups, and departments. Marcela’s merging of strategic vision, aligning business and IT, and integrating business processes with technology, which were pivotal to directing Sony’s Home Entertainment, are now the crux of her technology strategy at HSF. Her vision is to evolve an integrated and collaborative Technology and Marketing Team to provide innovative methods of adopting and adapting technology to achieve HSF’s strategic goals. Building on her experience at SONY, she aims to institutionalize continuous improvement and use of “best of the best” practices at HSF.

In her spare time, Marcela serves as the President for the all-volunteer board of the non-profit California Hispanic Corporate Council (CHCCLI) to promote Latino leadership development and advancement in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors. She is the Corporate Council Chair for Los Angeles Unified Preschool (LAUP), a non-profit organization that helps provide access to early childhood education programs for families that could not otherwise afford them. She has been a board member of the LMU Latino Alumni Association since 2010 and serves on the LMU Corporate Advisory Board. She also serves as Secretary of the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) Board of Directors, and is a proud NHLI Executive Leadership Program Fellow alum from 2010. She was also very active in Sony’s corporate diversity and inclusion program, SPECTRUM, and served on the Advisory Board and as the Executive Sponsor of the Latinos Unidos Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG).

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business from Loyola Marymount University, and a Masters degree in Business Administration in Information Systems and Operations Management from the University of Southern California.

Marcela has three happy and healthy young adult children, Alex, Nikki, and Robert, and lives with her husband, Dan, in Los Angeles.

Dennis Ebuen
Director of Applications & Development
Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP)

Dennis Ebuen is the Director of Applications and Development for Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), a non-profit organization that funds various preschool programs throughout Los Angeles County, and also promotes/advocates for quality preschool education for all children. He currently develops and implements data collection systems utilized by internal and external partners to LAUP, as well as managing the custom built internal operating system of the company. Prior to joining LAUP, Dennis was a Vice President of Change Management at Bank of America working primarily in the Collections and Student Lending divisions, focusing on large scale technology implementations. Dennis was also a consultant at Technology Solutions Company where he was involved in various CRM and ERP projects for companies such as Toshiba, HP and Agilent Technologies. He received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics Economics with a specialization in Computing from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Chad Berryhill
Director of IT
Dogeared Jewelry

Chad Berryhill is recognized as a technical leader that has repeatedly created success while traversing several industries. Whether challenged by the unique requirements within the highly regulated Pharmaceutical Industry or the constant need to be dynamic in the Retail space, Chad has repeatedly delivered strategic solutions that provide a competitive edge.

In the past 5 years Chad went from playing a key leadership role on a 70-person SAP deployment team to building an IT team from the ground up to deploy Microsoft Dynamics in a $25M retail company. In each of these challenges Chad learned what it takes to do more with less on projects that are critical to setting the business up for long-term strategic growth.

Chad has a B.S. in Business Management from Western Governors University and is ITIL Foundations V3 Certified.

Boban Dragojlovic
Vice President, Information Technology
Crystal Cruises

Boban began his IT career with one of the aerospace behemoths of the 80’s, where he discovered the frustrations and bureaucracy of working for large organizations. After moving to a small software development company, and discovering the joys of an agile and flexible environment, he swore off large organizations forever.

He briefly ate his words ten years later when, in order to earn his way through graduate school, he worked for the only IT employer in town – Indiana University (you have to pay the bills). But this brief stint only served to remind him why he loved and missed nimble environments.

Since then, Boban has worked and consulted exclusively with small- and mid-sized organizations in the areas of eCommerce, systems integration, and most recently, cruising. For the past ten years he has served as the VP of IT for Crystal Cruises – a company small enough to be agile, but complex enough with its globally moving datacenters, to be interesting.

When not fulfilling that role, he continues to write software – mostly for the pure joy of it.

Boban holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University at Dominguez Hills, and a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University. He speaks three human languages and writes several computer languages.