We are happy to introduce you to our 2019 conference session speakers! More speakers and breakout schedule coming soon.

Agile Track

Emily Midgley - Of Course We Need Analysis in Agile!

Amanda Grey Moore - Bridging International Waters: An Agile Team’s Story

Mansi Anand and Mark Roehl - Cheaper, Better Faster: A Case Study on how We Reduced Waste within Nationwide

Linz Vallelil - The Forgotten Story of User Stories

Michael Roberts - Mission to Mars: An Agile Adventure

Big Data/Analytics Track

Ursula Cottone - The Influence of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) on Enterprise Analytics

Ganes Kesari - How Organizations Can Gain Strategic Advantage When Everyone is Applying AI

Collaboration Track

Mindy Bohannon - Process Flows: When Pictures Reveal Everything

Dev-Ops Track

Logan Daigle - This IS the Generative Culture You Are Looking For…

Taranjeet Kaur - Capturing Requirements for Containers

Miscellaneous Track

Mike Hand - Let’s Talk About Documentation (But More Fun Than That Sounds)

Sarala Pandey - How Do You Change the World? By Developing Future Women Leaders

Richard Reichard - The Discipline of Innovation

Damian Synadinos - Talking About Talking

mobile/Digital Track

Kate Gwynne - The Empathy Lab: Understanding Digital Accessibility

UX/UI Track

Coming Soon!

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Cheaper, better, faster. A case study on how we reduced waste within Nationwide Annuities

Agile Track

The future is now, and the future is lean. 
As we embrace agile and DevOps practices we are reaffirmed that in order to compete in the marketplace, companies NEED to reduce waste and inefficient processes. 

We would like to share our case study of how we worked with the Nationwide Annuity Group to help move them from bulky processes that involved many handoffs and longer wait times to a continuous faster delivery model. We would also like to share the factors and techniques that made this successful and the impediments that held back progress.


Enterprise agile coaches and change agents

We are proven leaders with decades of experience serving as Senior Business Analysts and Agile Coaches. We hold certifications in project management (PMP, SAPM), agile processes (CSM), and analysis and testing (CBAP, ITQSB, ASEP). We are sought out as coaches and instructors and look forward to sharing our experiences to help others thrive and succeed.

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The Discipline of Innovation

Miscellaneous Track

Peter Drucker noted in his classic 1985 HBR article titled “The Discipline of Innovation”, 

"What all successful entrepreneurs I have met have in common is not a certain type of personality, but a commitment to a systematic practice of innovation."

But what do we know about the systematic practice of innovation? Much has been learned over the intervening three and a half decades about the systematic practice innovation. This talk will look some of the disciplines that convert what is sometimes approached as a desperate need to think out of the box into a more methodical process for developing and implementing innovative ideas.


Richard Reichard

Muskingum University MISST program

Richard Reichard is an Associate Professor of Informatics at Muskingum University. For the last 13 years he has developed and delivered the innovative online masters program, MISST – Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology. Prior to teaching, Richard worked for 16 years in telecommunications systems development and deployment at AT&T Bell Labs. His interests include innovation, business strategy, information systems security and IT governance and management.

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Capturing Requirements for Containers

Big Data /Analytics Track

All the noise happening as companies adopt Docker Containers at a remarkable rate just can't get unnoticed. 
Dockers are gaining immense momentum as they not only increase productivity and efficiency but the deployment velocity soars so high by Dockerizinig DevOps pipeline.
Multiple projects are getting spin up everyday across organization just to move their server applications from VM to containers.
With these projects it becomes pertinent for a Business Analyst to capture pieces of requirements created by containerization and contribute in making transition successful for the organizations.The presentation will be help an Analyst understand how these Containers changes the way Infrastructure is laid out in an organizations and how one can ensure that they don't risk app Performance, Security by asking right set of questions while writing down these requirements.
We will be talking about different configurations available with Containerization and how they enable a Cloud native environment as well.


Principal Architect

Computer programming enthusiast , Technology enthusiast, Fitness enthusiast . Passionate speaker intrigued by different mindsets and new cultures. I am always looking ways to challenge myself by knowing more and asking more.

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This IS the generative culture you are looking for...

Dev-Ops Track

As a DevOps Coach, I have had the privilege of working with many organizations in the world who are focused on improving their organizations. They range in industry from military, government and financial institutions to retail and staffing. From highly regulated and high risk environments to those that seem to always be on the cutting edge of technology and culture.
I'm here to say that DevOps Awesomeness is not just for the big 4 (Amazon, Apple, Google, and Netflix)!
There are people, teams and organizations in the audience who have built their own cultures that will enable Awesomeness in 2018. These cultures are generative in nature, this means that the cultures are built upon the notion that people are people and not resources, that we should trust our team mates and people, that we should foster innovation by having a culture of experimentation that doesn't punish failure and learns quickly from it.
As a coach and consultant, I often walk into situations where leaders and their teams think that they need culture before tooling or vice versa. I think that this is the wrong conversation to have and instead of arguing for the chicken vs. the egg, we employ systems thinking to both culture and tooling and make the best decisions for our organizations. We also get to teach everyone to lead, that it's not just the responsibility of the people with leadership roles to provide the leadership necessary to move from low or medium performer to high performer.
I will also share how transformational leadership influences an organization to continuously improve, always looking to provide and improve value in trying to balance an organizations need to innovate with cost savings. Regardless of whether there is a transformational leader, Organizations that are high performers are not penny wise and a pound foolish, they are experiencing how to move faster and become more profitable and accept risk profiles all at the same time. They are using speed to drive innovation AND security.
This will be an interactive session in which you will have a chance to participate and provide examples of things you don't like in your organization for anecdotes of how our customers have improved their own situations. My talk will include anecdotes of customer interactions as well as information and stories from my past lives as a developer and devops engineer.
Finally, I will weave everything together to help prescribe the metrics you might want to gather to know which direction you are heading and what you might use to collect the metrics and act on them to make good, data-driven decisions.


Logan Daigle

Director of DevOps Strategy at Collabnet VersionOne

Logan is a DevOps Coach with Collabnet VersionOne from Charlotte, NC. He has been involved with providing and implementing DevOps solutions since 2011. He has development and DevOps experience in the military, government, healthcare, retail and finance industries. Logan has a passion for being Agile, doing DevOps well and using agile engineering practices to build, test and deploy software. His experiences have been in support of both Windows and Linux infrastructure, and many tools that are key to the success of applications in both. He is currently focusing on evangelizing in the technology community to bring DevOps to the masses. You can follow Logan on Twitter @TheDevOpsGuru.

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Let's talk about documentation (but more fun that that sounds)

Miscellaneous Track

Street signs. Clothing tags. LEGO instructions. Furniture assembly instructions. Every field requires documentation, but some are far better at it than others. We'll take a tour through the highlights and low-lights, hits and misses -- and then see what we can apply back to the field of software development.


Mike Hand

on the web. in the cloud

Mike has been in software development for over 10 years, working everywhere from top 10 defense contractors, small privately owned companies, freelance, and the world of consulting.

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How do you change the world? By developing future women leaders

Miscellaneous Track

Change begins at home. Many first generation disadvantaged immigrants to this country do not attend college, which means their children do not have adequate guidance on pursing higher-level education. The community can come together to provide help to these children with code camps. This past summer, a Young Women in Tech code camp was held in Columbus for members of the Bhutanese-Nepali Refugee Community. More than a dozen experts in technology volunteered to teach girls aged 13-17 about computer programming, accessibility, user-centered design processes, cyber security, Photoshop, software development and desktop management. The volunteers taught the girls about the extensive career options within technology, with each volunteer focusing on their respective area of expertise. The training was supplemented by college admissions officers providing education guidance and a course on resume building. The entire camp was sponsored by a local community college with financial support for meals, equipment, and clothing provided by local businesses.

In this session, the audience will learn how to uplift the next generation of leaders through supplemental training opportunities outside of school. The audience will be shown how to organize a code camp locally, from securing facilities for training, to financial support, to soliciting volunteer teachers in technology. 


Huntington National Bank

Sarala Pandey is presently serving as the Quality Assurance Manager for Huntington National Bank. She is responsible for managing resource, creating and maintaining QA standards and process for the entire Digital Channel team. In addition, Sarala has enhanced organizational efficiency & efficacy by piloting test automation, exploratory testing, and the continuing education program. Sarala began her career in QA with an internship at Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). Over the course of 20 years, she has served as a QA Analyst, QA Lead, Off-shore Liaison, and finally as a QA Manager. She is responsible for delivering industry-wide SDLC standards to AT&T/IBM, SypherLink and Huntington National Bank. Recently, Sarala was named a Trailblazer the Smart Women Awards by Smart Business Magazine.

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THE EMPATHY LAB: Understanding Digital Accessibility

Mobile/Digital Track

DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY - guided by laws such as WCAG and Section 508, these principles and guidelines can be difficult to understand and easy to ignore, until it's too late. Join us in the Empathy Lab where you will experience first hand what Digital Accessibility is, how it impacts your organization and your role, and how it can reduce risk and increase usability for your websites and mobile applications.


Kate Gwynne

IBM iX Columbus Studio, Technical Director of Shared Services

Kate Gwynne is a Technical Director at IBM iX and has more than 20 years' experience leading business and IT initiatives. In her current role, she heads up the practices for Product Owners, Business Analysts, Quality Analysts, Agile Transformation, and Digital Accessibility, helping to implement best practices across the organization through training and process improvement.
She has written and contributed to numerous publications, and has been a guest speaker at local, regional, and international industry conferences, including the BA/PM World Conference, Business Capabilities Conference, and numerous IIBA events.

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Process Flows - When Pictures Reveal Everything

Collaboration Track

Pictures say 1,000 words and visual illustration is always an effective method for explaining complex ideas to each other. Process flows are a graphical representation of how things get done in an organization. It helps us to visualize the details of the process and guide our decision making. We use it to easily illustrate major components of a process, including the inputs, outputs, steps, decision points, and interactions with other systems. Process flows help us identify bottlenecks, points of contact with customers, and highlight value-adding activities. 

The effectiveness of the process flow depends on the writer’s experience and knowledge. We must be cognizant of possible pitfalls of hard to ready flows. If we create a confusing flow it may inhibit our ability to identify improvement opportunities. During this session we will practice several techniques for doing analysis with process mapping while creating flows. 


@mindybo93, CBAP, sharing and discussing love of agile analysis

Mindy thrives as an Agile Business Analyst and is proud of being a recent CBAP. She relishes solving business problems, develops solutions that drive the business forward, and relates to others with humanity, trust, and collaboration during the process. Mindy has been a BA longer than she was a database developer, content management administrator, project manager, and scrum master (for a very short stint), while working on creating custom software applications, COTS implementations, application modernization, and data management projects. She has spoken on analyst and professional development topics at many local and national conferences over the years. Equally, she encourages others to share their knowledge as the VP of Membership at her local IIBA DC chapter.

"Judge me by my questions, not my answers." –Voltaire

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The Forgotten Story of User Stories

Agile Track

User stories are the most popular method for documenting requirements among requirements analysts in an agile environment. User stories are an integral part of several Agile methodologies including XP and Scrum. Poorly defined requirements are considered to be a leading factor in project failure. In this session, our focus will be on user stories, from its origin to its evolution over the years. We will consider their purpose and the traits which create a compelling user story. We will reflect on the patterns for splitting user stories and briefly talk about different genres of stories. As an outcome, I hope participants would think of user stories as more than a tool for capturing requirements and see it as a vehicle that carries the value to the user.


Business Analyst, Agile Explorer

Linz has been in the IT industry for over 8 years. He has worked as a software developer and business analyst. He currently works as a business analyst. He believes the culmination of small changes leads to a big impact. He is energized about diving deep into topics of interest and sharing his findings with everyone. He is passionate about learning and applying techniques to identify and remove hurdles for teams to achieve excellence. He is deeply interested in implementing change which is sustainable and in building a team which has a culture of continuous improvement. He lives in Columbus with his wife and is a work-in-progress husband.

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The Influence of the Chief Data Office (CDO) on Enterprise Analytics

Big Data /Analytics Track

As the Chief Data Officer at three separate regional banks, I have had the opportunity to build and drive a data management strategy with the goal of changing the way data is treated throughout the Enterprise. Many organizations struggle with challenges in accessing data, lack of practical data governance, unknown or poor data quality, and unclear data management-related roles and responsibility. In my role as CDO, I have been able to mature organizations from foundational capabilities to differentiating and transformational competence by focusing on business intelligence evolution, improved data analytics and reporting capabilities, and strong engagement of business and technology stakeholders. Delivering business outcomes tied to the strategy of the company is key to the success of any Chief Data Office.


Ursula Cottone

Chief Data Officer

Ursula is responsible for leading the strategic direction, and for building and implementing a sustainable data strategy, for all data management activities to drive business results. She also will be a champion for global data management, governance, and quality and data vendor relationships across the enterprise as the liaison between Technology and all the business segments.
Ursula brings to Huntington more than 24 years of experience in technology, 20 of which have been in the banking industry. Most recently, Ursula was at Citizens Bank where she was the Chief Data Officer for the last 3 years. Prior to that, Ursula was at KeyCorp for 17 years where she held various roles including Chief Administrative Officer for Capital Markets, Shared Services Leader and Chief Data Officer.

Ursula received a Bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Cleveland State University. In addition, she is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the University of Chicago Strategic Business Leadership program.
Ursula has been active in the Cleveland, Ohio community serving on the boards and/or working committees of the Centers for Families and Children, Junior League of Cleveland, Leadership Cleveland and United Way of Cleveland.
Ursula moved to Columbus in May 2018 and resides in Grandview Heights, Ohio.

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How Organizations can Gain Strategic Advantage when Everyone is applying AI

Big Data /Analytics Track

In just about a decade, the quote ‘Data is the new Oil’ has turned into a cliché, thanks to the hype around buzzwords such as ‘Big Data’, ‘AI’ and ’Data Science’. It is now a foregone conclusion that an organization’s data is truly its hidden treasure chest, waiting to be discovered. Today, every organization is trying to apply AI to their business. So, where’s the differentiation?

While the destination is clear, what confounds everyone is the path to be taken to reach this pot of gold. Organizations run into a series of challenges in the adoption of AI, right from the start. They are faced with several questions along this journey: How to get started and create a sound AI roadmap? Which initiatives are right for them, and how do they build the execution muscle? How can this initial spark be sustained and harvested for long-term benefits?

This session will address these questions and lay out an AI framework for enterprises. It will draw from experiences of consulting in AI over the past decade to highlight the common challenges and practical guidelines to tackle them. Case studies would be shared to show how organizations have successfully leveraged AI for specific business ROI.

Learning Objectives from the Session:
• How organizations have used large scale data to their benefit
• What kind of decisions are best driven through data (and which ones aren't) 
• Innovative ways to monetize the data assets that are already in one’s hands 
• Interactive industry examples showing relevance of these techniques for organizations
• What tools, talent, and support mechanisms are available in the market today

At the end of the workshop, the participants will learn the following: 
• Business applications of big data, AI and data visualization for competitive advantage 
• How to manage large scale data and set up the infrastructure to get insights from this data 
• What it takes to transform big data from pilot initiatives to real business applications
• The skills, tools, training and partner ecosystem needed to leverage data science 


Ganes Kesari

Co-founder and Head of Analytics at Gramener

Ganes co-founded Gramener (gramener.com), an award-winning Data science company, where he heads Analytics and Innovation. Ganes has advised hundreds of enterprises like E&Y, Deloitte, Novartis on their analytics journey and has helped several NGOs such as the Gates Foundation adopt data science and AI models in their conservation efforts. He is passionate about the confluence of machine learning, information design, and business value.

Ganes is a passionate writer, on an endeavor to simplify data science and help everyone understand its true potential. His articles have a wide following and he's recognized as a top writer in 'Artificial Intelligence' on Medium. (medium.com/@kesari).

He has provided corporate training to large clients in the areas of Data analytics & Visualization and teaches in courses run by leading universities.

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Of Course We Need Analysis in Agile!

Agile Track

No, we don’t necessarily need analysts. But we need people who can do analysis. That means we all need to stop worrying about job titles.

But what is analysis in agile, anyway? What skills, competencies and techniques are best suited for this type of work?

For those of us who are analysts in large companies now, where do we go? It turns out that our skills can be used in a variety of ways. From supporting development teams to supporting Product Owners to becoming Product Owners, people with analysis skills are a vitally important component to success in agile environments.

Learning Objectives:
- How in the real world, development team members support Product Owners
- Analysis techniques critical to delivering customer value
- Analysis techniques that help improve pace and quality
- Ways to increase your influence in an Agile environment

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Emily Midgley

Progressive, IT Systems Analyst Lead, and IIBA Cleveland Chapter President

Emily Midgley, CBAP, is the IT Business Analysis Practice Lead in Progressive Insurance’s Enterprise Delivery Practices, and leads the internal BA Community of Practice. With 12 years of business analysis experience in the insurance industry, Emily led business analysis for programs to implement leading-edge technology like big data and mobile apps. She defined and socialized the role of BAs and BA Leads within IT programs and projects. Hundreds of product delivery practitioners have taken the course that Emily & her team created to teach how to write better story cards. As an Agile coach, Emily brings BA practices to product managers and product owners throughout the enterprise to increase focus on customer value.

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Talking about talking

Miscellaneous Track

About 1 year ago, I began speaking professionally. About 3 years ago, I began speaking at conferences. About 40 years ago, I began speaking.

In this informal, educational, and enjoyable session, I will offer lessons learned from a lifetime of talking. I will share, and we will discuss (among other things):

Why – I began speaking at conferences, and why you might, too
What – topics I select, and which might work for you
How – I create a talk, and how you develop ideas

Come prepared to ask and answer questions as we collaboratively converse, and “talk about talking!”

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Damian Synadinos

building better software, and building software better

Damian Synadinos has been helping “build better software and build software better” for more than 24 years. Now, through his company Ineffable Solutions, Damian offers experienced-based and research-hardened talks, training, and consulting. Damian’s experience spans many roles and companies in diverse industries including airline, education, ecommerce, finance, insurance, and retail. He is an organizer of an annual, regional testing conference, and frequently mentors, coaches, and advises IT professionals around the world. Damian is also an international speaker and trainer, who supplements his vast and varied experience with deep research to present fundamental topics that are applicable to a wide range of contexts at numerous conferences and corporations.

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Bridging international waters: an agile team's story

Agile Track

In 2019, co-located agile teams are becoming a thing of the past. In reality, agile teams are often spread across the globe. This is the story of one team's journey to making agile work across 10 time zones.

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Amanda Grey Moore

Business Analyst, Cardinal Health

Amanda Grey Moore is a business analyst with over 15 years' experience in the insurance and distribution industries. She is passionate about agile software development methodology and enabling new teams to adopt it.

Amanda holds a master of science degree in organizational performance from Bellevue University.

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Mission to Mars: An Agile Adventure

Agile Track

Work Together to Launch a Rocket to Mars!
This innovative board game challenges players to build and launch a rocket to Mars. Players form Agile teams, collaborating through “Sprints” to complete important tasks. The game tracks each team's score, along with other metrics used in Agile, such as “Velocity”. In order to win the game and successfully launch your rocket, your team will have to demonstrate characteristics of actual successful Agile teams.

How does the game facilitation work?
Players are split into teams at the start of the game (4 players per team). Large scale facilitation can work up to 48 people. Your team's goal is to build your rocket and successfully launch it to Mars. To do this your team will need to work together through multiple Sprints in an Agile environment. At the beginning of the game your team will be contracted by a company, each with different objectives and focuses. Next, each team member will pick one character card based on their skills. These skills will determine how effective players are at completing tasks. It is important to work together to pick a balanced team that aligns with company goals. The game operates best in a 1.5 hour block, but can be run in shorter (no less than 1 hour) or longer (no more than 4 hour) sessions.

Game Content 
All materials, including, but not limited to, the game board, PowerPoint slides and hand out materials remain the exclusive property of ASPE. This material may not be duplicated in any manner without the express written permission of ASPE. The client agrees not to contract directly with the ASPE facilitator for the presentation of this game or future course topics.


Michael Roberts

ASPE - Learn. Transform. Succeed

ASPE’s Michael Roberts is an IT industry professional with more than 20 years of experience in project management, application management, business analysis, IT operations management, and more.

Cisco, ComTIA, Microsoft, ICAgile and SAFe certified with extensive scope of responsibility, Michael has a proven track record of delivering optimal results in high-growth environments through initiatives that exceed operational performance targets and yield measurable outcomes. Michael has spoken publically at many events and user groups on various subjects including organizational change management, project management, Agile development process, and DevOps transformations. Michael has delivered the Mission to Mars: An Agile Adventure game to 500+ professionals in places like New York, St. Louis, Raleigh, Cincinnati, and Chicago.

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