Below is information about our amazing lineup of speakers. Clicking the photos will open hyperlinks to each speaker’s website.

Sandra C. Affare, Ph.D., PMP®

Strategically Improving the Project Plan with Value Methodology

Sandra C. Affare, Ph.D., PMP® is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the UT-Space Institute in Tullahoma, Tennessee. She obtained a B.S. in Engineering and MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a doctorate in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Management from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Dr. Affare serves PMI as the PMIEF Liaison for the Chattanooga Chapter. She served as a Project Engineer and Project Manager at Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) where she managed research and development projects for TVA’s Transmission Technologies and a Senior Compliance Analyst until retirement in July 2014. After retirement, Dr. Affare was a project management consultant for the next few years, is currently and an adjunct professor at her undergraduate alma mater. Dr. Affare is a professional member of the American Society for Engineering Managers and an educational member of SAVE® International.

In her spare time, she enjoys home decorating, culinary cuisines and inspirational reading. She resides in Chattanooga with her husband of almost 15 years, Dr. Gabriel Affare, and their 11 year old daughter.

Kris Boesch

Your Competitive Advantage: How To Create a Thriving Team that Delivers Remarkable Results

Kris Boesch, Choose People CEO and dynamic keynote speaker, weaves valuable content, insightful stories and tangible tools into her speaking engagements so you walk away with tools to significantly improve your workplace culture. Kris, who approaches organizational culture as the most paramount asset to an organization’s financial success, provides audiences with specific, concrete no-cost ways to create a thriving organizational culture.

Kris Boesch is the CEO and Founder of Choose People, a company that transforms company cultures, increases employee happiness and boosts the bottom line. The Choose People 360° Culture Audit is based on over 1000 hours of research. Boesch collaborated with the Industrial Organizational Psychology Department at Colorado State University to conduct this research. Kris Boesch is also the acclaimed author of Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace. Prior to Choose People, Boesch was the CEO of Exodus Moving & Storage. Under her leadership, Exodus became the largest mover in Northern Colorado with a turnover rate nearly 40% less than the industry average and a bottom line twice that same average. Kris is also a proud mother, dancing diva and dog lover.

Andy Burns PMP, PMI-ACP,CDA, CDAI, CDAC

Choice is Good! Disciplined Agile Workshop Details AND Curb Your Violent Communications

Andy Burns PMP, PMI-ACP, CDAI, CDAC, SPC is a founding member of the Siemens Digital Industries Lean Agile Center of Excellence (LACE).  Following the SAFe roadmap Siemens Product Lifecycle Management stood up more than a dozen Agile Release Trains (ART) for more than 1,200 Software Engineers. Over the course of this global rollout Andy trained several hundred people worldwide in person and in a virtual classroom leveraging good practices from many agile sources.

Andy is a Certified Disciplined Agile Instructor (CDAI) and among the few Certified Disciplined Agile Coaches (CDAC) worldwide.  Teaching several live virtual courses including DALSM, PMP, PMI-ACP, and SAFe allows Andy a chance to relate his work as a practitioner to lean agile theory.  Andy is a longtime volunteer with PMI at the Local and Global level.

Hear from someone who embraces ‘thinking differently’ and ‘being agile’ over ‘doing agile.’  The information offered up by Andy is a solidarity commitment to Project Managers who will lead the way helping everyone adapt to today’s challenges!

Alexandria Butler

How to build strong program teams and How your program/project teams can influence your organizational culture

Alexandria Noel Butler, affectionately known as Lexi B, wears many hats including entrepreneur, speaker, editor, and writer.  Her project management career started in 2011 after graduating from Stanford University and she has led diverse large scale cross functional projects for prominent tech companies such as NetApp, Airbnb and Facebook. In April 2017, Lexi B founded Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, an online community that supports Black women in tech companies and tech related professions. This 6,900+ international community has partnered with organizations such as Phenomenally, Instagram and Slack. In February 2018, Lexi B founded her newest venture, Unfiltered By Lexi B, a weekly video series sharing candid tips and tricks on how to navigate your career successfully. Lexi is currently the Sr. Program Manager, Privacy at Twitter and manages cross functional programs dedicated to user data protection and data regulatory policies.

Dr. Jermaine Davis

Bouncing Back

Before receiving the prestigious College Instructor of the Year Award, Dr. Jermaine Davis worked in corporate America for IBM, Keebler Cookies, and Frito-Lay in the areas of sales and management. Now, he’s an award-winning Professor of Communication Studies at Century College and Organizational Leadership at St. Catherine’s University. Dr. Jermaine has authored10 books including, Get Up Off Your Butt & Do It NOW, Leading with Greatness, Be Diversity Competent, and the Women’s Quote Journal Series. Dr. Jermaine was raised in a drug- and gang- infested area on the West-Side of Chicago in a single-parent home.  After the tragic loss of six family members to violent deaths, he enrolled in college to change the direction of his life. He holds a BA and a MA in Speech Communications, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Dr. Jermaine specializes in helping teams and organizations develop healthy work environments so EVERYONE can thrive and succeed. Dr. Jermaine is an international speaker that engages audiences with his unique style of speaking known as – EDUTAINMENT – a fun combination of education and entertainment. Prestigious organizations like 3M, Best Buy, West Point Military Academy, Prudential, Sam’s Club, Wells Fargo, Medtronic, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car regularly seek out Dr. Jermaine’s expertise in the areas of employee engagement, leadership development, inclusive leadership, and overcoming burnout in life, school, and work.

Michael DePrisco

Powering the Project Economy and the Future of Work

As PMI Vice President, Global Experience & Solutions, Michael (Mike) DePrisco provides executive leadership to the Product, Services, Events & Content organization for a global team that supports more than 1M active certification holders, 600,000 members and 300 chapters from over 200 countries. Mike also provides executive leadership for PMI’s Digital Solutions team.

Mike joined PMI in 2013 and has held several roles within the organization including Vice President, Global Membership & Chapters, and Vice President, Academic and Educational Programs.

Prior to PMI, Mike served in executive positions in higher education. There, he executed university strategic plans to ensure integration and alignment of key initiatives and priorities. He provided executive oversight to campus development and growth, including student acquisition and retention, program development, financial management and stakeholder relationships.

He is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master’s of Science in Higher Education Administration and Counseling. He holds a Certificate in Company Direction (International) from the Institute of Directors. Mike is active in youth and educational programs in his community.

Manley Feinberg

Reaching Your Next Summit: 7 Vertical Lessons to Lead in the Unknown, Regardless of Your Title

Manley Feinberg is an award winning international keynote speaker and author.  In 1995 he started Vertical Lessons. He works with organizations who want to stretch their comfort zones, and lead with impact. Through gripping keynotes and Vertical Experiences, Manley helps individuals and teams build breakthrough mindsets to step up and reach their next summit.

Using stories from his personal experiences, Manley weaves together lessons he has learned from the vertical and business worlds and creates actionable lessons which help inspire others to step up and reach their next summit. As a result of his work, people have more focus, more courage, more commitment and more momentum.

On a personal note, he likes to sleep on the side of mountains. More shocking is that his wife has been putting up with that for 22 years, and his 2 teens still kiss him on the cheek in front of their friends.

Cynthia Kahn, PMP, CSM

Agile Planning for Projects

The Scrum framework starts with the Product Backlog. A Backlog is built by writing stories. How do you know what Stories to write when you’ve never built a Backlog before? The traditional work breakdown structure does not work with Scrum. However, that’s no excuse to skip planning and write Stories without a roadmap or understanding of what you need to accomplish. Cynthia offers a straightforward planning method that can easily be applied into any agile project.

Cynthia Kahn has over 20 years’ experience managing projects. She has her MBA, PMP and CSM. Cynthia has been an active member of her local PMI chapter since becoming PMP certified in 2005. Cynthia is co-author of the GSD Scrum Handbook and co-founder of the agile consultancy GSD Mindset. She speaks at conferences across the US. If you’re interested in learning how to apply agile principles in your personal life and be happier, check out Cynthia’s TEDx talk on the TED YouTube channel.

Rachel Keck

Get. Here. Now. Session

Rachel Keck has over 20 years of leading through change, experiential workshops, and
developing people into their best selves. She continues to be a learner, intentionally seeking
ways to grow and expand herself, her business, her clients and their businesses. Rachel
brings a strong curiosity and the ability to listen in a way that deepens understanding and
grows awareness. She has spent her life observing the way leaders interact with their people.
She has always been drawn to what connects people both to themselves and to others and
what leads to disconnection.

Rachel is a trained listener and seasoned facilitator. Her work has spanned nearly every role
from project manager to founder. Her passion fires up when it comes to people growing
and leading in healthy ways. Clarity and momentum are a couple of her favorite things.

Marc Jones

Managing Hybrid Portfolios with Planview

Marc Jones is a Sales and Services Consultant at Planview. He has 14+ years experience in project management, resource management, and enterprise management solutions.

Marc will demonstrate how waterfall and agile work can be managed in one platform (Planview) to best manage delivery in a constrained and dynamic world.

Learn more at www.planview.com.

Jane MacNeil

Shift Left, Shift Right, and Observability

Jane is an experienced Deployment Director with a demonstrated history of working in the technology and services sector. Tenacious about great customer experiences, Jane is interested in how technology transforms organizations and users.

Amanda Maness, PMP

PMI Member Benefits

Amanda Maness, PMP, is a scientist, operations manager and project manager.  She also serves on the PMI Memphis Board of Directors as VP of Membership. Amanda is currently a project manager and business strategist for a ServiceMaster franchise, ServiceMaster by Stratos, and is responsible for developing and implementing business systems and strategies to scale for recent growth.  She is also actively driving new technology development and enhancing data analytics throughout the organization.  She enjoys fostering inclusive collaboration within cross functional teams and finding practical and conscientious solutions to complex problems. Her career includes operations management and project management of undersea fiber optic cable survey & system design, offshore geologic and geophysical projects in oil & gas exploration, oil & gas R&D projects, and technology development.

Amanda is a proud graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy and former U.S. Merchant Marine.  She holds a M.S. in Marine Geology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she also led offshore research expeditions for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Undersea Research Center (NOAA NURC).

Although a native Memphian, her former roles have gifted her the opportunity to lead projects in 12 countries and all oceans in-between. She is happy to be back home and closer to family, but sneaks off to surf and scuba dive any chance she can get.

David Mantica

Product Theory Primer

David has 25 years of business-to-business services, consulting, coaching, and training industry experience in roles from operations, service delivery, marketing, product management and executive management. Just recently he successfully sold his business-to-business training firm having taken it from $1.2m to $13m in seven years all done organically. Currently David is the VP and General Manager for SoftEd US, a leading provider of transformational training services, working to support companies embrace agile methods for achieving business results.

Along with his work at SoftEd, David provides business owner coaching services to several companies in the Raleigh-Durham area through DTM Services. He also provides pro bono career coaching services and presentations to individuals and organizations throughout the US.

Kate Megaw

Business Agility – Are You Ready? Let’s Go!

Kate Megaw, CST, PMP is the president of the Braintrust Consulting Group where she specializes in working with executives and C-level professionals in addition to serving as an Agile Coach and Trainer. Kate is a dynamic Project Management Professional with more than 15 years experience in successfully planning, directing, tracking, and managing complex projects. Before co-founding The Braintrust Consulting Group, Kate worked as a project manager for the global leader in Corporate Actions automation. Now she uses her years of experience to guide clients through the transition from a waterfall to Agile delivery model. Kate is client-focused with finely honed communication and presentation abilities, complemented by strong planning, organizational, and people management skills. Kate is a motivator and encourager and is happiest when she breaks through to a client and leads them to the ‘aha’ moment. Before moving to the United States, Kate received her bachelor’s degree in information management from the Queen’s University of Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Dana LaRieal Morales

Brand You – Version 2.0 (BUV2) – Changing the Trajectory of Your Career, Life, Team, and Projects Through Rebranding

As the owner of The Happiness Bucket, Dana LaRieal Morales coaches side-hustling entrepreneurs, individuals and businesses to develop, implement and streamline processes for a better work-life balance. She is a certified project manager for a corporate law firm in Nashville, where she focuses on internal implementation, development  and process improvement projects. She is also the Director of Communications for Global Sisters in Project Management.

Sonja Mustiful, MSA, ACC, CDTLF

Authentic Leadership: A Path Forward to Inclusion

Sonja Mustiful is the President – Essence of Coaching, Author, Executive Coach and HR Professional who inspires leaders to see the best inside themselves and take action steps to get there. She specializes in executive coaching, professional development, succession planning,organizational effectiveness and team building.

Sonja holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources, certification as an Executive Coach from the International Coach Federation (ICF), author of Aim High, Ask Why and a Brené Brown Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator.

Dan Petit

Continuous Auditing – How DevOps is Reshaping Traditional Audit Practices

Dan Petit has been deep in the development world for most of his working life, serving as a developer, consultant, architect, and technical leader for a wide-variety of companies in the aerospace, telecommunications, insurance, hospitality, logistics, financial and service industries. Dan is the director of DevOps Engineering at Green Mountain Technology, where he leads DevOps and Operations transformation. Dan also teaches a 2-day comprehensive DevSecOps workshop at the University of Memphis’s FedEx Institute of Technology. He authored the book Real Visual Basic and numerous technical articles, and is a frequent speaker at technology gatherings.

Joe Pusz, PMP

Purpose Driven PMO, Empowering People to Deliver Results

Joe Pusz, PMO Joe is an internationally recognized leader in the Project Management and PMO community.  He is a frequent Keynote Speaker, Author, Project Management Innovator and was recently named one of the Top 15 PMO Influencers in the World.  He is the Founder and President of THE PMO SQUAD, a Phoenix based PMO and Project Management Consulting firm serving clients across the United States.

He is host of the Project Management Office Hours Radio Show and Podcast providing Project Management Leaders a voice within our community.  Now in the 3rd season the show has over 20 million plays and downloads featuring guests from around the world and was recently named the #6 Project Management podcast.  Joe is also Co-Founder of VPMMA, the Veteran Project Manager Mentor Alliance which is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization assisting Veterans seeking to transition into civilian Project Management careers.  VPMMA continues to serve the community providing Veterans and Spouses mentoring and professional services from existing partnerships with the International Institute for Learning – IIL, Arizona State University, Sensei Project Solutions, Vets2PM, PMI-PHX, and THE PMO SQUAD.

He is also the Managing Director for the PMO Global Survey with the PMO Global Alliance where he is also a Judge for the Global PMO Awards.  Joe is PMP certified and is a long-time member of the Project Management Institute.  He has been a PMI Volunteer, Sponsor and Mentor.

Susan Schwartz, PMP

Military Generals, Mindfulness, and Emotional Intelligence

Susan equips project managers and subject experts with tools to hone communications,  team building, and people management skills that will enable them to become world class leaders. Her toolbox combines Emotional Intelligence, Lego Serious Play, and knowledge sharing methods to assure effective feedback and conflict management.

Throughout her career, she led global teams, managed enterprise-wide technical projects, and was part of a Secure level defense department project.  All of these efforts took the organizations through change and technology transformation projects.  She creates collaborative learning environments across complex, matrix organizations with a strong focus on immediate application of newly learned skills.  Susan also has led job task analysis projects that enabled organizations to achieve strategic goals and deliver continuous business productivity improvements.

Susan has been a long time PMI member.  She served on the Executive and Governance Boards for PMIWDC.  Currently she is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area PMI and Silicon Valley PMI chapters.  She is a frequent presenter at chapter meetings for PMI Washington DC, PMI San Francisco, and PMI Silicon Valley.  Susan also delivered full day workshops for PMI San Francisco including “Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers” and  “From Average to Amazing Feedback”.

Her passion is making complicated concepts simple and enjoys her work as an adjunct instructor at several universities.  Most currently, she is teaching an on-line course, Practical Emotional Intelligence for Agile and Project Managers.  She taught the PMI Certificate curriculum  at George Mason University where she developed an advanced curriculum for PMP professionals to acquire professional development units.  This curriculum included courses:  Managing Matrix Teams, Complex Problem Solving, Emotional Intelligence for Leaders.  She also taught Effective Management and Leadership for the International Certificate Program at UC Berkeley.

Susan graduated from Goucher College with a BA in Economics.  She graduated from George Mason University with a Management of Science degree from the Public Policy School with a specialization in Organization Development and Knowledge Management.

She is the author of Creating a Greater Whole:  A Project Manager’s Guide to Becoming a Leader and co-author of Turning Ideas into impact – Insights from 16 Silicon Valley Consultants.

Anthony Vaughan

Emotional Glue and Beyond the Resume: The New Leadership Blueprint

Anthony Vaughan is the CEO and Co-Founder of “The E1B2 Collective,” a brand built to transform company culture at the startup and small business level. The collective focuses its efforts around operationalizing employee experience and increasing employee happiness – all intended to boost the bottom-line.

The E1B2 Collective has over 10,000 hours of research and execution experience across practitioners involved in the Collective. The Employees First mindset drives him to help forever change the world of work!

Lori Weir

Celebrating YOUR Unique Genius

Lori Weir is the founder and CEO of Relationship Architects, a consultancy focused on Cultivating Greatness within people and communities of all kinds.

Her achievements range from serving as the Executive Director for a Middle Tennessee Chamber of Commerce to leading US Voice Communications for Deloitte.

Throughout a 20-plus year career in Technology and Chamber of Commerce Leadership, Consulting and Entrepreneurship, Lori Weir has accumulated a broad and diverse portfolio of skills and industry awareness. In fact, the majority of her tech career was invested in Project Management roles.

The key to her success, however, has been in recognizing and developing the unique contributions of individuals, teams and volunteers. Her passion for the Unique Genius within each person led her to integrate a strengths-based approach into Relationship Architects suite of services. ¬

Established in 2011, Relationship Architects has served organizations around the globe. Their flagship workshop curriculum, Strong Communities®, offers an innovative, high impact approach to community engagement that focuses on identifying the unique talents of individuals teams and community members based on the Clifton StrengthsFinder© assessment.

With a mission of Empowering People to Strengthen Organizations and build Strong Communities of every kind, this approach quickly became a movement  by positioning leaders to take note of what is oh so right with their people. Identify, Accessing and Understanding the innate talents of community members drives better outcomes, heightens engagement and accelerates results.

Lori is a pioneer in crafting innovative strengths-based approaches that introduce a shared language that shifts the focus from deficit-based thinking to what individuals and communities do instinctively well. She is a firm believer that just as EVERY acorn has the potential to become a mighty oak, EVERY person is equipped with innate talent to offer the communities where they live and work something only they can offer.

Amidst a divisive world, Lori Weir and Relationship Architects are in the 10th year of helping communities of all kinds accelerate positive outcomes through enhanced cohesion and collaboration.

Roger Wolkoff

Appreciation Intelligence: The New AI

Roger is a motivational speaker who helps you tap into your strengths and potential so you can get out of your way and get more done. He speaks about the power of connecting, gratitude, and appreciation. How does he do it? Roger’s programs are high content and motivational in style and tone. He delivers stories, ideas, and keys to unlock what’s already inside you.

Roger has over 20 years of expert interpersonal communication and teambuilding experience. Audiences rave about his two most popular keynotes, Step Outside Yourself™️: New Directions for New Normals in a World with COVID-19 and Elevate Others to Elevate Others™️ with Appreciation.

Roger’s core messages center around trust, communication, and emotional intelligence. He helps leaders and high-performing teams communicate with clarity, conviction, and positive intent. He is an avid believer in Clifton’s Strength Finder and everything surrounding positivity. Roger is an expert in emotional intelligence, communication, and building positive relationships.

Roger lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife, Anne. He loves to travel, bike, and read science fiction. He is a big fan of baseball, pinball, and all things Tesla.