Agile2021 Organizers

July 19 – 22  |  Online

Our 20th Anniversary Program Team

The Agile2021 Planning Team is dedicated to creating a stellar international conference that furthers Agile principles and provides an avenue for people and ideas to flourish. We are working to bring you an amazing 20th-anniversary hybrid event and cannot wait to share more details!

Brandon Carlson

Conference Chair

Lean TECHniques Inc
United States

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A self-proclaimed nerd, Brandon Carlson works for Lean TECHniques, Inc., an IT consultancy that helps teams deliver high-value, high-quality products to market. Since starting his career in 1995, Brandon has held positions from development and architecture to management — and he’s still learning. Passionate about developing both people and products, he and his team at Lean TECHniques have helped countless organizations from startups to Fortune 100 companies improve their product development and delivery systems. Brandon can be reached on Twitter @bcarlso and pretty much everywhere else on the Web as “bcarlso.”

Kevin Stevens

Program Chair

Delaware North
USA

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Kevin thinks that if you drew a Venn diagram with “acting degree”, “CS degree”, and “worked for Siegfried and Roy”, he’d be the only one in the middle. The combination of liberal arts/fine arts/technical helps him see problems from multiple angles and not just where the ones and zeroes go. He currently works for Delaware North, designing solutions across the enterprise.

Dana Pylayeva

Program Chair

Agile Play Consulting, LLC
USA

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As an Agile/DevOps coach and trainer with over 20 years of diverse experience in IT, Dana brings a unique perspective and stories ”from the trenches”. She’s been fortunate to work with co-located and distributed teams in the US, Canada, Ireland, Japan, UK, India, and Russia, and can share with you their distinct challenges, successes, and effective practices. She is an educational games designer and the author of several DevOps/Agile books and games, including “DevOps with Lego, Chocolate”,  “Fear in the Workplace” and “Safety in Workplace”.

Dana speaks and facilitates workshops internationally (50 conferences, 15 countries).  Being a part of the Agile comminity is her passion. Through running several meetups in NYC and organizing local and global conferences, she has met many inspiring, phenomenal people. She can’t wait to meet you and learn from you at Agile2021!

Jen Krieger

Program Chair

Red Hat
USA

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Jen Krieger is Chief Agilist at Red Hat. Most of her 20+ year career has been in software development representing many roles throughout the waterfall and agile lifecycles. At Red Hat, Jen guides teams across the company into agility in a way that respects and supports its commitment to Open Source.

Our 20th Anniversary Track Team

Berney Maloney

 Co-Chair: People Track

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Bernie’s career started with a flash and a bang. Literally. His first position was designing devices that protect telephone networks from lightning strikes. A few career pivots later, he had a flash of insight: it was possible to tap into latent potential in every person, every team, and every organization. The teams he’s worked with have grown businesses to beyond $100 million, delivering products from consumer electronics to network infrastructure to services & payments at firms including TiVo, Cisco, Wells Fargo and more. He’s also a Certified Scrum Trainer® teaching private and public workshops, including Agile Leadership at Stanford Continuing Studies. As an Agile Leadership Coach, Bernie helps his clients achieve performance breakthroughs with their teams, organizations and themselves. More, he believes that Humor Trumps All and that Accelerating Genius is possible in every person and business, and leads both to outrageous effectiveness, and a whole lot more fun.

Joanna Vahlsing

Co-Chair: People Track

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Joanna is a results-oriented portfolio, program, project management, operations and change leader with a history of leading highly successful teams in enterprise-level and global environments. She played a pivotal role in synchronizing multiple teams for the development, launch, servicing and sales enablement of Basis, the industry’s most comprehensive, automated and intelligent digital media platform. She continues to build cross-functional teams that aid in the business development and innovation at Centro. Joanna was previously Director of Digital Portfolio Management at Weight Watchers International for over seven years. Her background also includes five years managing Federal and State Accountability Programs for the State of Georgia and five years in project management consulting. Joanna is a founding Board Member of Women in Agile, a collective effort to recruit, network, promote, and support the work of outstanding women in the agile community. She also co-chairs the Annual Chicago Agile Open Space Women and Agile event. She is often found at most local women in technology networking events, such as ARA, Chicago Innovation and Ellevate events, showing her support and contributing to their causes. Joanna is an avid traveler, sailor, scuba diver and marathon runner. She lives in Chicago with her husband and French bulldog.

Cheryl Hammond

 Co-Chair: Process Track

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Cheryl Hammond, a.k.a. @bsktcase, has a couple decades’ experience as a software leader in the private and public sectors. She ran her team’s successful adoption of Scrum-ban for a mission-critical regulatory compliance project under multi-agency state and federal government oversight, mentored former COBOL devs into true-believing unit-testing XP evangelists, and turned a threatened software product at risk of litigation into a lean, revenue-generating flagship offering in nine months, all of which leads her to believe that anything is possible. She is not sorry for her many biases, including strong preferences for servant-style leadership and team-based, holistic problem-solving and a strong aversion to agile zealotry. Whether consulting or in-house, Cheryl endeavors to make life suck less for software delivery organizations and the humans who inhabit them.

Itopa Sule

Co-Chair: Process Track

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Itopa is an Agile Coach with focus on People, Teams and Product Development. He is a practitioner with over 15 years of successfully building, leading and coaching high performing teams at all levels. Itopa believes that achieving business goals and creating ‘safe and open’ work environment for people to do their best work are not mutually exclusive and his passion is to inspire teams at all levels to aim for both.

Doc Norton

 Co-Chair: Technical Track

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Doc is passionate about working with teams to improve delivery and building great organizations. Once a dedicated code slinger, Doc has turned his energy toward helping teams, departments, and companies work better together in the pursuit of better software. Working with a wide range of companies such as Groupon, Nationwide Insurance, and Belly, Doc has applied tenants of agile, lean, systems thinking, and servant leadership to develop highly effective cultures and drastically improve their ability to deliver valuable software and products.

Cat Swetel

Co-Chair: Technical Track

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Cat is an engineering manager with experience applying Agile and Lean principles in a variety of settings: from startups to large enterprises, warehouses to Web, etc. She is passionate about increasing diversity in tech. In her leisure time, Cat enjoys making jokes about Bitcoin, hiking, and reading feminist literature.

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

 Co-Chair: Experience Reports Track

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Rebecca is President of Wirfs-Brock Associates and Director of the Agile Experience Report Initiative. She helps organizations and individuals hone their design and architecture skills, improve system quality and manage technical debt. In addition to coaching and mentoring she conducts workshops on agile architecture, design heuristics, and pragmatic software design. She invented the set of design practices known as Responsibility-Driven Design (RDD) and by accident started the x-DD meme. Rebecca is also the Agile 2020 and XP 2020 Experience Report Track Co-Chair. She is on the Board of the Hillside Group and writes patterns and essays about sustainable architecture, agile QA, and design heuristics. If you want to share experiences or wisdom in pattern form, Rebecca can help you turn your itch for writing into the written word. Read her blog at www.wirfs-brock.com/blog and find articles and patterns and essays on her resources page, www.wirfs-brock.com/Resources.html

David Kane

Co-Chair: Experience Reports Track

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David Kane brings over 25 years of IT experience with a focus on software development. He has been leading and coaching teams through Agile approaches since 2001. He has created several workshops, games and simulations to enable experiential learning on topics including Agile planning, testing, product ownership, and enjoys adapting and facilitating the other great games and simulations created by others in the community. He is co-author of the book Software Architecture: Organizational Principles and Patterns, as well as many other articles, and presentations and on software development.

Agile2021 Planning Team

Ellen Grove

 Interim Managing Director, Agile Alliance

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Ellen Grove is the Interim Managing Director of Agile Alliance. Based in Ottawa, Canada, she has been working in software development for over 20 years, moving from software testing to user-centered design to managing development teams to Agile coaching and training. She is an Agile Coach, trainer, and facilitator who works with organizations of all sizes — from startups to multinationals — to help them find more effective ways of working based on Lean and Agile principles and practices. After many years of organizing and presenting at Agile events at home and around the world, Ellen was elected to the Agile Alliance board of directors in 2017 and became the chair of the board in February 2020 before stepping into her current role.

Brian Button

Brian Button

Agile Alliance Board Liaison

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Brian Button is the Vice President of Engineering for Acertus in St. Louis. His organization is responsible for the online presence of Acertus as well as internal advanced technology projects. He began his career 30 years ago as a hardcore C/C++ dev on SunOS, building and delivering solutions in many languages and operating systems. He has worked in embedded systems, navigation software, mission control applications for NASA, and other interesting areas during his career. Eventually moving into Agile consulting and coaching, Brian has traveled the Western world helping organizations learn better ways of developing software. He was instrumental in introducing Agile and Extreme Programming to St. Louis and has been an active leader in the Agile and Extreme Programming conferences and community in the US since the early 2000s.

Jessica Small

Conference Logistics Team

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Jessica is a seasoned event planner who has played a key role in helping Agile Alliance create successful conferences for over a decade. As a senior program manager on the events team, she facilitates great speaker and attendee experiences using her superpowers of connecting people, devising smart solutions, and seeing the big picture while mastering the fine details.

Yvonne Dewar

Conference Logistics Team

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As a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) with over 30 years experience, Yvonne is passionate about the meeting and events industry. She has traveled extensively, directing and managing events for 20 to 5,000+ attendees. She feels privileged to have contributed to the success of Agile Alliance’s conferences since 2008. Yvonne loves bringing diverse people together to learn and network — especially face to face!

Tarah McMaster

Conference Logistics Team

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Tarah has many years experience as an event planner and has worked on many teams to create successful conferences for nearly a decade. Tarah brings positivity and high energy to every event that she is a part of, combined with her passion for delivering an outstanding experience. She believes in a hands-on, attendee focused approach when organizing each event. She holds herself to a high level of integrity and excellence and it reflects in her events. She looks forward to meeting you at Agile2021!