2014 Agile Alliance Board Candidate Statements

The Agile Alliance Board Nominations Committee has submitted a list of proposed candidates and candidate statements for consideration by Agile Alliance members.  These nominees will appear on the upcoming email ballot which will be sent to all Agile Alliance members. Voting will continue through Wednesday evening, July 30, 2014 – the evening of the Annual Agile Alliance Member meeting. The member meeting will be held at the Gaylord Palms Hotel in Orlando, Florida in the Sun Ballroom "C" during the Agile2014 conference, starting at 5:30 pm EDT.

Candidate Statements

Linda Cook (USA)

Like many other Agilest, I started my career writing software. My IT career spans many technologies, industries, and roles. For example, I was the Director of Software Development at an international education services organization responsible for multiple development teams using the latest web technologies. Today, I’m an Agile Program Lead at PayPal and Agile Transformation Liaison.

Regardless of my role, I’ve always had the desire to find better and more effective ways to solve business problems with IT solutions. My passion is working with people to help them find the best way to deliver great products. For me, how we work as a team is an essential ingredient of a great work experience. As a coach, I strive to help individuals achieve their role on the team and even outpace their own expectations.

I’ve helped Fortune 500 companies successfully adopt Agile and Lean practices including SCRUM, XP, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Kaizen, and others. For the past few years, I’ve been invited to speak at local and national events speaking about Agile Transformation, Scrum, and Kanban.

One of the aspects of my work that I enjoy is the opportunity for lifelong learning and sharing what I’ve learned with others. I adapted my Lean Six Sigma training and developed a 5S Process workshop. In this workshop, the team members re-purposed a mixed-use conference room to a functional agile team room by applying these practices.

I’ve been actively involved in many non-profit and not for profit organizations. My volunteer work includes: Agile Alliance Board member, Agile Leadership Network Board member, helped organize several ALN Summits, Agile Coach Camp Raleigh, NC 2010, Volunteer Coordinator for CWIT at the University of Maryland, Co-chair of the ALN Maryland Chapter,  and volunteer speaker coordinator for eWIT.

As a board member of the Agile Alliance, I want to be a force for bringing together the various Agile organizations to collaborate and to share Agile practices around the globe. . As a member of the Board, I support the internationalization program and strategic growth for the Agile Alliance.  I believe the true strength of the Agile community is in the values we share. While we have developed significant expertise in software development, there is a lot of opportunity to bring Agile values, processes, and practices to businesses and leaders.  Hopefully, someday agile practices will become the universal way of working together.

Stephanie Stewart (USA)

I am one of the fortunate folk that get to do exactly what it is I have a calling for: AGILE.

At work, I’m Director of Agile Leadership to Valpak, a Cox Target Media company. I always like to say that you can’t have “Agile” in your title without the willingness to carry that torch high and proud.  That’s me!  As head of the Agile Leadership Office at Valpak, I’m the Agile champion and coach. I’m responsible for championing, governing, scaling, and measuring the Agile framework within IT and across the enterprise. I lead the team of Agile Project Leaders in the roles of ScrumMaster, Kanban Lead, and Agile Project Manager.  I also oversee the IT Business Analysts and IT Release Manager.

My greatest professional success has been my leadership of the Agile transformation of Valpak and now the scaling of it across the enterprise.  We set out on Sprint 1, with a hope and a prayer, way back in October 2011 and I continue to nurture and feed our Agile enterprise to this day.  I am so proud of the role model we’ve become to the Agile community.

Speaking of community, I love sharing Valpak’s Agile transformation story with others and community outreach has become a huge part of what I do each and every day.  Some of what I’ve accomplished within and across the community over the past couple years includes:

  • I organized and hosted the first ever Florida Agile Open for almost 150 people in St Petersburg, Florida in June 2014.
  • I regularly share my experiences by blogging on anything and everything Agile at www.iamagile.com.
  • I organize the Tampa Bay Agile Meetup group providing top quality topics/speakers, food, and facilities consistently month after month.  The meetup group has grown by about 600% (from 100 to 600 members) in just two years under my leadership.
  • I contributed a case study on our Agile transformation to a book, “Managed Agile Development: Making Agile Work For Your Business” by Charles G. Cobb.  A textbook and class is also in the works at Boston University based on this book.
  • I produced a video for YouTube about Valpak’s Agile transformation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0As88akpXs).
  • I frequently give live tours of the Agile framework, as applied at Valpak, to other companies to further inspire their Agile transformation efforts.

As far as academics go, I’ve got a BS in Marketing from the University of South Florida and an MBA in International Business from the University of Bristol in England.  I’ve maintained the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification since early in my career.  I earned the PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) credential just as soon as it was made available as part of the pilot group. And, somewhere along the way, I became a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) too.

Before I found Agile (and Agile found me), I was a career project manager with over 16 years in the field, including past positions with AT&T Business and IBM Global Services.  As a career project manager, I grew bored.  Agile lit a fire in me and I carry that torch with pride.

Agile is blowing up all over the world and we need a strong organization like Agile Alliance to guide us through our journey by providing education, sharing knowledge, evangelizing, and ultimately growing and developing the Agile community. To me, the Agile Alliance is all about partnering with businesses and individuals to further the cause and help them along on their Agile journey.  I would be honored to ride along on that journey as an Agile Alliance board member.