Symposium 2018 Speakers

PMINYC is excited to welcome the following speakers, who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the 2018 Symposium!

speakers table 

Brent Hurley, PMP
Chief Problem Solver (Change Manager / Enterprise Agile Coach / Agile Strategist), Gira Solutions


Presentation Title: Agile Teams and the Transformation to Agility;  What to expect

Presentation Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 8:45 a.m.

Presentation Abstract:  This two-part workshop will focus on Agile, beginning with basic concepts and ending with Agile transformation. Learn all the ins and outs of structuring and managing a well-oiled, cross-functional Agile team, as well as how to make the ultimate transition into Agile in a smooth and orderly fashion. Topics will include:

  • Agile teams are X-functional teams

  • What is Agile: the Values and Principles

  • The structure of an Agile Team

  • Team creation

  • What does a team need? Skills inventory

  • Working agreements: Definition of “ready”

  • Definition of “done”

  • Distributed teams, can they work?

  • Working areas

  • Making transformation happen: The long and winding road

  • Making a change

  • The Kotter model

  • Small is where we start

  • What type of problems can we expect?

  • The guiding coalition

  • Focus, urgency and limiting the initiatives

  • Metrics and measuring the change

  • Quarterly change, what can we expect to see?

Biography: Brent Hurley is the Chief Innovator and Problem Solver at Gira Solutions and an Enterprise Innovation Coach based in New York. While working for Gira, he has instigated and completed multiple Agile rollouts with clients across a wide range of industries.

Hurley’s work covers teams, as well as product and enterprise coaching. He works across entire organizations, mentoring teams as they adopt Lean, Agile and Innovation practices. He also has worked with senior managers and leaders, helping them realize the business value of an Agile approach, not only for developing software, but for extending techniques and practices throughout organizations.

Prior to working in New York, Hurley worked in a wide variety of industries in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Learn more:

Daniel Wakeman
Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Educational Testing Services


Presentation Title: Agile DevOps and the PMO

Presentation Date:  Friday, April 20, 2018 at 2:15 p.m.
(Keynote Address)

Presentation Abstract:  Agile DevOps has been shown to dramatically streamline the software development process by providing ample feedback loops and automating the continuous integration and continuous delivery of code into production in much shorter, more frequent release cycles.  In Agile DevOps projects, operations staff provides support to the development team within the context of the project, rather than taking over support when the project is completed.  This approach presents new challenges to an organization's Project Management Office (PMO).  Project managers need a different set of methods and metrics to determine if an Agile DevOps project is on-track or in trouble.

In this presentation, Dan Wakeman presents the challenge to PMOs and recommends that PMI help Project Managers adapt to provide new best practices, methodologies, and measures to monitor the progress of Agile development within a DevOps construct.  As organizations move from waterfall to agile development and DevOps, all stakeholders need a shared PPM solution that allows the business view of the current application portfolio, a shared view of planning and priorities, common management for both waterfall and agile DevOps projects, and roll-up reporting of application delivery and portfolio value so the business can accelerate time-to-market without fear of losing control of the development process.

Biography:  As Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Daniel S. Wakeman is responsible for managing ETS’s long-term technology vision and roadmap, driving technology-enabled business innovation, exploring emerging technologies and trends, ensuring information security and leading advanced technology incubations.  Previously, he served for more than 10 years as Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at ETS, where he directed the creation and implementation of the major IT systems and processes used to operate the organization.

Prior to that position, Wakeman was CIO of the Elementary & Secondary Education division. In his first position as Chief Technologist at ETS, he worked with the Research & Development division and the Strategic Business Units to bring technology-enabled products, such as the Discourse product line, to market. He also managed that product line. Prior to joining ETS, Wakeman was the co-founder and CTO for, a business-to-business exchange for the elastomers industry, and Director of e-Business for DuPont Dow Elastomers. During his career, he has held many information systems-related and business positions with Dow Chemical, IBM, D&N Bank and the U.S. Air Force.

Wakeman received the Computerworld CIO Premier 100 IT Leaders award in 2008, was inducted into Michigan Technological University’s Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2009 by his alma mater and received the Information Week Top 500 Innovation award in 2013. He is also a member of the Wharton Fellows Program. Wakeman graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Michigan Technological University and received a master’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University.

Learn more:

Dave Williams
Senior Vice President Information Technology, OceanFirst Bank


Presentation Title: WTC Escape dovetailing Crisis Management and Disaster Recovery techniques

Presentation Date: Friday, April 20, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.
(Track 2b)

Presentation Abstract: Any major crisis that has the power to disrupt your projects has the potential to disrupt your people as well.  In this presentation, Dave Williams, 9/11 survivor and senior VP of IT at OceansFirst Bank, will discuss the importance of managing catastrophic risks with a sensitivity to human suffering and human crisis management. Williams is a career technologist who has a long history with disaster recovery and crisis management, including 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.

In his presentation, Williams will review his career history with disaster recovery and share his lessons learned for contemporary IT project managers. Williams’ presentation climaxes with the incredible true story of his escape from the World Trade Center on 9/11, where he had been employed by Morgan Stanley, developing an offsite IT disaster recovery center.  Thanks to efforts of Williams and his team, the Morgan Stanley technologists were able to walk from the fallen WTC to the new Brooklyn center and keep operations running for the bank. An incredible tale of courage and grace under pressure that will inspire everyone.

Biography: Dave Williams has worked for over 30 years in IT Management. He has extensive experience designing and implementing voice and data networks, covering security infrastructure, network architecture and data center design, as well as disaster recovery methods and strategies. Williams is certified in risk and project management best practices with applied experience.

He designed a disaster recovery strategy for the Morgan Stanley retail division (formerly Dean Witter) that was put into effect on 9/11 when his division’s primary data center — located on the 68th floor of Two World Trade Center — was destroyed.

Williams serves currently as Senior VP of Information Technology at OceanFirst Bank in Toms River, New Jersey.

Learn more:

Gene Gendel, CEC, LeSS, CSaS, CAL
Agile Coach, Trainer and Organizational Design Agent
Co-Author: Agile Coaching: Wisdom from Practitioners


Presentation Title: Treat Your Organization as a sushi roll

Presentation Date: Friday, April 20, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
(Track 1b)

Presentation Abstract: A successful Agile Leader must treat an organization, that is expected to transform, as a sushi roll.

Agile frameworks (e.g., Scrum, Kanban, XP), individuals’ roles & responsibilities, processes & tools, metrics & reporting, burn-up charts, estimation techniques, backlog prioritization, agile engineering practices, agile maturity models etc. – all of them are important attributes of a typical agile transformation. However, NONE of them are first-degree-of-importance system variables that are responsible for transformation success. Most of them are good superficial lagging indicators of agility, but they are all corollary (secondary and tertiary) to another much more important system variable.

Biography: Gene Gendel is an Agile Coach, Trainer and Organizational Design Agent.   Gendel is a proud member of the small community (about 94 people worldwide) of Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coaches (CEC). Today, he is the only CEC who resides in New York State.

Gendel’s goal is to help organizations and individual teams improve internal dynamics, organizational structure and overall efficiency. He strives to engage at all organizational levels: senior- and mid-level management, teams and individuals. In his work,  Gendel uses various methods, tools and techniques to strengthen the learning of others and to ensure that teams and individuals gain autonomy after he “coaches himself out of the job.” Throughout his long career, Gendel has served small, mid-size and large companies, domestically and abroad.

Gendel is a well-recognized member of global and local agile communities, where he influences people via open-space agile collaboration workshops, coaching retreats, group events and presentations.

Gendel is also a well-recognized blogger and publisher. He  is the co-author of the book Agile Coaching: Wisdom from Practitioners (free pdf). His collection of personal essays (“The Green Book”) can be found here.

Gendel strongly supports Scrum Alliance (SA) in its efforts of “transforming the world of work”. He is an active member of the SA working group of coaches and trainers that have been involved in improving SA certification/education programs, by aligning them with natural career paths of agile professionals: Team Level Coaching Certifications (CTC) (Gendel is also one of co-creators of the program) and Enterprise Level Coaching Certifications (CEC). Through these efforts, Gendel tries helping highly qualified individuals to differentiate themselves from lowered standards.

Learn more:


Michael Milutis
Creator, Director: IT Metrics & Productivity Institute
Computer Aid, Inc (CAI)


Presentation Title: Know Thyself: The Secrets to Total Engagement and Self-Actualization in the Workplace

Presentation Date: Friday, April 20, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
(Track 1a)

Presentation Abstract:  Michael Milutis will share what he’s learned from having consulted with hundreds of project managers and IT professionals from around the world on their personal branding and career challenges, and he will explain why self-knowledge, mindfulness, and self-actualization are such critical success factors for everyone who wants to go through this process.

Milutis will explore the key personal questions that every professional, manager, or executive must find the answers to and that are universal across industry verticals. He will walk you through this experience and then demonstrate how one’s learning strategy, networking strategy, and personal branding strategy all flow logically from the answers.

Biography: Michael Milutis is a marketing and new business development executive at CAI, a Managed IT Services firm committed to human capital development, continuous workplace learning, and best practices in software development.  At CAI, Milutis works with technology organizations to develop innovative learning cultures and he coaches individuals and teams so that they can develop continuously, grow personally, and realize their highest potential.

Milutis is the creator and director of CAI’s IT Metrics and Productivity Institute, an organization devoted to continuous learning and career development within the global IT community. In 2016, Michael launched the Institute’s mobile app, "The Great IT Professional", which puts the Institute’s  entire library of educational material in the palm of one's hand.  It was  the world's first mobile app for unlimited, on-demand PDUs, and delivers over 1000 hours of PDU approved content.  Milutis also gives keynotes and workshops around the world and offers coaching in the areas of human capital development and peak performance management. He is a past program director with the PMI Keystone Chapter and is active in PMI chapters within the Greater New York City area. Milutis is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and he resides in Easton, PA.

Learn more:

Michael Nir
President, Sapir Consulting USA


Presentation Title: Silent Influencing: Rediscover the power of body language to lead impacting change

Presentation Date: Friday, April 20, 2018 at 11:15 a.m.
(Keynote Address)

Presentation Abstract:  Yes, our environment is digital, and yet our most crucial collaborations rely on our skills to successfully negotiate, change perceptions and create agreement: getting a job, closing a deal, negotiating salary, leading a team through conflict, managing a project, leading a scrum team, implementing Scaled agile transformation; Influencing the decision makers in our lives, all depends on our mastery of simple and powerful non-verbal tools.

In this powerful, interactive and entertaining presentation, Nir energizes the audience to increase awareness and embrace proven techniques to silently influence the stakeholders in their lives, business and personal.

You’ll pair with a partner, mirror them, mimic gestures, ask them to open up without words and much more. Volunteers from the audience will join onstage to practice gestures and impress your colleagues. We’ll venture to experience signs of hostility, deceit and stress and challenge ourselves on how to impact them for mutual positive outcomes.

Key takeaways

  • Experience: How do I use the out, the body, to change the in, my thoughts and perceptions?

  • Inspire: How do I use effective body language to change challenging environments and situations?

  • Motivate: How do I expertly influence and lead change by awareness to the flow of experience?

Biography: Michael Nir is a Lean Agile inspiration expert and the best-selling author of The Agile PMO and Silent Influencing.  With over 17 years of experience in diverse industries, Nir has been leading change at global organizations, including Intel, Philips Healthcare, United Healthcare, DnB, Volvo Car Corporation, JPMorgan Chase, CITI and others.

Committed to breakthrough results as well as the journey, Nir balances a passion for creativity and innovation alongside tested proven approaches for solution delivery. Nir inspires people and teams to change, cognitively and emotionally, building on enthusiasm from climbing the hill AND reaching the top.

Nir aggregates technical acumen with study and practice of Gestalt therapy and Instrumental Enrichment, a philosophy of mediated learning. His clients represent a multitude of industries: Hi-tech, Banking, IT, Software, Health, Petrochemical and Infrastructure.

Nir is currently writing his 10th book: Succeed with Lean Startup in your corporation; The Guide, from the-trenches-to-the C-suite, to harnessing agile, lean, lean UX, design thinking and The Startup Way at scale, published by Apress® and due out in 2018.

Learn more:

Milos Topic
Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Saint Peter's University


Presentation Title: We are managing projects, but who is leading people?

Presentation Date: Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:45 a.m.
(Keynote Address)

Presentation Abstract: Leaders, or at least those who are in leadership positions have the greatest impact and influence on the overall strategy, direction and ultimately the outcomes of their organizations. Organizational culture is defined, communicated and propagated by leadership first. Those of us who are fortunate enough to lead other people must take such responsibility seriously and act in ways that place the long-term needs of our colleagues at the pinnacle. Focusing on the employees of the company should be the primary focal point, one that is approached with great vigor and intent by all great leaders consider that people (should) matter the most.  Additionally, each of our colleagues are motivated and driven by different things, and it is up to leadership to understand what those are and how to provide them when and where possible. While needs and motivators vary significantly, it is important to understand what inspires people and how to get everyone to work collectively towards a common vision and a common “why.”

Furthermore, and as great Peter Drucker said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, meaning that culture is an essential prerequisite to strategies, tactics and all other business and personnel decisions that need to be made in a course of a major project, process or service improvements. Culture is also instrumental in how much (if at all) organizations innovate and challenge status quo. With this in mind, it is critical to establish a culture where it is safe to take risks, try new things and even have some of those risks be less than successful. This environment where people are trusted and empowered and where experiments and errors are allowed is the best long-term approach towards sustainable and relevant innovation, new ideas and profitable businesses.

Biography: I have 20 years of hands-on experience in leadership, innovation strategies, technology implementation & business development while my formal education is a blend of science, technology and business administration. My journey in the Information Technology (IT) profession started in 1997 and over the past 20+ years I have worked on nearly all aspects of IT. I got underway with networking/cabling installs; tech support to programming in C++, C#, Java; web development; system/network security/administration and project management to my most recent positions of leading teams of amazing people providing innovative technology solutions and services while supporting a multitude of strategic and operational needs. I also coach mid-level professionals who aspire to executive positions and frequently speak on leadership, innovation, creativity, motivation, building teams & culture...across various industries, conferences and events.

Learn more:

Natalya Bah, PMP
CEO, Natalya H. Bah Consulting


Presentation Title: Put a Ring on It: Increasing Project Team Member Engagement

Presentation Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

Presentation Abstract:  Employee engagement is an issue facing all industries in the United States. This has been illustrated in the findings in the Gallup Study: The State of the American Workplace. But what does this study say about engagement and project teams? What is the potential effect on projects if team members are not engaged in their work? This presentation discusses the correlation between team member engagement and project success. More specifically it defines what key factors can define an engaged team member and how this can impact team development. It also discusses why project managers need to understand and focus on the key factors that impact engagement. This session will stress the need to flex our interpersonal skills, consider the tools and techniques of the Develop Project Team process and give actionable tips for how to go about working on this topic with your team. Through engaging stories and participation based exercises, audience members will come away with an understanding of what defines an engaged project team member and what the key factors must be present. Audience members will contribute to the creation of action steps for analyzing whether their own team members have engagement issues as well as how to prepare and implement a strategy to increase engagement. By leaving with actionable tips to increase team member engagement on their teams, attendees can immediately apply what was discussed during the presentation.

Biography: Natalya H. Bah of Natalya H. Bah Consulting helps individuals and organizations define and achieve their goals. She is a certified Birkman Method© consultant and utilizes this self-assessment along with her Define and Achieve Your Goals Process™ for her executive coaching services. Her clients come from various backgrounds including the legal, financial services, non-profit, real estate and government contracting fields. In addition to working with individuals, she also helps organizations strengthen their teams, develop individual leaders and improve their strategic goals. Natalya has been self-employed for nine years and previously served as a consultant for private and public sector clients. Natalya received her Master of Science degree in Project Management from George Washington University’s School of Business and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).


Enterprise Agile Coach, Unified Vision Group
Co-author, The Nehemiah Effect and Flow


Presentation Title: Increased Performance for any Project Via Flow
Workshop Title: Leading with Influence vs. Power

Presentation Dates:
Friday, April 20, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. (Track 2a)
Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 12:45 p.m. (Workshop)

Friday Presentation Abstract: In this session everyone will participate in a short game that demonstrates the practices, methods and frameworks which, when employed, guarantee performance increase. Presenter Ted Kallman has conducted this game with thousands of teams in conference Keynotes and Breakout Sessions in Europe and the US with remarkable results. The methods and frameworks are from his #1 Bestselling Book “The Nehemiah Effect: Ancient Wisdom From the World’s First Agile Projects” and his newly released book “Flow: Getting Everyone Moving in the Right Direction … and Loving it”.

Saturday Workshop Presentation Abstract: General Dwight Eisenhower once said, "It is easier to pull a string than to push it." Some experts call it servant leadership. However you describe this approach it will always result in more productive, higher performing teams when a leader works from a position of influence rather than power. During this session, attendees will learn about a simple framework that helps facilitate this approach.

Biography: As an Enterprise Agile and Executive Coach, Ted Kallman helps organizations in the common-sense adoption of Flow and lean-agile methods to increase project and organization effectiveness and value.  Ted is co-author of the international #1 Best Selling and Best Rated book “The Nehemiah Effect: Ancient Wisdom from the World’s First Agile Projects” listed as a ‘must read’ book in a survey by Spotify in Scandinavia and “Flow: Get Everyone Moving in the Same Direction … and Loving It” set for release in April of 2018.  He also co-authored a book with Jeff Tobe “Coloring Outside the Lines” that is focused creativity for Project Managers.  This book was given by the Project Management Institute to all 1,100 of its volunteer leaders at their Leadership Institute Meeting October of 2015.


Ted is a PMI-ACP, PMP, CSM, CSPO, CSP.  He is the founder of Agile West MI and currently serves as President of the Western Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute.


Ted is a founding member, Past President of the Lansing Rotary Club – Sunrise. His club awarded him the Paul Harris Fellow designation for his service. Ted also Chaired the Salvation Army Advisory Board in Lansing and served as Vice Chair for the State of Michigan for Justice Fellowship.


As a well-known keynote speaker Ted has presented to over 350,000 people over the past 30 years.  His interactive sessions are memorable and deliver useful information that will give attendees immediate benefits when implemented.


Ted has worked as a CEO, COO, CMO, and PMO in Europe and the US.  His projects have included; Manufacturing, Telecom, Software Development, Marketing, CRM, and PMO creation and Agile transformations with companies like Whirlpool, GM OnStar, Steelcase, ZF/TRW and Ericsson.