Program Speakers

Michael Barr

Michael Barr is Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Mount Royal University (MRU) and leads a team that supports over 12,000 credit students, 4,000 continuing education students and 1,300 professors, instructors and staff. Michael started his career in the trenches doing code testing, client support, and process re-engineering before moving to project management, earning his PMP and moving into leadership. While Calgary is home, Michael spent years working in the United States and across Canada and brings a unique perspective to IT leadership and strategy.

Stephen Cabano

Steve Cabano is President of PFI Project Consultants Canada, an affiliate of Pathfinder, LLC, a project management consulting firm specializing in the planning, development, and execution of domestic and international capital plant construction projects. With 30+ years project engineering and project management experience in the industrial and commercial facilities industry, he has provided cost, scheduling, procurement, and similar project related services for owner and government clients in the Petroleum, Petrochemical, Chemical, Power, Mining, Environmental, Pharmaceutical, Industrial, and Commercial industries in Canada, the United States, and throughout the world. Previously, as Executive Vice President of the IPMA, Mr. Cabano designed, developed, and presented project management related training sessions and is an internationally recognized training instructor. Mr. Cabano earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University and is a member of the Project Management Institute. He has also authored several articles for Chemical Processing, Chemical Engineering, Refinery Today, and PMI.

Marsha Connor

Marsha Connor is a Senior Manager with Cisco. She manages the Cisco Sales Associate Program (CSAP) which recruits, hires, and trains new university graduates in 13 locations around the globe. She has worked internationally (for IBM) as well as in Canada. She holds MBAs from Henley Management College in the UK and Ecole Grenoble in France. She uses her PMP, Six Sigma and Agile training daily in her position. She is a firm believer in “planning the work” and “working the plan”. She manages a global, distributed and remote team and embraces innovation – believing that if you are not innovating, you are getting behind. Her program’s latest pilot is in Artificial Intelligence.

Jimmy Godard

Jimmy Godard is the current past president of the PMI Portland Chapter. He performs the functions of Program, Change, and Service Delivery Manager for Bank of America and has been with the company for 20 years. Jimmy maintains 18 years of project management and consulting experience working in the Finance and Information Technology Industries. He holds a Master Degree in Computer Information Systems, a Master Degree in Business Administration (MBA), and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Information Systems and Technology. He is an instigator of process improvement and innovation with an unwavering determination to bring about results. He implements global changes in leading technology integration efforts for Infrastructure, End User Computing, Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures.

Roger Grant

Roger Grant is a veteran branding expert, naming consultant and professional speaker. For more than 20 years Roger has crafted captivating Brand Names and compelling Brand Stories for a wide range of technology, B2B and niche consumer enterprises. He is President and Chief Brand Strategist of Identicor Marketing, the only firm in western Canada that specializes in naming companies, products, services and technologies. Roger has dedicated his career to crafting mind-riveting messages. He has an uncanny knack for making complex ideas easy to understand and easy to remember. He is a master of telling a clear story in just a few words. In the first phase of his career, Roger learned the art of the sound bite as a broadcast journalist. He delivered radio newscasts and reported on a wide range of political and sports events. He interviewed the man on the street and a host of high profile individuals including Brian Mulroney, John Turner, Peter Lougheed, Joe Clark, Jean Claude Killy and theCrazy Canucks.

Roger is an accomplished and engaging speaker. His presentation style is entertaining, thought-provoking and interactive. He draws powerful lessons from unexpected sources. Every presentation is filled with novel insight and audience fun. Roger holds national standing with CAPS, the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

Mike Griffiths

Mike Griffiths is an enthusiastic practitioner with a long history of contributions to the project management community. He helped create the agile approach DSDM in 1994 and has been using agile approaches on his projects ever since. He served on the board of the Agile Alliance and Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN) and remains active in the agile community. He is concerned by the recent over application of agile approaches.

Mike is a frequent contributor to PMI standards and co-wrote the agile content for the recent PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition. He was also chairman of the author group and helped write the new PMI Agile Practice Guide that is bundled with the PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition. He was on the steering committee that created the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) credential and wrote RMC’s PMI-ACP Exam Prep book. He also co-wrote the Software Extension to the PMBOK Guide and participates in the PMI-SAC Mentor program. When not contributing to standards or publications, Mike trains and consults on effective project management. Combining elements of plan-driven, agile, leadership, and emotional intelligence, Mike tries to use the right tools for the job at hand. After 30 years in project management, Mike has come to realize that most complex projects can be simplified, and most conflicts can be resolved by taking the time to listen compassionately and jointly determine the best next steps. Project management does not need to be hard, but often in attempts to make things go quickly we make it harder than we need to.

Derreck Kayongo

With his trademark panache, Derreck Kayongo inspires and empowers with his courageous story of survival, social entrepreneurship and humanitarianism, and the life lessons he learned along the way.

Derreck is the founder of the Global Soap Project, which recycles used hotel soap and redistributes it to impoverished populations around the world. In creating this global humanitarian initiative, he demonstrated that a simple, yet novel idea has the power to transform the lives of millions. A Top Ten CNN Hero in 2011, his passion for helping others and commitment to innovative thinking earned him his former role as CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

From Ugandan refugee to successful entrepreneur and renowned human rights activist, Derreck inspires audiences to dream big as he shares his vision for harnessing the power of observation to identify issues and solve challenges in any community or organization.

With palpable energy and enthusiasm, he brings his personal guiding principles, coined as S.E.L.F. – Service, Education, Leadership and Faith – to life in emotionally-packed presentations that linger long after his speech. Dynamic and empowering on stage, Derreck inspires a spirit of entrepreneurialism and creative problem-solving while spurring audiences to invent their own self-made motto of success so they can create tangible change in the world.

Matt Laba

Matt Laba has been in the IT industry for 33 years in various roles and is a seasoned IT professional. He is currently the Director – IS Infrastructure, Operations, and Cybersecurity at Gibson Energy, and is the acting Program Manager for the ICS/SCADA Cybersecurity Program. Prior to that, he was Manager – Enterprise Architecture for AltaLink. Before these two management roles, he held various Project Management and Architecture positions for over 20 years in Calgary and Toronto. He obtained his Computer Science degree at the University of Waterloo.

Matt has presented and been a panel participant for numerous CXO conferences over the past three years. These sessions include “Adoption of Office365 Cloud”, “Heading Down the Azure Cloud Path”, “IoT Implementations – Live Case Studies”, and the most recent one was “IT-OT Convergence”. He was also the lead instructor for the Computer Science program at the College of the Rockies in BC from 2008-2011, revolutionizing new technical courses. The main thrust of his current role is Cybersecurity – both on the Corporate IS and ICS/SCADA environments. He is accountable for creating multi-year Cybersecurity strategies and roadmaps, and is currently well in to executing on those. The focus is on secured networks, new era security monitoring with threat analytics, cyberattack incident response plans, revamped vulnerability management, and full phishing/cybersecurity training programs. A key part of the ICS/SCADA initiative is the convergence of the IT and OT teams, and he now has both operational teams reporting to himself.

Matt is a very passionate and focused leader who is dedicated and driven to help organizations implement leading edge technologies to best enable productivity for the end users. This includes moving to the cloud, operating in a hybrid infrastructure, implementing mobility solutions, and providing leading edge network solutions – supporting the business with an any device, anytime, anywhere strategy!

Lee Lambert

Lee R. Lambert, has established the standard against which educators and practitioners in the field of Project Management are measured. In 1981 he was invited to join the team that created the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)® Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification Program. He is a Past President Central Ohio PMI, PMI Fellow (2009) and PMI’s Professional Development Provider of the Year (2007). Lee has authored two books and more than 30 professional article/whitepapers. He is also PMI SME for the EVMS Practice Guide and the Project Estimating Practice Guide. Educated in Engineering Design at Utah Technical College, he is a holder of a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. As the creator of the “Stealth Learning” concept, no other speaker can contend with his uncanny technical knowledge, unique material content and refreshingly entertaining delivery. Lee takes the saying; “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt” to the next level as he continues to “make a difference” in his chosen field. Lee is an Honorary Fellow of PMI-SAC.

Merri Lemmex

Merri Lemmex has 35+ years experience in training, including design, development and delivery of technical, regulatory, project management, and management skills courses. Merri has worked in many sectors including the financial sector with Ernst & Whinney, Federal Reserve Bank and the Treasury Board, the medical sector with the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons, Canadian Medical Protective Association, Glaxo Smith Kline and Duke University, and high tech with Wang, JIT Learning, Corel Systems, neuroLanguage and Halogen. She has owned and operated two businesses, and is an experienced manager in training and personnel management of large organizations. Merri currently is a partner in Lemmex Williams Training Inc., a family-owned management and leadership skills and project management training business which was started in 1979. Merri holds an MBA with a concentration in Project Management.

Antonio Parrottino

Antonio Parrottino founded AnMar Management Inc. specializing in business Performance Engineering and Change Management – Applied Behavior Analysis Science to Business. He has consulted for major companies like Nortel, Burlington Resources Canada, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., C.G.I. Corporation, Ainsworth Engineered Canada LP, Canaccord/Adams Capital Ltd., TransCanada, Talisman Energy, Nexen Energy, The Brick and Leons Canada, and the Petroleum Institute for Continuing Education Inc. (P.E.I.C.E.), to name just a few. He has delivered validated measurable results converted to millions of dollars annually to corporations with scientifically-proven Applied Behavior Analysis science techniques for several organizational performances for a variety of job roles and subsequently process, department, and organizational levels. Applied Behavior Analysis science has been successfully practiced in business, industrial, education, sports, and government areas since the late 1960s. In a survey of the research literature, Duncan (1989) reports the average improvement in business results to be over 69 percent. Mr. Parrottino is also the sole inventor of and U.S. Patent Pending on the applications of “Combined Behavior Schedules of Reinforcement Systems” in the Education and Demonstration areas of business. He is considered one of a few experts in the world in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis Science to Business. Mr. Parrottino currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.

Michael Patrick

Michael Patrick spends his days leading organizations across the chasm that seems to exist between the business results they want and how they deliver the projects that are supposed to get them there. He has solved this puzzle for organizations in the public and private sector across many different verticals. He was recently featured in this video case study showing how the worlds largest waterslide company went from 60% to 95% on time delivery.

Heather Reed-Fenske

Heather Reed-Fenske is the Director and Chief Information Technology Officer at The City of Calgary.

As the Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO), Heather’s role is to enable City business units to use technology to deliver services to citizens. The CITO oversees the investment, delivery and sustainment of The City’s technology infrastructure and leads planning for the development and growth of City business applications and communication systems. Her 26-year career with The City has spanned several business areas. This includes leading the 2009-11 Corporate-wide business planning and budgeting process, managing the move to a Corporate ERP (PeopleSoft), development of the City’s eGov/Digital strategy including the move to Open Data and management of major technology infrastructure projects.

Heather believes in supporting her teams to be solution-focused in their service to the many business units Information Technology serves every day. Her number one priority is to cultivate Information Technology’s leaders and staff to deliver business results to The City and citizens.  Heather lives by the credo that “every conversation counts”. She believes this is especially important when engaging with City staff about their contributions to making Calgary a great place to live.

Lyall Samaroden

Lyall Samaroden has spent his entire career helping individuals and teams successfully navigate the waters of organizational change. He developed his unique expertise in the strategy and change arena through a career encompassing various roles in industries where change is rampant; market leaders within government, media, travel, energy, and the defence sectors have turned to Lyall for exceptional results during times of change. Lyall is an instructor with the University of Alberta’s Alberta School of Business Executive Education team where he instructs components of numerous Executive Education Programs for organizations across Alberta. Lyall is also a leader in the emergent field of Design Thinking and uses tools and techniques to help his clients think differently, see new opportunities, and shape the future.

Graham Sherman

Graham Sherman is a self-professed “high level geek” who has used his love of technology to help him master the craft of brewing artisan beer. Together with his partner, Graham launched the Tool Shed Brewery four years ago, and has never looked back. Speaking on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, Graham’s passion comes through in every talk.

Prior to starting Tool Shed, Graham and his Tool Shed partner worked on contracts for the Canadian and US governments and military forces, installing encrypted, tactical communication networks. By day, they rolled around Afghanistan in armoured vehicles, “geeking out” in the world of satellite communications. By night, they aimed their obsessive, high-level thinking at mastering everyday tasks such as coffee, learning to control their homes in Canada remotely with their iPhones….and finally, perfecting batches of beer.

Now sold in over 1000 locations in Western Canada, Tool Shed has its 15,000 square foot headquarters in Calgary, and the team behind the brand has also been nominated as Canadian Entrepreneur of the year, the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs, with programs in 145 cities in 60 countries. They were also named as two co-winners of the “40 Under 40” recognition from Avenue magazine.

Susana Slavnik

Susana Slavnik is currently with the University of Calgary as Director, Administrative Services.  She will speak to her recent role at the City of Calgary in the Corporate Initiatives Division where she brought a multi-disciplinary perspective to her work. By training, she is a management consultant, a program manager, an executive coach, and a PMI fellow. She is continuously pushing the boundaries of inter-disciplinary thinking whether implementing a corporate project management framework, defining a stage-gating standard, setting up a business transformation program office, or establishing a strategic management practice. She loves a big idea and the challenge of making it happen.

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