The Central Ohio Agile Association presents:

The Path to Agility

and featuring The Path to Craftsmanship

May 23 + 24 2018
Columbus, Ohio


Keynote Speakers

Aaron Davis @acdavisco

Aaron Davis is a thought leader and expert in the area of attitude and how it impacts every area your professional and personal life! He equips audiences with tips, tools and techniques on how to utilize the power of a Champion Attitude to reach their full potential!

Aaron was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska and from the age of 8 he was helping his Dad work in the evenings as a janitor in two of the town’s most prominent businesses.

Through this experience, Aaron learned the importance of having a Champion Attitude no matter what your role or title is. Through mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, emptying out hundreds of trashcans nightly, Aaron learned that it’s not WHAT you do rather it’s HOW you do it!

As a professional speaker, coach, and trainer, Aaron doesn’t believe in just making audiences “feel” better. Rather, he seeks to encourage and help them “Do” better both professionally and personally by stressing the importance of a Champion Attitude!

April Wensel @aprilwensel

April Wensel is an international speaker and the founder of Compassionate Coding, a company that helps technical teams cultivate sustainable, human-­centered software development practices built on a foundation of emotional intelligence. She has spent the past decade as a software engineer and technical leader at various startups in Silicon Valley, building products in such fields as healthcare, education, gaming, and user research. As an advocate for a more socially responsible tech industry, she also mentors technologists around the world and volunteers with organizations to teach coding to people from underrepresented groups. When not coding or speaking, she enjoys writing, running ultramarathons, and experimenting with vegan recipes.

Featured Speakers

Josh Anderson @nosrednAhsoJ

The Meta-Cast Comes Alive!

With four large-scale agile transformations under his belt, Josh Anderson has seen it all—good agile, bad agile, and other things sometimes referred to as agile. As the VP of product development at Broadvine, Josh is responsible for the company’s agile adoption and all aspects of software engineering. He gives back to the community by speaking regularly at industry conferences and co-hosting an agile-centric podcast.

Cindy Casebolt

Successful Agile Transformation - People Before Process

Cindy Casebolt, CSM, SPC, PMP, is an seasoned IT professional with over 20 years’ experience in building and directing technical teams which improve processes, streamline operations, and deliver quantifiable value to internal and external business partners, with a thoughtful approach to nurturing organizational change. She has led sustaining agile transformations for large and small organizations in the financial services, insurance and aviation industries. Cindy joined CAS as the Enterprise PMO Leader in 2017. She also serves as a consultant and adjunct instructor at Columbus State Community College, re-engineering CIS course requirements with agile methods to enable a workplace-centric learning experience. Cindy has presented at PMI and IIBA conferences on leadership, profession mentoring, and scaling agile.

Bob Galen @bobgalen

You Might Be An Agile Leader If / The Meta-cast Comes Alive!

Director, Agile Practices – Zenergy Technologies

Bob Galen is an Agile Methodologist, Practitioner & Coach based in Cary, NC. In this role he helps guide companies and teams in their pragmatic adoption and organizational shift towards Scrum and other agile methodologies and practices. He is Director, Agile Practices at Zenergy Technologies, a leading agile transformation company. He is also President and Head Coach at RGCG.

Bob regularly speaks at international conferences and professional groups on topics related to software development, project management, software testing and team leadership. He is a Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and an active member of the Agile & Scrum Alliances.

He’s published three agile focused books: The Three Pillars of Agile Quality and Testing in 2015, Scrum Product Ownership, in 2009 – 2’nd Edition in 2013, and Agile Reflections in 2012.  He’s also a prolific writer & blogger (at – and podcaster (at

Bob may be reached directly at: or networking via:

Joanne Perold @joperold

Agile, Entropy and Human Systems/Visualising Your Way to Better Problem Solving

Joanne is passionate about helping teams and people grow and improve.

She is a graduate of PSL (Problem Solving Leadership) and has worked for more than a decade in the software industry in all areas of software development. She is a Certified Scrum Trainer, and has participated in both Kanban training and coaching on Kanban initiatives. She recently attended the Cognitive Edge training from Dave Snowdon on complexity thinking and sensemaking.

Interested in both people and process improvement, she is continuously learning and finding better ways to solve problems.  Joanne has been a Scrum Master and Agile coach since 2009. She has spoken at Let’s Test Australia, Let’s test Sweden and Big Apple Scrum Day. She has given workshops at both local and international Scrum Gatherings

Ryan Ripley @ryanripley

Breaking Bad Scrum

A Professional Scrum Trainer with, Ryan Ripley has experience as a software developer, manager, director, and ScrumMaster at various Fortune 500 companies in the medical device, wholesale, and financial services industries. Ryan is committed to helping teams break the cycle of “bad Scrum” so they can deliver valuable software that delights their customers. The host of Agile for Humans, the top Agile podcast on iTunes, Ryan lives in Indiana with his wife Kristin and three children. He blogs at and is on Twitter @ryanripley. Ryan loves talking about all things Agile and promises not to speak in the third person if you come up and ask him a question.

Barry Tandy @BarryTandy

Visualising Your Way to Better Problem Solving

Barry has worked for the better part of his career in the banking industry with many different and diverse people and teams across various disciplines and in various roles. His passion for working with people has grown over the years and when he was given the opportunity to work with an Agile team as a Product Owner in 2013 he found a whole new world that he wished he’d discovered years earlier.

He has a worked closely with the Scrum User Group of South Africa is part of organising the local Scrum Gathering and has spoken at the gathering and local meetups and uses the learning from workshops such as Coaching Beyond the Team with Esther Derby and Don Gray daily as an Agile coach working with various organisations on a team and organisation level.


Matthew Badgley @agilebaconbeer

Deliberate Practice in an Agile Environment

Matt’s career journey has had him wearing many hats ranging from Systems Analyst to Programmer to IT Manager to Programmer to Director. Today, he works as a coach, change agent, and technical dabbler at Sketch.  He’s a practicing learner, aspiring leader, and he’s constantly walking the line between pragmatism and conviction when it comes to the application of Lean / Agile principles and practices.

Matt’s stated purpose is simple, “I believe in working with teams to help them get better, learn, and be successful in building stuff while having fun.”

At the end of the day, Matt believes in integrity, hard work, trial-and-error, people, and faith. 

Allen Bennett LinkedIn @Allenbenn

Where Does a Manager Fit in an Agile Setting?

Senior Agile Coach, Tata Consultancy Services

Allen Bennett is currently an enterprise agile coach supporting a major agile adoption for financial services company.  He has over 25 years as a software development manager and process improvement leader. He implemented integrated product teams at a defense contractor and learned to use Lean and Agile in a way that reduced overall delivery times to ¼ and improved quality 10-fold.  He is mentoring coaches and managers to transform their organizations by engaging employees, empowering teams, enhancing competencies, and growing appropriate structures for adaptive solutions.

John Caron @John_C_Caron

Systems Thinking Approach to Introducing Kanban (STATIK)

John Caron is an Accredited Kanban Trainer (AKT) and Kanban Management Professional (KMP). In addition, he has taken David Anderson’s Kanban Coaching Master Class and his Enterprise Service Planning class. He began his IT career as a developer. He then moved to project and program management and now is focused on Lean/Kanban training and coaching. John has worked for numerous consulting and IT companies throughout Central Ohio and has provide Agile, Scrum, and Lean/Kanban training and coaching to a variety of teams. He is currently employed at Nationwide Insurance where he provides Lean/Kanban coaching and training to the organization.

Kristen Elliott LinkedIn

What's Your Problem? Using Design Thinking to Define Your Customer's Needs

Kristen Elliott is an IT business consultant that currently supports several lines of business within Nationwide through long and short term portfolio planning. She has been with Nationwide Financial for five years. She received her bachelor of arts from The Ohio State University and her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Capital University.

Kristen has a key interest in utilizing different styles of problem solving not only to determine what strategic opportunities are present for her stakeholders, but also telling the right story to align how technology can benefit an existing business channel.

Sam Falco @stfalco

Coaching Around Resistance

Sam Falco is an Agile Coach at Agile Thought. A graduate of the University of South Florida, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in English. He began working in the software industry in 1999 as a technical writer, and also worked as a test engineer before becoming a Scrum Master in 2008.

Kevin Fox

Does Agile Need Architects?

With over 30 years in the IT field and experience across a wide range of industries and roles, I know firsthand that the one constant in technology is change and that most organizations struggle to accept this change as an opportunity, rather than a threat. As a hands-on architect, I get to help teams and clients make the most of those opportunities. Whether enabling development teams, leading organizations in transforming their technology environment or helping businesses to innovate through technology, I enjoy the challenge of meeting their immediate objectives while encouraging them to adapt, change and grow.

Timothy Holmes @timdsherlock

Delivering Fast (While Not Furious) with Microservices

IT application developer with Nationwide Insurance

Experience – Over 15 years as a Software Engineer

Certifications – Sun Certified Java Developer

Previous Experience – Test Automation

Technology Stack Experiences – Microsoft, Java, Web Development, Data, Big Data, Microservices, etc.

Hobbies – Family (Married, 2 Boys and Boxer Dog), Home Rehab/Renovation, Biking, Movies

Charles Husemann @chusemann

Working With Agile Resisters

Charles Husemann is a former mediocre developer who has become a somewhat decent Scrum Master/Agile Coach.  He has been working on agile projects for almost a decade and is focused on creating high performing teams who deliver exceptional software.

Tim Kasper

What's Your Problem? Using Design Thinking to Define Your Customer's Needs

Tim Kasper has been with Nationwide for six years in various roles in IT. He currently sits on the IT Strategy & Technology Innovation team where he is engrossed with the long-term planning of the IT organization and connecting Nationwide with the broader innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Tim has a passion for design thinking and solving real customer problems through a stronger, more emphatic understanding of their experience. He is especially fascinated by the convergence of social, market, and consumer forces which is reshaping how business is done.

Jon Kruger @JonKruger

Ditching the Office

Hi, I’m Jon Kruger and I am a software developer and technical leader in Columbus, OH. I specialize in software solutions, project leadership, and Agile coaching and training and I have experience in a wide range of industries and environments. I use my experience as a leader and software developer to find ways to create better quality software, improve the software development process, and maximize value for the business. You can follow me on my blog ( or on Twitter (@JonKruger).

Sam O’Brien @frauobrien

Watch Your Team Soar to New Heights

Sam O’Brien is an Agile Coach, Certified Scrum Master, SAFe Agilist and Retrospective Facilitator. Sam has worked with Fortune 20 clients to $100M companies in the US and internationally with distributed and diverse teams in all stages of Agile maturity. Since taking on her first XP project seventeen years ago, her experience spans all Agile methods and implementation approaches. She has experience in Finance, Manufacturing, Government, Medical Research, Marketing, Retail and Printing.

Sam’s passion for Agile is contagious. She trains management, business and IT teams with her Agile Express offering 2 Day Agile Bootcamps and 1 Day sessions on specific Agile topics from Scrum roles to Kanban.

She shares her home in Dayton with her loveable rescues, Charlie and Ela. Sam enjoys a proper pot of tea and can often be heard cheering for her favorite (football) soccer team or the local Dayton sports teams.

Linda Podder LinkedIn @lindakpodder

What Does a Scrum Master Do All Day?

Linda Podder is a passionate learner and full-time internal Scrum Master at Hyland in Cleveland. She has experience working across multiple methologies; Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban. She was instrumental in helping launch Hyland’s first SAFe implementation, and continues to work with additional SAFe programs as they launch. Linda loves to help teams solve problems by encouraging them to explore, innovate, and celebrate their failures as much as their successes. She is passionate about introducing as many of her teams to Agile engineering practices such as pair programming and testing, mob programming, and TDD. She appeared at ‘Women in
Agile 2017’, as part of the ‘New Voices’ session, and is excited to be giving her first full conference talk! Outside of work, she loves to game with her family and take pictures of her fluffy black cats.

Marc Rivera

Software Automation Design

Marc Rivera is currently working as an IT Architect at Huntington National Bank. He received his Masters of Science in Computer Science degree from Franklin University. He has more than 10 years of IT experience from insurance to banking industries. He loves to watch and play soccer especially with his son.

Dan Rice @CAinc

Agile & Continuous Delivery

Dan Rice is an Enterprise Agile Advisor and process improvement expert with CA Technologies. He works as a trusted advisor to architect agile solutions that solve the challenges organizations are facing and to help them realize revenue from their investments and deliver business value sooner. He has consulted with some of the largest organizations in the world to apply effective enterprise agile processes to ensure they realize the full value of their investment in agile. Dan has stood up, coached and helped many teams produce better and faster results. He has worked and consulted with both public and private companies in several industries including Software, Aviation, Telecommunications, Finance, Insurance, and Retail.

Dmitry Sharkov @DmitrySharkov

Mindful Metrics

A generalizing specialist always learning new things and help others do the same, Dmitry spends his time in the worlds of Java, Ruby, JS, testing, DevOps, and agility. He is an architect and program director at CareWorks Technologies, training specialists in test engineering, leading process and technology uplifts, and providing guidance and technical help wherever needed. Dmitry has an MPhil in Natural Language Processing from The University of Cambridge.

Stephanie Sharpe @Sharpeneverdull

Incentives: Silent Transformation Killers

I love adventure and new experiences! I have a one-year old daughter that’s been the biggest adventure of my life. I’ve been a Scrum Master, Scrum of Scrum Master, Release Train Engineer, and Coach. I have loved each one of those roles for different reasons. My focus is always on the people and the big picture. I’m passionate about helping people enjoy coming to work. I always tell people that I’ve been that person that gets to work and cries in the parking lot before going in. If I can help even one person to stop feeling like that, I will consider my time with them successful. My other passion is Agile Transformation. I love the complex problems Agile at scale brings. The challenge and reward are both big and I’m always up for it!

Jessica Soroky @jlsoroky

Becoming a Limitless Team

Jessica is the Director of Agile Delivery for NextGear Capital. As a Certified Scrum Master, Certified Red Belt Collaboration Architect, and the youngest Accredited Leadership Gift Coach she is driven by her passion for people. Working in the corporate world since 19 she has a diverse background of experience across industries including; insurance, pharmaceuticals, utilities, and finance. Deeply believing in teaching through demonstration she seeks to spread personal responsibility, agility, and choice no matter where she goes.

Damian Synadinos @dsynadinos


Damian Synadinos has been helping “build better software and build software better” for more than 25 years. Now, through his company Ineffable Solutions, Damian offers experienced-based and research-hardened talks, training, and consulting that are educational and enjoyable. His experience spans many roles and companies in diverse industries including airline, education, ecommerce, finance, insurance, retail, and commercial realty. Damian also helps organize an annual, regional testing conference, and frequently mentors, coaches, and advises IT professionals around the world. He is an international speaker and trainer, presenting fundamental topics applicable to a wide range of contexts at numerous conferences and corporations. Additionally, Damian has over 10 years of theatrical improv experience and frequently uses applied improv to teach a variety of subjects.

Jenny Tarwater LinkedIn @JennyKCMO

Never Would I Ever Do What?

Jenny Tarwater is founder of Blueshift Innovation. She is a Project Management and Agile enthusiast who specializes in coaching and training agile teams in Scrum, Kanban and SAFe.

Her background of working with diverse groups has allowed her to hone her training for students of all levels and teams. From coding HTML and Java at a .com startup in the mid-90s, to Enterprise Project Management with Sprint and Chrysler, Jenny has firsthand experience with not only leading Agile teams, but also what it takes to transition companies of all sizes to an Agile culture. Jenny is able to go above and beyond in the training and coaching she provides thanks to her dedication and enthusiasm. Her enriched communication skills allow her to transfer her deep knowledge of project management and Agile methodologies to each of her students.

Beth Taylor LinkedIn

Never Would I Ever Do What?

Driven leader with expertise managing all aspects of Information Technologies and Business Administration including development, business strategy, road maps and frameworks.  Skilled at executing change management and enterprise project management office initiatives influencing strategic players driving innovation. Proven leadership successfully guiding cross-functional teams on key projects to achieve optimum business results.  Offer creative strategies with a keen focus on customer satisfaction.

Brian Thayer LinkedIn

Accidental Agile Bullies

Brian is an 18 year technology professional whose recent focus has been on delivering technology solutions using traditional project management and agile methodologies. He’s held roles as a Project, Program, and Product manager, and has also led a team of Release Train Engineers.

Ben Thorp @BenThorpedo

Our Teams Are Dysfunctional and It's All Our Fault!

Ben’s passion is simple: to help software development professionals become the best versions of themselves. He uses his depth and breadth of experience as Developer, Consultant, Coach, Trainer, Manager, and Scrum Master to guide teams towards self-organization and help team members find purpose and satisfaction in their work. In his free time … he has no free time but does enjoy working outside, listening to sci-fi/fantasy/leadership audiobooks, camping, coaching kids sports, gaming, and hanging with his wife and 3 kids.

Hunter Willett

Don't Turn Agile Into a Four-letter Word: Why Agile Transformations Fail and How to Avoid It

Hunter Willett is a Manager in the Columbus, OH office of CapTech Consulting. He holds a degree in Information Technology from the University of Cincinnati. He has spent most of his career working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach in the banking and insurance industries for Fortune 500 companies. Hunter has a passion for delivering custom-driven solutions at both the team and program levels that enhance culture and software delivery.