The Central Ohio Agile Association presents:

The Path to Agility

and featuring The Path to Craftsmanship

May 22 + 23 2019
Columbus, Ohio


Keynote Speakers

Amy Blankson Amy Blankson @AmyBlankson

The Future of Happiness in the Digital Era

Amy Blankson, bestselling author of The Future of Happiness, is the only person to receive a Point of Light from two sitting US Presidents. After graduating from Harvard College and Yale School of Management, she has focused her work on understanding how to cultivate happiness in a digital era.

She is a member of the UN Global Happiness Council, a Fellow of the World Innovation Organization, and is currently working with the IEEE to create standards for well-being in the creation of artificial intelligence and emotion awareness.
Most recently, Amy has shared her thought leadership as a speaker at TEDx, as a regular contributor for Forbes on Women, Technology, and Leadership, and as a featured professor in Oprah’s Happiness course.

Jurgen Appelo @jurgenappelo

Startup, Scale Up, Screw Up

Jurgen Appelo is a writer, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, illustrator, developer, manager, blogger, reader, dreamer, leader, freethinker, and… Dutch guy.

Since 2008 Jurgen writes a popular blog at, which deals with development management, software engineering, business improvement, personal development, and complexity theory. He is the author of the book Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders, which describes the role of the manager in agile organizations. And he wrote the little book How to Change the World, which describes his new supermodel for change management. He is also a speaker, being regularly invited to talk at business seminars and conferences around the world.

Jurgen is co-founder of the Agile Lean Europe network (for Agile & Lean thinkers and practitioners in Europe) and the Stoos Network (focusing on change agents for organizational transformation).

After studying Software Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, and earning his Master’s degree in 1994, Jurgen Appelo has busied himself starting up and leading a variety of Dutch businesses, always in the position of team leader, manager, or executive. Jurgen has experience in leading a horde of 100 software developers, development managers, project managers, business consultants, quality managers, service managers, and kangaroos, some of which he hired accidentally.

Nowadays he works full-time developing innovative courseware, books, and other types of original content. But sometimes Jurgen puts it all aside to do some programming himself, or to spend time on his ever-growing collection of science fiction and fantasy literature, which he stacks in a self-designed book case. It is 4 meters high.

Jurgen lives in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) — and sometimes in Brussels (Belgium) — with his partner Raoul. He has two kids, and an imaginary hamster called George.

Featured Speakers

Don Gray @donaldegray

GROWS Method Workshop/Future-Proofing Your Career

Having worked in software for 30 years I focus my energy and efforts working with executives to create the conditions where teams can flourish developing business value. I facilitate team learning and interdependent work. This includes assessments, focused coaching, public and private workshops.

I lead sessions at Agile meetups across the southeast, from Richmond, VA to Knoxville, TN to Charleston, SC. Topics range from Agile fundamentals to team dynamics to shaping Agile Adoptions.

I co-wrote two books with Jerry Weinberg, Esther Derby and Johanna Rothman: “Center Enter Turn Sustain: Essays on Change Artistry” and “Readings for Problems-Solving Leadership” You can find the articles I’ve written for free at


Allison Pollard Allison Pollard @Allison_Pollard

The Nitty-Gritty Practices of Agile Coaching/Creating a Successful DevOps Culture

Allison Pollard helps people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, Allison enjoys mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In her experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. Allison is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.

Rob Reed @RobReedJr

Breaking Down Scrum Values with Martial Arts

As an Agile Coach and 2nd Degree Black Belt TaeKwonDo Instructor, Rob loves to have fun and brings positive energy to everything he does. He can effectively communicate in a way that people can relate to. He is passionate about building relationships and supporting people along their journey whether it be with agility, martial arts or life!

Russell Cotter

Breaking Down Scrum Values with Martial Arts

Russell works at JP Morgan Chase as an Enterprise Business Architect and is involved in Agile Transformation. Originally from Australia, Russell has worked in professional services across multiple industry sectors and fully understands and coaches teams on Business and IT partnerships. Russell resides in Columbus Ohio with his partner and two children and he also instructs martial arts. Russell is a frequent industry presenter on Technology insights and Architecture.

Stephen Gristock Stephen Gristock

Destroy the Death Star – Using Agile!

Originally from Wales (UK), Stephen has an extensive background in agility and relentless improvement acquired as a consultant, practitioner and implementation leader. He is a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner, SAFe SPC, ISO, PMI PMP and ACP, S@S and SEI. He has also served as a member on both the SEI’s Change Control Board and the PMI’s OPM3 Development Team. Having managed several successful corporate agile transformation initiatives, he currently leads Eliassen Group’s Agile advisory and training delivery services in NY.

Kelly Holcomb

Agile 101? It's All Fun & Games!

Kelly Holcomb is an Agility Lead who has been working in Technology for 6 years at CAS in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to working on and with agile teams at CAS, she was a science teacher for 7 years. Kelly is a leader in the Agility Center of Excellence (ACoE) and Agile Community of Practice (ACoP) at CAS, and has helped plan and execute a course on Agility for the people in her organization. Transitioning to adult learning from being a teacher in the high school classroom has been both fun and challenging. Kelly has been able to transfer skills acquired from her previous career to benefit agility learning initiatives at her organization. Kelly’s passion is to develop unique and engaging lessons by utilizing a variety of teaching strategies with a goal of helping others achieve a deeper understanding about agility, focusing specifically on mindset change.

Rob Lancia

Agile 101? It's All Fun & Games!

Rob Lancia is an Agility Lead, Delivery Lead, and Scrum Master with CAS in Columbus, Ohio. With more than 30 years in Technology, Rob has succeeded in many other roles including Developer, Architect, Project Manager, Independent Consultant, Manager, and Product Owner, and has experience in a diversity of fields such as financial services, document management, insurance, product distribution, and electronic content management. Rob started at CAS more than 9 years ago as a technology manager, but his desire to fulfill his servant-leader destiny more holistically led him to sidestep into Agile leadership where he now spends his days. Rob continues on as one of the original members of the CAS Agile Community of Practice (ACoP) and the CAS Agility Center of Excellence (ACoE), and has helped lead the explosion of new learning styles at CAS, like our monthly ACoP Open Space meeting, our monthly ACoP Learning Series, and our quarterly ACoE Agility workshops.

Sameh Zeid Sameh Zeid @sam_s_z

Kata Thinking For a Manager-coached Agile Transformation

I coach teams and their managers on Agile transformation and Product Innovation. I have realized that the real coach for teams are their managers who model the desired behaviors and actions. I shifted my focus to coach managers on Agile championing for their teams and product groups which created a lasting impact. I frame my coaching intervention as experiment while working with both managers and teams.

Tiffany Scott @gr8scottfr33

Scrum with Kanban

Tiffany Scott is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company in Columbus, Ohio. Over the past ten years she has worked in the financial services, insurance, healthcare, transportation, and aviation industries in the Columbus, Ohio area in coaching, Scrum Master, and analysis roles. As an agile coach, Tiffany spends her time using interactive exercises to jump-start new Scrum Masters and infrastructure teams on their journey towards agility with a blend of Scrum and Kanban philosophies. Tiffany holds Professional Scrum Master (PSM I), Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO), Professional Scrum with Kanban (PSK), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM), and Kanban Management Professional (KMP) certifications. In her free time, she enjoys watching cartoons with her husband and two children.

David Linstedt, PhD Adaptive BCS @AdaptiveBCS

Adaptive Business Continuity

Dr. Lindstedt is a speaker, author, and champion for business continuity. Along with Mark Armour he founded and authored Adaptive Business Continuity: A New Approach. He is the founder of Adaptive BC Solutions ( He consults, teaches, and advises on project management and business continuity.

Paul Boos @paul_boos

Team Dynamics on the Forbidden Island/Polarity Management of the Agile Paradox

Paul is an IT Executive Coach with Excella Consulting helping managers and teams improve their game. He focuses on pragmatic ways Agile, Lean, and leadership techniques can applied to create more effective organizations. Paul has led small teams to large groups as a Federal, commercial, and contractor software development manager and coached numerous organizations in the private and public sectors. As an active Agile community member, he has founded numerous groups to help coaches and Scrum Masters, including the Agile Influencers of DC and the Games for Agility, Learning, and Engagement (GALEDC). He serves as the chair for the Agile Alliance’s Agile Coach Camp Initiative and a reviewer of the Agile2019 Coaching & Mentoring track.

Kevin Fox

Agile Strategies for Application Modernization

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.

Charles Husemann @chusemann

Agile Unifying Theory

Charles is a former developer who has transitioned in to an experienced Scrum Master/Agile Coach. For over a decade he has been working on agile projects focused on creating high performing teams who deliver exceptional software.

Chris Philipsen Chris Philipsen

A Playbook for Agile Managers

Chris is an Agile Coach and Jedi Scrum Master in Insight Digital Innovations’ Columbus office. A consummate servant leader, Chris helps any program, project, or technology to delivery to meet or beat client expectations through a common-sense Agile approach – using simple goals, transparency, and keeping things moving. Being Agile should be focused and fun!

Kalpesh Shah Kalpesh Shah @agilebrightspot

Is Our Customer Winning?

Kalpesh is a Culture Hacker, Speaker & Digital Product Coach with experience in creating and working with different shapes and sizes of Agile teams. He has worked with organizations ranging from Fortune 50 companies to startups, helping them make the transition to Agile way of working, implementing Agile at Scale, employ Lean Product Development approaches and instill Lean Startup mindset. His latest passion is Culture Hacking through continuous experimentation which will promote innovative thinking, extend openness, embody rationality, and bring design thinking into teams.