Robyn Benincasa

Lunch Keynote Address: The Essential Elements of Extreme Team Performance

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Robyn Benincasa is the founder of World Class Teams, a world champion adventure racer, a CNN Hero, former corporate sales expert and a full time firefighter who advises organizations on building World Class Teams of their own. One of the highest rated female speakers who regularly shares the stage with world leaders and business icons, her customers include many Fortune companies like Starbucks, Deloitte, Aflac, Fast Company, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, ARAMARK, Siemens, 3M, Coldwell Banker, Ameriprise, Microsoft, AT&T.

Menlo 101: Comparision of Roles and Methodology

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John Martin

John Martin joined Menlo Innovations in March of 2011. Since joining the team, he has played many different roles at Menlo including: software developer, High-Tech Anthropologist®, transformational consultant, and project manager. John has experience working on a variety of projects ranging from FDA medical device software to personal and auto insurance quoting solutions.

Working as a project manager, John has utilized The Menlo Way™ processes and tools - an Agile inspired set of methodologies inspired by practices such as iterative and incremental development and Kent Beck’s extreme Programming. These processes create transparency in the software development process and empower stakeholders to make business decisions to drive their project.

Prior to joining Menlo, John worked for a literary management and film production company in Los Angeles, CA. This opportunity allowed John to experience both the creative and business sides of producing feature films as well as working with many different clients. After leaving the film industry, John moved back to Ann Arbor, MI where he acquired a Master’s Degree in Computer Information Systems from Eastern Michigan University.


Andrew Muyanja

Menlo High-Tech Anthropologist: Since joining Menlo Innovations in 2014, Andrew Muyanja has worked on a diverse set of user experience design projects, using Menlo’s High-Tech Anthropology process, in domains like logistics management, investment management, medical software, automobile maintenance and insurance. Andrew has also been involved in transformational consulting, which involves coaching staff within organizations to champion the use of end-user feedback in making design and business decisions.

Prior to joining Menlo, Andrew pursued a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Michigan. He also worked on a number of user experience design projects in areas like crime records management, road maintenance, and student evaluation of teaching.


Panel: Aaron Jenkins, Mayank Pandya, Jill Golon and Suchi Das

Moderators: Dan Beltran and Roberta Schwartz

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Session Description

Since last September, there have been three projects started at American Family Insurance that are utilizing the Menlo tools, processes, and behavioral components. This panel discussion, comprised of two project managers and two HighTech Anthropologists™, will discuss their experiences with the rollout of The Menlo Way™ at American Family. Specifically, this session will provide a high-level background that led American Family to pursue rolling out The Menlo Way™, provide panel feedback regarding lessons learned, cultural change needed, and tools used in the rollout, and have time for an open question and answer section.


Brian Vanderjack

Session Speaker

Brian’s full time job is as an Agile Scrum Coach for AT&T, where he develops & delivers training and assists Agile Scrum teams to get better. In this role he won the award for outstanding team contributor. Before this he was a project manager for over 15 years. In this role he won the Excellence in Project Management Award from AT&T. Currently he is assisting in creating AT&T’s class for how-to-pass-the-PMI-ACP-test.


Chad Beier

Session Speaker

Chad works with all levels of the organization to optimize your business to respond to change. I am passionate about moving organizations and people closer to agility. My passion for training led me to the public speaking realm. I’m passionate about speaking on any topic that contributes to improvements surrounding organizational structure/behavior/effectiveness, modern management, agility, Scrum, Kanban, team dynamics.


Chad Kopitzke

Session Speaker

Chad Kopitzke is an Xer stuck between two of the largest generations in American history—millennials on one side, boomers on the other. Through his background of managing internship programs on a state university campus, Chad has effectively played third party between companies and students. He hears what business leaders need and what keeps them up at night. And he understands today’s college kids—how they think and what they value.


Jeff Tobe

Session Speaker

Certified Speaking Professional Jeff Tobe, M.Ed., CSP, was chosen by readers of Convention & Meetings Magazine as one of the top 15 speakers in North America. He is one of the most dynamic speakers in the world, as attested to by clients including PNC Bank, Microsoft, RE/MAX International, Erickson Living, The Dubai Water Authority and Pepsi Cola International. He prides himself on presenting up-to-the-minute, cutting-edge material as it relates to designing the ideal customer EXPERIENCE by getting your people more ENGAGED at what they do every day. Jeff is the author of the wildly popular book Coloring Outside The Lines and co-author of the best-selling books The Sales Coach and The Communication Coach.


Laura Barnard

Session Speaker

Laura Barnard, is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, and coach on the topics of Project Management and Change Management. She is the Founder and CEO of PMO Strategies and has spent more than 20 years creating impactful and sustainable change for a broad range of organizations, from nonprofits to global financial institutions. Laura combines her deep project and change management experience and industry knowledge with her passion for helping people get things done to transform how organizations realize business strategy.


Paula Riesch

Session Speaker

Paula has been an IT leader and change agent for IT organizations for over twenty five years. She has extensive experience as a project and program manager, PMO leader, and champion of IT process improvements. Paula led DHP’s agile transition in 2016 and is currently a Release Train Engineer, providing execution-focused leadership to 6 agile teams.


Tom Crea

Session Speaker

Tom Crea challenges leaders to live their values. A retired Army officer and Blackhawk helicopter pilot with decades of leadership experience, he interacted with employees at every level, from Private to 4-star General.

Tom served in high-level leadership positions in aviation, information technology, and higher education environments, including four years as a project manager and two years in program management. Today, he shares frontline and “in the trenches” lessons learned with managers who want to set the example and lead their teams more effectively.

Tom studied Computer Science as an undergrad and he holds Masters Degrees in Computer Science and Political Science. He is the author of “Unleash Your Values: How to Lead and Succeed in Business Today… A Helicopter Pilot’s Spin on Developing the Leader in You”


Tom Flitter

Session Speaker

Information technology leader with substantial experience in application development, program management, project management and team development. Proven ability to analyze, plan, lead and execute business results in a wide variety of industries and environments.

Years of experience in leading complex, strategic, cross-functional, high ROI technology initiatives. Strong leadership abilities in project management, quality assurance and software/application development. Keynote speaker – Integrate 2011 conference, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – Process Automation and Dynamic IT Session Track Speaker – Innovate 2013 conference, Savanah, Georgia – Technology and Business Automation United Way of Dane County – Leadership Giving Keynotes 2016 and 2017 Certified SAFe Agilist

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