Meet our Speakers
Opening Keynote Speaker
Ramiya Iyer leads the technology teams for digital, data and pharmacy. Her leadership team is focused on acceleration of innovation and investment in digital technology as well as modernizing our legacy core store systems.
Prior to joining Albertsons, Ramiya was the Vice President of the e-commerce technology group at Levi Strauss & Co. She was instrumental in building and scaling e-commerce platforms and analytic capabilities worldwide. Prior to Levi's, she held various IT leadership roles at Walmart.com and SamsClub.com, leading the technology, engineering, and product teams to incorporate new technologies for search, analytics, and rich, personalized consumer experiences.
Closing Keynote Speaker
Kimberly Wiefling helps individuals, teams and organizations achieve what SEEMS impossible, but is merely difficult. How? By turning managers into leaders and groups of people into real teams through her unique "WorkShocks" - highly engaging, experiential, interactive "Learning Laboratories" where meaningful positive change happens.
DEEP EXPERIENCE with GLOBAL COMPANIES: Kimberly has worked all over the US, Europe and Asia, traveling to Japan over 100 times, to work with culturally diverse employees of globalizing Japanese companies. Her superpower is bringing people with diverse backgrounds, cultures; styles together, across borders and boundaries of every kind, to achieve what none could do alone. See details of her work at Silicon Valley Alliances.
Lejla Čizmić, M.A., SPC4, CSM, CLSSGB is a seasoned Agile and Lean professional with experiences ranging from implementing Lean methods in Software Startups with a dozen of scrum teams to implementing Enterprise Agile Frameworks and Lean Manufacturing methods in Hardware Manufacturing environments with 400+ scrum teams.
After a decade+ of maximizing value as a Business Operations, Software Program Manager and an Enterprise Agile and Lean Coach for other Fortune 50 companies such as McAfee and Intel, Lejla now optimizes clients’ processes through Value Vectors LLC | AGILE and LEAN [means], her own coaching, training and consulting company.
Throughout her career, Susan Schwartz led a variety of corporate and government teams through organizational change and technology transformation. Her change toolbox combines process review, crucial conversations, Emotional Intelligence assessment, and knowledge sharing strategies.
She recently relocated to the San Francisco from the Washington, DC area where she was an active member on the PMIWDC governance board and a frequent presenter. Last year, she published, Creating a Greater Whole: A Project Manager‘s Guide to Becoming a Leader.
Watch for her workshop, Emotional Intelligence for Project Leaders, November 2, 2019. Go to https://pmisfbac.org for information and registration.
Tom Kendrick (PMP) recently retired as Program Director for the UC Berkeley Extension Project Management Curriculum. He is the author of How to Manage Complex Programs (AMACOM, 2016), Identifying and Managing Project Risk (AMACOM, 2015), and three other popular books on project management. Tom regularly conducts classes and presentations on program, project, and risk management.
Tom spent 20 years with Hewlett Packard in its Project Management Initiative and in a variety of other management responsibilities. He has over 40 years of worldwide PM experience, including work for Visa Inc, DuPont, General Electric, and as an independent consultant. Tom is a past president of the Project Management Institute Silicon Valley Chapter and frequent PMI project volunteer.
As the Founder and Principal of Context Leap, Melissa works with global leaders in tackling their biggest strategic business challenges with human insights and design. A former strategy consultant, she brings 14+ years of tech sector experience in innovation, customer experience, and business transformation for Fortune 500 organizations and early-stage startups. With a background in Social Sciences from the University of Washington and People Analytics from MIT, she works with clients to prepare leaders and teams for key transitions by balancing innovation agendas with holistic approaches to creating strong team dynamics and culture. Previously, she was the Director of Customer Experience at Idean, a Capgemini global design agency.
Faten Hijazi is a business/technology leader with over 20 years experience working in engineering, operations, business development and strategy. With a background leading engineering teams in semiconductor chip design for telecommunications, she has successfully managed multi-million dollar programs and set waning business lines on a path of record breaking growth. At Google, she managed a team of program managers and initiated a framework to digitally transform operations for cloud capacity management. She is passionate about driving systemic change and is currently Founder and CEO of SystemThink - a niche consulting firm assisting leadership teams to develop sustainable strategies and action plans.
Vishwa Shroff is a Digital Leader and a Senior Product/ Program Manager with many years of experience delivering data-driven insights and analytics to drive digital and product strategies at scale and optimize the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Vishwa uses a highly cross-functional and agile approach to work on digital transformation initiatives at diverse Fortune 500 companies such as the Gap, Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and ServiceNow. Vishwa holds an MBA in Marketing and Information Systems and a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communications. Vishwa currently works at ServiceNow where she manages the Digital Transformation program across the enterprise, driving the adoption of digital framework and development of an app.
Outside of work, Vishwa loves to travel (18+ countries and counting), building complex Lego structures with her nephews and explore new coffee spots around the Bay Area.
Olga Zhuravel is a process expert and human resources professional. Olga has 14 years of international HR experience with a strong focus on recruitment, training administration, HR processes optimization, development and implementation, system implementation and data protection. Certified Six Sigma Green Belt; certified Coach for performance; CIPD accredited in Employment Law and Employee Relations. Olga currently works at ServiceNow where she drives the Digital Transformation effort for the Global Talent (HR) organization.
Outside of work, Olga loves hiking and spending time with her toddler.
Avinash has managed several business/digital transformations successfully at HP and VMware. Avinash possesses 20+ years of experience in managing complex global PMO’s, portfolios, and programs in enterprise and consumer products and services, with domain experience in SaaS, mobile Apps, transformations, and Cybersecurity. A “Stanford Certified Program Manager”, Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Product Owner, Certified SaFE practitioner, and Kanban practitioner, Avinash has a “Master of Technology” degree from Mysore University, India. His corporate experiences include:
VMware -- Staff Technical Program Manager: May 2017 to current.
Cisco -- Portfolio and Program Manager Cyber Security: December 2015 to April 2017
HP -- Head of Global PMO, managing complex Global Portfolio and programs: October 1999 to August 2015
Anup Deshpande, PMP, PMI-ACP, SPC, CSP, CSPO, CSM, IGCCA has been instrumental in Agile Transformation at the enterprise level and has over 24 years of program and portfolio management experience in the Software Industry. He currently serves as the President of PMI
San Francisco Bay Area Chapter and has been on the board for 2+ years. He also serves as the Agile Advisory Board member at the UC Berkeley Extension. He has led PMI Silicon Valley Chapter as the President in 2012 and has been the advisor to the board for a few years.
He is currently employed at Broadcom as a Global Head of Portfolio and Program Management for the Security and Integration Org. Prior to this, he has worked at Visa, Yahoo and various other small and large organizations where he spearheaded multiple cross-organizational goals to successful completion. More about him on
Kerstin Gammon is the co-founder and CEO of Blueberry Management, Inc. As an Engineering Project Management professional, she has over 15 years of experience at top organizations such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, PG&E and most recently Topcon Positioning Systems. She has routinely integrated Lean Six Sigma practices into project management and utilizes a tailored approach to obtain project
transparency and efficiency. She has successfully led multiple R&D efforts to product realization and is an expert at successfully managing globally distributed, cross functional teams. Her experience and training make her uniquely adept at managing highly complex projects in fluid environments.
Sonja Koppensteiner’s professional experience focuses on managing projects in software product development throughout their entire SDLC. She has held various program management positions to develop solutions for utility, EDA, Telecommunications, software security, cyber security and IT. She taught project management at UCB Extension, UC Irvine, NDNU, University of Economics Vienna, and more. She holds a PhD in CS from JKU,Linz Austria, a MS in Management from NDNU, Belmont CA, a MS in EE from TU Vienna Austria.
Andrew’s motto is “Know what to do, when you don’t know what to do!” As an Enterprise Coach, that is exactly how he helps individuals, teams, management, and executives to increase their productivity, experience, and effectiveness. In a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world, much of the time we’re faced with situations we’ve never faced before. How can we learn how to not just survive but thrive under such circumstances? Ask Andrew.
Andrew has worked in three countries on close to hundred projects in industries as diverse as IT, EPM, biotech, environmental engineering, and finance. He now coaches and trains individual, teams, management, and executives, as well as being a highly engaging speaker, facilitator, and occasional blogger.