Meet our Speakers
Opening Keynote Speaker
As NetApp's Head of Customer Experience (CX), Biren Fondekar spearheads the ongoing transformation of NetApp's Customer Experience and the digitization of traditional operations by generating new business opportunities, revenue streams and customer services through the adoption of new digital technologies, including NetApp's Active IQ, which has become the cornerstone of the company's digital services roadmap. In addition, Biren oversees the company's ongoing CX and productivity improvements, which have resulted in significant savings in operating costs and a positive response from customers. He is also currently leading several ongoing growth and business simplification initiatives that will continue to help NetApp win new customers and boost its industry leadership.
Opening Keynote Speaker
As SugarCRM’s Chief Customer Officer, Chris Pennington is responsible for the overall Sugar customer journey. He heads up a global Customer Experience team driving world-class outcomes with best-in-class customer satisfaction.
Thirty years broad IT experience spanning three continents, Chris has worked in pretty much all facets of CRM and ERP software companies. For the past decade or so he has focused on the Service delivery side of the business, championing customer outcomes through project delivery and support functions to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
When he’s not in the office, you can find him on the ski slopes or hiking in the mountains – basically outdoors somewhere.
Opening Keynote Speaker
From the start of his career spent jumping out of helicopters as a Rescue Swimmer in the United States Navy, J. Scott has a long history of leadership, servanthood, and bearing witness to the transformative power of getting things done. Since starting 120VC he's personally overseen the global transformational efforts within organizations such as DirecTV, Trader Joe's, Blizzard Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Mattel, and others. His team's unique, irreverent approach to change has generated breakthrough results and created meaningful jobs. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, J. Scott is a devoted husband and father and author of "It's Never Just Business: It's About People," and "The Irreverent Guide to Project Management," both available on Amazon.com.
Lucie Wang, PMP, CSM, is currently a Technical Project Manager at Zoom. She is an active volunteer at the PMI-Silicon Valley chapter and the President of Sunnyvale Speakeasies Toastmasters Club. She has more than five years of experience in the software project management and development space. From communicating with customers to internal product programming and testing, from planning project releases to leading technical discussions, she has always been a strong, creative influencer and project leader of the teams. This will be her speech debut at a professional conference to share her project management experience.
Susan G. Schwartz
Susan has led a variety of corporate and government teams successfully through technology deployments and organizational change projects. She credits the cross-functional, global team productivity successes to leveraging her team members’ strengths within a culture that encouraged innovation and personal growth. Her experience is reflected in her book, Creating a Greater Whole: A Project Manager‘s Guide to Becoming a Leader. She teaches PM courses at UC Santa Cruz.
Brittany Nicole Crosby
Brittany is a Program Manager at Google Health where she focuses on products for clinicians. She has over a decade of project management experience as an expert in EHR installs. She began her career as a clinical applications implementer, which took her to hospitals across 40 states and 5 countries. She is passionate about Health IT programs that address clinician burnout and health equity. Brittany graduated from Dartmouth College as an English major. She received her PMP four years ago and enjoys mentoring other women interested in pursuing project management certificates or careers in healthcare IT.
Tom Kendrick (PMP) is a consultant and author. He recently retired as Program Director for the UC Berkeley Extension Project Management Curriculum. He is the author of How to Manage Complex Programs, Identifying and Managing Project Risk, and other PM books. Tom has over 40 years of worldwide PM experience, with Hewlett Packard, Visa, DuPont, and GE. Tom holds a BSEE from Princeton University and an MBA from the Wharton School at Penn. He is past chapter president of the PMI Silicon Valley Chapter and an active PMI volunteer.
Bola Otaraki is a seasoned Portfolio/Program/Project Manager with over 18 years’ experience leading and directing highly successful high-profile, high-impact, multi-million-dollar projects concurrently in multiple regions and continents. Bola is also a Professor in Project Management and a Trainer/Speaker. She is a Chemical Engineer and holds the following designations: MBA, PMP®, ITIL®, CSM®, DASSM®. She is a 2021 graduate of the PMI Leadership Institute Masterclass (PMI LIMC) and sits on the Board of the PMI Toronto Chapter. As a successful Project Professional, influencing without authority is a way of life for Bola and she will bring her knowledge, experience and expertise to the conference and the presentation.
As the President of the PMI Los Angeles Chapter (2019) and leadership at the Bank of America, Parash Sharma is a seasoned Project Management Executive with over 18 years’ experience leading and engaging teams including millennials to award-winning project outcomes. He is currently the Vice President, Release Train Engineer at the Bank of America, a role he has excelled at in the past 11 years winning several awards. His natural Servant Leader mindset wins him the hearts of those he leads; facilitating project excellence and influencing without authority. In his spare time the work he does in the community has exposed him to effective strategies in building leaders and influencers. Parash brings extremely useful insights about influencing without authority, something he does quite naturally and effectively.