PMI Southwest Virginia Chapter

2019 Symposium Speaker Biographies

Reach New Peaks with Project Management

  1. Opening Keynote: Andy Kauffman
    1. Andy Kaufman is a master teacher focused on helping people and organizations around the world unlock their ability to lead teams and deliver projects. In addition to running the Institute, Andy works with leaders at the United Nations to improve their ability to deliver on their initiatives. He teaches in the Healthcare MBA program at Loyola Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business and works with clients, such as the International Criminal Court, Medline, American College of Surgeons, JP Morgan Chase, United Airlines, among others. Before becoming an internationally sought-after speaker, Andy started as a software developer and was promoted into management for all the wrong reasons! As he grew from frontline manager to senior leader, Andy developed approaches for leading and delivering that he now shares with audiences and coaching clients around the world. He is the author of three books and host of the acclaimed People and Projects Podcast, which provides interviews and insights for his global listeners on how to lead and deliver.
  2. Closing Keynote: Mike Whiteside, CEO Black Dog Salvage and Robert Kulp, President Black Dog Salvage
    1. Mike Whiteside leads the Black Dog Salvage crew with his problem solving and creative thinking.  Always looking at the big picture, Mike has charted a course for the expansion of the Black Dog Salvage brand.  His career with the U.S. Navy as a parachute rigger from 1976 to 1980 developed leadership skills, responsibility and a sense of adventure.  His love for travel and the water led him to the professional yachting industry where he worked his way from deck hand on small sailing and power yachts to earning his 100 ton US Coast guard Captains license.  Mike spent the next 15 years traveling the world in various command positions onboard multi-million dollar private and charter yachts. He finished his maritime career as a 1600 ton US Coast Guard Master and marine consultant for major vessel refits and construction. In 1999, Mike and his wife, Susie (owner of Whiteside Designs), moved to her hometown of Roanoke, Virginia to raise their family.  Here he met Robert Kulp and formed the foundation of Black Dog Salvage. His skill set today involves custom fabrication, ad hoc artistry, and creative salvaging. His master rigging skills are often put to the test in pursuit of all things salvageable. Always looking for a deal, you’ll find Mike calling the shots on the front lines of Black Dog bartering. An architectural visionary, Mike loves to tackle design challenges and help customers create their own heirlooms of the future. He enjoys collaborating in the design shop with his children Taylor, Black Dog’s Custom Fabrication Engineer and Grace, an artist in NYC.  On a rare day off, you can find Mike with a line in the water or riding his Harley through the Virginia countryside looking for the next salvage conquest.
    2. Roanoke native Robert Kulp has helped guide Black Dog Salvage through an exponential growth period with a focus on budget and operations management. His degree in Building Construction from Virginia Tech (’85) and service in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve have provided a strong foundation for building two growing multi-million dollar businesses from the ground up. After Naval assignments in Charlestown, SC; Virginia Beach, VA; and Scotland, Robert returned to Virginia Beach to work as a residential construction manager for the Crumley Group, Inc.. Robert and his wife Patti relocated to Roanoke, Virginia in 1998 to raise their growing family. Robert opened his own construction company, Blue Ridge Residential, where he offers solid design advice and building services for period restorations, “new” old houses, and “sympathetic” additions. Robert was introduced to Mike Whiteside, who was in need of construction advice, and their first meeting planted the seed for Black Dog Salvage. With a keen eye for historical value and a constant focus on the bottom line, Robert is the resident "architecturologist" of Black Dog Salvage. As a Class A General Contractor, he has a complete understanding of how buildings are put together, which has proved crucial in safely deconstructing and saving architectural details from the landfill. In his spare time, you can find him cheering on the Hokies, kite boarding, or navigating behind the wheel of the “Damn Skippy” (Black Dog’s vintage cabin cruiser).
    3. Robert + Mike Become Salvage Dawgs

      Starting a salvage business was not intentional. In 1999, Mike needed a garage built; Robert came to give him advice. The two found kindred souls in each other, having both served in the Navy. After lamenting the pending demolition of a local 1892 landmark filled with architectural details, they took a chance, made a salvage offer and began saving the house piece by piece. In a warehouse Mike had rented for another project, with Mike’s black dog Molly by his side, they turned over an old vinyl sign – wrote ‘SALVAGE’ – and moments later a customer pulled into the parking lot. They haven’t looked back since. Three years later they outgrew the building and purchased a 40,000 square warehouse next to the Memorial Bridge near Grandin Village in Roanoke, VA. Over the last decade, the business has evolved from a down and dirty salvage warehouse to an interior design showroom featuring architectural details, custom upcycled designs, furniture paint, regional artisans, and salvage inspired furniture.  Robert’s attention to detail coupled with Mike’s creative problem solving skills have created the framework for this successful partnership.

    4. About Salvage Dawgs + Black Dog Salvage

      Since 2012, Salvage Dawgs has chronicled the adventures and creativity of Black Dog Architectural Salvage and introduced this Roanoke based business to an international audience. Humorous, family-friendly banter, a suspenseful approach to presenting the salvage process and useful information about how to repurpose the historic items they find has resonated with audiences worldwide. The popularity of the show has increased tourism to the Roanoke region and created a positive economic impact on local lodging, dining and attractions.  Now filming its 9th season, Salvage Dawgs has proven to be an engaging and entertaining television show the whole family can enjoy. Salvage Dawgs is co-produced by Trailblazer Studios and Figure 8 Films and airs nationally on the DIY and Great American Country Networks, internationally on the Armed Forces Network, Travel Channel and Fine Living Channel and is available on Amazon and iTunes.

  3. Breakout Session Speaker: Rob Sanchez
    1. Rob Sanchez is the Senior Vice President of Operations & Technology at Delta Dental of Virginia.  He has more than 20 years of experience in the Health Insurance sector with a heavy focus on leading large scale transformation programs.  A certified Project Management Professional since 2004 he has significant experience personally serving as a project/program manager as well as filling director and executive roles that included oversight of project and program management teams.

      As the Vice President of IT for a regional health plan back in 2015, Rob began embracing a more agile way of working and undertook a multi-year transformation program to transition his organization to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).  Although not without its challenges, this was highly successful and solidified his belief that Enterprise Agile Frameworks provide organizations with a huge opportunity to deliver significantly more business value for their stakeholders while simultaneously improving the work environment and company culture.

      Rob is committed to transparent leadership and to nurturing a collaborative environment across business areas and between business areas and IT.  Additionally, one of his favorite quotes is that “context is worth 80 IQ points”.  He believes that it is leadership’s primary job to provide their teams with context so that teams and team members are empowered to make most decisions in real time.  We are operating in a digital world and time is of the essence.  For all of these reasons, Rob has embraced the SAFe framework and enjoys helping other organizations understand its potential value.

  4. Breakout Session Speaker: Heather Bass
    1. Heather Bass is an accomplished and award-winning Senior Executive and Consultant with more than 18 years of success in delivering foundational information technology within a variety of industries.  Specializing in the Telecommunications, Retail and Insurance industries and leveraging extensive experience leading complex project management and six sigma initiatives, Heather is a valuable advisor for any organization seeking guidance in business transformation and process enablement through network infrastructure. Her broad areas of expertise include strategic planning, lean process design, business systems design, vendor relationship management, and program/project leadership.

      Throughout her career, Heather has held many leadership positions. She holds a PMP Certification, Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, Business Systems Analyst Certification, and an Executive (Adaptive) Leadership Certification from the Batten Leadership Institute at Hollins University.

  5. Breakout Session Speaker: Mike O'Brochta, PMP, ACP
    1. Mr. O'Brochta, who has managed hundreds of projects during the past thirty years, is an experienced line manager, author, lecturer, trainer and consultant. He holds a master's degree in project management, a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, and is certified as an ACP and a PMP. As Zozer Inc. President, he is helping organizations raise their level of project management performance. As senior project manager at the Central Intelligence Agency, he led the development of highly complex top secret projects, programs, and systems; and he led the development of the project management and systems engineering training and certification program to mature practices agency-wide. Mr. O'Brochta led the development of standards and courses for the new U.S. Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers. He supported FAC-P/PM programs by providing subject matter expertise for instructional design and delivery to the Federal Acquisition Institute and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He served at the PMI corporate level as Chair the Ethics Member Advisory Group where he led the development of the ethical decision-making framework and the new PMI ethics website; he is a graduate of the Leadership Institute Mater Class. Mr. O’Brochta has written and presented papers for the past 17 years at PMI Global Congress events as well as at hundreds of international, and regional conferences. Audiences respond well to his sense of humor and his interactive style. His new book “How To Get Executives To Act For Project Success” is available on Amazon. Since his recent climb of another of the world’s seven summits, he has been exploring the relationship between project management and mountain climbing.
  6. Breakout Session: Dr. David Duby
    1. David Duby, PhD, PMP, is a Professor of Business at Liberty University. His experience in project management includes leading projects in the publishing industry and in academia as an administrative chair. He has taught project management for seven years in both undergraduate and graduate programs and has conducted seminars in project management for entrepreneurs in Zambia and for students in Kazakhstan. He helped develop the project management cognate at Liberty University and currently sponsors the Student Association of Project Management. In addition, he holds NCCER credentials in Project Supervision and Instruction to help students develop project leadership skills for the construction industry. He and his family enjoy the natural beauty of central Virginia and reside in Lynchburg. His interests include time with family, travel, home improvement, theology, and a really, really good cup of coffee.
  7. Breakout Session: Tracy D'Souza 
    1. An agilist with 15+ years’ experience in the federal software development sector, with over 6 years’ experience as an Agile proponent, Scrum Master, and coach. Tracy brings an incremental delivery and adaptive mindset to web development, data science, and infrastructure projects. At the Excella Extension Center in Blacksburg, Tracy provides Agile mentoring as part of the intern software development curriculum while also serving as a remote scrum master to a data science and microservices team.  Find her here: tdsouza/
  8. Breakout Session: Allen Tuggle
    1. Allen has filled every role in the delivery of highly-complex software solutions over the past 20 years. For the past 12 years, he has focused entirely on Agile methodologies. As a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) & Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), he has been very successful in software projects of all sizes - both new software as well as modernization of legacy systems.
      Allen is currently leading multiple projects at Excella as an Extension Center Managing Consultant and Team Mentor. Allen mentors early career professionals on all aspects of software delivery, including technical skills and Agile methodologies. Allen regularly presents on Agile topics at local user groups, as well as at VT and RU groups and classes.
  9. Breakout Session: Kristen Gorman, PMP, CPPS
    1. Kristen is the Clinical Safety Systems Manager with Quality and Patient Safety at Carilion Clinic.  She is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS), certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and candidate for Masters in Healthcare Administration at the University of Minnesota. Kristen has been with the Carilion family for 4.5 years now and has always been doing project work for them.  She started as a process improvement consultant, created her own project manager position and in her newest role, still doing project work while managing a small team.  She has been on the PMI-SWVA board as a volunteer for the 2013 symposium and has been involved every year since.  She looks forward to bringing her unique perspective to this year's symposium.


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Updated August 19th, 2019

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