Full Speaker List

Natalile Austin

US Bank

Natalie accidently stumbled into the world of accessibility while working at Siteimprove, a Danish software company, and has loved every minute working in the industry. Her passion lies in creating a digital world free of exclusion that doesn’t just work for everyone, but has been specifically designed for everyone. Natalie began her work as a manual tester, where she primarily worked with school districts and large universities to evaluate, educate and give guidance on accessibility practices. She now works as a consultant on the US Bank Accessibility Team, facilitating their goal of building accessibility inherently into the agile framework. Outside of the office, Natalie is a web design student, avid concert goer, and dog fanatic.

Session: A New Hope: Building Accessibility into an Agile Environment

Anna Bliss

Twin Cities Product Community

Anna Bliss has worked in the tech arena for more than 15 years in a variety of roles, but loves her current role in product management best of all. As a product person she has been able to explore everything from APIs to search relevancy to IoT devices. A recovering liberal arts major, Anna is fascinated by the intersections between art, humanities, and technology. Anna is a co-founder of the Twin Cities Product Community meetup and also co-founder of the Women in Tech resource group at Best Buy.

Session: What Beethoven Can Teach Us About Failure

Kevin Burns

Thomson Reuters

Kevin is a lean and agile product development coach with a passion for helping teams turn their ideas into products that wow their users and customers. He’s been helping teams think different about their flow and how they measure success for over twenty years. Kevin’s love for teaching and coaching came from his Peace Corps service in the 90’s. Today, Kevin is still trying to work-himself-out-of-a-job by coaching product teams to continuously learn and by focusing team success in terms of the beneficial impacts and outcomes they’re trying to achieve for their users, customers, and stakeholders.

Session: Product Discovery Stories: When and How To Use A Discover Sprint To Validate Your Ideas

Matt Engstrom

Thomson Reuters

Matt Engstrom is the Technology Agility Lead at Thomson Reuters.

Matt helps teams shift their thinking from practicing agile to using values and principles to get the best outcome through agility.

With many years of experience in a variety of technology leadership roles, Matt has experienced and continues to experience that the best solutions are discovered along the way. And while structure is important, it’s outcomes that matter most.

Session: Product Discovery Stories: When and How To Use A Discover Sprint To Validate Your Ideas

Braden Ericson


Braden knows Innovation. Within 6 months of joining PayPal as an entry level engineer, Braden was recognized as the company’s “Top Innovator.” Throughout the course of the following year, Braden maintained this title with over 24 patents filed for that year alone. Having participated in hundreds of brainstorm sessions involving cross-functional stakeholders, Braden has developed strong skills in being able to identify successful strategies for brainstorming with peers and professionals at all levels. After transitioning from Engineering to Product Management a year ago, Braden has used his skills in brainstorming and applied them successfully to the challenges that Products Managers face when collaborating with stakeholders. In addition to working as a Product Manager at PayPal, Braden is currently participating in the Stanford LEAD program through which he will earn a Master’s Certificate in Corporate Innovation.

Session: Effective Product Brainstorming

Fabiola Eyholzer

Just Leading Solutions

Fabiola Eyholzer is a pioneer in Lean | Agile People Operations and CEO of Just Leading Solutions LLC, a New York based consultancy for HR & People Agility.

In two decades as Management Consultant and Executive Advisor, Fabiola has worked with numerous key players across various industries and countries. Together with her team, she helps enterprises to accelerate their agile transformation by focusing on their crucial asset: their people.

Session: HR As (Underutilized) Driver of Innovation

Elizabeth Hodos

HIL Training

Elizabeth Hodos is the founder of HIL Training which focuses on developing critical interpersonal and communication skills using the tenets of Improv. Having spent over 15 years studying, performing, and teaching Improv, she has seen first hand how developing these skills leads to success.

Improving Collaboration in Agile Teams

Luke Hohmann


Luke Hohmann is the Founder and CEO of Conteneo, Inc. and the inventor of Innovation Games. A former Board member of the Agile Alliance and a “Champion of Agile”, Luke’s playfully diverse background of life experiences has uniquely prepared him to design and produce people-powered agile frameworks that increase Agility. Luke shares his knowledge widely: He’s the author of four books and produces the monthly Collaboration at Scale webinar series in partnership with the Scrum Alliance. He’s also a SAFe 4.6 Framework Contributor, focusing on Lean Portfolio Management and Product and Solution Management.

Keynote:The Post-Agile Future of People-Powered Collaboration

Jeff Lash


Jeff Lash is Vice President and Group Director, Product Management at SiriusDecisions, where he advises B2B product management leaders and their teams on how to implement best practices and improve efficiency and effectiveness. Jeff is a recognized thought leader in product management, with 15+ years of experience in the development of Web-based products and SaaS. His product management career includes both new product introductions and major turnarounds of existing product lines, as well as introduction of the product management role into organizations. He has significant expertise in customer understanding, new product innovation, agile product management, user experience design, and product development processes.

Session: How Can Product Managers “Be More Strategic”? Foundational Behaviors of Strategic Product Management

MC Legault

Pyxis Technologies

MC can connect, engage and empower a new generation of game changers in Canada and around the world. She can address key global challenges with heart and transparency…Marie-Christine is an Agile buzz executive/partner/collaborator!

Holding a bachelor’s degree in communications, She is an ardent fan of building relationships and new opportunities. She has 20 years of street-smart marketing and advertising experience for national and international companies (GE, Quebecor World, Cadbury, Royal Canadian Mint, Hyundai, Nestlé, Pepsi, Lancôme, Robert Mondavi Wines, Crayola, Disney…).

Session: People in Products: Partners in Vision

Dave Mathias

Beyond the Data

Dave combines his passions around data, experience, and community to make impact. He co-founded Beyond the Data where they help clients change and sustain data culture and enhance data literacy backed by behavioral science, organizational development, and experience design. Dave regularly speaks and conducts workshops around his passions. Dave is a recovering organic chemist and attorney turned product person.

As a passionate member of his community Dave is engaged in organizations like MinneAnalytics, TC Data Viz Group, Minnesota PDMA, Twin Cities ProductCamp, Community Involvement Partners, and JDRF.

Session: The Human Side of Data in Product

Carissa Merrill

US Bank

Carissa is an accessibility consultant at U.S. Bank, where she leverages her background in UX design and project management to facilitate accessible design solutions. She believes accessibility is a solvable design problem and technology should empower people. Outside of work, Carissa loves spending time with her dog, Frank, biking and communing with nature.

Session: A New Hope: Building Accessibility into an Agile Environment

Don Monk

General Mills

Don Monk is VP and CIO, Technology and Solutions, Global Business Solutions.

Thought leader on the application of technology to solve business problems and accelerate opportunities for the new digital business model. His passion sits at the intersection of business and technology where he helps bring those two worlds together to create competitive advantages and accelerate growth. As CIO, responsible for business relationship management, global strategy and operations of technology for General Mills. Responsibilities include: Business Relationship Management, Project Management, Application Development, Business Analysis, Enterprise Data and Analytic Solutions, Technical Architecture and Services, Network & Communications, and Data Center Operations. This team consists of over 1200 talented and dedicated employees located in the United States and international locations including UK, India, China, Singapore, Brazil and Canada.

Don joined General Mills in 1990 as a software developer and held positions of increasing responsibility in application development, infrastructure and architecture. Don has represented IT in dedicated roles in Marketing, International and Supply Chain. Throughout his career, Don has passionately championed the introduction of new technologies and processes that are the technical foundation for the current General Mills business systems organization. He has been an advocate for developing technical leaders and highly effective teams to drive results for the business. In addition, Don is the GBS sponsor for the Diversity and Inclusion Team.

Don has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Minnesota State University Mankato, and a Master’s degree in Software Engineering at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Development of Technical Leadership. In addition, Don has earned over a dozen industry certifications.

Don has a passion around closing the education gap and serves on the Board of College Possible Minnesota.

Keynote: Can You Teach a 150-Year-Old Dog New Tricks?

Chris Riley


Chris is Director Solutions Architecture at Cprime, Inc. and has focused on the services and integration space since 1995 in a variety of pilot, implementation and training roles with companies such as HKM Consulting, PTC, IBM, Cape Clear Software and SOA Systems. In his various capacities, Chris has also been a speaker and contributor at AWS and API Meetups, QCon, SOA Symposium, Developer Week, ECAUG, Prentice Hall Podcasts, Toronto JUG along with publications in TechTarget, SOA Magazine and SOA Design Patterns. Currently Chris is supporting fortune 500 companies in Microservices, DevOps, Middleware and Cloud Computing as part of their IT Strategy.

Session: Behavioral Driven Development and its reliance on teams

Justin Royer


Justin has spent the last two decades in marketing, product, and design management roles serving a wide variety of industries. As a co-founder at Sprocket, he leads the human-centered strategy and design efforts and ensures that the team asks “why” at least five times. In addition to Sprocket, Justin is a husband and father of two girls, a golf nut, and a huge proponent of the Oxford comma.

Session: Human-centered data: using data science and human-centered design to grow your product

Kurt Schmidt


Kurt Schmidt is the President of Foundry, a digital product, and experience agency and hosts a weekly Podcast named the “Schmidt List” where he interviews industry leaders to learn their thoughts on bridging modern management techniques, design thinking, and cutting-edge technology for our ever-increasing “agile” world.

Session: Lean Leadership

April Seifert


April leads the Data Science arm of Sprocket. A Social Psychologist by training, April discovered her love of big databases after she found herself working at a health insurance company after graduate school. April loves using data to help inform and power elegant customer experiences, while weaving in behavioral science to motivate customers.

Session: Human-centered data: using data science and human-centered design to grow your product

Mike Smart

Egress Solutions

Mike has the DNA of a product strategist and product manager. He is an intensely focused problem solver and somewhat of an introvert. As the Founder and Principal Consulting of Egress Solutions, a boutique product consultancy he helps tech companies achieve market success and sometimes gets to play with very cool things.He brings more than 20 years of experience with lean techniques in product strategy, product adoption, product launch and customer acquisition.

Session: Product Management – The Next Release

Nicole Smith

Express Scripts

Puzzles are awesome! From bootstrapped tech startups to the world’s largest video game, Nicole’s 13 years in leadership/ product & delivery management gives her a fresh approach to any organization & the people solving its hardest problems. A firm believer & leader of team-based feedback cultures, Nicole began applying Lean & Sig Sigma in 2007 at Mercedes Benz’ mockup center, where her love for process improvement, innovation & market disruption quickly bloomed.

As Team Lead, Producer & Head of Support for Riot Games Merchandise from 2013-2017, Nicole helped launch a digital IP in physical form, a global & cross-functional beast.

Since 2018 Nicole has lead a team of Business Agility Coaches as Senior Manager at Cigna, which recently acquired Express Scripts. She works closely with healthcare leaders at one of the largest scaled agile healthcare transformations to make healthcare affordable & accessible for everyone.

When not gaming or traveling, Nicole consults small to mid-sized organizations on all things product & business strategy, & mentors young women in technology. Based out of St. Louis, she enjoys ribs & playing sports.

Session: The Product Owner Tax: 5 Inevitable Taxes every Product Owner & Leader Pays

Anne Steiner


Anne Steiner leads DevJam – a group of collaborative agilists based in Minneapolis who teach, coach, and practice a pragmatic blend of product, processes, and technologies. DevJam has helped companies of all shapes and sizes transform from traditional, project-thinking to become product-driven organizations that emphasize continuous learning.

Anne has more than 20 years’ experience in the software industry, working as a developer, product owner, product leader, and coach. Anne also actively promotes building communities of practitioners in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and frequently speaks at national and regional events.

Session: Product Management or the Intricate Art of Getting (the Right) Things Done

Tres Tronvold


Tres leads the Loyalty Marketing and Customer Relationship Management capability of Sprocket. He works with clients to conceive and develop customer growth strategies as well as to assess the effectiveness of existing efforts. Tres has built more than a dozen loyalty programs over the years and loves pairing behavioral economics with customer insight to create utility for customers and economic value for companies.

Session: Human-centered data: using data science and human-centered design to grow your product

Jonathan Wentz

Thomson Reuters

Jonathan Wentz is a Lead Software Engineer at Thomson Reuters with professional experience spanning everything from customer-facing web applications to heavyweight backend search solutions. Despite the titled emphasis on technology, he spends most of his energy working with customers and business representatives to connect purpose and meaning to technology work. When not at work he spends his remaining time exploring what’s coming in the technology landscape, including technologies like GraphQL and machine learning.

Session: Product Discovery Stories: When and How To Use A Discover Sprint To Validate Your Ideas

Ginny Yahnke

US Bank

Ginny has spent the last decade in content publishing, front-end development and interactive design roles serving the education and banking industries. As an accessibility consultant for U.S. Bank, she facilitates the usability-centered agile approach to building accessibility into the development strategy. In addition to her work at U.S. Bank, Ginny is a mom, loves traveling and the outdoors.

Session: A New Hope: Building Accessibility into an Agile Environment

Lee Zukor


Lee Zukor is Senior Vice President of Product and Engineering at SportsEngine and is responsible for creating products customers love. Before joining SportsEngine, Lee held executive positions at both large companies and startups, including VP of Product and UX at Bluestem Brands, Founder/CEO at Simplegoodandtasty.com, and Chief Experience Officer at Wize.com. Lee earned his undergraduate degree from Boston University. When he’s not working, Lee spends his time writing music, traveling, and exploring the Twin Cities with his wife and two teenagers.

Session: Yes, You Can! No, I Can’t! Yes, You Can!