Global Scrum Gathering® Minneapolis 2018

Meet the new Gathering Team for the 2018 Minneapolis Global Scrum Gathering®.

The North American Gathering team will ease the burden of our event volunteers while ensuring the 2018 Gathering content is innovative, actionable, and inclusive of valuable sessions for Scrum practitioners from beginners to experts.

Meet the team:



Michael Collier has been a lifelong resident of the Kansas City area though he has traveled extensively in the US for both work and pleasure. His tenure of almost 20 years as a software developer has spanned many different industries. As part of Michael’s current responsibilities he serves as a Scrum/Agile Coach and Agile Developer Trainer at Commerce Bank of Kansas City.

He has been a volunteer with the Scrum Alliance on the Gathering review teams as a reviewer and ScrumMaster since 2013. Working with many talented volunteers reviewing presentation abstracts to provide quality Global Scrum Gatherings for the Scrum Alliance. Michael has been a conference presenter on Agile development practices.

Michael is currently working with internal groups training them on TDD –BDD –ATDD as well as lean and xp development processes. Teaching teams methods to produce tested software that delivers value to the Product Owner.

Michael currently holds the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®), Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster™ (CSP-SM™), Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®), Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner™ (CSP-PO™) and Certified Scrum Developer® (CSD®) certifications.

In his off time he enjoys entertaining as a member of an internationally known pirate themed musical group.

You can follow Michael on Twitter by visiting @mwctlc and #AgilePirate.

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Chris Diller is a CSP-SM, CSP-PO, and practicing Scrum Master at Ecolab. He's been involved in developing software since 2006 in various roles including as an embedded software developer, projectleader and ScrumMaster, but has found a "home" with Scrum since 2013.

Chris has a passion for delivering working software early and often while coaching his development teams to adopt practices like XP, CI/CD, etc., all to delight customers. He enjoys working with Product Owners to help them focus on customer outcomes instead of team output and to truly embrace owning a product. He also seeks out opportunities to be a champion of Scrum and Agile values within his organization and mentor other Scrum Masters. Chris currently holds the CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, and CSPO certifications He works towards continuously improving his own skills by attending local user groups, reading books and blogs from industry experts, and attending webinars whenever possible.

Chris enjoys sailing, golfing, bowling, cheering for the Packers and, most of all, spending time with his wife and two young daughters. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and lives in the Twin Cities.

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Julianne Jones is a Scrum practitioner, facilitator, instructor and speaker with over 14 years experience working with Scrum. Based in Toronto she advises and coaches organizations wanting to make the transition from waterfall-to-Scrum.

Julianne developed her expertise in Scrum as an in-the-trenches Scrum Master serving Scrum teams and stakeholders. She has further evolved her Scrum practices by serving a Product Owner to multiple learning organizations developing training products. A results-driven servant leader, Julianne focuses on building the success of others and believes in the power of highly talented people working energetically together in highly-disciplined self-organizing environments.

Julianne Jones is a strong transformational executive who builds world-class teams that consistently delivery extraordinary business outcomes quickly, efficiently, frequently and reliably. Julianne has lead both projects and programs using Agile methods (Scrum and Kanban), worked with clients to help them adopt Agile methods within their organization since 2004.

Julianne holds an  Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. She is also a Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM), Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner (CSP-PO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO).

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Judy Neher is a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) and agile coach, passionately transforming software teams from traditional development practices to agile practices. Judy has had over 29 years of experience with the Federal Government (hence her keen interest in agile security!) as a mathematician, computer scientist, and traditional software manager, ultimately embracing agile practices as an agile coach, trainer and leader in 2001.

Additionally, she has lent her experience to many major commercial organizations where she has had the privilege of helping shape major agile transformations. Judy is President/CEO of Celerity Consulting, a small woman-owned agile training and coaching firm based in Indiana.

When Judy isn’t sharing her Scrum passion with teams, she is enjoying the company of her large family, including her husband Chris, and their 6 children (ages 25 to 14). As a family, they enjoy boating, running, traveling, and big family dinners.

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Dhaval Panchal is experienced Executive and Agile Coach. He is ScrumAlliance Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) with 15+ years of Agile experience working in the development and management of products and services in the software industry. He has experience working with startups to Fortune 100 companies, with clients in the telecommunications, business process engineering, shipping, e-discovery, legal, gaming, health insurance, and oil and gas industries.

As an agile coach, Dhaval brings results oriented, people centric perspective. He is often described as creative simplifier who is able to navigate clients through variety of challenging contexts. Dhaval helps his clients to focus on signals over noise, exposes trade-offs that client organizations have to make in the “real world”. Dhaval has presented at various Agile industry conferences and is sought after by leadership teams to make sense of complex organizational situations.

Dhaval Panchal delivers world class Agile Coaching and training services. He works with CTOs and heads of software development, engineering, DevOps, data & project management to:
- Transform legacy waterfall approaches into effective Agile processes- Scale Agile efforts to full enterprise level
- Train key team members to maximize Agile adoption
- Adopt practices to ensure sustainable momentum & long term success He can be reached via email at and on Twitter @dhavalpanchal.

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Michelle Simkonis is excited about Scrum and has become influential with many various customers seeking out a better foundation. She is a CSM and CSP-SM for Trusted Concepts as an IT consultant for the government and private industry for the past 20 years.

Michelle has been a part of almost every team from software testing, trainer, requirements, configuration management, project management to scrum master. As she ventured through her journey, she was introduced to another mindset and was able to implement Scrum for numerous software teams. Through this success, she found her passion and now is mentoring other IT and functional teams. She is excited to be involved with Agile organizational transformation one team at a time.

Michelle Bachelor of Science in Business Management and is a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM).

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Anu Smalley is the President and Founder of Capala Consulting Group, LLC where she specializes in Executive coaching and Agile Transformations. She is also an Enterprise Agile Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer®-providing education and coaching, consulting services to clients across the United States. An IT professional with over 25 years of industry experience, Anu holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from Osmania University in India and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University, Ohio.

Anu has extensive experience with large scale agile transformations, integral to the success of the likes of Capital One through her training and coaching expertise. She has specialized in leadership coaching and large group facilitation. Anu has established internal agile coaching Centers of Excellence for several clients to allow self-sustained coaching of their agile transformations. She has developed a coaching program specifically designed for evolving organizational leaders. Anu speaks frequently at conferences both nationally and internationally on Product Ownership and Group Facilitation Techniques.

Anu is passionate about coaching and training others, dedicated to helping to achieve professional and personal success. She is also committed to improving the agile community through severalactivities. She is an active member of the larger Scrum and Agile community and enjoys giving back via volunteering at various conferences. She is also a Program Advisor to the Scrum Alliance Events group as they plan, organize and coordinate various conferences, retreats and meetups around the world.

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