Keynote Speakers

Morning Keynote

Dana Brownlee
Dana BrownleeDana BrownleeThe Unwritten Rules of Managing Up
THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF MANAGING UP: SURVIVING (AND THRIVING) THE “DIFFICULT BOSS” Unfortunately, too many corporate workplaces have degenerated into an “us” vs. “them” mentality where managers and subordinates talk past each other, label the other as “difficult”, and miss valuable opportunities to team and collaborate for joint success. A key to success for virtually everyone in the workplace is adopting a “managing up” mentality that focuses on how each of us can help our bosses (and other senior leaders) be successful – even if they’re not the “perfect boss”. This presentation defines “managing up” – what it is/isn’t, then explores proven techniques for managing up with a few common varieties of the “difficult boss”:





Dana Brownlee is an Atlanta based corporate trainer/keynote speaker who works with teams and individuals to enhance their effectiveness in the workplace. After years of team leadership and project management experience with AT&T, IBM Consulting, and EMC, Ms. Brownlee founded Professionalism Matters, Inc., a professional development training/consulting firm providing professional development workshops (

Afternoon Keynote

David Barrett
David BarrettDavid BarrettTaking Our Project Management Careers to the Next Level
The project management field out there is pretty crowded out there. It’s no longer enough to be just really good at what you do. You have to be more. It’s no longer build it on time, on scope and budget. You have to add value over and above the normal requirements of project managers. So how do we add value? How do we stand out in the crowd? How do we get recognized in this very crowded field? Our speaker will get us thinking about what we can do to innovate our careers and get to the next level.





David Barrett is a professional speaker, regular blogger, podcast host, author of 6 books and education advisor.  

He specializes in helping people and organizations Execute to the Plan by creating healthy projects and strategies. 


David’s career includes the creation and directing of a conference business, training company, software development firm, speaker bureau, and most recently a TED-style event series for project professionals across North America.

Morning Technical Session

Larry LaSalle
Larry LaSalleCo-founder and Principal AgilistBeing Agile in a Waterfall Environment
The benefits of Agile are widely recognized, but many organizations have still not made that transition to Agile. The reasons for needing to remain in a Waterfall method of delivery vary widely. Some organizations have customers that prefer the phased-gate approach to delivery, some require it for funding purposes, while others just have not yet made the decision that Agile is right for them. Whatever the reasons are, there are still benefits that can be gained by incorporating some of the more fundamental Agile practices. The purpose of this workshop is to explore several practices that you might consider incorporating into active or upcoming projects.





Larry LaSalle is the Co-founder and Principal Agilist at Agility IQ.

AgilityIQ is a company dedicated to helping organizations achieve better business outcomes through the systemic application of agile delivery methods across the enterprise. Our company offers Lean-Agile consulting services including transformation, training, and coaching.

G. Patrick Griffin
G. Patrick GriffinLeadership Coach, Speaker, and AuthorThe HARP Method
The HARP Method uncovers the characteristics that every leader must embody for success. These core values originated from Griffin’s father and have been a cornerstone for his own personal growth and 20-plus years in leadership. Using these principles, Griffin has authored his first book, “Hold Your Corner.”





When G. Patrick Griffin was a child, his father instilled in him the principles of Humility, Authenticity, Resilience, and Persistent Faith (HARP.) These ideologies provided the foundation on which Griffin built a 20-year career in leadership.

G. Patrick Griffin earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Winthrop University followed by an MBA from Webster University in Missouri. Griffin began his career at Atrium Health (formerly Carolinas HealthCare System) in 1998 and rose through the ranks; he is currently Vice President of Patient Financial Services.

His leadership extends far beyond his professional career. He serves as a mentor and Board Member with the 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte chapter. Griffin is also the 2018 Charlotte United Negro College Fund’s Mayor’s Masked Ball Honoree.

Griffin relishes the opportunity to speak to youth groups, congregations and professionals because he knows his experiences can help anyone bypass many of the pitfalls in which he often found himself. Using the HARP Method, Griffin laces anecdotes with stellar advice (

Afternoon Technical Session

Traci Newkirk
Traci NewkirkHow Collaboration and Curiosity are Force Multipliers
You are built to work with other people. Then why is it often hard to work WITH people? In this session, Traci teaches through stories and interaction the art of collaboration and curiosity. The session will help you answer some personal questions: *When is the right time to push people and get the best out of them? *What role are you playing when you collaborate? *How do the group dynamics affect how you show up? *How is your voice perceived during the collaboration? *How is your lack of ability to collaborate hurting your ability to be successful?





Traci Newkirk’s professional career spans 26 years with experience in Public Relations, Sales and Marketing, and Corporate Training. She and her husband desired to put into practice the Power of 2 and founded Intellectual Capitol 15 years ago. Through this endeavor, she was thrust into solving human capital problems for state government agencies and private sector businesses. Intellectual Capitol has had tremendous growth in the last 5 years and has won INC. 5000 4 years in a row, the SC GMIS Prestigious Partner Award, recently won the 2016 Greenville Chamber Small Business of the Year and the 2017 and 2018 SC Fastest Growing Companies award. Through the joys and challenges of building a business, Traci’s spends her days encouraging individuals to value not only themselves but others as well.

Harry Hall
Harry HallHow to Categorize, Assess, and Prioritize Project Risks
Project managers may fail to work on the right things at the right time with the right people, resulting in challenged and failed projects. Why does this happen? A top reason is the failure to organize projects properly. Discover in this session how to structure and manage your projects through risk categories and assessments, making it easier and quicker to complete your projects. While we will focus on project tools and techniques, these same concepts may be applied at the enterprise, portfolio, and program levels. Furthermore, these tips may be used in your personal lives.





Harry learned about risks early in life after setting his grandmother's house on fire! Later in life, he made it his mission to help project managers become better risk managers. Harry Hall, the Project Risk Coach, is a speaker, teacher, author, and blogger. He has implemented enterprise and IT PMOs and enterprise risk management (ERM) programs in the financial, healthcare, and agricultural industries. One of Harry's greatest joys is teaching, helping project managers achieve their Project Management Professional (PMP®) and Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP®) certifications. Additionally, he loves to teach others how to speak Southern. Harry is a graduate of the University of Georgia and is a certified PMP®, PMI-RMP®, and has his Associate in Risk Management (ARM-E).

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