Speakers

Chris Ford

Chris Ford

Senior Vice President Of Product Management AT Prezi

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Shawn Fair

Shawn Fair

CEO AT Fair Consulting Group

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Gad Salner

Gad Salner

Group Manager AT Melio

Gad Salner is a Group Manager at Melio, where he leads the development of their client-facing payment solution. With over 15 years of experience in development, Gad is an enthusiastic and innovative team player with a background in engineering, management, and architecture. He has a strong track record of leading product development in startups. His devotion to driving projects forward, creating a winning team culture and building awesome products has been his passion since the beginning.

Gad is also one of the creators of Kaduregel Shefel, a project capturing Israel’s cultural diversity through amateur football. The project produces exhibitions videos and events which they show around the world, and interact with the large community gathered around it. Gad attributes his unique blend of management methodologies to lessons learned at many different startups over the last 15 years, and from Kaduregel Shefel, where he ran a global cultural project. He had no idea just how incredibly useful this set of tools would be during a global pandemic. But c’est la vie!

Talk: How to scale a unicorn-building engineering team (and stay sane)

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THE most common question I get asked by people familiar with my recent journey is: ״how the hell did you go from a team of 1 to a 25 person engineering group in a year?״

We weren’t short on challenges this past year: lockdowns, remote onboarding for new employees, and hyper-growth struggles. Each of these can break a team on their own. But when you create and instill fundamental habits that grow individual capabilities, expanding the team isn’t just possible, it’s actually quite a natural progression.

Without a solid game plan wouldn’t have made it very far. And moving forward, we’ve laid a roadmap that gradually empowers those 25 engineers to grow and take ownership, paving the way for the next 50.

This is the story behind one of Melio’s engineering groups, and how we’re building a kickass, world-class team, which among other things, is changing the conversation around payments.

In this talk, I’ll take a deep dive into our new strategy step-by-step, from planning to execution: my structured game plan for empowering engineers to drive your team’s rapid growth in size, responsibility, and impact.

Dénes Kemény

Dénes Kemény

Former Trainer and President of Hungarian Men's Water Polo Team

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Amber Vanderburg

Amber Vanderburg

Founder AT The Pathwayz Group

Amber Vanderburg is a multi award winning international businessperson, keynote speaker, and founder of The Pathwayz Group. In 2016, she left her job in corporate HR to become the only female, only American, and only blonde Academy elite football coach for the Adidas Gameday Academy/Paris Saint Germain Academy in Bangalore, India. She worked with an international team of coaches to transform the organizational design, training development, and corporate culture to cultivate a higher-performing team. Today, Amber and The Pathwayz Group work with international teams that struggle with co worker tension, inefficient processes, and unmet performance expectations in an action focused approach to guide teams in the path to becoming more effective, more efficient, and more enjoyable.

Talk: How to Lead Change as the Newbie

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How do we lead change in a team that we just met? How do we change in an organization that we are just now getting to know? What do we do in our first week? First month?

In this session, attendees can learn how to lead effective change in their organization and traps that leaders blunder traps that some can fall into if ignored. Sometimes even our best intentions can be sabotaged through poor implementation and here Amber will give all Agile leaders the knowledge, resources, and tools needed to lead effective change.

Angela R. Hooper-Menifield

Angela R. Hooper-Menifield

CEO & Owner AT Menifield & Associates, LLC

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Katie Kenney

Katie Kenney

VP of Customer Success AT Bitrise

Leading the Customer Success team at Bitrise, I come with with 15+ years experience building and developing Customer Success teams - leading strategies that designed to increase customer satisfaction, retention and growth rates.

Happy customers start from a healthy team. I believe to drive customer success, you have to have a healthy team. Starting with the best people, building lasting relationships based on trust and creating a culture that puts the customer at the epicenter of everything that we do.

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Jenn Donahue

Jenn Donahue

President AT JL Donahue Engineering

Jenn Donahue PhD is a retired US Navy Captain and Commodore for an 1,800 personnel Regiment.  She is also a civil engineer who works on large scale, high profile geotechnical projects. Over her 27-year military career, Jenn has built a bridge across the Euphrates River in the midst of the Iraq war, commanded an 800-personnel Battalion in Afghanistan, and constructed combat outposts in the middle of deserts filled with insurgents.

Jenn has led earthquake and tsunami reconnaissance missions in places like Samoa and Japan; designed the seismic plans for a bridge over the Panama Canal; and built roads by blasting and drilling in the coldest climes of Ketchikan. Astonishingly, Jenn has even served as the seismology expert at no fewer than five nuclear power plants. 

Along the way she mentored scores of young leaders. Today Jenn runs JL Donahue Engineering. She also lectures at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Talk: What it Takes to Be A Successful Leader in Today's Market

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Many leaders are trying to be the leader they were pre-pandemic.

My question to the audience is: How is your leadership style working for you? If you’re trying to be the same leader you were five, or even two years ago, it’s likely not resonating with your team. We are in the midst of the Great Resignation and your people aren't leaving for money. The real reason why employees are leaving is that they no longer have hope or trust in their boss, team, position, or company.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to lead like someone you are not. Instead, you can learn to lead in a way that is authentic to you and empowers your team. So how can leaders bridge the gap between what they think a great leader is and what their team actually needs to be led to greatness? I'm ready to share the huge insights that that will transform your assumptions.

Shailvi Wakhlu

Shailvi Wakhlu

Senior Director of Data AT Strava

Shailvi is the Sr. Director of Data at Strava. As an analytics professional and a former software engineer, she has been involved in shaping great products for companies big and small for the last 16 years. She has worked on analyses across various business functions including product, operations, sales, marketing, and customer support in Fortune 500 companies like Salesforce and smaller start-ups like Strava and Fitbit. All the products she has worked on had more than 40M+ users, which trained her on the nuances of dealing with data at scale. Her job is to use data to tell effective stories that inspire action and spur tangible business growth.

Talk: Getting Comfortable with Self-Advocacy

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Many people face difficulties effectively highlighting their professional success. Whether it is because they are shy, or because they lack the tools, it is a detriment to their own career success. In this talk, I will highlight specific ways one can reframe negative perceptions of advocating for themselves, and become comfortable sharing their wins effectively and authentically. Everyone deserves to be rewarded equitably for their amazing achievements!

Benjamin Taylor

Benjamin Taylor

Managing Partner AT RedQuadrant

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Dylan Hansen

Dylan Hansen

Senior Director, Engineering Enablement & Engagement AT Salesforce

Talk: TBF

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Are you interested in sharing your knowledge with the Stretch audience? Apply as a speaker through our call for paper and you might get the chance to present in front of 400 people.