Southern New England Chapter of PMI

SNEC PM Conference 2009 - Abstracts & Bios

2009 Presentation Abstracts and Speaker Biographies

Presentation Abstracts and Speaker Bios - Arranged by Track:

(Click on any title below for more information)

Soft Skills PM Tools PM Best Practices


Presentation Abstracts and Speaker Bios - Arranged by Session/Time:

Opening Keynote

Why? Why Not! Innovating for results in challenging times - Toni Newman

Main Ballroom


Session A

9:40am - 10:40am


 Topic: Adopting an Agile Mindset: Moving from Waterfall to Agile Track: PM Tools
Presenter: Brian Bozzuto Room: 26 - 27 9:40am - 10:40am

Course Description
As organizations begin to "go Agile" project managers are invariably finding themselves in situations where they are managing Agile projects. This presentation is a combination of personal experiences and Agile concepts blended together to outline what faces project managers as they make the leap from traditional to Agile project management.

Brian Bozzuto is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master with BigVisible Solutions, a provider of Agile training and enablement. With an extensive background in large financial service companies, he has worked as a developer, analyst, project manager, and coach. He has a broad range of experience using various frameworks including Scrum, Six Sigma, and CMM as well as being a Certified Scrum Master and Project Management Professional. Brian has worked on numerous large integration projects involving enterprise portals and other web technologies. He has worked, in various capacities, at Fidelity Investments, Investor's Bank & Trust, Bank of America, and Fleet Bank. Brian has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University and a Masters in Business Administration from Boston College.



 Topic: PM Passion--With A Purpose: Power To Influence Organizational Outcomes Track: Soft Skills
Presenter: Lee Lambert, PMP Room: 21 - 23 9:40am - 10:40am

Course Description
To have knowledge is great. To have knowledge AND passion is fantastic. To have knowledge and passion AND know how to channel it is POWER.

In tough economic times the key to maintaining your employment status may well hinge upon how valuable you are to the organization and its ability to continue to thrive and achieve its business objectives—not just how passionate you are about PM. The value you add will be determined by the impact your efforts have on achieving project success and organizational effectiveness. Apply your knowledge and passion and become an “impact” player.

Learn how to channel your passion for the profession and how to capitalize on the power of some often maligned but seldom used PM tools (PERT, Standard Deviation, Monte Carlo Analysis, and yes, Earned Value) to provide incredibly insightful decision support information that will earn you the honor of becoming the “go to person” in your organization.

This presentation will not only enable you to convert you passion to power, but it will inspire you to reach new heights of personal and professional enthusiasm, enjoyment and satisfaction knowing your are making a substantial positive contribution to the success of your organization. This is a Win-Win-Win proposition. Your project wins, your organization wins and YOU win.

In the profession of Project Management, Lee R. Lambert, PMP has established the standard against which others in the field are measured. Throughout a fast-paced 18 year corporate career with Chicago Bridge & Iron, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, General Electric (Nuclear Reactor Division) and Battelle Memorial Institute--where he worked almost exclusively with engineers and scientists--he quickly ascended to senior management positions and was responsible for the development and implementation of ground-breaking, sophisticated Enterprise project management processes for Engineering, Medical Diagnostics and Research & Development. In 1981, as a result of his pragmatic application of the PM methodologies, he was invited to be an integral part of the creation of the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Program. He is a recipient of the PMI’s Distinguished Contribution Award and was a member of the PMNetwork/PM Journal Editorial Review team for over a decade. He also contributed as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the PMI’s Earned Value Management System (EVMS) Practice Standard. Educated as a Mechanical Engineer, he is a holder of a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. He most recently has been awarded one of the PMI’s highest honors for his ground breaking applied learning programs: The Professional Development Provider of the Year 2007. As an author of two books and 32 professional papers, no other project management educator/speaker can contend with his uncanny technical knowledge, material content and refreshing and entertaining delivery—his hard-hitting, but humorous style, has mesmerized more than 40,000 students in 22 countries. In May, Wiley Publishing retained Lee as author of PMP Prep A-All-In-One Desk Reference Guide. Lee takes the saying; “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt” to a new level.



 Topic: Expected Behaviors for Team Performance: Road Rules, Not Road Rage Track: Soft Skills
Presenter: Lisa DiTullio Room: 11 - 13 9:40am - 10:40am

Course Description
No project can succeed without a project team. More likely than not, your project will also require a number of participants from different areas within your organization. It’s also highly likely you will need to involve parties from external agencies, whether they are consultants or vendors. Regardless of whom and how many you have on your team, you cannot succeed in meeting deliverables and deadlines unless you act as a high-functioning team. Focusing on simple techniques to enhance team behavior and group dynamics, this seminar reveals easy-to-adopt practices to enhance team members’ awareness and accountability resulting in improved decisions, efficiency, and business results.

As past director of the project management office (PMO) at Boston-based Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Lisa DiTullio was a core member of the turnaround team for an organization that went from being placed in State-supervised receivership in 1999 to being the #1 Health Plan in America on the U.S. News & World Report/ NCQA America’s Best Health Plans three years in a row and the Highest Rated Plan in the Northeast for member satisfaction according to the JD Power and Associates 2007 National Health Insurance Plan Satisfaction Study.



 Topic: Tools and Techniques for Effective Decision Making Track: Soft Skills
Presenter: Pat McMahon, PMP Room: 24 - 25 9:40am - 10:40am

Course Description
Leading successful group interactions and guiding groups to decisions is a core skill every project manager must have in his/her tool kit. Through an interactive session attendees will learn the unique make-up of groups - how people act differently in a group setting and several methods for improving group management and decision-making.

Patricia McMahon is a senior consultant with project management implementation and training experience. She has served as the Project Office Director for the American Bar Association. Ms. McMahon has over twenty years of progressive experience with private and public sector organizations. Her career includes project manager, mentor and consulting experience. Ms. McMahon has designed and implemented project management methodologies, program standards and a project/program evaluation methods.

Ms. McMahon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from National Louis University and a Masters of Science degree in Managing for Organizational Effectiveness from Marymount University. She received her PMP certification in 1998.



 Topic: Practical Risk Management: The Secrets Behind Real Improvement Track: PM Tools
Presenter: David Burr, PMP Room: 14 - 15 9:40am - 10:40am

Course Description
Risk Management (RM) is widely under utilized tool in organizations of all maturity levels. This presentation will focus on improvements beyond the mechanics and theory of RM. Topics will include:

  • How to add real value in RM
  • Information beyond the typical RM class
  • What you can do now to improve Project Delivery

David W Burr is currently employed by The Hartford. He has taught project management and facilitated process improvement for over 10 years in the United States, China, India, South Korea, and Mexico. He has been a PM for more that 20 years and has also been a PM Mentor, a Project Control Analyst, and a Program Manager. He considers himself a career Project Manager specializing in Project Methodology and Process Improvement. He has extensive experience in CMMi, and is ITIL and PMP certified. His recent presentations at the PMI PMO Symposium in San Antonio, Texas, Project Management Conferences, and regional PMI Chapters have been enthusiastically received. His ability to take even the driest of topics and captivate, educate, and entertain his audiences has made him a sought after speaker. His experience and success in the areas of Process Improvement have lead many Fortune 500 companies to higher efficiency and effectiveness.



Session B

11:00am - 12:00pm


 Topic: Without Sports, Project Management Would be Hard! - The ESPN PMO Approach Track: PM Best Practices
Presenters: Mike Leser, PMP Room: 26 - 27 11:00am - 12:00pm

Course Description
At ESPN, sports are our livelihood and using that mindset to approach Project Management has helped us evolve our PMO to more effectively utilize our Project Managers. The sports team and metaphors used by the ESPN PMO translate into easy to understand concepts that can be implemented in any organization.

With over 20 years of project management experience, Mike Leser is a recognized expert in the area of project process improvement, as well as portfolio, program and project management best practices. An experienced speaker and contributing author, Michael works to provide solutions that effectively utilize technology and simplify the life of the project manager. His current role at ESPN as Methodology and Portfolio Manager has allowed him to integrate sports concepts with the functions of the PMO. Mr. Leser has presented at conferences sponsored by the Oracle Application User Group and Planview, as well as SNEC-PMI’s monthly chapter meeting, and has co-presented at the inaugural PMI Global Congress.

Mr. Leser holds a Master of Science in Management of Information Systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Computer Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Michael has also completed the Project Management Certificate Program at Boston University, and was a part time adjunct lecturer at the Hartford Graduate Center (Rensselaer Hartford). Michael is a PMI certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and an Honored Fellow of the Life Office Management Association (LOMA).



 Topic: Process and Possibilities: The “How To” of connecting people with ideas and ideas with results Track: Soft Skills
Presenter: Toni Newman Room: 21 - 23 11:00am - 12:00pm

Course Description
It’s all well and good to say that ideas and innovation are the currency of today’s economy but is that enough? Where do ideas come from? Are all ideas really good ideas? In this value packed workshop, Professional Catalyst Toni Newman will guide you through her simple and effective Strategic Idea Generation ™ process - a proven formula designed to help you connect more people with more ideas more often so that you can get more of the results that you want.

Toni Newman, a Professional Catalyst, is a 5 time award winning business owner with an uncanny ability to help her clients turn information into innovation and ideas into results.

In today’s incredibly challenging marketplace, where competitive advantage is determined by our ability to effectively differentiate ourselves from the competition, highly respected leaders from sectors as diverse as finance, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, and insurance count on Toni’s 25 plus years of real world business knowledge and uniquely creative insight to provoke the kind of thinking that results in innovative strategies specifically designed to propel their organizations forward.



 Topic: The Facilitative Project Manager Track: Soft Skills
Presenter: Gary Rush Room: 11 - 13 11:00am - 12:00pm

Course Description
Project Managers guide projects as process experts - not as content experts. Project management is the same regardless of the industry. Facilitators guide groups as process experts - not as content experts. Facilitation is the same regardless of the business. So, Effective Project Managers are Facilitative Project Managers. A Project Manager needs Facilitation Skills - facilitation skills must be Project Manager core competencies. The Facilitative Project Manager is the ultimate collaborative leader

Gary Rush, CPF, President of MGR Consulting, has managed projects since 1980, been a Facilitator since 1983 and a trainer since 1985. In 1985, Gary created FAST, a structured facilitation technique. In 2007, Gary created FoCuSeD TM - the first Holistic Facilitation Technique that seamlessly integrates the process of building products along with the process of group dynamics - a revolution from FAST. In 2006, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) awarded Gary the IAF Certified TM Professional Facilitator (CPF) designation. He became an Assessor in 2007 and became the IAF Chair in April 2008. As a Facilitator, Gary’s primary job is to get a group of individuals to form as a team, learn to communicate, and achieve a goal or accomplish a task - i.e., collaboration. Gary attended the U.S. Naval Academy, has written ten “how to” books and continues to be a recognized leader in the facilitation industry.



 Topic: Moving from WBS to the Critical Path Track: PM Tools
Presenter: Charles Jones, PMP Room: 24 - 25 11:00am - 12:00pm

Course Description
This presentation reviews key concepts on scheduling and critical path and provides tips on the facilitated schedule creation. Simple techniques provided for facilitating this process will improve the quality of your baseline schedule and give your team a better understanding of their impact on the schedule activities.

Charles Jones PMP is a Senior Project Manager in The United Illuminating Company’s Strategic Business Services (SBS). He has over 20 years of project management experience in a variety of business environments. As a member of the UI SBS, he helps develop and implement the company’s project management capability improvements initiative, leads PM training & mentoring, and manages projects at all levels of the organization. Charles is a certified PM trainer and regularly teaches a variety of project management classes. In addition to the PMP, Charles is a member of the PMI Leadership Institute Class of ’05 and is a Certified Business Continuity Professional. He holds a Mastery Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University and a BA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



 Topic: In Search of the Androgynous Manager Track: Soft Skills
Presenter: Daria Verelley Room: 14 - 15 11:00am - 12:00pm

Course Description
Examine the management competencies of women and men, the similarities and differences between how women and men lead, define the ideal management style which best empowers and motivates our diverse technical workforce, and examine ways to move organizations toward androgyny.

Daria Verelley is a Delivery Project Executive and certified project management professional at the IBM Corporation with 26 years of IT experience in management, project and portfolio management, application development, strategic outsourcing, consulting, and quality management in the financial, public, manufacturing, distribution, and communications industries.

She holds an M.B.A. in Management from Sacred Heart University with a focus on managing diverse technical professionals and the challenges of women in management. Daria has a B.A. in Public Relations and an A.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University.

Daria has held various leadership positions at IBM including Bi-State Diversity Council chairperson (1999-2000), delivery manager, and manager of the Northeast Executive Briefing Center. Prior to joining IBM in 1990, Daria was a senior analyst with Pepsico in Purchase, NY, information technology consultant and account manager for Keane, Inc., programmer/analyst with Gartner Group, operations specialist at Weston Group, and customer service center representative for Northeast Utilities.




Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Extreme Project Management - Bruce "Bruno" P. Hayn

Main Ballroom

Presentation Description
Mr. Hayn was the Lead Project Manager for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Girard’s Family. He will discuss in details how he managed this Extreme Project, with hundred of volunteers, a multitude of stakeholders and a TV camera crew... in 4 1/2 days. This presentation will focus on how project management practices and methodologies were put to the test during this Extreme Home Makeover in Connecticut.

Bruce "Bruno" Hayn is the owner of Home Designs by Bruno. Since 1975, his company has designed and built more than 200 homes. Most recently, Mr. Hayn led the build for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project in Voluntown, CT for the Girard family. He has been the Chairman of the Board of Finance for the Town of Colchester for 22 years. Mr. Hayn holds his degree in Structural Engineering and Business Management from Thames Valley State.



Session C

3:00pm - 4:00pm


 Topic: Why Don't RFP Vendors Provide the Solutions We Expect Track: PM Tools
Presenter: Paul Burek, PMP
Room: 26 - 27 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Course Description
Purchasing a project solution versus building one internally is becoming more common as organizations focus on implementing projects quicker and try to avoid re-inventing the wheel. Selecting a vendor through a Request For Proposal (RFP) process doesn’t always guarantee that the solution the vendor proposed, and you selected, really meets the project’s needs and stakeholders’ expectations.

Project teams make the mistake of jumping straight to the proposal portion of their project lifecycle before clearly defining their needs. The resulting RFP sent to vendors is vague and fails to communicate the critical requirements vendors need to propose accurate solutions. Vendors have little choice except to make many assumptions regarding what they think the project needs are and base their proposals on these, often times, false assumptions. Because the project requirements are so vague, almost any vendor solution appears to adequately address the need.

Paul Burek, PMP, CEO of Solutions Cube Group LLC is an experienced JAD facilitator and Project Manager and Trainer. He has his PMP certification with the Project Management Institute. His career spans more than thirty years in project management, meeting facilitation and course development and training. His training methods focus on closing the gap between project management theory – “What should be done” and techniques for implementing workable project practices “How to actually do it”. He has presented locally and nationally for the Project Management Institute, Southwest Facilitators Network, and the International Association of Facilitators and Fortune 100 and 500 companies.



 Topic: Essential Communications Skills in a Tough Economy - Networking & Interviewing Skills Track: Soft Skills
Presenter: Gilda Bonanno, PMP Room: 21 - 23 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Course Description
Whether you have a job or are looking for a job, networking and interviewing skills are essential to your success. In this interactive workshop, you'll learn how to build your professional relationships when networking and how to project a competent and engaging presence while interviewing. Techniques include how to think on your feet and how to use non-verbal communications.

Gilda Bonanno is a trainer, speaker and coach, specializing in communication and leadership skills. She designs and delivers high-energy, client-focused training programs and workshops for corporate, academic and community clients, including Praxair, Bristol-Myers Squibb, The Hartford, and Southern CT State University.

She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Prince 2 Project Manager. Prior to beginning her speaking and training career, she worked in project management and process reengineering in the pharmaceutical and information technology industries. Gilda also is qualified in the administration of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and is an Authorized Distributor of Inscape Publishing instruments, including DiSC® assessments. She is President of the Southern CT chapter of the American Society for Training and Development and a member of the National Speakers Association.



 Topic: Why project Leaders fail - Emotional Intelligence Track: Soft Skills
Presenter: Thomas Mattus Room: 11 - 13 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Course Description
Project failure is a familiar topic to all of us. We've all seen it; most of us have experienced it first hand. It doesn't take too long for a new project manager to find out why projects fail. The number one cause of project failure is, of course failure to clearly define the project's objectives. Scope, statement of work, work breakdown structure; these are essential to project success. But, is it perhaps that the subject is so close and personal? We don't hear much about what causes project leaders to fail. In this presentation Tom will share with us the results of a survey of IT personnel asked to identify the characteristic failures of the worst manager they ever worked for.

Tom Mattus is the President and Founder of Successful Strategies International, Inc. (SSI). SSI has been for several years a successful training, leadership and mentoring organization that specializes in hands-on Application Project Management and Leadership Development. Tom brings to SSI over 25 years of professional experience in training and business management and development. Prior to forming SSI, Tom was involved with the startup of several training organizations. Tom also was a senior manager at American Express and at Travelers Corporation. Tom brings to SSI over 25 years of professional experience in training and business management and development.

As a corporate officer of SSI , Tom has worked with such Fortune 1000 companies as Johnson & Johnson Worldwide, L-3 Communications, Ingram Micro, Baker Hughes ,With International, Citicorp, Marriott International, Sony, Standard Chartered Bank, Olympus, Cablevision, Pearson and many others to help resolve their project management and leadership needs, thus improving quality and performance. As an instructor, Tom has facilitated courses on such topics as Project Management, Supervisory and Sales Management.

Tom is one of the original members of the Long Island, New York PMI® Chapter, speaking at several PMI® meetings as well as the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). Tom has also been featured in PMI® Magazine and most recently was published on Projects@Work and Project Magazine. Tom recently has published his first book, “Boss Talk in the 21st Century: A Leadership Guide” by Arseya Publishing. Tom is a dynamic speaker and has participated at several PMI conferences and events throughout North America. He has also been a presenter at ASTD.



 Topic: Building and Sustaining a Project Management Culture of Excellence Track: PM Best Practices
Presenters: Starlene McMorrow, Ray Lilley, Jeff Rock, Robert Leyden, Monique Collins-Mashkovich Room: 24 - 25 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Course Description
Do you have a group of professionals that you want to operate as a cohesive and high-performing unit? In this session, you will gain best practices, hear lessons learned and understand consistent challenges in building and sustaining a project management culture of excellence in your organization.

Starlene McMorrow is the portfolio manager for Project Management at Hartford Technology Services Company (HTSC), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hartford Financial Services Group. She is responsible for managing over one hundred project managers deployed on critical initiatives across The Hartford and at other external companies. Star has been with HTSC/The Hartford for over ten years and has prior experience at a large international consulting organization. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and holds a BS in Engineering.

Jeff Rock is an Assistant Portfolio Manager for Project Management at HTSC. He specializes in talent management and is responsible for leading over thirty project managers deployed on business, application, and enterprise-wide initiatives across The Hartford. Jeff has been with HTSC/The Hartford for over twenty years. He is also a Certified Empowerment Coach.

Ray Lilley is a Program Manager at HTSC. He has successfully delivered information technology and business related initiatives of all sizes utilizing both the art and science of project management. Ray has been with HTSC/The Hartford for over five years and has extensive prior experience at other large insurance companies.

Robert Leyden, PMP is a Project Management Professional at HTSC. He has been working in the consulting field for over 10 years as a Project Manager, Business Analyst and Developer. Bob has been with HTSC/The Hartford for over five years and has delivered large scale business and IT projects for The Hartford.

Monique Collins Mashkovich, PMP is a Project Manager at HTSC. Currently she is responsible for several project initiatives within the Property & Casualty Company of The Hartford. Monique has twenty plus years of experience working in the insurance industry, ten of those years have been within the Project Management arena.



 Topic: Scrum Master / Agile Project Management Track: PM Tools
Presenter: Dan Mezik Room: 14 - 15 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Course Description
Scrum has emerged as the absolute best practice for Agile project management. Scrum has 3 Roles, 3 Ceremonies, and 3 Best Practices. The Scrum process is very simple to explain, and typically, difficult to execute on. Scrum does not tolerate waste-- in any form. Scrum is a ‘lightweight’ process that aligns intentions with results. If you intend to deliver working software while generating a minimum of waste, Scrum gets you there….fast.

If you understand Scrum, you understand most of Agile. Attend this session to get clear on Agile, Scrum, and the general idea behind iterative, empirical project management.

Dan Mezick is a Certified Scrum Master and Scrum coach based in Connecticut. He is a presenter on Agile topics at Agile2007 and Agile2008. Dan runs the AgileCT user-group and Agile Boston user-group and is the Learning and Education Stage Track Director for Agile2009. Dan is a software patent author. His firm provides Scrum coaching and .NET training throughout Connecticut. Reach Dan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; call him at 203.234.1404; or visit the .NET training website for more information.


Closing Keynote

Building the Strength for Change - Noah Blumenthal

Main Ballroom


Program Subject to Change (last revised 03-Apr-2009)