2018 PDD Speaker Bios

Colin D. EllisColinDEllisHeadshot2017

Colin D. Ellis, an award-winning international speaker, renowned project leadership expert and best-selling author, works with organizations around the world to help them build capability that's fit for the future of work.

In a world dominated by projects, Colin is able to draw on more than 20 years of public and private sector project leadership in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia and brings to light the factors required to make every single project successful. Regardless of whether the audience is a boardroom of senior executives or a conference hall of 1500 diverse delegates, he peppers his presentations with anecdotes, statistics, practical insights and plenty of humor to ensure audiences are engaged and laughing! His presentations are an inspirational and entertaining mix of case studies, personal experiences, research and passion that all serve to demonstrate why projects - when done well - can change the world.

Obsessed with helping those involved in projects and transformation achieve their goals, Colin works with organizations around the world to inspire their people and help them build brilliant delivery cultures. In a profession still dominated by methods and processes, Colin brings balance to this by talking about what it takes to be the best version of yourself and create the environment to be successful every single time.

Named the top-rated speaker for 2017 Cisco Live! events in both Las Vegas and Melbourne, Colin is also the author of two best-selling project leadership books – “The Conscious Project Leader” and “The Project Rots From The Head” and writes regularly on the future of getting things delivered.

Colin’s diverse speaking, facilitation and development clients include Cisco, Atlassian, KPMG, Virgin Airlines, MYOB, The Salvation Army, YMCA, The Australian Football League (AFL) The Project Management Institute (PMI), The Association of Project Management (APM), Hewlett Packard, Boeing, Telstra, Energy Australia, Tennis Australia, The University of Adelaide and Conscious Capitalism.

Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Colin now lives in Melbourne, Australia, but travels extensively to deliver his distinctive keynotes and development programs around the world. He enjoys adapting to different cultures while making sure his very British sense of humor shines through. He is also known for his snappy dressing and love of karaoke.

At PDD 2018, Colin will be the keynote speaker and his topic will be, "How to Build the Strongest Project Team." He will also present at a breakout session entitled, "Say What? How to deliver a message so that everyone gets it."

Michael NirMichael Nir

Michael Nir is a keynote speaker, best-selling author and Lean Agile Inspiration Expert, known for his passion, creativity and innovation.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering and a certification in project management. Additionally, he studied Gestalt. Michael’s technical expertise, combined with emotional intelligence, allows him to inspire people and teams to change, experientially and emotionally, while climbing the hill and reaching the summit.

The author of nine books on influence, consumer experience, and Agile project management, Michael delivers practical skills gained from 18 years of experience leading change at global organizations in diverse industries such as: Intel, Philips Healthcare, United Healthcare, DnB, Volvo, JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Unilever and many others. He is masterful at connecting the dots between human behavior, business systems and work environment to drive highly productive teams and lead individuals to communicate effectively.

A passionate guide and mentor for organizations undergoing change, he has also developed lean startup training and delivery programs as well as Gestalt team-building and conflict-management workshops. Michael also draws valuable insight from his unique personal experiences. During college in Israel, he led groups of adolescents on excursions through the desert, observing natural leadership behaviors in team settings. Later, on a hike to Alaska, he had to face down a 250 lb. grizzly bear – giving him a dramatic taste of what it’s like to influence a powerful and threatening personality using his wits alone.

Born in Los Angeles and currently residing in Boston, Michael travels extensively to Europe and east Asia providing consulting and facilitating training. He understands people, organizations and cultures and is comfortable leading cross-functional and cross-cultural workshops.

He will speak on the topics of “The Agile PMO – Practical, Value-Driven Change Leadership in Projects and Portfolios” and “Persuading the Bear: How to Influence Without Authority” at PDD 2018.


Neil Ihdeihdeweb

Neil Ihde is a speaker, trainer, and founder of Life IQ where he motivates groups and individuals to work, play, relate and live intelligently. He has worked with numerous managers, directors, corporate leaders, and teams to improve their personal and professional effectiveness. Neil has worked with over 25 Fortune 500 companies including Wal-Mart, Merrill Lynch, Domino's, PepsiCo, and AT&T among others. He has also consulted internationally with clients from a dozen countries. Neil’s Life IQ YouTube channel recently surpassed a half a million views.

His academic background includes a B.A. in Psychology, a B.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in Counseling. Neil and his wife Deb have two children and live in Appleton, Wisconsin.

At this year’s PDD, Neil will host a session on “Influencing Your Team for Peak Performance Throughout the Project Life Cycle.”

Gail Moteihdeweb

Gale Mote, a trainer and organizational development consultant at Gale Mote Associates, has been a professional trainer for 28 years. As a result, she respects and honors the principles of adult learning. Additionally, her sessions are creative, energizing and get results.

Gale holds a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP®) from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and is a Certified Coach and Facilitator for EQ-i2.0, a psychometric assessment that measures emotional intelligence and how it influences people and the workplace.

Gale graduated from Coe College with degrees in Business, Economics, and Education. She also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Iowa where she is an adjunct lecturer in the Tippie MBA Program for Professionals and Managers. In 2014, she received one of four President and Provost Awards for Teaching Excellence from the University of Iowa.

At this year’s PDD, Gale will present on “The Smarts that Matter Most: How Building Your Emotional Intelligence Drives Positive Results.”

Lori KlinkaLori Klinka

Lori Klinka, keynote speaker, trainer and speaking coach, has taught business communication skills to thousands of professionals in the Fortune 100, the healthcare industry, at small businesses, not-for-profits, and associations, as well as through individual coaching. For over 15 years, she has been a project manager for Live Marketing, an international trade show marketing company, and has produced over 600 presentations for major corporations such as IBM, HP, Siemens, Phillips, 3M, and DuPont. A businesswoman, speaker, educator, and actress, Lori uses her entertainment and her informative style for presentations and workshops.

Lori is a member of the National Speaker’s Association and was voted “Member of the Year” in the Illinois chapter. She teaches speaking and acting at Columbia College in Chicago, and has been nominated twice for an “Excellence in Innovative Teaching” Award. Lori is currently writing her third book.

At this year’s PDD, Lori will present two sessions, “TECHniques for Project Managers: How to Present Information to Influence,” and “People Don’t Come with Warning Labels… Dealing with Difficult People.”


Wale ElegbedeWale-Elegbede-Profile-Largeweb

Wale Elegbede, CSM, ITIL, PMP, is a PMO Manager at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine where he provides guidance and oversees the project management office and project portfolio management efforts across the enterprise.

He has 18+ years’ experience in project portfolio management including oversight of major project initiatives for a Fortune 500 company. Wale’s experience spans multiple industries including information technology, consulting and business start-ups, e-commerce, software development, supply chain and manufacturing and retail. In 2017, led a multidisciplinary project team at Mayo Clinic to implement a CAR T-cell therapy service line for a new FDA-approved immunotherapy for adults with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Wale started a small business software company and developed a lumber business management/inventory system that increased operational efficiency and speed of a Wisconsin lumber company during their growth to 84.3% and sales increase of $30.3 million. His software was mentioned in the 2007 print edition of Inc 5000.

Wale serves on the board of directors of the La Crosse–Rochester project management chapter as vice president/president Elect. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of the People’s Food Cooperative in La Crosse, Wisconsin and Rochester, Minnesota, and is a founding board member of Shoulder to Shoulder, La Crosse.

He holds a B.S. in Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and is working on Masters of Business Administration degree in Leadership Emphasis. In addition to his other certificates, Wale is also a Certified Agile Service Manager (CASM) with the DevOps Institute and an ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management.

At this year’s PDD, Wale will speak about “PMO and Leadership Pitfalls to Avoid when Building a PMO.”


Roger WolkoffRoger-Wolkoffweb

Roger Wolkoff helps people and organizations build authentic trust and drive extraordinary communication with powerful impact and incredible results. He helps individuals tap into their strengths and potential to get out of their own way and get more done. Roger delivers deeper engagement, stronger teams, and meaningful conversations. How does he do it? He provides stories, ideas, and keys to unlock what is already inside of a person. He has over 25 years of expert interpersonal communication and team-building experience. Roger is on a continuous learning journey helping people get unstuck, be more productive, and understand themselves, as well as others better. He loves to discover what happens when you are real. 

Roger lives in Madison, WI with his wife, Anne. He is a big fan of science fiction and enjoys swimming and biking. 

At this year’s PDD, Roger will present on the topic of, “Making Common Sense out of Business Sense.”

Jacy ImilkowskiJacyweb

Jacy Imilkowski PMP, CPCC, ACC is an energetic speaker, born storyteller, and self-proclaimed communication nerd. She deftly weaves story, humor and expertise to share tools and skills that engage participants’ hearts and minds. Her interactive presentations focus on real-world application, and participants leave every session with tools they can immediately apply in their everyday lives.

Jacy is a certified project manager and personal/professional development coach with over 20 years of experience coaching, training, and leading projects. Her understanding of team communication dynamics is exceptional. Jacy has developed and delivered hundreds of learning sessions to individuals and organizations across diverse industries, including American Family Insurance, the WI Department of Health Services, Marshfield Clinic, Mayo Clinic Health Systems and several professional associations.Jacy has been recognized for her business and community engagement achievements by, “In Business Magazine,” as one of 2018's 40 Under 40 young professionals. When not working, she enjoys volunteering as a team member with her local Project Management Institute chapter, a career coach with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, and a foster home for Greyhound Pets of America – Wisconsin. She is an avid speculative fiction and fantasy reader, food and flower gardener, and enjoys spending time in nature with her partner and their dogs.

Jacy will present on the topic of “Building Customer Satisfaction with Core Values-Based Project Management,” at this year’s PDD.

Scott Lesnickscottlesnickpicweb

Scott Lesnick is a high-content, international keynote speaker, author and consultant who motivates, instructs and educates simultaneously. Additionally, Scott earned a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) certificate from the National Speakers Association, a designation of which only 12% of worldwide speakers can boast! In 2016/2017, Scott served as the dean of the Academy for Professional Speakers. He is a graduate of the University of Miami-Florida.

“Kidjacked – A Father’s Story,” Scott’s memoir, and his book “Lifejacked: Life Lessons on Leadership,” were published to critical acclaim. In addition, Scott has 28 award-winning sales and management years at Shaw Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway Fortune 500 company.

Scott focuses his presentations on topics such as increasing productivity, HR, generational and cultural inclusion, excellence in leadership, administrative excellence, healthcare professional development, maximizing performance, maximizing operational performance and excellence, and managing change through great leadership.

At PDD 2018, Scott will present on “Innovation at Work: Removing Barriers to Increase Workplace Productivity,” at a breakout session. He will also close out PDD as the endnote speaker presenting on the subject of one of his books, “Kidjacked.”

Watch our Facebook page to get important PDD info first!





Chapter Membership

Total Members 1121
New members this year 132
PMP® Members 771
CAPM® Members 17
PgMP® Members 5
PMI-SP® Members 2
PMI-RMP® Members 1
PMI-ACP® Members 17
PfMP® Members 3
PMI-PBA® Members 1
Breakdown by type  
Individual Members 1102
Student Members 13
Other Members 6
PMP/CAPM/PgMP/PMI-SP/PMI-RMP/PMI-ACP/PfMP/PMI-PBA are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Stay Informed!

Not a chapter member yet? Register for the newsletter here to stay informed of the exciting chapter news and events.