Agile Austin is the largest group of Agile professionals in the central Texas Area. As a 501c(6) non-profit (with appreciation to Andrews-Kurth), we provide and promote gatherings of like-minded individuals in the Austin Area.
Senior Executive Leader and Business Transformation Expert with a track record of turning around underperforming companies and accelerating growth in business units and teams by leveraging Agile and Lean philosophies. Domain experience includes financial technology, software and services.
Skilled at communicating complex issues in terms that a wide range of stakeholders can understand and embrace; add value by streamlining operations to increase efficiency and transform businesses. Serve as the high profile company face/voice of technology to customers, partners, and vendors.
Servant leader with a passion for developing high performing teams to exceed expectations. Expertise includes building and leading new business units, organizational optimization, change management and process building in rapidly changing environments.
Max Ekesi has served as an Agile Transformation Leader for 13 years.
In his 20 years IT experience he has been a People Manager, Scrum Master, Program Manager, Product Development Lead and presently an Enterprise Agile Coach at Whole Foods (Amazon subsidiary). He has been leading Agile IT Transformations since 2007 in Fortune 30 and above companies while leveraging Agile and Kaizen principles.
He founded and has facilitated the Agile Austin Leaders SIG since 2011 and now is honored to serve as VP & COO in Agile Austin - an organization he has been a member of since 2009. He regularly speaks about Agile Transformations in Austin, nationally, (and thanks to zoom) globally.
In his spare time Max likes to play/watch/coach soccer and travel the world with his wife and two daughters.
Adam Li is a senior technology leader with over 20 years of hands-on experience in software engineering, project management, and Agile transformation. He is a passionate learner, practitioner, and leader of Agile and Lean since 2000.
Currently, Adam is the Vice President of Engineering Strategy and Transformation at WellSky, a healthcare technology company. As a member of the engineering executive team reporting to the CTO, he is responsible for engineering strategy, enterprise Agile transformation, process improvement, release management, quality assurance, program management, staff development, offshore/nearshore resource vendor management, engineering operations and support.
Adam is a Certified Scrum Professional, Scrum at Scale Certified Practitioner, Licensed Agile Fluency Facilitator, and holds PMP, CISSP, CISM, ITIL, Six Sigma and many other industry certifications.
Mike is an operationally-minded leader, experienced in building teams, delivering results and optimizing processes. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Carolina. Currently, he is the VP of Operations for Agile Velocity, which has been actively involved with Agile Austin over the years.
With over two decades of experience in the software industry, working with clients and leading teams of varying sizes, he understands the holistic challenges organizations face. He is passionate about eliminating waste to enable both the organizations he works with, and the people around him, to grow and thrive. He creates environments where people are excited to be part of the team and hopes to do the same as part of Agile Austin’s board.
For fun and fulfillment, Mike enjoys sports and volunteering. He is a lifelong fan of soccer and plays as much as his schedule permits. When not out playing, he’ll watch almost any sport or competition, especially if it involves the South Carolina Gamecocks. As a volunteer, he helped deliver the Keep Austin Agile Conference in 2015 and 2016 by exceeding attendance goals as a member of the marketing committee. He also volunteers at his church where he’s been a greeter and special events volunteer for the last 12 years.
Kerri is an Agile Transformation Leader who started her agile journey in non-software development. She has led and coached teams across diverse functional areas including marketing, cyber security, modeling & simulation, and IT. In recent years, she has focused her time coaching leaders (Directors to C-Suite) and program teams on their journey to be successful in constantly changing and ambiguous environments. She takes an integral approach to her coaching and consulting, exploring organizational change holistically (mindset, culture, and systems).
Kerri is one of the few people in the world who hold both the ICAgile competency-based expert certifications in Agile Coaching and Enterprise Coaching. She is the co-founder of Agile Coaching Circles. She is a certified TBR trainer and finds joy in the "aha" moments of collaboration, innovation and learning.
When she isn't coaching, training or facilitating, you can find Kerri hiking somewhere in the mountains, exploring new cultures or watching college sports with her friends.
Leland Newsom is an Agile Transformation Leader with over 25 years hands-on experience in software engineering and Agile Transformations. He is a passionate lifelong learner and enjoys sharing his knowledge through teaching and mentoring of others. He has a BS in Computer Science from Texas State and has many Agile certifications.
In his 20+ years of experience in software development organizations, Leland has performed many roles which include Software Developer, Manager, Director, Scrum Master, Agile Coach, and a SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE). He is currently an RTE and Agile Transformation leader Emerson Automation Solutions.
Leland founded and has facilitated the Agile Austin Agile at Scale Since in 2016. He frequently speaks about Agile and DevOps related topics at Agile Austin meetups, Keep Austin Agile or other conferences, and has been the guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast. He is honored to serve as the CLO to provide opportunities for the professional growth of the Agile Austin members and community.
In his spare time, Leland enjoys the outdoors, camping, and BBQing.
Brett Simon, a highly successful Managing Director, Recruiting Manager, Executive Recruiter and Agile Trainer who possess a unique combination of technical expertise and proven direct hire and executive search capabilities. An early software engineer Brett began his career on the technical side developing software before entering the industry joining Robert Half, the oldest and largest direct hire firm in the US. Having excelled early and working his way up to Practice Manager Brett learned the in’s and out’s of direct hire from this industry leader. He next became Recruiting Manager at Agile Velocity, an Agile Consultancy that is a staple in Austin, Texas where he help build this consultancy wearing many hats including recruiter and recruiting manager.
It is here that Brett became an Agile Evangelist and was soon a Certified Scrum Master.
He then joined Modis to help launch a Direct Hire Practice and while in the role of Division Director was responsible for building a team and running a full desk. Brett excelled and became the number 2 executive recruiter in all of North America placing CIO’s, CTO’s, Software Engineers, Architects and Big Data talent in and around Texas. He then assumed responsibility for the entire Modis IT Austin operation and continued to have success.
In early 2017 he joined Collabera to help build and launch their stand-alone Direct Hire Practice. As one of the very first hires Brett applied his technical knowledge to helping Collabera build their own ATS, using his past experience to develop processes and procedures and all the while continued setting personal and company bests in placement fees generated. Brett always envisioned starting a firm in the industry he loves and bringing a more technical and consultative approach to the every day. His experience and proven track record within three (3) of the industry leading firms has given him the knowledge and tools to excel within Simon+James.
As Chief Strategy Officer Brett is tasked with helping to define and test the strategy of Simon+James. He ensures an Agile approach is followed within the DNA of the company and continues to run a full desk specializing in C-Level IT leadership roles and highly technical Architects and Software Engineers. Brett resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Kelli.