Stay tuned for details about the next ThoughtSummit

Speakers

Calling all intranet teams! Are you a communications, IT, or HR professional? Do you work on or manage your company’s intranet? Our curated list of speakers is designed to help intranet teams move from good to great, with skill-building sessions, intranet case studies, and inspiring thought leadership.

ThoughtSummit Speakers
Eric Goodman

Eric Goodman

Intranet Coordinator, EngenderHealth
Keeping Your Staff Motivated, Post-Launch
Tuesday, May 2, 9:25 am – 9:50 am

What happens after launch? How do you continue demonstrating the value of your intranet to employees? Eric Goodman will share his post-launch story (filled with tips & tricks to use on your own intranet) and how a little innovation and a lot of dedication helped EngenderHealth embrace the intranet as their central platform for internal communications.

Eric Goodman is the Intranet Coordinator at EngenderHealth, a non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of women and girls through its work in family planning, maternal health, gender equity, HIV and AIDS, and youth programs. Based in New York City, Eric is the point person for everything related to EngenderHealth’s intranet: Athena. In addition to helping to develop the information architecture of Athena, auditing content, and maintaining the homepage, Eric also regularly trains staff from various offices in the United States as well as field offices in Africa and Asia. Eric’s role continues to evolve as the organization adapts Athena as a tool for improving internal communication and he is very excited to be an integral part of helping to fulfill the organization’s mission of “One EngenderHealth.”

Deb Lavoy

Deb Lavoy

CEO of Narrative Builders, Narrative Builders
The Orchestrated Workplace
Tuesday, May 2, 1:55 pm – 2:35 pm

Intranets are not just for community. The future workplace must be engaged, but also efficient. Collaborative, but also agile. We’ll look at how intranets have evolved from shared document storage to community builders to a central hub for community, collaboration and efficiency. We’ll see how they become the hub of the well orchestrated workplace.

Deb Lavoy is a 20 year veteran of the collaboration and communications industry. She’s worked to help companies from Adobe to OpenText to Jostle Corporation develop technologies that help people work together effectively. As a marketing executive and an analyst, she’s studied what makes teams work, what makes companies act like communities, and how to support and sustain the beautiful messiness of people doing work. Deb is CEO of Narrative Builders, a consultancy that helps companies be more meaningful to their markets and to their employees.

Clare Buttry

Clare Buttry

Director of Executive Internal and Executive Communications, Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association
Started from the Bottom and Now We're Here
Tuesday, May 2, 10:40 am – 11:05 am

In this session, Clare will discuss how WFAA took it’s intranet from a rarely-used LotusNotes tool to an integral part of their internal communications strategy with ThoughtFarmer. Citing practical examples such as their approach to change management, PR issue handling, and employee engagement, Clare will detail how WFAA used ThoughtFarmer to enhance communication and collaboration, and how you can too.

Clare is the director of internal and executive communications at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, the nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering alumni engagement and financial support of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Clare has been an intranet advocate since the first days of Connect, WFAA’s ThoughtFarmer intranet, and now manages all internal communications for a staff of almost 300. Over the past few years, Clare has led organizational change management efforts for WFAA, utilizing internal communications best practices and tools to help staff understand and accept these changes. Clare lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband Carrick and puppy Percy, and is passionate about yoga, hiking, cooking (eating), and comedy podcasts.

The Capital Region BOCES Team

The Capital Region BOCES Team

ThoughtFarmer Champions, BOCES
Client Case Study: How Teamwork, Grit and One Cockeyed Owl FINALLY Launched Our Intranet
Tuesday, May 2, 1:30 pm – 1:50 pm

After nearly a decade of failed attempts, BOCES finally found the right ingredients to launch an intranet that cut across long-established silos within the agency.

Hear from the team who created BERT, BOCES’ ThoughtFarmer intranet, as they walk you through how they transitioned their intranet from a project to a program, and the myriad challenges they faced throughout the journey.

Deb Bush

Director of Communications
Deborah Bush-Suflita is the director of communications for the Capital Region BOCES. She is a member of the BOCES’ executive leadership team and leads a school public relations service for approximately 60 public schools in New York state.

Carol Ratigan

Assistant Director of Human Resources
Carol Ratigan is the assistant director of human resources for the Capital Region BOCES. She is a member of the BOCES’ leadership team and leads a staff of seven employees serving more than 1400 employees.

Jill Aurora

Communications Coordinator
Jill Aurora is the Communications Coordinator for Capital Region BOCES. She oversees a team of six communications professionals who provide both internal and external communications support to the organization and its over 300 programs and services. She also provides support for the executive leadership team.

Nicole Graf

Public Information Specialist
Nicole Graf is a public information specialist for the Capital Region BOCES. She works on a communications team representing the six divisions of the BOCES and has primary responsibility for the day-to-day support and oversight of our awesome new intranet.

Wil Arndt

Wil Arndt

Creative Director, ThoughtFarmer
Crafting Effective Communication: The Psychology of Design Principles
Monday, May 1, 11:45 am – 12:15 pm

Do you know the difference between readability and legibility? Or when to use the three modes of interaction? Or why some pages just “feel” so easy to read while others take extra effort to crunch through? Design has these answers and more! Join Wil as he taps into the psychology of screen-based communication design, helping us understand why humans “see” things they way they do. Starting off with a whirlwind tour through the basics of visual design and rounding out the session with some real-world applications in ThoughtFarmer, we think you’ll walk away with at least one new idea or concept that you can start using in your visual communications today.

The Creative Director is responsible for ensuring that projects meet the highest standards of design and communication excellence. Wil works closely with clients to articulate a vision for great design and digital brand integration, while seeking to delight the user and exceed the project’s communication objectives.

With over 20 years of design experience, Wil’s work has been honoured with some 150 industry and design awards and numerous accolades in the media. As principal of leading Vancouver digital agency Mod7 (before being acquired by OpenRoad in 2013), Wil helped to push the boundaries of digital storytelling, mobile development, and interactive design.

David Constantini

David Constantini

Technical Support Engineer, ThoughtFarmer
Hidden Gems of ThoughtFarmer
Tuesday, May 2, 10:10 am – 10:35 am

Looking to spice up your intranet? Want to know how to get the most out of your ThoughtFarmer installation? This session will outline some awesome tips and tricks to take your ThoughtFarmer experience to the next level.

As technical support engineer for ThoughtFarmer, David’s goal is to keep our 100% Client Support Satisfaction rating. This includes installations, upgrades, as well as troubleshooting and optimizing. Prior to OpenRoad and ThoughtFarmer David worked in the agriculture industry focussing on traffic and logistics, as well as administration. David has a degree in Business Administration, and a diploma in Information Technology Management. In his free time, David’s enjoys outdoor activities such as snowboarding and cycling. He’s also an avid gamer and a talented cook.

Tim Schiller

Tim Schiller

Professional Services Developer, ThoughtFarmer
Ideas & Inspiration: ThoughtFarmer Custom Cards
Monday, May 1, 11:10 am – 11:40 am

ThoughtFarmer is an excellent out-of-the-box social intranet solution. Custom additions can take your intranet from excellent to amazing. In this demo session, Tim will showcase a selection of ThoughtFarmer extensions that we have built for clients over the last few years. He will demonstrate solutions that are practical, pretty, and more-often-than-not, both. Expect to leave this session full of ideas on how ThoughtFarmer customizations could benefit your intranet!

Tim works with the ThoughtFarmer team to help clients get the most out of their experience through customization and integration. He provides consultation and implementation for projects that extend ThoughtFarmer beyond the out-of-the-box solution. Tim also leads the ThoughtFarmer development community to help others create their own custom portlets and use the API. Additionally, he provides training and consultation for ThoughtFarmer web analytics.

Since 2008, Tim Schiller has been an integral part of the ThoughtFarmer Development Team. Tim’s technical expertise includes .NET web development, Microsoft Windows and SQL Server management, and SharePoint administration. Tim has a Bachelor’s of Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. Tim’s technical side is balanced out by his musical talents, his interest in fitness and his love for the outdoors.

Sam Marshall

Sam Marshall

Founder, Clearbox Consulting
Making Sense of Your Digital Workplace
Monday, May 1, 9:20 am – 9:50 am

With the growth of social and collaboration tools, mobile access, and cloud applications, the modern intranet is in the throes of an evolving landscape. Intranets remain highly important, but your company’s roadmap needs to plan for the digital workplace as a whole.

Based on first-hand experience developing countless strategies, Sam Marshall will demonstrate how approaching this from an employee perspective brings clarity and purpose to decisions. Also, how to ensure the needs of your multiple stakeholders are being addressed.

Sam Marshall is the owner of ClearBox Consulting and has specialised in intranets and the digital workplace for over 15 years, working with companies such as AstraZeneca, AkzoNobel, TUI Travel, Sony and SABMiller. His current activities focus on intranet and digital workplace strategy, the business side of SharePoint, and the use of enterprise social tools.

Sam was responsible for Unilever’s global portal implementation, leading the roll-out of over 700 online communities to 90,000 people and consolidating several thousand intranets into one.

Amol Gill

Amol Gill

Sales Director, ThoughtFarmer
Five Things You Should Be Doing with Your Intranet
Monday, May 1, 9:55 am – 10:20 am

What do boosting employee engagement, enhancing collaboration, minimizing mass emails, encouraging innovation, and strengthening corporate culture all have in common? They represent five strategic objectives that your intranet can help deliver on.

In this session, Amol will share a number of examples and best practices from ThoughtFarmer clients that will leave you inspired to achieve your long and short term goals via the intranet.

Amol is the Director of Sales at ThoughtFarmer. With over 11 years of experience, he has a deep understanding of the complex communication, collaboration, and cultural challenges that organizations face.

Prior to joining ThoughtFarmer, Amol has spent the duration of his career in the the high-tech industry working for companies like eBay and Maximizer CRM. As part of management, he played an instrumental role in leading the sales team, improving sales processes, increasing revenue, and improving the customer experience.

Deane Barker

Deane Barker

Chief Strategy Officer, Blend Interactive
Why Content Projects Fail
Tuesday, May 2, 8:30 am – 9:15 am

The content management implementation failure rate is higher than it should be, and projects seem to fail for the same cluster of reasons: unrealistic requirements, expectations, and human factors. In this session, Deane will discuss the major reasons for project failure learned through almost two decades of implementation experience, and discuss strategies and policies to put in place at each stage of the project to prevent them.

Deane got his start in web content management in the mid-90's—before the discipline even had a name. Since then, he has become a content veteran, having lent a hand in hundreds of implementations ranging from small marketing sites to massive publishing operations. Deane has worked on almost all programming architectures and dozens of different CMS platforms. This knowledge has helped him become an expert in all things content management, which he frequently writes and speaks about.

Lee Bryant

Lee Bryant

Co-founder, Post*Shift & Shift*Base
A Higher Purpose for the Intranet in Organizational Change
Tuesday, May 2, 4:05 pm – 4:50 pm

This talk will describe how the social intranet is an ideal base for the emerging digital workplace toolset, and describe how intranet professionals can build on this key connecting role to play a meaningful role in organizational change.

Lee Bryant is passionate about using social technology to put humans front and centre of the way we do things in the Twenty-First Century, and believes social networks, not bureaucracies, are the organizing principle of the digital era. He co-founded Headshift in 2002 to investigate new uses for social technology inside companies and organizations, which became a leading international social business consultancy and was acquired in 2009. In 2013, he co-founded Post*Shift to explore the intersection between new social technologies and new thinking on the structure, culture and practice of work, with the aim of creating organizations fit for the Twenty-First Century.

Deborah MacKenzie

Deborah MacKenzie

User Experience Designer, ThoughtFarmer
Workshop: Learn How to Build an Intranet Structure by Engaging Users
Tuesday, May 2, 11:10 am – 12:00 pm

Are your users having trouble finding content on your intranet? Are you having trouble creating a structure that meets everyone’s needs?

Learn how to craft and refine your intranet structure in a way that matches how users think about data. In this hands-on workshop you will try two common engagement techniques: card sorting and task testing. Card sorting is an exercise to map users’ expectations and understanding of your content, while task testing is used to validate and refine an existing or proposed intranet structure.

As a User Experience Designer, Deborah strives to champion the interests of the end-user. Her primary objective is to make complex tasks easily manageable by users of all skill levels.

Deborah brings eight years of UX design experience, having worked in the local Vancouver UX community, as well as spending three years abroad in the UK. Prior to joining ThoughtFarmer, she worked on feature products at Aviva, the largest insurance in the UK.

Deborah holds a Bachelor of Science in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University. She is a recent graduate of the masters program at The Centre for Digital Media, which is Canada’s first professional graduate degree program in digital media.

Jessica Dill

Jessica Dill

Senior User Experience Designer, ThoughtFarmer
Workshop: Learn How to Build an Intranet Structure by Engaging Users
Tuesday, May 2, 11:10 am – 12:00 pm

Are your users having trouble finding content on your intranet? Are you having trouble creating a structure that meets everyone’s needs?

Learn how to craft and refine your intranet structure in a way that matches how users think about data. In this hands-on workshop you will try two common engagement techniques: card sorting and task testing. Card sorting is an exercise to map users’ expectations and understanding of your content, while task testing is used to validate and refine an existing or proposed intranet structure.

Jessica is a senior user experience practitioner, specializing in information architecture and user research. With over 15 years of experience, she uses a broad range of tools to design usable products and deliver exceptional service to clients.

At ThoughtFarmer, Jessica helps clients create usable classification and categorization structures to ensure well organized content and easy-to-use intranets.

Before joining the team, Jessica worked at Analytic Design Group, a user experience consulting company where she led several large-scale user experience projects through discovery, research, strategy, and design phases.

Darren Gibbons

Darren Gibbons

President, ThoughtFarmer
The Future of ThoughtFarmer
Tuesday, May 2, 2:50 pm – 4:00 pm

The workplace is constantly evolving. As technology inundates the space with more tools promising increased productivity and better collaboration, where does your intranet fit in? How is ThoughtFarmer evolving to keep up with the changing landscape? Join Darren Gibbons, Wil Arndt, and Trevor Allen for an in-depth discussion about the future of ThoughtFarmer and how it will facilitate the vision of workplace orchestration.

Darren Gibbons is the President of ThoughtFarmer. With 20 years of experience consulting on technology projects, Darren understands the (often complex) relationship between people, process, and technology. He writes on topics related to technology management—and how you can employ technology in combination with people and processes to create change inside your organization.

Trevor Allen

Trevor Allen

User Experience Designer, ThoughtFarmer
The Future of ThoughtFarmer
Tuesday, May 2, 2:50 pm – 4:00 pm

The workplace is constantly evolving. As technology inundates the space with more tools promising increased productivity and better collaboration, where does your intranet fit in? How is ThoughtFarmer evolving to keep up with the changing landscape? Join Darren Gibbons, Wil Arndt, and Trevor Allen for an in-depth discussion about the future of ThoughtFarmer and how it will facilitate the vision of workplace orchestration.

Trevor has eight years of experience designing useful, usable and innovative web-based software. As a User Experience Designer for ThoughtFarmer, Trevor is responsible for ensuring new features work in a way people expect while ensuring the overall experience of the product remains consistent, intuitive and, dare we say, fun to use.