This is a forum for attendees and speakers, as well as Manager Tools followers who are interested in discussing and learning more about the M Conference 2021! I will be visiting the forums on a regular basis to answer your questions, provide assistance and collect your thoughts and ideas. Remember that this event was created to serve YOU, our audience, so comment at will! I look forward to hearing you all contribute!

jnuttall's picture

Who is interested in M Conference Day 3 this year?  Preliminary plans are to play Thursday morning, August 20th, 10 minutes from the conference hotel at The Glen Club.  The Glen Club is a top 100 Fazio designed course on the grounds of the old Glenview Naval Air Station.  Greens fees will be $165.  I will make reservations once I gauge interest.  Open to other suggestions... Monday vs Thursday, or a different course.  Last year we had an incredible time at TPC Las Colinas.  Let's extend this M Conference tradition and get at least a 2nd foursome involved this year.  We'll start early so we can enjoy lunch together after the round before anyone has to head out.  We'll be just 20 minutes from O'Hare, so we should be able to enjoy our round and still get home Thursday evening. 

jnuttall's picture

By the way, they may not remember, but Sarah and Maggie both committed to playing this year, so our second foursome is already halfway done.

ssentes's picture

That sounds kind of made-up John, are you sure I did that? If so, I never go back on my word, so sign me up! Don't let me take the spot of someone who's actually GOOD at golf, but I'm more than happy to stick around and play a round :)

jnuttall's picture

:-) Awesome!

quietlife4me's picture

I'm in for golf.

Sarah and I should probably be in the same cart though so we arn't annoying everyone else with our 20 over par scores.

I'm also a Chicago local so if anyone has logistics or tourism questions I can help.

jnuttall's picture

Fantastic! You're in. Post your contact info or send it to me via email and I'll start the list. I'll go ahead and reserve two foursomes now for around 0830. Here's mine:
John Nuttall
[email protected]
m 404-372-3212

mark_thomas's picture

As a new attendee and long time Manager Tools subscriber,  I just wanted to introduce myself and post my bio per request.  I am really looking forward to the conference!


Recently (April 2020) promoted to CIO at eviCore healthcare, Mark is responsible for oversight of all areas of technology for eviCore, including product-related software development, infrastructure, analytics engineering and call center operations. eviCore healthcare is the leading provider of diversified medical benefits management solutions that help clients reduce costs while increasing quality of care. Mark has spent the past 9 years at eviCore with multiple leadership roles in technology including application development teams, enterprise architecture, infrastructure, and program management. Beyond being eviCore's CIO, Mark also lead's eviCore's Agile Transformation Team (a cross functional team of leaders across eviCore responsible for driving enterprise agility). Before eviCore Mark worked in the defense industry for 12 years in various leadership roles working with several agencies across the government and a variety of technologies including National Missile Defense, Remote Sniper Detection and Perimeter Security Robots.
Mark and his wife Kelly (both graduates of Auburn University) and their 14 year old son live in Bluffton, SC and enjoy the outdoor low country lifestyle.  Mark is an avid outdoorsman, sports fan and tennis player. Mark also spends time supporting the community through organizations like the Auburn Alumni Association and the National Wild Turkey Federation.


ssentes's picture

Thanks for sharing your bio, Mark, it's great to meet you! And congrats on the promotion, these are some interesting times to be leading and, I'd think, even more so in a company providing healthcare solutions to it's customers. We look forward to hosting you at this year's event, and if there is anything we can do to help in the meantime, you know how to find us.


jnuttall's picture

Welcome Mark... have played many rounds of golf in Bluffton at Sun City.  Love that area.

contemplation101's picture

Very excited to attend M Conference 2020! Here's a bio for the record.


Mark Bentsen is the Manager of Quality Assurance at ARGO Data, a software development company providing mission-critical and analytical solutions for financial services and healthcare. He leads a team of 18 engineers and three managers. Mark’s org delivers products for fraud, teller payments, consumer lending, sales & service in banking, patient entity matching, patient care, and others. ARGO products use analytic driven technologies with a decision based engine. Certain products are currently transforming to a machine learning model.

In 2003, Mark started at FedEx where he spent a decade in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility including his first management role. During this period he discovered netcasts. This included Manager Tools’ first episode the week it was published. Mark is a 13 year+ MT member. He attended three MT conferences and, over time, sent all the managers in his org.

In 2015, he became part the Advanced Research Center for Software Testing and Quality Assurance at the University of Texas in Dallas (UTD). Mark presents on QA leadership, KPIs, and root cause analysis in local, national, and international software conferences. Mark is a PMP & CTAL (Full) from ISTQB.

Mark & his wife Melissa are the two time, past President Couple of ‘Better Marriages Texas’ and have been active in Marriage Enrichment since they said “I do” in 2001. Prior to working in technology, he worked in YWAM & Mercy Ships in Switzerland and Namibia. He lives in Dallas with his wife and two boys’ ages 12 and 16.

ssentes's picture

In my experience you can never have too many Mark's, so welcome to the group! We've done quite a bit of work with your group it looks like, that's awesome, we look forward to connecting you with the network now.


ivan.balasko's picture

Dear MT-friends,
as probably everybody else here I am excited to attend the M-Conference. 

I think I started to listen to the Manager Tools podcast 13 or 14 years ago and enjoyed an Effective Manger Conference in Frankfurt some years ago, which so far was the best training I ever attended.

Together with my wife Linyú and our son Aiden (7 years) I live close to Munich in Germany.
Yep, no Oktoberfest this year.

More than 20 years in consulting, the last 12 of them in Executive Search. At aims (we are a global Executive Search firm with 90 offices in roughly 50 countries) I am in charge of our global industry practice "Media and Technology". Leading this group of senior executive search consultants (who are dispersed over the globe) and not being their formal boss is one of my most interesting challenges currently.

My academic background is in business administration which I studied in Augsburg, Germany and Kansas City, Missouri.
(And since Superbowl LIV I annoy people in my office by wearing red Chiefs hoodies when having no client or candidate meetings)

I really am sorry, but I do not play golf (yet).
But maybe there is someone who would like to join me for a run in the morning?

ssentes's picture

Thanks for sharing your bio with us all, it's great to be able to connect with one another! I am also a runner so you can definitely count me in for a morning run before the event, I'm sure there will be a few of us! The hotel is surrounded by parks and nature preserves, it's quite a good location for the outdoor running crowd:,-87.8683237,15.69z/data=!4m8!3m7!1s0x880fb9de94b24667:0xbcc1aa7b0df4be03!5m2!4m1!1i2!8m2!3d42.079686!4d-87.865255.


ynchaustisf's picture

This is my first time attending a Manager-Tools conference.  Looking forward to hearing the speakers and acquiring new tools to use as I move forward.  Here is a little bit about me:


Susan Ynchausti has dedicated much of her life and career to family and community. As a mother of four, she raised her children while volunteering at non-profit organizations and caring for aging extended family members. She is a recent graduate from the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Management. Susan has led small teams and large organizations to educate and build capabilities in their leadership and general constituency. She has demonstrated the advantages of managing with careful budget practices. Her genuine care for the people around her and her positive approach causes others to enjoy her company.




ssentes's picture

As soon as I read your bio I immediately thought that you and our speaker, Maggie Tucker, will hit it off brilliantly! You both know the value of managing to a careful budget, something I know I could get better at. I'm looking forward meeting you, it'll be great pick your brain at this year's event!

ynchaustira's picture

I am expecting the M Conference to be one of the highlights of this year. I feel quite blessed to attend and am very lucky in general. I have a great family and a challenging career. A couple of career highlights are noted in this short synopsis:


Randy Ynchausti is a software engineer, leader, and architect with over 25 years of professional experience in family history and genealogy, real-time process optimization and control using artificial intelligence, business-to-business integration in the consumer industry, and world-wide shipping and container value chain realization. A theme of Randy’s experience is large-scale, web-based systems that involve big data where availability, scalability, and performance are always concerns, Randy has completed high-value projects on six of the seven continents of the World. When he is not with family or working on an enterprise system, you might find him driving a fast car or playing a loud guitar.


ssentes's picture

We're blessed to be able to host you at this year's event! I'm really interested to hear about your work, sounds like you've been far and wide building systems that connect people, how cool! Looking forward to meeting you, Randy!

rmhoerle's picture

I'm looking forward to meeting all of you.   I've been a Manager Tools aficianado for well over a decade and have relied on the MT guidance even more over the last year since moving into a new role and dealing with the pandemic.    This will be my first public Manager Tools conference and I couldn't be more excited.   I've inserted my more formal bio below.


Rhonda Hoerle has been serving as the President of Decatur Mold, Tool, and Engineering since February of 2019.   Building upon her long career in sales leadership at Thermo Fisher Scientific, she brings her passion for nurturing talent to this maker of plastic injection molds founded by her father in 1966.   Rhonda and her family are committed to ensuring that they are providing the opportunity for good careers in this small, rural town.    Rhonda’s talents include professional selling skills, customer relationship management, streamlining processes, and building effective teams.

Rhonda graduated from Purdue University and splits her time between southern Indiana and Chicago.  Outside of work, she enjoys exploring the Chicago culinary scene – especially with her son, Mitch, who is a chef.   In Indiana, Rhonda can be found exploring the local walking trails when not at work.    Her favorite way to indulge her travel bug is by catching up with her daughter, Paige, who currently lives in Erlangen, Germany.    



ssentes's picture

I know that Kate's been down to Decatur Mold working with your group, she still raves about it, you've built something really special over there and should be proud! We're so looking forward to hosting you at this year's event. 

dpatrickwalsh's picture

Hey there, Rhonda! Where in southern Indiana do you spend time? I live in Evansville and work at Berry Global. I imagine we know a few of the same people. 

bpaz's picture

Hello everyone, I'm looking forward to the conference!  The requested bio is below as a brief introduction.

Brian Pasbrig serves as the CEO & General Manager of Show Me Ethanol, an ethanol production facility located in Carrollton, Missouri. Brian began his grain processing career in York, Nebraska in 1994, and has demonstrated expertise in operations, maintenance, quality, safety, environmental and business management.  Throughout Brian’s 26-year ethanol career, his work experiences have taken him to facilities both young and old across the United States and Europe. 

Brian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management.  He and his wife of 27 years currently reside in Liberty, Missouri, where they enjoy soccer and travelling, primarily to visit their three adult daughters.


ssentes's picture

Hey Brian, I saw your registration come through, welcome! Ethanol production, that's a really interesting line of work to be in, very cool. We look forward to hosting you at our event in Chicago!

cassiesmith's picture

Hello everyone, 
By now you have received a notification via email that the M Conference dates have been moved to March 10 and 11 of 2021. We’re sad to miss you this year, and excited to host an exciting event next year. Please reach out with any questions, we’re happy to help.

dpatrickwalsh's picture

Hey there, M-Conf attendees! Looking forward to meeting all of you in person, and not just as squares in my Zoom feed! Bio below. 

David Walsh is Vice President of Supply Chain and Customer Experience for the Engineered Materials Division at Berry Global. He leads the EMD teams for Supply Chain, Customer Care, and Customer Experience. During his 12 years with Berry, David has held various roles in Supply Chain and IT, including Vice President ERP Serivces and Director Supply Chain Systems. 

David received a bachelors degree in History from the University of Southern Indiana. In 2017, he completed the MicroMasters in Supply Chain Management program from MITx. He and his wife live in Evansville, IN with their two childern. 

ssentes's picture

While you do make a mighty-fine postage stamp, I'm sure I'm one of the few in this group who've met you full-sized. So glad you're part of this group so I can see you again and the rest can meet you for the first time. See you next week on the call next week with Eldon!

mbaker's picture


Mike Baker has served as Deputy Village Manager for the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois (population 50,000) since 2008.  He began working for the Village in 2000 and has also held the positions of Assistant Village Manager and Assistant to the Village Manager.

Mike holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.  He first became interested in local government as an undergraduate student at Miami University, where he majored in Political Science and Urban & Regional Planning, while also serving as a volunteer intern for the Town of Oxford, Ohio Planning Department. 

Mike’s career in and commitment to local government has grown since that time, with strong emphasis on contributing to the effective performance of the local government organization and its workforce.   He has assumed leadership roles in several professional associations, including ICMA and ILCMA.  

Mike lives in Downers Grove with his wife, Brigit, and three children: Maryn (11), Isla (9), and Leo (8).  He and his family enjoy hiking, camping and spending time in nature.  



ssentes's picture

It's been a pleasure to serve the folks at Downers Grove at our public conferences in over the years! Thanks for all the support, Mike, and I look forward to meeting you in person. 

wvavrik's picture

Dr. Bill Vavrik is a Vice President and Principal Engineer who leads the Transportation Infrastructure Division of Applied Research Associates, Inc.  He joined ARA in 2000 and currently leads over 115 transportaiton engineering, research, and testing professionals across North America.  Bill has delivered a diverse project portfolio, including projects in transportation engineering, research, development, software, and technology deoployement.  
Bill is the technical lead for the Illinois Tollway Pavement and Infrastructure Management consultant contract.  The Illinois Tollway has documented savings of over $300 million through the implementation of research in materials and construction that he coordinated. Currently, Dr. Vavrik is helping the tollway deliver the cleanest and greenest program in its history.
Dr. Vavrik is the program manager in ARA’s support of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Innovation Deployment Program.  Every Day Counts (EDC) is a state-based model to identify and rapidly deploy proven but underutilized innovations to shorten the project delivery process, enhance roadway safety, reduce congestion and improve environmental sustainability.
Bill is also an elected Village Trustee for the Village of Savoy, Illinois.  He and his wife Liz have 4 children and live in Central Illinois.

ssentes's picture

Welcome, Bill, our newest registrant! Sorry for the late notice of today's call, I hope you'll be able to join us!

jnuttall's picture

I am a Director - Technology at AT&T, where my organization is helping lead the effort to move AT&T internal applications to the Public Cloud.

I've spent the last 25 years working for AT&T (BellSouth, Cingular) in IT, leading software application development teams and organizations.  I've spent the last 10 years using Manager Tools practices, and it has transformed my career.  I've also got an MBA (2007) from Coles College of Business and have been active in that program as an individual and team coach since.

I grew up in suburban Philadelphia area, graduated from Villanova Univ with a degree in EE and Solid State Physics (Go Cats!), and then spent 9 years in the US Navy submarine force.

I am an active Boy Scout leader and enjoy backpacking and golf.  I'm married with 4 children (32, 29, 24, and 5 (you did not misread that :-) ) and 1 granddaughter (18 months) with a little sister due in the spring.

jnuttall's picture

forgot to mention, I was an M1 attendee and am very much enjoying the M2 speaker series and looking forward to seeing everyone in Chicago in the spring.

Tamara Byrne's picture

Hi! Looking forward to meeting everyone in person. Below is my bio:

Tamara Byrne is an Associate Director of Process Sciences at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Rensselaer, NY where she has been for the past 5 years. Her organization monitors data from the manufacturing process to detect and prevent process drifts. She recently took over a group of 45 after managing closer to 10 people before March. 

She spent the last 20 years working at IBM, MKS Instruments, and Regeneron focusing on process data monitoring, and has had direct reports since 2008 when she was introduced to Manager Tools. 

She is from Anchorage, Alaska and graduated with a Physics\CS degree from University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She lives in Albany, NY with her husband of 15 years. 

dbooth's picture

Good morning, M Conference group!

I was very lucky to have attended the first M Conference - it was so incredibly valuable - and am looking forward to the 2nd.  The speaker series has been a great way to bridge the gap between August and March.  I'm looking forward to meeting up with you all.

I've worked for E&J Gallo Winery for the last 16 years with a vareity of roles.  My background is in Engineering, which is where I started, but have since had experience in Continuous Improvement, Maintenance, Operations, and now Supply Chain.  During the last conference, I was the Plant Manager for our "cellar" (it's actually above ground and is able to store millions of gallons of wine).  Almost immediately afterward, I took a new role as the Director of Supply Chain Planning where I have responsibility for the planning and scheduling the production of ~65 million cases of wine.

ssentes's picture

Hi folks, I hope you saw the announcements that the M Conference has moved again, this time to October 27 & 28, 2021. Disappointing but this time I think we've got a pretty good chance of going ahead in October. Gives us plenty of time to get folks vaccinnated, before next flu season hits in full force, it's going to be good! 

We hope you can all join us, please reach out with any questions, we’re happy to help. Loving the new bio's all, thanks for sharing!


Jollymom's picture

Ow, that's sad to hear as we are as excited as you. Anyway, it will give us enough preparation to prepare ourselves to be physically and emotionally fit before the conference. Few months to go!!!