William Kohnen, President, CEO – Hydrospace Group

Keynote Speaker

In the complex technological landscape of today, prioritizing management skills over technical competence can lead to significant challenges and ethical dilemmas in innovative project management. Organizations must recognize the importance of technical expertise in program management and ensure training programs balance both technical and managerial skills. Cross-functional training and exposure to various aspects of project management are crucial for developing competent program managers. With over three decades of experience in aerospace and hydrospace projects, the author emphasizes that effective project management requires a deep understanding of all project facets, including leadership, creativity, resourcefulness, adaptability, diplomacy, and extensive knowledge.

Early experiences in aerospace engineering and managing a small private company highlighted the importance of customer communication, technical collaboration, contract negotiations, regulatory compliance, and vendor management. The evolving project management landscape, influenced by changing norms, work standards, and technology, adds layers of complexity, emphasizing trust, good faith, and proper conduct. Public disasters, such as the Oceangate incident, underscore the need for transparent communication and trust-building.

Successful project management extends beyond technical acumen to include financial foresight, ethical integrity, cultural sensitivity, and interpersonal skills. It involves balancing schedule and cost trade-offs, prioritizing customer needs, and managing workforce cohesion. Regulatory compliance, customer education, and vendor relationships are pivotal for ensuring project success and public trust. Navigating cultural and generational differences is essential, particularly in the diverse environment of the USA.

In conclusion, high-tech project management demands a harmonious blend of technical expertise and interpersonal skills. Mastering these diverse elements is crucial for project success and organizational growth, with trust, adaptability, and effective communication at the core. Click here to see the complete abstract.

William Kohnen is president and Chief Executive Officer of HYDROSPACE Group Inc., a California company expert in manned submersibles and a wide spectrum of pressure vessels for human occupancy. Mr. Kohnen has 30 years of engineering experience in engineering serving the aerospace, medical and subsea industries with a primary mission to promote new technologies for the management of world oceans and industrial infrastructure. He leads as the Chairman of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) Submarine committee, a role he has fulfilled for 20+ years. Under his guidance, the committee has played a pivotal role in shaping industry standards and fostering collaboration among experts worldwide. He was made MTS Fellow in 2014 and has published multiple papers and articles on the state of the submarine industry. Mr. Kohnen founded the World Submarine Organization in 2023 to gather the world of submarines experts around the world in a mission of stewardship for the development of a new industry. He is a member of the ASME PVHO (Pressure Vessels for Human Occupancy) Safety Standards Committee, a member of the ABS Special Committee on Rules for Underwater Vehicles, Industry representative for DNVGL Underwater Technology Rules review, member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), the Aerospace Medical Society and was member of the Deep Submersible Pilot association. Mr. Kohnen is Co-Founder of SEAmagine Hydrospace Corp which designs and produces manned submersibles since 1995, with fifteen vehicles distributed around the globe. Kohnen was born in Germany and grew up in Quebec on a milk farm. He moved to California in 1986 to seek engineering wonders. He completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. He speaks six languages, has many stories to tell, is married for 35 years and has two children.  

See the CNN interview with William here.

Evelyn Chao

Evelyn Chao is a high school freshman from Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. She earned the Project Management Ready™ Certification from the Project Management Institute at the age of 13. Since then, she has channeled her social service enthusiasm into empowering youth with project management education, inspiring young individuals of all backgrounds to achieve their full potential and make  positive impacts.

Believing in the transformative power of education and the unity of knowledge and action, Evelyn 
established PM Ready, a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accessible at
www.pmready.org. PM Ready makes project management learning engaging and accessible to
everyone and fosters intergenerational conversations about leadership.

Beyond her academic pursuits, Evelyn is a sea cadet, a varsity rower, an award-winning artist and skater, and a seasoned violinist. In her leisure time, Evelyn enjoys reading, watching movies, and hanging out with her family and friends.

Evelyn is a loving older sister to two siblings and takes pleasure in nurturing their inquisitiveness by engaging them in enjoyable small-scale projects.

To learn more about Evelyn, visit: www.evelyn-chao.com

Dr. Luigi Morsa

Aerospace Engineer & Space Fluid Dynamics PhD with experience in Aerospace Structures, Avionics, Aerothermodynamics, Flight Mechanics, Project Management, and Innovation Management Software.

Career highlights include serving as Project Manager, team leader and experienced engineer for challenging and demanding programs for a big group of Aerospace Industry and consultant companies. Additionally, Luigi has collaborated with other authors, publishing articles on “Chess and Business Strategy” and “People Innovation: A New Vision to Innovate” for the International Institute for Learning (IIL) Blog. Further, the speaker contributed a chapter on “Innovation Management Software” to the book “Innovation Project Management” published by John Wiley & Sons in 2019.

The speaker has significant speaking experience, having presented at the Project Management Institute (PMI) Conference – Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) 2018 in Berlin on the complexity of the aircraft industry market and the relationship between product and customer needs. Their published work includes a case study on “The Airbus A380” in the book “Project Management Case Studies Fifth Edition” published by John Wiley & Sons in 2017.

Academically, the speaker holds a PhD in Space Fluid Dynamics from the University of Naples (2011) and an Aerospace Engineering Degree (BA+MA) from the same university (2008). They also spent time as a Visiting PhD student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA (2011). The speaker’s professional development includes training in Fundamentals of Project Management for Aerospace Professionals (Kansas, 2016), Aircraft Structures Design and Analysis (Orlando, Florida, 2013), and DSMC Codes with Emphasis on NASA’s DSMC Analysis Code (Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2011). Additionally, they collaborated with the German Aerospace Research Center on Aero-Thermo-Dynamic Analysis of SpaceLiner aircraft, supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), from 2010-2015.

Dr. Anil Sawhney

With over 25 years of experience in the construction and infrastructure sector, the speaker is passionate about advancing the professional development, standards, and knowledge of this critical field. As the Head of Sustainability at RICS, they lead a portfolio of global activities designed to ensure that RICS achieves its strategic objective to lead and influence on sustainability.

In addition to their leadership role, the speaker is also an educator and a researcher. They teach project management at the University of Southern California and Boston University, and have published multiple papers and reports on digitalization, decarbonization, Building Information Modeling (BIM), alternate technologies, and digital model-based delivery. The speaker’s academic and professional contributions have been recognized with several honors and certifications, including the 7th CIDC Vishwakarma Achievement Award and the 2014 Distinguished Scholar Award.

The speaker is always keen to learn and explore new technologies and innovations that can enhance the construction and infrastructure sector’s efficiency, quality, and sustainability. With their extensive experience, expertise, and passion for the industry, they are well-positioned to contribute to the advancement of the construction and infrastructure field.

Dennis Carlberg

Dennis is the Associate Vice President for University Sustainability at Boston University. He is an architect with over 25 years of experience in architecture, planning, and sustainable design.Prior to his role at Boston University, Dennis was a partner at the architectural firm Arrowstreet. He began his career at the Solar Energy Research Institute, where he conducted daylighting research aimed at reducing building energy consumption and improving indoor environmental quality.

Loredana Abramo

Dr. Loredana Abramo is a global citizen, who has lived and worked in several international locations, across 4 continents.   She has over 30 years of experience delivering large telecommunications networks and leading global programs in the corporate program office. Loredana is a Doctor in Electrical Engineering, a certified Professional Engineer in Italy and has a Certificate in Advanced Project Management from DePaul University. She is a PMP®, a member of PMI, a senior member of IEEE, and a TIA Convergence Technologies Professional.

Always committed to sharing her experience in project management, Loredana has written and presented multiple papers in support of IEEE, PMI, and IPMA. She has co-authored a book on Project Management competency development (Bridging the PM Competency Gap – 2017), a book on Responsible Project Management (The Responsible Project Manager Handbook – 2023) and is adjunct professor at Boston University Metropolitan College. 

Location: Greater Chicago Area

Industries: Telecom, Infrastructure, IT, Engineering

Sandeep Singh

Currently leading the global business development efforts for IFC’s Green Building Market Transformation Program. I advise leading global organizations in their decarbonization journey and have also led the development of a portfolio decarbonization tool that works on the EDGE platform. As a member of SBTi’s Expert Advisory Group for the buildings sector, I have contributed towards the development of SBTi’s Buildings Guidance.

Before IFC, I had over two decades of experience in the real estate sector, in India and the US, with 13+ years in CXO roles spanning both – real estate investments and real estate development. I have worked with leading companies such as CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, BNP Paribas Real Estate, and Mahindra Lifespaces.

I hold an MBA degree from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business, Georgia, USA, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.

I have been invited as an expert speaker at several International conferences such as PERE, MIPIM, GRI Club, GLG, FICCI, CII, etc.

Eva Agapaki

With over 8 years at the forefront of AI and machine learning innovation, I’ve carved a niche as a product leader, contributing to large corporations like PTC and AVEVA. I’m the driving force behind TENET TWIN, a startup I incubated from a mere idea to a beacon of applied research. My deep technical expertise is rooted in a Ph.D. in Computer Vision from the University of Cambridge and MIT, complemented by my role as an AI and Product Management Professor at the University of Florida.

My journey is marked by a series of product evolutions from conception to market dominance. I’ve architected SaaS solutions that empower oil & gas clients to champion sustainability through Digital Twinning and AI. My portfolio spans two industry pilots with leading oil & gas magnates and mentorship to deep tech founders navigating product-market fit. I’ve also steered product development across regulated sectors, from AdTech to aviation, always with a focus on user-centric products.

I am a passionate leader and collaborator. At the University of Florida, I conceptualized and led the Digital Twinning research lab, nurturing a team of 11 researchers and engineers. During my tenure at PTC, I championed and secured funding for an innovation product team, which I scaled to 32 members, directly liaising with the CEO and C-suite across diverse tech segments.

My unique perspective, earned through my career journey in academia, startups and corporate organizations, allows me to give you an AI Product accelerator launchpad with my Hatch Labs programs.

◉ Generative AI (technical, strategic & product management)
◉ Product Strategy
◉ Keynote speaking
◉ Training AI leaders

Markus Halonen

As the Chief Operating Officer at Keto Software Oy, Markus Halonen is a vital part of the Board and Management Team. In this role, Markus leverages decades of expertise to develop value-creating, customized solutions in Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM) for large organizations.

Markus’ comprehensive background in software development, spanning hands-on programming to leading diverse teams, enables him to deeply engage with technical challenges and innovate on operational strategies. Markus is dedicated to setting high standards for himself and his team, driving continuous advancements in productivity and strategic alignment.

Markus’ role extensively involves nurturing strong, lasting relationships with customer executives, delivering practical solutions that address complex organizational needs with professionalism and a client-focused approach. With a long-standing commitment to enhancing enterprise capabilities through effective portfolio management, Markus ensures that strategic initiatives are well-aligned with clients’ long-term business objectives, facilitating sustained growth and success. Markus welcomes the opportunity to discuss how he can collaboratively advance strategic and operational goals with proven PPM and SPM expertise.

Kim Essendrup

Kim is CEO of Raidlog. He believes that data is the best foundation for business decision-making. Hunches, and intuition just don’t cut it in today’s agile business model; executives, leaders, and teams need to make educated, data-decisions in order to successfully navigate the complex and ever-changing business landscape. This is one of the reasons he created AI-energized Raidlog to help project, program, and portfolio leaders identify, analyze, respond to, and communicate about risks.

Kim has also published books and is the co-host of the Project Management Happy Hour Podcast – a place for frank and honest discussion about real world issues in project management. We do it in a way that’s not too dry, though it may get a bit salty from time to time. Each episode covers a problem faced by Project Managers today, and share practical advice, real-life examples and the occasional project horror story.

Jack Mackin

As a Principal at Multivista, Jack Mackin leverages his 20 years of executive leadership and business development experience to deliver high-quality visual construction documentation services to clients across various industries and markets. He is passionate about creating and implementing inventive strategies, long-range goals, and solutions that maximize revenue and sales growth while mitigating risk and creating efficiencies for the projects he oversees.

Jack has a proven track record of leading, managing, and motivating teams of up to 70+ professionals and managing budgets of up to $6M, in his previous roles as CEO, COO, and VP at F.D. Sterritt Lumber Co., a retail lumber yard and leading distributor of FSC-certified wood products. He has also established himself as a national leader and award-winning advocate for sustainable and green building practices and a certified entrepreneur by the Goldman Sachs 10K program. Jack is skilled at recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining top talent and building lasting client relationships based on trust, value, and quality.

James Walker

James Walker has spent over a decade of his career assisting global organizations with their digital transformation initiatives. Known for his focus and commitment to achieving results, he helps organizations expand their modern work management practices to drive more efficiency and support the corporate objectives for those that he serves.

As the SVP of Global Sales at Proggio, James is responsible for revenue, operations, and consulting practices globally. He takes great pride in investing in those around him, understanding that leadership is about getting results while developing people and being motivated by their success. James is focused on helping organizations leverage digital tools and best practices to improve efficiency and better align their operations with broader corporate objectives. His expertise in this area has made him a trusted advisor to many large enterprises navigating complex digital transformation challenges.In his role at Proggio, James leverages his deep experience to lead the company’s global sales efforts, oversee consulting services, and ensure smooth operations across the organization. He is driven by a passion for developing high-performing teams and fostering an environment where both the company and its people can thrive.

Denise Arruda

Jacques Goupil

Jacques Goupil is a dynamic, high-energy professional with extensive experience in work management, strategy planning, solution development, and implementation. He is a Microsoft Certified (MCP) and Professional Management Professional (PMP)™, focused on exceeding client expectations, developing solid customer relationships, and providing effective communication and challenge resolution.

Jacques’ key areas of expertise include work management solutions with Microsoft365. He holds an impressive array of certifications, including the PMI Project Management Professional™, Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, and Microsoft Specialist. These credentials demonstrate Jacques’ deep technical knowledge and proficiency in leveraging Microsoft technologies to develop and implement effective work management strategies for his clients. Known for his energetic and collaborative approach, Jacques is skilled at bringing cross-functional teams together to tackle complex challenges. His ability to provide clear communication and effective problem-solving has earned him a reputation as a trusted advisor to the clients he serves.

Ramesh Razdan

Ramesh Razdan is an accomplished board member, thought leader, and operating executive with close to 30 years of experience. He has a strong track record of delivering exceptional results through tech-enabled transformations to drive business growth, profitability, and innovation.

Ramesh has partnered with CEOs and Boards to assess the impact of technology and to build strategies to evolve businesses and business models. He has significant experience in leading technology organizations for complex global companies in the professional services, technology, and consumer products industries. Ramesh combines strategic thinking and execution skills with exceptional organizational and strategic leadership abilities to deliver business value.

He is recognized as a highly strategic executive committed to developing and motivating high-performing teams. Ramesh is also recognized as an industry expert, thought leader, and noted public speaker on wide-ranging technology topics, including AI and Analytics, Cloud, Cyber Risk, Product Management / Agile, and leadership in the modern era.

Barbara Trautlein

Barbara A. Trautlein, PhD, is the author of “Change Intelligence” and the principal of Change Catalysts. She is also the creator of the CQ System for Developing Change Intelligence. With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Trautlein has facilitated transformational initiatives, certified change agents, and coached leaders, resulting in powerful leadership and bottom-line business results.

Dr. Trautlein is a sought-after speaker and trainer, gifted at sharing real-world, actionable strategies. Her clients include well-known organizations such as Abbott, BP, Cisco, Ford, and ThyssenKrupp.In addition to her consulting and training work, Dr. Trautlein has been a frequent guest lecturer for Boston University. She has also co-presented with Professor Rich Maltzman at the United Nations and the Association of Change Management Professionals.Through her expertise, publications, and speaking engagements, Dr. Trautlein has established herself as a leading authority on change management and organizational transformation. Her innovative approaches and passion for empowering individuals and teams have made her a trusted advisor to executives and practitioners across diverse industries.

James Garner

James Garner is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor who joined Gleeds in 1998. He graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a First Class Honours Degree. Currently, James works as the Global Head of Data and Insights & Analytics at Gleeds, holding the position of Senior Director, primarily based out of the London Office, although he has the benefit of Gleeds’ large network of offices around the UK.

James is a Fellow of the RICS and also serves as a chairman for the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence. He is the technical author for RICS, having recently published the technical guidance for cashflow forecasting in the construction industry. James is passionate about data in the construction industry, believing that the proper use of data can allow the industry to continue moving forward and breaking boundaries. He specializes in the Cost Management and Procurement of Student Accommodation and has successfully completed schemes for many Oxford Colleges, as well as London Colleges. His experience includes work on listed buildings, phased buildings, and restricted sites.

Eman Deabil

Eman Deabil is a Senior Manager at BBK, leading the Transformation Management Office (TMO) and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). She has over 15 years of experience in leading and facilitating strategy design and execution, performance management, and PMO activities across various sectors and industries. Eman holds multiple credentials in project and portfolio management, such as PfMP, PMP, IPMO-P, PRINCE2, Strategy Implementation Professional (SIP), and Certified Balanced Scorecard Practitioner (CBSCP). She also holds a diploma in ESG from the Corporate Governance Institute (CGI).

Eman’s mission is to help organizations achieve their strategic objectives and optimize their processes and performance through evidence-based frameworks, methodologies, and tools. Throughout her career, she has successfully led the implementation of the Balanced Scorecard, the portfolio of projects, and the performance management dashboards at different organizations. Eman has also delivered in-house, tailor-made training and knowledge transfer to relevant stakeholders at different levels. Eman is passionate about innovation, problem-solving, and collaboration. She always strives to deliver high-quality outcomes while leading projects, with the empowerment granted from senior management and the help given from cross-functional teams.


Dave Silberman

Pamela Campbell

Oduwa Osagiede

Mukesh Thakkar

Mukesh (Mike) Thakkar is CEO and principal engineer at Amco Enterprises Inc.

Virginia Greiman

Rich Maltzman

Vijay Kanabar

Jim Hannon