STAREAST 2024 - Conference Speakers | TechWell

Conference archive

Conference Speakers

Lisa Allman
Release Train Engineer
Lockheed Martin

Lisa J. Allman, RTE, LPM, APM, SPC, IC Agile Coach Certified, and Air Force veteran, was born and raised outside of Flint, Michigan. Post military service went to college for Computer Information Technology. Lisa started her agile journey roughly 15 years ago as a Software Engineer on a team that...Read more

Tony Anter
DevOps Architect

As a DevOps Architect and Evangelist for BMC, Tony Anter is responsible for showing customers the art of what is possible when it comes to Mainframe DevOps and DevOps in general. Tony has over 25 years’ experience in IT as an individual contributor, people leader and architect. In 2017, Tony...Read more

Lettie Ai-Rahmaan
GTM Product Manager

Concurrent Sessions

Lettie Ar-Rahmaan has over two decades of software delivery lifecycle and application testing experience. Her testing experience has spanned many different industries including; insurance, finance, hr/payroll, transportation, telecommunications, and retail. As a Product Manager for Test at IBM, Lettie brings a wealth of client-facing quality engineering experience and a knack...Read more

VP of Cloud and DevTestSecOps
EPAM Systems

Adam Auerbach is the Vice President of Cloud and DevTestSecOps at EPAM Systems, a leading global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services. Before joining Epam, Adam served as the VP of Quality and DevOps Engineering at Lincoln Financial Group where Adam was responsible introducing and leading the...Read more

Hajer BenMoussa
Code Lingual LLC

Hajer Ben Moussa, founder and CEO of Code Lingual, has been a prominent figure in the testing industry for almost a decade. Specializing in agile software development practices, she brings extensive expertise in manual and automation testing of client servers and web-based applications. Code Lingual, her brainchild, is a multilingual...Read more

Melissa Benua
Director of Engineering

Melissa Benua has worked in nearly every software development role—dev, test, DevOps, and program management—at companies big and small and somewhere in-between. She's created and run high availability, high-quality services for PlayFab, Bing, Cortana, and Xbox One, and now for mParticle's enormous data platform. Melissa discovered her love of massively-scaled...Read more

Technical Architect
Perficient Inc

Monali Bhavsar is a seasoned technical architect with over 12 years of hands-on experience in software quality assurance testing automation specializing in API & Web services testing. Her API testing expertise spans across industries such as automotive, healthcare, entertainment, and media and includes a comprehensive understanding of domain-specific testing challenges....Read more

Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe
Principal & Founder
Social Espionage

Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe is a strategic executive, fluent in 4 languages, specializing in developing business for international brands (Fortune 500) via initiating and integrating digital and social media marketing strategies via enterprise social networking, strategic partnerships and marketing technologies. She has appeared on CBS & Ali Velshi’s show on CNN. Some...Read more

Director of Digital Accessibility

Helen Burge has worked in accessibility since 2000. Over the past two decades, she has worked in various companies with accessibility at the forefront of her work and currently is the Director of Accessibility at Testlio. Enjoying helping the users have the best experience on all products meant Helen joined...Read more

Head of Quality

Erika Chestnut stands as a dedicated advocate for quality, culture, and leadership, serving as the guiding force behind The Leaders' QA Consulting. Seamlessly navigating these domains, she has become a reliable authority in leadership development. With a focus on leadership coaching, consulting, and workshop facilitation, Erika's mission is to support...Read more

Param Chopra photo
Solutions Architect

Param Chopra has been working in the Software Testing space for almost a decade, serving as a guide for clients looking to modernize their approaches in multiple facets of software development and testing, including functional automation on the front and back end, automated performance testing, and pipeline-based execution and feedback...Read more

Head of Quality Engineering
Platform Science

Albrecht Cruz has more than fifteen years of software quality experience. He holds a B.S in Computer Science and a M.S in Systems Engineering. Working in a variety of organizations from scaling Pre-IPO startups to working on large scale defense programs has provided him with a holistic view of software...Read more

Orca Intelligence

In 2007, Melissa Daley founded iT Gets Better, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Atlanta, GA, aimed at enhancing computer literacy in underrepresented communities by providing IT workshops and consulting. Serving 50+ students in 3 months, iT Gets Better had a significant impact. In 2010, due to the 2009 recession, the organization's...Read more


Since he got his first computer at age thirteen, Kaushal Dalvi has been interested in systems and software performance. He spent days researching performance characteristics of different motherboards, CPUs, GPUs, RAM, and disks to configure and overclock them in order to squeeze the maximum frames per second out of the...Read more

QA Team Lead
Insider Intelligence

Philip Daye is a seasoned software quality professional with over 25 years of experience in the field. Currently the QA Team Lead at Insider Intelligence, he has a diverse background as a tester, manager, architect, and leader, and has worked with companies of all sizes to ensure the delivery of...Read more

Julio de Lima
Principal QA Engineer

Júlio de Lima is a specialist in Software Testing with 13 years of experience. Júlio has a Bachelor's Degree in Software Engineering, a specialization in Teaching in Higher Education, and a Master's Degree in Electrical and Computational Engineering with a focus on Testing and Artificial Intelligence. He currently lives in...Read more

QA Manager
Auction Edge

Concurrent Sessions

Amanda Ellison has more than a decade of software quality experience. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in psychology and sociology, a Master's Degree in experimental psychology, and a second Bachelor's Degree in game design. Her software career started as a manual tester at an IT consulting company and she quickly...Read more

Péter Földházi
Quality Architect
EPAM Systems

Péter Földházi was first involved with QA as a beta tester of DOTA in 2006. Since joining EPAM in 2012, he moved towards test automation, and is currently working in the USA as a Quality Architect. He has experience in designing and developing solutions for mobile, web and desktop applications within...Read more

Principal Consultant
EPAM Systems

Julie Gardiner works as a Principal Consultant at EPAM Systems, providing consultancy, delivery, and advice in all aspects of testing, management, and agile/DevOps. She is a certified Scrum Master and agile coach, who has over 25 years of experience, including time as a Developer, DBA, Project Manager, Head of Operations...Read more

Dmitriy Gumeniuk
Head of Testing Products
EPAM Systems

Dmitriy Gumeniuk is the Head of Testing Products, Senior Delivery Manager at EPAM Systems, a leading global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services. Dmitriy led development of solution accelerators at Test Competency Center, focusing of Machine Learning and Neural Networks usage in test automation such as Healenium,...Read more

Marianne Hollier
Client Advocacy Manager
HCL Software

Concurrent Sessions

Marianne Hollier has strong, practical expertise in measurably improving the software development lifecycle and driving the necessary cultural changes to make it work. She is instrumental in architecting, tailoring, and deploying best practices and appropriate software development tools on many types of projects—from large to small, long to fast-track, agile...Read more


Filip Hric is DevRel at He teaches testers about web development and developers about testing. Filip is an international keynote speaker and one of the leading experts on test automation in He’s an author of several Cypress workshops and has taught hundreds of testers and developers around the...Read more

Karen Hsu
SVP, Mobile, DevOps, and Security Solutions

Karen Hsu is SVP Mobile DevOps and Security Solutions at Appdome, focused on automating the delivery of secure mobile apps inside the DevOps pipeline. She co-founded BlockchainIntel to identify fraud in ACH, credit card, and crypto transactions, becoming part of Appdome to extend the mission of protecting people and companies...Read more

Ashraya Iyer
VP, Quality Engineering Lead
BOK Financial

As part of the Quality Engineering leadership at BOK Financial, Ashraya Iyer brings years of expertise and passion to the field of software quality assurance. In her illustrious career, she has been a driving force in reshaping the landscape of software quality assurance teams. With an unwavering commitment to excellence,...Read more

Lead Solutions Engineer
Curiosity Software

Ben Johnson-Ward has spent the past 12 years pioneering testing tools and techniques for global banks, retailers, insurance companies, telcos and beyond. He has occupied many of the roles associated with “quality”, including developer, product owner, product manager, automation engineer and tester. Ben has often gravitated towards model-based testing and...Read more

Sr. Director of Cloud Platforms and Telematics

Ken Johnston is a frequent keynote presenter, trainer, blogger, and author on software testing and data science. Currently he is the CEO of and Senior Director of Cloud Platforms and Telematics for Ford Motor Company.  Prior to Ford, Ken worked for Microsoft for 25 years in various roles including...Read more

Deepika Kale
Staff Software Engineer in Test
Guardant Health

Deepika Kale is deeply passionate about coding and software testing. With every line of code she writes and every test she conducts, Deepika is driven by a desire to create reliable and innovative software solutions. With over eight years of experience as a Staff Software Engineer in Test, she's deeply...Read more

Manager, Enterprise Architecture Program
Teaching Strategies

Christine Ketterlin started her career as a high school history teacher, but a switch to software training got her started on a career path in technology where she has held various positions in professional services and development over the past 15 years. Currently the Manager of Enterprise Architecture Programs at...Read more

Tariq King
CEO and Head
Test IO

Tariq King is a recognized thought-leader in software quality engineering. He is currently the CEO and Head of Test IO, an EPAM company that specializes in crowdsourced and professional testing, development, and automation services. Tariq has over fifteen years' professional experience in the software industry, and has formerly held positions...Read more

Stacy Kirk photo
QualityWorks Consulting Group

Stacy Kirk is an Entrepreneur, Agile Coach, and Nationally Recognized Speaker having championed quality and process innovation for over 20 years. Stacy founded QualityWorks Consulting Group, a test architecture consulting firm in 2010. The company enables enterprises to build higher-quality software and future-ready teams to accelerate software delivery. Her staff...Read more

Andrew Knight
Principal Software Architect
Cycle Labs

Andrew Knight, also known as “Pandy,” is the Automation Panda. He’s a software quality champion who loves to help people build better quality software. Currently, he works as the Principal Software Architect at Cycle Labs, focusing on test automation excellence for supply chains and warehouse management. An avid supporter of...Read more

Phil LaFrance

Phil LaFrance is a software engineer very experienced in working in super fast-paced and agile environments where ambiguity is common and the need to be constantly learning is a requirement. Some of his favorite challenges are tackling difficult tasks that require learning and thought to solve. Prior to joining Coveros,...Read more

Director of Innovation
TapHere! Technology

As the Director of Innovation, Stephanie Laingen has a passion for questioning the status quo and finding new and creative solutions to problems. After completing her Computer Science degree at Yale, she joined TapHere! Technology, a small team of highly skilled engineers that serves in the federal sector. As a...Read more

Vijay Lathia
SQA Lead for Headphones
Bose Corporation

Vijay Lathia is a seasoned professional known for overseeing complete life cycles of cutting-edge consumer electronics and mobile apps, adhering to agile methodologies. His career embodies a commitment to top-tier software quality engineering, consistently delivering enterprise-grade releases from edge to core technologies. Vijay excels in crafting customer-centric test strategies, encompassing...Read more

Matt LeRay
CTO & Co-founder

Matthew LeRay has invested the past 25 years improving the performance of applications across multiple generations of technology. Prior to co-founding Speedscale, he was head of product at Observe, SVP at CA Technologies (acquired by Broadcom) and engineering leader at ILC (acquired by General Dynamics). He is an alumnus of...Read more

Chris Loder
Rogue Automator

Chris Loder, a QA Automation Architect and Manager, is an automation enthusiast to the core. His passion and experience allow him to help companies reduce regression time and improve overall software quality. With over two decades of automation experience, he designs and implements automation frameworks, helping companies reduce their regression...Read more

Director of Engineering

Janna Loeffler has more than fifteen years of software quality experience. She holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering and a master's degree in business administration. Working in a variety of software engineering roles, including development, testing, quality assurance, and DevOps, has provided her with a holistic view of software...Read more

Manager of Software Quality Assurance

Concurrent Sessions

Stephanie McSwain got her start fresh out of college in manual testing at IBM. In her several years at IBM, she was encouraged to gain coding skills and learned Java and Javascript. This propelled Stephanie into a few backend developer positions, but she eventually madehery way back into testing by...Read more

Grafana k6

Leandro Melendez is a performance testing advocate with K6-Grafana helping everyone to ramp up on their performance practices. He has over 20 years of experience in IT and over 10 in the performance testing practice where he served multiple S&P500 customers all over the USA, Mexico,...Read more

Kristoffer Nordström
Northern Test Consulting AB

Kristoffer Nordström is a test developer who has worked with telecommunications systems, distributed compilers, cloud technology, smartphone OS development, embedded systems, and much more. As a testing devotee and a member of the context-driven test community, with his own company Kristoffer consults and teaches the course Python for Testers because...Read more

Quality Engineer
Slalom, Inc.

Blake Norrish can’t believe software actually works. Millions of instructions written by thousands of people, many of whom will never meet and are often separated by oceans or decades, shoved into silicon only nanometers wide and executed in billionths of a second. He is convinced there is sorcery involved and...Read more

Lead Agile Coach
Lockheed Martin

Aly A. Orloff, LSSGB, HIA, HCAFA, PHIAS, PSM I, SA, POPM, RTE, AHRE, SPC, and Army Veteran, commits to innovation, especially the practice and teaching of agile methodologies. Part of the LACE in Lockheed Martin, she is an instructor for the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe) courses and Lead Coach for...Read more

Principal Software Quality Engineer
Everfi, a Blackbaud company

Anna Patterson holds 10+ years in the field of software testing, is an Applitools Ambassador and an avid Cypress-lover. Over her career, she has executed, led, and coordinated software testing activities across a wide spectrum of applications for companies like IBM, Nationwide Insurance, Applause and WillowTree. Currently, Anna holds the...Read more

Jeff Payne
CEO and Founder

Jeffery Payne is CEO and founder of Coveros, Inc., a company that helps organizations accelerate software delivery using agile methods. Prior to founding Coveros, he was the co-founder of application security company Cigital, where he served as CEO for 16 years.

Jeffery is a recognized software expert and popular keynote speaker...Read more

Head of Training and Development
QualityWorks Consulting Group

Julia Pottinger is the Head of Training and Development at QualityWorks. She is a big advocate for work-life balance, rest, and spending time with your loved ones. She enjoys helping companies enhance the quality of their software through improved test coverage, faster time to market, increased process efficiency, and optimized...Read more

Kevin Pyles
Director Test Engineering
O.C. Tanner

Kevin Pyles has been in the QA industry now for over 15 years with project, product, and management roles throughout. Kevin is currently the Director of Test Engineering at O.C. Tanner. Kevin also served on the board for QA at the Point (a local testing meetup), and is an award-winning...Read more

Technical Systems Integrators
Charles T. Reynolds is the founder and CTO of Technical Systems Integrators, Inc. (TSI). TSI is a leading provider of Infrastructure Management solutions serving customers globally since 1987. Chuck holds a BS in Computer Science/EE from Duke University and a MS in Engineering Management from Florida Institute of Technology (FIT)...Read more
Principle Consultant
AmiBug.Com, Inc.

Rob Sabourin has more than thirty-five years of management experience leading teams of software development professionals. A highly-respected member of the software engineering community, Rob has managed, trained, mentored, and coached hundreds of top professionals in the field. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on software engineering, SQA, testing,...Read more

Dionny Santiago
Engineering Manager

Dionny Santiago is an Engineering Manager at Indeed and has 12+ years of industry experience working as an SW/QA/ML engineer, software/test architect, and engineering manager. Dionny completed his master's thesis on exploring the intersection between AI and test automation and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in this problem space. One...Read more

Director of Engineering

Jeff Sing is a Quality Leader who has been in the testing industry for over 15 years. During this time, he has built automation frameworks, test strategies, and executed quality initiatives for fields such as medical devices, infrastructure security, web identification, marketing tech, and experimentation and progressive delivery. Jeff is...Read more

Courtney Six
Managing Director

Courtney Six is a Managing Director for PwC’s Trust Solutions Innovation and Technology, leading user testing and compliance. With 25 years of experience, Courtney’s career started as a financial statement auditor and evolved to delivering innovative technology enabling PwC’s 150,000 audit practitioners. Courtney brings extensive experience scaling and leading product...Read more


Mike Sowers has over forty years of practical experience as a global leader of internationally distributed IT teams across multiple industries. Mike is a senior leader, skilled in working with both large and small organizations to improve their agile software development, testing, and DevOps delivery approaches. Mike is an industry...Read more


Kris St Amand is a Director with 19 years of experience at PwC. Following a decade as an auditor, Kris transitioned to lead PwC's Trust Solutions Innovation and Technology user testing team. Having overseen specialized teams in user, technical, and automation testing, Kris prioritizes seamless user experiences, innovative testing technologies,...Read more

Product Manager
Quality Works Consulting Group LLC

Shantel Stewart-Gayle is a Product Manager at QualityWorks Consulting Group LLC. Over the last eight years, she has helped drive user-friendly high-value products to end users. Shantel has led web and mobile solutions from the discovery phase to product road mapping, backlog development, pricing, release, and finally revenue. She is...Read more


Tom Stiehm has been developing applications and managing software development teams for over twenty years. As CTO of Coveros, he is responsible for the oversight of all technical projects and integrating new technologies and testing practices into software development projects. Recently, Tom has been focusing on how to incorporate DevSecOps...Read more

Software Engineering Manager
Northwestern Mutual

Christina Thalayasingam is an experienced engineering people manager with a strong background in functional and non-functional testing. With 9 years of experience, she has gained a holistic view of software engineering through her diverse roles in development, automated testing, project management, and DevOps. Christina holds a bachelor's degree in computer...Read more

Mark Tomlinson
Performance Architect

Mark Tomlinson is currently a Performance Architect with a small fintech startup in Philadelphia and he is also the producer of the popular performance podcast PerfBytes ( His testing career began in 1992 with a comprehensive two-year test for a life-critical transportation system, a project which captured his interest for...Read more

Grigori Trofimov
Sr. Solution Engineer

Grigori Trofimov is a Solution Architect at Parasoft, working with customers and prospects to provide deployment strategies that increase testing coverage. Specializing in static analysis, test automation, unit test generation and execution, service virtualization, and functional testing, Grigori has been a recent speaker at STAR conferences on the topic of...Read more

Senior Principal Agile Program Manager
Discover Financial Services

Cholette Voehl is a Senior Principal Agile Program Manager at Discover Financial Services. She's a highly accomplished technology professional with 20+ years of experience in the industry featuring a strong background in project/program management, Scrum, Agile methodologies, and software implementation. Cholette has consistently utilized metrics to drive informed decisions and...Read more

TechWell Corp.

Alison Wade is the President of TechWell and an accomplished executive dedicated to the business of software. For the past fifteen years, she has worked with industry leaders developing programs for software development and testing professionals. She currently serves as the Program Chair for EPIC Experience, STAREAST, and STARWEST. She plays a...Read more

Sarah Watkins Headshot
Software Engineer in Test


Sarah Watkins is a Software Engineer in Test at Q2 where she works on an automated end-to-end web UI testing solution that continuously runs thousands of tests daily. She also shares her knowledge of best practices and good coding methodologies with other teams. In addition to this, she is a...Read more

Manager of Testing Center of Excellence

Alanzo White is a Testing Center of Excellence Manager with over 20+ years of experience in the Information Technology industry. He holds a Doctorate in Management in Organization Leadership with a specialization in Information Systems and Technology, a Masters of Science/ Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, and a...Read more

Lisette Zounon
Head of AI, Agile, Quality Practices
Zsquare Solutions Inc.

Lisette Zounon is an accomplished tech executive, serial entrepreneur, and quality engineering leader with two decades of experience helping people and companies improve the quality of their applications with solid tools, a simple process, and a smart team. She firmly believes that industry best practices, including implementing agile methodologies, DevOps...Read more