Greg Levenhagen

Greg Levenhagen Speaking
  • Location: Midwest US (UTC -6)
  • Expertise: Software Development, Community Building, Public Speaking, Strategy & Innovation, Career Development, Entrepreneurship
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn

Greg Levenhagen is a Microsoft Regional Director, Microsoft MVP in Windows Development and Principal Software Engineer Consultant with Skyline Technologies. He has a great passion for giving back to the community and teaching. A true enthusiast of computer science, with passions and interests including mobile, UX, architecture, parallel, testing, agile, 3D/games, cloud, languages and much more. Greg speaks at conferences like ThatConference, CodeMash, Code PaLOUsa, TechBash, VSLive, KCDC and DevLink.

He is also a Volunteer Teacher for CS through TEALS, Microsoft Certified Trainer, board member of ThatConference, president of the Northeast WI Developers User Group / Northeast WI Code Camp / Milwaukee Code Camp, cofounder of the Northeast WI Agile User’s Group, INETA speaker, IEEE and ACM member and a PhD student.

Along with being a life-long geek, Greg enjoys golfing, football, woodworking, philosophy and stimulating conversation.

Greg Moore

  • Location: Troy NY (UTC -5)
  • SQL Server, Disasters, Cave Rescue
  • @stridergdm

I’m just getting started here so bear with me as I figure out the lay of the land.

I’m a SQL DBA with over 20 years of experience with SQL Server.

I’ve been speaking at SQL Saturday Events for over 3 years now and love to see new speakers breaking into the field.

In addition to SQL, I also am a caver and teach cave rescue. I also enjoy studying disasters such as plane crashes.

I’ve combined my interests in these three fields into a book, currently on Amazon (small plug) IT Disaster Response: Lessons Learned in the Field.

I’d love to say my first SQL Saturday speaking engagement was a downright success with a standing ovation at the end.  But alas, honesty and modesty prevails and I have to say far from that. The title was “Tips that Saved my Bacon.” Before I even started the presentation, a woman in the back raised her hand and asked, “What is bacon?”  Fortunately it got better from there.

If I can survive that, you can survive your first speaking experience.

I’m looking forward to working with folks who like to combine slightly offbeat topics into something educational and entertaining.

Jan Mulkens

Jan Mulkens Speaking Mentor
  • Location: Belgium (UTC +1)
  • Expertise: Applied Machine Learning with SQL Server and Azure ML Services, Power BI, Database DevOps (SQL Server), Data Integration with SSIS, Data Warehousing, Storytelling.
  • Contact: Twitter | LinkedIn

Short version:

  • Active in IT since 2010 having covered a lot of the current Microsoft Data/BI/AI Stack
  • From nervous newbie speaker in 2014 to experienced international speaker in 2017
  • Grew from attendee to blogger to speaker to User Group founder
  • Willing to provide help on all topics but most comfortable in SQL Server, Power BI, Applied Machine Learning (Azure ML & SQL Server ML Services).
  • When not able to help you, I’ll find someone for you who can help you.
  • Contact me at any time with any question

Long version:

Back in July of 2010, I was working in a call center as a sales advisor. I didn’t have a college degree due to personal circumstances at the time, but i did have a healthy dose of curiousity. In response to an internal opening, I started working with the existing reports in excel that company had. Over the course of a couple of months, I slowly started automating them while learning and experimenting with the back-end, SQL Server 2005. Finally in April of 2011, I was asked to join the IT team full time. And when I say IT team, i mean the IT Manager and me.

Fast forward to July 2014, where I joined one of the largest consultancy firms in Belgium as a Microsoft Business Intelligence Consultant. Since then, I’ve learned a lot, from working with customers to teaching and coaching new starters. But also technical skills like optimising queries for performance, setting up a data warehouse end to end, working with relevant Azure offerings and automating everything possible.

What was perhaps the largest change for me, came when I started diving into Data Science and the related offerings by Microsoft,  which at the time was only Azure Machine Learning Studio. I quickly learned the basics through online courses, including Microsoft’s Professional Program for Data Science, and was able to apply these principles when SQL Server 2016 came out with R Services. Throughout this all I had unknowingly positioned myself in such a way that in january of 2017 I was asked to pick up the secondary role of Competence Center Lead for Microsoft Advanced Analytics. Basically meaning I need to ensure everyone in our business unit has access to the necessary knowledge to serve current and future customers for offerings in this space.

Throughout this crazy personal journey I’ve been giving presentations since the end of 2014. Sharing what i’ve learned at user groups and conferences, has so far been an absolute joy. The feeling you get when someone comes up to you afterwards and talks about the new insights they got through your talk is almost addictive. It also enabled me to get new insights myself by talking with a very diverse audience, each with different use cases. And it helped me to learn more about the international community around SQL Server and what other people are doing at their employers and customers. Being quickly integrated into the speaker community where you can learn even more and help even more people is one of the surprising side effects of speaking.

However, as an employee for a consultancy firm and not being my own boss, this doesn’t come easy or cheaply. I’ve been paying for my own travel expenses to speak at 15 events in 2017 and as of february 2018 I’m already accepted at 10 events for 2018 with 11 more currently pending a decision.

So one of my goals, apart from helping you out, is ensuring that you’re in a position to someday offer others help with writing an abstract or creating a presentation. Or perhaps you might one day help a user group or even start your own user group!

Gavin Campbell

  • Location: UK (UTC+0)
  • Expertise: Data, Databases, Continuous Delivery, Azure, AWS
  • Contact: website

I’m a freelance database developer interested in applying the lessons of Continuous Delivery and Agile to database and PaaS application development.

I’ve been speaking at meetups and conferences off and on for about five years, mostly in short bursts of manic activity with long gaps in between.  Some years ago, I did benefit from some semi-formal training in public speaking through the ASC.

I’ve also been an organiser and volunteer at a number of conferences and meetups, meaning that I have a good understanding of the logistical side of public speaking.

Cathrine Wilhelmsen

Cathrine Wilhelmsen
  • Location: Norway (UTC+1)
  • Expertise: Data Warehousing, ETL, SSIS, and Biml. Abstract writing, slide design, PowerPoint, and presentation tools.
  • Contact: cathrinewilhelmsen.net | @cathrinew | LinkedIn

Hi! I’m Cathrine. I love teaching and sharing knowledge 🙂

My work is focused on Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence projects, and I specialize in ETL, SSIS and Biml development. Outside of work I’m active in the SQL Server and PASS communities as a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, BimlHero Certified Expert, author, speaker, blogger, organizer and chronic volunteer.

I started speaking in 2014 and have since experienced everything from the adrenaline kick of walking off stage after delivering a mostly flawless presentation, to the disappointment of not having anyone show up at all.

You can read more about some of my experiences in my blog posts:
Dealing with Disappointment and Learning from Failures
3 Mistakes I Made While Presenting Remotely
Presenting a webinar for the first time
Help! My computer is dead and I’m supposed to do a demo-based presentation!

I received a lot of help and support when I first started speaking, and I am doing my best every day to give back and pay it forward. Speaking can be terrifying. Things can, and will, go wrong. You will have ups and downs, amazing days and horrible days. But the experience you gain, the people you help, and the friends you make along the way is worth it all!

Everyone has their own unique story, and everyone has experiences and knowledge that can help others. I’m here if you want someone to help you with abstracts, slide decks, or demos. I’m here if you need someone to listen to your rehearsals and give you feedback on flow, content, language and body language. I’m here to support you and cheer for you, whether remote or in-person when you need some external courage.

You can do this! 🙂

Angela Henry

  • Location:  High Point, NC (UTC +5)
  • Expertise:  SQL Server BI Stack (SSIS, SSRS, SSAS), DBA topics
  • Contact:  Twitter | LinkedIn

I am a DBA/BI Developer, living in High Point, NC and love what I do. I’ve been working with SQL Server for 20+ years.  During that time I’ve worn all the hats that come with dealing with SQL Server: developer, administrator, data architect and BI developer.  I have my MSCE: Business Intelligence and was awarded Microsoft’s MVP – Data Platform in 2018 for my community contributions.   I have been a PASS Local Group leader since 2012.

When I first went to college, I wanted to be a teacher, until I realized I had a horrible fear of public speaking.  I quickly switched careers paths, but never lost my desire to teach.  Back in 2013, I was asked to give a talk at a local user group on SSIS by a very good friend because her speaker had cancelled at the last minute.  I couldn’t leave her hanging, so I threw something together really quickly and presented for the very first time.  Because I didn’t hyperventilate, I considered it to be a success.

Since then I have spoken at several Local Group meetings, a local tech conference, and numerous SQL Saturdays.  I have even given a virtual presentation.

I know how hard it is to speak in public.  I still get nervous, but I have developed ways to deal with that nervousness and would love to help others achieve their goal of public speaking.  If I can do it, so can you!

Meagan Longoria

  • Location: Denver, CO, USA (UTC-7)
  • Expertise: Business intelligence/analytics and data viz on the Microsoft Data Platform, distilling complex concepts into useful nuggets of information
  • Contact: Twitter|LinkedIn

When I graduated from college (undergrad), I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I landed a job with a large healthcare IT company where new college graduates were hired, trained, and then placed in various parts of the business. I ended up in the financial reporting group, providing analytics and reporting to company executives and the finance department. That was where I learned that I love working with data and teaching people how to access their data and make sense of it.

In 2012, I attended the SQL Rally Dallas conference and met Bill Graziano, another data professional who lived in Kansas City (where I lived at the time). As we were chatting, I told him I wanted to get more involved with the local SQL community. Bill told me I was welcome to help organize the next Kansas City SQL Saturday, so I joined the planning committee. SQL Saturday has an open call for speakers. I watched as the deadline to submit approached, and I noticed that the submitted abstracts were all focused on DBA and data integration topics. On the last evening that the call for speakers was open, I decided to submit a talk on data visualization in Reporting Services (SSRS). In August of 2012, I gave my SSRS talk. I was nervous, but I very much enjoyed the experience. A supportive community member sat in my session and gave me a few tips and encouragement afterward, and that started the beginning of my addiction to speaking.

From there, I began traveling to speak at other SQL Saturdays and conferences, speaking at several dozen conferences and user groups over the subsequent years. At first, I was just excited to share my knowledge about topics that interested me. Once I got more comfortable, I enjoyed learning from my audience as well. I am continually inspired and enlightened by the other speakers I have met along the way. It takes courage to put yourself out there, but I believe the rewards are well worth it. I have made friends, gained job opportunities, visit new cities, and learned a lot about myself, speaking, and the Microsoft Data Platform. In 2016, I earned the Microsoft MVP award for my community contributions, including speaking at conferences.

You can find a list of my speaking engagements and some presentation materials on my website.

While I know there is always room for improvement in my speaking and presentation skills, I’ve racked up a bit of knowledge and experience over the years and would love to help someone else get started or improve.

Alexander Arvidsson

  • I work as a principal solutions architect in Sweden, focusing on SQL Server and the Microsoft data platform technologies. I love sharing knowledge and I love seeing the penny drop. I’m a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, a Microsoft Certified Trainer, an international speaker, blogger, podcaster and a Star Wars fan extraordinaire.

    I started working with SQL Server and Oracle back in 1997. But like many others, I didn’t find the SQL Server community for several years, but after attending my first PASS Summit in 2014 I realized I had found my home.

    I started attending SQL Saturdays, blogging and sending abstracts all over. I’ve been teaching and presenting since the turn of the millennium, but the SQL Server community was by far the kindest, most welcoming and exciting community I had ever seen.

    My first SQL Saturday session was in Gothenburg in 2016, and from there it has slowly started to take off. It’s a lot of work, but rewarding like nothing else.

    I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all the amazing people in the community. I received a huge amount of help and encouragement when I joined the community, and I jump at any chance I get to give back.  We are all standing on the shoulders of those who came before us, and everyone can be a shoulder to someone.

    Speaking is wonderful, speaking is terrible, speaking is draining and speaking is exhilarating.

    I wouldn’t trade it for the world.