The Kscope14 Conference Committee

This is the first of many postings on the makeup of the Kscope14 Conference Committee. It is our intention in this series for you to get to know the folks that dedicate themselves to a twelve month process of delivering an outstanding conference, one which gets better and better each and every year. You’ll also get some insight into the process that the conference committee goes through and all of the hard work involved.

My name is Mike Riley, and this will be my third time around as conference chair. I headed up the conference in 2008, and then again this year, 2013, both in New Orleans. In general, a conference chair is appointed by the ODTUG Board, and serves for two years in the position. In 2008, while at the conference, I had decided that I wanted to serve as President of ODTUG starting in 2009. As ODTUG is pretty insistent that the conference chair and the President cannot be the same person, I was done serving as conference chair for a while. However, it was always a desire of mine to try my hand at running the conference once again. This led to my offer to the ODTUG Board to resign the remainder of my term as President of the organization in 2012 in order to lead the conference for the 2013-2014 timeframe. I’m anxious to see what we can build in a city not named New Orleans! (please view the slideshow below for pictures of the Kscope14 Conference Committee)


The conference chair answers to the ODTUG Board, and the President of the Board is a permanent member of the conference committee. Monty Latiolais, as President of the Board, has served on the conference committee, and provides strategic direction and a conduit to and from the ODTUG Board about all things conference related. In addition, the Executive Director of ODTUG, the fantastic Crystal Walton of Your Conference Connection, also serves as a permanent member of the conference committee. Crystal is also responsible for the strategic direction, as well as the planning and execution of anything that needs to be done to make the conference go smoothly.

This year’s conference committee consists of several folks that report to the conference chair. We have a couple of new faces, and some familiar faces, all of this is done intentionally. We try to have volunteers serve for at least a couple of years in their roles, and rotate them off to provide additional opportunities for new volunteers to contribute to the organization.

So, our two content chairs this year are Opal Alapat and Chet Justice. This will be Opal’s first experience on the conference committee, but when you come as highly recommended as she does (both Natalie Delemar and Cameron Lackpour spoke to Opal’s qualities), I generally listen. Opal will be in charge of the EPM/BI content at Kscope14, and she has some mighty impressive shoes to fill (Natalie’s). I am confident in Opal’s abilities, and look forward to working side by side with her for the next year.

Chet Justice returns for his second year as a content chair. Chet is charged with the Application Express, Developer’s Toolkit, ADF and Fusion Development, and Building Better Software tracks. Chet did an excellent job last year, and is already working hard on Kscope14. The call for papers is open and we’re getting many great abstracts.

Natalie Delemar returns to the Kscope14 conference committee, in a different and more focused role. Natalie will be assisting Opal’s efforts as the Assistant Content Chair for EPM/BI. Natalie has also expressed an interest in heading up the Business Content and Executive Track, and will be coordinating the EPM/BI symposiums, as well as being the Oracle liaison for the EPM/BI tracks. I know, it sounds like Natalie has more things to do, not less. Fear not, I know how much time Natalie spent last year (ever hear of the expression “gobs of time”), and I firmly believe this shift in her responsibilities will allow her a little extra breathing room and narrow her focus down to these roles.

John King is also returning to the conference committee for a second year, resuming his role as the ADF and Fusion Development Track Lead. John put a lot of time and effort into this role at Kscope13, and it paid some dividends for us. I’m looking forward to seeing where John takes this content area for Kscope14.

Another new face joining us on the conference committee for Kscope14 is recent ODTUG Leadership Program graduate Debbie Gollnick. Debbie’s very loosely defined role is to head up our “local” conference committee on the ground in Seattle (also known as the “Street Team”). Debbie will be enlisting the help of other local Seattle natives who have reached out and expressed an interest in being more involved. Her committee will be in charge of exposing the Seattle area to the benefits of ODTUG and Kscope. This might be with the local businesses (think Starbucks, Amazon, Nordstrom, etc…). It may include outreach to the local and regional user groups in the Pacific Northwest, and may also include an educational component in outreach to local universities. Debbie will also be able to help us in identifying local points of interest, and promoting those to the ODTUG crowd. I’m excited to have Debbie joining us, and I think adding this role to the conference committee is one that we’ll long look back on as “why didn’t we start this at earlier conferences?” Believe me, talks have already started about Kscope15 (you didn’t think I was going to tell you where it was going to be, did you?), and identifying the proper folks to be on that edition of the local conference committee.

The conference committee is growing, and this is strengthening the long term health of this committee. It also should relate to a better conference experience for everyone, and allows for the growth of opportunities available to volunteers. An additional benefit is that by getting new people involved, it not only brings in new viewpoints, but forces everyone to evaluate everything in a new light. I think it has definitely invigorated me, and I am so excited about Kscope14 in Seattle.

Look for more entries in this series, as I’ll be asking each of these people to fill us in on who they are, what they are responsible for, and the folks who will be working with them to keep Kscope14 trending just like the past 6 years. Kscope…better and better, year after year! Register today to take advantage of the Early, Early Bird Rate (lowest rate possible) thru September 1.

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