Congratulations to our newest IIBA®-AAC Certification Recipient
Ken Vander Horn, AAC
Ken Vander Horn, AAC is a senior Business Systems Analyst at IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, Maine. Ken has been an analyst over 20 years specializing in business systems analyst for the last 9 years. Agile has been a part of his experience since he first start working with Agile teams back in 2005. He participated in this year's Agile Analysis Study Group provided by the chapter, and passed the IIBA® Agile Analysis Certification exam on Friday, September 20, 2019.
IDEXX Laboratories is a global organization focusing on companion animal healthcare. They are in the business of helping Veterinarians provide the highest care they can to our pets. Ken is a founder of the IDEXX Analyst Community, a global community that promotes business analysis excellence through the IIBA materials and competencies. The community is nearly 900 members strong and hosts events that help analyst at IDEXX learn about IDEXX, grow their skills as an analyst, and connect with other across the organization.
The IDEXX Analyst Community is proud to be the 2019 recipient of the IIBA® Corporate Leadership Excellence in the Advancement of the Practice of Business Analysis award to be presented at the IIBA conference (BBC) in November. If you are attending be sure to say hello to Ken.
Aaron Whittenberger, CBAP, CSPO, AAC
Aaron passed the IIBA®-AAC exam on Sunday, September 8, 2019. He participated in this year's Agile Analysis Study Group provided by the chapter. Aaron credits the study group for excellent teaching and providing the knowledge to be able to pass the exam.
Aaron Whittenberger has 30 years of Business and Information Technology experience, including 17 years of business analysis and 15 years as a Consultant. He earned his Certified Business Analyst ProfessionalTM (CBAP®) certification in 2008, and his Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO®) in 2018.
Aaron is Founding President of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter, as well as has served the IIBA® as Regional Director of the Americas Eastern Region and the Chairperson of the Role Delineation Committee, responsible for the relevancy and validity of the IIBA® certification program. He is a 2016 Inductee into the Bluegrass Business Analysis Hall of Fame.
Aaron lives in Independence, KY and has four children. He recently retired from umpiring high school baseball, but still enjoys watching his kids play soccer, football and baseball.
Owensboro, KY – Bluegrass IIBA Chapter announces the launch of the Owensboro IIBA Branch. Bluegrass IIBA Chapter brings a business analysis educational and networking program to the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, with a goal of promoting the business analysis profession throughout the entire state. To accomplish this goal this outreach to Owensboro will allow business analysis professionals in and around Owensboro to congregate there to participate in the Bluegrass Chapter programs. “We’re excited about this opportunity to bring our programs into the western hemisphere of the state, and really appreciate those leaders in Owensboro that are working with us to make this happen, especially Brad Logsdon of Swedish Match.” says Aaron Whittenberger, Vice President of Professional Development for Bluegrass IIBA Chapter.
The first few meetings in the fall of 2019 will be held at Swedish Match. The first meeting will be held on August 21st, and will explore The 7 Principles of Agile Business Analysis. Following these first meetings, the leadership group in Owensboro will decide whether they wish to rotate meetings around the city or continue to hold them at Swedish Match. You do not have to be a long-time or full-time business analyst, or even hold the Business Analyst job title to join the group. If you have interest in organizational change and helping organizations achieve better business outcomes, come network with the group in Owensboro and see what business analysis is all about.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky. Owensboro joins the Kentuckiana Branch in Louisville as branch operations of the chapter. The Chapter has outreach to the east side of the state and south of Lexington to explore the opportunities for branch operations in those areas.
You can view what Owensboro IIBA has going on at https://bluegrass.iiba.org/Owensboro. Come check us out, you are always welcome!
Congratulations to Kathy Leigh on passing the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ exam:
Kathy Leigh passed the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) exam on Thursday, July 18th, to become the first student of the 2019 BABOK® Study Group to become certified. Kathy is a charter member of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter, and member of the inaugural Board of Directors as Vice President of Membership and Sponsorship. Shortly thereafter, the Board split that position into two positions and Kathy became the Vice President of Sponsorship. In this role, she worked tirelessly to increase both annual Chapter Sponsors and meeting sponsors for the Chapter. Kathy was elected President of the Chapter in 2018.
Kathy is a Certified Advanced Facilitator as well as a Certified Business Analysis Professional™ with 30 years of experience in Information Technology, including 25 years in project and program management, and IT business analysis. Kathy earned a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. She currently dedicates her time to teaching college students at University of Phoenix to prepare them to find fulfilling jobs in IT and Project Management. Kathy also volunteers for Junior Achievement. She loves thoroughbred horse racing and has been to tracks all over the United States, Canada and UK, but thinks Keeneland is the best racetrack in the world. Kathy is a 2017 Inductee into the Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter ran a membership promotion for the first part of the year. For this promotion professionals in the community had the opportunity to earn a discount code to join the chapter or renew their membership or annual pass. Each engagement with the chapter also earned people an entry into a drawing for fabulous membership prizes. The Chapter Board of Directors held the drawing and announce the prize winners
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter announces that their chapter membership has reached 60 for the first time in its five (5) year history. “It has been a challenge to get membership to this level, and I feel that the way we price our events have helped us reach this milestone” says Aaron Whittenberger, Vice President of Professional Development. Aaron continues to explain, “We currently have a BABOK Study Group going on and have 31 participants in that study group. Many of them were already chapter members, some were members of IIBA® (International Institute of Business Analysis) and joined our chapter to get the discount for participating in the study group. We price our events to bring out that membership value.”
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter has an Agile Analysis Study Group beginning on August 13, 2019, for those interested in studying for the IIBA® Agile Analysis Certification (IIBA®-AAC) or just learning the content of the Agile Extension of the BABOK® Guide. The study group will teach the finer points of the Analyst role in the agile framework. Again, it will be priced to encourage chapter membership or Annual Pass purchase.
One of the great benefits of participating in Bluegrass IIBA Chapter events, if you are not in Lexington, Kentucky, is that the chapter broadcasts and records all our chapter meetings and most of our events. The chapter has the Kentuckiana Branch in Louisville, Kentucky. A group congregates there in Louisville and participates in the chapter meetings and events. Occasionally, the speaker is actually in Louisville. You don’t have to be a chapter member, or member of IIBA, to participate in chapter events; just register for the events you wish to participate in. All recordings are posted to the members-only section of the website so that members can review them later.
Along with the 60 chapter members, Bluegrass IIBA Chapter has six (6) people who have purchased the Annual Pass from the chapter. The Annual Pass is not membership, but it gives you some (not all) benefits of membership; such as free attendance to chapter meetings and deep discounts to other chapter events, but it does not give you access to member-only content and resources. The Annual Pass was developed for those that don’t want to join the parent association, IIBA; but wants the benefits of a closer relationship with Bluegrass IIBA Chapter.
“There are more people that we can reach” says Aaron Whittenberger. There are far more than 60 business analysis professionals in Lexington alone. Possibly triple that many in Louisville. This doesn’t go to mention Owensboro, Bowling Green and other places in the state of Kentucky. Aaron continued “We want to reach these professionals and raise awareness of the benefits, events and resources we have available that will help them advance their own careers.”
If you are interested in connecting with Bluegrass IIBA Chapter, join their email list to receive notifications of upcoming events and news from the chapter.
Congratulations to the first person from Bluegrass IIBA Chapter to obtain the IIBA®-AAC Agile Analysis Certification...
Bill Phillips, CBAP, PSM, AAC is a Business Analysis Consultant in Lexington and an IIBA® member with over 30 years of experience delivering value to his client base. His engagements have included a wide variety of business sectors including retail petroleum, higher education, hardware, life and health insurance, public health and highway transportation.
He has focused on Agile delivery since 2013 and has served as a Product Owner on multiple international teams simultaneously, showing that he is an early adopter of agile principles. Bill earned the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) certification as part of the SQS-Rural USA business analysis consulting team in 2016. He passed the Agile Analysis (IIBA®-AAC) certification exam yesterday. Bill plans to promote IIBA as a leader in the Agile community, showing the Agile Mindset applies well beyond delivery only. You can connect with Bill on LinkedIn.
Congratulations to Bill on achieving this career milestone!
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter announces new community support from R.J. Corman Railroad Group. “We’re excited to see the commitment to the community and professional education that R.J. Corman shows in this sponsorship” says LeShai Phelps, Vice President of Sponsorship for Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. “Community involvement was very important to our founder, Rick Corman, and that commitment still exists in the company today”, says Richard Power, Business Analyst for R.J. Corman Railroad Group.
Richard J. (Rick) Corman started his business after graduating from Jessamine County High School, in Nicholasville, KY, in 1973. The company is still headquartered there today and employs 1,700 employees in 22 states. The company’s operations encompass an array of services, including: railroad construction, short line railroad operations, dispatch, industrial switching services, emergency response, track material logistics, distribution centers, signal design and construction and an excursion dinner train. The company’s diversity has given them the ability to service all aspects of the freight railroad industry at any scale. R.J. Corman also encourages employee health and community involvement. In support of these ideas, the company hosts and sponsors numerous community-wide events, including its traditional Fourth of July fireworks celebration and 5k races that benefit employees and their families, as well as local charities and organizations.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is dedicated to the advancement of the business analysis profession in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky. Bringing awareness of best in class educational resources for business analysis professionals supports that mission. Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is dedicated to assisting business analysts advance their careers. This brings awareness of the value that business analysts provide organizations in the Bluegrass state and throughout the world.
Darrell Zuercher, PMP, CBAP, CSM, SSM
Chapter Leadership Position:
Vice President of Membership
Darrell Zuercher is the incoming Vice President of Membership for the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. He has been a member of the chapter since March 2018 after moving to the Louisville, KY area.
As an Atlanta native, Darrell grew up in the deep South, graduating from college in Atlanta and graduate school in Tennessee. Between those two accomplishments, he fled to the Pacific Northwest. He began his IT career in a college library, before moving on to home improvement stores and income tax preparation.
In 2002, after the tech bubble burst, he returned to Tennessee to open his own writing services business. He became a journalist for a local weekly paper and a regional business journal, wrote marketing material for local companies, including websites. With an opportunity to work in the electric utility industry, he spent 13 years on a six-month contract. From there, he moved into the logistics domain just over a year ago. Through it all, he has focused on communication: data entry, technical writing, Scrum Master, and business analysis.
A life-long learner, Darrell has worked to improve his skills throughout his career. As a result, he has obtained the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®), Project Management Professional (PMP®), Certified Scrum Master® (CSM® [Scrum Alliance]), and SAFe Scrum Master (SSM [Scaled Agile Academy]). He has put his training to use, serving as a team Scrum Master for three award-winning teams. He also coaches Agile and SAFe practitioners, answering their questions regarding the role of business analysis in those frameworks.
When not working, Darrell enjoys writing, playing and watching sports, attending concerts, collecting stamps, role-playing games, and antiques shopping. These activities have also added depth to his career, teaching him to identify relationships, see from different perspectives, value teamwork, and notice details.
Darrell and his wife, Kelley, have been married since 2010 and have recently moved to Louisville from Chattanooga, Tennessee. We are still exploring the area and welcome recommendations.
What would you like Bluegrass IIBA Chapter to do for the community and business analysis professionals?
My vision for any professional organization is to provide resources to practitioners so that they can provide more value in their positions. This was true for me as a member of the Society for Technical Communication, and it is true with the Project Management Institute and the International Institute of Business Analysis.
As the saying goes, “All politics is local” (Tip O’Neill), so I see it with professional organizations. All benefits are local benefits. The Bluegrass Chapter, with the Kentuckiana Branch, has an opportunity to improve the quality of business in an entire region of the country. With Business Analysts in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, as well as in southern Indiana, the chapter’s influence is far-reaching. I would like to see its benefits follow.
The chapter provides training for CBAP certification, but the response to the notifications indicates that either too few Business Analysts have the required experience for the CBAP or they do not recognize the benefit of the certification. I would like to see the chapter evangelize the certification benefits more.
With Louisville being the largest population center in the state of Kentucky, I would also like to see the chapter do more to raise awareness to the benefits that the IIBA—through the chapter—provides to the profession and its practitioners. The panel discussion at the University of Louisville was a good attempt at doing that, but I have not seen much follow-up with the attendees. Perhaps I have not been attentive. We have had a few visitors at our chapter meetings but have not been successful in retaining them. I would like the chapter to improve upon that, as well.
As the incoming Vice President of Membership, I look forward in working with the other board members to expand our membership through outreach events, training opportunities, and networking with non-members, so that the Bluegrass Chapter becomes the first resource Business Analysts consider for professional development or guidance.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter and Adaptive US, Inc. announce business partnership.
On March 1, 2019, Bluegrass IIBA Chapter and Adaptive US joined forces to bring new resources to business analysis professionals in and around the great Commonwealth of Kentucky. “I am very excited about the partnership with Adaptive US. The information is presented in fun and easy to understand methods. I look forward to our future endeavors.”, says LeShai Phelps, Vice President of Sponsorship for Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. Ananya Pani, Director and Co-founder of Adaptive US added, “We are excited to be working with Bluegrass Chapter as a partner. Bluegrass Chapter opens marketing channels in Kentucky and US for us. This collaboration will surely be beneficial to both organizations going forward.”
According to Aaron Whittenberger, CBAP, CSPO, Vice President of Professional Development for the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter, “Adaptive US has resources that will allow the chapter to provide our community an Agile Analysis Study Group for the first time.” Adaptive US has an Agile Analysis Study Guide, online question bank and courses to assist business analysis professionals in obtaining the IIBA-AAC certification. This certification is based on the Agile Extension to the BABOK Guide v2. Aaron added, “We feel that can have some AAC certified professionals in our area by end of the year using these materials.” Kathy Leigh, President of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter added, “This allows the Chapter to be the champion of promoting agile approach to software development in the region.”
Adaptive US is the world’s leading business analysis solutions organization which helps participants and organizations succeed in their quest for prestigious IIBA certifications. It is the largest BA publisher and assessments provider in the world and a premier partner to IIBA in Canada. They provide CBAP, CCBA, ECBA and AAC online training, question banks, study guides, simulators, flashcards, audiobooks, digital learning packs across the globe. With a success rate of over 97%, Adaptive’s success guaranteed training programs are immensely popular in the market. Adaptive US’ mission is to help their participants and clients succeed in their business analysis career and endeavor.
Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is dedicated to the advancement of the business analysis profession in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky. Bringing awareness of best in class resources for business analysis professionals to obtain IIBA certification promotes that mission. Bluegrass IIBA Chapter will continue to advance awareness of best in class resources for business analysts to help them advance their careers. This brings awareness of the value that business analysts provide organizations in the Bluegrass state and throughout the world.
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Based in Lexington, Kentucky and serving all interested Kentucky Business Analysts
Mailing address: Bluegrass IIBA Chapter | 1588 Leestown Road, Suite 130-111 | Lexington, KY 40511