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  • Wednesday, June 01, 2022 9:05 AM | Recognition IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Sarah Poynter on her Certification in Business Data Analytics


    Sarah Poynter is currently a Software Engineering Manager of a team of mainframe misfits for the Core Systems at USBank, where she has been employed for 23 years.  She started her career in the branches in 1999, then moved to a Branch software help desk role until 2002. She moved into a Business Analyst role at that point in Tech Services when USBank and Firstar merged.  That was the beginning of her journey as an IT business analyst. At one point she zigged over to a Programmer Analyst role for 3+ years before zagging back into a Senior Business Analyst role since working with both the technical folks and business lines is her passion.  She loves being the ‘bridge’ between those two groups.   Sarah has an Associate Degree in Applied Science (Computer Science) from Southern Ohio College where she took two Cobol coding courses. Those two courses alone have served her well the past 20+ years while working on USBank’s Core Systems team.  Sarah has been CBAP certified since October 2015.

    With the recent shift towards a Digital Transformation focus at USBank, data analytics has become a hot topic and a priority focus for the business lines.  When the CBDA certification became available through IIBA, Sarah became very interested in learning more about the role of data analytics from a business analysis perspective.  She attended several study groups with the IIB

    A Bluegrass and SE Michigan Chapters and several presentations through Bluegrass Chapter before committing to take the CBDA exam in spring 2022.  She believes the CBDA material provides a great framework for understanding how to work on analytics initiatives with both the business lines requesting the analysis and the technical teams responsible for sourcing, gathering, and analyzing the data for interpretation.  Sarah sat for the CBDA exam on May 14, 2022 and passed on the first try.

    When Sarah isn’t working or participating in IIBA functions, she enjoys down time with her 3 dogs, Fancy, Hay Hay and Neno and catching up on the latest episodes of her favorite TV programs.  She and her family are based in Florence, KY.  Her son and daughter-in-law reside in Milwaukee, WI and both recently graduated from MIAD (Milwaukee Inst. of Art & Design).  She and her husband often travel to Milwaukee with the pups to visit.  Sarah is very thankful for the growth and development in business analysis that IIBA has provided over the years and enjoys sharing that knowledge with her team at the bank and beyond whenever the opportunity arises.

  • Wednesday, May 25, 2022 11:50 AM | Recognition IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    Thank you for your Service to the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter!

    As she leaves our Board of Directors, Bluegrass IIBA Chapter thanks LeShai Phelps for her service to the chapter and Bluegrass business analysis community. 

    LeShai is leaving our Board of Directors as Vice President of Sponsorships, where she has gained multiple sponsors for the chapter. She has promoted the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter's programs within the community to gain corporate support for those programs. 

    Prior to being Vice President of Sponsorships, LeShai served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and in the roles of Director of Marketing Strategies and Newsletter Publisher on the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter Leadership Team. She has seven (7) years of service to the chapter. She was inducted into the Bluegrass Business Analysis Hall of Fame in 2018 for her service to the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter.

    LeShai is a Business Analyst at Tempur Sealy in Lexington, KY and a Real Estate Agent. If you searching for a house in Lexington, give her a call!

  • Monday, May 23, 2022 9:25 AM | Professional Development IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    Were you not able to attend the Bluegrass Business Analysis Conference (BBAC) on April 29, 2022 but wish you could have? We have good news for you! You can now purchase the content of the conference. You will be able to watch video recordings of the sessions and download presentation slides from the conference. Not all presentation slides are available, some speakers did not provide them to share. 

    The was a full-day professional development event that highlighted two keynote addresses, three tracks of presentations, a business analysis Kahoot! game and three BA Wellness Stories. You can use the link below to go to the conference page to see the entire program and use the button on the bottom of the page to purchase the content of the conference.

    Afterward you will gain access to the event program page with all the recordings and presentation slides. 

  • Friday, May 20, 2022 2:36 PM | Finance IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    Bluegrass IIBA Chapter holds elections for half their Board of Directors each April. The results of this year's elections were announced, as always, at their Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held this past Wednesday. 

    Bluegrass IIBA Chapter has a new President! Bill Powers, CBAP, AAC will serve as President of the Chapter for the next two years. Bill will leave his position as Vice President of Marketing and Communications to take the position of President. Bill is a Senior Business Analyst in the Enterprise Business Consulting Group at Republic Bank and Trust. Bill has served Bluegrass IIBA Chapter for the last four years as Newsletter Publisher and then Vice President of Marketing and Communications. 

    Also elected into the office is Stephanie Hawkins, MSIA, CISA. Stephanie is elected into the office of Vice President of Community Outreach and Engagement. She is the incumbent in this position as she was fulfilling the unexpired term of her predecessor. Stephanie is a BA and IT Risk Analyst Consultant working for various companies including Humana. She has served the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter in the position of Vice President of Community Outreach and Engagement for one year. 

    Last but certainly not least, elected into the office of Vice President of Sponsorships is Kathy Leigh, CBAP.  Kathy is the outgoing President of the Chapter and has served on the Board of Directors since its inception in 2013. She has served in the roles of Membership and Sponsorship, and then took the Sponsorship role when those two were split apart. Kathy fulfilled two terms (four years) as President. Kathy is a business analysis, project management, portfolio management consultant and trainer. Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is very fortunate that we are not losing her knowledge and experience on the leadership team of the chapter. 

    Please take a minute to congratulate and thank our chapter leaders for their continued service to the Chapter and Bluegrass business analysis community.   

    The Board now goes into a transition period where we will transition these new officers into their positions. They take their new positions in July. 

  • Monday, May 02, 2022 11:15 AM | Community IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    On May 18, 2022, Traci Onkst will be inducted as the newest member of the Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame! She is the only person to be inducted in the seventh class of individuals to be inducted to the Hall of Fame. 

    Traci is being inducted in the Advancing the Business Analysis Profession in the Bluegrass category. She has spoken several times at Bluegrass and Cincinnati IIBA Meetings and two of the three years at the Bluegrass Business Analysis Conference, including this past Friday. She has also spoken a few times at BBC, the official conference of IIBA.

    Traci leads a 80-person Business Analysis Center of Excellence (BACoE) at Cincinnati Insurance Companies, where she inspires her business analysts to deliver excellent BA service to the organization. Traci is being recognized for her years of service to advance the business analysis profession in the Bluegrass and all over the country. 

    Join us on May 18th to see the induction celebration:  

  • Saturday, April 30, 2022 9:00 PM | Finance IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    Elections for officers of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter have now concluded. Three offices were up for election:

    • President
    • Vice President of Community Outreach and Engagement
    • Vice President of Sponsorship

    Election results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 18, 2022. Click the Register button to register for the AGM to hear who our new President is. 

  • Saturday, April 30, 2022 4:00 PM | Community IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)


    Bluegrass IIBA Chapter hosted its annual Bluegrass Business Analysis Conference (BBAC) yesterday. A full-day professional development event for professionals that perform business analysis in their work. Early Feedback results say that the conference was a huge success!

    123 people registered for the conference and by early counts 123 people actually attended, 104 attendees and 19 speakers. Aaron Whittenberger, Program Chair for the conference said that a few people said they would not be able to make it to the conference but will watch video recordings of the sessions. This was the highest attended BBAC conference ever.  

    All sessions received excellent feedback and rating results. The conference in general received great feedback. We received fantastic comments from attendees during the conference.

    Be sure to come back for next year's conference! I am already looking forward to it!

  • Saturday, March 26, 2022 1:33 PM | Finance IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    Elections for officers of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter is fast approaching, says Aaron Whittenberger, Vice President of Administration and Finance responsible for running the election process for the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. 

    We elect one-half of the officers of the chapter each year. This allows for new ideas on the Board while keeping some officers in place to mentor new Board members. This provides new ideas while maintaining continuity in leadership for the Chapter. This year the Board positions that will be elected are: 

    • President
    • Vice President of Community Outreach & Engagement
    • Vice President of Sponsorship

    We have a full slate of candidates running for these offices. Kathy Leigh is the current President of the Chapter. She is at term limit and is not eligible to run for President again. She will move to the Sponsorship position to continue to provide her talents to the Chapter. Bill Powers is currently the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Chapter. He will be running for President to replace Kathy. Stephanie Hawkins was appointed to the Vice President of Community Outreach and Engagement last year to complete the unexpired term. She has thoroughly enjoyed working for the chapter and wishes to continue to do so in this role. 

    Elections will run the month of April, with the results of the election announced at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, May 20, 2022. Please [register here] for the AGM to hear these results as well as current activities and direction of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter. 

  • Friday, March 25, 2022 2:47 PM | Community IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)


    Manu de los Reyes and his leadership team are very proud to announce that the new Philippines IIBA Chapter has received its charter from IIBA. Manu is happy to announce, "We're official!". 

    As you may know, the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter leadership team, starting with President, Kathy Leigh, has been mentoring Manu and his leadership team. "We began holding virtual chapter meetings for the Philippines BA community last April", says Aaron Whittenberger, Vice President of Administration and Finance. Kathy Leigh adds, "once we got the community meetings going strong we began looking for leaders that could lead the new IIBA chapter in the Philippines. Bryan Shalom Sison, Maybel Mangrobang, Kristine (Kate) Chua and Manu de los Reyes showed that they wanted to lead the new chapter". Kathy continues, "we began holding weekly meetings with this leadership team to mentor them on what it takes to run an IIBA chapter." She added, "many of our chapter leadership were involved in that mentoring and through that process Alex Filart and a few others were identified as leaders for the new chapter.

    Manu thanks the Bluegrass leadership for their mentoring and assistance in getting through the process of becoming an official IIBA chapter.

    Manu and his team has worked very hard to get the new Philippines IIBA Chapter started. We are so proud of their dedication to advancing the business analysis profession in the Philippines; and wish the new chapter a very bright future! 

  • Friday, March 11, 2022 9:12 AM | Recognition IIBA Bluegrass (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Usha Talabhaktula on accomplishing her CBAP Certification!


    Usha Talabhaktula currently an ERP Business Analyst in the Auditor Controller’s Office of Monterey County, CA. She started her career as an IT Programmer Analyst and now has an overall experience of 20+ years in the Information Technology, Data Center/Cloud computing, Higher Education and Local government business sectors. Usha has a Master of Science Information Technology (MSIT) degree from California State University-Fullerton, USA and a Master’s degree in Commerce from India, which is evaluated as an MBA in the USA. As a Business Relationship Manager, she is the liaison between functional and technical teams in Financials and Budgeting areas, and performs a wide variety of business analysis tasks/activities. Usha is an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) in Financial Management and Oracle Certified Expert(OCE) in Hyperion System Administration. She also has ITIL and CSM certifications.

    Usha is a member of the Bluegrass IIBA Chapter and have been volunteering as the Director of Technology since February 2021. She attended the BABOK® v3 Summer 2020 Study Group provided by the Chapter and her CBAP application was approved in February 2021. Due to work deadlines and personal commitments, she couldn’t prepare for the exam. Usha is thankful to the Bluegrass chapter leadership team for encouraging her and for providing her with the resources. In December 2021, she rescheduled her exam to February 21, 2022, as the CBAP application expiry date was fast approaching on February 25, 2022. She took 3 days off from work to study and passed the CBAP exam on February 21, 2022 on her first try.

    Usha is a strong believer in the concept of living life to its fullest extent, through continuous learning and growth, now she is on to her goal of becoming PMP® certified. Usha volunteers at her Church, as a Director of a midweek program for middle and high school students. She also volunteers in the Children’s ministry of a Christian Fellowship in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches songs and directs skits.



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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



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