Project Management Symposium

Project Management: A Key to Business Success, August 11-12, 2016
Disruptive Leadership in a Global Economy, August 17-18, 2017
Next-Gen Management of Projects: Performance, People and Processes, August 13-14, 2015

12th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium

Project Management: Leading Innovation
May 17-18, 2018

The Premier Project Management Conference for Organizations and Professionals in North Texas and Beyond

Early Registration Now Open

Register Here Register Using a Check or PO Discounted Group Registration

Symposium Resources

World Class Facilities
  • Keynote Speakers
  • Area Hotels
  • Previous Symposiums

Keynote Speakers

James W. Keyes

James W. Keyes, Chairman, Wild Oats Marketing LLC

Thursday, May 17th • 8:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Leading the Innovation Process


Too often, innovation becomes a management “to do” item. A team is formed and tasked with “innovate”. The best innovation doesn’t come from “managing” the innovation process, but rather leading the innovation process.

Leadership 100%


James W. Keyes is currently the Chairman of Wild Oats Marketing LLC and formerly chief executive to two Fortune 500 companies, Blockbuster Inc. and 7-Eleven, Inc.

Keyes served from 2007-2011 as chairman and chief executive officer of Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI), one of the world’s leading providers of movie and game entertainment with reported worldwide revenues of over $5 billion and more than 7,000 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. At Blockbuster, he was able to diversify the offering to provide the Blockbuster customer access to their favorite movies in store, by mail, in kiosks and via the internet with Blockbuster OnDemand. He led a restructuring of the company and the successful sale of assets to Dish Networks, preserving over 19,000 jobs and providing continuity for the Blockbuster brand, its customers and its suppliers.

A 21-year veteran of 7-Eleven Inc., (NYSE: SEI) the world’s largest chain of convenience stores, Keyes served as its president and CEO from 2000 through 2005. Under his leadership, the company experienced record sales and profits and implemented new retail systems technology that improved product assortment decisions in every store. He also ushered in a new era for 7-Eleven through the introduction of a host of new electronic services. Prior to serving as president and CEO, Keyes held a variety of positions at 7-Eleven, including chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Keyes retired from 7-Eleven upon the sale of the company in 2005.

Keyes graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, attended the University of London and earned an MBA from Columbia University.

He has served on numerous public and private boards and civic organizations including the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Dallas Citizens Council, and the Dallas Center for Performing Arts and served as Chairman of The Dallas Symphony Association. He recently completed a 9 year term on the national board of governors for the American Red Cross. Keyes currently serves as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Columbia School of Business and also serves on the boards of the Dallas Education Foundation and the Cooper Institute. A recipient of the Horatio Alger Award in 2005 and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2008, Keyes was also the founder of the Education is Freedom foundation, which provides college scholarships for hard-working young students.

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Chris Bhatti

Chris Bhatti, Assistant Dean, Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Texas at Dallas

Thursday, May 17th • 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.


Chris Bhatti is Assistant Dean for the Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas and responsible for executing the development, alumni relations and external relations strategy for the school. Prior to his current role, Chris was also the Director of External and Alumni Relations in the Office of the Dean at SMU’s Simmons School of Education. Chris was an integral part of the Simmons School Campaign that brought in the largest single gift in SMU’s 100 year history. Prior to SMU, Chris was a Science Instructor at The Hockaday School where he spent six years in the classroom teaching science and coaching Cross Country and track and field.

Chris is an entrepreneur. In 2013, he co-founded Vissero Group, LLC, a global and diversified consulting firm focused on cross border transactions specific to real estate investments and successfully exited the company. In 2005, Chris founded a tutoring company, Mindful Learning, LLC, which worked in Dallas ISD and other school districts. In 2010, Chris successfully executed the sale of the company. Chris served as a Board Member to Group Excellence, the largest tutoring company in Dallas and 18th fastest growing company in D/FW in 2010 which was eventually sold to a local private equity firm.

Chris is extensively involved in his community. He is on the Board of Trustees for the Dallas Education Foundation, IGNITE, and Educational Opportunities. He is currently on the TREC Advisory Board and the Leadership Dallas Program Committee. He serves on the SMU Alumni Board and Advisory Board for the SMU Hegi Career Development Center. He is the Advisory Board President for the Mayor’s Star Council has also been appointed by the Mayor’s Office to the City of Dallas Poverty Task Force and the City of Dallas Grow South Advisory Council. Chris is a Leadership Dallas Alum, member of the Dallas Assembly and a Presidential Leadership Scholar.

Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University, a Master’s in Teaching from The University of Texas at Dallas, a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Southern Methodist University.

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Bryan Chambers

Bryan Chambers, Director, Blackstone LaunchPad

Thursday, May 17th • 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.


Mr. Chambers is a business development and investment professional experienced in portfolio management and venture capital transactions. Bryan is the Director of Blackstone’s Launchpad for the University of Texas at Dallas where he advises students, entrepreneurs, and early stage ventures. Bryan also serves as the Director of the UT Dallas Seed Fund and an adjunct professor for UTD’s top twenty ranked entrepreneurship department where he leads experiential learning for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Since 2012 Bryan has been the President of Chambers Venture Capital, LLC and has been responsible for managing early stage venture capital investments in the internet and software technology sectors, as well as advisory services to various domestic and international institutional investment partners. Mr. Chambers has experience building successful investment partnerships and working in high growth businesses environments including ReachLocal Inc. once ranked one of the fastest growing #1 Deloitte Fast 500, #39 Inc. Fast 500, and achieved a successful IPO in May 2010. Previously, Bryan was the Director of Corporate Development for a mobile payments company where he led the teams fundraising, strategy, and enterprise partnerships including Apple, Microsoft, PayPal, and VeriFone, and an Associate Partner for a merchant banking firm in Dallas, TX where he successfully completed numerous transactions in the financial technology, media, and telecommunications sectors. Bryan is a Partner at Capital Factory, Executive Advisor to TechWeek, and an Engagement Director of the US China Investment and Innovation Summit. Chambers received his MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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Angela Chen

Angela Chen, Director of International Investor Relations, Chalak Mitra Group of Companies

Thursday, May 17th • 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.


Angela Chen is the Director of International Investor Relations at Chalak Mitra Group of Companies. She is also the Vice President and Co-founder of Golden Fields (US) Holdings Corp, a real estate investment firm in Dallas.

She specializes in international investor relations and foreign capital management. She has facilitated cross border transactions between the U.S. and China, India, Canada and Australia. Prior join Chalak Mitra Group, Angela is the Vice President of Investor Relations at FIG Tree Capital Ventures and Market Analyst at Encore Enterprise. Since 2012, Ms. Chen has organized and co-hosted many U.S. – China Investment Summit, focusing on cross boarder investment and technology transfer, where she has helped to provide platform and solutions to companies from China and United States, and has successfully raised millions of dollars of foreign investment capital used in the development of distressed areas in U.S. and the creation of hundreds of jobs.

Ms. Chen currently serves as the President of Chinese Association of Science and Technology Texas Chapter, and is a founding member of Chinese Alumni Network at University of Texas at Dallas. She received her MBA degree in Finance and Real Estate at University of Texas at Dallas, and Bachelor Degree in Finance from University of Macau.

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Robert S. Kaplan

Robert S. Kaplan, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Friday, May 18th • 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.


Robert Steven Kaplan has served as the thirteenth president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas since September 8, 2015. He represents the Eleventh Federal Reserve District on the Federal Open Market Committee in the formulation of U.S. monetary policy and oversees the 1,200 employees of the Dallas Fed.

Kaplan was previously the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice and a Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School.

He is the author of several books, including What You Really Need to Lead: The Power of Thinking and Acting Like an Owner; What You’re Really Meant To Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential; and What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential.

Prior to joining Harvard in 2006, Kaplan was vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. with global responsibility for the firm’s Investment Banking and Investment Management Divisions. Previously, he served as global co-head of the Investment Banking Division. He was also a member of the firm’s Management Committee and served as co-chairman of the firm’s Partnership Committee and chairman of the Goldman Sachs Pine Street Leadership Program.

During his 23-year career at Goldman Sachs, Kaplan served in various other capacities, including head of the Corporate Finance Department, head of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking as well as head of the high-yield department in Investment Banking. He became a partner in 1990. Upon joining Harvard in 2006, Kaplan became a senior director of the firm.

He serves as chairman of Project A.L.S. and co-chairman of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm that invests in developing non-profit enterprises dedicated to addressing social issues. He is also a board member of Harvard Medical School. Kaplan previously served on the boards of State Street Corporation, Harvard Management Company, Bed Bath & Beyond and Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. He was also a trustee of the Ford Foundation, co-founding board chair of the TEAK Fellowship, co-founder and chairman of Indaba Capital Management, LP and chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee at Google, Inc.

Kaplan was appointed by the Governor of Kansas as a member of the Kansas Health Policy Authority Board.

Born and raised in Prairie Village, Kansas, Kaplan received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.

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Jayadev Gopinath

Jayadev Gopinath, General Manager, Advanced Tech, Platforms, Innovation, Data & Analytics, Toyota Motor North America

Friday May 18th • 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Driving Innovation in the Connected Economy


Jayadev Gopinath, will explain how Connected Technologies including Connected Car and Connected Factories are impacting the Automotive Industry and how Toyota North America is leveraging these trends and the resulting data/analytics to drive innovation and efficiency allowing Toyota to have closer connection with its customers, dealers, and partners.

Leadership 100%


Jayadev (Jay) Gopinath is General Manager – Advanced Technologies, Innovation, Data & Analytics for Toyota Motor North America. In this role, he is responsible for enabling technology, data and analytics to drive innovation and efficiency allowing Toyota to have closer connection with its customers, dealers, and partners. Towards this, he is deeply involved in a number of initiatives such as Customer 360, Manufacturing Analytics, IOT, Product Quality Analytics and Connected Car.

Jay has been with Toyota for 10 years. Prior to joining Toyota, Jay spent more than nine years with Hitachi Consulting where he oversaw the development and management of the Southern California and Arizona practices as a key member of the Pacific South West Leadership Team. Jay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India and a MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business.

Read Abstract and Bio

Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium

Nearby Hotels with discounted rates for Symposium Attendees

Attendees at the annual University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Project Management Symposium can rent rooms in several hotels near the UTD campus at special discounted rates available to UTD customers and visitors. Whether you are visiting from across town or out of town, take advantage of these rates to avoid traffic at the end of the day. Maximize your conference experience; don’t leave the symposium early, stay nearby for the night.

The following hotels offer discounted pricing for symposium participants, listed in order of proximity to UTD. To get the discounted pricing shown, you must call the hotel to make a reservation. Discounts are not available via the internet.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (Formerly the Radisson Hotel) – 2.3 miles from campus
1981 North Central Expressway, Richardson, TX 75080
972‐644‐4000 (Ask for the UTD rate)
$95 Sunday – Thursday (Breakfast included)
$85 Friday & Saturday (Breakfast included)
Visit hotel website

Hilton Garden Inn – 2.5 miles from campus
1001 W. President George Bush Turnpike, Richardson, TX 75080
972‐792‐9393 (Ask for UTD rate)
$135/night Monday – Wednesday (Breakfast included)
$96/night Thursday – Sunday (Breakfast included)
Visit hotel website

Wingate by Wyndham Richardson – 3.0 miles from campus
1577 Gateway Blvd., Richardson, TX 75080
972‐234‐5400 (Ask for the UTD rate)
$84 per night (includes free internet and breakfast)
Visit hotel website

Renaissance Hotel – 3.1 miles from campus
900 East Lookout Drive, Richardson, TX 75082
972‐367‐2000 (Ask for UTD rate)
$146 per night
Visit hotel website

There are many other hotels in the Richardson, Plano and North Dallas area to choose from, with a wide range of prices and amenities. If you are driving, conduct your own online search for a hotel within a short drive from the UTD campus.