Our Keynote Speakers

InnoVAte Virginia is thrilled to bring two amazing women to open and close our 2020 conference: Lyssa Adkins and Suzanne Cardwell!

Lyssa Adkins

Lyssa Adkins

I am a coach, facilitator, teacher and inspirer. I love it when groups "sing."

My current client focus is improving the performance of top leadership teams through insightful facilitation and organization systems coaching. Helping them unknot difficult, multi-department impediments is my definition of happy.

My Agile community focus is amplifying women’s voices, which is why I am a founder of the TENWOMENSTRONG WomeninAgile programs.

I have been pleased to serve the emergence of Agile Coaching as a profession. In 2010, I co-founded the Agile Coaching Institute and currently serve as President Emerita as well as co-leader of ACI's competence-based coaching curriculum. Since 2011, I have been a member of the ICAgile working committee that defines the learning objectives for Agile Facilitation and Coaching and I assess candidates for the ICAgile-Expert in Agile Coaching competence-based certification. I have also served the Scrum Alliance as an application reviewer for the Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC) designation.

I am the author of Coaching Agile Teams, which is still a top-10 Agile book years after publication.

I like to explore facilitating intense conflict, societal change, organizational change, the benefits and costs of being human in the workplace, agile coaching, agile transformation, adult human development, human systems dynamics, the role of nature, and books of all sorts. I tend toward a balance of the provocative and practical, and I like to make sure I really listen to someone's question before responding.

I hold an alphabet soup of certifications: Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), ICAgile Expert in Agile Coaching (ICE-AC), Project Management Professional (PMP), Organization and Relationship Systems Certified Coach (ORSCC) and Certified Integral Facilitator (IF). I am also a trained Co-Active Coach and Leader.

Suzanne Cardwell

Suzanne Cardwell

L. Suzanne Cardwell is the founder and principal of Cardwell Consulting Group, LLC. She is a diversity and inclusion (D&I) thought leader, certified coach, LGBTQ business owner, and keynote speaker with over ten years of experience working with clients from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, and C-suite to entrepreneurs. Like her corporate engagements, Suzanne’s volunteer D&I efforts have led to more inclusive and thriving organizations.

Suzanne is uniquely qualified to guide leaders through the formidable process of organization-wide culture change. For five years, she created and implemented the D&I strategies for over 47,000 associates worldwide as Capital One’s Head of Internal Programs for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Suzanne is noted for her tenacity for conducting research, as well as learning and building new skill sets, all with a focus on leveraging the vital talents of every individual. During her over 15-year tenure at Capital One, she also directed corporate onboarding, operational infrastructure, process engineering, risk management, customer experience, and quality assurance across the U.S. Card business. Suzanne was twice awarded Capital One’s most prestigious honor, the Circle of Excellence Award. It is presented by the CEO and recognizes those who make an extraordinary business impact via leadership, customer service, or innovation.

Suzanne and her two sons call Virginia home. Adventures and the eagerness of learning are always on their agenda. Not surprisingly, Suzanne loves immersing herself in new cultures, whether in her community or throughout her travels. Her professional and personal missions are the same - connect with people, celebrate their stories, champion self-awareness and acceptance - and she strives to do so with passion and purpose.