Keynote: Catherine Curtis discusses Blended Learning in a Hybrid World

Alma Gonzalez Explains How to Be Better than a Robot


Javier Lozano Moreno Talks about Online Methodology and Learning Offering


Megan Smith Branch Discusses Navigating the Future of Work


Rory McCorkle Discusses Experiential Learning and Assessment for All


Tiago Costa Says “I Find Your Lack of Training Disturbing!”

Karl Childs & James Robinson Talk about Experiential Learning and Testing for VMware Certifications

Sushila Nair on Security in the 2020s; How to Train the Next Generation of Cyber Experts

Brian McCarthy Discusses Creating Persistent Training Environments and Cultures

Khalaf Haddad Explains How to Maximize Value in Training

Robert McMillen on Picking the Right High-Tech Training for Employees

eXL 2021 – Siddick Elaheebocus Discusses Best Practices in Experiential Learning

About eXL 2021

We are bringing all the great knowledge and lessons by all our stakeholders together in our first annual conference. For over 12 years, XtremeLabs has worked with several industries to practice experiential learning by promoting and delivering hands-on digital learning labs. The XtremeLabs eXL Conference: Experiential Learning for All was held virtually on July 27, 2021. Read more about the conference on our blog posts here, here, and here.

Catherine Curtis is Microsoft’s Director for Technical Learning Products within the World Wide Learning organization (WWL).  She is responsible for the Technical learning product portfolio and delivery of Learning and Development.

Catherine has a solid track record of leading and developing world class teams delivering fast moving curriculum development and integration projects incorporating acquisitions and new business development. She has led the L&D GCO team at Expedia in the travel sector, as well as led teams and projects for Microsoft delivering the Xbox, Zune and Windows Phone programs and previously supporting the successful delivery of the SharePoint and Fast programs.

Catherine is passionate about learning and development having spent her formative years teaching High School and as a professor at colleges in the area (Seattle Pacific, and Seattle Community) and has an acute awareness of the importance of building lasting relationships.

Catherine holds multiple educational qualifications including a Bachelors in Teaching, a Masters of Education together with Masters Degrees in Educational Technology and Curriculum Design.

Ahmar Abbas

CEO, XtremeLabs

Ahmar Abbas, the Chief Executive Officer of XtremeLabs, is an established IT training author. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies across the globe on their IT infrastructure needs.

Karl Childs

Senior Manager, VMware

Karl Childs is a Senior Manager with VMware Education Services. He has over 20 years experience in IT Education and Certification, working with global companies such as VMware, HP, Novell, and MCI. His background is in Instructional Technology and Training Development, and he enjoys applying those skills within the IT and software industry.

Tiago Costa

Cloud Architect & Advisor, Microsoft Azure

Tiago Costa is a Cloud Architect and Advisor and International speaker on Microsoft Azure. For the past years he has been architecting and developing solutions using Microsoft Azure for some of the fortune 500 companies. Due to his strong real-world experience, Tiago regularly teaches Microsoft Azure classes around the world. Microsoft Azure MVP since 2016 for his community efforts in promoting and sharing knowledge with the community.

Martin Dey

Lab Learning Expert, XtremeLabs

Martin Dey has worked in the Software Engineering industry for more than 25 years, most recently focusing on applying virtualization technologies to interactive learning solutions. Before XtremeLabs, Martin worked at Microsoft for 17 years, initially as Development Manager of the Systems Management Server (SMS) product and later as Director of Product Management for the Microsoft System Center suite of virtualization management products.

Siddick Elaheebocus is a quadrilingual technology strategist, trainer and the founding CEO of INNOVISION, a multi-regional IT services company providing digital advisory, professional services and training. He is also a long-standing Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), a frequent technology speaker and also an ex-MCT Regional Lead.

Dr. Alma Gonzalez is the Principal Adult Educator at STRATHA Learning Corporation, a global training and development firm. Alma holds an MSc. in Education Management and Development from the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (Mexico) Ph.D. in Strategic Studies from the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).


Khalaf Haddad

CEO, New Horizons Toronto

Khalaf Haddad has been active in the technical training industry since 1992. An instructor at heart, Khalaf has helped thousands of students across several continents acquire practical skills that made an immediate impact on their careers. Having written two courses for different software vendors, Khalaf is now committed to partnering with companies and individuals to provide world-class professional development solutions in the Greater Toronto Area.

Javier Lozano Moreno

CEO, Nanfor Iberica

Javier Lozano Moreno is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert 2019 for Business Applications, developing Cloud, Business Analytics, BI, AI, IoT and digital transformation in organizations and performance in individuals. Javier’s goal is to improve productivity from individuals and organizations through better ways and techniques of acquiring knowledge.


Brian McCarthy

President & Founder, 327 Solutions

Brian McCarthy is the founder and President of 327 Solutions, Inc. Since the early 1990’s Brian has been in training design and delivery, having gained experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech, Manufacturing, Defense, Finance, Legal, and other business verticals. He was most recently a volunteer for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and has significant acumen creating programs that enable competency development and certification outcomes aligned to Government and Defense standards. 

Dr. Rory E. McCorkle

Senior Vice President, PSI Services LLC

Rory is the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development and Client Success for PSI. He helps PSI’s global credentialing and education clients meet their testing, educational, and strategic goals through the suite of services offered by PSI, while leading a team of business development, account management, marketing and consulting professionals. During his career, Rory has worked with over 800 testing organizations, including well-known universities and colleges, licensing bodies, and renowned certification programs.


Robert McMillen

MCT, Tech Publishing

Professor Robert McMillen has over 20 years’ experience in the Information Technology field. He has advanced degrees in IT administration and management along with over 50 industry certifications. He is the founder and former president of All Tech 1, a Portland OR. based consulting practice. He now runs Tech Publishing, a multimedia online education company that teaches aspiring IT administrators how to break into the industry. Previously, Robert was one of the co-hosts of the All Tech Radio show syndicated on the West Coast, and he currently teaches college in the Portland area.

Sushila Nair

VP Security Services & Chief Digital Officer, NTT DATA, Inc

Sushila Nair is the Vice President for Security Services at NTT DATA’s Chief Digital Office. NTT DATA Services is a digital business and IT services leader headquartered in Plano, Texas. It is one of the largest business units outside Japan of the trusted global innovator NTT DATA Corporation, a top 10 IT provider and part of the $109B NTT Group. Sushila has served as a Chief Information Security Officer for 10 years at NTT DATA and has over 25 years of experience in computing infrastructure, business and security.

James Robinson

Sr. Staff Exam Development Manager, VMware

James Robinson is a Senior Staff Exam Development Manager with VMware Education Services. He has over 20 years experience in IT, working with global companies such as VMware, HP, 3Com and AT&T.  His background includes time in the field as a Strategic Partner Engineer as well as overseeing the development of training and certification programs for several organizations.

Megan Smith Branch

Chief Operating and Product Officer, CertNexus

Megan Smith Branch oversees the development, delivery and product engagement of CertNexus’ emerging technology certification solutions in cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Data Ethics and data science. Megan sits on the board of the California Technology Council, is a member of the IoT Talent Consortium and Cybersecurity Credentials Collaborative (C3) and the NICE Community Group.


Thank you to everyone who made eXL 2021 a success! We look forward to seeing you next year at eXL 2022!