Meet Our Speakers

Review the list of speakers already confirmed for PASS SQLRally Nordic 2015, and check back regularly for updates. 

Check the agenda and sessions here.

Keynote Speaker

Nigel Ellis, Distinguished Engineer and Director of Development SQL Server, Microsoft

Nigel Ellis is a Distinguished Engineer in the Database Systems Group at Microsoft. He leads development for Azure SQL Database and SQL Server relational database technologies. His passion extends to all things data and ensuring the delivery of trustworthy, highly reliable data storage systems. Nigel joined Microsoft in 1993 where he initially focused on desktop database software and later moved to work on the SQL Server 6.5 development team. He has worked on all aspects of SQL Server development and was one of the founding members of the Azure SQL Database project. Nigel enjoys being hands-on in all details of the product and service lifecycle. He is passionate about problems most people would rather avoid and has found his match in the Services space. A native of the United Kingdom, Nigel obtained his degree in Computer Science at University College, Durham in England. Outside of work, Nigel enjoys travelling with his wife Lynn, mountain biking, backcountry hiking and eating smoking hot Thai or Indian food.

Pre-Conference and Conference Speakers

Grant Fritchey / Product Evangelist, Red Gate Software

Grant Fritchey is a SQL Server MVP with over 20 years’ experience in IT, including time spent in support and development. He has worked with SQL Server since 6.0 back in 1995. He has also developed in VB, VB.NET, C#, and Java. Grant has written books for Apress and Simple-Talk. He joined Red Gate Software as a product evangelist in January 2011.


Itzik Ben-Gan / Mentor & Co-founder, SolidQ

Itzik Ben-Gan is a mentor at SolidQ and a co-founder of the company. A Microsoft SQL Server MVP since 1999, he has delivered training around the world focused on T-SQL querying, query tuning, and programming. Itzik is the author of several books, including "Microsoft SQL Server 2012 High-Performance T-SQL Using Window Functions" and "Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Fundamentals."


David Peter Hansen, Consulting Manager for Advectas Denmark

David Peter Hansen is a Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) and has over a decade of experience with database development and administration on SQL Server and the Microsoft Business Intelligence platform. Today, he works as a consultant. He specialises in scalable architecture and performance tuning on large-scale data warehouses and BI solutions. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, and has given talks in Europe, USA, and Africa.


Brent Ozar

Brent Ozar specializes in making SQL Server faster and more reliable.   He's a Microsoft Certified Master of SQL Server and MVP, and he has over a decade of experience.  He coauthored Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting, created sp_Blitz™ and sp_AskBrent™, and he loves sharing knowledge at


Rafal Lukawiecki

As Strategic Consultant at Project Botticelli Ltd (, Rafal focuses on making advanced analytics easy, insightful, and useful, helping clients achieve better organizational performance. Passing those skills to consultants, developers, and board members is important to him.

He specializes in business intelligence, looking for valuable patterns and correlations using data mining, and he is also known for his work in cryptography, enterprise architecture, and solution delivery. Rafal has been a popular, well-travelled speaker at major IT conferences since 1998. He even had the honour of sharing keynote platforms with Bill Gates, Neil Armstrong, and Steve Ballmer. A natural educator, he explains complex concepts in simple terms in an engaging, enjoyable, energetic style.

Outside IT, Rafal spends a quarter of every year finding abstractions in natural landscapes, expressing them through traditional, black-and-white, large-format !lm photography in his hand-made, silver-gelatin prints—see  


Peter Myers

Peter Myers has worked with Microsoft database and development products since 1997. Today, he specializes in all Microsoft BI products and provides mentoring, technical training, and training course content authoring for SQL Server, Office, and SharePoint. Peter has a broad business background supported by a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics and Accounting, and he extends this with solid experience backed by current MCSE and MCT certifications. He has been a SQL Server MVP since 2007.


Scott Klein

Scott Klein is a Microsoft Data Platform Technical Evangelist who lives and breathes data. His passion for data technologies brought him to Microsoft in 2011 which has allowed him to travel all over the globe evangelizing SQL Server and Microsoft’s cloud data services. Prior to Microsoft Scott was one of the first 4 SQL Azure MVPs, and even though those don’t exist anymore, he still claims it. Scott continues to look for ways to help developers grok the benefits of cloud computing.


Dan Kogan

Dan Kogan leads marketing for Microsoft’s database appliance business, including the SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse Appliance. In this role, Dan defines the market positioning, business strategy and global marketing efforts for the database appliance business. He also frequently speaks with customers about their database appliance needs and is a popular speaker at executive briefing and industry events. Dan has been with Microsoft for seven years prior to his current role. Most recently, he was based out of Singapore leading the database appliance efforts for the Asia region and prior to that, he held World Wide Product Management roles in Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Business Intelligence and Microsoft SharePoint Server. Prior to joining Microsoft, Dan was with Hitachi Consulting and specialized in CRM strategy.


Alberto Ferrari

"Alberto is a Business Intelligence consultant. His main interests are in two areas: methodological approach to the BI development lifecycle and performance tuning of ETL and SQL code. His activities are related to designing and implementing solutions based on Integration Services and Analysis Services for the financial, manufacturing, and statistical areas. Alberto is also a book author and speaker at international conferences like PASS Summit, SQLRally, and SQLBits.


Florian Eiden

MVP SQL Server France; Managing Consultant in Data & Analytics, BI and Big Data; Active member of the SQL Server French community ( - local PASS chapter); Blogger at


Gerhard Brueckl

Gerhard Brueckl has been working with Microsoft BI tools since mid 2006, thereby mainly focusing on Microsoft SQL Server and its components, primary Analysis Services. In 2012, he achieved the SSAS Maestro certification and also received the Microsoft Community Contributor (MCC) award the second time in a row. With the release of SQL Server 2012 and Power BI. He shifted his focus towards Power BI, especially Power Pivot and DAX thereby moving into investigating tabular models in detail.


Jen Stirrup

Jen Stirrup, a SQL Server MVP and PASS Director-At-Large (Elect), is a well-known Business Intelligence and Data Visualisation expert, author, data strategist, and technical community advocate who has been peer-recognised as one of the top 100 most global influential tweeters on Big Data topics. Jen has presented at TechEd North America and Europe, Summit, SQLBits, as well as at SQLSaturday events in Europe and the US. She is a former Awardee of PASS's prestigious PASSion Award in 2012.


Leila Etaati

She has over 10 years’ experience working with SQL server. She was involved in many large-scale projects for big sized companies as SQL server and BI consultant. She worked in Industries including banking financial, power and utility, manufacturing … Leila Etaati, PhD student of Information System department, University of Auckland, MS and BS in computer science. She is a lecturer and trainer in Business intelligence and data base design course in University of Auckland.


Marco Russo

"Marco Russo is a business intelligence consultant and trainer. He has extensive experience with BI solutions in many different areas and has been working with Analysis Services since 1999. Marco wrote "The many-to-many revolution" whitepaper and the books "Microsoft Excel 2013: Building Data Models with PowerPivot," "Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model," "Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services," and "LINQ Programming." "


Mark Souza

Mark Souza is a General Manager in the Microsoft Data Platform Group. He is responsible for all Customer/Partner interaction, Content and Community for the data platform products at Microsoft: Middleware, Database and Cloud. Using Customer Experiences he ensures the DPG division is building and shipping products that customers need to build enterprise class solutions. He is responsible for building the best, most vibrant technical community in the world. He also ensures that the Data Platform community has the highest quality content at their fingertips at the time they need it. Mr. Souza's thirty years in the Information Technology business has consisted of database administration, end-user tool management, systems engineering database specialist/lead, client/server architect, Microsoft regional data technology specialist, SQL Server development customer advisory team and most recently general manager of customer, content and community.


Mark Simms

Mark is a Principal Group Program Manager on the AzureCAT (Azure Customer Advisory Team), working on large-scale Azure architecture and implementation. Usually found nerding out on challenging customer problems, he is currently focused on architecture and application patterns at scale, making big things work on Azure.

Specialties: Cloud architecture and implementation, real-time analytics, distributed architecture and applications, hybrid cloud applications, big data approaches.



Reeves Smith

Reeves Smith is an independent consultant and trainer. He is SQL Server MVP and Microsoft Certified Master with over 18 years of experience working with SQL Server. Reeves is a SQL Server BI architect specializing in data warehouse projects. During that time he has had the opportunity to work on various development and data warehouse projects. He is an active member of the Denver, CO, PASS chapter and delivers technical presentations at local and regional conferences and user groups.


Reza Rad

Reza Rad is an author, trainer, speaker, and consultant. He has been a Microsoft MVP in SQL Server for 4 years, specializing in Microsoft Business Intelligence and data movement. Reza has worked with Microsoft BI technologies more than 10 years. He is an MCP, an MCT, and leader of the New Zealand Business Intelligence Users Group. He has written several books about SQL Server BI and is currently working on others. You can find his technical articles on his blog at


Steve Simon

Steve Simon is a SQL Server MVP and a senior BI Development Engineer with Atrion Networking. He has been involved with database design and analysis for over 25 years. Steve has presented papers at eight PASS Summits and one at PASS Europe 2009 and 2010. He has just recently presented a Data Quality Services presentation at the PASS Nordic Rally in Copenhagen.


Tim Peterson

Tim Peterson is a mentor with SolidQ, specializing in Analysis Services and MDX. He is the author of SolidQ's two MDX courses for SSAS 2012: "MDX for Creating Business Logic" and "Advanced MDX - Performance, Optimization, and the MDX Script." He focuses on developing Business Intelligence solutions and troubleshooting Analysis Services performance problems. Tim has written two books in the field of Microsoft BI and is one of the authors of the Analysis Services Maestro course.


Damian Widera

"SQL Server MVP & MCT Software engineer with 15+ years of professional experience in all aspects of software development. Damian participated in a number of projects in international environments and possesses practical knowledge of procedures and tools which are necessary for successful implementation of such projects. Now he focuses on building solutions based on Microsoft SQL Server environment (including complex database driven systems, database tuning and optimization).


Emanuele Zanchettin

In 1998 my adventure begins with DB2, Access and Oracle. Since 2007 almost completely immersed in SQLServer technology: 2K, 2005, 2008*, 2012 and Azure SQL Database. Also, recently I have acquired skills on MySQL.


Guy Glantser

Guy Glantser is the leader of the Israeli PASS chapter and also the CEO of Madeira SQL Server Services. His career has been focused on SQL Server for the past 17 years, performing various database roles as either an on-site DBA, an external consultant or an instructor. Guy is involved in many activities in the SQL Server community. He occasionally speaks at community events, such as PASS Summit, TechEd and user groups around the world. He also co-hosts the SQL Server radio show.


Hugo Kornelis

Hugo Kornelis is an established SQL Server communiity expert who spends a lot of time at various conferences. He is also a blogger, technical editor of a variety of books, and Pluralsight author. When not working for the community, he is busy at his day job: freelance database developer/consultant Hugo has over 16 years of SQL Server experience in various roles. He has a strong database design background, but also loves to write and tune complex queries.


Kevin Boles

Kevin Boles is a SQL Server expert, working exclusively with the product since v6.5. With over 20 years of database experience and over 45,000 man hours of SQL Server engine experience, he holds many related certifications, is an MCT and was a SQL Server MVP from 2007 to 2012. Kevin has been a very successful independent consultant for over 15 years. His passion is the relational engine, especially designing, building, analyzing and tuning high-performance database applications.


Rasmus Reinholdt

Rasmus is a senior consultant at Rehfeld Partners in Copenhagen. He has worked with Microsoft BI since 2005 both as a developer and architect, building large solutions on every release from sql2005 and onwards and as of lately also SharePoint. Rasmus is certified MCITP Sql2008 (BI), MCTS SharePoint 2010 Configuration and MSCE Sql2012 (Data platform & BI).


Uwe Ricken

Uwe Ricken is working with IT-systems since early 1990's. He started with development of database applications in 1998 with a professional CRM-System based on Microsoft products (Microsoft Office and SQL Server). In May 2013 Uwe achieved the "Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008. Since July 2013 Uwe has been awarded with the MVP Award for his activities in the community for the SQL Server product(s) and was the first MCM + MVP for SQL Server in Germany


Andre Kamman

Andre Kamman is a contractor based in the Netherlands. Working with SQL Server since version 6.5, he sometimes thins that he has memorized Books Online by now and can do his work on autopilot. But, usually even before his first cup of coffee, something strange happens and he finds himself searching for clues on Google. Besides being a co-founder and current chairman of the Dutch PASS chapter, Andre is also a SQL Server MVP.


Joe Chang

Joe is a SQL Server Consultant. Joe develops tools for automating SQL XML plan analysis, cross-referencing index usage to execution plans. He has models for predicting SQL Server performance early in the design phase, and taking the guess work out of performance tuning. He has built a more complete model than the SQL Server internal cost based query optimizer, including processor and system architecture dependencies and logic costs, which are not incorporated in the cost based optimizer.


John Martin

"John is a SQL Server Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft working closely with customers to help them get the most from their SQL Server systems. Having worked with SQL Server for over eight years, John's Main areas of interest lie in High Availability and Disaster Recovery and SQL Server upgrades and migrations."


Joseph D'Antoni

Joseph D'Antoni is a Senior Architect with over a decade of experience working in both Fortune 500 and smaller firms. He is currently Solutions Architect for SQL Server and Big Data for Anexinet in Blue Bell, PA. He is frequent speaker at major tech events, and blogger about all topics technology. He holds a MSCE BI, a BS in CIS from Louisiana Tech University, and an MBA from NC State University, and is the co-author of the Microsoft white paper, Using Power BI in a Hybrid Environment.


Klaus Aschenbrenner

Klaus Aschenbrenner provides independent SQL Server consulting services across the US and Europe, focusing on the .NET Framework and SQL Server 2005/2008. In 2004 and 2005, he received the Microsoft MVP award for his support of the .NET community. Klaus has also written a book, “Pro SQL Server 2008 Service Broker,” published by Apress in 2008.


Margarita Naumova

Magi Naumova is SQL Server Architect and Consultant, speaker and trainer, Microsoft Certified Master of SQL Server 2008, SQL Server MVP, MCT, Founder of SQL Master Academy, founder and leader of the BG SQL User group. She has more than 15 years SQL Server training and consulting experience. Magi is a former member of Microsoft Services Worldwide Technical Leadership Team, а Microsoft Women worth watching Currently she speaks, writes, trains and consults people on SQL Server


Matan Yungman

Matan Yungman is a Technical Evangelist for Madeira SQL Server Services. He has over 10 years of experience working with SQL Server, focusing mainly on performance tuning, high availability, database development and database design. Matan also co-hosts SQL Server Radio, a podcast for SQL Server professionals. He is passionate about SQL Server, technology and the SQL Server community.


Michael Frandsen

Michael Frandsen is the lead consultant on areas of technical consulting, performance optimization and migration/consolidation projects, with special focus on storage, scalability and virtualization. He started with Windows NT 3.1 and SQL Server 4.21a and has been involved in Tech betas and TAP customers ever since. He has also contributed to best-practices at Microsoft and HP, through working with Microsoft product groups and SQLCAT in Redmond and HP R&D in Palo Alto and Houston


Paresh Motiwala

Paresh Motiwala, a Senior DBA at Bingham McCutchen, Boston, has lived in the US for the past 17 years and is now a citizen. He has led several large SQL implementations, migrations, and upgrade projects at Bingham, HP, and ASA. He also helps organizing many SQL Saturdays. Apart from being a DBA, he is a certified public speaker, an avid singer, cook, open networker, and stand-up comedian. He teaches public speaking, debating, and group discussion skills and mentors children around the globe.


Pieter Vanhove

SQL Server MVP and Database Consultant at Kohera in Belgium (MCITP SQL 2008, MCSE SQL 2012), and has been working with SQL Server since 2000. Performance tuning, SQL audits, migrations and training are part of the job. Pieter has also a profound knowledge in implementing high availability and disaster recovery solutions. Together with the SQLUG in Belgium, he helped organizing SQL Server Days and is also a regular speaker at Belgian and international events


Tim Ford

Tim Ford is founder of B-Side Consulting and SQL Cruise (, specializing in MVP and MCM-led SQL Server and professional development training...on cruise ships! He's a SQL Server MVP and lead DBA/SQL Server SME with Spectrum Health. Tim is a community speaker, volunteer, and author. When not involved with SQL Server in one shape or form, Tim enjoys traveling, cooking, music, art, and fitness. He's an avid photographer and foodie.


Tobiasz Koprowski

Community leader focused on SQL Server, SharePoint, security, collaboration, and ITIL, DR, BCM and SLA. Love licensing stuff. MCT, Freelancer, consultant. Conducts audit projects, consulting and implementation in Poland and across Europe. Technical Team Leader in GITCA. Member of such Microsoft Terminology Community, Friends of RedGateFORG, PASS, ISSA, ACM and several communities in the world. MVP for SQL Server. Former President of the Polish SQL Server USer Group. Creator of SQLDAY Conference.



Tim Mallalieu

Group Program Manager, HDInsight Team at Microsoft. Lead Program Management for Hadoop in Microsoft (Cloud & On-Premises)
Drive product vision & strategy for Hadoop/Big Data as part of the Microsoft Data Platform. Manage relationships with external & internal partners re: Hadoop & the MSFT Data Platform. Engage customers, PR & analysts on Big Data & Microsoft (architecture, patterns, industry trends).


Rohan Kumar

PARTNER DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING, SQL Server Database Systems Group, Microsoft

Rohan is the engineering leader responsible for the design, development and release of SQL Server RDBMS, SQL Server in Azure IaaS VMs and Microsoft Analytics Platform System (APS). Rohan joined Microsoft in July 1998 as a software development engineer in the core Windows file systems and storage team. He contributed to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 before moving to the SQL Server team in July 2003. He has held various levels of engineering leadership roles in SQL Server since then and has contributed to SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, SQL Azure, HD Insight Service and APS.

Thomas Ivarsson

I work with a technical focus on the Microsoft BI platform. Both BI and MSBI are areas in constant growth today and in the future. I am an advocate of the Kimball model of building BI solutions and I am still convinced that self service BI needs the concept of common design of dimensions and a data warehouse to work well. These design ideas work acrooss technical platforms. My goal is to continue learning more in these areas. My focus areas are TSQL for ETL and reporting, MDX and Analysis Services, DAX and the VertiPaq engine, Reporting Services, DW-Methods and SSIS.

Check the agenda and sessions here.







   Become a sponsor