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Story of Perseverance and Courage Will Inspire Horizons Attendees

Planview welcomes keynote Patricia Walsh

Published By Holt Hackney
Story of Perseverance and Courage Will Inspire Horizons Attendees

Obstacles. Everyone faces them in life and even in the workplace. Overcoming challenges requires courage and resolve—the kind of moxie we all have inside us.

But perhaps none of us have it in spades like Patricia Walsh. Walsh, an award-winning triathlete and software engineer with an incredible story about human perseverance, is the keynote speaker at the 20th annual Horizons: The Planview Annual Planview Customer Conference, held in San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 17-19.

At Horizons, more than 600 attendees, representing virtually every industry, will gather for three informative days of educational sessions, networking, and training.  Those attending Horizons include PMO leaders, project and portfolio managers, enterprise architects, strategic planners, and administrators, as well as Planview leadership team and solution experts.

When Walsh steps onto the podium at Horizons to give her keynote presentation, it will not only set the tone for what Horizons is all about, but it will give attendees that extra bit of inspiration to be bold in their lives and workplace, and face challenges head on.

About Patricia Walsh

Diagnosed with a severe brain tumor, Patricia Walsh underwent surgery. After complications, she ultimately lost the bulk of her sight at 14.

“I found myself at the school for the blind in Vancouver, Washington learning how to read Braille,” Walsh noted on her website. “One day I was the top of my class, the next I was straining to read See Jane Run. My transition from being able bodied to being disabled happened in the flash of an eye.”

“I had been spoon-fed the idea that a person living with a severe disability stood no chance of contributing anything meaningful to the world around them. To attempt anything Blind Ambitionbigger and better than a menial job would be an exercise in failure. My self-esteem was abysmal, my ambitious nature had been crushed, and my hope for my own future was dim.”

Fortunately, she “had a revelation. I saw clear as day that if I didn’t make changes at the young age of 19, that I never would…I started taking on major challenges.”

She used athletics to build her self-esteem. “There was a trail near my house,” she said. “I was overweight and out of shape. I started running every day.” It became a springboard for her career in technology.

In the years since, she obtained an undergraduate degree in computer science and electrical engineering from Oregon State University. In an interview with Fast Company, she said “it’s tough to make math accessible to blind people, especially advanced math, where seeing problems and figures is an important part of learning. Initially, her professors discouraged her, thinking she wouldn’t be able to do it.

“I went in and they were all trying to convince me I might fail at this,” she said. “I told them, ‘I might fail, but we’re going to try it anyway and just see what happens,’ It was really a willingness to take a bet on myself and have some failures along the way.”

Walsh went on to become one of the first blind engineers at Microsoft®, and has held positions in enterprise architecture and program management at global companies. She chronicled her journey in “Blind Ambition” – an inspirational novel that details her fuel, fire, blaze approach to achieving any goal.

In her keynote address at Horizons, Walsh will talk about her experience, imparting practical and aspirational approaches for how attendees can strive for positive outcomes under any circumstances. Walsh’s talk is sure to leave you ready to take on any and all challenges in your workplace. If she can accomplish all that she has accomplished, despite significant physical limitations, so, too, can Horizons’ attendees.

Scott Hardey, chief customer officer at Planview said, “We are excited to feature Walsh as the keynote speaker at Horizons and believe her amazing story will have a positive impact on attendees.”

If you are a customer, be sure to register for the conference and experience Walsh first hand, visit

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Written by Holt Hackney

Holt Hackney is the long-time managing editor of Architecture & Governance Magazine. Involved since its inception more than a decade ago, Hackney oversees the procurement of bylined articles, the editing of those articles and the production of the magazine. Trained as a journalist, Hackney wrote his first technology-related article, “Too Manny Choices,” in a 1999 issue of Treasury and Rick Management Magazine, which discussed “the incorporation of enterprise resource planning capability in financial accounting software products.” Hackney is also a creative director at Grapevine (TX)-based Ascend Marketing