Abby Fretz

Abby Fretz

Abby Fretz is a Senior Project Manager freelancer and consultant, based in Philadelphia, PA. As a freelancer and consultant Abby works with clients to establish the best project practices for their unique teams, manage complex projects, and in some cases walk with clients through the process of team restructuring.

Prior to becoming an independent, Abby joined the industry as a project assistant, then product manager at Azavea, a geospatial software design company, moved into project management at several agencies, and most recently was project manager at Happy Cog. Abby has managed projects for clients like Ben & Jerry’s, Harvard University, Canon, Lagunitas Brewing, David’s Bridal, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Unable to truly escape her family’s farming legacy, Abby keeps bees at an urban farm in Philadelphia and can be found shouting "Save the Bees" at local food and farm events, teaching people about the value of bees, leading honey tastings, and generally embracing the role of enthusiastic ‘beek’.



The Bee In All of Us: Learning Efficient, Democratic Decision Making From Social Insect Groups

Tuesday, October 17 | 11:00-11:45
Milan Ballroom

After hundreds of years of study of the inner workings of social insects like bee colonies, we still do not fully understand how these tiny creatures run some of the most efficient and effective systems found in nature. One of the most fascinating lines of study of these very roles-based insect societies is on their ability to democratically make complex decisions based on an even more complex set of variables, all with near-perfect accuracy - ‘optimal collective decision-making’.

How can we learn from bees and - as emotional, complex, and flawed human teams in the digital space - consistently and efficiently make difficult decisions as a group? What would a team who models their decision-making after bees, look like? How can we maintain cohesion of a team while making tough project decisions?

Learn what a digital team needs to have in place in order to start resembling the efficient decision-making of a bee colony. 


Regional Breakout

Abby will moderate two of our regional breakout sessions. These sessions will give you a chance to meet attendees from your region (and beyond), discuss relevant topics, share ideas, and learn a new thing or two. Topics will include:

  • DPM challenges
  • Tools
  • Process
  • Meetups & Continuing Education

This session type was a huge hit at DPM 2016, so we've added a second to this year's event. 


The PM Career Path

MONDAY, OCTOBER 16 | 3:15-4:30

A panel of former and current PMs will share their unique career paths in a panel discussion moderated by Meghan McInerny. Brief lightning presentations will be followed by questions and discussion.

What is it like to jump from client- to agency-side? How do rookie PM skills translate into C-level badassery? What does spending your whole career as a PM look like? When is the right time to go freelance? Come with your own questions and let’s get real!