Speakers

Aaron D. Campbell

Aaron is the WordPress Security Team lead, has been a regular contributor to WordPress for more than ten years, and is currently funded by GoDaddy to work full time on the WordPress open source project. He has over seventeen years of web development experience and worked with clients ranging from small local businesses to Google, Yahoo, Disney, and Harvard. He’s been called both a coffee snob and a beer snob, but considers both to be compliments. When not buried in code, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son, riding his motorcycle, and reading sci-fi/fantasy books.

Aaron Holbrook

Aaron is a WordPress core contributor, co-creator of the popular ElasticPress plugin, has authored numerous plugins and other open source packages and is the Director of Web Engineering at Zeek Interactive.

AJ Morris

AJ is the Managed WordPress Product Manager for Liquid Web, a fully managed hosting company. In his position AJ is responsible for the leading product and go to market strategy for Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress product line. He oversees initiatives focusing on open-source, community and spreading the love of WordPress. He has worked with WordPress since 2006, developing websites as a freelance/solopreneur and even creating his own digital development agency. He has spoken at over 60 WordPress events and blogs irregularly at https://ajmorris.me. He has a love of travel and coffee and shares those hobbies with his wife and baby.

Amy Zellmer

Amy Zellmer is an award-winning author, speaker, and advocate of traumatic brain injury (TBI). She is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, and has created a private Facebook group for survivors and also produces a podcast series. She sits on the Brain Injury Advisory Council (BIAC) through the Brain Injury Association of America’s and is involved with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance. She travels the country with her Yorkie, Pixxie, to help raise awareness about this silent and invisible injury that affects over 2.5 million Americans each year.

In November, 2015 she released her first book, “Life With a Traumatic Brain Injury: Finding the Road Back to Normal” which received a silver award at the Midwest Book Awards in May, 2016. Her second book, “Surviving Brain Injury: Stories of Strength and Inspiration”is a collection of stories written by brain injury survivors and caregivers and was released November 2016. for more information: www.facesoftbi.com

Andrew Robbins

Andrew Robbins is a Web Developer specializing in JavaScript and WordPress-based applications. He owns a web shop called Simpleblend and has been a professional software engineer for over 7 years. Andrew loves spending his time studying cryptocurrencies, computer science, and philosophy.

Anthony D. Paul

Anthony is a futurist and UX researcher for GE Transportation’s digital products. He’s helping the railroads of the world explore the relationships between humans, robots, artificial intelligence, sensors, and predictive analytics, to compete with and complement emerging delivery networks like drones and driverless trucks. Outside the office, you’ll find him spread across regional meetups and conferences—evangelizing IA/UX, accessibility, and a variety of open source dev projects. Most recently, he organized WordCamp Baltimore and World IA Day DC, while assisting with WordCamps Chicago and DC. He’d divulge something funny from his past, but these days the Internet does a better job of surfacing our embarrassing moments; find him anywhere by Googling “anthonydpaul”.

Ashten Fizer

Starting a career in Social Media Strategy by necessity is no easy task. Ashten began as a Deejay, and knew that she had to find new ways to create a following for herself. Once she realized she had a gift for staying a couple steps ahead of the next person, she took her Social Media Strategy skills to the Chicago political realm. It was in this function that Ashten began to flourish as a thought leader in her field. In her time, Ashten has been called on by the likes of Clear Channel nationwide to help manage On-Air Talent communities, as well as held deejay residencies for industry giants like Google and CISC. She currently works at GoDaddy in Phoenix, Arizona which she lends her Social Media and Web Hosting expertise to the Web Design Department and the GoDaddy GoTeam to engage users with targeted content.

Cory Miller

Cory Miller is a former newspaper journalist turned full-time entrepreneur. In 2008, he started iThemes, which builds web design software and offers cutting-edge web design training for thousands of customers around the globe.

Named the 7th fastest growing company in Oklahoma City in 2011 by the Metro 50, iThemes employs over 25+ people, with headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma.

In 2011, he co-founded The Div, Inc, a nonprofit tech foundation aimed at inspiring and training the next generation of web developers through its kid’s program, Div Jr.

He is the co-author of WordPress All-in-One for Dummies (Wiley, 2011) and is a member and past communications chair of the Oklahoma chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a network of over 8,000 entrepreneurs in 40 countries with companies that have revenue over $1 million dollars annually.

He blogs regularly about entrepreneurship and career advice here at CoryMiller.com.

David Needham

David Needham is the Agency & Community Training Manager at Pantheon and serves on the board of directors of Enjoy Creativity. David has been a public speaker since 2008, and an entrepreneur since 2000. David is based out of Champaign IL, enjoys photography, and playing board games with his wife and kids.

Dwayne McDaniel

Dwayne has been working in tech and open source sales since 2005.
He knew as soon as he started working with Java middleware developers he never wanted to work outside of open source ever again. Dwayne first started building in Drupal and WordPress for the San Francisco Improv teams and projects. He fell in the love the community and then found a position at Pantheon at the end of 2013.

As a Community and Agency Success Manager he has had the privilege of presenting at Stanford DrupalCamp, Drupal Northern Lights (Iceland), WordCamp Europe and many other conferences.

Outside of tech he loves producing and performing improv theater, reading webcomics and singing karaoke!!!

Reach out at https://mcdwayne.com or on twitter @mcdwayne

Ed Finkler

Ed Finkler, also known as Funkatron, started making web sites before browsers had frames. He does front-end and server-side work in Python, PHP, and JavaScript. Ed is the founder and chairman of Open Sourcing Mental Illness, a non-profit 501c3 dedicated to raising awareness and supporting those with mental illness in the tech industry.

He served as web lead and security researcher at The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University for 9 years. Along with Chris Hartjes, Ed is co-host of the Development Hell podcast.

Ed writes at funkatron.com.

Gary Kovar

A native Floridian, Gary joined WebDevStudios in the summer of 2016, but he has been a WordPress user since the early 2000s. After attending his first WordCamp in 2015, he cleaned up a few of his own plugins and put them in the WordPress repository. Often dabbling in a side project to satisfy his own curiosity, Gary can be found attending and sometimes speaking at Florida WordCamps. Most recently, he volunteered as one of six organizers at WordCamp Jacksonville 2017.

Heather Acton

Heather is the founder of and developer at Helio Interactive, a strategic web design and development studio in Chicago. She gets her kicks from engineering brilliant and efficient solutions for her clients using WordPress. She organizes WordCamp Chicago and speaks at learning-focused events around the midwest. In her personal time she enjoys losing to her kids at Skip-Bo, eating avocados, and listening to jam bands.

Jenna Totz

Jenna works at Climate Generation as Education Coordinator. She presents at education conferences, teaches youth climate literacy sessions around Minnesota, and provides professional development for educators. She is passionate about solutions to climate change in all sectors of life. Three years ago Jenna and her husband Travis sold their house and bought an Airstream travel trailer. They traveled the west coast and blogged about their experiences at www.theecotravelers.com. In her spare time she likes to play with her dog Porter, hang out at local breweries with Travis, and travel as much as her schedule allows.

Jeronimo Lopez

Jeronimo Lopez likes to talk. A lot. He likes to teach and he knows how to work with WordPress front and back. Most importantly, he’s good at all those things. Trust me (me being Jeronimo), you don’t want to miss out on seeing him (me) talk. He’ll make you love taking notes, learning what’s what under the hood of WordPress, or whatever else he decides to talk about.

Jeronimo is currently based in Minneapolis, a city he immediately fell in love with, and works for LuminFire, a company he immediately fell in love with, where he does full-stack development with an emphasis on WordPress.

Jessi Gurr

Jessi, Jennifer, and Kari are website developers at Iceberg Web Design in Anoka. Jessi started Iceberg Web Design in 2005, and today the team has 5 full time employees. They work primarily with custom WordPress development, and spend much of their time customizing plugins and resolving #alltheconflicts that inevitably arise when WooCommerce interacts with plugins. When not developing websites, the Iceberg team can be found drinking local beer, eating takeout, and obsessing about penguins.

Jessica Gardner

Jessica Gardner has been messing around with websites since the late 90s. Her first WordPress install was in 2013, and she’s been a devotee since. At present, she works full-time as a developer, part-time as an instructor in the College of Aerospace Engineering, Sustainability, and Technology at Kent State University, and even more part-time as the web development arm of Bitworx, an IT consulting business that she owns with her super geek husband. Off the web, she is into all aspects of food (growing, purchasing, cooking and eating), yoga, and child rearing. She lives in Kent, OH and will buy you the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had in your life if you come visit.

Joe Dolson

Joe Dolson is a member of the WordPress Accessibility team. He’s been working in web accessibility since 2004, and working with WordPress since 2006. He’s passionate about open source software and accessibility. He makes a living by doing accessibility consulting and selling premium WordPress plugins.

John Havlik

First introduced to WordPress in 2005, John Havlik has been an avid WordPress user, theme creator, and plugin author ever since. Among his various plugins is the popular breadcrumb plugin, Breadcrumb NavXT. When not working on his own projects, John helps support the small, 150 user, WordPress community at Weblogs.us.

John James Jacoby

WordPress, BuddyPress, bbPress

Josh Aas

Josh Aas co-founded and runs Let’s Encrypt as the Executive Director of Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). Prior to ISRG, Josh spent many years at Mozilla working as an engineer and a strategist.

Joshua Giowaya

Joshua Giowaya is a self-taught WordPress consultant based in Minneapolis, MN. His passion for programming began with developing in ActionScript and Flash back in 2005 and continues to be fueled with ways to create bespoke and innovative User Interfaces. With a unique background on the creative side of design, including logos, clothes, websites, and print material, his development direction takes into account both the art and science of web development.

As a WordPress consultant, Joshua works with mid-size companies to strategize and implement WordPress based solutions. His focus as a consultant is to eliminate pain-points in content management and develop a UI to best promote a company’s offerings.

Karim Marucchi

Karim Marucchi is the CEO of Crowd Favorite and Chairman of The VeloMedia Group. In the past 20 years, his career path has encompassed a variety of opportunities including founding startups, working for large web agencies and taking companies public. This wealth of experience in taking digital teams across the globe has provided Karim with the necessary foundation and institutional knowledge in leading Crowd Favorite into the growing multinational organization it has become today.

Katie Elenberger

All in. Go-getter. Laughs the loudest. With more than a decade of industry experience, Katie excels at developing effective design and messaging that cuts through the clutter and connects with target audiences. Katie’s enthusiasm for her work is contagious, her clients have noted creative talents and outcomes, personality and easy-going nature, and general feeling that she is an extension of staff as just a few reasons why they love to work with her. Plus, as an adjunct design instructor for six years, she will naturally coach you through any process. Katie is the owner and Creative Director at Spark27, a premiere, full-service design + digital studio that partners with clients to solve complex business problems through strategy and effective communication. Katie is dedicated to the quality of her work and it shows—her designs have earned her 14 ADDY awards and she prides herself on strong client relationships by being focused on building brands with robust identities and measurable results.

Lindsey Miller

Lindsey Miller is a former veteran political consultant, now applying her skills and experiences in the WordPress community. Over her career she’s raised more than $2 million for her candidates. Her strength is in relationships and messaging. She is currently the Partner Manager at Liquid Web, helping WordPress agencies and partners maximize their WordPress hosting experience. She enjoys traveling, daydreaming about traveling the world, and helping others be successful. She is married to Cory Miller and they have two funny, sweet and ridiculous kids.

Lynn Winter

Lynn Winter has been managing projects, process, and client relationships across several open source platforms since 2000. In her current role as the Production Director at August Ash, she manages the interactive team and implements new processes and strategies in order to improve the planning and build of all new websites. Lynn also works with clients on content strategy, user experience, user testing, and more.

Marcus Genzlinger

Marcus previously spent 11 years at financial services company holding a variety of roles from customer service, business analysis, project management, product management and user experience. Before leaving he managed a enterprise content management system with team of 10 people 12,000 documents while adhering to legal, compliance and branding requirements. In 2007 he created start-up that leveraged the content management capabilities of the Joomla platform. He has since seen the light and has made the switch to WordPress. He now consults growing businesses on how achieve extraordinary results using content strategy, paid/earned/owned and social media for greater conversation rate optimization in lead generation activities.

Mike Demo

Mike “Demo” Demopoulos is a longtime lover of Open Source Software. He currently works at BoldGrid (a WordPress Site Builder) as an Evangelist. He has spoken at numerous open source events around the world. Mike is also a contributor to Huffington Post as well as other publications. He also volunteers as Treasurer for Open Source Matters.

Nathan Ingram

Nathan is the Host at iThemes Training where he teaches WordPress and freelance business development topics via live webinar.

He is also the creator of >ADVANCE Coaching. He works with WordPress web developers individually and in groups to help them become more successful in their freelance businesses.

Nathan has been a freelance web developer since 1995, and is based in Birmingham, Alabama where he is the co-lead organizer of the Birmingham WordPress Meetup and WordCamp Birmingham.

You can learn more about Nathan at https://nathaningram.com.

Nick Ciske

Nick is currently the CTO at LuminFire where he oversees a growing team of WordPress and FileMaker experts. In his over 18 years of experience working in web development and digital media, he’s built or rebuilt just about every kind of website, including many content management systems (before WordPress, of course), several custom e-commerce systems, and been involved in hundreds of websites.

Pete Nelson

Pete is a full-time senior web engineer with 10up. He’s been working with WordPress the past 5+ years, but has been doing web development professionally since the mid 90s, and is the creator of baconipsum.com

Raquel Landefeld

Raquel Landefeld is a professional cartwheeler with a young soul. In 2010 she co-founded Mode Effect a Phoenix-based WordPress agency. Intentional about community building, she believes that wherever her feet are is where the building happens. She is currently active in several communities from tech to government to neighborhoods and more.

On the personal side of her life she is a wife & mum, dancer, music lover, an amateur photographer, and has a 20 year curated Wonder Woman collection.

Rebecca Gill

Rebecca is a Michigan native and president of Web Savvy Marketing. She has as a well-rounded business background within SMB and enterprise organizations, as well as over fifteen years of experience in sales and online marketing. She provides one-on-one SEO coaching and is an SEO instructor at https://www.diyseocourses.com and https://www.seobits.fm.

Rebekah Smith

Rebekah is the creator of QuOTeD – The Question of the Day Podcast, a show described as an “audio montage of on-the-spot answers to one good question.” Starting with the tape recorder she bought at a garage sale 25 years ago, she has been recording conversations with ordinary people who are “just as interesting as any celebrity on the Tonight Show.” Having helped a few small organizations develop WordPress sites, Rebekah discovered how simple and natural it was to use WordPress as the delivery system to realize her dream of getting into podcasting.

Reid Peifer

Reid Peifer is a co-owner of Modern Tribe, a ridiculously awesome fully distributed digital agency specializing in enterprise WordPress projects. He’s designed, coded, and managed websites of all imaginable makes and sizes, and a thriving premium plugin business (Events Calendar Pro) all on top of WordPress. In his free time he’s a giant coffee snob, runs long distances very slowly, is dad to two small humans, and husband to a nice lady.
He’s also looking for people to join him at Modern Tribe – http://tri.be/careers

Rian M. Kinney

Shawn Hooper

Shawn Hooper is the Director of IT at Actionable.co, where he enjoys combining code and data to build intelligent tools for teams and leaders. Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, Shawn has been building web applications since the late 90s, with a focus on WordPress since 2011. As a freelance developer, he has built sites for clients in the public and private sectors in both Canada and United States. He loves making use of great APIs, promoting web accessibility and secure coding practices.

Shawn Pfunder

Shawn’s been working with freelancers, entrepreneurs, and artists for more than 20 years. He’s consulted companies large and small on storytelling, social media, and marketing strategies. He’s spoken at events worldwide, from local small-business venues to international marketing conferences. He’s currently leading the social and community programs at GoDaddy, and just wrapped up a project working a small business coach on Mark Burnett’s latest TV show.

At heart Shawn’s in it for the underdog. He believes that striking out on your own is one of the most courageous and world-changing moves you can make. And he believes anyone can do it.

When he’s not hanging out with business owners, Shawn loves to write, run, and travel. He’s passionate about helping others and he’s convinced that a good story is the best way to do it — especially if it involves an El Camino, a highway near the coast, and some vintage Chuck Berry.

Shelby Elliott

Shelby Elliott is a unique blend of essential oils, coffee, and the color purple. She’s also Partner & Director Strategy + Creative at Corner Market Media, a full service creative agency with personality based in Columbus, Ohio. Shelby has been working with WordPress since 2009, and when she’s not creating beautiful things on the web, she can be found spending time with her 4 year old son, on a yoga mat, or exploring local businesses and events in Columbus. It’s also worth noting that she thinks she’s hilarious – many people object to this statement. You’ve been sufficiently warned.

Shelly Peacock

Shelly Peacock is the founder of the Spinbird Group, a WordPress Consulting and Design Group. She has a “full-stack” professional background of over 15 years which includes sales, marketing, and social media training. An active member of the WordPress community, she has traveled and spoken at WordCamps both nationally and internationally. Her favorite things? Hole-in-the-wall eateries that rock and creating artwork … with blowtorches and with code.

Sherry Walling

Dr. Sherry Walling is a licensed psychologist and the co-host of the ZenFounder podcast. Her life’s work is to help high-performing professionals maximize their vocational potential while also maintaining sanity, life satisfaction, and a sense of personal fulfillment. She consults regularly with entrepreneurs and founders regarding interpersonal conflicts, burnout, depression, anxiety, existential angst, major transitions, and personal balance.

Sherry is a graduate of UC Davis and Fuller School of Psychology. She has a PhD in clinical psychology and two master’s degrees. In addition, she completed residential fellowships in prevention research at Yale University School of Medicine and trauma research and the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Boston University School of Medicine. She is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Francisco.

Married to a serial tech entrepreneur, Sherry has a unique combination of psychological expertise and 17 years of experience in the trenches of the start-up world. She loves bringing these two worlds together on the podcast, in her consulting work, and as a conference speaker.

Suzi Hunn

Suzi Hunn blogs at www.resoundingyou.com, a site devoted to helping people find their voice. An educator by profession, she knows this to be true: “We teach best the things we need to learn ourselves.” Categories on her blog (stop rushing, make something, find your people) are the strategies she uses. Nothing would make her happier than to inspire you to *own* who you are and get over what everybody else thinks, already!

She was taken aback when a friend once asked, “Why do you say you’re a blogger, when you could call yourself a writer?” The answer: “Because bloggers are can-do types who make things happen!” She’s super inspired by the local blogging community and wrote this recap of MN BlogCon 2016: Four Tips for Gutsy Blogging: http://resoundingyou.com/2016/10/18/four-tips-for-gutsy-blogging-or-creating-connecting-and-just-being-human/

Last year she left her job of nearly 15 years as a musuem educator at the Minnesota Historical Society, a place she still dearly loves. This was followed by a stint as a corporate trainer, which she left to pursue her dream of being a self-employed copywriter/instructional designer. She’d love to hear about your blogging aspirations, so do come say hi!

Tessa Kriesel

Agency and Community Engineer at Pantheon and Founder of Coders of TMRW, Tessa has been a web developer for over 10 years. She enjoys front-end development but also loves to build sites from start to finish. She started in Joomla back when it was 1.0.x and worked her way into WordPress and Drupal about 7 years ago. She enjoys teaching others to code as well as speaking at conferences and youth events. Tessa is a northern Minnesota native, but now lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and four children – three boys and a baby girl. She loves dogs and enjoys helping local organizations rescue dogs in her free time.

tracy apps

Tracy (or @tapps) is a Partner & Director of UX + Creative at Corner Market Media and loves solving problems creatively. Her overlap of skills in design, user experience, strategy, front-end development, photography, video, and traditional art help her not only think outside the box, but to stay miles away from the box altogether! With over 20 years of web development experience, and over 15 years of client work under her belt, Tracy approaches design very strategically, thinking from all angles to ensure a consistent and effective creative solution… not just something that “looks pretty.” She also could probably deadlift you.

Travis Totz

Travis Totz is an award-winning designer with a passion for creating profoundly usable web experiences. He began using WordPress over 10 years ago and has never looked back.

His intentionality and empathetic leadership skills have shaped him personally and professionally, guiding him through the journey of WordPress entrepreneurship and a long history of successful client projects all over the globe.

As Senior Web Strategist and director of new business for Modern Tribe, Travis focuses on being intentional each day, being inspired by the talented team he surrounds himself with, and contributing a high level of strategic energy to large-scale client projects.

Tyler Golberg

Tyler has been tinkering with code and digital projects since college but it all changed when he discovered WordPress in 2012. Tyler and his team at CYBERsprout specialize in WordPress to help businesses build their online presence.

In his spare time he enjoys renovating a century-old home and playing with his kids.

Valerie Lockhart

Valerie Lockhart owns a small media production company called Ninja Media International. (www.pssh.ninja) She also runs the Minnesota Women in Tech, and regularly provides training on the G-Suite, Accessibility, and a variety of other UX topics.

Wendy Bolm

Wendy is the COO at CommitChange, a software company that creates fundraising solutions for nonprofits. She has been working with WordPress products since 2005 and has been a journalist, an IT specialist, an editor, a scare actor, and has worked and volunteered for a number of nonprofits for the last ten years. She currently lives in Appleton, where she spends her off time listening to loud music, writing, and making art.

Zac Gordon

Zac Gordon is a professional educator, currently working on the JavaScript for WordPress Master Course. Previously, Zac taught WordPress for Treehouse. He has years of experience teaching WordPress and JavaScript at high schools, colleges, bootcamps and online learning sites. In addition to teaching, Zac also runs Web Hosting for Students, one of the world’s largest hosting companies dedicated to students and teachers.

Zach Stepek

Zach is one of three partners in Mindsize, an e-Commerce focused consulting firm and WooExperts agency. He’s been building the web for nearly two decades and teaching others for half that. In the rare moments he’s not working, he moonlights as a professional concert photographer.