Speakers

Emil Wisch

Anthony D. Paul

Now living and working in Chicago with GE transportation and the US railroad industry, Anthony helps build great digital experiences and software through usability research, IA concepts, and prototypes. 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”.

Dwayne McDaniel

I have been working in tech and open source sales since 2005. I knew as soon as I started working with Java middleware developers I never wanted to work outside of open source ever again. I first started building in Drupal and WordPress when I needed to build projects for the San Francisco Improv scene. I fell in the love the community of developers and then found my position at Pantheon at the end of 2013. As a Community and Agency Success Manager I have had the privilege of presenting at MidCamp (Drupal), Twin Cities DrupalCamp, DrupalCamp Colorado, WordCamp Milwaukee, WordCamp Baltimore and Drupal Northern Lights (Iceland) as well as leading BOFs at several other events. Outside of tech I love producing and performing improv theater. I also love comic books and karaoke!!! Reach out at http://mcdwayne.com or on Twitter @mcdwayne

Boone Gorges

Boone is a core committer for WordPress and a lead developer for BuddyPress. His consulting firm, Hard G LLC, specializes in WordPress development for universities and academic organizations.

Ryan Erwin

Ryan is a web strategist at Orbit Media Studios. Before joining the company and becoming an Orbiteer, Ryan founded a web design, development, and digital marketing company in Chicago. His passion is learning about different digital operations and applying them to Orbit’s success. His skills are rooted in analysis, strategy, problem solving and mobilizing all parties involved around the accomplishment of the objectives.

He brings years of experience with WordPress to Orbit, ranging from speaking at and organizing WordCamps to building and marketing successful enterprise websites. Ryan is the current lead organizer for both WordCamp Chicago and Startup Weekend Chicago.

Ryan and his wife Buddy are very involved in several non-profit organizations and currently serves on Young Champions Committee for the “The 30th annual Alzheimer’s Association® Chicago Rita Hayworth Gala” on May the 13th, 2017.

Patrick Smith

Patrick has been in the branding, digital, advertising, design, marketing or whatever people are calling this business these days for 20 years. That length of time in this profession would have broken most people’s spirits, and maybe even their will to live, but somehow Patrick carries on. Call it the luck of the Irish, or just a glutton for punishment, Patrick actually enjoys this business, the creative process and the people. Well, most of the people anyway. He’s thankful for the creative industrial complex because his options are limited; too short for the NBA, never quite mastered the Phrygian Dominant Scale on his guitar, and any opportunity to become Pope has already passed him by.

Kurt Cruse

Kurt is the Creative Director at Orbit Media Studios. He’s passionate about user-friendly, conversion focused web design and pizza. His laugh can be heard across a crowded room and he’s often found in crowded rooms laughing.

Scott Winterroth

Scott Winterroth will share his seven-year freelance experience and provide tips and strategies he uses when providing WordPress support and training services. He often has to jump quickly into a Theme. He explains how to identify the client’s needs and explain why certain themes don’t work for a particular project. Scott has been working with WordPress since 2008.

Andy Nathan

Most digital marketing companies understand all the jargon, but have trouble conveying their clients message to the intended target. As an internet marketing veteran and former teacher, I not only understand how to use social media, blogging, and search engine optimization for your business. I know how to explain it to your audience in a clear and concise manner.

I am the founder of Smart at the Start, a digital marketing strategy company that helps small businesses grow through bite-sized internet marketing services. I successfully worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs in over 80 different industries over the past six years. I wrote the books Start Up Gap and eMarketing Experience.

Tracy Apps

Tracy (or @tapps) is a Visual/UX Designer for Cornershop Creative 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.

Meagan Hanes

Meagan Hanes is a WordPress expert based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with over 20 years creating websites by hand and over 10 years using WordPress. She creates elegant, high-performance, mobile-optimized web solutions – front-end, back-end, and everything in between. You may have seen her present talks across a variety of WordPress subjects. She gives back to local communities through organizing WordCamp Ottawa 2016 and 2017, running meetups such as the Ottawa WordPress Community, and teaching others to code via Ladies Learning Code. Meagan is a part of the OTGS family, makers of the WPML and Toolset plugins.

Zach Stepek

Zach specializes in eCommerce consulting and WooCommerce development, helping companies navigate the complexities of building and running their eCommerce marketplaces. He’s been building dynamic, data-driven websites since 1999 and has worked as a designer, developer and user experience architect. He’s a partner at Mindsize, where he focuses on full-stack development and strategy for their clients. When he isn’t building websites, he’s a professional concert photographer and well-rounded geek.

Michelle Schulp

Michelle is an independent graphic designer and frontend developer in Minneapolis. Prior to beginning her career, she studied Visual Communications, with minors in Psychology and Sociology. As her work progressed, she also branched into front-end development and user experience design to round our her skillset. This combination of disciplines led her to adopt a strategy-based approach to design, focused on solving tangible problems and achieving real goals based on how people think.

She loves the open source community, and when she is not working on projects she speaks/volunteers/organizes at events and workshops around the country. Her passions are communication and empowerment, and she believes in the power of “Why?”

Nile Flores

Nile Flores is a long time WordPress designer and Developer. While she grew up a military brat, she’s settled in the St. Louis metro east region. Nile blogs at Blondish.net, where she covers topics on WordPress, Blogging, SEO, Social Media, and Web Design.

She also loves contributing to WordPress, and that includes speaking at WordCamps across the United States. She loves helping people and supporting Open Source projects.

Nile founded and runs a 8,700 member Facebook group dedicated to helping WordPressers, called All About WordPress. When Nile isn’t knee deep in coding and design, she’s spending time with her son, who is also a WordPress user.

Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina is a co-founder and the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, an award-winning 38-person web design company in Chicago.

Over the past 16 years, Andy has provided web strategy and advice to more than a thousand businesses. As a top-rated speaker at national conferences and as a writer for many of the biggest blogs, Andy has dedicated himself to teaching marketing.

Andy has written hundreds of articles, many of which have been published on the top marketing blogs and media websites. Favorite topics include content strategy, search engine optimization, social media and Analytics.

• Top 10 Online Marketing Experts to Watch in 2015, Forbes
• Top 50 Marketing Influencer in 2016, Entrepreneur Magazine
• Top 10 Social Media Influencers to Watch in 2017, Social Media Explorer
• Top 50 Content Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2017, Outbrain

He is also the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.

Steve Stern

Steve build WordPress sites for fun and profit and has been doing so for over 10 years. As part of What A Great Website, he builds custom themes and maintains sites for numerous clients. Steve also provides support for WordPress users on the WordPress.org forums and IRC channel.

Allison Tarr

Allison is a Front-End Developer at WebDevStudios, a distributed company that specializes in WordPress development. Originally from Southern California, she currently lives in Toronto. As a result of her own lived experience, Allison is a mental health advocate and wants to create a more open conversation to combat existing stigma and provide additional resources. She loves guacamole, hula hoops, and Dolly Parton (not necessarily in that order) and her favourite flightless bird is the kakapo.

Wendy Bolm

Wendy is the Director of Support and Nonprofit Advocacy 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 and making art.

Jeff Large

Jeff Large is a digital consultant and strategist. He runs Come Alive Creative, an agency that helps business owners sell more with their eCommerce stores. He also uses his experience as an educator to teach business owners more about web development, podcasting, and digital marketing.

Additional Info:

Jeff regularly shares his insights through blogging, podcasting, and public speaking. His work has been featured on sites like OSTraining, Product Hunt, GR Current, and GoDaddy.

Outside of work, Jeff spends most of his time with his wife and kids, volunteering with his church community, and playing board games with friends.

Aaron D. Campbell

Aaron has over sixteen years of web development experience. He has been a regular contributor to WordPress for the last ten years and currently leads the WordPress Core Security Team. Aaron has worked with clients ranging from small local businesses to Google, Yahoo, Disney, and Harvard, and is currently funded by GoDaddy to work full time on the WordPress project. 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.

Lisa Ghisolf

Lisa Ghisolf is Gizmo Creative Factory, with 19+ years in print, web & email design, and 14 years in business. She’s worked with big and small companies, publications and organizations alike, creating print and digital for Kraft, the National Retail Foundation, Bridgestone, the National Safety Council & many others. Aside from putting out fires, she has designed and built robust WordPress sites since 2008, starting nostalgically with HTML back in 1996. Lisa also offers training and maintenance and likes to work as a technology and design partner to her clients.

Jessica Gardner

Jessica Gardner is the web development arm of Bitworx, an IT consulting business based in Kent, OH. She has an academic background in linguistics, library science and information architecture, and has been building websites since 1998. Her first WordPress install was in 2013, and she’s been a devotee since. She’s especially drawn to the versatile ways that WordPress can be wrangled to create dynamic, centrally controlled content, and has yet to find an information process that WordPress can’t handle. Off the web, she is into all aspects of food (growing, purchasing, cooking and eating), yoga, and child rearing. She lives in Kent with her husband and two kids.

Tania Rascia

Hi, I’m Tania Rascia.

This is me: www.taniarascia.com
This is also me: github.com/taniarascia

I went to culinary school and worked in kitchens for nearly a decade. That’s my origin story.

Later, I became a self-taught web developer, and that’s what I do now. I design and develop sites on the WordPress platform at my current job, and I blog on the WordPress platform for my hobby.

Shelby Elliott

Shelby Elliott is a unique blend of essential oils, coffee, and the color purple. She’s also the Founder & Creative Director of Corner Market Media, a web design and branding agency based in Columbus, Ohio, and is a part time contractor for Modern Tribe. 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 3 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.

Mike Hale

Mike Hale is a developer at Rainmaker Digital where he helps build the Rainmaker Platform. He has worked in software development for almost 20 years, and started working with WordPress in 2010, specializing in developing custom plugins and sites using the Genesis Framework. He is also a writer, puppeteer, podcaster and co-organizer of the WordPress Naperville Meetup.

Michele Butcher-Jones

Michele hails from the beautiful Southern Illinois and is the SLA Lead ensuring a five star support experience at Valet.io. Michele is also the Support Guru for Give, the donation platform exculisivly for WordPress. During the evenings she is a WordPress instructor for John A Logan College. In Her free time she is the Lead Organizer for the Southern Illinois WordPress Meetup, loves traveling with her family, enjoys reading, and a lover of fine food and drink.

Dustin Filippini

Dustin has been working with the web and technology since the late 1990s and first came across WordPress in 2005 using Version 1.5. He has worked on websites of all sizes form local one-person businesses to multi-national Fortune 500 Companies. He loves the WordPress community and has organized WordCamp Milwaukee and the Milwaukee WordPress meetup and was also the founder of the Milwaukee JavaScript User Group. Dustin has contributed to WordPress Core and has been part of other initiatives in the WordPress Community. After years of residing in the Milwaukee area, he moved back “Up North” with his wife and two kids to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and he runs a web design and consulting business, 906 Web Studios.

Mary Fran Wiley

I’m a UX/UI designer from the Second City with a love of all things sci-fi, a yarn stash in need of projects, a bad dancing habit and the ability to speak two (and a half) languages.

The official party line is a bit more technical. With 8 years of experience in a creative field and the last five and half exclusively focused on UX & UI design. My specialties are in complex data wrangling projects, custom WordPress sites and the accessible web (section 508 compliance).

I’m currently a UX Art Director at Ogilvy & Mather.

John James Jacoby

WordPress, BuddyPress, bbPress

Joshua Alexander

Is the owner of Promotional Science, Inc. a web programming company doing custom programming for tech companies. He has been helping as one of the organizers for Chicago and Milwaukee WordCamps.

Antti Koskenrouta

Antti Koskenrouta is a WordPress developer and web consultant. Originally from Finland, he’s called Washington DC home for 10 years.

Since 2011, Antti has been a full-time freelancer and has built custom WordPress sites and plugins and advised clients with their web strategy. His clients range from small companies to a Fortune 500 corporation. In addition to client work, Antti stays busy by running his own websites and making hand-popped kettle corn and roasting coffee in a Roanoke, VA -based company he cofounded, called Two Roosters.

Outside work Antti enjoys taking his beagle Logan out for long walks, traveling wherever and whenever possible, and having an occasional gin and tonic.

Chris LaFrombois

Chris is a web developer with Orbit. He enjoys working with WordPress and finding out about the powerful, yet sometimes obscure, native WordPress functions. When not sitting behind a computer, he’s often times burning up the asphalt on his road bike.

Heather Acton

Heather is an agency owner and developer 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.

Becky Davis

Becky has been active in the Chicago WordPress community since her first WordCamp in 2010. She has been the organizer for the Northside WordPress Meetup  , since 2011. She is the chief tech and bottle washer for Becky Davis Design , and when not working on custom site development for clients, she enjoys knitting, gardening, movies and a good whiskey.

Lauren Jeffcoat

Lauren has been building WordPress websites for almost a decade and is currently part of the OnTheGoSystems WPML Customer Support team. She enjoys creating WordPress websites and has worn many hats in the world of web development including Project Manager, Customer Service Representative, Account Strategist, and Web Designer.

Originally from New England, she now lives in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. Lauren enjoys sharing her knowledge along with tips and tricks that she has learned either through furthering her education or personal experience.

Lauren is the organizer of WordPress Meetup Myrtle Beach, a co-organizer of WordCamp Wilmington, a WordCamp Speaker and a lover of all things WordPress.

Jason Knill

Jason is cofounder of GiveWP.com, a WordPress donation plugin. He works on managing the businesses growth, buys the ads and does pre-sales support tickets, too. He grew up in Jefferson Park (blue line), too—though he lives in San Diego now, he’s a Blackhawks and White Sox fan.

Adam W. Warner

Adam W. Warner first discovered WordPress in 2005 and has since founded several WordPress-focused businesses that provide education, plugins and consulting services for online business owners. 

In 2016 he brought his passion for WordPress to join SiteLock as s Product Evangelist. Adam has since delivered his zeal for WordPress to 20 different WordCamps all over the world and presented talks at 13.

In addition to WordPress, Adam is passionate about his family, robots and of course, life, the universe and everything.