WordCamp Chicago 2011 Speaker Bios
Our call for speakers has officially ended. If you would like to contribute to WordCamp Chicago in another way, please contact us.
Andy Stratton is a freelance web developer and principal of Sizeable Interactive, a web design, development and marketing agency. He is also a co-founder of Sizeable Spaces, a south Baltimore coworking (shared office) space. His specialty is completely custom WordPress theme and plugin solutions for clients.
Becky is the principle at Becky Davis Design and specializes in web design, development and custom WordPress themes for small businesses. She loves working with WordPress because it not only makes her job as a developer easier, but it allows her to empower her clients to take control of their own websites.
She is a regular presenter at SCORE Chicago, doing seminars on web design and WordPress for small business owners. She is active in several web-related meet-up groups in Chicago and is an assistant organizer for the Webmasters group and the Web Professionals group. You can follow her on twitter @beckyddesign or on facebook at BeckyDDesign.
Bob Dunn is a WordPress trainer based in Seattle, WA. He provides one-to-one training and support, business and corporate training for clients across the country, and workshops locally throughout the Puget Sound area. His site, bobwp.com also has dozens of free videos on WordPress, as well as webinars and other online training. He has combined 20 years of marketing, graphic design and website development experience with a passion for WordPress. A Mac evangelist and Twitter addict, Bob loves Christopher Guest movies, makes a mean veggie pizza and learned life lessons from Curly of the Three Stooges.
Brian Richards is the designer-turned-developer behind the the StartBox theme framework. He spends 80% of all waking hours at a keyboard either creating or solving problems. He has been using WordPress since December 2007 (version 2.3) and has had a hand in launching over 65 WP-powered sites before hanging up his freelance career in 2010. You can follow Brian on twitter as @rzen and check out StartBox at http://wpstartbox.com or @wpstartbox.
As Senior SEO/Web Analytics Strategist at designory., Chris develops analytics and SEO programs for clients including Nike, HP, and Vonage. He has been heavily involved in web analytics and search engine optimization since 2003 following years of experience in site coding. Chris is an active member and speaker in Chicago’s local online marketing groups and an avid WordPress enthusiast and advocate. Follow him on twitter @fendmark and check out his blog at chrisking.info.
David Murray (@DaveMurr) is the Social Web Communications Director for re:group, a fully integrated marketing and communications firm in an Ann Arbor, MI. Murray has been with re:group for over a year, and has created fully integrated digital and social media campaigns in the health care, franchise, nonprofit, and both B2B and B2C sectors. You can connect with re:group on Twitter and Facebook.
David Tufts is a very busy father of 6, working full time as the web producer for a large non-profit, running a web development business on the side, and is using WordPress everywhere. He is an ambitious developer who is always looking for creative ways to implement the tools at hand in new and interesting ways. Over the last 4 years he has enjoyed deploying dozens of sites using WordPress ranging from personal blogs to large scale corporate websites. You can find David on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Dre Armeda is a 12 year Navy veteran with experience in multiple technical disciplines. He’s a WordPress fanatic with a love for security. Dre created his first WordPress theme in 2005 and has since contributed to WordPress core, and is organizing the first WordCamp San Diego. After his Navy days, Dre held various leadership positions in the tech start-up world including companies such as Applied Watch Technologies, and Secure-i Inc.Dre is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and studied Computer Science at Capella University and University of Phoenix. He also holds various other technical and military training certifications.You can find Dre creating WordPress solutions at CubicTwo and cleaning up malware at Sucuri Security. Follow Dre on Twitter at @dremeda.
Garth C. Koyle, recent MBA, MHA graduate from the University of Utah, is the co-owner of Event Espresso, an event registration and management plugin for WordPress. Although Garth has dabbled in programming and design, his true talent lies in business management. He has been involved with internet marketing for almost a decade, from SEO consulting to his current entrepreneurial adventure of the WordPress plugin, Event Espresso. He and Event Espresso’s founder, Seth Shoultes, competed in the 2011 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge and took home the grand prize of $40,000 for their business plan and presentation that used innovative business forecasting techniques. Through Event Espresso, Garth has sponsored and attended many WordCamps across the country, including Utah, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Kansas City, Reno, Orange County, Vancouver, Phoenix, and Indonesia.
Gloria Antonelli is an educator, trainer and emerging technology consultant to advertizing agencies, major university, corporations and startups in the Chicago area. Gloria has been learning, teaching and presenting about the web since 1996. Her expertise spans many disciplines including User Experience, Information Architecture, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Standard Development, CSS, Content Creation and WordPress. She has been presenting her holistic approach of web development for over 7 years at local and national conferences and workshops. Happiness for Gloria includes stacks of the latest technology books, online research and 3 day tech conferences. She also writes for TechCocktail.com. Her handle on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is GloriaAntonelli. www.gloriaantonelli.com
Heather Acton is a corporate dropout turned at-home mom and WordPress entrepreneur. She took her 10+ years of experience with a Fortune 500 company and poured it into developing a rock solid WordPress web development business that she runs from home with her four and two year olds underfoot. Heather values honesty, respect, and in always giving more than she gets. You’ll catch Heather smiling and enjoying friends at Lake County Social Networking events, handing out WordPress advice on Twitter and the #MsTech group on Facebook, and around town co-organizing this awesome WordCamp Chicago 2011. Follow Heather on Twitter and feel free to be nosy and read her family blog, The ChicagoActons.
Jake Goldman is the owner of 10up, a web agency focused on content management and awesome WordPress implementations. At 10up, Jake works on exciting and wide ranging WordPress projects, like 9 to 5 Mac, MikeShinoda.com, and m62 visualcommunications. Jake is a writer and expert reviewer for Smashing Magazine, and has authored a dozen highly rated WordPress plug-ins. Jake founded and continues to organize the WordPress Providence meet up, and has spoken at WordCamps around the country, including Boston, New York, Mid-Altantic, and Miami.
Jason is developer from Louisville, KY where he works at VIA Studio running a small team as Production Lead. Jason has spoken at WordCamp Louisville as well as written articles for PHP|architect. With over a decade of PHP experience, he likes pushing WordPress as a development platform. Jason’s a self proclaimed geek, but you’d never know from his sarcastic and outgoing personality. He’ll be in attendance for the duration of WordCamp Chicago, with beer-in hand after hours, and encourages you to talk to him about WordPress, PHP, or anything really.
Jim Raffel is a business owner, speaker, blogger and gadget lover. Through his WordPress-powered blog, JimRaffel.com, he shares thoughts about life as a small business owner utilizing social media to grow his network. After developing a comprehensive social media strategy for his company ColorMetrix, he realized he needed help with implementation and hired Shelby Sapusek, who he met on Twitter. After editing one of Jim’s blog posts, Shelby was inspired to offer an alternative opinion and their “She Said, He Said” blog post series was born. They now share their social media enthusiasm in a weekly Twitter chat accessible by following the #shehechat hashtag. Watch for Jim’s Twitter handle @raffel when you join the chat.
John James Jacoby
Josh Feck hosts daWPshow, a podcast for people who use WordPress. He uses open source software and web standards to help small businesses and organizations improve their presences on the internet. When he’s not working on a project, you’ll often find him reading up on topics like HTML5, WordPress theming, and adaptive web design. He lives in Traverse City, MI with his wife and two children. You can find him on twitter @joshfeck.
Mary is a Digital Marketing Strategist and founder of I.M. Think Tank in Chicago. She loves ideas and could talk for hours about search marketing and social media. She teaches social media marketing at Lewis University and believes that there are many facets to consider when plugging in to the digital ecosystem. She says there is nothing better than teaching people how to align their online presence to achieve success. She started blogging with WordPress in 2008 and loves how easy it is for people to create a professional online presence so quickly with WordPress. She enjoys the WordCamp Chicago community because everyone is so friendly and willing to share ideas.
Mert Sahinoglu is the online marketing manager at Robert Bosch Tool Corporation. Previous he has had seven years of SEO & Integrated Marketing Consulting with a portfolio of over 100 international and local brands including Allstate, CDW, Rustoleum, Ryland Homes, Cision, Pampered Chef, CBOE, DePaul & Rush. He is also a local Chicago entrepreneur as a partner at Falcon Living Real Estate. As an avid fan of WordPress, he has previously spoken at Wordcamp Minneapolis-St.Paul. He is also a popular speaker and active participant in Chicagoland marketing groups.
MJ Tam is the editor of Chicagonista and the creator of City Connect Media, Inc. that owns and operates Chicagonista.com, and other city sites. MJ also created Chicagonista LIVE!, an online talk show on Chicago-centric issues and she is also a co-host of the Chicagonista LIVE! show with Nancy Loo, Duong Sheahan, and Beth Rosen.
In 2007, MJ was one of the panelists in Google’s – “Mothers Know Tech” and since then has spoken in many other blogging conferences. She is also listed in “75 Top Twitter Tips from Today’s Small Business Moms” found in American Express OPEN / Small Business website. Last year MJ instructed “Hands on Small Business” – Social Media class series with Microsoft Office Live and Kirtsy and You can even find her in the new book “Power Moms” – The New Rules for Engaging Mom Influencers Who Drive Brand Choice.
MJ is also the host of the first ever Brands & Bloggers Summit in 2011.
Follow MJ on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mjtam
Nicole is currently Principal of aelloLUXE, and contracts as a social media strategist, content developer and consultant. Nicole utilizes WordPress to power her online presence. She is a Hootsuite Certified Professional and shares the knowledge and strategy of Hootsuite in Chicago. She moderates three live online courses with The American College, including Marketing Financial Services to Women. Nicole is a member of OpenID, Clever Girls 1000, Twitter Top 15 in Chicago by WeFollow.com, listed by Huffington Post as Women In Tech and Chicago People to follow on Twitter.
Nile is a professional blogger and quit her normal day job in 2008. She has been an active community leader on the Web from the times of Yahoo! Clubs and WordPress’s predecessor, b2. Nile’s goal from the start has been to help people with their websites because literally, in the late 1990s and early 2000, there were barely any sites out there to help the everyday person. Today, she still strives to provide quality content to help people with the creation, maintaining, and marketing of their own websites and blogs. This ties into her slogan at Blondish.net – Helping You Rock Out Your Site Like A Rockstar! Nile dedicates a lot of time to the WordPress community, fielding support via Twitter and the WordPress support forums, or through WPAddict.net. You can catch Nile online through Twitter (@blondishnet), Facebook (http://fb.me/NileFlores), or any of her sites: Blondish.net, and WPAddict.net.
Rachel is the founder of Plugged In Consulting, a WordPress Development and Consultancy in Chicago. She can write custom loop queries, create custom post types, develop custom themes, and write custom JQuery plugins, but she still thinks of herself more of a consultant than a developer. She enjoys advising her clients to stay with their overall goals and strategy to increase the effectiveness of their websites.
Rachel has bounced back and forth between server/network administration and freelance web development for the past 13 years. She just recently cleaned out her closet of old computer parts and cables (Dot Matrix printer anyone?), so she is invested in sticking to the web development thing for awhile.
Shelby Sapusek is owner of Panoramic Interactive, a digital marketing consulting and design agency. Her passion revolves around the way information is shared and the technology behind it. Shelby spent 17 years in the print media industry as a reporter, blogger and designer. She describes herself as a social media hound who is a shameless promoter of all things great. Shelby is also the marketing coordinator for Jim Raffel’s company ColorMetrix. After working side by side, Shelby and Jim started a venture through blog posts and on Twitter called “She Said, He Said” where they debate social media and blogging topics. Shelby’s handle on Twitter is @ShelMKE and the weekly chats can be found by following the hashtag #shehechat every Thursday at 8 p.m. CST.
What do you get when you cross a mid-level computer nerd with a committed communicator? You get TJ (Todd) List, The Geek Who Speaks People. Even while working as a mechanical engineer, he invented reasons to write scripts to crunch data as “part of the job.”
WordPress appeared on TJ’s radar during in late 2008. His growing consulting company, Maxim650, lets him combine two things he loves: honoring his inner geek and serving people. In fall 2010 he presented at both WordCamp Detroit and WordCamp Minneapolis-St. Paul.
TJ runs the Metro Detroit WordPress Meetup Group where he brings clarity and compassion to WordPress users.
TJ Stein is a technology enthusiast, BBQ lover and Alabama native living in sunny Los Angeles, California. Since 2008, he has worked for (mt) Media Temple, an industry-leading web hosting and software application services company. In his current role, he manages a team of incredibly smart and passionate customer service ninjas. He also contributes to (mt)’s social media efforts, incident response team and customer service leadership group.
Prior to joining (mt) Media Temple, TJ received his B.A. in Communication from Flagler College. After graduating in 2005, he became the online content manager for the St. Augustine Record and Online Editor of Drift Magazine. During his time in online publishing, TJ specialized in building WordPress-based websites and has continued working with WordPress for over 5 years.