Speakers

Dustin Filippini

Brad Parbs

Emma Edgar

Marc Benzakein

Marc has been involved in many aspects of technology since the age of 10 when he got his first “account” on the local University’s mainframe. After catching the programming bug, he has done everything from building custom applications for retail to participating in building an Internet Service Provider from the ground up.

Currently, Marc lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he fills the role of Operations Manager for ServerPress, LLC. But his true passion lies with fostering and helping kids in need. Beyond his two children, he and his wife Jessica have taken in a sibling group of three on a mostly-permanent basis, along with working with the local foster agencies to be able to adopt another sibling group of two to three more. His exploits can be found at his family blog.

Zach Stepek

Zach has been a web developer and designer since the late nineties, and in that time has seen the birth, rise, and fall of a number of web technologies while working as a coder, a designer, and a UX lead. After following WordPress’ progress for a number of years, he jumped in as a freelancer a few years ago, building everything from blogs to eCommerce sites. He has a passion for emerging web technologies and loves teaching others how to take their ideas and turn them into reality through code.

As the “Technology Wrangler” at OscarMike.org, Zach led the late 2014 re-launch of the Oscar Mike website, helping to completely retool everything from the customer facing site to their back-office procedures. He recently joined the team at WebDevStudios, and is excited to see where this next part of the journey takes him!

When he isn’t creating something in front of a computer, he spends time behind the lens as a concert photographer, capturing images of some of the largest artists in the rock and metal genres.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith is a web developer with Student Affairs IT Services at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He is a recent arrival to the world of WordPress, but has been working with web technologies from a young age. Taylor comes to web design from a winding path through math, art, and linguistics, but uses this interdisciplinary background to bring a unique perspective to each challenge. He is currently pursuing his MS in Computer Science and certificate in Digital Arts & Culture at UWM. In addition to WordPress, he builds web applications in Laravel, Angular, & Node, and plans to eventually work in data visualization.

Michelle Schulp

Michelle is an independent graphic designer, recently relocated to Minneapolis from Chicago. She was formally schooled in design including print, branding, packaging, etc., with additional education in Psychology and Sociology, all tying together in a love of How To Solve Problems. Lately she has been specializing in WordPress websites, infographics, and high-end presentations for her clients. She loves the WordPress community and speaks/volunteers/organizes at WordCamps and events around the country.

Dan Beil

Dan, hailing from Minneapolis, MN, has been a WordPress developer since 2009, focusing on front-end responsive code and clean admin interfaces. Prior to joining Alley Interactive, he worked on a large multi-site e-commerce WordPress install as an in-house developer at Blue Earth Interactive, and freelanced for four years prior to being at Blue Earth.

Dan frequently travels and speaks at WordCamps, talking about work / life balance, live coding for 2+ hours, and the intersection between design and development. Previous talks have included ‘S2members and Monetizing a WordPress / BuddyPress install’ (WordCamp Minneapolis 2013) and ‘Why Custom Post Types are Awesome’ (WordCamp Boston 2013).

Dan is a regular at Minneapolis meetups, and when he’s not in front of a screen he spends his time with his Siberian Huskies.

Dustin Drees

For over 10 years, Dustin has strived to deliver websites that focus on achieving business objectives and grow his client’s revenue. Today he applies that background doing conversion rate optimization, using a focused process-driven approach to find out where, how and why websites are underperforming and losing revenue, and fill those gaps with solid testing.

Justin Howe

Justin Howe a software coder, entrepreneur/business owner, instructor, problem solver, explorer of all things new in tech, he builds things, he breaks things (then fixes them), and more. He’s been an owner of a businesses in the computer/internet industry since 2005. Justin has written code in over a dozen computer languages and built software from games to business web applications.

Justin has been using WordPress since 2007, and, more recently, he’s been teaching web design using WordPress as a platform. He’s have built a number of plugins and widgets both for internal use by our students and faculty.

Outside of teaching, Justin is a freelance software developer for my own company Wiley Solutions. He builds custom software solutions, mostly in the area of business intelligence (reporting, automation, etc).

Confucius says, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Shayda Torabi

Shayda Torabi is a storyteller, digital marketer, and lover of all things WordPress. From the people to the platform, she’s been using WordPress since 2004 and hasn’t looked back. Working at WP Engine as part of their Marketing team, Shayda focuses on building authentic relationships with the amazing people who make up the WordPress community. Having been to over 30 WordCamps all over the world from Sevilla to Chicago to San Francisco, one thing has remained constant, the generosity of the people of WordPress. She likes loud music, iced coffee and chronicles her life adventures through her food blog (www.dinewithshayda.com).

Mike Hale

Mike Hale is a developer with Copyblogger Media where he helps build the Rainmaker Platform. Mike started working with WordPress in 2010 and has 15+ years of experience in software development. He’s also the organizer of the WordPress Naperville meetup and co-host of the Typehammer podcast.

Jamie Schmid

Jamie Schmid is a WordPress theme developer and Information Architect. Her experience in user-centered interaction design led to an interest in developing for user experience in administrative interfaces (known as the “author experience”) as well. She enjoys taking sites from conception through a well-managed build process that encourages communication, planning and smart use of content.

Michael Tieso

Michael Tieso is a Developer Advocate at WooThemes. He is a representative to the developer community helping to win the hearts and minds regarding the WooCommerce platform. When he’s not online, you’ll often find him traveling around the world.

Josh Leuze

Josh is a WordPress developer from Minnesota who loves making themes. He is the author of the popular Meteor Slides plugin.

When not building themes and plugins in his basement, Josh can be found doodling with his kids at the kitchen table, reading a good book, or pedaling his bike around town.

Zach Bowers

Zach Bowers uses WordPress and it’s vast web development options every day as Digital Marketing.

He’s a specialist at Tuna Traffic. Zach chose this topic because he sees a lot of Google Analytics accounts set up and abandoned.

Zach also blogs over at Hey Beardsly.

Topher DeRosia

Topher DeRosia has been using and developing for WordPress regularly since 2010. He’s used it to freelance, launch a successful startup company, work with an agency, and he currently works on Easy Digital Downloads.

Shanta R. Nathwani

Shanta R. Nathwani is a Consultant and Instructor in Web Design and CCIT Capstone at Sheridan College, which includes teaching WordPress. The ICCIT program is a joint program with the University of Toronto at Mississauga.

She teaches students and small businesses how to use their websites and social media to increase their online presence leading to increased revenues and improved customer service. She has assisted companies to incorporate social media and information architecture in the real estate, financial, non-profit, education and technical fields to name a few.

Eric Sherred

Eric Sherred has previous experience speaking at last year’s WordCamp MKE during the Friday session (on The Loop). He has also taught classes on analytics and tracking for websites in the DC area. Eric is the Inbound Marketing Director for a high profile political campaign and this is his area of specialty and passion.

Josh Betz

Josh is a developer on the WordPress.com VIP team at Automattic. He spent the first two years doing developer support for VIP customers and featured partners to create a great WordPress experience. He is currently working on the next generation of the VIP platform.

Bridget Wessel

Bridget Wessel has been a web developer for 14 years, specializing in WordPress development since 2011. She started Unbox Interactive in late 2011 and has built over 50 WordPress websites for both local and national clients.

Bridget picked this topic because she has themed five WooCommerce sites to date, and she’s learned a lot about WooCommerce in the process. Each site is updated frequently, which has taught her how important it is to use actions and filters instead of overwriting templates whenever feasible.

Pat Hartl

Pat Hartl works at NSR Business Solutions, in Racine, as a web developer and the go-to WordPress guy. He’s been working with WordPress for a little over five years developing custom themes and plugins. Pat has been a professional developer for a year and a half, learning as he goes along. Working professionally with WordPress has given him a greater knowledge of how to start developing with a smarter and more optimized workflow.

Steve Heuser

Steve Heuser has a small design shop in Greenville, WI called Brook Web Works. He has about 50 clients with about 70 websites. He’s been building websites since 1996 using different tools like Fusion and Dreamweaver. About 4 years ago, he started using WordPress and hasn’t looked back. Steve’s been going to WordCamps for the last 3 years. He’s also been working full time as a web designer for 8 years.

Steve’s been leading the Appleton WordPress MeetUp for the last year.

In his free time, he loves to fly fish.

Kevin A. Barnes

Kevin A. Barnes is the Director of Web Development, at Orion Group, a WordPress development and digital marketing agency located in Sussex. His hands-on experience with WordPress began in 2005, when he migrated his personal website to WordPress. This will be his seventh WordCamp (three in Milwaukee and four in Chicago), and his second time presenting at WordCamp MKE. Currently, Kevin is beta testing my own long-form storytelling website (http://tomorrowsage.com/) built on WordPress and using the Aesop Story Engine.

Jess Jurick

Jess joined 10up in Fall 2011 with years of experience working in the interactive space. She has consulted with Fortune 500 corporations, universities, and non-profits to achieve everything from improved employee engagement (Abbott); to the successful relaunch of personality-driven news brands (Grantland & FiveThirtyEight); to the deployment of an enterprise publishing system that enables 1000 + Canadian journalists to deliver the news everyday (Global News); to increased brand awareness and enrollment in a MBA program (Florida International University); to decreased tobacco use in high risk populations (Rhode Island Department of Health).

At 10up, Jess leads the project management discipline, oversees holistic project delivery for 60+ active accounts, and collaborates with the executive team to enable rapid growth and operationalize new service offerings. She is passionate about creating a transparent, excellent, value-driven client experience.

She is currently prioritizing sharing lessons learned with the WordPress community to encourage a leveling-up of enterprise consulting capabilities that further establishes the platform’s competitiveness in the market.

David Skarjune

David Skarjune is the lead consultant for Word and Image providing content publishing solutions for authors, artists, publishers, and organizations including WordPress managed hosting, support, and training. Skarjune is an Electronic Document Professional with Xplor International, a WordPress Instructor at Takoda Institute, and he’s active in Minneapolis-St. Paul user groups.

Damon Schopen

Damon Schopen has been a professional web developer since 2006. Two years ago Damon started working with WordPress and fell in love with the platform. As owner of Port Light Technology he helps people bring to life websites and web applications. He works with WordPress beginners to help guide them and teach them how to use WordPress in a way that is easy to understand. Damon enjoys helping people use web technology to make their business and life more productive and more enjoyable.

Dennis Deacon

Dennis Deacon is a front-end web developer working with website accessibility and multiple content management systems by day. At night, he relishes his time with WordPress, developing client sites, with an increasing focus on accessibility. Additionally, he is also the organizer for the Chicago Digital Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetup and love to evangelize accessibility wherever possible.

Joshua Alexander

Joshua Alexander has been a full-time developer since 2008. He started in WordPress in 2010, converted from Joomla and saw the light. He owns a company called Promotional Science located in the Chicago area. Our company focuses on development for agencies, and currently works with over 30 agencies in the US and Canada. Josh’s company focuses on Ethical Hacking/Unhacking/Cybersecurity, and Website Development.

Patrick Rauland

Patrick is the WooCommerce Product Manager at Automattic. That means he gets to talk to store owners all day long, listen to their problems, and come up with creative solutions in the software to fix those problems. He lives in Denver Colorado and loves to go for runs and rock climb.

Jordan Quintal

Jordan Quintal is a 10-year New Media veteran. He owns and operates GeniusMedia, and his company has been in business for over 3 years now. GeniusMedia specializes in Web, Website, and WordPress development.

Jordan has been a speaker at a dozen WordCamps across North America. He is also a huge web accessibility advocate.

Alec Rippberger

Alec developed an interest in building at an early age. His meticulous construction of Lego sets evolved into pixel-perfect web development. At Westwerk, Alec works with clients to plan and build web solutions that solve complex business problems, bridging the gap between business goals and end-user experiences. While not working on WordPress projects, Alec enjoys tinkering with robotics and honing his Super Smash Bros. skills.

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.

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

In other news, Nile is a proud support member and translation validator in 2 dialects of Spanish at Team Yoast. She also runs a 7,000+ 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.

Heather Acton

Heather Acton is the founder of Helio Interactive, a WordPress-centric digital agency in Chicago, IL. She’s passionate about good practices, mentoring others, and drinking craft beer with colleagues and friends.

Jon Valcq

Jon Valcq is a Linux enthusiast and Server Administrator for the Orion Group. He has been working within the WordPress community since 2012. He has attended past WordCamps here in Milwaukee but this will be his first year speaking.

Matt Green

Matt Green is a Web and Software Developer Instructor at WCTC for the last six years. Has created websites since 1998 and has created sites for non-profit organizations using WordPress for the last two and half years.

Jessica Dunbar

Because I’m in an open source relationship

Becky Davis

Becky is an independent front-end developer specializing in custom WordPress themes and project management. She is Chicago native and is very active in the WordPress community there, including helping with WordCamp Chicago and running one of its most active meetups.

Becky loves training and teaching WordPress as well as gardening, movies and biking. She is especially fond of bars with couches and good whiskey.

Andy Nathan

For the past 5 years, Andy Nathan has been a full-time blogger and freelance writer. During that time he’s written over 4,000 blog posts for 200+ clients. His super power is that he doe not write to be creative. He writes to help promote business’ brands, and that has made all the difference. Also, Andy has previously spoke at WordCamp Chicago and Milwaukee.

Caleb Burks

Caleb Burks admits that from the start that he’s been a WordPress fanboy. He’s am a lover of all things WordPress! Caleb’s been working and developing with WordPress since 2009, and has since become a WooCommerce Ninja at Automattic. He’s contributed back to WordPress by being apart of the theme review team at WordPress.org. You can usually find him coding and/or eating gummy bears.

David Kocol

David Kocol left Xerox after 27 years, a corporate refugee looking for a better life.He started a videography business that morphed into a video coaching service. He’s able to shoot video, but would rather coach others how.

David currently works with Small Businesses (1 to 100), and helps them tell their stories with short videos.

He advocates a large library of very short 30 to 90 second videos to tell specific stories, make points and inform.

He LOVES what he does when working with others to make excellent videos.

Andrew Wikel

Andrew Wikel is a WooCommerce Payment Gateway Ninja for Automattic, but that is not the only thing he is passionate about. Some other notable passions include his wife and son, his dogs, and coffee. One easy way to get him distracted is talking about coffee.

Andrew has worked with WordPress for about 7 years, with roles ranging from dabbling for fun, to working full-time with WordPress plugins now.

John James Jacoby

Read more about John James Jacoby at jaco.by.

Kyle Maurer

Kyle is the co-founder of a Jackson, Michigan based firm called Real Big Marketing which specializes in using WordPress to solve complicated problems for businesses. He is also the author of and a contributor to dozens of WordPress plugins, is the co-organizer of the Jackson WP meetup, is a co-organizer of WordCamp Ann Arbor, plays in a band and is an aspiring beer snob.