Speakers

This year’s WordCamp speakers are a stellar mix of WordPress developers, designers, and business leaders. We invite you to learn more about each speaker:

Jim Walker

Jim Walker has been a website security expert and website hosting services provider for over 16 years. Living in San Diego, California, his current passion is everything WordPress. He manages HackRepair.com, a malware cleanup and website security services company, and HackGuard.com, a WordPress security and updates service. And Jim is a frequent contributor to a number of WordPress related Facebook groups. Find him @hackrepair, @tvcnet, (619) 479-6637.

Stephen Carnam

Stephen Carnam is the founder of ServerPress, LLC, a technology firm that creates tools using open source technology for creative web designers and professional web developers. After 20+ years of development for Windows based platforms, Stephen made the jump to cross platform open source based technologies and hasn’t looked back.

He is also co-admin for the Advanced WordPress Facebook group and a co-organizer for Advanced WordPress Meetup. Previously, Stephen held positions as a senior software developer and technology director specializing in interactive graphic engines for 3D game development, industrial applications, and defense simulations.

When not writing code, Stephen can be found in his garage hacking and restoring vintage hardware with his soldering iron, sculpting on his CNC machine, or printing up new ideas on his 3D printer.

Steve Zehngut

Steve Zehngut founded Zeek Interactive in 1995. Despite dozens of hey-day dot-com offers to “partner up” for mountains of stock options, he remains the creative and technological force behind the Huntington Beach based company.

With a degree in cinema and a background in graphic design, Steve has been a multimedia producer for over twenty years. Steve is a frequent panelist and speaker at industry trade shows, including SXSW, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and various WordCamps.

He has been a Macromedia Advisory Board Member, a member of Producer’s Guild and an Advisory Board member at the Art Institute. In addition, Steve has participated as a mentor in the American Film Institute eTV Workshop.

Steve has also taught interactive development courses at University of California Irvine, University of Southern California, American Film Institute, and California State University Long Beach.

Jennifer Bourn

I am founder of Bourn Creative and an award-winning designer who has been in the design, web, and digital strategy trenches since 1997. Today I consult on brand, website, and digital strategy, lead graphic design and web design projects, and specialize in WordPress theme design.

When not obsessing over pixels, margins, and type, I manage the Bourn Creative brand and the creation and iteration of our internal systems and processes. I love speaking and I write for the Bourn Creative blog as well as the WP Elevation, CoSchedule, and GoDaddy Garage blogs.

I also so-organize the Sacramento WordPress Meetup Group.

Mendel Kurland

Hey there, I’m Mendel, an intrapreneurial change-maker, developer, speaker, and teacher.

I love the outdoors, so you’ll usually find me hittin’ the trails between tech events and code-slinging. I’ve also usually got my nose in a cup of single origin, Chemex-brewed coffee. As a GoDaddy Evangelist, I spend most of my time hanging out with developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and creative people all around the world to make sure their opinions and suggestions are heard.

Tracy Levesque

Tracy has been designing websites since Mosiac was used to browse the web. She has expertise in front-end design and development. At YIKES you can find her managing projects, running discovery meetings and working on business development with Mia. Tracy still loves to code — day-to-day she works on building WordPress themes and plugins.

Tracy also loves to teach and present on all things WordPress. She has spoken at WordCamps Philly, New York, Montreal, San Francisco and Lancaster. She was also a contributor to multiple versions of WordPress. As a Girl Develop IT instructor, Tracy shares her decade of WordPress experience.

When not behind a computer, Tracy loves to drink coffee, ride her bike, play drums, hang out with her daughter and take pictures of abandoned buildings.

James Laws

In any business someone needs to steer the ship. As the co-founder and CEO of the WP Ninjas this is what James does with great joy. Having co-created the increasingly popular Ninja Forms and the first of it’s kind Ninja Demo WordPress plugins, he is always looking for the next innovation or market where the ninjas can have the greatest impact.

With over 16 years of experience in web design and development, internet marketing, business management, and public speaking, James has had his hands in every aspect of running successful and not so successful businesses. He has led everything from churches and
charities to coffee shops and Web Development Shops.

Building a successful business and helping others with their own endeavors isn’t just what James does for work, it’s also his favorite hobby. With the help of the WP Ninjas team, James organizes the Chattanooga Area WordPress Meetup to help build and support the WordPress community in his little corner of the world. You may also find James speaking at WordCamps from time to time and occasionally answering a question or two in the WordPress.org support forums.

Tessa Kriesel

Tessa has more than a decade of experience as a developer, including both freelancing and working for creative agencies and corporate companies. She is also an Instructor for the Minneapolis chapter of Girl Develop It!, a national nonprofit that teaches women to code, where she manages curriculum and teaches courses. 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 search for and rescue lost dogs in her free time.

Stephanie Hellwig

Stephanie is a southern California native now living at the base of the Bighorn mountains in Wyoming. Working with WordPress since 2010, Stephanie is a recommended Genesis developer and owns her own theme shop & design agency, where she works with clients across the globe. Not only does she offer support and live training to her own clients, but for the last two years she has been the sole support provider for one of the most popular feminine WordPress theme shops and looks forward to sharing some of what she has learned along the way. Join Stephanie to learn 10 ways to provide great support and find out why support can be the golden nugget for residual income.

Krystle Herbrandson

Krystle has had the great pleasure of being a part of the Sucuri family for the past 3 years. Throughout her time she has experienced everything from cleaning a website to building and establishing a sales organization for the company. In her current role as Director of Sales she aids users, agencies and enterprises in navigating the complexities of website security.

Peter Malick

From a side hustle building custom PCs in 1991, to my first attempts at digital music production in 2000, to a full immersion in the Inbound Marketing world, I have always embraced technology with a passion. In 2008 my wife and I founded the Luxury Wafers Indie Music Blog, and after flirting with Squarespace we fell in love with WordPress. Currently I am the CEO and co-founder of Lumen foundry, and web development and inbound marketing company based in Los Angeles.

Chris Ford

Over the course of her 20 year career Chris has been a writer, teacher, visual and UX designer, speaker, front end developer, support lead and project manager.

Joseph Abraham

Joseph Abraham is primarily a web designer, but is proficient in both internet marketing and web development as well. Born in Maui, Joseph graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2010, where he studied music and theology. He worked in the marketing department at PLNU from 2007 to 2010. At the start of college, Joseph aimed to be a professional minister but later pivoted due to his experience at the PLNU marketing department. He has been freelancing as a web designer since middle school. Joseph has been a featured developer and designer by: WooThemes, Themify, and Morning Print. He founded Savage Cat Food, a health conscious cat food company. Savage Cat Food won many brand related awards in international magazines and conferences during Joseph’s tenure. He recently rebranded his freelance web design business into Techie Design, which has served over two dozen clients in the last six months. Over the last year, Joseph has been an active participant in the Advanced WordPress group here in San Diego and is passionate about building upon the San Diego WordPress community.

Austin Gil

I studied Kinesiology in school, but after discovering web development, I got hooked. Since then it has been an ever-growing passion which started as a hobby, turned into an internship, got me into freelancing, and has now landed me as a full-time, lead developer. I currently work at Visceral, a San Diego based digital agency where we build award winning sites for some of the world’s leading causes. Professionally I do WordPress all day, every day. In my free time however, I like to play with some of the latest tech. Currently working on a React + WP Rest API application.

Rachel Carden

Rachel Carden is a Senior Software Engineer for The Walt Disney Company with over ten years experience in back and front-end web development and digital design. Before Disney, she spent over nine years working in higher education and is the founder of WPCampus, a community and conferences focused on using WordPress in the world of higher education. When she’s not using WordPress to help build the web, she enjoys promoting the importance of accessibility and working to encourage openness, collaboration, and professional development as a conference and meetup organizer. Rachel lives in Pasadena, California but you can find her on Twitter, GitHub, and bamadesigner.com.

Evan Scheingross

Evan is a proud native San Diegan who loves good surf and good tacos. He runs his own business creating and consulting on user-focused, result driven WordPress websites for a primarily local client base. He is passionate about creating engaging and intuitive user experiences, and using design as a tool for communication. He has been working with WordPress since 2007 and attended every WordCamp San Diego to date. For more info, check out http://evanwebdesign.com/

Cody Landefeld

Senior web strategist and founder at @modeeffect. #WordPress #WooCommerce for enterprise companies, technology innovators & e-commerce store owners.

Adam Silver

Adam Silver is a native of Southern California, and is a serial entrepreneur. Currently providing WordPress development and support services through ConciergeWP.com, produces a weekly podcast at KitchenSinkWP.com & runs the SouthBay WordPress Meetup. Additionally, he was the lead organizer for WordCamp Los Angeles 2016, and in his free time, he speaks at industry events sharing his insights & expertise into all things digital. Has been married for 18 years to his amazing wife and has 3 wickedly cool kids.

Jen Miller

Jen Miller believes in the value and power of the written word in sharing truth and story, in life and in business. Combining her journalism background with a passion for customer service and marketing, Jen built NeedSomeoneToBlog.com, a blogging service focused on delivering highly-targeted, local search engine optimized blogging and page content primarily for real estate clients. As the business grew, Jen discovered areas that could further develop authority, garner trust, and build engagement for her clients online. Her agency NeedSomeoneTo.com combines these services to share engaging messages of community and industry knowledge with their clients and followers. Jen also hosts a weekly podcast, Be Seen Blogging, delivering website content tips in under 10 minutes. Jen Miller believes in the WordPress Community which is why she founded WomenWhoWP.org, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging women in their WordPress journey. She also founded a specialty Meetup to accomplish the same goal. Serving as a volunteer blogger for WordCamp Los Angeles in 2016 and 2017 and as Content Organizer for WordCamp Orange County 2017, Jen is active in the local WordPress Community. She presented at WordCamp Orange County in 2016 on Creating and Maintaining Sites While Mobile.

Mark Uraine

As an interdisciplinary designer I’m dedicated to making the web more accessible, and human friendly by facilitating the transfer of information. I’m a designer at Automattic striving to be an impactful contributor to open source. I design. I communicate. I get things done (preferably in automated ways while experimenting with new technology).

Nathan Weller

Nathan B. Weller is the Content Manager for Elegant Themes, creators of the Divi WordPress Theme. It is Nathan’s responsibility to set and execute Elegant Themes’ content strategy. To that end he edits the blog and manages a remote staff of freelance writers. He also manages Elegant Themes’ social channels, populates them with content, and does his best to find meaningful ways of engaging with the community–such as creating and hosting their new podcast, Divi Nation.

Christina Hills

Christina Hills, the creator of the Website Creation Workshop , has been passionately teaching non-techie small business owners, authors, experts, coaches and consultants, how to easily create their websites in WordPress so that they can get their message out to the world. She has been running this WordPress training program to an international audience for the past 9 years. She loves to teach WordPress as a creative way to get clarity on your business, your marketing, and your message. Christina is also an 11-year online marketing veteran, often seen at events as an expert speaker teaching on a variety of topics such as email marketing, membership sites, and ecommerce marketing, all with a focus on WordPress. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Christina Hills worked as a digital artist for the network promotions division of NBC-TV, and then as a senior technical director in the Feature Film Division at George Lucas Industrial Light & Magic with film credits for Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and ET the re-release. While her skills and background are unquestionably “technical” her style is completely “user friendly” and marketing-oriented. She puts the fun into teaching technology and empowers business owners to be in full control of their marketing and online presence. Come find her and ask her anything about WordPress, or about Spirituality and God (her other passion!) She lives near the beach in San Diego, California with her husband and daughter.

Lucy Beer

Manchester-raised, now based in Los Angeles, I’ve been using WordPress since 2004. I started using it for my own personal projects and in 2009 started to teach others how to use it. Since then I’ve been training people in the ways of WordPress. For the past year I have been working as a Customer Happiness Rocketeer with WP Rocket – the premium caching plugin.

Matt Cromwell

Matt is Head of Support and Community Outreach at GiveWP.com and WordImpress.com. He is the author of several popular free plugins, the Lead Organizer of the Advanced WordPress San Diego Meetup and AWP Facebook group (which boasts over 25K members) and a WordPress Community Consultant for Media Temple. He’s a popular blogger at his personal site (mattcromwell.com), wordimpress.com, givewp.com, and mediatemple.net.

Christopher Tuttle

I have been teaching WordPress for the last 3 years and I currently run a premium WordPress consulting team called WP-Live for Mojo Marketplace. I love helping people and small business get a start on something they didn’t think they could do on their own.

Russell Aaron

Russell Aaron is a back-end developer & support specialist at WebDevStudios.com Russell has created two WordPress.org plugins. One of which won second place in WCOC Plugin-a-Palooza. He is a fan of WordPress first and foremost. He is currently the lead organizer of the Las Vegas WordPress Meetup Group & WordCamp Las Vegas. He is an admin of the Advanced WordPress Facebook group.

Amber Hewitt

Amber Hewitt is a front-end web developer who has created websites for a wide variety of clients for over 15 years. With a strong background in design (graphic design degree from Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design), she has developed a passion for good imagery and typography in print and on the web.

Michael Cain

Michael is a Portland, Maine-based developer for Automattic‘s Delta team. He spends his days developing, testing, and improving the new user experience on WordPress.com, his evenings blogging about food and travel on mapandmenu.com, and his nights dreaming about how to make tomorrow’s WordPress blogs and sites even better.

Konstantin Obenland

Konstantin is a WordPress aficionado, and Core Developer based in Southern California. You might remember him from projects like WordPress 4.3 or the new WordPress.org Plugin Directory. At Automattic he’s is part of a team that contributes to Core and WordPress.org full time. He enjoys home improvements, bourbons, and good food — sometimes so much that he blogs about it.

Burak Dogan

Burak is a mechanical engineer with a master’s degree and an MBA; but his passion for web development led him to be a full-stack engineer with more than 10 years of hands on experience. As a problem solver, he provides tailored solutions to both agencies and his own clients. A typical day of him most likely starts with troubleshooting problems and continues with resolving the issues by building custom plugins and/or applying efficient workarounds.

Burak loves to share and believes in giving back to the community. As well as contributing to local Meetup events, he is also an adjunct faculty member in a technology focused high school. In his free time – in addition to mentoring his wife on building custom templates and UX subjects – he cooks delicious foods, practices piano and plays poker.

Drew Wilde

Albeit strange, my name is James but I go by Drew. I grew up in California, North of San Francisco in Sonoma County and am I’m a diehard Bay Area sports fan. I’ve fancied myself a runner, cyclist and tennis player in the past but I fear my peak is behind me. My other hobbies are mostly reading, film and theatre. I earned a bachelor of arts degree in english and a masters degree in business administration. I’m passionate about agile project management and am working to become a project management professional. I’m married to a wonderful wife and were glad to have our first child join the family earlier this year.

Nathan Reimnitz

Nathan is a certified expert WordPress developer working for Codeable.io, Clarity.fm, LinkedIn ProFinder, and GoDaddy Pro. He’s a full-time freelancer and wants to help you make your transition from full-time employee to full-time freelancer as well.

David Ryan

I’m an interdisciplinary developer with a background in journalism and data visualization. I currently build products for FanSided at Time Inc. where I work on front-end experiences, WordPress at-scale and APIs.

Natalie MacLees

Natalie MacLees is a front-end web developer and UI designer and is founder + principal of the interactive agency, Purple Pen Productions. She is the author of jQuery for Designers, now in its second edition. She was the lead organizer for WordCamp Los Angeles 2014 and 2013. She founded Website Weekend LA, a 48-hour hackathon matching web professionals with nonprofits in need to websites. She’s also the founder and chapter leader of the Los Angeles chapter of Girl Develop It, bringing affordable and accessible coding classes to the community. Along with Nathan Tyler, she created the Draw Attention WordPress plugin for creating interactive images. She makes her online home at nataliemac.com.

Roy Sivan

I have been using WordPress since the early days. Nowadays I’m a senior software developer that specializes in WordPress at Disney. I’m also socially awkward, but love when people say hi to me.

Scott Buscemi

Scott Buscemi is the Co-Founder and CCO at Lumen Foundry, a marketing and development agency focused on eCommerce located in Los Angeles. As a Phoenix native who recently moved to LA, Scott can be found be found hiking and attending acting classes.

Maura Teal

Maura is a web developer at FanSided.com, working on both theme and plugin development for the Time Inc owned network that serves over a million page views daily. Ever since her first WordCamp she’s been an active part of the WordPress community as a WordCamp Phoenix organizer, speaker, and meme advocate.

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 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!!!

Derek Springer

Derek Springer is a San Diego based Code Wrangler at Automattic, a beer blogger, and the developer of the BeerXML Shortcode plugin. In a previous life Derek spent nearly 10 years developing software in the Aerospace industry.

Richard Sherman

Rich has spent more than 15 years pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the web. A partner and Grizzly’s Technical Director, he’s helped brands like SDSU, UCSD, Nutanix, CAKE Marketing, and Modernist Cuisine uncover new and innovative ways to connect with the people and markets they serve.

Jason Cosper

Jason Cosper is currently employed as the Developer Advocate for WP Engine. Honestly, that’s just a fancy way of saying “I get paid to chat with people about WordPress.” Nice work if you can get it. Jason spends a ton of time with his wife Sarah and two chihuahuas, Rowdy & Gomez. They watch a lot of bad TV, scary movies and premium cable programming. He also enjoys hanging out in musty record stores, drinking whiskey, smoking meats, and sampling craft beers.

Josh Cummings

Josh Cummings is a part-time rapper and full-time developer with a passion for UX and responsive web design. Well-versed in JavaScript, PHP, Sass, and other web technologies, Josh has written code for companies like Nutanix, Signal Sciences, Nuvasive, Razer, and the Center for Surf Research. Josh is an advocate for lifelong learning, a speaker, and a volunteer at Code.org where he molds the young minds of future generations, teaching students how to code.