I am a founding developer of WordPress, the Open Source software used by over 18% of the web, including this site. The website says WordPress is “a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform” but more importantly WordPress is a part of who I am. Like eating, breathing, music, I can’t not work on WordPress. The project touches a lot of people, something I’ve recently begun to appreciate. I consider myself very lucky to be able to work on something I love so much.
John James Jacoby
Chris Lema is the VP of Software Engineering at Emphasys Software, where he manages high performers and oversees product development and innovation. He’s also a blogger, ebook author and runs a WordPress meetup in North County San Diego.
Read our Interview with Chris Lema
He will be presenting “You’re a Professional: How to Avoid Overshoot & Lost Profits” on Saturday.
Aaron started crafting websites came at the age of 14, when he built a fan site for his favorite video game: Age of Empires. This passion led to a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics and, befitting the game, a minor in Economics. Aaron cultivated a passion for HTML, CSS and PHP and built his own Content Management System months before discovering WordPress in 2004.
After managing a hospital website for 5 years, Aaron’s passion for engineering online publishing solutions drove him to focus on WordPress full time. Before he knew it, Aaron found himself speaking at 5 WordCamps and leading the organization of WordCamp Chicago 2013. He even managed to make core contributions to WordPress 3.5 and 3.6 and release a few plug-ins on the official repository.
When Aaron isn’t rocking WordPress, he’s playing video games (he’ll even cop to watching “professional StarCraft matches”), working out, hanging out with his 2 kids, and on at least one occasion, jumping out of airplanes.
As digital marketing consultant I spend most of my time glued to my laptop, but when I get a free minute I usually spend it on my bike. I love cyclocross, mountain biking, my wife, and my jack russell, (not necessarily in that order).
Read our Interview with Monte Martin
He will be presenting a session titled “Optimizing your site for (business) performance” on Saturday.
Brad is a PHP developer for Delta Systems. Delta specializes in developing custom themes and plugins to expand the capabilities of WordPress for large projects. We’re currently working on an open source project called Dewdrop (http://github.com/DeltaSystems/dewdrop) that makes it easy to use Zend Framework components for WordPress plugin development.
Gloria Antonelli is a WordPress consultant, trainer and developer since 2006. She started teaching and presenting about the web in 1996.
Read more about her career in our Interview with Gloria Antonelli
Adventurous sailor and Seattle WordPress(Camp) organizer. Ben Lobaugh has been working with open source communities for 15+ years and is an active contributor to the WordPress community. Ben is currently contracted with Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. where he helps promote greater embrace and interoperability of open source technologies. On July 1, 2013 Ben will be joining Automattic as a Code Wrangler!
Rachel is a Software Engineer at The Nerdery’s Chicago office where she leads the development of WordPress applications of all sizes and budgets.
Previously, Rachel lead her own WordPress development company with a client list that included: CareerBuilder, Merrill Lynch, Luna Carpeting, Dabble, and the United Way.
Adam is a designer & serial WordPress entrepreneur starting in 2008 with his first WordPress theme venture called: BandThemer.com which catered to bands, artists, musicians & labels. Since then he has co-founded MintThemes.com and help create the first free crowdfunding plugin for WordPress allowing people to crowdfund anything imaginable.
Kyle is a freelance designer and developer with an insatiable desire to creating things worth putting your name on. He enjoys baseball and music with unintelligble lyrics.
Jessica Duenke Paterik
Jessica is an independent design consultant and has 9 years of experience creating work for clients such as CDW, Navteq, P&G, and ACNielsen. Jessica’s website experience has evolved over time – at first she used iWeb, then did a manual install of Joomla! [yikes], and then she discovered WordPress [thank goodness!!]. She’s passionate about helping others avoid some of the headaches that she’s run into by teaching classes through SkillShare. She has lived in Chicago for 10 years and enjoys long bike rides through the city or just chilling with her husband, Andrew, and their cat, Nigil.
Mike Van Winkle
Mike Van Winkle is a developer with WP Engine where he focuses on creating features to help analyze and improve the performance of thousands of WordPress sites. He also frequently assists in support of high-traffic WordPress installations.
Mike has been developing with WordPress since 2006 and developing professionally since 2008. Before starting with WP Engine in 2012 he was a freelance developer for 2 years. He lives in Santa Rosa, CA but loves to come to Chicago where he lived from 1999 to 2010.
He will be presenting “Git’ting Started: Everything you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about Git.” on Sunday.
Lisa Sabin-Wilson is the co-owner of WebDevStudios, a design and development company specializing in customized WordPress themes and plugins, and the author of WordPress For Dummies. As the “For Dummies” brand franchise author on all things WordPress she’s also written several other WordPress-related books. She’s worked with WordPress since 2003, and is also a regular public speaker on topics such as WordPress, blogging, design, and social media. Find Lisa on Twitter: @LisaSabinWilson
Andy Nathan is a social networking schmoozer at Smart at the Start, a social networking consulting company that helps small businesses add to their revenue stream by getting rid of the pain that “is” social networking. When you can now wait to finish your social networking for the day, he relishes the thought of spending his entire day on social networking helping clients succeed.
In addition to that his blog now brings in over 20000 readers every month. Come for the entertaining stories and leave with the amazing information that revolutionizes your business.
As a former mortgage broker for 5 years, he used Facebook to find and close real estate deals. Now, he uses the same methods that worked successfully for him to help his clients. Andy graduated from National Louis University with a Masters Degree in Education.
He will be speaking on “Getting Started with your Blog” for Foundation Friday.
Jake Caputo is a husky designer and developer living in the Chicago suburbs with my wife and two cats. He has been designing/developing with WordPress for the past four or five years. After startomg at a small agency, he moved to freelance client work, and currently spends 100% of his free time creating commercial WordPress themes.
He will be speaking in the Commercial Themes & Plugins Q&A on Saturday.
Joe Boydston is VP of McNaughton newspaper group, operator of 8 northern California newspapers. Their newspaper publications are driven by WordPress, not just the websites but the print publications as well.
He will be presenting a session titled “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Software” on Saturday.
Joshua Alexander has been involved in the web business since 2001. He started full-time in 2008 and by 2009 was looking for a solution clients can learn quicker to cut down on customer service calls and came across WordPress. He has been addicted ever since.
He has an MBA in Finance from NYIT and is a full-time internet marketer and website developer.
Becky is a custom WordPress theme developer who sometimes designs and sometimes works with other designers. When she’s not at her desk, you can find her digging in the garden, or on her bike on her way to host the Northside WordPress meetup in Chicago.
Ross Johnson has been designing websites professionally for over fifteen years. He brings a unique and comprehensive view to design, shaped by a lifelong love for fine arts and his education in technology, business and social science. This diverse background brings insight to all aspects of design including practicality, business implications and psychology of how people interact with computers.
For the past seven years Johnson has run a global design firm called 3.7 DESIGNS. The firm has serviced companies across the globe including General Motors, Sandals and The Detroit Zoo. He currently teaches at Michigan State University and Washtenaw Community College. Johnson’s expertise extends into the WordPress arena having picked up the platform in 2006. Johnson is a co-organizer of WordPress Ann Arbor, WordCamp Detroit and has authored several WordPress plugins and countless themes.
Read our Interview with Ross Johnson
He / She will be presenting The Overlap of Emotion and Usability on Saturday
Andy may be best known in the WordPress community as a co-organizer of WordCamp NYC, and perpetual volunteer at WordCamps all over the country. He has a passion for introducing new users to the wonders of WordPress. Andy develops workshops and webinars for Tadpole.cc, as well as providing technical support for Tadpole’s clients.
Read our Interview with Andy Christian
Heather Acton is the founder of and developer at Helio Interactive, a fresh WordPress development shop in Chicago, IL. Sje says: “We specialize in custom themes and user experience, and pride ourselves in providing unparalleled client services. When I’m not brainstorming with a client or building a site, I’m likely cuddling with my kiddos, sipping a craft beer, or at a Dave Matthews Band concert.”
Read our Interview with Heather Acton
She will be presenting as part of the WordPress Business Owners Panel on Sunday
Follow Heather Acton online:
I’m the creative director of Creativity Included, a one-woman studio where I use both sides of my brain to help clients develop design strategies and systems that provide measurable results. I believe that you should treat content as a user interface element, copywriting is as important as design, you should use agile design practices to spend more time designing and less time doing production work, and typography and white space are 90% of a successful design solution. The only thing I take seriously is design.
Read our Interview with Chris Ford
She will be presenting “What’s So Great About Agile Design?” on Saturday, June 29.
Gene Hammett is fiercely committed to working with web designers and developers to expand the size, scope and billings of their projects (in weeks, not months). As the managing director of Core Elevation, Inc., Gene helps web designers and developers end the stagnant and tiring cycle of overworking and under-earning by implement strategies to up-level their profits and visibility more quickly and easily than they ever could on their own.
Read our Interview with Gene Hammett
He will be presenting Designers and Developers: Creating New Revenue Streams using WordPress on Sunday
Sean McGinnis is Director of Digital Marketing at http://SearsPartsDirect.com. Sean has been building and optimizing websites since 1999.
Reid is a partner with Modern Tribe, a ridiculously awesome fully distributed digital agency specializing in industrial strength WordPress projects. He’s designed, coded, and managed brochure sites, giant blogs, massive MU networks, iPad magazines, and a thriving premium plugin all on top of WordPress. In his free time he’s a giant coffee snob, likes to run, and tries (and fails) to project manage his 18 month old toddler.
Currently a Senior Web Developer at Vortala managing and adding features to a WP network of 2000+ sites. I love coding, sunshine, learning new things, and nerd jokes. Crazy about my wife and 2 girls. Always a gun for hire via Pypeline.
Read our Interview with Jarrod Pyper
He will be presenting What’s Your Query? for Foundation Friday
Follow Jarrod Pyper online:
Kathy Sharo, founder of Web Words Matter, passionately believes that practical marketing produces results and great words drive growth. She helps companies attract those elusive new clients through an awesome strategy, engaging messaging/content and return-on-investment measurement. Through her work with start-ups to large global corporations, Kathy has hands-on experience in nearly every area of marketing. She advocates adding a critical area back into the conversation: the lost art of marketing words.
K. Adam White
Adam will be presenting “Building apps with Backbone.js and WordPress” on Sunday.
Gordon Wright combines his 15+ years building websites and his varied roles in higher education to bring a practical and strategic approach to improving online efforts in higher ed. After years as webmaster for the MacArthur Foundation and a major division of the American Bar Association, he returned to the higher ed sector, tapping his long experience at schools such as MIT and London School of Economics to address the specific concerns universities face as they adapt their print-based marketing methods to the online sphere.
He will be presenting “WordPress Goes to College: A Case Study” on Sunday.
Collin Matthews is the founder and CEO of SierraPulse, a WordPress development and design shop based in Boston. He also offers WordPress and Shopify consultancy services at collinmatthews.me, and is the creator of thinkorporate.com, a forthcoming networking site that connects high school and college students who have a passion for web design and development.
Nick is a Founding Partner and the Director of Development at WerkPress. Nick has spent his whole career creating for the Internet. His ability to problem solve has led to a serious depth of knowledge in interactive software development and design. Before Westwerk, Nick spent time at several full-service agencies working with a diverse set of brands, including Sanus, Best Buy, Walmart and CostCo. Extending his nerdy pursuits out of the office, Nick keeps himself busy by attending meet-ups, geocaching, playing strategy games and discussing technology.
Read our Interview with Nick Pelton
He will be presenting as a member of the WordPress Business Owners Panel on Sunday
As Director of Web Engineering at 10up, Jeremy works every day with an amazingly talented team to create, deploy, and sustain some of the biggest WordPress sites on the web. He has been creating things on the Internet for well over 15 years and has constantly strove for better ways to publish and maintain user generated content. A native to the Chicagoland area, Jeremy now lives on the west coast in sunny Portland.
Read our Interview with Jeremy Felt
He will be presenting Hi WordPress, Meet Vagrant on Sunday.
Erik Wolf is a small business marketer and author of two books, Blog For Business and the award winning Marketing: Unmasked. He is also the founder of ORBTR, the first marketing automation platform for WorPress and of Zero-G Creative, an online marketing agency serving small (and growing!) business clients exclusively.
Erik has been featured by The Huffington Post, NewYorkTimes.com and Atlanta Business Radio among other media outlets and has been a speaker at conferences such as South by Southwest (SXSW), Ignite Denver, Digital Atlanta and several WordCamps. Erik lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and two children.
Read our Interview with Erik Wolf
He will be presenting “Grow Your Business NOW: Maximize Marketing Efficiencies With WordPress” on Saturday.
Joe Dolson is a freelance WordPress developer and accessibility consultant. He’s the author of several WordPress plug-ins, with over 1.7 million downloads between them, and is active in promoting accessibility in WordPress core development and in theme development. He’s lived in Minneapolis/St Paul for most of the last 15 years, and is a classical violinist on the side.
Read our Interview with Joe Dolson
He will be presenting Accessibility & WordPress: Developing for the Whole World on Sunday
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As a kid, my dad called me the chief cook and bottle washer because I was the one in charge of the kitchen. Being in charge of website development, social media and support is a whole lot better than being in charge of the kitchen!
Social Web Dzine is the realization of my dream to be a work at home, single mom. I’ve spent the past 9 years refining my business goals and raising four children. Today I focus on creating customized websites for local business and non-profit organizations. When I’m not at my desk, you’ll find me vegging out to an NCIS marathon with my kids!
Read our Interview with Rose Fields
Rose will be presenting a session titled Save Your Site – Stop Hackers at The Door for Foundation Friday.
Suzette Franck is the WordPress Evangelist at (mt) Media Temple, where she educates and advocates for WordPress and the WordPress Community.
She typically attends 2-3 WordPress Meetups a week, and has spoken/is speaking at 6 WordCamps so far his year: Phoenix, San Diego, Miami, Reno, Orange County, and Seattle. She blogs frequently at suzettefranck.com about WordPress and is a regular contributor on WPWatercooler.com.
Read more in our Interview with Suzette Franck
She will be leading two introductory sessions in the 101 track on Foundation Friday, “Domains & Hosting” and “Resources For Reaching Your WordPress Potential.”
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Mika Ariela Epstein is better known as Ipstenu, the Half-Elf Support Rogue. Working for DreamHost, she solves any WordPress problem that comes up, and still finds time to slash unasnwered WordPress.org forum threads by night and wrangle plugins by day. A self-taught guru on Multisite and .htaccess, she has a passion for writing and technology and blogs about them on her own site, as well as for DreamHost.
Kiko’s curious mind has driven him to learn as much as he can across a vast array of platforms. He has studied music, graphic design, photography, and holds his MBA.Following his inquisitive nature as well as the strategic thinking honed during his 11 years in the US Air Force, Kiko founded InGroup Consulting. Over the 4 years in business, Kiko and IGC have found WordPress to be the best platform to showcase their capabilities.
When not traveling between satellite offices in NJ, Los Angeles, and the Twin Cities; he sits on the Information Technology Advisory Board at Century College. Kiko also organizes a WordCamp and a WordPress Meetup in the Twin Cities.
Read our Interview with Kiko Doran
Kiko will be speaking on the WordPress Business Owners Panel on Sunday.
Matthew Boynes is a lead developer at Alley Interactive. The only thing Matt loves more than developing on WordPress is helping others develop and solve complex problems using WordPress. When he’s not coding, you’ll often find Matt engaged in some outdoor activity like hiking or skiing.
Read our Interview with Matthew Boynes
Matthew will be speaking on Object-Oriented Custom Post Types, Taxonomies, and Post Meta during Foundation Friday.
I’m a UX Designer at Pardot, but I’ve been in WordPress every working day for at least the last four years. Personally, I’ve been designing and developing WordPress sites for years as Logos Creative, and have been working on awesome projects like MusicGrid.me. I live in Atlanta with my wife, April, where we do young urbanite-y things.
Read our Interview with Cliff Seal
He will be presenting No one cares about your content (yet) on Saturday
Tobias Bäthge is a PhD student in the field of “Control Theory and Engineering Cybernetics” from Magdeburg, Germany. He has been working with WordPress since 2006 and is the developer of two popular WordPress plugins. When he’s not on the computer, coding or supporting his plugins, he’s probably somwhere out on the baseball field, practicing with his team.
Tobias’s session: “Tales of a Plugin Developer, or Don’t repeat my mistakes, please!”
Read our Interview with Tobias Bäthge
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Stephanie Leary is a freelance web consultant specializing in WordPress sites for the higher education and publishing industries. She has contributed more than a dozen plugins to the WordPress community. She is the author of Beginning WordPress 3 (2010) and WordPress for Web Developers (2013).
Stephanie’s session: Content Strategy for WordPress
Her book is available on amazon now: WordPress for Web Developers
Read our Interview with Stephanie Leary
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Tom is a Software Engineer at the Nerdery in Kansas City. He has been working with the WordPress platform since 2007 beginning as a theme developer and then moving to primarily plugin development.
With a work history that spans from freelancing, to agency management, to agency owner, the breadth and scope of his projects has been greatly varied. Ranging from the simple Mom and Pop Storefront to a Social Network built upon BuddyPress for a national sports franchise.
For fun if you can’t find him at the nearest movie theater, you’ll find him with the wind in his hair as he enjoys hitting the open road on his Harley.
Tom’s Session: Plugin Unit Testing for WordPress
Residing in Portland, Oregon, Zack longs for the cold, snowy days of his Alaskan youth. He enjoys strumming his guitar, playing hockey, and spending time with his fiancée and dog. Otherwise, you’ll find him at his computer meticulously spinning lines of clean WordPress code as a developer at The Theme Foundry.
Read our Interview with Josh Broton
He / She will be presenting Rocking the Responsive Web on Saturday
Matt Medeiros is the co-founder of SlocumStudio.com and inteviews WordPress entrepreneurs on MattReport.com
Michelle is a graphic designer and co-founder of Marktime Media, a multimedia design and video production company based in Chicagoland that helps small-to-mid sized businesses effectively utilize digital media. She was formally schooled in many aspects of design including print, branding, packaging, etc., with additional education in Psychology and Sociology, all tying together in a love of How People Think. Lately she has been specializing in WordPress websites, infographics, and high-end presentations for my clients. She is a lover of WordCamps and the WordPress community, a WordCamp Chicago organizer, and loves meeting people who feel the same way.
Andy is a freelance WordPress developer, founding principal of WordPress agency Sizeable Interactive, and founder of WordPress maintenance and support service WP Maintainer.
When he’s not busy perfecting websites, Andy is often found exercising his dog, learning about fitness and training at the gym and enjoying animals, art, film, music and philosophy. He fancies peanut butter and jelly more than he should.
Read our Interview with Andy Stratton
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I am a WordPress developer concentrating on sites for small business owners. As a former small business owner myself, I can relate to their operational and marketing struggles, and I love to help them with their website needs and make sure they are getting what they want and what they need at a good price. Last year at WordCamp, I did not know anything about WordPress. After being inspired at WordCamp Chicago, I decided to pursue this as a new career and become a freelance WordPress developer. With the help of the Chicago WordPress community and some long hours using Google, I am so excited that this is becoming a real career for me, and I LOVE it!
Saravanan Shanmugabaskaran (Sud) is Co-Founder and Director of Client Solutions for Tuna Traffic. What does this mean in a nutshell? It means Sud helps businesses get found. By masterfully combining the latest in web-based technology and SEO (search engine optimization), tactical data analysis, focused customer research and innovative web design, Sud creates engaging and effective web presences for businesses big and small. With 10 years of diverse IT experience creating business solutions for a variety of companies and services, Sud’s expertise lies in actively listening to his client’s needs and fostering a partnership that delivers strategic and successful, state-of-the-art products and services. His extensive IT background has earned him a spot as a requested speaker on numerous technology-based topics. Sud’s exceptional people skills and collaborative spirit provide an unmatched customer experience for Tuna’s clients. Plus, he’s sharp as a tack, quick-witted and fun to be around. We call that the Tuna Traffic Triple Threat.
Helena is the co-founder and soul of DIY Website Coach, a WordPress coaching, training and development business based in Australia.
Helena has been developing websites since 2005, and began her love affair with WordPress in 2007. She now helps solo entrepreneurs & small business owners around the world by providing professional, SEO friendly starter sites (based on WordPress and the Genesis framework) and training them to use and extend their site to build their business.
Helena lives beachside in Melbourne, Australia with her husband/business partner and 5 year old son.
Follow Helena on twitter
John is the founder of Fokoz Creative Group, a web and graphic design firm in the north Chicago suburb of Grayslake. He is also a co-founder of Barefoot Group, a WordPress plugin development firm.
John has been designing and managing websites since 1996, when Netscape first came on the scene. In 2009 John stumbled upon WordPress while looking for a better solution that didn’t require hiring programmers (sorry if you’re a programmer). The ease of use and SEO friendliness was an instant hit and helped John launch dozens of websites out of the gate.
John lives in Hainesville, IL with his wife and three children.
Tomas Puig is the Director of Marketing for WP Engine who currently lives and works in San Francisco. Tomas’ career started at NASA Ames research center where he worked on computer security and web development. However he quickly moved to the entertainment and branding side starting in music production with recording such artists as Jack Johnson, Clay McClinton, and Laura Cash. In Advertising after his award winning FuseTV, IFC, and Namco campaigns Tomas was recruited by Studio One Films (Part of the A.G. Nadiadwala Group) to become their head of technical / creative in Bollywood. Where he launched major USA based brands in India and directed music videos. After returning to the states Tomas worked in the digital ad agency industry with well regarded firms including LEVEL, COG1, Rosetta, and Propane. Some of his major clients included Facebook, Cisco, NetApp, Namco/Bandai, Square-Enix, and Google. His most recent projects included working on digital and brand properties for Kaiser Permanente, New Relic, and the new Tomb Raider video game. Tomas has directed projects that have won 4 Gold National Addy’s, several Cannes CLIO’s, and festival awards. It should also be noted that he is a giant geek who loves video games (currently playing Bioshock Infinite), Legos, breaking his Arduino set ups, and playing with his dog Éowyn.