Rachel Carden is a web developer and designer for the University of Alabama and founder of WPCampus, a community and conference focused on using WordPress in the world of higher education. When she’s not using WordPress to help build the world of higher ed web, she’s a theme and plugin developer who enjoys promoting the importance of accessibility and working to encourage collaboration and professional development as a conference and meetup organizer. Rachel lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama but you can find her on Twitter, GitHub, and bamadesigner.com.
Jim Gilbert has been a leader in the social media space since 2008. His presentations have been seen by thousands of marketers. He speaks each year at The Direct Marketing Association annual conference, Social Media Day, Social Media Week and many colleges and universities. His presentation slides have viewed over 90,000 times. When Jim speaks, he gives it all away! His energy is infectious and his delivery style is thoughtful, entertaining and loaded with powerful takeaways. Jim is CEO of Gilbert Direct Marketing, WorldWide – a digital, direct marketing agency here in South Florida. Follow him on Twitter @gilbertdirect
Cuban born Adrian Cardenas spent 8 months in a refugee camp prior to arriving in the U.S. as a child. Though self-taught, he has partially earned degrees in Computer Science and Computational Math, which he strives to finish one day. He has been a PHP developer for 6 years and a Systems Administrator for several before that. He is currently making awesome things for Linio.com. Over the years, Adrian has developed several WordPress sites, both single and multi, many of them interfacing with other systems such as MediaWiki & custom solutions. While at ServerGrove, a previous, employer, he witnessed several hundred WordPress installations and some of the “gotchas” that developers can face.
Jose L Pimienta
Jose L Pimienta is a developer and designer focusing on front-end technologies. He was born and raised Cuba, where he saw the web for the first time in 2005. He loves music, design and engineering. He is currently building brands and products at Alpis (@alpisdesign)
Binod Purushothaman is the director of product and technology at SiteLock, the leading provider of website security solutions and Gold Sponsor of WCMIA. Binod heads SiteLock’s product development team, using his extensive knowledge from developing several technology startups in the energy, manufacturing and finance sectors in India and the United States. When not at SiteLock, Binod enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters at their home in Jacksonville, Florida.
As lead security analyst, Logan Kipp provides SiteLock’s Partners and Support Services Division with information and training on emerging technologies and threats, as well as providing operational oversight. Logan has seven years experience in the website hosting and security technology field, working previously for GoDaddy.com. Logan is an advocate for strong encryption and works with local organizations to promote security awareness.
Cliff is a Lead UX Engineer at Pardot, a Salesforce company—a leader in B2B marketing automation — where he is the resident WordPress developer. He’s passionate about keeping people at the heart of UX, and will design, code, and research to make it happen.
He’s the co-founder multiple profitable side projects, such as Evermore and TuneDig. He co-organizes amUX, a morning meetup focused for local UXers. He’s an accomplished speaker who’s given talks around the world. He’s also been developing with WordPress for many years, contributes back into the community, and participates in WordCamps.
Cliff lives with his wife, April, in Atlanta, where he can be found at a concert, cycling around the city, or playing guitar.
Ptah Dunbar is an air-traveling, one-eye Pirate, sailing the high seas of the Web over the past 10 years. He speaks over 10 languages, teaches students how to code and is on a mission to create empowering software that impacts a billion people within the next decade.
Ptah has given 5-star presentations tech talks (English and French) at technology conferences like WordCamp Europe, Day Camp 4 Developers, and Startup Weekend Luxembourg where his team ContinuousPHP won the grand prize and launched successfully.
Ptah’s current focus is on improving software quality at scale using AI systems, organization’s human development programs, and time-to product/market fit. When he isn’t traveling or contributing back to local communities, you’ll often find Ptah learning about ALL THE THINGS and spending quality time with his friends and family.
Adam Culp (@AdamCulp) author of “Refactoring 101” and consultant at Zend Technologies is passionate about developing with PHP and contributes to many open source projects. He organizes the SunshinePHP Developer Conference and South Florida PHP Users Group (SoFloPHP) where he enjoys helping others write good code, implement standards, refactor efficiently, and incorporate unit and functional testing into their projects. He is a Zend Certified PHP 5.3 Engineer, and holds a seat on the Zend Framework Certification Advisory Board. When he is not coding or contributing to various developer communities, he can be found hiking around the United States National Parks, teaching judo, or long(ultra) distance running.
Karla Campos is the CEO of Social Media Sass a company specializing in digital marketing training and education. Social Media Sass has trained individuals in topics like WordPress, Joomla, social media, crowdfunding, blogging, content marketing, and SEO to name a few.
Karla is a speaker, the winner of a Small Business Influencer award for 2013. Karla has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, T51, NBC6, Social Media Today, and the Sun Sentinel. Karla is the author of Social Media Fame.
On her spare time Karla likes to build websites for her startup ideas and writes for different blogs. Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Management.
Connect with Karla on Twitter @SocialMediaSass
With a degree in Broadcast Communications from Florida Atlantic University, Christina began her career as a video editor. After moving back home to Orlando, she applied her visual and story telling skills and knack for planning to project management. Her career as a Project Manager began in the technology industry, working with the biggest college sports entities to rebrand and revitalize their web properties and mobile applications. Christina became a certified Scrum Master while using Scrum Methodology to launch the PAC-12 Conference website. Most recently, Christina served as a Project Manager at Lightmaker USA, where she focused on building new properties and servicing maintenance clients. Currently, Christina works at 10up, a fully distributed agency working with 10+ clients/projects. Christina applies her intense work ethic to provide a fun and rewarding working environment for her team and clients.
Rocío Valdivia is a Spanish Computer Engineer in love with Open Source, technology, travelling and personal challenges. She enjoys working every day as a Community Wrangler at WordCamp Central for Automattic. Rocío has experience as a WordPress & BuddyPress consultant and specialist developer since 2009.
Part of the Spanish translation team at GlotPress, and Spanish WordPress and BuddyPress forums administrator. Co-organiser of WordCamp Sevilla and WordCamp Europe 2015 and 2016, and co-author of “WordPress para Dummies” (2012). Lecturer at conferences and seminars.
Find Rocío on Twitter: @rociovaldi
Mark Jaquith has been working with and contributing to WordPress since 2004. He is one of the lead developers of the WordPress core and offers freelance WordPress consulting services through Covered Web Services with a focus on scaling, security, and custom functionality. Mark likes patches that have more red than green, and his favorite WordPress features are the ones that you’re not even aware of. He eagerly looks forward to shooting down your feature suggestions with, “No, but it would make a great plugin!”
Dr. Nancy Richmond
Dr. Nancy Richmond is a professor and leading speaker in social media, personal branding and marketing. Her passion is to empower and train leaders in effectively leveraging social media for their careers and business. She teaches social media classes for the College of Business and is the co-founder of the Social Media Association at Florida International University
Dr. Richmond has worked with leading universities including MIT, Harvard University, Florida International University and Northeastern University.
Nancy has a passion for social media with over 80,000+ followers on Twitter, 5,000+ connections on LinkedIn and 7,000+ followers on Instagram. Nancy’s most recent project and research #LeadersGetSocial explores how leaders can use social media to succeed in their careers and organizations.
Nizar Khalife Iglesias
Aside from that, Nizar is from Puerto Rico and enjoys video games, film and cookies.
As a hands on leader of multiple successful companies, Brazilian-born and South Florida-raised Alex Oliveira has helped clients advance their businesses and brands by building and executing interactive marketing campaigns for over 15 years.
With a heavy emphasis on Lead Gen, Alex has created a name for himself as a well-respected marketing technologist and entrepreneur. From small to Mid-sized companies to non-profits and Fortune 500 brands like Ford and Allstate, Alex enjoys a diverse portfolio of clientele.
Alex’s other passions include adventuring with his wife and 3 kids, giving back to the local community and having his morning coffee with a side of NPR.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla lives in the Fort Lauderdale area. Connect with her on Twitter: @shaylaprice
Frank has been working with WordPress since 2009 and is the founder and CEO of My Local Webstop where he develops Quiz And Survey Master, the highest rated quiz and survey plugin in the WordPress.org repository. He is an organizer of the Gainesville WordPress Meetup and the lead organizer of this year’s WordCamp Jacksonville.
In his spare time, he is the host of The WP Report which is a podcast about improving your WordPress site. He loves to blog about WordPress, Marketing, and Business and has spoken at various conferences including WordCamp Tampa, WordCamp Orlando, and WordCamp Raleigh. Above all else, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter in Starke, FL.
Bill Gadless is President and Co-Founder of emagine (www.emagine.com). After dropping out of college and dabbling in web design at the dawn of the industry (1996), Bill co-founded emagine along with Brett Cohen with zero dollars in their pockets and nothing but drive and a love for the web. On their own proprietary CMS, emagine started doing websites for anyone who needed one with budgets of $500 – $1,000.
Today, under Bill’s Sales & Marketing leadership and Brett’s Technical leadership, emagine is a 50-person WordPress-based Digital Agency with close to 2,000 websites under their belt in their focus sectors: Healthcare, High-Tech and B2B.
Bill blogs regularly and speaks at WordCamps across the U.S.
Chris works on the core team at Easy Digital Downloads. When he’s not working on fixing WordPress core bugs, he’s also a student at the University of Florida.
Andrew (or Norcross, as most know him) is the founder and lead developer of Reaktiv Studios, an agency focused on solving complex problems with killer WordPress solutions. After quite a few years in the finance industry, Norcross switched to coding and hasn’t looked back. He’s got skin in both the service game — Reaktiv Studios is a WordPress VIP Featured Partner, helping top-tier clients with their WordPress development— and the product game, with Reaktiv’s flagship plugin, Design Palette Pro, continually being developed and supported. An organizer for WordCamp Tampa, Norcross loves to keep giving back to the WordPress community with free plugins, education talks at conferences, and core contribution to WordPress. Norcross lives in Tampa, Florida with his amazing wife, three kids, and rescue dogs that believe they’re humans.
Kimberly Lipari is Co-Founder and Director of Operations for valet.io, formerly WP Valet. Valet started life as the original support company and has evolved into a full service agency that provides full Development, Design, and Site Management. Kimberly has written for WP Elevation, presented a webinar, and spoken at various WordCamps about team and client interactions. She was recently featured in an Online Summit called ‘Tracking the Dream Team Code’, helping business owners build the best teams possible. In her downtime Kimberly is usually managing her circus of three kiddos. She cooks and listens to audiobooks for therapy and loves any excuse to get outside and do something fun. She lives just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Karim Marucchi is the CEO of Crowd Favorite and Chairman of The VeloMedia Group. In the past 20 years, his career path has encompassed a variety of opportunities including founding startups, working for large web agencies and taking companies public. This wealth of experience in taking digital teams across the globe has provided Karim with the necessary foundation and institutional knowledge in leading Crowd Favorite into the growing multinational organization it has become today.
Michele Butcher is the lead WordPress Security Specialist for WP Security Lock and the newest Support Engineer for Yoast. She is from Carbondale, Illinois which is at the other end of the state from Chicago and has much better scenery. Michele is also the lead organizer of the Southern Illinois WordPress Meetup and teaches beginners and Intermediate WordPress for John A Logan College.
Jean Felisme has been a builder of things on the web for 10 plus years, as a freelancer and entrepreneur. He fell into WordPress back in 2008 and has never looked back. Now, he is a co-founder of RateMyBarber.com and a teacher of web development skills to students of all ages.
Father of two sugar filled girls and husband of a very forgiving wife. Best friend to the Stewmister, Miniature Schnauzer, that always has his back. He is also a big Football fan and music lover.
Patrick Alexander is the CEO and founder of WPBICO, an all in one WordPress solutions company specializing in covering all the website needs from bloggers, small businesses to corporations. An avid WordPress enthusiast and lover of all things tech, Patrick has devoted himself to the tech industry for over 15 years gaining extensive experience in Programming, Web Development, System Administration and Technician; and a resume with related positions in the U.S Air Force, Florida International University and several Internet Start Ups. Owns several Start Ups www.balambico.com, www.wpbico.com and www.collegepaperreview.com.
Nicole Perpillant is the COO at Design Theory LLC. She’s been working with WordPress since 2010 and focuses on social media integration. In her other life she’s a certified eDiscovery Practitioner and Data Technologist for a Fortune 500 company. Her 13 year career spans Engineering, Quality Management, and Information Security. Twitter: @DT_Nicole
Free started her digital journey in high school when she was introduced to HTML. Even then, she had an inkling about the massive impact of social media, and soon began creating her own MySpace themes. In the years since, she has continued to gain experience as a Web Producer, Web Developer and Social Media Specialist, or as she calls it, “The Voice”. But don’t get the wrong idea. Coworkers describe Free as a brilliant yet modest team player. In her down time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, sampling new beers, redesigning logos, and attempting to keep up with local tech meetups.
Michelle Marin is a web designer / front-end developer who graduated from the University of South Florida with a BFA in Fine Art – concentration in Graphic Design and Iron Yard where she completed the Front-End Engineering program. Originally from Orlando, she now lives in Tampa creating online brands for entrepreneurs and businesses.
Steven Alig spends his days planning applications and web projects with WordPress. He has been developing and designing websites since 1997. In 2004 he started his own agency. South Florida Web Studio has changed and adapted many times over the years since its inception and it continues to deliver quality web projects for a variety of clients. Since 2010 WordPress is the exclusive platform of choice for Steven and his agency.
He is a community volunteer serving on various Web advisory committees for Broward College and Broward Schools, as well as an organizer for Creative Mornings Fort Lauderdale, and WordCamp Miami. Steven also coaches soccer for both his daughters’ recreational league teams.
Ibis is an out-of-the-box thinker with more than two decades of software development experience, with an emphasis in eCommerce and web development. Her work experience includes extensive work in web development, user interface, eCommerce user experience and conversion optimization, product configurators, web optimization, web integrations, payment integrations, mobile websites, internationalization, and database design and optimization. As a Miami native and someone that has worked for many of South Florida’s major technology companies, Ibis is passionate about putting Miami on the map in terms of technology, and seeing her city becoming a major tech hub.
As the Miami Chapter Leader for the nationwide non-profit, Girl Develop It, Ibis volunteers her time to inspire women to see the greatness within them and mentor them as they start a career or transition into a career in computer science. She is most determined to make a difference in the lives of women in Miami, lead a movement to grow the numbers of local women in IT, and play an active role in increasing the Miami software development workforce.
Carl Alexander is a PHP developer from Montreal, Canada. He has a website where he publishes articles on a regular basis. It’s his way to help the community with these hard-to-learn topics. It’s also why he’s excited to speak at [conference here]. It’s another way for him to help out.
Dr. Anthony Miyazaki
Dr. Anthony Miyazaki leads the Department of Marketing in the College of Business at Florida International University and directs the Master of Science in Marketing program. Over the past several years, he has worked with his team of faculty and administrative staff to reinvent processes so that they are sensible, effective, and efficient by (1) combining innovation with analytics, (2) developing synergies between employees’ professional brands and the organization’s brands, and (3) enhancing the social media influence of his team members. He teaches Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy, and Marketing Management at both graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as an undergraduate Marketing Yourself (Personal Branding) course.
John James Jacoby
Project lead for BuddyPress and bbPress. WordPress contributor, BackPress supporter. Cranky driver. Puppy whisperer. Naps required. Currently the Director of Web Engineering at 10up.
David is a full-time freelancer developer living in South Florida. He’s a WordPress developer and specializes in BuddyPress sites/applications along with stand-alone PHP work. Also a speaker, meetup organizer, conference organizer, and father of three.
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 Theme Directory. At Automattic he’s is part of a team that contributes to Core and WordPress.org full time. He enjoys bourbons, craft beers, and good food — sometimes so much that he blogs about it.
Michael is a Portland, Maine-based “Classical Mechanic” for Automattic‘s Gravity team. He spends his days developing, testing, and improving the new user theme 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.
Josh, is a WordPress plugin developer, educator and entrepreneur. He is the owner of CalderaWP, makers of Caldera Forms, and a co-founder of Ingot, the easiest A/B testing solution for WordPress. In addition he is a contributor to WordPress core, the WordPress REST API, and plugins by Foo Plugins, Postmatic, Pods, Aesop Interactive, WordImpress, GravityView and more.
One of Josh’s favorite things to do is to share what he has learned about WordPress plugin development, business and community. He writes regularly for Torque Magazine and has contributed to other top WordPress tutorial sites including, Smashing Magazine, Tuts+, and WPBeginner. He is also the author of the book The Ultimate Guide to the WordPress REST API.
Kevin is the co-founder and CTO of WP Ninjas, the creators of the Ninja Forms plugin. He’s been working in WordPress for over six years and studied desktop development before jumping into developing for the web. He has a wife, a one year old daughter, and a Master’s Degree, and nearly a PhD, in Roman Military history from the University of Liverpool.
David Yarde is the co-founder of Sevenality, a Branding firm that specializes in design, and user experience with the aim of building better communities by helping build better brands. When David isn’t working on Sevenality or volunteering, he’s busy being Batman and spending time with his family and occasionally sharing tweets via @dsmy.
Patrick is a web enthusiast and loves sharing all sorts of content online. He writes tutorials for WooCommerce, tutorials how to paint toy soldiers (yes for real), and has taught a number of online courses and even written a book. He’s the Product Manager for #WooCommerce at @Automattic, poly, and the guy who makes crazy sound effects.
Marc Gratch is an independent WordPress consultant, developer and WordPress evangelist. Marc attributes everything he knows about code to the WordPress community, with his initial foray into WordPress ( version 2.8 give or take a point release) he did not know how to code. Today he builds custom themes and plugins for clients, works with plugin authors on premium extensions, contributes to plugins in the repo and co-organizes his local WordPress meetup.
When Marc isn’t doing WordPress things, he is (most often) chasing around his toddler wrangling dogs, going to school, and spending time with his family.
Marc Benzakein has been working online since the mid-90s, starting as a Network Administrator for a small, independent ISP in Southern California and has been involved in almost all aspects of technology.
In 2009, he started developing in WordPress, first for his own purposes and then for clients.
In early 2013, he got involved with ServerPress, LLC, makers of DesktopServer, a local development tool created for WordPress designers and developers.
Marc lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife, Jessica and a gaggle of children currently ranging in age from a few months to 13 years old.
Mike has been working with WordPress since 2007. He has experience as a custom theme and plugin developer and has been a contributor to WordPress core since version 3.5. When not coding Mike enjoys making it out to local WordPress meetups and helping others to learn and share his passion for WordPress. Mike works on the Open Source team at Bluehost. He is also the author of the MOJO Marketplace plugin.
Georgina is from Jacksonville, Fl where she co-founded Shazzam Media, a national social media marketing and website design firm helping businesses grow their business brands and marketing channels with Simple Social Solutions. She has been developing WordPress solutions since 2009. Before starting Shazzam Media, Georgina was a mainframe programmer and founder of an IBM VAR business. She developed leading edge MRP & MPS software solutions for automating manufacturing companies around the world.
In her free time, Georgina is a social ecosystem speaker at emerging leader organizations and sports conferences. She is an agent to several professional golfers (of which her oldest child is a LPGA pro), mother to 4 assertive children, and wife to an understanding husband.
Ernie is a front-end developer, writer, speaker, designer and community organizer with an interest in how technology interacts with communities. Born and raised in the Bay Area and living in Miami, he is an internet industry veteran spanning 15 years, including running 8Asians, a community blog for Asian Americans, and being Developer Evangelist at Ning. He most recently served as a 2015 Code for America Fellow working with Miami-Dade County and is currently a software engineer at RackSpace.
Pascal Depuhl is a visual content creator at Photography by Depuhl, a Miami-based production company. He’s been capturing still images for over 25 years and even though he got into video only 5 years ago, you’ll find his award-winning and mind changing videos on National Geographic, Netflix, the BBC and many of his clients websites. It’s common to find him in the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of South America and it’s just as common to walk away from one of his short documentary style films with your mind blown.
Matt Medeiros is the host of popular WordPress podcast, The Matt Report. The show discusses the challenges and highlights of running a digital agency while standing in the crossroads of product development.
He is the co-founder of a digital agency, Slocum Studio and the product mind behind Conductor Plugin.
Louise is an eternal web development geek and social media junkie. She’s a native of Metro Detroit and an alumnae of the University of Michigan. She learned about the human side of computer science while earning a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and has fined tuned her web developer skills over the course of a 20+ year career building, breaking, and fixing sites for a multitude of startups. She’s never had a “real” job and thus is quite well-versed on the realities of being a successful freelancer and small business owner. Louise loves coffee, is full of useless facts, and is eagerly waiting for her shot on Jeopardy. She lives in South Florida with her three bouncing boys and her husband.
Adam is a Sales Consultant for Sucuri, a website security company. His primary focus is to help clients find the right solution to their web challenge. Cultivating new relationships, he works with companies to help find the balance between design, technology, security, and business.
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.
In other news, Nile is a proud support member 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.
Dustin Meza is the Director of Customer Experience Operations at WP Engine. He has been in the hosting industry for 7 years and has been with WP Engine for almost 3 years. At WP Engine, Dustin oversees many aspects of the WordPress platform including WordPress upgrades for over 100,000 WordPress installs and 40,000 customers.
Outside of WordPress, Dustin loves being outdoors in Nashville with his wife Megan, and black lab, Maddy. He enjoys all kinds of sports, both watching and playing, and has been known to play some video games when time allows. If you really want to get him talking, just bring up your favorite movie.
Devin Walker is the founder of WordImpress, a San Diego based WordPress development company. He and the WordImpress team also serve as WordPress Community Consultants for Media Temple.
Walker has extensive experience creating free, premium, and commercial WordPress plugins and themes. Popular plugins include Give, a highly rated WordPress Donations Plugin, Google Maps Builder, Yelp Widget Pro and WooCommerce Quick Checkout. In total, his plugins have more than 100,000 active installs.
Outside of the WordPress world, Devin enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and playing a leisurely round of disc golf.
Syed Balkhi is an award winning young entrepreneur with several 7 figure online businesses. He was recognized as the top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by United Nations. His work has been featured in Forbes, Inc, Washington Post, FoxBusiness, Entrepreneur, Wired, and many top publications.
In 2009, he created WPBeginner which is now one of the largest free WordPress resource site on the web.
In 2011, he created a site called List25, an extremely popular site that within 3 months of launch was receiving 5 million page views per month. List25 has over 1.8 million subscribers and 340 Million video views on Youtube.
In 2013, he launched OptinMonster, the best lead generation software that helps businesses grow their email list. Every month, OptinMonster forms are viewed billions of times and help convert millions of abandoning visitors into subscribers.
With a life-long passion for art and a BFA in Graphic Design, Stephanie is a web designer with an emphasis on design. She started freelancing as a print designer many years ago, but found the transition to web design a natural progression. Shortly thereafter, Stephanie and her husband began experimenting with WordPress around version 2.0.2 and built a thriving company around it. In 2011 they moved their family to Jacksonville, FL and rebranded as Flightless. Stephanie has been involved with the Florida WordPress community since 2014 and got her start speaking at WordCamp Miami. Since then she has been honored to share her knowledge at WordCamps Tampa, Orlando, and US. Most weeks you will find her attempting to balance web design and homeschooling, exploring the world of flavors she can invent in her kitchen, and sometimes on Twitter @sjbrinley.
Catalina is a content geek who has written different kind of content about economics, politics, policies, food, education and technology. She is a partner and contributor to TECHcetera a digital media platform aiming to help its Spanish speaking audience to make the most of the technology conversation..At TECHcetera, she writes about the use (and abuse) of technology in educational settings. Catalina is particularly interested in discussing how access to technological tools can reduce the knowledge gaps. She is a networker by nature and is part of local networks promoting women’s inclusion particularly in the tech scene. She had worked in different organizations including the London equivalent of a charter school where she began to understand the power that technology can have in learning and teaching environments. She grew up in Bogotá, Colombia where she attended the French school and obtained a BA in Economics. She lived in London for eight years where she got a Masters degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and qualified as a teacher. Catalina is a compulsive reader and avid cook. She lives in Miami with her family.
Michelle is an independent graphic designer in Minneapolis (formerly Chicago). Her formal education is in design, including print, branding, packaging, etc., plus studies in Psychology and Sociology. Together, this resulted in a love of How To Solve Problems. Lately she has been specializing in WordPress theme development and high-end presentations for her clients. She loves the open source community and speaks/volunteers/organizes at WordCamps and other events around the country.
John P Bloch is a Lead Web Engineer at 10up where he spends his time helping clients with large and complex WordPress sites. John started working with WordPress as a self-taught English-major-turned-developer in 2008 and hasn’t stopped since. John lives near Dallas, Texas where he enjoys the warm nights and slow-cooked barbecue.
Adam Soucie is a WordPress developer and the CEO at Dinosaur Iceberg, an Orlando-based digital creative agency. He is part of the WordPress Orlando and WordCamp Orlando organizing teams and recently joined the WordPress Accessibility Team.
Steve founded Zeek Interactive in 1995 and he has been the creative technologist behind the Huntington Beach based company since its inception. Under his direction, Zeek has grown from an apartment bedroom to one of Southern California’s leading development and consulting shops.
Steve is the organizer of the OC WordPress Meetup and has helped build the community to over 1100 members. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has taught interactive courses at UC Irvine, USC, the American Film Institute, and Cal State Long Beach. Steve has a BA in Film from Cal State Northridge.
David Laietta is an organizer of WordPress Orlando and WordCamp Orlando. He has been using WordPress for nearly eight years now, and builds custom themes and plugins for clients. David is a co-founder of Dinosaur Iceberg, a creative agency based in Orlando. In addition to WordPress, David is passionate about open source software, online freedoms, internet culture, and constantly learning about the world. He looks forward to chatting with you at WordCamp Miami or on Twitter @davidlaietta.
Karen Dimmick is currently based in Sarasota FL. She has run her own businesses since 1995.
Her background for the last 10 years has been wrapped up in language, copywriting, NLP (neuro linguistic programming), hypnosis, archetypes, psychology, persuasion, design, levels of consciousness and everything to do with how people’s minds work and why they do things.
In 2011 Karen started working on a system for branding that takes into account all these disparate ideas in a way that hasn’t been done before. She founded Iconisense.com to get this system out into the world and help entrepreneurs create brands that will last and attract loyal followers.
Technological enthusiast and Sales Engineer for Sucuri. Spends his spare time becoming familiar with several CMSs. When away from the keyboard, going out for long runs or watching sports with his wife.
Shawn Hooper is the CTO at Actionable Books, where he enjoys combining code and data to build intelligent tools for teams and leaders. Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, Shawn has been building web applications since the late 90s, with a focus on WordPress since 2011. As a freelance developer, he has built sites for clients in the public and private sectors in both Canada and United States. He loves making use of great 3rd party APIs, promoting web accessibility and secure coding practices.
Sarah Pressler is the Project Manager at ServerPress.com, Project Manager at PlainMade.com, Co-Founder and Project Manager of CodeBrainMedia.com and Marketing Advisor to The WP Developer Club. She is a fully engaged Mom of Four, a reluctant blogger at SarahPressler.com, an enthusiastic speaker at tech conferences, and passionate about helping others find remote work. A fourth generation Texan, Sarah currently resides near Austin with her fiance and children.
Irina Blumenfeld is an independent Front-End Developer. She has been creating websites for more than 10 years. Over time, she has branched out her skills with responsive design, theme development, and a passion for website performance.
Originally from the Ukraine, Irina has lived in Orlando, FL for more than 20 years. She holds a degree in Management Information Systems and Computer Science from the University of Central Florida.
While Irina is not coding, she enjoys running and spending time with her husband and 2 daughters.
Chris Lema is the CTO and Chief Strategist at Crowd Favorite. He’s also a daily blogger, a public speaker, and product strategist. He helps companies leverage WordPress, and helps WordPress companies find leverage.
For twenty years Chris has developed and managed high performing engineers to build software products – particularly SaaS products in a variety of B2B vertical markets. He’s also spent the last ten years coaching startups on product development & marketing strategies.
Currently based in Dunedin, Florida, Mindy Postoff is a WooCommerce Support Ninja at Automattic. She finds working in technical support extremely fulfilling, as it satisfies her fierce drive to help people, while also throwing in healthy levels of geekiness. Her superpower is being able to combine equal parts empathy with problem-solving skills.
Scott is from Orlando, FL where he founded Highforge, a digital services agency focused on solving complex business growth problems ranging from web design to Google strategy to balloon animal protection services. He’s been managing WordPress projects since 2006. In his free time he’s a marketing strategist, SEO and PPC guy. He loves to solve problems, make clients happy and help creatives achieve their destinies. He digs racquetball, backpacking, and a non-profit called Be the Match that helps save lives. Ask him why.
Many moons ago, at the tender age of 14, Cal touched his first computer. (We’re using the term “computer” loosely here, it was a TRS-80 Model 1) Since then his life has never been the same. He graduated from TRS-80s to Commodores and eventually to IBM PC’s.For the past 13 years Cal has worked with PHP and MySQL on Linux, OSX, and Windows. He has built a variety of projects ranging in size from simple web pages to multi-million dollar web applications.
When not banging his head on his monitor, attempting a blood sacrifice to get a particular piece of code working, he enjoys building and managing development teams using his widely imitated but never patented management style of “management by wandering around”.
These days, when not working with PHP, Cal can be found working on a variety of projects like CoderFaire. He speaks at conferences around the world on topics ranging from technical talks to motivational talks for developers. If you happen to meet him at a conference, don’t be afraid to buy him a shot of Bourbon.
Cal is based in Jupiter, FL where he is happily married to wife 1.31, the lovely and talented Kathy. Together they have 2 wonderful kids who were both smart enough not to pursue a job in IT.
Sandy Edwards has been working in the online marketing space for over 5 years. She started at a niche firm that utilized WordPress to create sites quickly utilizing several options frameworks. Today, she works with LivePulse Web in a capacity to manage projects, and other technical tasks. She loves to give back by teaching kids about coding, WordPress, and other technical skills. Sandy is very active in the Orlando WordPress community and is excited to see what 2016 will bring to the tech space in Florida!
Recognized as the Best Latina Lifestyle Blogger of 2015 and named one of the Top 100 Latina Influencers in the USA, Elayna Fernandez, The Positive MOM, is a best-selling author, award winning success guide for moms, and international keynote speaker. She is a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Master Trainer, trained personally by Jay Conrad Levinson, The Father of Guerrilla Marketing, and creator of the Guerrilla Positioning System (GPS) for Mompreneurs. Elayna is a Certified Passion Test Facilitator, and Certified ‘The Success Principles’ Trainer. Her mission is to encourage, empower, and equip moms to have more influence at home, more impact in the world, and more income to make it happen. She guides moms in their journey to create Joy, Balance, and Success on their own terms without guilt, fear, or overwhelm. Her philosophy is “BE Positive and You’ll BE Powerful!”
Elyssa is 12 years old. She enjoys being an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, artist, and coach. She is homeschooled, and her greatest coach and mentor is her mom, Elayna Fernandez. Elyssa plays the guitar and piano, and she loves to play with her sisters, draw, read, write stories, dance ballet, play tennis, and ride her bike. She’s fascinated with nature, especially animals, and to avoid hurting them, she became vegan at age 7. Elyssa teaches children to love themselves and have self-confidence through her books, blog posts, and artistic expressions. Elyssa would be thrilled to get to know you. Learn more about her at WhollyART.com
Elisha is a homeschooled 13 year-old, and a passionate best-selling author, artist, kidpreneur, and speaker. She loves to write, read, draw, paint, and play the piano and guitar. She is proud to be a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Practitioner, trained by Jay Conrad Levinson himself. If Elisha had only 3 words to describe herself they would be creative, generous, and humorous. Elisha lives in Fort Worth, TX with her family and she loves spending time with them. She wrote I Love ME! at age ten, because she loves helping other kids become bully-proof, love themselves, and be the best they can be. Learn more about her at WhollyART.com
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 14 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.
Chris is a Senior Web Engineer for 10up and has been working on WordPress since 2008. Before joining 10up Chris built one of the largest security plugins in the WordPress community as well as numerous other plugins and solutions. When not coding Chris loves to teach and has presented at numerous WordCamps and other conferences as well as taught computer security for St. Edward’s University and other University courses ranging from computers to aviation.