WordCamp San Diego 2016 Speakers

This year WordCamp features an allstar line up of local, national, and international WordPress developers, designers, and business leaders. We invite you to learn more about each speaker:

Kevin Koehler

Kevin is a Community Guardian for Automattic. He helps defend WordPress.com bloggers from bogus legal threats, and works to make the web safer, freer, and open for all. In past lives, he could be found at the Sunlight Foundation or as one cofounder of CoPress. He currently resides in Washington, DC, and would like to hear your best BBQ recipe.

Chris Lema

Chris Lema is the CTO and Chief Strategist at Crowd Favorite. He’s a 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.

Steve Zehngut

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 WordPress and mobile development shops.

Steve is the organizer of the OC WordPress Meetup and has helped build the community to over 1,300 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.

Carrie Dils

Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, Carrie is a WordPress-loving developer. She’s been helping businesses craft online identities since 1998 and enjoys creating sites that look great on the outside and work well on the inside. The daughter of an educator and computer scientist, Carrie is always about the business of learning more and teaching others as she goes. She blogs regularly about WordPress and the business of freelancing at carriedils.com. When she’s not behind a computer, she’s likely reading a book, running after her dogs, or enjoying a tasty dish with her husband. Today she’s a team leader at Crowd Favorite.

Jason Rosenbaum

Jason is the COO of Crowd Favorite. Over the last 15 years Jason has led teams in various sectors of industry including finance, marketing, hospitality and professional services. Those prior leadership positions fostered the institutional knowledge necessary to conceive and implement the growth and operational strategies of Crowd Favorite and have led directly to its reputation today as a premiere, multinational organization.

Jennifer Bourn

Jennifer Bourn is an award-winning, 17 year design veteran and founder of Bourn Creative, a full service design studio in Sacramento, California. Bourn Creative works with clients on brand design, website strategy, web design, and WordPress, as well as a wide range of graphic design projects.

She built her first WordPress site in 2008, fell in love with giving clients the ability to make their own content revisions, and went all in with WordPress pretty much the same day.

With hundreds of custom WordPress sites under the belt, Jennifer now shares her expertise and lessons learned as a speaker, an avid blogger, and a co-organizer of the Sacramento Meetup Group.

Tom McFarlin

Tom McFarlin is a self-employed developer who works at Pressware where he works with his team to build software and provide services for others.

He’s worked with companies such as Envato serving as editor of Tuts+ Code, WordPress.com where he sales WordPress Themes such as Mayer, and worked as the technical editor on Smashing WordPress, Fourth Edition.

He also maintains a number of free plugins and tools including the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate, and he blogs daily.

When he’s not at his computer, you can usually find him playing music, hanging out with his wife, his two daughters, and his two dogs, running, reading, or catching up on movies or episodes of some of his favorite TV shows.

Chris Ford

Chris became a storyteller in the third grade when she wrote and bound her first book. She became a graphic designer in junior high when she was introduced to a proportion wheel and Proper Cropper as co-editor of the yearbook. She became a computer nerd when she discovered the Mac and Pagemaker as a journalism student in high school. When she stepped foot into her first college graphic design classroom she knew she’d found her life’s work in a field that combined all three of those passions. Over the last 18 years the tools and technologies she’s used have changed, but her design philosophy has stayed the same; she helps her clients tell their unique story: the story of who they are and why their customers will love them. Today she’s a project manager at Crowd Favorite.

Tony Perez

Tony is one of the Co-Founders, and CEO at Sucuri; a globally recognized website security firm specializing in cleaning and protecting websites. Tony has spent the better part of 5 years building an organization designed to provide value to website owners when they need it most. He has worked with 100’s of thousands of websites, helping them navigate their online security challenges, has spoken at events and conferences around the world, and is adamant in the power of education and awareness. He actively writes and shares his thoughts on both business and security on his personal web properties.

DesktopServer Team

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 Cromwell is Head of Support and Community Wrangler at WordImpress. He is the Lead Organizer of the Advanced WordPress San Diego Meetup and AWP Facebook group (which boasts over 17K 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. Matt has a background in education and as a web developer for nonprofit organizations.

Pippin Williamson

Pippin Williamson is a WordPress plugin developer from Hutchinson, KS. He runs PippinsPlugins.com and is the founder and lead developer of Restrict Content Pro, Easy Digital Downloads, AffiliateWP and many more WordPress plugins. Beyond WordPress, Pippin has a love for sour beer, home brewing, and is an avid cyclist.

Andrew Behla

Andrew Behla is the Creative Director and Founder of Behla Design, a full service design and web development agency located in Los Angeles since 2000. He has been in love with WordPress since 2006 and enjoys giving back to the WordPress community. He is the founder of the Topanga WordPress and Los Angeles WooCommerce Meetup groups and is also a WooExpert. Andrew has a degree in Philosophy and Business from Trinity University, has taught at Santa Monica College and was an award winning teacher at UCLA Extension. He is a lifelong musician and enjoys snowboarding, table tennis, meditation and travel with his wife, Michele.

Carolyn Sonnek

Carolyn has been an avid user of WordPress since 2005. She also makes a mean tater tot hotdish. These two things are not related. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, she now lives in the Portland, OR area. She works as a Happiness Rocketeer for Automattic, the company that makes WordPress.com and plugins such as Jetpack, Akismet, and VaultPress.

Kyle Maurer

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

Brian Bourn

Brian Bourn is the managing partner at Bourn Creative, a full service design & web development agency in Sacramento, CA which recently celebrated 10 years in business. As a front-end developer, he has been working with WordPress since 2009 and has created over 100 custom WordPress sites.

Bourn Creative is a big believer in giving back and supporting the WordPress project and community. As such, Brian is one of the lead organizers for WordCamp Sacramento and the lead organizer for the monthly Sacramento WordPress Meetup.

Scott Stewart

Scott Stewart is a WordPress developer. He has developed websites for small businesses, writers, artists, and corporations using WordPress. In the process of building those websites, he has pushed forms and form plugins to the limits. He has built two digital clinical trials from scratch, utilizing the power of Gravity Forms.

When he’s not building websites, Scott is probably writing and reading and sipping some coffee in his and his wife’s small casita near downtown San Diego. He is writing a children’s book about an Exclamation Point. They have a dachshund named Parker after Dorothy Parker, the literary wit of the 1930s.

Scott hails from a small town in Oregon. He went to college at the University of Oregon. He has explored Eastern Europe in the Peace Corps and finally settled down in San Diego after a very cold stint in Massachusetts. San Diego intrigues him because there are so many transplanted people here from all over the world. Also, sun is a great and glorious thing.

Random facts about Scott: His favorite animal is the ring-tailed lemur. He played guitar on the streets of Istanbul one spring. He enjoys playing Scrabble, like a lot.

Sam Hotchkiss

Sam has been developing sites with WordPress for over years. He built and ran an agency, then built a plugin business around BruteProtect, a security plugin which was acquired by Automattic in August of 2014. Sam now leads the Jetpack development team, working on the Jetpack plugin in use on millions of WordPress sites across the internet. In his spare time Sam travels all over the world taking photos with his wife, Becky.  Sometimes they do it in style in their 1989 VW van, bringing their 3 dogs along for the adventure.  He tries to post photos regularly on swh.me, but sometimes he forgets because he’s too busy writing about himself in the third person.

Verious B. Smith III

Verious Smith the Creative Director of Philoveracity Design, a firm that specializes in Brand Development with work that spans the scope of strategic planning to custom branded campaigns & clients that have included local & national start-ups to medium sized corporations.

He is a BFA VisCom Graduate and has a thorough command of Conceptual Communication with a myriad of mediums.

His current career focus is to build important new relationships while nurturing current connections by properly stewarding my God given time & talents.

Adam Silver

Adam teaches a WP101 course at the local adult school, presents a monthly WordPress seminar at SBDC, runs the SouthBay WordPress Meetup and produces a weekly podcast over at kitchensinkwp.com. In spare time he hangs out with his wickedly cool 3 kids & wife, and makes some really bad puns, since someone has to.

Deena Mayne

Deena Mayne grew up in San Diego (Leucadia) and has been building websites since the early dawn of the internet. But, no, Al Gore was not her first client. She first began on the WordPress platform in 2005 and fell in love immediately. Deena moved all of her existing clients to the WordPress platform at that time and has never looked back! She attended her first WordCamp in San Francisco in 2007 with just a small handful of other WordPress enthusiasts from around the world. “It has been an amazing 12 years! I have enjoyed watching both the WordPress community and software develop over the years.” Prior to building websites, Deena worked as a graphic designer, production artist and editorial illustrator.

Sarah Benoit

Living in the mountains of North Carolina for 16 years, Sarah Benoit is Director of Training at JB Media Group, LLC and the Founder and Lead Instructor of the JB Media Institute, an Internet marketing school based in Asheville. She is owner of a small business web design firm – Creative Original, Inc. and she teaches continuing education classes at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Since 2006 Sarah has been teaching classes, leading workshops, and speaking at conferences about SEO, social media marketing, public relations, online advertising, WordPress, personal branding, usability, Internet marketing strategy, website tracking, and more. In addition to her entrepreneurial pursuits, Sarah’s passions include latin dancing, astrology, film, history, and environmentalism.

Lisa Ghisolf

Lisa Ghisolf is Gizmo Creative Factory, with 18+ years in print, web & email design, and 13 years in business. She’s worked with big and small agencies alike, creating print work and websites for Kraft, Clear Channel, Allstate & many corporations & organizations. Instead of just putting out fires, she’s now building robust WordPress sites and training clients on website management.

Nile Flores

Nile Flores is a long time WordPress designer and Developer. While she grew up a military brat, she’s settled in the St. Louis metro east region. Nile blogs at Blondish.net, where she covers topics on WordPress, Blogging, SEO, Social Media, and Web Design. 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 roup dedicated to helping WordPressers, called All About WordPress. Nile is also the 2014 and 2015 Community Choice Winner at the Small Business Influence Awards, hosted by Small Business Trends. When Nile isn’t knee deep in coding and design, she’s spending time with her son, who is also a WordPress user.

Mary Baum

Mary Baum is a veteran creative and degreed designer who speaks on WP design and development and is launching the Antelope Valley WordPress Meetup. She’s also an organizer of WordCamp St. Louis. A certified typography nut and competitive tennis player, Mary builds Genesis child themes and full sites for a variety of verticals in the tennis industry.

Mark Uraine

Mark works at Automattic as a designer on core and WordPress.org. He enjoys researching the philosophical and cultural differences between eastern and western thought and how it drives people’s decisions in life, and then applying that to his own decisions in design. When he’s not building solutions, he’s exploring life with his wife and three kids. He loves anything related to health and nutrition, and created an iOS app called Eat Your Greens encouraging healthier food choices. You can find him on Twitter @mapk.

Russell Aaron

College was the place that I first found WordPress. I moved to Eugene Oregon and attended The University of Oregon. This is where I learned how to write a blog. I learned how to manipulate the template “theme” of my site. I had all these blog posts and I still did not get hired. After graduation, I moved to Las Vegas and I was selling memberships to adult websites. I was asked to build the website for the affiliate program. I turned to WordPress once again. In 2011, I attended WordCamp Vegas. I met some really cool people and my love for WordPress was recreated. Since that WordCamp I’ve focused all of my time and attention on WordPress.

Zack Tollman

Zack Tollman is the application architect on the WIRED tech team. Before joining WIRED, Tollman worked as technical lead at the Theme Foundry and senior web engineer at 10up. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Lawrence University and PhD from Washington State University. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife.

Josh Cummings

Josh Cummings is an avid WordPress user and plugin and theme developer. He is currently a front-end developer at Grizzly where he and his team use the power and flexibility of WordPress every day. Along with his passion for translating beautiful design into code, he enjoys teaching, speaking and contributing to the WordPress community.

Alicia St Rose

Alicia St Rose began her adventure with WordPress when a UX friend offhandedly suggested using the CMS for a mutual friend’s website. That was nearly 8 years ago and the adventure has turned into a torrid love affair. Now she is a freelance developer, exclusively powered by WordPress, and has yet to find a limitation in this magical piece of software. Not only does she design and develop custom themes, but she also coaches folks on how to use WordPress like a Pro. She currently lives in Santa Barbara, California with her two rambunctious cats, Oscar and Milo. She divides her time between that seaside town and Black Rock City, Nevada. Oh, and her favorite color is red.

AJ Zane

I can jam with the console cowboys in cyberspace. I focus on WP, Sass, Angular, & beer. Organize FrontEndAuthority.org, admin Advanced WordPress, and front end development for Veyo Logistics.

Josh Pollock

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 framework 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.

Carl Alexander

Hi! I’m Carl. I have a website where I publish articles on a regular basis. It’s my way to help you with these hard-to-learn topics. That’s also why I’m excited to speak at WordCamp San Diego 2016. . It’s another way for me to help you. Besides that, I’ve been a WordPress Montreal organizer since 2010. I also help organize other WordPress events during the year. You can find me on Twitter and GitHub.

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. Stephen has 20+ years of software development and consulting experience. 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 enjoys graphic design, circuit board hacking, or sculpting new ideas for 3D printing in his garage shop.

Konstantin Obenland

Konstantin is a WordPress aficionado, and Core Developer based in Ventura, CA. 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.

Erick Hitter

It took Erick a while to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up, which led him through a few different careers. After experiments in audio engineering and accounting, he now works on Automattic’s VIP team, serving enterprise WordPress users. Erick lives near Los Angeles, loves craft beer, and longs for enough free time to go hiking in the mountains that surround LA. He blogs at ethitter.com and i.ethitter.com.

Evan Scheingross

You guys may already know that I’m a proud San Diego native. I have run my own business creating and consulting on user-focused, result driven WordPress websites for the past 8 years, drawing on primarily local clients that I personally interact with. As a 1-person business my job has me handling everything involved with creating WordPress powered websites, from writing proposals, to design, development, and ongoing maintenance. I’ve been passionate about WordPress many years. My first WordCamp was San Francisco back in 2007, where I was too shy to strike up a conversation with Matt Mullenweg even though he was standing right next to me. I’ve learned a lot since then, and there is no place I’d rather share it than with the awesome folks of WordCamp San Diego. Seriously! For more info, check out http://evanwebdesign.com/

Greg Taylor

Marketing Press blends business and development to create WordPress sites that succeed. We approach websites as marketers, not developers, and use a data-driven process to guide everything we do. By seeing where you are now and setting a strategy to achieve your goals, our team can help you build an effective, easy-to-manage site that improves your conversions, community, and content. Greg Taylor, Founder After working in marketing and business development for over ten years, Greg decided to pursue his passion for WordPress development and content marketing by starting his own company. Tired of seeing sites that look great but don’t achieve results, he founded Marketing Press to help business owners find the best of both worlds. In addition to leading the company, Greg has become well-known in the WordPress community as a speaker and teacher. He has presented at several conferences (including TechPHX, WordCamp LA, WordCamp Phoenix, WordCamp Sacramento and WordCamp Vegas), been featured on industry podcasts (such as BusyMarketer and Hit the Mic with Stacy Harris), and regularly appears on popular shows (like WPwatercooler and his very own Marketing Press TV). When he’s not working on code or content, Greg spends his free time enjoying life in Pacific Beach, San Diego, mentoring startups, taking in live music, or hanging out in his home state of New Jersey.

Dustin Meza

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 2 years. At WP Engine, Dustin oversees many aspects of the WordPress platform including WordPress upgrades for over 100,000 WordPress installs. Outside of WordPress, Dustin loves being outdoors in Austin 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.

Jarrett Gucci

Jarrett Gucci comes from a retail background that started at Home Depot in Buffalo NY as cashier and 18 months later was asked to be a project manager based out of Carson California with a goal of opening 12 stores in 14 months. This goal was accomplished. He has also been an area manager at Big Lots and Bed Bath and beyond. He left his very last retail career as a district manager at Linens & Things in 2007 to pursue a hobby of website development as hope he could make some money doing it. Something you may not know about Jarrett besides all this, is that when he was 15 his neighbor gave him a 1962 dodge dart and he completely took it apart and rebuilt it.