Meet the stars of #WCTO2013! Check out our Featured Speaker series to learn more about each speaker and what they’ll be presenting at WordCamp Toronto 2013.
When not at his day job in the hosting industry, Al teaches WordPress at a Toronto, Ont college and also does corporate WordPress training. As a freelance web developer, he is always busy building sites on the WordPress platform. All this leaves him very little time to ride his Harley and watch NFL football.
Andy is a co-organizer of the Toronto WordPress Group and WordCamp Toronto 2011-2013, a shameless WordPress advocate, freelance developer, infrequent cyclist, doodler, blogger, gamer, caffeine addict and forum junkie. If he isn’t doing something with WordPress, he’s probably sleeping.
Austin Gunter is a writer, blogger, and Community Architect. He manages the Content and Community marketing for WP Engine. Previously, Austin brought 120 startups through an incubator in Austin, Texas. Now, Austin is part of WP Engine’s marketing offices in San Francisco, an organizer of the local San Francisco meetup, as well as WordCamp San Francisco. Austin blogs about startups and hacking his own brain at austingunter.com, and tweets entirely too much, @austingunter.
Avery Swartz is a Toronto-based award-winning web designer, consultant, speaker, and tech skills instructor. A self-described design geek, she helps to demystify the web for small business owners, charities, and arts organizations. In addition to her web design work, Avery is the founder and lead instructor of Camp Tech, offering practical, professional tech skills training in a fun and friendly environment.
Ben has been building with WordPress for just over two years and in that time has merged his passion for education with a love of technology. In 2012 he co-founded of FlowPress, a WordPress focused development agency as well as WPUniversity.com, a site dedicated to enhancing WordPress learning and providing hints and tips for WordPress users. His current project is a WordPress plugin for the Sidekick platform that provides real-time, guided help and learning from right inside the WordPress dashboard. You can learn more at www.wpuniversity.com/wp-university-plugin-end-user/
Before working with WordPress, Ben worked in Experiential Marketing for 10 years training field teams and other trainers for brands like Timberland Shoes, Best Buy, Absolut Vodka, Spinmaster Toys, Tassimo Coffee, Buckley’s Cough Syrup and more.
Brian has worked as a web developer at Bentley Hoke, a web development consultancy in Syracuse, New York, since 2000; he has worked extensively in WordPress for a number of years now. Brian finds that more and more of his work involves extending and customizing WordPress. He is particularly intrigued by the combination of client-side technologies like jQuery with server-side feeds in XML or JSON to enhance the user experience, both on the same WordPress installation and between foreign sites.
He presented a talk (“jQuery and WordPress“) at WordCamp Montreal. The chance to present to his peers, to engage in discussion about topics that he works on daily, and to attend others’ presentations were all valuable professional development opportunities – and, he hopes his talk offered some useful ideas for others.
Brian is an inbound marketer with 16 years of experience. He’s been using WordPress since version 1.6 (2005). His companies (RedstoneX.com and Uniseo.com) provide WordPress services (web and mobile design, marketing, programming, plugin development, etc.) and he likes to give back to the community. He has spoken at WordCamp Montreal (4 times!) and WordCamp Ottawa.
Cheryl is working at Brainrider to provide better website planning and execution. Cheryl joined Brainrider as a graduate of Simon Fraser University where she studied Business Administration and Interactive Arts & Technology, with concentrations in Marketing and Media Arts.
Fluent in several languages, Cheryl’s work experience includes Cheyenne GmbH in Germany, SSAB in Sweden, as well as several customer service and marketing roles while in school.
Christopher loves WordPress, he loves that it lets him live a great life and he wants to teach others how to enjoy WordPress as much as he does.
Denise Williams has been living the logistics of tech-reliant content delivery for 15 years. She produced pioneering websites and internationally-distributed print magazines on girls skateboarding and self-righteous book reviews from the late 90s through the mid-2000s and has directed production for a wide range of print and digital publishers, from alt-weekly newspapers (like the Santa Barbara Independent) to luxury custom publications (like Mercedes-Benz) to iOS Newsstand magazines (like Reader’s Digest). These days, she works as a digital project consultant and builds custom WordPress themes for business clients at her company Odeler Services in Montréal. Follow her at @lettergrade.
Geoff runs his web design and hosting business almost entirely on WordPress based websites and has been climbing up the WordPress ladder. He helped organize WordCamp Hamilton 2013 and after attending, he thought. “Geez, I should have done a presentation. ” Since he thought he could come up with some helpful information. Geoff has done quite a bit of speaking, teaching and presenting before and he’s very comfortable in front of large groups.
Radii started out in web design and development over 14 years ago after the dot com boom, back when “old school” programming was the norm. With strengths in .NET, CFM, and PHP, and having used just about every platform out there, we’ve really seen it all. So when we got into WordPress seven years ago, it blew us away with everything we could do with it–it’s proved to be much more than just a blogging platform and small-scale CMS–and we’re still exploring how we can use it better. Along the way, we’ve deployed implementations for small to mid size companies all the way to nationwide projects using WordPress, including complex projects for which WordPress wasn’t the obvious solution–but it was the best solution. Our work with WordPress has shown us just how capable a platform it is. We want to help everyone see it in a different light, sharing our “travels” and inspiring the community to think beyond the obvious with WordPress.
Imran is the Lead Developer at globalnews.ca. He has been a web developer for the past 10 years. Imran has been developing media sites for WordPress.com VIP clients for the past 3 years.
Jared is the founder of Upstatement, a web design firm located in Boston that specializes in responsive websites for media companies (like BostonGlobe.com which they designed in 2011). At Upstatement he direct projects and uses WordPress to build and prototype sites. Jared was formally the newsroom developer at the Houston Chronicle and Boston Globe and an adjunct professor at MassArt. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2006 with a BA in Computer Art.
Jennifer Johannesen runs Low to the Ground, the Toronto-based WordPress development and training company she founded in 2008. Jennifer has almost 20 years of experience developing websites for clients and digital agencies, and for the past five years has worked exclusively with WordPress. At last count she has built just over 200 custom WP sites for a wide range of clients.
Jennifer thinks of WordPress as the Great Enabler – helping individuals to realize their dreams and organizations to achieve their goals. Because she doesn’t get out much, she’s especially excited about coming to Toronto WordCamp and meeting fellow WP enthusiasts!
Jennifer is also an author and active blogger with a particular interest in bioethics and patient advocacy.
Jordan Quintal is a 15 year web development veteran. He has been developing with WordPress for over 6 years now and will continue to advocate WordPress as a premium content management system solution.
In 2007, Jordan founded The Genius Web Media, which currently specializes in WordPress development and “”responsive”” technologies. The Genius Web Media has developed custom Themes and Plugins, and everything in between. Jordan has attended many WordCamps across North America and has presented at several across Ontario.
Jordan is passionate about education, advocation, and spreading expertise on anything and everything WordPress and business.
MsKitty is a newer blogger, almost 2 years and still learning but the website is growing everyday. She writes, takes photos, does videos, on a few radio podcasts called Humble and Fred (now on SiriusXM 168) and Asylum Radio co-host with Tereasa Venom Sunday Night Confessions.
Laurie M. Rauch
A WordPress-loving Front-End Web Developer, Laurie M. Rauch believes that great user experiences start at the first line of code. Laurie runs Code Diva, where she provides WordPress theme development, customizations, and coaching.
For more detailed information about my background:
Lucas is a passionate advocate of web publishing, and he’s worked with WordPress for 3 years. He designs and develops websites for clients of all sizes, finding the web publishing solution that works for them. He lives in the outskirts of Waterloo, ON, where he can be frequently found walking around or experimenting with his other passion, cooking. You can follow him on Twitter at @lchski.
Mark came to WordPress as a developer and from a backend perspective around version 2.7. Initially to develop a few plugins for personal projects. After a few years of developing a sites for friends and diving in the WordPress community in Austin, WP Engine was born and he joined the project to take over platform and infrastructure development. This provided an opportunity to work with thousands of WordPress installations on a daily basis for a few years now.
Meagan Hanes is a lifelong digital designer who uses WordPress to empower small business owners, artisans, and all other creatives to achieve their digital dreams. With over 15 years of design experience across all aspects of digital project management, her and her brand Love Digimedia provide a range of online solutions, with a focus on self-empowerment through education and coaching. After a gracious welcome attending WordCamp Ottawa 2013 and speaking at WordCamp Montreal 2013, she is now traveling across Canada and to WordCamps around the world to share inspiration, education, and passion!
Mo wrangles code and VIPs at WordPress.com. He enjoys ice cream and other sugary things.
Pat Ness is the founder of Social Media Blog Master (SMB Master). He’s a WordPress web developer, graphic designer, affiliate marketer, SEO guy, and blogger. Since 2001, he’s happily helped over 320 brands design and build their business adventures online. Over the last 3 years he’s built over 100 WordPress sites for small to large businesses which can be seen in his online portfolio. Pat has a passion for inspiring and teaching people on the web how to become a leader online and create a lifestyle they love.
Paul is a forward thinking developer, with over eight years experience in an international team.
He has in-depth knowledge of commercial & IT issues. Accustomed to delivering state of the art, Ajax based internet business applications for a diverse audience.
Delivering complete solutions, using WordPress as a CMS platform, that create an experience that delights and rewards the user whilst effectively meeting business needs.
Richard is an online entrepreneur focused on health services. Once he started to use WordPress, his online business took off and continues to grow at a robust clip.
He wants people to know that if they want to succeed online, then WordPress needs to be part of their online strategy. He is a WordPress evangelist.
Richards has presented at WordPress Toronto 2012, WordPress Ottawa 2012, and WordPress Montreal 2013 and is one of the organizers of WordCamp Ottawa.
Richard has have extensive experience in online marketing, site management, google analytics, and WordPress development.
Rick Radko began building web sites and applications in 1996, and has been developing WordPress websites since 2008. Over that time he has amassed significant experience with WordPress, coding plugins and designing custom themes. In 2011, Rick became involved in the WordPress community by starting the Ottawa WordPress Meetup Group and speaking at WordCamp Toronto. Since then he has been a repeat presenter at WordCamp Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Rick is also one of the organizers of WordCamp Ottawa.
Rick is the founder of R-Cubed Design Forge, where he develops and designs web sites and applications using open source software. Rick specializes in custom development and multilingual websites.
Ruth Maude, of Dandelion Web Design Inc., has been designing and building websites since the late 1990’s. Now Ruth works primarily in WordPress. She loves WordPress because it’s open source, user-friendly and so good for SEO. Ruth teaches WordPress Workshops in Toronto for LearnWP.ca. You can find her on twitter @dandelionweb.
Scott is a partner at Brainrider helping to deliver better marketing including WordPress sites large and small. His management approach blends business acumen, trusted advice, client service and an entrepreneurial mindset with a team based work-style that keeps everyone focused on delivering against objectives.
Shanta R. Nathwani
Shanta R. Nathwani is an IT and Social Media Consultant and an Instructor in Web Design at Sheridan College, which includes teaching WordPress. She teaches students and small businesses how to use social media to increase their online presence leading to increased revenues and improved customer service.
Her experience in IT Support ranges from being the first point of contact for internal clients, to making recommendations to senior staff to streamline processes to improve the service of the IT department. She has assisted companies to incorporate social media in the real estate, financial, non-profit, education and technical fields to name a few.
Shanta is a problem solver and it has been said she has the patience of a saint. She can explain even the most difficult concepts to the most basic user and has developed training documents that allow clients to learn for themselves. She thrives on understanding the needs of her clients. She believes in making social media as simple as possible and making it fun, which allows her clients to seamlessly incorporate it into their organization.
Shanta holds a Bachelors of Commerce Degree in Information Technology Management from Ryerson University and is a Microsoft Certified Professional. Some of her volunteer activities include being the Founder of Women In Technology Hamilton, Alumni Advisor for the Women In Information Technology Management program at Ryerson University, and Assistant Instructor at the Canadian Martial Arts Centre.
Taylor is a core contributor, plugin contributor, and plugin author. He works for 10up as a Senior Strategic Engineer. He has a BS in Computer Science. He builds really cool stuff on the web with WordPress!
Terry created his first WP website in 2008 to promote a business and was immediately captivated by its ease of use.
He attended his first WordCamp in 2010 and was motivated to take a 2 day WordPress training course.
He is deeply indebted to the “open source” movement and the contributions that make learning about WordPress available.
One of his first forum questions was answered by a developer who was resting during a mountain hiking vacation. That was very inspiring!
Terry has been an active member of WordPress Meetups since January 2012
Tom Auger is a Senior Partner at Zeitguys inc., where he manages the web and interactive practice. As an educator, he has taught every aspect of digital design and production over the last 15 years at various academic institutions in Ontario. He is also a core contributor to the WordPress project and is always excited to evangelize and share his knowledge with the community.