Meet your WordCamp Asheville 2014 speakers!

Adam Sewell

Adam Sewell is a wearer of many hats – a father, husband, entrepreneur. Most of his time is spent with his IT support company, MyGeek Technologies, and then split among his other projects, which include Shopp Toolbox, which develops and consults for e-commerce sites based on the WordPress plugin Shopp, and tinyElk Studios, a full fledged WordPress development and design firm. Adam is also the organizer of the Salisbury WordPress Meetup group. When he’s not neck deep in his business, Adam is an avid bluegrass and Americana fan.


Alicia Murray

Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home. Find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.


Alisa Herr

Alisa Herr is the head of the development team at Cuberis. As a programmer she loves the magic of weaving together websites with nothing but a string of characters. She leads her team to define technical solutions that solve business problems and to build websites people want to interact with. She has been coding since 1996 and pushing WordPress beyond its limits since 2009. She’s coded 100+ WordPress sites and they’re all different.


Andrew Kinnear

Andrew is a freelance designer based in Asheville, NC. He has experience working with clients of all sizes – from local businesses to large brands, including the Smithsonian, Google, IBM, GE, Visa, AT&T, the US Army, and National Geographic. He’s previously worked in the DC and downtown Raleigh area before moving back to his hometown of Asheville. View his portfolio at: http://kinneardesign.com/

Andrew Searles

Andrew like to make things. Better yet, design things. At the moment it’s websites for a company called Infomedia. He also takes on a few freelance clients when he has a chance. He uses WordPress almost exclusively.


Chip Oglesby

Chip Oglesby is currently a data analyst at fastpivot.com. He’s a certified Google Partner and a certified Google Analytics Individual.


Cindy Reed

Cindy is an award-winning writer and educator blogging at The Reedster Speaks. In addition to her personal blog, she is a staff writer at the humor site Aiming Low and a contributing editor for yeahwrite.me, a weekly writing challenge for flash nonfiction storytelling, where she helps select and critique jury prize-winning blog posts. Cindy is the recipient of one of BlogHer’s 2013 Voices of the Year awards for humor. She has taught writing in one form or another since she was in law school back in the Reagan era, continuing throughout her careers as a lawyer, academic, and writer. Cindy lives in Asheville, NC, with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs, including a giant Saint Bernard. She thrives on chaos.


Corey Bullman

Corey runs Bullman Design, a small digital creative studio in Asheville, NC, specializing in building engaging websites, forging unforgettable identities and delivering effective web applications for local and national clients.


Dan Jaworsky

Dan Jaworsky makes websites. He’s been working in the web community for over 10 years, has an undying love for design and development, and has mixed feelings about the internet as a whole. After discovering the power of WordPress about 5 years ago, he has has never looked back and continues to learn new ways to use it to solve his problems.


Daryl Learn-Houston

Daryl works as a Happiness Gardener at Automattic, purveyor of fine WordPress products like Akismet, Jetpack, and wordpress.com.


David Hickox

David is a web designer from Birmingham, AL with 15 years of agency experience building websites big and small for a wide variety of clients. He’s passionate about usability, obsessive about typography, and addicted to the mobile web. When he’s not designing, he also make music and grows a beard.


Diana Brewster

Diana a person of wide experience and interests whose paths have brought her to the shores of web development. She’s been helping clients with WordPress websites for four years, and has a wide range of experience with other PHP/MySQL applications and content management systems. She started her career as a social worker, and then pursued her artistic bent by learning graphic design and print production. That naturally moved into web design and development.


Doug Cone

Doug is happily married to Kristi Cone and they have two cats, Monki and Alf. He’s been a web developer since 1997 and is passionate about programming and strategy. One of the advantages of his current working situation is the ability to work from anywhere, and has used that to become a frequent volunteer at disaster relief efforts across the United States. He’s spent time helping people recover from hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires. In addition to volunteering, he also tries to contribute to several open source software projects. He’s a passionate advocate for the open source model. Some of his favorite open source projects are: Ubuntu, PHP, WordPress, Drupal and many others. He also loves to make things (real and digital), both to make life easier, and to take on challenges.


Erick Arbe

Erick is the lead developer and co-founder of AO Studios and Golf Web Design. He develops custom WordPress themes all day long. He has a passion for developing on mobile platforms and responsive design.


Evan Volgas

Evan spent several years working in finance, the nonprofit sector, and consulting. He got into building websites as a side-project and eventually ended up starting his own company. He’s a data geek and analyst first and foremost and he enjoys crunching numbers and making things run as fast as they possibly can. When he isn’t working, he tap dances, plays with his dogs, and drinks an inordinate amount of coffee and tea. He absolutely despises eggplant.


Evan Zimmerman

Evan lives with his wife and 2 daughters among the foothills of
the Appalachian mountains in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He spends
most days working as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic, the company
behind WordPress.com. Evan started using WordPress around 2005 and
just … never stopped.”


Jamie King

Jamie is a co-owner of the Asheville based design firm, Sparking Design, where she takes the role of art director and web designer. She has been using WordPress since 2010 to create custom themes that are unique to each client’s voice and business goals.
Jamie’s design work is influenced by her art school years when she studied painting and drawing at UNF. When away from her computer screen, you might find her involved in a craft project of some kind, cooking/baking, or playing with her dogs.

Jess Jacob

Jess is a front-end web developer who has been hand-coding websites since 1996. When CSS came on the scene, it was love at first site (pun very much intended). She earned her A.A.S. in Web Technologies (concentration in database management) from AB-Tech in May 2012. When she’s not building websites, she’s writing a novel, managing a predictive dialer for a call center, and playing with her two fluffy cats.


John Dorner

John is a self taught programmer. He’s built several database driven websites and started the Asheville Area WordPress Meetup Group.
He’s been teaching end users how to use technology for 18 years been and programming for the last 10.


John Saddington

A serial entrepreneur, John is a graduate of Georgia Tech and has two Master degrees from Dallas Seminary. He’s been an engineer and executive in the Fortune 50 as well as leading his own bootstrapped and venture-funded startups. He currently is a Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at The Iron Yard, a technology accelerator, incubator, and code school. He also continues to work on his iOS app Pressgram and his OS X app, Desk PM.


Jonathan Daggerhart

Jonathan Daggerhart has been developing web applications in PHP for over a decade. His experience covers the most popular content management systems such as Drupal and WordPress, along with custom applications and the necessary technologies that make them all work. He is the creator of the WordPress plugins, “Widget Wrangler” for managing widgets on a page-by-page basis, and “Query Wrangler” used to create and display custom WordPress queries (loops).

Jonathan Ross

Jonathan Ross is an instructor of Digital Media Technology at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, teaching a wide variety of skills… graphic design, animation, multimedia, web design/development, video/filmmaking, and 3D. Before moving to Asheville, Jonathan was lead graphic/motion designer with a video and animation company in Binghamton NY, since renamed iD8creative. He also served as a production manager, interactive CD/DVD designer, web designer, and helped create just about any other type of project that clients wanted. Jonathan has created over 400 tutorials on Adobe software and other media skills found on youtube, in addition to offering web design/development, graphic design and video services to clients.

Josh Levinson

Josh a WordPress developer and co-founder of Lucky Hat Studios, where he works with local businesses to forge their complete online presence. They utilize WordPress for all of their projects — from corporate to mom-and-pop. Over the past few years, he has become involved in contributing to the WordPress project in every way he’s capable. He’s married to his high school sweetheart — Summer; they have a 7-month-old boy, and live in Lake Lure, NC.


Josh Mallard

I’m a web developer with a love for WordPress. I enjoy developing and working on resources that make development life easier. I am currently working as a developer for M&R Marketing Group, a full-service marketing firm in Macon, GA.

I am a husband. I am a father. I have an awesome ginger beard.

Judi Knight

Judi Knight, along with her team at New Tricks, has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses build and maintain a professional and easy to manage online presence and learn to grow their business with the new digital technologies. .

Not your typical web developer, Judi brings an unusual wealth of experience to her work, with a background that includes being a Ph.D. Psychologist and serial entrepreneur.

Judi is the organizer of the Atlanta WordPress Users Group with over 1,400 members, as well as putting on WordCamp Atlanta. She is a blogger, frequent national speaker, and publishes Just a Digital Minute, a popular weekly newsletter providing actionable digital marketing tips.

The motto at New Tricks, is “It’s Never too Late” …to start a new business, to have a great website, or learn to leverage new technologies to grow your company.

Julien Melissas

Julien Melissas (http://julienmelissas.com) is a 21-year old web developer from Asheville, NC, with a passion for clean, efficient code, and re-doing things until they’re just right. Julien loves to learn about new technologies and development workflows and prides himself on his knowledge as a front-end developer. He has been working with WordPress for almost 4 years now and has grown quite fond of it. Julien now works as a freelancer and independent contractor for a few local companies, where he builds custom WordPress themes and solutions tailored to the client’s needs. Julien loves custom post types, the Roots framework, the Advanced Custom Fields plugin, and Responsive Web Design – specifically the Twitter Bootstrap framework, which he has presented on in the past. When Julien is not in front of the screen working on websites or that next big startup/webapp, you can find him making music, cooking, or out in the yard gardening with his girlfriend, Hana, and their dog, Dina. He also has a 31-foot Airstream trailer he’s slowly turning into a mobile office.


Kyle Kirkpatrick

Kyle didn’t give us a bio 🙁

Lydia Roberts

A front-end web developer & designer with a passion for all things WordPress, Lydia is an expert at customizing themes to each client’s specific look and needs. She can’t get enough of continuing education and the challenge and excitement that comes from learning new things and sharing that knowledge with others. Lydia works for Evolv, LLC where she has also developed a specialty in email design & development.


Marc Beneteau

Mark is an Asheville resident who runs a WordPress and web marketing training company http://wpacademy.com, and published the WordPress Business encyclopedia http://wpencyclopedia.com


Marisa Falcigno

Marisa is a graphic designer and co-founder of Open Door Design Studio (ODDS) in Asheville, NC. In the late 90’s Marisa fell hopelessly in love with graphic design and the medium of the web. After working for several years as an in-house designer, Marisa took a giant leap into an exciting freelance career. This provided her the opportunity to work with a variety of clients ranging from universities and festivals to local galleries and artists. Her affinity for community building and social good is often the driving force behind the projects she contributes to. In 2013, she teamed up with Shantanu Suman to start ODDS, offering services in identity design, website design & development and print collaterals. http://www.opendoordesignstudio.com

Micah Wood

Creating new and exciting things on the web is what Micah does everyday. He finds that using WordPress as the foundation for his projects allows him to get things done quicker and be more effective. His forte is development, specifically WordPress plugin development. He’s had the privilege of working on projects ranging from the small business to the large enterprise.


Michael G. Calvert

Michael is one of the original employee’s at Disqus with over 5+ years of experience working with sites around the globe. He has a corgi dog named Einstein. They’re both peanut butter enthusiasts.


Nancy Thanki

Nancy’s very first client was a woman in her eighties running a spectacularly successful cancer non-profit program … that didn’t really use email, let alone anything else. She trained her to set-up and maintain a WordPress site. Throughout Nancy’s undergrad years, she gave regular talks to perspective students and parents on the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of college. Now as both a web designer and filmmaker, she’s realized that she’s teaching very similar lessons to many of her clients, especially those that haven’t worked much with visual design, on how to avoid the pitfalls of “en vogue” to create products that can withstand the test of rising and falling fashions in typography, photography, film, and design.


Nick Romanos and Laurel Scherer

Status Forward is a web design/development company based in Asheville, NC, specializing in creating custom websites built on WordPress with the Genesis Framework.


Panel Discussion

Local presenters talk about their area of expertise.

Peter Baylies

Peter has always been a programmer. A childhood hobby led to a career that he absolutely enjoys. He graduated from NC State University with a Computer Science degree, and worked as a web developer using PHP and MySQL until he found WordPress and fell in love with it. Peter also enjoys music, science fiction, and other nerdy things.


Ray Mitchell

Ray is the owner of SixFour Web Design, which specializes in web design and marketing for small businesses and non-profit organizations. Active in the local community, Ray sits on the board of several community focused non-profit organizations, including the Triad Dream Center, the Rotary Club of Clemmons, and the ConvergeSouth Conference. He also serves as Digital Coordinator for Boundless Impact, a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes global engagement and connections between North Carolina communities and the world.


Rich Owings

Rich Owings has been a professional blogger since 2005 when he began monetizing GPSTracklog.com. He went full time within 18 months when site income exceeded that of his day job and he was ranking #1 for highly competitive terms. After selling the blog earlier this year, he now assists other businesses with SEO and local SEO at his Asheville-based company, LocalIsWhereItsAt.com.


Russell Fair

Russell is a developer – he’s used WordPress since the days of kuberik and my-hacks.php. He evangelizes WordPress whenever he can and really likes to teach others.


Sarah Benoit

Sarah Benoit is an online marketing, SEO, keyword research and social media specialist. Sarah’s quality focused approach to Internet marketing has helped numerous clients achieve and maintain “page 1” search engine rankings. She helps social media clients develop exciting online presences that generate positive responses from target audiences. Since 2006 Sarah has been involved in educating business owners and marketing professionals about all aspects of online marketing and website development and usability. Sarah is currently the Director of Training at JB Media Group, LLC and the lead trainer at JB Media Institute, a comprehensive online marketing educational program developed with colleague Justin Belleme. She is also founder of Creative Original, Inc., a web development and consulting and training firm in Asheville. Sarah is also a long-time online marketing and social media trainer for Mountain BizWorks, Score Asheville, AB-Tech Community College, and many other regional conferences, non profit events, and industry expos.


Sarah Giavedoni and Jim MacKenzie

Stuff Monsters Like is created by Jim MacKenzie and Sarah Giavedoni, two self-proclaimed movie lovers and hijinks creators extraordinaire. When they are not blogging about monsters, they are devoted to watching horror films, running a completely unrelated nonprofit, coordinating the Asheville Blogger Society, and making money at their respective full-time jobs.


Scott Fisk

Scott R. Fisk is graphic designer, artist and educator who teaches graphic design at Samford University. He enjoys all things creative. Scott regularly speaks on topics related to creativity, art, graphic design, printmaking and WordPress. He stays busy making websites and creating fine art.

Sommer Collier

Sommer Collier is best known for her deliciously addictive recipe and lifestyle blog ASpicyPerspective.com, where she shares original recipes and photography for all sort of tasty tidbits including: Global Fare, Easy-Gourmet Dishes, Healthy Options, and Good Ol’ American Comfort Food. A Spicy Perspective also encompasses Sommer’s travel experiences, home projects, and gardening tips. Sommer regularly works with national companies to create brand awareness for products she believe in and uses in her own home and kitchen. Her recipes and photography have been featured in numerous publications and online magazines. She has also won several awards for her tantalizing Pinterest Boards and has been able to turn her love for food photography into a business of its own. Follow A Spicy perspective on: PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, GOOGLE+, AND TWITTER.


Steffi Rausch

Steffi Rausch, owner of Evolv LLC, has been a web designer and developer for over 15 years while living in Maryland, Hawaii, Montana, and now Asheville. Her background comes from the marriage of a Math Education degree and a strong familial Art background in which case her great grandfather was a famous madonna painter in Germany in the mid 1900s. She has also worked as a Computer Trainer for the Army, as Production Artist for an independent newspaper, and as Creative Director for an online conferencing and enewsletter business.

Steven Slack

Steven Slack is owner of Asheville based S2 Web and has been developing custom WordPress themes and plugins for clients since 2008. Working with designers and agencies S2 Web is all about collaboration. Steven’s work in WordPress has lead him to examine further the purpose and goals of clients while developing themes for them. “A great looking theme is awesome, but does it communicate your goals?” Besides hanging out on the interwebs, Steven enjoys hiking, traveling, and riding bicycles in beautiful Western North Carolina.


Tony Perez

Tony is one of three co-founders at Sucuri, Inc. — a website security company specializing in the various online threats that website owners face today. He’s a Marine Corps veteran that has been living in the underbelly of the web for various years. He enjoys speaking in front of crowds and finding ways to engage the crowd on the very serious subject of website security.


Tony Zeoli

Tony Zeoli is the founder of Digital Strategy Works, a four-year old web design, development, SEO and social media strategy company now based in Asheville, NC. Tony started his career in digital media in 1995 and for over 19-years, has been helping organizations large and small plan and execute their digital projects. Tony is also organizer of WordPress Chapel Hill users group and has spoken at WordCamps in NYC and Raleigh on WordPress topics ranging from social media and SEO to multimedia production to content publishing. In addition to his work with WordPress, Tony is also an accomplished house music DJ and founder of Netmix, a social music industry blog.


Will Haley

As a full-stack developer at Capstrat, Will has become one of the top WordPress Developers for the organization and has worked on over 50 custom WordPress sites. While growing up in Gainesville, GA, Will always had a fascination with all things web. However, he remained a self-described “shady tree geek” while he obtained a business degree from Furman University and started a career in the banking industry. Four years later, he decided to hang up his suit and tie to pursue a career in web development by attending graduate school at North Carolina Central University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with both a Masters in Business Administration and Information Science. Since graduate school, Will has collected over five years of experience with designing, developing and deploying web applications using technologies such as PHP, Javascript and SQL – along with many others.


Zac Gordon

Zac Gordon has a background teaching web design, development and WordPress at levels from middle schools, high schools, colleges and Universities. Today he teaches WordPress at Treehouse, the online technology school.

Zac also owns a web design company that specializes in $975 WordPress sites for small business owners.