Speaker Lineup

We’re grateful to have such a vibrant community of WordPress enthusiasts here in Atlanta and the surrounding area. The following professionals have volunteered their time to present at WordCamp Atlanta 2013.

Cody Benson

Manager of Application Engineering at Georgia State University and creative technologist with substantial digital marketing and project experience. Always interested in integrating technology in order to improve efficiency and provide more time for people to inspire others.

Get in Touch on Twitter at cbenson583

Jason Bradley

Lives in Des Moines, Iowa. UX Developer for Principal Financial Group by day, 8BIT intern by night. I enjoy creating child themes for peeps. Your resident Apple fanboi.

Mickey Mellen

Mickey Mellen is a 37 year old web developer living in Marietta. He’s the co-founder of GreenMellen Media, where they use WordPress to help small businesses, churches and individuals expand their reach on the internet.

He’s been an avid WordPress user since 2004, and hosts a monthly Meetup for WordPress users in his neck of the woods.

You can find him at www.greenmellenmedia.com and you can follow him on Twitter @mickmel

Carel Bekker

Carel (pronounced Carl not Carol) Bekker, moved to the US 14 years ago to start the US operations of a South African IT company. In 2010 he purchased ClickHOST.com. ClickHOST specializes in WordPress hosting. We also offer domain registrations, generic website hosting, and mobile websites. All our hosting plans include free malware/hacking monitoring. At ClickHOST we love to help small businesses promote their products/services online. ClickHOST, web hosting done right!

Andy Darnell

I’m not a designer. I am not a developer. I often misspell your/you’re when creating content. I am not an expert, but have passion for the locally owned small business.

I am the Director of Marketing for Howard Brothers, a locally owned and independently run True Value Hardware store and Outdoor Power Equipment company with several locations in the Atlanta area. I’ve also had the opportunity to help develop and implement web content strategy with some of the largest hospitals and healthcare systems in the country.

I live in Peachtree Corners, Georgia with my incredible wife and two amazing daughters.

Naomi C. Bush

Naomi’s been around WordPress since 2005 — v2.0 with the big blue header. After leaving for a couple of years to try out other content management systems (spending a lot of money in the process), she came back once she realized WordPress wasn’t perfect but was going to be the best solution for the experience her clients needed. Since then, she’s built custom content management experiences with WordPress and BuddyPress, hacked countless plugins, created a WordPress curriculum for her college students, spied on numerous core dev chats, contributed to the WordPress Codex, and after attending WordCamp Atlanta last year, organized the WordPress Gwinnett developer meetup. She currently spends her time learning about products by developing and supporting a paid Gravity Forms Add-On for Stripe.

Sara Cannon

Sara Cannon has a passion for art, design, and typography. She is Partner and Creative Director for Range – A design and development shop specializing in WordPress.

Based out of Birmingham, AL, Sara is a WordPress core contributor, organizes WordCamp Birmingham, loves open source, her dogs, and a good beer. You can find her on twitter @saracannon or writing on her blog sara-cannon.com.

“Life is short, art is long, typography is everything, code is poetry.”

Dougal Campbell

Dougal was one of the original WordPress developers, contributing features such as XML-RPC API support, Post Custom Fields, mass re-enabling of plugins, and Conditional GET support for feeds.

He has contributed several plugins to the WordPress ecosystem over the years, including Fancybox Gallery, Easy Gravatars, and a filter for Talk Like a Pirate Day which others subsequently adapted for numerous other systems including Drupal and Joomla. He has also tried his hand at creating a theme, named Formattd, which you can find on GitHub.

In the past few years, Dougal has worked on several high-profile websites, such as DoctorOz.com, NCAA.com, PGA.com, and Weather.com.

Judi Knight

Judi Knight is the founder and chief at New Tricks Web Design. Not your typical web designer, Judi is a PhD Psychologist and brings an unusual wealth of business experience to her work. Judi is the organizer of the Atlanta WordPress Users Group with over 1,200 members, co-organizer of WordCamp Atlanta, is a blogger, national speaker, and publishes Just a Digital Minute, a popular weekly newsletter providing actionable social media tips.

Judi’s Motto 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. Keep in touch @judiknight

Michael Novotny

Michael lives in Des Moines, IA and is a front-end developer, specializing in UI / UX, for John Deere, leads quality assurance for 8BIT, and does freelance development for fun. He is obsessed with code and never stops learning.

Michael Earley

Michael graduated in 2011 from The Art Institute with a degree in Audio Production, but spent his internship designing WordPress sites for the Mix Engineers. After graduating he joined New Tricks as a digital media specialist and WordPress designer and is excited to have the opportunity to continue learning and refining his skills.

Chris Ames

Chris is the product midwife for a startup in Atlanta, GA named 8BIT which, somewhat ironically, makes WordPress products and not video games. His writing endeavors include chronicling his company’s escapades on the blog, creating technical documentation, and copywriting for product sites, newsletters, and web marketing initiatives.

Brian Krogsgard

Brian is the Lead WordPress Developer for Infomedia, in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also the editor of the recently launched Post Status, a curated WordPress news and links resource. He took the leap nearly two years ago to leave an engineering job to play with WordPress full time. Now that his hobby has become his living, he’s in dire need of new hobbies.

Brian also blogs about the web on his personal website, Krogsgard.com and he tweets far too often @krogsgard.

Travis Smith

Travis is a WordPress Enthusiast and moonlights as a WordPress developer. He started off as a blogger on Blogger and now makes websites with WordPress since 2011. As an idea person, many of his ideas have translated into contributions to WordPress core, Genesis core, or various plugins, sometimes from being right, sometimes from being annoyingly persistent. He blogs primarily to remember things he will most certainly forget. You can find him at wpsmith.net where there is not really any rhyme or reason to his blogging any more or via Twitter @wp_smith.

Ben R Woodard

Ben is the founder of Wingspan Marketing, an SEO and WordPress Management company. He is passionate about WordPress, Local SEO, and data analytics. He lives in Summerville, SC with his lovely wife of 10yrs and 4 boisterous boys. Ben likes to wake up at 5am and have his first cup of coffee and bowl of grits while creating effective local internet marketing strategy for small businesses. He has worked with a variety of clients and situations to help them rank online and improve their web presence.

Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner. He is known for his aggressive marketing skills, creative designs, and expertise in SEO. Syed has been in the industry for over eight years, and he has worked with some of the top brands in the industry.

Andrew Searles

I like to make things. Better yet, design things. At the moment it’s websites for a company called Infomedia. I also take on a few freelance clients when I have a chance. I use WordPress almost exclusively.

Jenny Munn

Jenny Munn is an SEO copywriter and consultant who specializes in helping non-techies understand what search engine optimization is truly about. She attributes her freelance business success to 2 things: having a WordPress website and implementing SEO on her site. Jenny has taught SEO workshops at WordCamp Atlanta, Digital Atlanta, and various blogging and social media meetups around town. She blogs about SEO at JennyMunn.com.

Melanie Adcock

Melanie Adcock is now enjoying her “third career” as a full-time freelance Web Designer. Prior to this she spend 17 years as a teacher (both Art and Computer Technology) in South Florida. Five of those years she was also a District Trainer teaching other teachers Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, and more. Melanie left teaching for her second career, Information Technology. Her duties included not only web design but network administration, network design and infrastructure, phone system management, help desk support and software training.
Melanie has been using WordPress since 2010.

Kathy Drewien

Nationally recognized speaker at conferences and technology training events. Engagements include National Association of Realtors, WordCamp Birmingham, Nashville, Raleigh and Atlanta, WordPress Meetups, Digital Sherpa, Emory, Georgia Perimeter College and various corporate settings.

My approach is to teach the audience and engage them in a learning experience. This recent comment from a client says it all:

Reid Peifer

Reid spoke at WC Gran Rapids on wp ux patterns and WC Candy’s review of the event gave him a thumbs up: “Of all the slides I saw today, Reid’s are the ones I’m looking forward to grabbing and sitting down with to look through again.” (). He is the product manager on our premium events plugins as well as a number of large brand name customer projects.

Jared Erickson

Native Atlanta Designer. Working with WordPress for over 7 years. A freelancer and One of the 8BIT guys I love minimalism, zombies and motorcycles.

Erick Hitter

WordPress has been my development platform of choice for more than three years. I previously worked at Oomph, a WordPress.com VIP Featured Partner, building themes for high traffic sites on the VIP Platform. Since August, I’ve been part of Automattic’s Team Custom, building tools to help WordPress.com users customize their sites beyond choosing a beautiful theme.

Joe Boydston

VP of McNaughton Newspaper Group, operator of 8 northern California newspapers. Our *printed* newspapers are powered by WordPress, not just our websites.

Joe is an advocate for open source, an evangelist of Journalism and a dreamer of exciting futures for both.

Micah Wood

Micah Wood is a WordPress ninja. Literally. He has 18 years of martial arts experience in four different styles and can write some “killer” code. Starting as a WordPress white belt at version 2.9, he quickly worked his way up the ranks to become the professional WordPress developer he is today.

He is currently working with Mike Schinkel of NewClarity LLC to develop Sunrise, an open-source platform based on WordPress that targets the needs of professional site builders.

Being stealthy in nature, Micah also works as a ghost-SEO for a firm in Australia. When he allows himself to be seen, it is usually with his wife Megan and two beautiful children, Ady and Chloe.

Diana Simon

Diana Simon shares her many years of experience in educational marketing, annual reports and corporate support materials with non-designers at WordCamp to better understand ‘good’ use of color in their websites. Professionally she offers creative graphic design and computer production assistance for print publications and websites. Diana and her husband restored an historic farmhouse in Decatur, Georgia. They currently host guests from around the world in their home.
WordPress site for Mileybright Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast.
More information
about Diana.

Dave Donaldson

Dave is one of the founders of Max Foundry, where he leads product development for their free and commercial plugins, such as MaxGalleria, MaxButtons Pro, and MaxInbound. Dave is also one of the organizers for WordCamp Columbus and the Columbus WordPress Meetup group, and is a member of the WordPress Editorial Review Team for Smashing Magazine.

John Saddington

John is a full time entrepreneur having raised Angel and Venture Capital for a number of startups. He mentors and advises leaders, their teams, and other organizations. As a professional coach he actively consults with executives from the very small to the very large. He spends his time now advising/coaching other startups and businesses, leading his current startup, 8BIT, and spending time with his wife and two girls. He loves video games.

David Laietta

I have been working with WordPress professionally for six years and using it to run my freelance business for three. An alumnus of the University of Central Florida, I stays involved in the Orlando tech and development community. As an organizer of the Orlando WordPress Meetup and of WordCamp Orlando, I enjoy giving back to community, hoping to repay some of the help and advice that has been given to me over the years.

Erik Wolf

Erik Wolf is a small business marketing expert and the author of two books: the award winning Marketing: Unmasked and the newly-released Blog for Business. Erik is the founder of Zero-G Creative, an online marketing agency serving small (and growing!) business clients exclusively. Erik has been featured in The Huffington Post, NewYorkTimes.com and Atlanta Business Radio among other media outlets and has been a speaker at conferences including South by Southwest (SXSW), WordCamp Atlanta and Ignite Denver. His current focus is launching ORBTR™, a product that integrates seamlessly with WordPress-based websites and helps businesses simplify or automate sales and marketing functions. Mr. Wolf lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and two children.

Russell Fair

I develop WordPress plugins and themes for a living and participate in the local meetups as much as I can. WordPress pretty much pays my bills so I’m glad to contribute to the community in whatever way possible.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time outdoors doing a variety of activities including disc golf, geocaching, kayaking and camping.

Tom McFarlin

I’m a self-employed developer who divides his time between working with his partners at 8BIT, building sites and software for others, and blogging for both myself as well as other several other properties.

Wade Kwon

Communications consultant and Birmingham Blogging Academy founder Wade Kwon has written thousands of blog posts and created blogs big and small. He loves to tell stories, in person and in print and online as Birmingham’s Best Blogger.

The Poynter Institute selected Kwon as one of 35 Influential People in Social Media. Birmingham Magazine readers selected him as Best Tweeter 2 years running in the Best of B’ham 2010 and 2011 online polls. His site, Magic City Post, was voted Best Website in the Birmingham’s Best 2011 readers’ poll by the Birmingham News; it also won 2011 Green Eyeshade Awards for Best Blog and Specialized Site.

Kimanzi Constable

Kimanzi Constable is an author who self-published two ebooks and sold over 80,000 copies, his first published book comes out in May. He is a life coach who helps people figure out what their dreams are and how to make them a reality.

He is an international speaker who last year spoke at events in 8 states and 4 countries. He is an avid WordCamp speaker who has spoken at 10 WordCamp conferences all over the world. His mission is to help people live the full and abundant life they deserve.

Cliff Seal

I’ve been in WordPress every working day for at least the last four years. I’m a UX Designer at Pardot, but I’ve already built three plugins during my tenure there (and more to come). Personally, I’ve been designing and developing WordPress sites for years under my company Logos Creative, and have been working on awesome projects like MusicGrid.me.

I live in Atlanta with my wife, April, where we do young urbanite-y things.

Dr. Lisa Richardson

In 1983, Lincoln Richardson brought home a brand-new computer and taught his eight-year-old daughter how to write a simple program in BASIC, play games, and use a word processing program. It was love at first sight. Ten years later in college, that girl was introduced to the internet. She learned how to chat online, search for information…and skip classes. (goodbye full ride!) Today, Dr. Lisa Richardson is known as The WordPress Therapist, and she helps businesses solve productivity problems with a holistic approach to technology education and web design.

James Dalman

Entrepreneur. Branding Dude. Designer. I love helping small businesses and startups to integrate great design into all aspects of their company.

I also coach web designers and developers on how to make their business more profitable and efficient.

For more info check out James’ website

Nathaniel Schweinberg

Hey! My name is Nathaniel and I’m a Front End Developer from Nashville, TN. I’ve been developing with WordPress for the last three years. With a degree in Media and Communication Studies, and a background in Video, Print, and Web, I have a pretty diverse perspective and hope to use that to better educate others in both their professional and personal lives. Whats the point in working if you don’t live, too?

Evan Mullins

I magnify my creativity to create innovative destinations with a focus on positive user experience, superior content management & engaging, interactive design. At the intersection of art and technology I love the problem solving process and shine at making interactive designs ‘interactive’, to make the web a prettier, easier and all-around better place for you & grandma. I also run circlecube.com to share interactive programming tutorials.

Drew Morris

Mr. Morris is a Creative Consultant based out of the Atlanta area with a strong background in both designing and programming applications for the web, mobile and desktop. He specializes in many different frameworks and platforms with a focus on startups and rapid prototyping. He has also been an active member of the WordPress Community for many years, attending events across the country.

Randy Hicks

Laid back php developer, WordPress enthusiast and part time discgolfer. I’m originally from the Northwest, but Nashville is starting to grow on me!

Erick Arbe

I’m the lead developer and co-founder of AO Studios and Golf Web Design. I develop on WordPress all day long. I’ve got a passion for developing on mobile platforms and responsive design.

Matt Haff

Web Developer at Turner Broadcasting for the NBA Digital team. WordPress is my weapon of choice for hundreds of sites. Front-end developer for 8 years. I Love all things Japanese, I’m a Geek – not a Nerd.

Kris McInerny

Kris McInerny is former COBOL programmer (gasp!) and current owner of Notes From Kris, Inc., focusing on creating websites focused on business goals. She has over 20 years of IT experience and often brags about creating her first website in 1997 for Kennesaw State University’s SBDC where she accomplished her MBA as well as recently completing Project Management Certification in 2010. She has played (because work should be fun) various roles as an Account Manager, Project Manager, Technical Writer, Technical Support and IRL Networker Extraordinaire.

Steve Burge

Steve Burge grew up in Portsmouth in England. He comes from a long line of teachers and soon became one himself. Teaching never made him rich, but it did pay the bills during years living abroad in Wales, Mexico, Japan, Australia, and the United States.

During his travels he dabbled with building Web sites and in 2003 discovered open source. Three years later, he was working as a teacher in Georgia and his evening job as a web designer was making more more his day job as a teacher. So, he quit teaching and went full-time as a web designer.

After a few years and few dozen web sites, Steve started to feel the urge to teach again. A friend asked him to teach a class in Chicago: He tried it and loved it. The reintroduction to teaching lead to more classes in Atlanta, New York, Washington, and other cities. They went well enough that Steve ended up combing his two careers and became a full-time open source teacher. He now runs OSTraining.com which teaches thousands of people online and live every year. OSTraining clients include Apple, Pfizer and the U.S. Departments of Energy, Education and Commerce.

Steve published the best-selling “Joomla! Explained” book, has “Drupal Explained” due this winter and will publish “WordPress Explained” in 2013.