WCLAX 2016 Speakers

Get to know this years incredible lineup of speakers:

Adam Bell

For the past two decades, Adam has run an independent web design / development and branding studio in the San Fernando Valley called dataTV (http://datatv.com/). Adam has worked with a wide variety of clients in the Entertainment, Hospitality and E-Commerce space including Ovation TV, Estrella TV, Ford Motor Company and Tender Greens. Adam has worked with WordPress since 2005 when he saw the potential for it to become more than just blogging software and a true Content Management System. In addition to running his own shop, Adam also manages the Los Angeles Adobe User Group (http://laadug.org/), which runs free monthly meetings across Southern California for people in the Creative Tech scene. This includes WordPress topics, on occasion.

Alex Vasquez

Alex “Nice Hair” Vasquez got his start in WordPress by working the docks for Jimmy “the pincer” Spiccoli. What started as a fish-punching summer job turned into a multi-thousand dollar business. Alex is survived by his future daughter, Alex Jr. an apple and two half-eaten gobstoppers.

Andrew Norcross

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 son and a rescue dog that believes he’s a human.

Ben Cool

Ben Cool is the Application Optimizer at A2 Hosting in Ann Arbor Michigan where he focuses on building “one click” tools for improving Web application performance. Ben has over a decade of experience in front-end and back-end web development, a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Eastern Michigan University and A Graduate Certificate in Artificial Intelligence. Ben is a Co-Orginzer of WordCamp Ann Arbor and often speaks at and attends local WordPress Meetups in Michigan. Ben has a passion for making the web faster and easier to use.

Ben Fox

Co-Founder of FlowPress, avid Canadian proud coffee drinker.

Carl Alexander

Heya! I’m Carl.

I’m a PHP developer from Montréal, Canada. I live and breath advanced programming topics (and memes). I share a lot of my passion for those topics on my 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 Los Angeles. It’s another way for me to help you.

Besides that, I’ve been a WordPress Montréal organizer since 2010. I also help organize other WordPress events during the year.

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 puts the fun into teaching technology and empowers business owners to be in full control of their marketing and online presence. She has been running her 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 12-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’s Industrial Light & Magic with film credits for Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and ET the re-release. She now lives near the beach in San Diego, California with her husband and daughter.

Cody Landefeld

Senior web strategist and founder at @modeeffect. We help technology companies & non-profits build powerful web solutions on #WordPress.

David Arceneaux

David Arceneaux is a developer living in the command line, and also in Orange County.

Jacob Arriola

Jacob Arriola is a front-end developer from Los Angeles who spends most of his time working with Sass, JavaScript and building custom WordPress themes. He works with Zeek Interactive and is always trying to learn new languages and frameworks to deliver rich and engaging UI experiences.

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. After 4 years of building and managing WordPress sites, he founded a company called WP Fix It and since 2011 his company has serviced over 48,000 WordPress support tickets. 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.

Jerrett Farmer

“I have been employed as a Producer, Project Manager, Software Architect, Programmer, 2D/3D Production Artist, Art Director, and Lead Technical Artist. I’ve worked for Image Comics: Top Cow, Activision, and FOX studios. I have worked on licensed properties for Marvel, Universal, and Warner Brothers studios.

Currently I work as the Manager of Digital Innovations at CauseForce. I over see the creation and maintenance of their main websites and multiple WordPress blogs.”

John J Giaconia

John leads the technology team within the Digital Media Agency for The Walt Disney Company. He has spoken at previous WordCamps about WordPress performance and infrastructure. His expertise in the SDLC combines experience from smaller agencies with the enterprise level. He’s been a Disney fan since his first park visit at age 3 and when not working, can often be found at Disneyland.

Kara Hansen

Kara Hansen is director of The Walt Disney Company’s Digital Media Agency team, which frequently leverages WordPress to deliver websites and applications to many different parts of the company. She spoke at WCLAX 2013 with John Giaconia and Karim Marucchi on WordPress consulting for large companies. Kara also runs a WordPress site for a nonprofit.

Kari Leigh Marucchi

Previously a co-founder and WordPress project manager at VeloMedia/Crowd Favorite, Kari Leigh’s been WordPress’g since 2009, andWordCamp’g since 2012. Since early 2015 she’s been contributing to the WordPress community by comprehensively photographing the WordCamp experience and the faces of WordPress at many handfuls of Camps. She teams with other photographers to collect still photography from Camps around the world, and around this effort has developed the WP Photo Project. Her project seeks ultimately to build the sibling to wordpress.tv, at wordpress.photo — a central archive of deeply-searchable WordCamp history still photography, making it available to serve those in the community and to commemorate and document the WordCamp culture they’ve inspired over the last decade-plus.

Karim Marucchi

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, managing large clients and teams in multinational 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.

Kim Shivler

Kimberly (Kim) Shivler, M.Ed. has been a technical trainer and writer for over 20 years. She learned HTML in 1995 building help files as a UNIX system administrator and opened her first web development company in 1996. Since then, Kim has worked as a business owner and employee in a variety of fields including a few years as part of an IBM worldwide team. Between 2008 and 2012, she worked with a variety of Content Management Systems and ran an online membership site for skincare professionals using Drupal. In 2012, Kim found WordPress and never looked back at any other CMS. She has been creating online courses in WordPress since 2013 and currently combines her background in education, years of business experience, and WordPress experience to teach others how to build online courses and membership websites.

Kitty Lusby

Kitty is a full-time professional blogger based in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she moved in order to have 24-hour access to tacos. An entrepreneur since her teen years, Kitty’s blogging career finally launched in 2014 with a series of freelance gigs that eventually grew into a successful business. She began to make a name for herself as she built her clients’ brands along with their blogs, and that skill eventually led to a massive rebranding of her personal blog, which is now a resource for bloggers and business owners alike. Among her other attributes, she’s smart, funny, good looking, and single. She discusses all of this and more at KittyLusby.com.

Libby Barker

Libby is a Project Manager working at Human Made, a global WordPress agency based in the UK. Facilitating creative teams has always been a passion for her. After receiving her BFA in Film & TV, she worked for several years in media and communications for organizations such as as The Food Network, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Whitewall Magazine, and the Office of Nelson Rockefeller, Jr. In 2014, she took a job as a PM at WordPress agency Union Street Media and never looked back. In 2015, she received her Certification as a Scrum Product Owner. As a PM at Human Made, Libby works with a remote team to deliver outstanding sites for clients around the globe and actively seeks to implement Scrum and Agile methodologies tailor made to their workflow. When not working, she enjoys running, writing, and hiking with her husband in Vermont’s Green Mountains.

Marcus Couch

Marcus Couch is the co-host of WordPress Weekly and WordPress A-Z. He is the founder of MembershipCoach.com and coaches best-selling authors, motivational speakers, musicians and non-profit associations with developing and growing their high-end membership site businesses.

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.

Matt Cromwell

Matt is Head of Support and Community Outreach at WordImpress.com. He’s the author of many free WordPress plugins, a popular blogger at his website (mattcromwell.com), an admin of the Advanced WordPress Facebook group, co-organizer of the San Diego WordPress Meetup, and a WordCamp speaker and frequent attender.

Natalie MacLees

Natalie MacLees is a front-end web developer and UI designer and is founder + principal of the interactive agency, Purple Pen Productions. She is the author of jQuery for Designers, now in its second edition. She was the lead organizer for WordCamp Los Angeles 2014 and 2013 and organized the first Website Weekend LA, a 48-hour hackathon matching web professionals with nonprofits in need to websites. She’s also the founder and chapter leader of the Los Angeles chapter of Girl Develop It, bringing affordable and accessible coding classes to the community. Along with Nathan Tyler, she created the Draw Attention WordPress plugin for creating interactive images. She makes her online home at nataliemac.com.

Nathan Tyler

Nathan runs an Agency (Tyler Digital), maintains several plugins on wordpress.org, and has recently launched a web app (stagingpilot.com). He likes working with APIs and backend development, but has been studying up on more advanced javascript because Matt said so. When Nathan’s not at the computer, he’s probably playing soccer.

Nick Halsey

Nick Halsey is an Engineer, Composer, Artist, and Web Developer. He recently completed his B.S. in Civil Engineering (Building Science) at the University of Southern California, with a minor in Musical Studies (Composition) and is currently working on a M.S. in Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering). Architecture, engineering, and the built environment are his primary passions, along with a creative drive to constantly make things. In addition to music composition, this often manifests itself in digital works ranging from software (via WordPress) to sheet music, photography, concrete sculpture, and digital art. Nick is a WordPress core contributor, maintaining the Customize component, and has also published numerous plugins and themes on WordPress.org. Some of his notable core contributions include leading the customizer menus project, building theme switching in the customizer, and adding the device previewer.

Rachel Carden

Rachel Carden is a Senior Software Engineer for The Walt Disney Company with over ten years experience in back and front-end web development and digital design. Before Disney, she founded WPCampus: Where WordPress Meets Higher Education and spent over nine years working in higher education. Rachel enjoys building an accessible, open web using numerous, and ever changing, languages, frameworks, and APIs.

Sallie Goetsch

Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with ‘sketch’) first got online in 1985, via the mainframe at Brown University. She founded an online journal in 1993 and built her first HTML website in 1994. Since discovering WordPress in 2005, she hasn’t looked back. Sallie became the organizer of the East Bay WordPress Meetup in Oakland, California, in 2009.

Sallie has produced WordPress videos for Peachpit Press, taught introductory WordPress classes for Mediabistro, and acted as Technical Reviewer for O’Reilly’s WordPress: The Missing Manual. She runs her WP Fangirl consulting and development business from her home in Oakley, which she shares with her husband and two cats.

Sarah Wefald

Sarah Wefald came to Zeek the long way. She started out as a project manager at a major record label – the sort of job she had wanted since she had first thought it would be cool to work with musicians, a decision made back when she was president of her high school drama club. However, that dream was soon met with reality in the music industry: half the company worldwide was laid off after the label was purchased and privatized. Determined that her career would not be over at 23, she went back to school while working temp jobs to learn web development and design.

After finishing the program, Sarah started transitioning from her marketing career to more technical work within the music industry, handling social media and webmaster duties for bands. Finding Steve Zehngut’s WordPress meetup group in Orange County allowed her to take her knowledge of PHP and apply it to WordPress web development. As a result, she has created and launched dozens of websites for brands and small businesses on her own, and runs the OC WordPress Web Designer’s meetup at Zeek’s offices on the first Monday of each month. She has presented at WordCamp Los Angeles (2013 and 2014) and WordCamp Orange County (2014), and served on the organizing committee for WordCamp Orange County in 2015 and 2016. She’s very happy that Zeek has allowed her to unite her original love of project management with her enthusiasm for WordPress.