These are the wonderful folks who will be sharing their time and knowledge at WordCamp Toronto. You can learn more about each of our presenters in our Featured Speakers post series.
Aaron D. Campbell
Aaron has over fifteen years of web development experience. He has been a regular contributor to WordPress for the last eight years, and even co-lead the WordPress 3.6 release. He’s committed to writing quality code that is both fast and scalable, and has a knack for translating ideas and goals into functional sites. Aaron has worked with clients ranging from small local businesses to Google, Yahoo, Disney, and Harvard.
Al has been involved in the WordPress community for many years. As a former organizer of both WordCamp Toronto and the WordCamp Meetup group, Al has a lot of great memories of the community. As a former College professor teaching WordCamp, he has first hand knowledge of what people are looking for in when it comes to specific areas of WordPress.
“I am the director of DevOps at Mercatus Technologies, a Toronto-based company that provide SaaS based eCommerce platform for grocery retailers. I also own WirelessLinx Inc., a consulting company in the GTA area that helps with website development (WordPress, Joomla, Liferay) and stack performance tuning/analysis. Previously I was the developer advocate for YellowAPI, development manager for Mercatus Technologies and have worked on almost all development roles.”
Alex is a pioneer in orchestrating cloud-based systems to meet the needs of small and medium sized business (SMBs). His company, NewPath Consulting, provides business-relevant technology advice and education to prepare SMBs for optimizing business activities through the cloud. NewPath Consulting delivers a curated and integrated suite of cloud-based products to help clients become more productive, powerful and profitable.
“I made my first website in 1998. Back then, I liked Netscape 2.02 and BBEdit. I made my first WordPress site in 2005. I’m still at it. We can infer two conclusions from this information: 1. I like making websites. 2. I’m getting old.”
Since 1998, Allan has been working as a SEO/SEM with web development experience. He is an accomplished writer having several ebooks to his credit. Allan has over the years helped over 800 clients achieve top rankings on all of the major search engines. He is considered an online marketing guru having done interviews on newspapers, radio, and TV. Allan is a graduate from Dalhousie University and holds a BSc. in Physics.
“I am the Digital Marketing Manager at Sucuri. I analyze and create a ton of content. My work involves a lot of Excel and Google Docs, constant learning, and communicating technical ideas in simple language.”
Andrea is a content consultant, translator, information designer and all-around WordPress enthusiast. She started using WordPress in 2013 and in two short years, went from knowing nothing to using WordPress full-time for a variety of projects and clients.
“Hey! My name is Andrew, and I am a geek. I’m committed to open source values, and love working with WordPress. I fell in love with WordPress in 2008, and have been working with it in some capacity since then. I am a husband, a father, a WordCamp addict, a coffee snob, lover of things shiny, and a California native in Illinois.”
Andy McIlwain (andymci) has been co-organizing WordCamp Toronto since 2011. Outside of WordCamp, Andy is a front-end developer, cyclist, artist, coffee addict, and tech community guy (GoDaddy, Toronto’s WordPress meetups, and WordCamp). You can find Andy on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Slideshare. Offline, you’ll find him at meetups and coffee shops around downtown Toronto.
Avery Swartz is the founder and CEO of Camp Tech, the national tech workshop company for non-technical people. She’s also an award-winning web designer. When she’s not busy making websites or expanding Camp Tech across Canada, Avery blogs at Stuff Avery Likes, teaches Digital Publishing at Ryerson University, acts as a digital advisor to a number of charities, and co-hosts the Gather North retreat for women who make the web.
Security Analyst and Remediation Lead at Sucuri Inc. I help clean and protect websites and spend my work day identifying & expunging malware to help make the Internet a safer place to be. I am passionate about infosec, online security/privacy issues and helping people learn cool things.
“I’m a Toronto based WordPress developer and PHP developer with experience developing custom WordPress websites and plugins for a wide range of clients. I’m a core technical reviewer for the textbook “WordPress Web Application Development” and I volunteer my time each year at WordCamp Toronto. I feel that developing free plugins is probably one of the best ways a WordPress developer can give back to the community, while also improving those WordPress development skills.”
Brendan Sera-Shriar has been an interactive designer, developer, college and university professor, community manager, author, consultant, and professional speaker at some of the largest corporations and festivals in the world, including Microsoft, Mozilla Firefox, Sun Microsystems, WordCamp, BlogWorld, SXSW and more.
Brent Kobayashi has been making the online world friendly for more than 19 years as president of Toronto digital marketing firm Kobayashi Online. Heavily involved with the WordPress community, Brent helps organize the Toronto WordPress meetup group of over 1400 people, has been a co-organizer of WordCamp Toronto since 2013, and runs the meetup group Online Friendly TO. He thinks he’s funny, but we’re not so sure – check out his shenanigans on twitter and judge for yourself… @brentkobayashi
“I’m many things – automator of nonprofits, WordPress trainer, podcaster, organizer of the Hamilton Freelancers Association along with the WordPress Hamilton group, and lover of EDM. And I’m also married with 3 cats.”
“I’m an Internet marketer, consultant, entrepreneur, author, and speaker. As the CEO of Uniseo, I work with clients to achieve their online objectives in a realistic manner. I’m also involved in many other projects, including my work as a photographer, and more.”
Carl Alexander is a PHP developer that loves teaching advanced technology topics. Besides helping with WordCamp Montreal, he organizes other WordPress events during the rest of the year. His other interests lie with nutrition and sports science, weight training and, most importantly, video games.
“I am a Happiness Engineer, working for Automattic, Inc. I am on the live chat team and specialize in mobile support. I also am a moderator in the Blogging University classes, and that’s a passion for me. I LOVE seeing how those in the WordPress community work together to make sites stronger and get their voices heard.”
Christine began her career in media as a TV Director and Producer before moving into Technology and Digital Media in 2000. In 2012 she founded a User Experience Design and Content Strategy Consultancy in Toronto. Christine has delivered presentations, workshops, and lectures on topics related to Transmedia, Usability & User Experience Design, Open source, and Content Strategy. Check out a few of her slideshares or follow her on Twitter.
“I’m a retired carpenter, so if I can make WordPress work anybody can. I started using WordPress in 2008, and have since built dozens of sites for myself, friends and clients. I built a podcast to 5,000 downloads/week, and I’ve gotten a start on learning to code. I like everything that happens outdoors – especially hiking and camping.”
“I am developer at heart, specialising mostly in WordPress. I am the editor of the WordPress section on Smashing Magazine and I write for other awesome places like WPMU DEV, Tuts+ and others. When not coding or writing you’ll find me playing board games, playing some guitar or running with my dog.”
“Hi, I’m Dara and I’m an independent web designer and front-end developer from Toronto. I’ve worked at a number of places from large organizations to small agencies, and now I run my own one-person shop where I design and code websites for entrepreneurs, creatives, and big-hearted small businesses.”
David Mackey is a Digital Marketing Consultant based in Kanata. He has 25+ years of experience building and supporting multi-tiered server applications and telecommunication systems. His recent programming and consulting experience includes four years of working with WordPress. He is excited to share what he has learned about Digital Marketing, and how you can transform your vanilla WordPress website into a persuasion platform.
Dejan Markovic is an experienced web developer with the extensive knowledge of both front- and back-end technologies. He is the President of NYTO Group, a premium web development company with offices conveniently located in both Toronto and New York City. When he is not helping with the organization of WordCamp Toronto and WPToronto meetups, you can always find him at various WordCamps, especially the ones within driving distance from Toronto.
I am one of the founders and the primary developer behind defeatharper.ca. The site is a tool for voters who wish to defeat the Harper government. Most ridings have no polls and very little coverage of the local race. It’s difficult or impossible to know which opposition candidate has the best chance to defeat a sitting Conservative. The site uses crowdsourcing, encouraging people to share what they know about their local race and a survey to indicate the favoured opposition candidate.
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.
Élise rediscovered the pleasure of writing thanks to WordPress and has been blogging (in French!) for more than 6 years. She is a founding partner at Desaulniers Simard, a boutique consulting firm based in Montréal, Québec, Canada. She has trained hundreds of people to use WordPress and has developed dozens of sites. She has been a speaker at all WordCamp Montréal conferences since 2012.
Hector Jarquin and Ting Yang
Hector Jarquin works with communications (content, graphics and interfaces) accessed in different formats via multiple devices and channels. Follow Hector on Twitter. / Ting Yang is a Software development student at Sheridan College, currently working on a framework to retrieve JSON data with only the use of HTML tags. Follow Ting on Twitter.
Jacques B Surveyer
“I am involved in content creation and management in a number of ways – working in communications at TD Bank, copywriting for enollo agency client websites, and writing weekly posts for ShopStorm. I finished my bachelors with a focus on communications from University of Toronto. I am a proponent of WordPress and have built client websites on the platform in the past. This will be my first time as speaker at a WordCamp, and I’m looking forward to it!”
“I’m a Web Architect at OhmzTech, a Milwaukee-based app and website development firm. I’ve got a background in Information Architecture, Web Development and UX design, but my true love is planning and organizing and writing things on paper. I love showing others the exciting world of WordPress content types. I love working with clients and helping them to truly understand their content…. and love WordPress over whatever they were using before.”
Jem is a User Experience (UX) designer who specializes in building insightful, creative and usable digital experiences. A journalist in a previous life, he came to digital media after discovering its innovative storytelling techniques and how it delivers immersive experiences across platforms, languages, and devices.
“Victoria BC has given me enough quirky and wonderful music, arts and adventures to keep me entertained for the last 9 years. In the event of a fire I would save my cat, my friends, and my computers – though not necessarily in that order.”
Jeremy Clarke is a human web developer from Montreal. He’s been using WordPress since 2005 and working for his non-profit employer Global Voices for almost as long. Jeremy was a founding organizer of WordCamp Montreal in 2009 and has spoken at WordCamps in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, San Francisco, Boston and New York. @jeremyclarke
Jeremy is the co-founder and CEO of Juicy Results, the Internet marketing agency for the Fortune Five Million. In the last decade Jeremy has helped craft and implement online marketing strategies for countless companies, ranging in size from the smallest of businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Today, he works closely with sales teams to generate ready-to-buy leads using an array of Internet marketing strategies.
“I develop websites and teach other people how to do the same in Kent, OH. I built my first website in 1998. It was an ode to toast. Unfortunately the University of Oregon did not see fit to archive it on its web servers. My background is in linguistics, and for me, making websites is like playing a really fun linguistics game with real-time rewards. I built my first WordPress website in 2013 and have been enamored with WordPress ever since.”
I’m the owner and creative director of Trailer Trash Design. I’ve been using WordPress for the last 7 years. I’m a print designer by trade, but quickly realized that the internet was not going to go away and knew that I had to adapt to also include web design. When I discovered WP, it was like a dream come true. All but one of my clients are now utilizing WordPress. Woohoo! I’ve presented at multiple WordCamps across the east coast, including Toronto 3 times. I am also the organizer for WordCamp North Canton.
Jonathan Perlman builds custom web solutions for the students, faculty and staff of Dawson College. Recently he’s been leveraging WordPress to do the heavy lifting while focusing on the needs of the institution. Some of his sites have been built for a select few whereas others are visited by 12,000+ potential new students. Along with the day-time coding, he also teaches courses about Microsoft Office and web design.
Jordan Quintal is a seasoned WordPress Developer, Contributor and Community Member with over 10 years of Web Development experience. He is currently the President of GeniusMedia.ca, the Founder of AgentAccelerate.ca, as well as a Freelancer through JordanQ.ca. Jordan is also a huge Web Accessibility advocate and very active in various a11y Communities. He has presented and attended dozens of Meetups, Camps, and Conferences across Canada and the U.S.
Justin Howe a software coder, entrepreneur/business owner, instructor, problem solver, explorer of all things new in tech, he builds things, he breaks things (then fixes them), and more. He’s been an owner of businesses in the computer/internet industry since 2005. Justin has written code in over a dozen computer languages and built software from games to business web applications.
Kevin A. Barnes
“I am the Director of Web Development at Orion Group, a WordPress development and digital marketing agency located in Wisconsin. I also serve as webmaster for Ex Fabula, a nonprofit storytelling organization. My hands-on experience with WordPress began in 2005, when I migrated my personal site to WordPress. In my spare time, I write, develop grassroots ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) and try to solve Fermi’s paradox.”
Laurie M. Rauch
Laurie M. Rauch wants to live in a world where code is pretty and
well-written, proper grammar isn’t a lost art, and chocolate cures
everything. A WordPress-loving front-end web developer, Laurie runs Code Diva,
which specializes in WordPress theme development, customizations, and coaching. She also teaches Advanced Web Design at Sheridan College.
Linn Øyen Farley
Linn Øyen Farley runs the one-person web design and development studio Drollic Design from her cozy home office in Toronto. Linn built her first website in 1998 using Microsoft Publisher (don’t worry, she writes her own code now). She’s been freelancing full-time since 2011. When she’s not designing websites, you can find Linn teaching classes at Camp Tech… or in Norway. Linn shares her office and her life with a rambunctious cat named Ronja.
Mark Aikman is a consultant, producer, and generally artsy bon vivant. He is currently the Artistic Producer at Birdtown and Swanville and the Director of Development and Communications at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and has produced or managed projects for a bunch of arts organizations in Toronto – notably spending three years at Crow’s Theatre and four at The Dietrich Group. (more…)
Mary Anne Shew
After an IT career in large corporations, I founded Business Vitality LLC in 1999. Since then I’ve helped dozens of small businesses get better leads and more customers through web sites and Internet marketing. I also help my clients keep those customers and make more profit by improving how their companies operate. I finally jumped on the WordPress bandwagon in 2013.
Meagan Hanes is a designer of digital things, photographer, gamer and all around creative gal living outside Ottawa. She enjoys creating easy-to-use websites and technology solutions for businesses big and small. When not giving back to the community, you’ll find her working on catching all 721 Pokémon.
Mike DeWitt is currently a front end developer at Buildium, a Boston-based SaaS company specializing in software for property managers. As a member of the marketing team, he works with WordPress daily on various marketing campaigns for buildium.com, in addition to contributing to the company’s core application.
Paul is a Freelance Senior WordPress Full Stack Developer, with core commits in 3.9, 4.0 and 4.2, doing the heavy lifting in WordPress for a range of environments and a variety of projects. This has included work on a number of themes and supporting a national newspaper and plugins on WordPress VIP.
Rami Sayar is a technologist passionate about the intersection of art, design and the web. For the past 5 years, he has been experimenting with the bleeding edge of emerging technologies, determined to find use for them in everyday life. In his current role as a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft Canada in Montreal, Rami covers technical areas such as open source technologies, open data, and cloud computing, as well as growth hacking and marketing.
Rick Radko has been building web sites and apps since 1996. He began developing websites with WordPress in 2008. Since 2011 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 custom plugins, themes and multilingual websites. @r3designforge
Seeking change from a career as an audio engineer, Ryan graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology and began working as a web developer. From 2004 to 2011, he ran an independent agency, where he had the pleasure of working with clients such as Denny’s Canada, Veritas Canada, and Canadian music icons Rush.
“Hello! I’m a software developer based out of Kingston, Ontario, with a lovely wife, two wonderful boys, and a cat who likes having showers. I spent four years writing code in Silicon Valley, spent a few years on faculty at Queen’s University, and now spend my days building software with WordPress.”
Seth Alling is a Detroit-based developer turned designer turned developer, who has been working with WordPress since 2009. Currently he works remotely as the Lead Developer for Ranch House Designs, a small agency located in Wharton, Texas, where he is primarily responsible for developing custom WordPress websites and plugins.
Shanta R. Nathwani
Shanta R. Nathwani is a Consultant and Instructor in Web Design and CCIT Capstone at Sheridan College, which includes teaching WordPress. The ICCIT program is a joint program with the University of Toronto at Mississauga. She thrives on teaching beginners, as well as content architecture.
Shawn is the Chief Technology Officer at Actionable Books. Hailing from Ottawa, he is a lifelong computer geek. He wrote his first database application at the age of 12, and ran a bulletin board system while in high school. He has been a web developer since 1995, and a WordPress developer since 2011. He has experience building applications for clients in government, non-profit and the private sector in both Canada and the United States.
Shayda Torabi is a storyteller, digital marketer, and lover of all things WordPress. From the people to the platform, she’s been using WordPress since 2004 and hasn’t looked back. Working at WP Engine as part of their Marketing team, Shayda focuses on building authentic relationships with the amazing people who make up the WordPress community. She likes loud music, iced coffee and chronicles her life adventures through her food blog.
Suzette Franck has been in web development for over twenty years; she started making hand-coded HTML websites on geocities with font tags and tables back in 1995. Since then, she has taught herself CSS, Sass, PHP, MySQL, and became a WordPress expert; evangelizing and presenting at over twenty-five WordCamps across the US and Canada.
Taylor McCaslin is a Technical Product Manager living in Austin, Texas. He currently works at WP Engine, a managed hosting platform for websites and apps built with WordPress. WordPress has been Taylor’s platform of choice for over 5 years. He even paid his way through college by freelancing as a WordPress developer!
Tom Auger is a Senior Partner at Zeitguys, a digital studio located in downtown Toronto, a WordPress core contributor and community advocate, a teacher and educator, and a Solution Architect when on the clock. Tom’s experience is broad, having worn nearly every hat there is to wear in the digital agency world, from hardcore coder to pure-play project manager, to brand developer (Tom currently teaches Brand Development at Centennial College).
“Hi, my name is tracy (or some people call me tapps). I’m a graphic designer, front-end developer, photographer, drummer, crossfitter and a lifelong Milwaukean. I started creating for the web in 1996, and started developing with WordPress before it was WordPress (my first blog was created with b2).”
Zack Tollman is 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 and dog.