Sunday Workshops

On Sunday we’re going to have two very special workshop tracks at WordCamp DC: Introduction to Web Development and Tools for Businesses. We have some amazing presenters leading these workshops and are certain they will be awesome deep dives into some fundamental topics. We hope you’ll join us for a great in-depth workshop experience!

Introduction to Web Development

Intro to HTML

HTML is very literally the building block of the internet and a key piece of all websites. Karen Wolf has been writing HTML since 1996 and manages literally dozens of websites. She’ll help you orient yourself to the basics!

Intro to CSS

CSS adds style (think colors, formatting, etc.) to pages on the internet. Art Director Ellen Amaral is a designer who codes and knows all of the ins and outs of how the code we write creates the designs we see online. She’ll make sure you walk away with a solid understanding of how to write some basic CSS!

Intro to JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the things that can add interactivity to websites and is increasingly becoming a vital part of the frameworks on which most of the internet is built (including WordPress!). Zac Gordon is a well-known WordPress teacher who has recently specialized in JavaScript. He will help break down JavaScript into bite-sized parts that will help you get started with this powerful language.

Tools for Business

Beginning WordPress

WordPress is a tool that is frequently used by small businesses, but sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to manage your content or what is possible to do with your website. Veteran trainer Benjamin Bradley has worked with many many small business owners in getting them up to speed with what they need to do with WordPress and he’ll help get you oriented too.

Beginning Marketing

If you don’t share what you’re doing effectively, no one will never know what services or opportunities you may offer. Lauren Jeffcoat has worn many hats including digital strategist, web designer, and project manager, all of which have given her unique insight and expertise on marking. In this workshop she’ll  discuss some powerful strategies to maximize your site and gain a bigger online audience.

Beginning Branding/Design

Many business owners or individuals whose expertise is in a particular area often feel stuck when it comes to creating branding and design that accurately and professionally represent their companies or themselves. Ashleigh Axios is a Creative Director and strategist who has deep experience in teaching design. She’ll cover lots of ways to help you feel un-stuck when making branding and design decisions.

Please Note:
If you are planning to attend a workshop, please bring a fully charged laptop computer as many of the workshops will be interactive with activities to help you learn while you’re there.

Announcing WordCamp DC’s Speakers – Part 5

We are super thrilled with our amazing lineup of speakers and are excited to see them all present at WordCamp DC. This post rounds out our speaker roster. If you missed it, check out the speakers we’ve already introduced in parts onetwothree, and four!

Andrew Nacin

Andrew NacinAndrew Nacin is a Lead Developer of WordPress. He’s led major releases, mentored contributors, and spearheaded new development. He has strong feelings about the core philosophies of WordPress, among them “decisions, not options” — software should be opinionated in lieu of burdening the user with too many options. In January 2014, he joined the U.S. Digital Service at the White House, where he works to improve the usefulness and reliability of the country’s most important digital services.

Ellen Amaral

Ellen AmaralEllen Amaral is an Art Director at Made by We, where she leads branding and web design projects for non-profit and social enterprise organizations. She is excited by the collision of design with content strategy, user experience and development. Ellen leverages a BA in Communication Design from the University of Pennsylvania and front end development skills from General Assembly to take design out of its silo and into an integrated space.

Tkeyah Lake

Tkeyah LakeTkeyah Lake is a Senior Account Executive at public affairs firm, Banner Public Affairs. There she develops and executes social media, communications and advertising plans for a variety of industries including defense, technology, and advocacy campaigns. She also serves as a reservist at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, providing specialized digital and social media services in emergency situations.

She has a Master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. In addition, she runs a boutique live social and digital media company, Dotted Digital.

Adam Silverstein

Adam SilversteinAdam wrote games in assembly code, and then applets and of course the obligatory CMS in Java when Netscape Navigator ruled the web – eventually embracing WordPress as his platform of choice. He is a WordPress Core committer and works on the WordPress security team. He is currently helping lead an effort to improve core JavaScript. Adam is a Lead Web Engineer at 10up where he helps make the web better by finely crafting websites & tools for content creators. Adam loves long rafting trips, playing mbira, travel, taking walks and tending his over-sized garden.

Benjamin Bradley

Benjamin BradleyYou may know my face, but I’m pretty sure you know my voice. I’m Benjamin Bradley, and for the past 20+ years, I have been training and assisting small business owners to take their skills to the next level. Over the years, I have generated thousands of hours of business and technical training materials. I’m currently building a community for freelancers to learn, grow, and develop their WordPress, web design, development, and business skills at

Marissa Goldsmith

Marissa GoldsmithThe very first website Marissa ever worked on was for a small university department. The only browser she had access to was Lynx. Since then, she has worked in nearly every aspect of web design and development. She has worked with non-profit organizations, the government, and creative agencies. Today, she is an independent consultant, focusing on digital analytics to enhance the user experience and website conversions.

Tori Peterson

Tori PetersonTori Peterson is the web writer-editor of the National Park Service’s new training website, the Common Learning Portal (CLP). She trains, assists and supports the site’s content authors and provides user help to end users. When Tori isn’t online, she’s frolicking in nature.

Sal Ferrarello

Sal FerrarelloSal started programming on a Commodore 64 when he was eight years old. He went on to become a web developer and educator specializing in WordPress. Sal’s past also includes work as a beach photographer, magician/juggler, and high school calculus teacher. He contributes to WordPress core, the Genesis framework, and various other open source projects.

Sal writes regularly about programming at

Savannah Gignac

Savannah GignacSavannah is an information management professional living in Washington, DC who works directly with clients to understand their long-term vision for their content and then translates this into content type definitions and migration plans. She melds her passion for words with an analytical eye to bring a big picture point of view to content strategy, data management and archival & library sciences.

Managing information on multiple platforms is Savannah’s forte. She has served as an Archivist and Librarian at federal, public, and non-profit institutions like The Smithsonian, The Harry Ransom Center, and The American Institute of Physics and holds a Masters of Science in Information Studies (MSIS) from the University of Texas – Austin. She is presently a Technical Content Strategist who manages content migration from start to finish for website redesign projects at Agency CHIEF.

Marc Gratch

Marc GratchI am a WordPress Consultant, a life long student, a husband and father. I have been developing themes and plugins for WordPress since 2.8 (give or take a point release,) with a strong focus on simple, specific, niche functionality. Most everything I know about code comes from the WordPress community which is why I try to give back as much as I can. I love the WordPress platform and the community!

Ryan Sholin

Ryan SholinRyan Sholin, Director of Product and Growth at Chalkbeat, has made it his mission to help professional journalists get the tools, skills, and inspiration they need to inform their communities on any platform. A former investigative reporter for the Oakland Tribune, online editor for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, product strategist at GateHouse Media, and director of product management at Gannett, Ryan was also a co-founder of Wired Journalists and a Knight News Challenge winner for ReportingOn.

We have one more speaker announcement left, so stay tuned! If you haven’t yet, get a ticket to WordCamp DC!

Announcing WordCamp DC’s Speakers – Part 4

We are super thrilled with our amazing lineup of speakers and are excited to see them all present at WordCamp DC. This post is introducing group four. If you missed it, check out the speakers we’ve already introduced in parts onetwo, and three!

Rebecca Wyatt

Rebecca WyattRebecca Wyatt is a skilled trainer, web content strategist, and product owner who is focused on empowering teams and maximizing learning. Rebecca is a self-described “learning addict” who is at her best collaborating with and inspiring teams to greater success. In her free time, Rebecca spends her time chasing around two very active mutts, trying semi-successfully to keep them out of trouble.

Pascal Birchler

Pascal BirchlerPascal is a student and Core Developer based in Zurich, Switzerland. He’s been working with WordPress for half of his life and passionate about helping other people and cooking. Most recently he’s been improving i18n in WordPress, as well as translating WordPress into a language only 50,000 people understand.

Teia Atkins

Teia AtkinsI’ve wanted to be in technology since before I can remember. Following in my fathers footsteps was my dream. For me, going to Georgia Southern University and graduating with a BS in Information Technology was a no brainer. I continued my journey moving to the DC area and getting a job in web development. Over 5 years I worked at a variety of creative agencies doing WordPress and Front end development, until I found my home at Ghost Note Agency.

Kyle Jennings

Kyle JenningsKyle Jennings is a full stack WordPress developer and enthusiast, who has been building web sites in DC for both the public and private sectors since 2008.

Kyle now works with the GSA to make WordPress a viable option in the federal government by helping run the Sites ( program.

Kyle loves to craft fun DC oriented niche such as and uses WordPress as an application framework with his plugin Tidy Templates.

Josepha Haden

Josepha HadenSince college, Josepha has gathered together people with similar interests to learn more and create better communities. In 2008 that passion for connecting people spread to technology and she’s never looked back. With a training in music, and a background in data, she is a digital literacy advocate who talks about WordPress, the Open Source Software community, and non-traditional paths to STEM fields. Josepha works at Automattic as a community organizer for the WordPress open source project and can be found on Twitter as @josephahaden.

George Stephanis

George StephanisGeorge is one of the folks behind the Jetpack plugin and a frequent core contributor to the WordPress software. He is also a regular on the WPWatercooler podcast and a frequent WordCamp Speaker. When not behind a computer, he enjoys making things out of solder and wood or spending time with his family.

Christie Chirinos

Christie ChirinosChristie Chirinos is a Partner in & the Business Manager at Caldera Labs, a WordPress plugin company. Caldera Labs is the company led by Josh Pollock behind Caldera Forms, a leading drag-and-drop form builder for WordPress, and a handful of other free and premium plugins. Christie started selling online at the age of 14, and has launched her own ecommerce site, sold on third-party platforms, monetized a blog, created sites for lead generation for service businesses, and then focused in for 3 years on tech for nonprofit organizations. Now, she has moved on to digital downloads. Christie received her Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in information systems management from Florida State University, and is currently based out of New York City.

Ken Fang

Ken FangKen Fang is the President of Mobomo, primarily overseeing the strategy and operations of the company. He works closely with clients to create mobile digital transformation solutions to meet their strategic needs, and is adept at designing and developing mobile, web, and cloud products on all major platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and responsive web. In addition to running Mobomo, Ken is the founder and chairman of Altum, Inc., the market leader of enterprise grants management and performance management solutions for federal and philanthropic organizations. In 2009, the Washington Business Journal recognized Ken as one of the D.C.-metro area’s top minority business leaders; additionally, he has published a number of titles and articles in educational software and advanced computing technology. He holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University, an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a certificate in Bioinformatics from Stanford University.

Lauren Jeffcoat

Lauren Jeffcoat

Lauren has been building WordPress websites for almost a decade and is currently part of the OnTheGoSystems WPML Customer Support team. She enjoys creating WordPress websites and has worn many hats in the world of web development including Project Manager, Customer Service Representative, Account Strategist, and Web Designer.

Originally from New England, she now lives in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. Lauren enjoys sharing her knowledge along with tips and tricks that she has learned either through furthering her education or personal experience.

Lauren is the organizer of WordPress Meetup Myrtle Beach, a co-organizer of WordCamp Wilmington, a WordCamp Speaker and a lover of all things WordPress.

Desi Gonzalez

Desi GonzalezDesi Gonzalez writes, researches, and makes things at the intersection of art and technology. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, where she leads digital engagement at the Andy Warhol Museum. Before that, she designed educational tech at La Victoria Lab in Peru, developed interpretive experiences at the Museum of Modern Art, and managed a kids website at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has a B.A. in art history and linguistics from Emory University and an M.S. in comparative media studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Marty Spellerberg

Marty SpellerbergMarty Spellerberg is the principal at Spellerberg Associates, a consulting practice that offers interactive design, development and communications assistance to artists and museums. He is also the director of Spellerberg Projects, a contemporary art gallery in Lockhart, Texas. Marty has 19 years experience in interactive design, including 9 years working specifically with museums. He is co-leader of the National Museum Website Visitor Motivation Study, which tracked usage of two dozen cultural websites across the US and Canada. He has consulted for several museums including the the Clyfford Still Museum, Denver; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Santa Cruz Museum of art & History; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. He is a graduate of OCAD University, Toronto.

Antti Koskenrouta

Antti KoskenroutaAntti Koskenrouta is a WordPress developer and web consultant. Originally from Finland, he’s called Washington DC home for the last 10 years.

Since 2011, Antti has been a full-time freelancer and has built custom WordPress sites and plugins and advised clients in their web strategy. His clients range from small companies to a Fortune 500 corporation. In addition to client work, Antti stays busy by running his own websites and making hand-popped kettle corn and roasting coffee in a Roanoke, VA -based company he cofounded, called Two Roosters.

Outside work Antti enjoys taking his beagle Logan out for long walks in Rock Creek Park, traveling wherever and whenever possible, and having an occasional gin and tonic.

Jay De Lanoy

Jay De LanoyJames De Lanoy is a Software Engineer at the Oracle Data Cloud. He likes working on test infrastructure and cardinality estimation, among other things. He was previously at PIXIA, working on geospatial image and video products. He has BSs in Mathematics and Earth Science from George Mason University.

We have one more speaker announcement left, so stay tuned! If you haven’t yet, get a ticket to WordCamp DC!

Announcing WordCamp DC’s Speakers – Part 3

We are super thrilled with our amazing lineup of speakers and are excited to see them all present at WordCamp DC. This post is introducing group three. If you missed it, check out the speakers we’ve already introduced in group one and group two!

Mike Schroder

Mike Schroder

Mike Schroder is a cross-cultural kid, coffee-drinking sailor, and lover of Open Source.

He’s a WordPress Core Developer who specializes in the Media component, was Release Lead for WordPress 4.5, and works as Director of WordPress Strategy at DreamHost.

You can find him blogging on geeky things at

Sang-Min Yoon

Sang-Min YoonFor the past eight years, Sang has designed, developed and maintained websites for many great companies, including Federal Trade Commission, Microsoft, SiriusXM Radio and Smithsonian Institution. Currently, Sang works for Gannett where he primarily works on

Michelle Schulp

Michelle SchulpMichelle is an independent graphic designer and frontend developer in Minneapolis. Prior to beginning her career, she studied Visual Communications, with minors in Psychology and Sociology. As her work progressed, she also branched into front-end development and user experience design to round our her skillset. This combination of disciplines led her to adopt a strategy-based approach to design, focused on solving tangible problems and achieving real goals based on how people think.

She loves the open source community, and when she is not working on projects she speaks/volunteers/organizes at events and workshops around the country. Her passions are communication and empowerment, and she believes in the power of “Why?”

Scott Stancil

Scott StancilScott is currently an Excellence Wrangler at Automattic, with a focus on automated testing of the WordPress web and mobile platforms. Prior to this he held a variety of jobs for a variety of DC defense contractors, working on everything from systems engineering to software development.

Tim Sisson

Tim Sisson

Tim loves WordPress and enjoys leveraging it to meet businesses needs. He leads the Customer Community Team at BoldGrid and is passionate about nonprofit usage and e-commerce.

When he is not tinkering with WordPress Tim spends his time on adventures with my awesome wife Lisa, three daughters Autumn, Stella, & Petra.

Emilia Kubo Kirschenbaum

Emilia Kubo KirschenbaumEmilia is an experienced technical manager with a background in administering complex website and app development projects. She works with cross functional teams to respond to technical questions, consult on project approach, and manage development and migration work; and acts as the client advocate internally on complex technical projects with significant development or migration requirements. Emilia has experience managing the entire development lifecycle from requirements creation to deployment with internal and third-party development teams, including timeline management and stakeholder communication. She holds a BS in Business and Economics from Lehigh University.

John Victoria

John VictoriaJohn Victoria lives in Alexandria, Virginia, and is the owner of Polianna, a boutique digital marketing agency specializing in search engine optimization (SEO). He’s consulted with local businesses in the DMV area as well as major multi-million dollar international brands on their search engine optimization efforts. He’s also ranked #1 on Google for “Virginia SEO Expert.” Aside from his work, he currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Outreach for the Filipino Young Professionals of Washington D.C., and is the Deputy Chairman for the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, Region 2. Victoria has worked locally in helping support Asian Pacific Islander American Vote and the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project.

Emily Patterson

Emily PattersonEmily Patterson is the founder of Bee Measure, a firm that helps nonprofit and government clients use data to create effective digital content and reach their target audiences.

Drawing on her experience at Public Broadcasting Service and Better Business Bureau, she founded Bee Measure to help nonprofits take advantage of this brand new field. She believes that data can help organizations of all sizes work smarter and do more with limited budgets.

When she’s not getting nerdy at work, Emily enjoys the outdoors, reading and sampling Charlottesville’s many breweries. Emily is also a PMI-certified Project Management Professional.

Tracy Schorn

Tracy Schorn

Tracy Schorn is the creator of the popular advice site and author of “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life” (Hachette 2016). When she’s not giving snarky advice or drawing cartoons, she’s a journalist at Washington Lawyer magazine (D.C. Bar).

Her WordPress credentials — she single-handedly build a blog in WordPress (Genesis theme), has traffic of around 500K page views per month (over 14 million page views in 5 years), monetized the thing, and somehow got a book deal from it all.

Jason Wasser

Jason WasserJason Wasser is the Director of Technology for Made by We, a local DC agency with a focus on social good. With 7 years of development experience, Jason believes a successful website must offer ease of use for both the administrator and the visitor.

William Jackson

William Jackson

William Jackson graduated from South Carolina State University earning a Bachelor’s in Education degree, he furthered his education earning a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Webster University with a focus on Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM.

William’s career involves past teaching with NASA as an Internet and Technology instructor, technology consultant with the Florida Department of Education and current Professor with Edward Waters College teaching Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM.

William is not only an educator, but he is a Social Media Consultant, presenter on Bullying and Cyberbullying, Internet Safety and his passion Blogging and Writing.

Michael Dance

Michael DanceMichael is a Senior Developer at CHIEF, a digital agency based in Washington D.C. and Portland. He started making a living with WordPress eight years ago, after realizing that he couldn’t be a screenwriter if he spent all his time coding instead of writing. He lives in Washington D.C. and really likes clean code, standards compliance, and playing volleyball on weekends.

Lauren Burton

Lauren BurtonLauren is the Director of Technology for Subject Matter, where she combines her passion for technology with her love of creative advocacy. She champions technical strategy and solutions for clients, focusing on open source CMSs and frameworks. She also teaches frontend development at General Assembly.

Annie Smidt

Annie SmidtAnnie Smidt has been designing for over two decades and working with WordPress since it was a baby. Her Boston-based company, Durable Creative, creates strategic branding, graphic design and web sites for arts and culture, non-profit, and other mission-based organizations. Once, in the 90s, she wrote and designed an entire one-off book about typography for her best friend so he could share her excitement. (She still doesn’t know if he read it.)

We’ll have more speaker announcements tomorrow, so check back soon! If you haven’t yet, get a ticket to WordCamp DC!

Announcing WordCamp DC’s Speakers – Part 2

It’s my pleasure to introduce our second group of amazing speakers! If you missed it, check out our first group too!

Mika Epstein

Mika EpsteinMika Ariela Epstein is better known as Ipstenu, the Half-Elf Rogue. Working for DreamHost and specializing in WordPress, Mika helps make WordPress and hosting better for everyone. When she isn’t reviewing plugins or rebuilding the stack, she’s speaking at WordCamps worldwide about code and open source technology. A self-taught guru on Multisite and .htaccess, she has a passion for writing and technology.

Ed Finkler

Ed Finkler

Ed Finkler, also known as Funkatron, started making web sites before browsers had frames. He does front-end and server-side work in Python, PHP, and JavaScript. Ed is the founder and chairman of Open Sourcing Mental Illness, a non-profit 501c3 dedicated to raising awareness and supporting those with mental illness in the tech industry.

He served as web lead and security researcher at The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University for 9 years. Along with Chris Hartjes, Ed is co-host of the Development Hell podcast.

Ed writes at

Clifton Griffin

Clifton GriffinClifton Griffin is a backend developer and owner of Objectiv, a WordPress based web agency in Central Virginia which is currently in its fifth year. He started developing for WordPress in 2007, and has never looked back. He has several plugins in the WordPress repository, multiple premium plugins, and has written countless others for client projects.

Tessa Kriesel

Tessa KrieselAgency and Community Engineer at Pantheon and Founder of Coders of TMRW, Tessa has been a web developer for over 10 years. She enjoys front-end development but also loves to build sites from start to finish. She started in Joomla back when it was 1.0.x and worked her way into WordPress and Drupal about 7 years ago. She enjoys teaching others to code as well as speaking at conferences and youth events. Tessa is a northern Minnesota native, but now lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and four children – three boys and a baby girl. She loves dogs and enjoys helping local organizations rescue dogs in her free time.

Kyle M. Brown

Business Analyst, Customer Service evangelist, Bootstrap entrepreneur, father and husband.

Kyle consults with business owners to help them understand how to use processes and software to become more efficient, scale, increase profits or just free up the time spent running their businesses so they have the freedom to do whatever they want.

Sandy Smith

Sandy SmithSandy Smith lives in the Washington, DC area, and has been a web developer for an eternity in the web world: 17 years. He’s spent all but a couple of years of that time consulting, usually for nonprofits and government, working both in-house and in an agency. He’s worked with a hundred or so organizations in various capacities, from basic development to strategic advice to multi-tier applications. He’s now a Senior Software Engineer at Truth Initiative.

Lindsey Kopacz

Lindsey KopaczLindsey Kopacz is a self-taught front-end web developer. Her tech passion involves anything that merges technology and the user experience—which includes her favorite topic, accessibility. Based in Washington, DC, she spends most of her free time reading, drinking craft beer, and practicing her makeup artistry.

David Zweigel

David ZweigelDavid started as a pioneer in user-based technology is the 1980s, consulting on desktop publishing. After eight years in the commercial-side of MultiMedia industry, he began his Public Sector career working at the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) in 1991. Over the last 26 years he has helped innovate the use of modern digital publishing, content management, social media, and other innovations to the forefront of the U.S.’s public diplomacy efforts around the world. Since 2011, he has been working in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of eDiplomacy. He is currently working on a major Knowledge Management effort which leverages WordPress, BuddyPress, and BBPress.

Shayna Diamond

Shayna DiamondShayna Diamond currently works at Scitent eLearning, specializing in WordPress customization. Previously, she built on her background in jewelry design as a freelance developer focusing on dynamic sites for small business and artists. She enjoys the unique challenges of combining form and function, beauty and practicality.Shayna earned her Bachelors of Science in Website Development and Interactive Communication from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She is an active member of the WordPress community, speaking at WordCamps and contributing to the support forums. Additionally, she is a Chapter Leader for GirlDevelopIt of Central Virginia, where she takes great pride in helping other women find their footing in web development. When not at the computer, Shayna can be found at her jeweler’s bench or in the field collecting rocks and minerals.

Mark Wahl

Mark WahlMark Wahl is Technical Director at the Jake Group, a DC-based digital agency where he leads the web team, manages custom WordPress projects, and cultivates client relationships. He earned his M.A. in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University. He’s also a dad, woodworker, cidermaker, and baseball fan!

Mia Orantes

Mia OrantesMia is a regular speaker/trainer and Partner at Creative Analytics — a digital & content marketing agency and group of WordPress designers/developers in Washington DC. Creative Analytics builds conversion-optimized WordPress websites and content-focused online platforms for medium-sized B2B, B2G and non-profit organizations that generate more qualified traffic, leads and engagement. Drawing from more than 15 years of experience as a graphic designer, web designer, writer, and project manager, Mia develops comprehensive digital strategies for clients to more efficiently and consistently deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time online. She holds an MBA & MS in Information Technology with a concentration in Project Management.

Katie Pegoraro

Katie PegaroroKatie Pegoraro has worked for Arlington County Government in the Department of Technology Services for ten years. She is a member of WordPress DC Meetup, and a first-time WordCamper. She still subscribes to The Washington Post’s dead-tree edition, and you may see her around DC on the soccer pitch or tennis court.

John Cornthwait

John Cornthwait is a Partner and the Director of Products at Firefli, a Roanoke, VA company that specializes in digital solutions. As a designer and full-stack developer with 15 years of experience, John has used WordPress regularly for the last decade. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in User Experience Design from Kent State University.

Greg Krehbiel

Greg KrehbielGreg Krehbiel is a writer and blogger who has been using WordPress personally for several years. He recently adopted WordPress as the CMS for Kiplinger Alerts, a professional, subscription-based digital service for investors and business professionals. Greg is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction, including a guide for homebrewers. He is an award-winning brewer, an out of shape black belt, an amateur swing dancer, an avid reader, occasional fisherman and washed up musician.

We’ll have more speaker announcements tomorrow, so check back soon! If you haven’t yet, get a ticket to WordCamp DC!

Announcing WordCamp DC’s Speakers – Part 1

After reviewing dozens of speaker applications, we’re thrilled to start introducing the fantastic people from DC and beyond who will speak at our inaugural WordCamp DC!

Without further ado, let’s meet our first group of speakers:

Aaron Jorbin

Aaron Jorbin

Aaron is a polyhistoric man of the web. Currently Director of Engineering for Some Spider, Aaron supports the editorial and business teams on and He is also a WordPress Core Committer that focuses on improving developer happiness and making the internet usable and enjoyable by everyone. He tweets at @aaronjorbin and writes regularly at

Nick Croft

Nick CroftNick “the Geek” Croft has been developing on WordPress for 9 years now. Currently he is senior developer for Rainmaker Digital, which you may know as Copyblogger. He has created several plugins for mostly using the Genesis framework as well as custom work for clients and his employer. Lately he has been focused on highly efficient code and automating all the things. In addition to work he has a wife, 4 children, and a puppy and lives on a quiet cul de sac in the Shenandoah Valley. He enjoys hiking, river activities, and time with family.

Alexis Findiesen

Alexis FindiesenI live and work in the heart of DC, and share a home with my husband, dog, and cat. I’m a Senior Web Developer at CHIEF, where, in addition to development, I also train colleagues, improve processes, and contribute to proposals. As a former web designer, I started coding out of necessity and over time grew to love it. The front-end is where I have the most experience and am most passionate. I’ve also built and launched a few major rebuilds in the last few years. I’m comfortable in both WordPress and Drupal, as well as with making random one-off static html sites.

Zac Gordon

Zac Gordon is a professional educator, currently working on the JavaScript for WordPress Master Course. Previously, Zac taught WordPress for Treehouse. He has years of experience teaching WordPress and JavaScript at high schools, colleges, bootcamps and online learning sites. In addition to teaching, Zac also runs Web Hosting for Students, one of the world’s largest hosting companies dedicated to students and teachers.

Deepti Boddapati

Deepti Boddapati

Deepti is a full stack developer at Crowd Favorite. During her career, she has implemented many advanced CMS features for large high traffic sites, as well as smaller sites.

In doing these implementations, she discovered that the biggest obstacle wasn’t a technical challenge but a knowledge challenge.

She’s now committed to bridging this gap by providing everyone with the conceptual knowledge to implement these solutions effectively.

Joe Casabona

Joe CasabonaJoe Casabona is a Front End Developer and course creator that works in WordPress…a lot. You can find his courses over at WP in One Month. He also hosts a weekly podcast called, How I Built It, where he interviews product developers and business owners about how they create.

Tara Claeys

Tara Claeys

Based in Arlington, Virginia, Tara Claeys is the owner of Design TLC, and a founder of Nice Work, LLC, producing custom websites for small and medium businesses. She works closely with her clients to create effective, clean and personal communication platforms.

In addition to running her own companies, she is a regular attendee at the WordPress DC Meetup and recently started and runs the Arlington/NoVa WordPress Meetup. Tara is also a co-host of the new podcast Hallway Chats.

Ben Balter

Ben BalterNamed one of the top 25 most influential people in government and technology and Fed 50’s Disruptor of the Year, described by the US Chief Technology Officer as one of “the baddest of the badass innovators,” and winner of the Open Source People’s Choice Award, Ben Balter is a Product Manager manager at GitHub, the world’s largest software development network, where he oversees a team of product managers responsible for the company’s business-to-business and community and safety products. Previously, Ben served as GitHub’s Government Evangelist, leading the efforts to encourage government at all levels to adopt open source philosophies for code, for data, and for policy development.

Daniel Olson

Daniel Olson

Dan is the COO at DigitalCube, a WordPress solutions company with offices in the US and Japan. He lives and works in Philadelphia PA, home to the first WordCamp US.

His work includes building WordPress SaaS products focused on security and scalability, offering advanced security services through AWS, and providing managed web hosting support for eCommerce clients, large media organizations, and higher education.

Away from the keyboard he enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, eating everything, tasting all the beers, traveling to meet new people and helping with the family business, a pet boutique and bakery named, Amelie’s Bark Shop.

Corey Brown

Corey Brown’s expertise in designing, inventing, building, leading, founding and tweaking successful websites spans more than two decades and a host of site types, from publishing and e-commerce to social platforms and user-generated content.

As founder and CEO of No Treble, Corey built the most-read magazine for bassists, online or off. Corey also co-founded and served as COO of the popular user-generated content platform, established in 2005 with best-selling author/speaker Seth Godin. Corey led Washington, D.C.-area web strategy, custom content, design and development firm Solutions Factory from 1998 until 2003 and prior to that ran the highly profitable web division of Another Universe.

Adam Warner

Adam W. Warner first discovered WordPress in 2005 and has since founded several WordPress-focused businesses that provide education, plugins and consulting services for online business owners. In 2016 he brought his passion for WordPress to join SiteLock as a Product Evangelist. Adam has since delivered his zeal for WordPress to 20 different WordCamps all over the world and presented talks at 13. In addition to WordPress, Adam is passionate about his family, robots and of course, life, the universe and everything.

Lisa Petrovich Smith

Lisa Petrovich Smith is a web design and digital communications specialist with over 20 years of experience. She is the founder and creative director of LPS Web and Design, LLC, which specializes in WordPress websites and design solutions.

Lisa loves working with new and growing businesses to develop their strategic vision and a compelling visual identity and web presence to match.

Lisa spent over 10 years as a Systems Consultant and Project Manager with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, providing requirements analysis, systems design and strategic consulting to federal government agencies including IRS, GinnieMae, and the Department of Defense.

Casey Driscoll

Hello! My name is Casey Driscoll. I’m a Full–Stack Software Engineer.

With 10 years of experience and a Computer Science degree, I respect UX + CI methodologies. As a Polyglot, I ❤ writing Ruby, JavaScript & sometimes PHP.

I dream of building apps in React + Rails + D3. Code wants to be Open–Source & Free.

Adam Nekola

Adam Nekola

Adam is the Senior Digital Manager at the Online News Association, where he manages dozens of WordPress sites spread across four multisite installs. Although he has worked with WordPress personally since 2007, he started professionally with the CMS in 2012 when transitioning all of the Pew Research Center websites to a multisite environment.

Check back soon for the next round of speaker announcements! And if you haven’t yet, get a ticket to WordCamp DC!

Speaker Submissions are Closed!

That’s it! Speaker submissions for the inaugural WordCamp DC are officially closed.

An enormous thank you to all of our brave applicants who took the time to craft proposals. We will get started right away in reviewing all of the excellent submissions we’ve received. We are delighted to report that we have 125 submissions for the very first WordCamp in DC, so we definitely have a lot of work to do!

If you applied, this is what you should expect next:

All applicants will hear from us via email by June 7, 2017.

If your talk is accepted, you’ll receive more details about what you need to do next to prepare, how our mentorship program will work, and what to expect in the weeks running up to WordCamp. For now, you can review our FAQs for more information on all of these things.

If your talk is not accepted, please know that we’ve all been there. We have received so many thoughtful, diverse, and useful talks, we cannot accept them all. If we do not ask you to speak, it is likely to be because of lack of space or duplicate amazing ideas.  We hope you’ll continue to seek out opportunities to share your knowledge and expertise at future meetups, other WordCamps, and of course WordCamp DC 2018.

Again, THANK YOU to all of our amazing and brave applicants. We very seriously appreciate your interest in supporting WordCamp DC 2017 through speaking at the event. You’ll hear more from us soon!

5 Reasons to Apply to Speak at WordCamp DC

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about applying to speak at WordCamp DC, but you’re still not sure if you should. Maybe you’ve already applied, but you feel queasy with nerves each time you think about it. There are a lot of reasons to apply to speak at WordCamps and other professional conferences, but we have five very special reasons why you should consider applying to speak at WordCamp DC this year.

#1 This is the FIRST WordCamp DC.

Washington, DC is unique in that we’ve had a large, thriving WordPress community for a long time, but have never actually had a full-fledged WordCamp. That also means that we have rarely had the opportunity to share the depth of our community with folks beyond DC. We want to showcase the amazing work that happens with WordPress right here in the District. Wouldn’t it be exciting to be able to say you were an inaugural speaker at the inaugural WordCamp DC?

#2 You’ll get to meet the other speakers and lots of other people too.

Speakers will have the opportunity to attend a thank you event along with volunteers and sponsors. This event will be our way of saying thank you, but also will be a time where you can connect and get to know the other speakers in a smaller venue. This type of event can really help ease social nerves when preparing to speak because you’ll be able to chat with other people who feel the same way.

You’ll also meet plenty of folks that you’ll see around the conference throughout the weekend. When you stand up to talk about something you’re passionate about, chances are lots of people who are also interested in that subject will come up and want to talk with you about it. This is exciting in lots of ways: where else can you find other people with such similar interests?

#3 If you’re new to speaking, you’ll have mentorship.

We will have a mentorship program for all new speakers that will help support you as you prepare for your talk. We’ll make sure you have someone to review your presentation with in advance of the conference so that you can be as confident as can be going into your session. If you have experience speaking already and feel like you’d like feedback, we will also work with you to make sure you are supported in your conference preparations.

#4 You’ll learn a LOT from putting your talk together.

Every time I give a talk, I realize that I’ve learned more from putting the talk together than anyone might learn from listening to it. Constructing a talk in your area of expertise will help solidify your knowledge because when you need to process the component parts of what you know so that you can present this knowledge to someone else, you’ll relearn your topic in a much deeper way. Public speaking is great in that way because you have the opportunity to internalize your knowledge all while sharing with other people. Everyone wins!

#5 You’ll be giving back to the WordPress community.

WordPress is an open-source project and community. Many of our businesses and vocations are possible because of the success of the larger project. Many of us have learned a tremendous amount from attending meetups, WordCamps, and perusing the support forums. Many of us have made life-long connections with the friends and professional contacts we’ve found through the community.

Speaking at a WordCamp is a contribution to the larger WordPress community. Attendees at WordCamp DC will learn from your expertise and people across the globe will be able to learn from your talk through its publication on WordPress TV.

We want to ensure that WordCamp DC is a fantastic learning experience for everyone involved and are committed to supporting our future speakers in making that happen. If you’re interested in submitting a proposal, please make sure you do so by midnight on May 26th!