Speakers

syed-balkhi-wcatl-keynoteSyed Balkhi is the keynote speaker for WordCamp Atlanta 2014.
He is the founder of WPBeginner (the largest free WordPress resource site) and List25 an extremely popular entertainment site with over 725,000 subscribers and 90 Million video views. Syed’s work has been featured in NYTimes, HuffingtonPost, Yahoo Small Business, Wired, Mashable, and countless other well-reputed online magazines. Syed has worked with some of the largest brands in the industry including but not limited to WarnerBros, Webs, Mercer, and more.

Aaron K. Altman

Aaron graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Colorado. Aaron is proficient in both web design and search engine optimization. In his mid 20′s, Aaron is excited to continue to learning and refining his skills as a WordPress web designer and the many facets of digital media.

Find Aaron K. Altman online at http://www.atlsquared.com

Aaron K. Altman on WordPress.org

Aaron Reimann

I started off building sites in 1996, back in the Netscape 2.0 days. Now I’m running a high-end web shop with my business partner at Sideways8.com. I’m a WordPress themer with 5 years of experience, and the stuff I write works… most of the time.

Find Aaron Reimann online at http://sideways8.com

Aaron Reimann on WordPress.org

Adam Williams

A professional programmer for well over a decade, Adam’s love for code and the web means he has a deep appreciation for WordPress. As a seasoned developer with years of WordPress experience, Adam is passionate about sharing his expertise not only with the clients he serves, but with up-and-coming developers as well.

In 2008, Adam co-founded White Sunrise, a web and app development firm. A native Georgian, Adam is proud to hail from North Atlanta, where he lives with his wife and young son.

Find Adam Williams online at http://www.whitesunrise.com

Adam Williams on WordPress.org

Alan Crissey

Front end development is my craft. For several years I worked as a graphic designer and front end developer at a few small branding agencies in the Atlanta area. As I became more passionate about web / app development, I began seeing myself as being less of a graphic designer and more of an experience craftsman. I take great designs from talented designers and make them work better than imagined.

Find Alan Crissey online at http://alancrissey.com

Alan Crissey on WordPress.org

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.

Find Andrew Searles online at http://andysearles.com

Andrew Searles on WordPress.org

Bret Phillips

As a web guy he helps people understand the foundational elements of a strong web presence, and builds custom WordPress websites.

As a musician, Bret focuses his energy on Bass guitar for his band DAMS, recording music out of his Phatcave studio. and sharing tips and tricks for musicians in the DIY Musicians Guide.

Find Bret Phillips online at http://bretphillips.com

Bret Phillips on WordPress.org

Brian Colin

When it comes to my role in the design-world, I am a little bit of everything. I am a designer, a coder, an account manager, a strategic thinker, and when necessary, a builder. In 2009, after 13 years in the industry, I decided to start my own hybrid agency Mammoth Ideas.

When I’m not making with the design, I have been known to create life-sized monster taxidermy and self-publish comic books.

Find Brian Colin online at http://mammothideas.com

Brian Colin on WordPress.org

Bryan Petty

As part of the Open Source Outreach team at Bluehost, Bryan is a developer that works full-time on WordPress core, contributing patches, and providing support to the WordPress community. He is very passionate about open source software, has mentored students in the Google Summer of Code program 4 years in a row, and is also an official developer on the wxWidgets open source project.

Find Bryan Petty online at https://github.com/tierra

Bryan Petty on WordPress.org

Carel Bekker

Carel (pronounced Carl not Carol) Bekker, moved to the US 15 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, Linux 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!

Find Carel Bekker online at http://www.clickhost.com/

Carel Bekker on WordPress.org

Charly McCracken

Charly McCracken, founder of Ultimate Business Solutions, is an author, trainer and entrepreneur. Ultimate Business Solutions is a web design provider.Charly received her Certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute, Certification in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Atlanta, and Certification in Web Development from Clayton State University.

Find Charly McCracken online at http://ultimatebizsolutions.com

Charly McCracken on WordPress.org

Cliff Seal

Cliff is a UX Designer at Pardot, a salesforce.com Company, where he’s also the resident WordPress developer, co-leading team efforts like a complete Pardot.com refresh and a UI overhaul. Cliff has been developing in WordPress for 5+ years as Logos Creative, and also co-founded MusicGrid.me. He’s spoken around the world, covering topics such as content strategy, UX process, and WordPress.

He lives in Atlanta with his wife April, and enjoys nerding out over music and cycling through the city.

Find Cliff Seal online at http://cliffseal

Cliff Seal on WordPress.org

Cory Miller

Cory Miller is founder and CEO of iThemes.com, established in 2008 to provide premium plugins, themes and training for WordPress. A former newspaper journalist turned full-time web entrepreneur, Cory started iThemes in his home and now employs over 20 people, with headquarters in Oklahoma City, serving thousands of customers around the globe. In 2013, iThemes was named the 19th fastest growing company in OKC by the Metro 50 under Cory’s leadership.

Find Cory Miller online at http://ithemes.com

Cory Miller on WordPress.org

David Laietta

I’m a WordPress theme and plugin developer, as well as community organizer. I lead the WordPress Orlando Meetup, as well as WordCamp Orlando.

Find David Laietta online at http://davidlaietta.com

David Laietta on WordPress.org

Desiree Scales

Desiree founded Bella Web Design in 1998 following a successful career as a flight attendant for United Air Lines and an analyst for Delta Airlines. Bella Web Design’s success is a direct result of Desiree’s expertise and experience, which has evolved into a passion to educate both businesses and organizations on how to use Internet technology to spur success. She has been a featured online marketing and web design expert for USAToday.com, CBS News in Atlanta, 11Alive, NBC Nightly News. She also is a host on the weekly High Velocity Radio Show on Business Radio X, and is an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant (ICC).

Outside of Bella Web Design, Desiree enjoys shopping with her girls, singing (she used to be an opera singer!), knitting, crochet, watercolor painting, running and traveling the world.

Find Desiree Scales online at bellawebdesign.com

Erick Arbé

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

Find Erick Arbé online at http://erickar.be

Erick Arbé on WordPress.org

Evan Mullins

I’ve been using WordPress since late 2005, that’s WP 2.0! First I knew WordPress as a blogger, then as designer, then front-end coder and since as a theme and plug-in developer. I’m the Interactive Director at Brand Fever, an Atlanta-based brand & marketing agency, where I get a kick out of developing sites in WordPress every day! I see WordPress as a flexible, user-friendly option that is nearly always the best tool for the job. I most enjoy playing with custom fields and custom post types to create simple CMS solutions to complex problems and making them responsive & interactive. When not programming, I’m likely busy as a soccer coach, boy scout leader or playing with my family: My awesome wife & our 3 boys (daughter on the way) and our lab-hound mutt. I like pizza and chocolate.

Find Evan Mullins online at circlecube.com

Evan Mullins on WordPress.org

Evan Volgas

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

Find Evan Volgas online at http://evanvolgas.com

Evan Volgas on WordPress.org

Jake Aull

Jake Aull has been in the internet marketing business since such a label existed.

Drawing from his BFA in graphic design from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1994, Jake began doing web design and branding in the late ’90s as a partner in his own creative agency. While transitioning deeper into online marketing strategies, research and search engine optimization, Jake completed an M.S. in Marketing from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business in 2009. There he customized his degree program and executed an independent capstone thesis project on social media marketing. In late 2010 GSU RCB asked him to write and teach its first course on Social Media Marketing, which he continues today, bringing in real-world companies and projects for students.

He is writing a complete market book, WordPress SEO Success, for Pearson-Prentice Hall, currently available on Amazon and BN.com for pre-order. He was an editor for the publisher’s first Social Media Marketing text book, and was the author for its accompanying instructor’s manual. He has been published in interviews from sources such as the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Oz Magazine, GSU’s The Signal newspaper, renown bloggers and Atlanta Business Radio X. He has a published article in GSU’s State of Business Magazine.

Jake Aull was a co-founder and chair for the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association Social Media SIG, speaking and bringing in prominent experts for Atlanta business community seminars. Jake was similarly a co-founder and instructor for The Change Challenge, an educational experience for non-profits to learn digital marketing. He has spoken in many additional associations and venues on social media marketing and search engine optimization. He is president of SCAD Alumni in Atlanta and is principal of Zen Fires Digital Marketing, providing digital marketing services to a variety of eCommerce and other clients.

Find Jake Aull online at zenfires.com

name on WordPress.org

James Laws

@jameslaws is the co-creator of Ninja Forms and co-owner of WP Ninjas, LLC. He lives in Cleveland, TN and spends most of his time creating WordPress plugins and brainstorming new ideas. While he started out as a web designer, and still does some design work on occasion, his real passion is solving problems in new and creative ways using WordPress and plugins.

When he is not working on the project currently on his screen, you can find him either running or enjoying a great cup of coffee.

Find James Laws online at http://ninjaforms.com

James Laws on WordPress.org

Jason Swenk

Jason is a digital-preneur and author with 12+ years running a successful digital agency until he sold it in 2011. He helps businesses establish strategies to get them to the next level, by sharing what works and what doesn’t, so you know exactly how to build a successful business.

Find Jason Swenk online at http://www.jasonswenk.com

Jason Swenk on WordPress.org

Jenny Munn

Jenny Munn is an SEO consultant who specializes in helping non-techies, business owners and marketers understand what search engine optimization is truly about: generating more website leads. Jenny has taught SEO workshops at WordCamp Atlanta, Digital Atlanta, Solo PR Summit, and various blogging and social media events around town. Learn more at jennymunn.com.

Find Jenny Munn online at http://jennymunn.com/

Jenny Munn on WordPress.org

Joellyn ‘Joey’ Sargent

Joey Sargent creates powerful momentum for business growth. As president of the Claravon Consulting Group, she aligns strategy, marketing and customer experience, generating breakthrough results in performance, revenue and profitability. Joey is a keynote speaker and author of several ebooks on branding and customer engagement. She has been quoted by Fox Business, CMO.com, Investors.com, MktgProfs and Social Media Today. Joey is the creator of HowBizGrows.com, and she blogs at JoeySargent.com.

Find Joellyn ‘Joey’ Sargent online at http://www.claravon.com

Joellyn ‘Joey’ Sargent on WordPress.org

John Saddington

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

Find John Saddington online at http://john.do

John Saddington on WordPress.org

Josh Mallard

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

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

Find Josh Mallard online at http://joshmallard.com

Josh Mallard on WordPress.org

Judi Knight

In addition to working with clients at New Tricks, Judi is the organizer of the Atlanta WordPress Users Group with over 900 members, is a frequent national speaker and blogger and publishes Just a Digital Minute, a popular weekly newsletter with easy social media tips.  Judi’s motto at New Tricks, is  “It’s Never too Late” …to start a new business, to have a great website, or learn to use new technologies to grow your business.

Find Judi Knight online at http://newtricks.me.com

Judi Knight on WordPress.org

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Konstantin Obenland

Konstantin is a WordPress developer, and core contributor since WordPress 3.4. After contributing to Twenty Twelve, he was the backup lead and theme developer for Twenty Thirteen and Twenty Fourteen, the most recent default themes. Today he’s working on improving the theme selection experience on WordPress.com. He enjoys craft beers and good food — sometimes so much that blogs about it.

Find Konstantin Obenland online at http://konstantin.obenland.it

Konstantin Obenland on WordPress.org

Lisa Richardson

Dr. Lisa Richardson is the lead digital strategist at Flow! Web Strategy & Design in East Point, GA. Her specialty is exceptional user experience and facilitating profitable conversations for Main Street businesses. A self-taught web designer and developer with 20 years of experience in online community development and consumer behavior, Dr. Richardson offers small business online marketing strategy, design resources, WordPress tips, and tech Q&A with a side of style at YouCanFlow.com.

Find Lisa Richardson online at http://youcanflow.com

Lisa Richardson on WordPress.org

Marna Friedman

Marna Friedman, MA is a Business Strategist providing businesses with coaching, WordPress website development, training, event planning strategy, publishing and more. She focuses primarily on real estate, restaurants, events and small-mid sized business. She is also the author of seven books offering tips, resources and products to help businesses. As a result of her book research, Marna also recently became a licensed real estate agent.

Find Marna online at http://mwfmedia.com

Melanie. G. Adcock

Melanie G. Adcock has been a full-time freelance Web Designer and Consultant for over four years. Her past careers included Art Teacher, Computer Applications Instructor, Director of Information Technology, and Apple At Home Expert.

She began using WordPress three years ago and specializes building websites using the Genesis Framework.

Melanie lives in Newnan, Georgia with her husband, Jay, a freelance Graphic Artist.

Find Melanie. G. Adcock online at http://mgacreativedesigns.com

Melanie. G. Adcock on WordPress.org

Micah Wood

Hi, I’m Micah Wood. I’m a WordPress ninja. Literally. I have 20 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, I quickly worked my way up the ranks to become the professional WordPress developer I am today. When I’m not working, I am usually spending time with my wife Megan, two beautiful daughters Adyson and Chloe, and my twin boys Judah and Nathaniel.

Find Micah Wood online at http://micahwood.me

Micah Wood on WordPress.org

Michael Cain

Michael is a Portland, Maine-based Theme Wrangler for Automattic‘s Theme Team. He spends his days creating, converting, and improving the theme experience on both WordPress.com and WordPress.org, his evenings blogging about food and travel on mapandmenu.com, and his nights dreaming about how to make tomorrow’s WordPress blogs and sites even better.

Find Michael Cain online at http://mapandmenu.com

Michael Cain on WordPress.org

Michael Earley

Michael Earley, a favorite speaker at Local Meetups and WordCamp Atlanta is a co-founder of ATL Squared, a web design and development shop based out of Atlanta. A former audio engineer, Michael discovered WordPress a few years back and got his start working for New Tricks Web Design.

Find Michael online at http://atlsquared.com/

Michael Earley on WordPress.org

Mike Schinkel

Mike is a Georgia Tech grad from Atlanta and is a WordPress platform architect whose guilty pleasure is building libraries for WordPress. He leads a small team of WordPress specialists at NewClarity LLC helping clients architect and build highly complex WordPress solutions. Mike was also a founding moderator at StackExchange’s WordPress Answers and is launching “Exo”, an open-source MVC library for WordPress that “Doesn’t change WordPress, it just makes it stronger.”

Find Mike Schinkel online at http://newclarity.net

Mike Schinkel on WordPress.org

Naomi C. Bush

Since 2005, Naomi’s been involved with WordPress as a professional site developer, college educator, plugin developer, and now builds products to help you accept payments on your WordPress site using modern payment processors like Stripe, in addition to working at Stripe for the past year.
She contributes back to the WordPress project through the core code, the codex documentation, free plugins, organizing the WordPress Gwinnett developer meetup, and speaking at WordCamps.

Find Naomi C. Bush online at http://naomicbush.com

Naomi C. Bush on WordPress.org

Renee Dobbs

Renee Dobbs is a self-proclaimed Domestic Goddess who loves to eat, drink, and dig in the dirt. She lives in the Metro Atlanta area with her husband and three very spoiled whippets. Renee started blogging to share and connect with the world. She loves both cooking and baking and is equally happy chopping vegetables as whipping frosting. Renee truly enjoys being in the kitchen and sharing her cooking adventures with a WordPress blog.

Find Renee Dobbs online at http://magnoliadays.com/

Renee Dobbs on WordPress.org

Rosemary Jean-Louis

Rosemary Jean-Louis writes the popular Desperate for Downton blog for Georgia Public Broadcasting: gpb.org/desperate-for-downton. She keeps readers up to date with the latest “Downton Abbey” news, gossip, anecdotes and plots. She also hosts GPB’s online live chats where viewers can talk to her and each other during broadcasts of the show. She is a Content Curator/Editor for GPB’s New Media and Education department, contributing to its Your GPB iPad magazine and blogs about pets and education. In another life, she produced entertainment news for HLN.

Find Rosemary Jean-Louis online at gpb.org/desperate-for-downton

Rosemary Jean-Louis on WordPress.org

Russell Fair

I’m a WordPress plugin and theme Developer. I also teach kids about technology and currently work for The University of Missouri.

Find Russell Fair online at http://q21.co

Russell Fair on WordPress.org

Sam Hotchkiss

Sam Hotchkiss has been developing with WordPress since 2005, and heads up Hotchkiss Consulting Group, a small team of WordPress ninjas based out of Bath, Maine. HCG currently manages over 3,000 WordPress sites on two multisite installs. Sam is also the founder of BruteProtect, a plugin which protects WordPress sites against brute force attacks using a central database of malicious IPs. As of January, BruteProtect had blocked over 40m malicious login attempts across.

Find Sam Hotchkiss online at http://bruteprotect.com/

Sam Hotchkiss on WordPress.org

Sara Cannon

Sara Cannon has a passion for art, design, and typography. She is Partner and Creative Director at Range – A design and development agency specializing in WordPress. Based out of Birmingham, AL, Sara loves open source, her pets, and traveling. 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.”

Find Sara Cannon online at http://ran.ge

Sara Cannon on WordPress.org

Scott Williford

Scott is a serial entrepreneur, consultant, and family man. He has played a major role several successful organizations and helped countless others as an investor, consultant and executive. Scott has a passion to help businesses and professionals differentiate themselves in their marketplace.

His current project, vLink Solutions is positioned as “The Video Marketing Authority”. vLink CREATEs targeted, high-quality video content AND provides tools that help CURATE those digital assets to maximize views and the return on investment. In the past 24 months vLink has produced more than 2500 videos that average more than 400,000 views per month. As CEO and Founder of vLink Solutions, Scott is the visionary leader and spokesperson for the company.

Find Scott Williford online at vlinksolutions.com

Sean Malseed

Sean Malseed is a proven, experienced speaker in the SEO, SEM and digital marketing sphere. Since 2011, Sean has spoken at major industry events worldwide, including SES, SMX, Pubcon, OMCap, Search Marketing Day, Online Marketing Summit, and more. As the Director of Strategic Development at SEMrush, and a member of the SeoQuake Team, Sean can draw on his decade of experience in technology and search to give engaging, informative talks with an emphasis on actionable information.

Find Sean Malseed online at http://www.seanmalseed.com

Sean Malseed on WordPress.org

Steven Slack

Steven was introduced to WordPress in 2008 when he was handed a project that contained an install of WordPress version 2.2. Seeing WordPress’s potential as a CMS he began integrating clients websites into WordPress and encouraging them to use it to publish content. Fast forward to 2014 and he has since built a countless number of custom themes and plugins for business’s, organizations, and individuals.

Find Steven Slack online at http://s2webpress.com

Steven Slack on WordPress.org

Sue Collins

As editor of two start-up monthly lifestyle magazines in Atlanta, Sue works with writers who tell stories about good people doing good things in the community. Before moving to Atlanta four years ago, she was a reporter for two weekly suburban newspapers near Ann Arbor. She has lived on both coasts, in Hong Kong, the UK and USVI.

Find Sue Collins online at http://suegaycol.wordpress.com/

Sue Collins on WordPress.org

Suzette Franck

Suzette Franck is the WordPress Evangelist at (mt) Media Temple in Culver City, California, where she educates and advocates for WordPress and the WordPress Community. In 2013, she attended 80 WordPress meetups where she presented at 25 of them, spoke at 12 WordCamps in 8 different states and two countries, as well as presented online on Designing For WordPress at WordSesh #2 with Natalie MacLees. In January of 2014, she started her own weekly podcast which may be found at wpgirlieshow.com.

Find Suzette Franck online at http://suzettefranck.com

Suzette Franck on WordPress.org

Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner (the largest free WordPress resource site) and List25 an extremely popular entertainment site with over 725,000 subscribers and 90 Million video views. Syed’s work has been featured in NYTimes, HuffingtonPost, Yahoo Small Business, Wired, Mashable, and countless other well-reputed online magazines. Syed has worked with some of the largest brands in the industry including but not limited to WarnerBros, Webs, Mercer, and more.

Find Syed Balkhi online at http://wpbeginner.com

Syed Balkhi on WordPress.org

Tom Tortorici

Tom is a marketing writer and web designer who looks at every project through the eyes of the intended audience. He’s tried to stop, but the voices in his head won’t let him. With a background as an agency creative director, Tom has taught web marketing, graphic design and strategic advertising writing. He writes the OptimizedForHumans.com blog, where he valiantly attempts to prove that WordPress websites aren’t just about plugins and widgets.

Find Tom Tortorici online at http://tortoriciinc.com

Tom Tortorici on WordPress.org

Tony Perez

Tony is one of the Co-Founders and Chief Operating Officer at Sucuri Inc. A company specializing in the detection and remediation of malware and protection of websites. While not running the business, he enjoys educating the masses in the latest threats and trends pertaining to website security. When not engulfed in the daily operations of the business he can be found in the gym or on the mat training or competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).

Find Tony Perez online at sucuri.net

Travis Smith

By trade, training, and education, Travis is a learning and development professional. Simply, he does training in corporations, or as he says, “I put cookies on the bottom shelf for everyone.” In the WordPress world, Travis is a self-proclaimed “WordPress enthusiast.” He is a featured developer at WP Engine, a contributor to many popular plugins, a Genesis & WordPress core contributor, and a WordPress and Genesis blogger.

Find Travis Smith, WordPress Developer, at http://wpsmith.net

Travis Smith on WordPress.org

Wade Kwon

Birmingham, Ala., native Wade Kwon works as a communications consultant. The Poynter Institute selected Wade 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. He is conference director for the annual Y’all Connect blogging / social media conference.

Wade has used WordPress for 9 years.

Find Wade Kwon online at http://yallconnect.com

Wade Kwon on WordPress.org