Andrea Napierkowski loves a good story; plot twists, surprise endings and all. The process of telling a good story is difficult at first; turning random information into a compelling read. But that’s her favorite part. She loves learning about different business cultures and technical systems. She loves learning how a company differs from its competition and how she can highlight why a client should choose them. After she figures out what story your company is telling, she can then create an amazing website to go with it.
Bob Orchard is the founder of Tinypint, a web agency based in Grand Rapids and a designer/developer for 8 years. When he’s not pushing pixels or pulling code, he’s out and about cycling or enjoying a beer downtown. He’s also a Maker at GR Makers, where they meet up once a week to create cool things.
Cameron (@camworld) has been blogging since you were in grade school (well, some of you). He pioneered the blog format in the late 1990s and remembers an eager, bright-eyed young man named Ma.tt being excited to meet one of the “founding fathers of blogging” in 2003. He’s since designed and built web sites for presidential candidates, the U.S. Army, the World Economic Forum, Teach for America and is now leading the migration of 70+ web sites from a terrifically-bad, proprietary SaaS to WordPress for New Jersey’s largest public school district. He hails from Northern Michigan and currently lives in Northern NJ with his family.
Chad Warner runs OptimWise, a web design company in Holland, Michigan. He’s into small business, WordPress, hiking, reading, and Tolkien.
Chad’s a co-organizer of the WordPress Grand Rapids meetup group and WordCamp Grand Rapids.
Chris currently resides in San Tan Valley, Arizona with his wife and son, and hails from Wyoming, MI.
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress for 9 years. His daily blog (chrislema.com) covers the WordPress ecosystem from a business perspective.
His day job is as the VP of Engineering for Emphasys Software. But it’s his coaching and consulting that brings him into the community – helping theme and plugin companies with product development and strategy.
Dan Kaufman is a successful, serial entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant to many small businesses from startups to $10 million+ in size. Unlike many marketing consultants and “experts,” Dan has owned and operated several businesses and has worked “in the trenches” across several different industries. Using this experience, Dan brings a unique “grass roots” approach to small businesses that maximizes revenue and profitability very quickly through a combination of both offline and online marketing media.
Dan lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Carol, 2 daughters, Grace and Caitlyn, and little Yorkie, Max.
Gloria Antonelli fits the current definition of a UX Unicorn – a web designer/developer with UX chops. Gloria attended her first UX workshop “Elements of User Experience” in 2004. Now an advocate of Lean UX, Gloria infuses her skills in rapid prototyping, front end development, user testing, and ideation within the WordPress design process. Her expertise also spans CSS, IA, Content and Documentation Strategies.
Gloria started presenting about the web in 1998 at local and national conferences and workshops. She began working with WordPress in 2006 and has been delighted to share her knowledge at WordCamps in Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Milwaukee. Happiness for Gloria besides researching UX trends, Mobile and App development is scuba diving in exotic locations.
Ian started off his career by swearing off web design entirely. This lasted through most of college, at which point he realized that print design is not a super viable career path any more and succumbed once more to the toxic allure of the World Wide Web™.
Since then his voracious appetite for learning has led him through design, development, writing for a fashion blog, and culminated in running his own design and dev agency – build/create.
WordPress just so happens to combine all of that goodness into a beautiful, user-friendly package, and thus, here we are.
Jared has been working in technology since 2004. He started off doing PC repair and grew into doing network implementations and server support. Working at a company that took on the QR code boom hard and having customers that needed simple landing page websites, he started learning HTML to help the customers’ needs. He grew up in a small town in Illinois and now recently moved to Grand Rapids.
Jim Luke isn’t a developer, but he is a WordPress addict. He’s been teaching economics at Lansing Community College for the last 13 years, including a lot of online teaching. His enthusiasm for innovation in college teaching and WordPress has led him to found a non-profit organization, Malartu Inc, to help all college faculty create their own WordPress sites and gain their online voice.
Before getting into teaching, he spent 25 years in corporate strategic planning consulting with a specialty in emerging technologies.
Kyle Maurer is the lead developer and co-owner of Real Big Marketing which is a full service marketing firm based in Jackson, Michigan.
He is passionate about web development, WordPress as a development platform and creating new plugins. He’s released 8 free plugins on wordpress.org so far and is just barely getting started. In addition, he appears weekly on a WordPress focused live hangout at wproundtable.com.
He’s also in a band. What more do you need to know?
Michelle Schulp is an independent graphic designer based in Chicagoland (and soon to be relocating to Minneapolis). She was on the WordCamp Chicago organizing committee in 2012 and 2013, and lead organizer in 2014. She was formally schooled in many aspects of design including print, branding, packaging, etc., as well as Psychology and Sociology, all tying together in a love of How To Solve Problems. She is a lover of WordCamps and the WordPress community. You may have seen her work on the WordPress Template Hierarchy or her Git-Themed poetry. 😉
Nate Reist is a partner and lead developer at Mindutopia in Grand Rapids MI. Mindutopia is primarily a WordPress development shop. He studied computer science and digital media arts and technologies at Michigan State University. He’s got a passion for problem-solving, and WordPress has been a great part of solving problems for him.
Nicole is a software developer at Alley Interactive, a leading WordPress VIP service partner. By day, she develops WordPress sites for Alley Interactive’s high profile media clients, such as Fortune and The New York Post, and has contributed to Chalkbeat, a network of nonprofit educational news sites. She also contributes to WordPress as part of the Documentation Team, and has spoken at WordCamps and Detroit area meetups. By night, she can usually be found at her home in Michigan watching crime dramas, knitting for charity or reading poolside.
Peter DeHaan produces magazines, newsletters, and informational websites. A published author and prolific blogger, owner of a dozen WordPress sites and author of 1,500 posts, Peter will share how to write effective website copy and produce posts that engage readers. Learn more at peterdehaanpublishing.com and authorpeterdehaan.com.
Peter Shackelford is the Web Architect for Spring Arbor University. When not working with WordPress, he is taking care of his cattle, chickens and garden on his “homestead” with his wife and daughter. He also heads up the Jackson WordPress meetup with Kyle Maurer.
Rebecca is founder and president of Web Savvy Marketing. She has as a well-rounded business background and over fifteen years of experience in sales and online marketing. Her love for WordPress website design and her strong belief in the user experience is equally matched by her fascination with search engine optimization, blogging, and marketing though social media. Rebecca provides one-on-one coaching, is a WordCamp organizer, and speaks at various WordCamps throughout the country. Connect with Rebecca at LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.
Steve Grunwell is a full-stack developer at Buckeye Interactive, an interactive media agency in New Albany, OH. Specializing in WordPress and application development he has worked with brands and organizations including Experience Columbus, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, Elmer’s, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
Steve has released several plugins in the WordPress.org repositories, including one from the grounds of The White House during the first annual National Day of Civic Hacking in 2013. When he’s not writing software he enjoys hiking, music, and writing about writing software on his blog.
Steve holds a B.A. in Telecommunications from Bowling Green State University where he graduated Cum Laude with minors in General Business and Recording Technologies.
More information, including portfolio work and his development blog, can be found at stevegrunwell.com.
Taylor Vanden Hoek
Taylor Vanden Hoek is a West Michigan native with a passion for design in any form. Her Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Illinois Institute of Art prepped her well for her career as a print and web designer. Having been doing design for 8+ years, she’s had the opportunity to work with creative agencies and now work independently with a variety of clients.
She has a particular interest in the intersection of design and the entrepreneurial spirit which has led her to work with many tech startups in helping to bring their product or service to launch from initial investment to sustaining a large client base. Additionally, she’s extended this skill-set to work with organizations one-on-one and through AIGA West Michigan’s Weekend Blitz, using design to leverage a larger impact in her community.
While Tim Yow actually owns 3 businesses, including a coffee / ice cream shop in Metro Detroit, he still manages to dedicate nearly all of his available hours to YowSeo, an online marketing firm he started in early 2012. YowSeo was created with the intention of staying specialized, building on Tim’s many years of experience in the field of SEO, and avoiding the temptation of becoming a “one stop web shop” like most companies offering SEO today.
Husband, Father, Christian, Coder. He lives in a small house in a quiet neighborhood in a smallish city where it still smells sweet after the rain.
He grew up in the woods, tried to be a pilot, and got sucked into the internet. Been working there ever since.