We are so lucky to have an incredible group of speakers for our first ever WordCamp Connecticut.  They are amazingly talented and are preparing talks you won’t want to miss.

Akilah Thompkins

Akilah Thompkins-Robinson, PMP is a designer and Web Strategy Coach, who works with e-commerce and on-line businesses to design, develop, and dominate the web! Akilah is the owner of AKZMe Designs and Marketing where she provides designs, development, consulting, and training services; and Online Boutique Source a niche site dedicated to sharing information to help get started with an eCommerce business.

Akilah is also the author of the ebook “The Website Content Workbook: The guide to what should be inside your website””.

Presentation: Integrating Social Media with WordPress

Alex Miranda

Alex Miranda is a seasoned WordPress SEO and Digital Marketing guru at Marknet Group Inc.  Alex has been optimizing websites and getting them to rank on top of Google since 1998.

He is a highly sought after WordPress SEO trainer and has spoken at universities, WordCamps, conferences and corporate workshops. His “Google Loves WordPress” presentation was voted at WordCamp NYC 2012 as ‘Top 10’ by WPMU.org.
A former executive chef, he enjoys dabbling in the kitchen during his spare time and is a master at dancing on rollerskating.

Alex will be presenting  ”Case Study: Optimizing Your WordPress Website To Rank On The First Page of Google”.

Boone Gorges

Boone Gorges is an independent software developer and consultant, specializing in WordPress plugins. He is a Lead Developer for BuddyPress, and oversees development on such projects as Commons In A Box, Anthologize, and Participad. Boone is a former academic, and most of his clients are universities and other non-profit institutions. In his spare time, he is a competitive crossword solver, a jazz pianist, and an afficianado of pizza and barbecue. He lives in New York City with his wife and son, and blogs at Teleogistic.

Presentation: Across the Social Continuum -Three Surprising Sites Powered by Buddypress

Brian Casel

Brian Casel is a web designer and entrepreneur based in Norwalk, CT. He’s also the author of Design For Conversions, and blogs regularly at casjam.com. Connect with Brian on Twitter: @CasJam

Topic: How to Use Email to Grow Your Blog’s Audience

Christopher Carvache

Chris Carvache is a Connecticut web developer that has been working almost exclusively with WordPress and its adjacent technologies for the past 7 years. He is also the founder of New Leaf Web Solutions, a boutique web development firm that consults with small to medium start ups, builds eCommerce sites, and helps augment other design and development staffs with sub contracting work.

Presentation: Custom Post Types, Taxonomies and PODS

Clinton Warren

Clint Warren left a career in finance to become a personal trainer, only to get sidetracked by a career in web design.  When he stumbled upon WordPress he dove in headfirst, building a freelance business before forming Stacked Agency and Illuminate WP, a WordPress educational business.  He hosts 4 area Meetup groups and regularly presents on a range of topics.

Dianna Huff

I’ve been in business since 1998 and help companies and organizations create effective websites that tell their stories and get leads. Client list includes brand names such as AT&T, Waters Corporation, Constant Contact, SAE International, HubSpot, and Martin Marietta, and a whole host of small to mid-sized companies across the U.S.

In my off-time I enjoy hiking in the White Mountains, bike riding, and working out at the gym. I’m also a recently converted farm-to-table foodie and have rediscovered my passion for cooking and eating yummy food. 🙂

Presentation: Creating a Custom Freelancer Site Using WordPress

Doug Yuen

Doug Yuen is the founder of EfficientWP, a hosted WordPress platform with built-in optimization and maintenance. He’s a fan of the Genesis framework, flat design, and multisite. He’s originally from New Jersey, but he’s been location independent for the last 2 years. He’s been developing with WordPress for over 5 years and has authored two plugins.

Presentation: Optimizing WordPress Performance: PageSpeed and Load Times

Helen Hou-Sandi

Helen is the Director of Platform Experience at 10up and a permanent WordPress core committer.

Presentation: How I convinced my boss to let me work on WordPress full-time

Jake Goldman

Jake Goldman. Jake is the President of 10up, a full service digital agency that imagines, builds, and grows amazing websites with WordPress. At 10up, Jake serves brand name clients like TechCrunch, ESPN, Consumer Reports, NBC Universal, and Google. In less than 3 years, Jake built 10up from 1 to more than 50 full time employees.

Jake has been building websites since the mid 90’s, and has built web-based solutions for Fortune 500 companies, the U.S. Navy, major universities, and high profile non-profits. He has been quoted on publications like c|net, written for Smashing Magazine, taught at Boston University, and presented at conferences around the country. He is a core contributor to WordPress, maintains some highly rated WordPress plug-ins, and organizes the Sacramento WordPress Meetup. (more…)

Jesse Friedman

Jesse Friedman is a veteran WordPress developer. In 2012 he wrote the “Web Designers Guide to WordPress” http://wdgwp.com/onamazon. With years of a experience as a speaker and a Professor at Johnson & Wales University he delivers impactful and educational talks. Currently Jesse is the Director of Innovation at BruteProtect. Jesse co-organizes local WordPress meetups, and is very active in the community. He works closely with his students and others to share knowledge and bring forth a better future for web design and development. (more…)

Laura Hartwig

Laura Hartwig is a WordPress Developer for the MarkNet Group and has lived in the New York area for 15 years. She believes one of the most important things in her field is staying abreast of new technology and developments and is a little bit of a tech geek who likes to play with the latest gadgets and apps. She loves the WordPress community and strongly supports their “give back” philosophy. She is a co-organizer of her local WP Meetup group and loves teaching classes and training people how to use WordPress. She has a large number of tutorials available online at WPDecoder.com.

Presentation: Customizing Your Theme using Firebug & Basic CSS

Matthew Dorman

In late 2006 I built a custom blog platform powering a XML app for Spike TV, soon after I found WordPress and never built another custom CMS. With my experience building and managing large scale sites, I built out the WordPress development/deployment/theming platform hosting all the MTV.com blogs. Since starting at NorthPoint I’ve seen our Open Source Practice grow from 0 to over 35 Consultants. I now manage or oversee the development of WordPress implementations for clients such as Time Inc., Martha Stewart, Rodale, Hearst and Shaw Media.

Presentation: Designing (and Theming) for Performance

Meeky Hwang

Meeky Hwang is a member of NorthPoint Digital, which has been at the forefront of delivering some of the highest traffic content-managed sites. She has been involved in development of WordPress implementation for clients such as Forbes, Interactive Media, Sony Music, SAVVIS, Siegel+Gale, Time Inc., Hearst and Shaw Media, including multi-site, multilingual sites, VIP and platform creation. She has spoken at WordCamp NYC 2012 and WordCamp Boston 2012.

Presentation: WordPress VIP Best Practices

Mel Choyce

Mel Choyce is a Design Engineer at Automattic. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA, but grew up in Southwestern CT. She loves big type, cold-brewed coffee, and printmaking.

Presentation: Creating a Great Portfolio Website

Nate Berger

Nate Berger, Founder and CEO of KnockMedia, is an expert in the design, development and marketing of online experiences. His work as CEO and Founder of KnockMedia has attracted world-class clients in the healthcare, IT, entertainment, consumer goods, insurance, auto and hotel industries. Nate stays highly involved in KnockMedias’ projects regardless of size and scope. His unique ability to balance creativity and tech is what has allowed him to guide KnockMedia through 10 years of continued growth.

Presentation: Best practices are born during fire drills

Sam Hotchkiss

Sam Hotchkiss is the Principal of Hotchkiss Consulting Group, a WordPress development firm based in Bath, Maine. He is also the Big Cheese at Parka, the company behind BruteProtect, a WordPress security plugin that has blocked over 60 million hacking attempts against over 60,000 sites. Sam’s background is in PHP development, and he has been developing sites with WordPress since 2004.

Sam travels with his wife, Becky (and, quite often, their two dogs, Barkley and Izzy) to WordCamps around the world. He presents on topics ranging from security to building web apps to building and managing large blog networks.

Presentation: WordPress Security

Steven Word

Steven Word is a senior web developer working at Oomph Inc’s office in Boston, MA. Originally from Arlington, Texas, Steven made the move to Boston in 2011 after seven years of freelance web development. At Oomph, he specializes in developing enterprise-level websites on the WordPress.com VIP hosting platform. When he’s not swearing at bugs or celebrating a successful product launch, Steven enjoys spicy food, Toyota sports cars, banging on the drums, and pretending to be a beer snob. Rumor has it that he also plays a mean game of foosball. Steven currently lives with his incredible and loving wife in Melrose, MA.

Presentation: Breaking Away from the Blog: Unconventional WordPress

Taylor Lovett

Taylor Lovett is a Senior Engineer at 10up.  Author of a plugin Safe Redirect Manager that is hosted on WP.com VIP. Core contributor. bbPress and WP-CLI contributor. A lover of learning, WordPress, and all things open source.

Presenation: Save Time with WP-CLI

Thomas Morel

Tom Morel is a 26-year Army Veteran that not only enjoys web development and programming, but he loves to teach others and share his knowledge. He recently became an Opa (Grandpa) and is a die-hard Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins fan. Tom and his son, Tom, co-founded and run omjCreative.com.

Presentation: Introduction to Plugin Development

Ulrike Gencarelle

Ulrike ‘Uli’ Gencarelle is a full-time professor for Graphic Design & Digital Media at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. She holds a terminal degree in Kommunikations-Design from the Hochschule Darmstadt, Germany, and a M.A. in Media Studies from Rhode Island College.

Uli has been teaching a variety of courses from Graphic Design Foundations to Web Design, Motion Graphics & Video, Interactive Media and Game Concepts to Senior Portfolio since 2006.

She is a member of AIGA, and DesignXRI, an advocacy group for design thinking in Rhode Island. Originally from Germany, she fell in love with Rhode Island in 2004.

Presentation: The Professional Design Process