All posts by Chris Reynolds

Speakers! Round 4!

Our last round (officially) of speaker announcements is here. Let’s take a moment to give all our speakers a round of applause.

Keep your eyes peeled next week for an announcement if you are interested in presenting something at WCSLC but you didn’t get your talk in on time or didn’t feel confident enough to submit a full 30 minute presentation.

Without further ado, here are your WordCamp SLC speakers!

Jo Murgel

Jo Murgel, known online as “jomurgel,” is a front-end developer and designer at WebDevStudios living in Boise, ID. He’s been working in the world of web design and development since 2007. In 2008, quite by accident, he discovered WordPress and has been smitten ever since.

When he’s not in front of a computer, he’s behind the lens of a camera and building furniture for his five fur babies.

Velda (supernovia)

Geeky single momma & friend of FOSS

Chris David Miles

Chris is a CX Writer and Researcher for Bluehost in Orem, Utah. He has done freelance web design and front-end development for over a decade. He discovered WordPress in 2011 and has used it to built sites for clients and non-profits ever since.

Gina Marie Zanutto

Gina Marie Zanutto is a young media professional with experience in journalism, marketing, publishing, and business. Her background is in mass communication, project management, qualitative research, and event planning. She is ambitious, organized and intelligent with a rich international history. Gina is originally from Chicago, IL. Her bachelor’s degree is from the Manship School at Louisiana State University, and her master’s degree is from the University of Tampere, Finland. She completed her thesis research at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto, Canada.

Previously employed by Microsoft, she is currently working and residing in Denver, CO as a marketing executive in the data center sector. She maintains more than 20 active WordPress sites and has built more than 50 while moonlighting as an independent contractor.

Ride the Lightning! Flash talks are coming to WCSLC

I’ve teased it for the last couple weeks but we’re officially announcing it today, WordCamp Salt Lake City will have lightning talks!

For those of you who don’t know what a lightning talk is, or need a refresher, lightning talks (or flash talks) are short presentations that are usually only a couple minutes long and typically cover one specific idea or topic. In a WordPress context, it might be this cool plugin you discovered (or wrote!) that you want to show off. Or it might be a story about that one time your site was hacked and how you dealt with it.

There are different flavors of lightning talks as well, including Ignite Talks, which are strictly defined as 5 minutes and 20 slides long, with the slides automatically advancing every 15 seconds.

What I like about lightning talks is that they can be very laid back and casual — much more so than a traditional presentation. They can use slides, or not, and can be used as an opportunity to demo something really quickly, like how NPM works and what it does. One pro-tip I learned about lightning talks is to put very little text on your slides — or none at all! You don’t have enough time to read it, and your audience will be trying to listen to you speak while reading the slide which means they’ll end up retaining less information.

How it works

Now that you know what lightning talks are, let’s talk about how they are going to work at WordCamp SLC.

  1. Lightning talks will be no more than 5 minutes long. They will be timed and you will get kicked off the stage if you go over.
  2. There will be no time for questions, so be sure to include your Twitter handle or email in your presentation so people can ask you questions later.
  3. There will be two rounds of 3 lightning talks with a 5 minute break between them for a total of 6 lightning talks.
  4. Talks can be on any subject but will be loosely grouped into “general WordPress stuff”, “WordPress development” and “business”.
  5. The submission deadline for lightning talks is August 13.
  6. All lightning talk speakers will receive the same benefits as other WordCamp speakers, namely free admission and an invitation to the speaker dinner on September 22nd.

If you didn’t get a chance to submit a talk, or your talk wasn’t accepted, here’s your chance to still take the stage and present your idea. It’s especially great for people who are new to public speaking and want to dip their toes in the water without having to prepare a full-length talk. We’ll especially be looking for lightning talks that are:

  • original or presented in a unique way
  • fit into one of the three general “categories” of general/userdevelopment, and business/entrepreneur
  • can easily be presented within the time limit
  • present a new idea, technology or trend that is emerging in your realm of expertise
  • by speakers who haven’t presented before at WordCamp Salt Lake City
  • by speakers who are part of an underrepresented or marginalized group (people of color, LGBTQ, refugees, Joomla! users, etc.)
  • fun!

Submit your lightning talk!


Still feeling nervous? Check out these resources for more information and some ideas about the format. And don’t worry! Lightning talks are fun and casual and low pressure (even if the time limit seems like a lot of pressure). If in doubt, submit your idea!

WordCamp SLC Speaker Announcements: Round 3!

Speaker submissions are now closed (although stay tuned for another announcement in the next couple weeks — there may yet be a chance for you to present a lightning talk if you didn’t get a chance to get a talk submitted and still want to speak) but we’re still running through our awesome speaker lineup. Make sure to grab your tickets — the wcslc2017-earlybird promo code is valid through the middle of August!

Tevya Washburn

In 2007, Tevya completed his BS in History. He paid for much of that degree doing freelance work. Much of that work was building websites. After college he tried a few “real jobs,” but people kept asking him to build websites. In frustration with the very manual “HTML and FTP” method of managing content and design, he went searching for a better solution. He found WordPress in 2008.

He’s been building websites almost exclusively on WordPress since that time. Soon after, he decided to make these side projects into a business. He and his small team at Fiddler Online have now handcrafted over 100 unique WordPress websites, and actively maintain and manage 60+ of them.

Tevya is the founder and lead organizer of the Boise WordPress Meetup and hopes to one day help take his home state of Idaho off the list of a few remaining states that have not yet hosted a WordCamp.

Chris Reynolds

Chris is a Senior Engineer at Human Made and has been working with WordPress for over 10 years. Before joining the team at Human Made, Chris has been a Developer Lead for WebDevStudios, an author of online training videos for Pluralsight, a developer, project manager and support technician at Event Espresso, a freelancer, a one-person WordPress theme shop, and a Specialty Team member at Whole Foods. Though vegan, he can still be snobby about cheese and chocolate. Chris maintains a number of open source plugins on GitHub and and has been involved in WordCamp Salt Lake City since 2011.

When not coding, he may be found chanting for Utah’s own Major League Soccer team, Real Salt Lake.

Susan C. Daniero

Founder and President of Materiell and NeatlyPressed. Materiell has designed and developed WordPress websites for enterprise, government, and education clients throughout the U.S. since 2011.

NeatlyPressed provides comprehensive WordPress site support services, code reviews and audits, and site migrations.

Susan loves coffee, deadlines, snow skiing, Park City, UT, her dog, friends, and family. (not necessarily in that order!)

Garth Mortensen

Garth is a software engineer at Sucuri. He’s passionate about information security and pizza.

Dhanushka Samarakoon

Dhanushka received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and started the career as a .net developer at Virtusa Corporation, developing business solutions for clients, such as Siemens Energy Automation and Xerox. At Kansas State University Libraries, he worked with platforms and frameworks such as Drupal, WordPress, Omeka, Solr, and CodeIgniter. Dhanushka was able to use WordPress to replace some legacy custom coded products at the library. In 2016 he moved to the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. As the Assistant Head of Software Development, he provides the leadership to the Software Development unit. His main responsibilities are developing and maintaining in-house software solutions, customization and adaptation of open source software, and administration of enterprise systems at the library.

Joelle Reeder

I am the owner and creative director of Moxie Design Studios, where I’ve worked to create fabulous online brands for best-selling authors, award-winning businesses, academic institutions and creative entrepreneurs since 2003. I specialize in creative consultation, online branding, and creating responsive WordPress websites from design to development and I especially love working with Genesis framework.

Once upon a time, I was an an award-winning blogger, and I am also co-author of the book, “The IT Girl’s Guide to Blogging with Moxie” (Wiley & Sons Publishing) and have spoken on panels at industry events such as SXSW Interactive and appeared in several publications, podcasts and radio programs, including Entrepreneur Magazine, BlogTalk Radio and The Derek & Romaine Show.

I’m a retrophile who sings jazz, and a brunch enthusiast on a quest for the perfect bottomless mimosa.

Natalie Osborne

Natalie owns a boutique web development company called, designing and developing solely on the WordPress platform (with exception of a handful of Shopify clients).

Natalie began her career in early 2000’s working tech support and product development at one of the largest virtual-shared hosting companies. She rode out the first boom-bust of the DotCom era working in front-end production for some big-named online companies that you’ve probably never heard of now: HotelNet, Invite Internet, and (now eToys). Most notably was her tenure at (Major League Baseball). After seven years of producing online campaigns for baseball clubs, she left the comfort of a pension, 401k and health insurance plan to start her own small web dev agency –

Natalie chose WordPress as her platform of choice for a variety of reasons and credits the success of her business to the WordPress community.

Speaker deadline approaching! Get your talks in!

Due to an amazing combination of excellent speaker submissions and invited guests, we’ve already got almost a full WordCamp SLC speaker roster! We’ve gotten so many great submissions, even with three full tracks, it’s hard to fit everyone in! We’re preparing to send out the final round of acceptances for the final 6 slots and will then get in touch with potential backup speakers. That means we’re going to have a schedule finalized long before the originally announced speaker submission date of August 13.

Now is your chance to get your submission in!

Don’t wait. If you are thinking about speaking at WordCamp SLC, submit your idea. We’re happy to work with you to brainstorm a topic, flesh out a description or otherwise help you make your voice heard. We are trying our best to have a diverse range of speakers and topics and yours could just be the one we need to fill in the gaps.

The deadline for speaker submissions is July 16. That gives you about a week and a half to get your talk in. Get cracking!

Hackerman using multiple computers to hack time. Animated gif from the movie Kung Fury.

WordCamp SLC 2017 Speaker Announcements: Round Two!

Continuing with our ongoing speaker announcements, we’re delighted to include the illustrious Lisa Sabin-Wilson as our keynote speaker. Lisa is well known in the WordPress community and is the author of the WordPress for Dummies series. She’s flying to Utah for the first time from her home in Wisconsin and we’re thrilled to welcome her!

There are still tickets available (and one or two speaker slots), so make sure to get yours with promo code wcslc2017-earlybird. And now, on with the announcements!

Keynote Speaker: Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Lisa Sabin-Wilson is co-owner and Chief Operating Officer at WebDevStudios, where our large team of web development experts provides custom web design and development solutions for clients like Viacom, Campbell Soup, Uber, Microsoft, Discovery Channel, Wharton University, University of Pennsylvania, Kaspersky Antivirus and more.

In this role, she provides the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure WebDevStudios has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to effectively grow the organization and to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency.

Prior to her role with WebDevStudios, Lisa operated her own freelance business for 10 years, starting in 2003, providing custom design and development services to her WordPress clients.

Lisa is a subject matter authority on WordPress and is the For Dummies™ brand franchise author on all things WordPress due to her extensive experience and knowledge on the platform and shares it as the author of several WordPress-related books, including the best-selling WordPress For Dummies.

Lisa is a regular public speaker at national events on topics such as: WordPress, Development, Design, CSS and Social Media. You can find her on Twitter @LisaSabinWilson.

Clarence Bowman

Clarence Bowman is the owner of Bowman Design Works, a graphic and web development company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been an artist, coder and full-stack developer for more than 20 years. Specializing in both front-end, UI/UX design, as well as back-end PHP and mysql development, he has strived to continually educate himself on emerging technologies and the current state of web security as pertains to websites.

Michael Sheen and Angie Fenimore

Michael Sheen and Angie Fenimore are a husband and wife powerhouse team. They co-host the Calliope Writing Coach podcast and lead conferences for writers of every genre.

Angie Fenimore is the International Bestselling Author of BEYOND THE DARKNESS, a highly effective coach, and the facilitator of Calliope Writing Courses. She has landed six-figure book deals with the Big-6 publishers and signed with the industry’s top literary agents. She has spearheaded legislative reform, programmed film festivals, spoken to thousands, and supports writers of every genre to achieve success.

Michael Sheen with Dandelion Platform Design has over 15 years of experience in marketing and branding, and web and graphic design. Michael has worked with NYTimes Bestselling Authors, world-renowned artists and coaches, and worldwide companies to establish and expand their unique online presence. Michael was the Technical Director for the emPOWR Film Festival for the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Joseph Stevenson

Joseph Stevenson is a public speaker, author and SEO Consultant. He has over 17 years of experience in digital marketing and is currently the CEO of Joseph Stevenson SEO Consulting.

Mike Selander

Mike is a WordPress Engineer at Human Made hailing from Coeur d’Alene, ID and has been building custom websites for more than 6 years. Building everything from full sites to immersive publishing experiences, he has worked with several of the largest publishing sites on WordPress from USA Today to News UK.

Obsessive over QA, testing and code standards, Mike is also quite passionate about publishing, front-end performance, photography, and the great outdoors.

Tyrel Kelsey

Tyrel Kelsey is a Web Engineer at 10up, Organizer of UtahWP, and a Utah Open Source core team member.

WordCamp speaker Scott Deluzio mentioned in Post Status footnotes

Just noticed this today as I looked at my (several days old) latest Post Status email:

Accountant Scott Deluzio has developed WP1099a plugin that automates filing 1099-MISC forms for site owners who are running affiliate programs or an online marketplace. This niche plugin came into being after conversations Scott had with Pippin Williamson, Cory Miller, and Andrew Norcross.

The Post Status newsletter is an exclusive email for Post Status members by Brian Krogsgard and is always an excellent source of WordPress news (in addition to Post Status itself), so it’s always fun to see yourself, or people you know, featured in his features and footnotes. Congrats Scott and come hear him talk at WordCamp Salt Lake City about, what else, “Taxes for Techies“!

Announcing our first round of WordCamp SLC Speakers!

I’m so excited to be announcing our speaker lineup for WordCamp SLC 2017. We’re putting together an amazing mix of locals you may know from the Utah WordPress meetups around the valley,  some amazing individuals that I’ve personally worked with over the years (including some names you might recognize) and some newcomers to WordCamp SLC. We’re still accepting speaker applications for the time being, so if you’d like to throw your hat in the ring, please submit your talk, but time is running out and slots are filling up!

Buckle your seatbelts and grab your tickets (using the wcslc2017-earlybird promo code, natch) for these amazing WordPressers!

Andy Johnson

Andy is a Java developer at Domo, where he enjoys wrangling APIs all day. In his free time, Andy enjoys hacking together pointless IoT electronics & Robotics projects from scratch components and boards. 🤖 He enjoys spending time with his wife and 4 kids, and like all good Americans, celebrates Labrador Day weekend in September with his yellow lab, Rowdy. 🐶

For those of you who are WordCamp SLC regulars, you might recognize Andy as being “that guy with the cool sketch notes”. Example:

We’re thrilled to see him take the center stage this year! 😄

Theresa Smith

Theresa has more than 13 years of communications, design and development experience and loves to make her clients’ visions come to life.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies and a certificate in graphic and web design from Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts. She works in the Adobe Creative Suite, WordPress, and Drupal and enjoys helping organizations and businesses find the best solutions for their technical and communication needs.

She owns a CrossFit gym and primarily specializes in creating fitness-related websites. Because of her experience as a gym owner and her technical and design background, she has found a new specialty in helping other gym owners put their best foot forward in their online presence.

Scott DeLuzio

Scott DeLuzio is a WordPress plugin developer from the Phoenix, AZ area. He began working with websites while in college in the early 2000s while studying to be an accountant. After graduating college, Scott worked in accounting for several years while continuing to build websites in WordPress. Scott has since made development his full-time job and has released a new service, WP1099, which makes it easy for U.S. based businesses who run multi-vendor marketplaces, affiliate programs, or hire freelancers to issue 1099s to their vendors.

Carrie Forde

Carrie spent the first eight years of her career wrangling sales data in the tech industry. While on work assignment in the UK, she attended a blogging workshop where she was introduced to WordPress. After spending several weekends learning about WordPress child themes, Carrie set up her first WordPress site, California Love Letters, and realized WordPress and front-end development is where her true passion lies.

After moving back to California, Carrie had an opportunity to pursue her passion, and enrolled in the Graphic & Interactive Design program at Foothill College where she learned about the graphic design process, and how to properly write HTML and CSS. Before graduating from her program, Carrie created her first theme from scratch on the Genesis framework, and realized that developing on WordPress is what she wanted to do for a living.

When she’s not doing front-end development, you can find Carrie at home cuddling with her four cats K2, Whitney, Minnie, and Paul; enjoying a latte or cold brew at a nearby coffee shop; or exploring the greater San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Darren.

John Hawkins

John Hawkins caught the blogging bug early on. He used several platforms, including hand-coded HTML, to publish posts before installing WordPress for the first time in the summer of 2003. He’s been hooked ever since. In 2009, after growing tired of his corporate job, John turned his love for WordPress into a full-time gig as the founder of a WordPress development shop. He’s currently the Business Development Manager at WebDevStudios.

John is a huge fan of the community aspect of WordPress and loves to give back in whatever ways he can. He founded the Las Vegas WordPress meetup group and was its lead organizer for 4+ years. He’s also a frequent presenter at the meetup and at WordCamp conferences around the country.

John lives just outside of Las Vegas with his wife and two grown children. When he’s not working, John enjoys doing CrossFit and is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer. If you meet him at a conference, there’s a good chance he’ll challenge you to do some burpees with him.

John is returning to WordCamp Salt Lake City after a five year absence and we’re thrilled to have him back!

Here’s how to help shape the speaker lineup at WordCamp SLC

Hey! Do you know someone that would make an awesome speaker but maybe needs a little nudge or doesn’t know about our humble little camp? Or maybe there’s something you’d like to learn about at WordCamp SLC. Here’s your chance to let us know your thoughts!

We’ve set up a page with a form that allows you to nominate a speaker or suggest a topic for WordCamp SLC. If you’d like to do both at the same time, you can! If you think a particular speaker would be an excellent choice for a specific topic, let us know! You don’t have to tell them in advance (although it’s nice if you did) but it helps if you’re nominating a speaker if you give us some contact info so we can try to reach out to them.

Head over here to recommend a speaker or a topic!

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