Big Thanks To Our Acosta Sponsors

We wanted to take a moment to send out a big thanks to all of our Acosta sponsors. We would not have the opportunity of organizing this event without our generous and friendly sponsors. Please take a moment to check out our Acosta sponsors and be sure to thank them for helping with WordCamp Jacksonville.


easyname's logoeasyname is unique. We value our customers and are among the few remaining fair and easy going web hosting companies out there. You won’t catch us deceiving you with 1st year price deals or sneakily up-selling you products you don’t need during checkout. Perhaps this is the reason why we grew to be among the most popular domain registration services among professionals and developers. We also offer over 400 top level domains and competitive web hosting packages. Wherever you are, you can work with us! Please also visit our international websites: Austria, Slovakia, Turkey, UK, US, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany

Enjoy WordCamp Jacksonville 2016 and hope to see you all again next year!

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ManageWP LogoManageWP has been conceived back in 2010 by a team of WordPress developers as the ultimate WordPress productivity tool for professionals building and managing multiple WordPress websites. ManageWP is currently managing over a quarter of a million websites, helping you quickly and efficiently migrate websites, run backups, perform restores, monitor, maintain and optimize them, and a lot more.

The driving force behind this service is a dedicated team of 25 WordPress experts, contributors, WordCamp speakers, organizers – overall an annoyingly cheerful bunch of people.

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Introducing the Final Round of Speakers

We are thrilled to announce the final round of speakers for this year’s conference! Be sure to check out the first, second, third, and fourth rounds as well to learn about all of our amazing speakers.

Steve Burge

Steve Burge is from Portsmouth in southern England and now lives in Sarasota in the US.

Between leaving England and arriving in the US, there were a few stops in between, including Wales, Mexico, Japan and Australia. Steve paid for his travels by working as a teacher and a web designer.

Steve now combines teaching and web design by running which teaches people how to build websites. OSTraining clients include Apple, Pfizer and the U.S. Departments of Energy, Education and Commerce.

Steve has published three books and two more are on the way: Drupal 8 Explained and WordPress Explained

Russ Sanderlin

Marine Corps veteran, offering nearly 20 years of IT experience. Currently working as a Information Security Analyst responsible for web application penetration testing, network system penetration testing, security monitoring, network vulnerability assessments, reporting and coordinating vulnerability remediation. Responsible for analyzing latest security threats, tools, vulnerabilities, network attack schemes, documenting best practices and providing policy update recommendations.

Demian Seiler

Co-founder and lead code monkey at Presstronic Studios. Software engineer with over 18 years of experience in testing and creating applications. Rookie entrepreneur with almost no experience running a business. Just stubborn enough to believe you haven’t failed until you quit.

David Gewirtz

I have a bunch of pompous titles like Distinguished Lecturer (for CBS Interactive) and Cyberwarfare Advisor (for the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals), but my favorite description, by ZDNet, is this: “David is part mad scientist, part celebrity author, and part shadowy government adviser.” ‘Tis true.

Deep down, I’m a project guy and I enjoy coding.

I’ve been working with WordPress since 2009, having chosen WordPress to host the huge migration of the ZATZ magazines from its previous environment based on UserLand Frontier. I rebuilt the whole ZENPRESS CMS as a series of very large WordPress plugins.

Ever since then, I’ve wanted to do more with plugins that other people can use. Seamless Donations was my first adoption. So far I’ve adopted 10 plugins in need of attention and, time permitting, I also hope to build some fun and useful plugins from the ground up for the user community to use.

Karen Dimmick

Karen Dimmick is currently based in Sarasota FL. She has run her own businesses since 1995.
Her background for the last 10 years has been wrapped up in language, copywriting, NLP (neuro linguistic programming), hypnosis, archetypes, psychology, persuasion, design, levels of consciousness and everything to do with how people’s minds work and why they do things.

In 2011 Karen started working on a system for branding that takes into account all these disparate ideas in a way that hasn’t been done before. She founded Iconisense to get this system out into the world and help entrepreneurs create brands that will last and attract loyal followers.

Trey Praytor

Trey, a native Texan, traveled all across the southern US before settling down in sunny Sarasota, Florida with his beautiful wife and daughter. Along the way he’s become a bit of a generalist; connecting the dots in different fields to uncover new perspectives and insights. For the last 2 years, he’s worked with in support, account management, and strategy.
When he’s not in front of a laptop, you can find him building hardwood furniture in his garage.

Scott Mann

I’ve been managing teams of creatives and makers in non-meatspace with my company Highforge since 2001. I was an early adopter of WordPress for delivering powerful websites to small and medium businesses and we’re big fans of Genesis these days. Highforge is also one of the few small WordPress shops that has deep experience with the Shopify platform.

I enjoy speaking and storytelling, I’m a certified Google Adwords Partner, and I’m a social impact advocate in Orlando. I founded Highforge in 2001 as a boutique digital agency with the purpose of helping good people grow good businesses online. Since then our agency has helped hundreds of businesses reach millions of customers. Some of our clients include Adventist, Florida Hospital, Image Skincare, Dynafire, Global VRS, Rebuild Globally and Florida Abolitionist.

I’m a gamer and I play racquetball recklessly in my free time. I’m also an advocate for Be The Match, a non-profit organization that saves lives. Ask me about it.

Beau Moffatt

With over a decade of experience in business, content marketing, client management and applying all these things to the WordPress world, Beau believes strongly in connecting his client’s with their intended audiences through clear, compelling copy. As Web Strategist on the team at Open Sky Web Studio, he gets to interact daily with clients to strategize the most effective ways to tell their stories and put them in touch with their customers. Beau is a member of the WPChattanooga Meetup and loves the community and collaboration that WordPress fosters.

Highlighting our Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to have two excellent Keynote speakers at our very first WordCamp Jacksonville.

Accessibility: Empathy in action

Robert Jolly Robert Jolly is an accessibility-focused Project Manager with nearly 20 years in the industry. At the inaugural WordCamp US, his session helped kickstart a conversation about the importance of accessibility and we are happy have him continue that conversation on Saturday afternoon at WordCamp Jacksonville.

At this session we’ll learn not just what accessibility is, but why it matters to all of us. We’ll learn how to become empathetic with users unlike ourselves and how that new outlook can empower us to create more inclusive, accessible sites.

We’ll learn some key traits of both inaccessible and accessible sites. Robert will share tools to evaluate our own sites that will lead to greater accessibility and usability. And relevant to all of us, how improved accessibility can expand our the reach of our message.

Connection + Education + Inspiration Equals: My journey into community

Kathy DrewienKathy Drewien has been a vital part of the Atlanta WordPress community for many years and put that to good use as the Lead Organizer of WordCamp Atlanta this year. Kathy is passionate about the WordPress community and will be sharing with us about the amazing people that are the heartbeat of WordPress.

People like her friend Nicky who moved a year ago to a city where she knew no one. By happenstance, she wandered into a WordPress Meetup three weeks before WordCamp and volunteered to help attendees in the Beginner’s Workshop. This year she was the lead designer for the WordCamp Atlanta website.

People like Tricia who attended WordCamp in 2012 with the single goal to move her website from hosting on to self-hosted. Through active involvement in local Meetups Tricia’s confidence grew and an idea blossomed. Two months ago she launched the business of her dreams using WordPress.

And then there is Mickey, the co-owner of a small web design agency. He attended WordCamp in 2012, yet had no idea there was a Meetup three miles from his home. Today Mickey is a driving force in the growth of the Atlanta WordPress community.

Introducing Our Fourth Round of Speakers

WordCamp Jacksonville is excited to announce our fourth set of confirmed speakers for this year’s conference! Have you seen our first, second, and third rounds of speaker announcements?

Bill Gadless

President/Co-Founder of a 50-person agency called emagine (headquartered in Boston). 15+ years ago started as a very typical “2 guys in a garage” firm building small websites on a proprietary CMS. Today, we develop WordPress-powered websites for multi-billion dollar, multi-national companies in the areas of B2B, High-Tech, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Professional Services. We’ve built roughly 1,500 websites over the years (over 200 since adopting WordPress a couple years ago).

Wes Benwick

I’m the CEO of FileLogix, a cloud based software platform for Document and Records Management. Before becoming actively involved in PHP development, database design and hosting, I spent many years in the TV industry, behind the camera, producing, shooting, and editing videos. I am passionate about combining the world’s of software development and multimedia production.

Angelica Yarde

Angelica Yarde has been designing for over nine years of experience combining the world of digital aesthetics with strategic functionality to develop and implement successful branding techniques. She is the co-owner of Sevenality, a brand strategy firm she runs with her husband. She is also the editor of Studio 404 Design Blog, the designer of Studio 404 Paper, and the co-host of the Heat + Hustle Podcast. .

AJ Morris

I’m a Product Manager for Liquid Web, a fully managed hosting company. I work on various WordPress products and initiatives focusing on open-source, community, and spreading the love of WordPress. I have been involved with the WordPress community since 2006, working with theme and plugin companies in support and project management positions. In my spare time I love to travel and spend time with my lovely wife.

Rob Taylor

I’m the writer, photographer, editor, and subject matter of 2TravelDads – a travel blog about my husband and I taking our sons out into the world and experiencing it as an LGBT family, learning about culture, having great food, and playing in the sand. I come from a career in hospitality and HR, having worked with Disney, Starbucks, Princess Cruises and Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants.

Steve Dimmick

Steve Dimmick has been a WordPress developer since version 2. He started out building custom membership websites with WordPress and now works with clients on retainer and in long term relationships.

He has developed custom plugins costing over $20,000, built custom child themes and integrated many different systems together – all in the name of helping clients achieve their dreams.

Steve is married, loves traveling with his wife and lives near the beach on the gulf coast of Florida.

James Tryon

James Tryon is the Creative Director of Valet, the founder of Easily Amused, Inc, and a father of two. He’s also one of the co-organizers of WordCamp Orlando and the WordPress Orlando meetup group.

James has been in the creative industry for more than 18 years, and he has a meticulous eye for design and usability. He also possess the know-how to plan, design, and code it all if needed.

An avid collector of random awesomeness and thrift-store artifacts, he’s always finding something interesting to spark his creativity (and share with the team in Hipchat.) When he’s not working, he can be found building something, playing with toys, or hanging with friends and family.

Grab your tickets by April 6th!

picture of hourglassWordCamp T-shirts are all the rage, but it would be shame if you weren’t able to get one. Or if you couldn’t get the right size. Remember to register by April 6th to lock in your size.

Also, we will do everything we can to provide appropriate meals to all our attendees, but if you have any sort of dietary restriction, please register by April 6th to ensure we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Don’t wait! Register today!

It’s all about the shirt!

What would a WordCamp be without a shirt? Still awesome, but maybe a bit disappointing. But even with a shirt it can be disappointing to try it on and discover it doesn’t fit.

Well, I’m here to (hopefully) save you from an ill-fitting shirt.

We will be using BELLA+CANVAS triblend shirts. They have been featured at many WordCamps and are very popular. There will be both a men’s cut and a women’s cut shirt available.

T-shirt models - man and woman

Note: We have not actually chosen a final t-shirt color.

For the men’s cut we have the Unisex Triblend Short Sleeve Tee. You can see more detailed dimensions here. Please note that some men find the chest to be a little snug (although not nearly so tight as an American Apparel Track Shirt). If you prefer a more loose-fitting shirt, you might consider ordering the next size up.

For the women’s cut we have the Women’s Relaxed Jersey Short Sleeve V-Neck Tee. Again, you can check out more detailed dimensions here. Sadly, like most women’s shirt manufacturers, they expect the wearer to be a twig. So even though this shirt is “relaxed” you won’t find it to be baggy, although it shouldn’t be skin-hugging either. If you have a larger bust size or prefer a looser-style shirt, you may consider ordering the next size up.

If you have already registered and think you might need a different shirt size, you can edit your registration details by following the link in your confirmation email.

Introducing our Third Round of Speakers

WordCamp Jacksonville is excited to announce our third set of confirmed speakers for this year’s conference! Have you seen our first round and second round of speaker announcements?

Bruce Chamoff

Bruce Chamoff has been a web developer for 20 years and developer of WordPress plugins and themes for 9 years. After trying all of the major content management systems, Bruce found WordPress to be the most effective and fastest growing, so encouraging clients to use WordPress was an easy decision.

He has developed over 100 custom WP plugins and over 50 themes for Fortune 500 companies and has three successful Udemy courses on WordPress development.

In Bruce’s spare time, he performs with his band, records original music and spends time with his lovely daughter.

Mike Herchel

Mike Herchel is a front-end web developer at Lullabot, and is fortunate to be able to work on some of the highest-profile sites on the web. Mike has been developing for the web since 2001(!!!) and enjoys the rapid pace of front-end web development and wonders if it’ll ever settle down (and what that will mean).

Zach Wills

Zach is a Senior Developer at Reaktiv Studios, WordPress core contributor, and Netflix binge watcher. He’s passionate about front and back-end development and is always learning something new.

Kat Roedell

Growing up in the Silicon Valley, as the Silicon Valley was growing up, taught me much! I took my first data entry class at 14 in a summer program (yes, I was geeky enough to take summer school because it was fun), and I was hooked. I had a gift, I suppose, because soon I was setting up electronics equipment, running the IBM keycard machine, and programming ASCII graphics calendars. Shortly thereafter I was in my first programming class (yes on an Apple II), and I ate it up like candy. Eschewing the traditional route, I enrolled in college part time, and started working full time, temp work mostly, at places like DEC, NEC, and the Wollongong group – early groundbreakers in networks, communications, and all things digital, including the World Wide Web. I programmed my first website in HTML, by hand – no WYSIWYG here, and designed the graphics using paint – one pixel at a time. Things have changed since then, I’ve had two kids, been married twice, moved from the west coast to the east coast and then to DC, Florida, North and back south again. I’ve worked in the private sector, the public sector and now run my own business. The kids are grown, my passions are established – business, writing, design, gaming and helping others.

Chris Edwards

Chris is currently the Director of Technology at Effin Amazing, an analytics and growth consultancy. He is a 16-year Internet marketing veteran with experience in web design & development, search engine optimization, online marketing, social media marketing and mobile development. He specializes in WordPress custom development utilizing either Genesis Framework or underscores and is very active in the WordPress Orlando community. Chris has held development and Internet marketing positions in some of Orlando’s top technology companies.

Jean Perpillant

I’m a freelance WordPress web designer and photographer. I started a design company called Design Theory LLC. founded in 2008 where I manage over 52 client websites in various business fields from dentists to mechanics and in between.

I enjoy using WordPress as my platform to build great looking and comprehensive websites for my clients. Giving back to the community by sharing what I’ve learned through my local WordPress group and with colleagues is a great feeling.

Aaron Reimann

Aaron is a designer turned developer turned an agency starter. He has been working with WordPress since 2008. He has worked on WordPress projects with many Fortune 100 companies and many other businesses. He regularly speaks at Meetups and Wordcamps and currently helps lead the Atlanta WordPress Meetup.

Gary Kovar

In 1999 Gary discovered Server Side Includes and the web was never the same (for him anyway). An ardent DIY-er in nearly all things, he is deeply intimidated by cooking and if found on a desert island would likely remark “I’m so over sashimi”. In college his frequent network disruptions warranted a dorm-visit from the IT department.
Gary dipped his toe in the water by attending his first WordCamp in Tampa on a whim. Blown away by the diversity of people, opinions, and technical ideas he now has a bucket list of websites and techniques he’d like to bathe in.
His current side-project has him working with multiple writers that are way too involved with their content to realize he’s just making this up as he goes.
Proud father of 2 and happily married for 14 years he prefers the last line of his bio to read like an obituary.

Introducing the Second Round of Speakers

WordCamp Jacksonville is excited to announce our second set of confirmed speakers for this year’s conference! Have you seen our first round of speaker announcement?

Neill Feather

Neill Feather is the president of SiteLock, the leading provider of website security solutions for business and a sponsor of WordCamp Jacksonville 2016. With more than 20 years of experience, Neill leads the company’s approach to 360-degree domain security by providing industry analysis and utilizing rapidly evolving data sets related to security and hacking trends. A Pittsburgh native, Neill resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife and three kids (or four kids if you count SiteLock, as his wife often jokes). Neill enjoys spending time with his family, running and playing basketball. Neill holds B.S. degrees from Pennsylvania State University, and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Kenny Harper

Kenny Harper is a marketing industry standout and leader, inspired business owner and professional speaker on a mission to encourage others to bring their passions to life. Kenny has been a WordPress warrior since 2008. From building custom WordPress websites to modifying themes, Kenny has developed many solutions for his clients. As a business owner for over 11 years, Kenny has successfully led the digital development of two agencies, now directing the technical teams and systems development efforts of Rock My Image.

He has been widely recognized for his achievements as a leader in three professional associations. He is the current President of Jacksonville American Marketing Association, Vice President of Public Relations for Toast Masters and Founder of The JOMM (Jacksonville Online Marketing Meetup).

Kenny’s expertise in marketing and organizational development has culminated in a co-authored marketing book set to publish in early 2016, Amplify Your Business, A Rockstar Professional’s Guide to Marketing Success.

Kenny is a happily married husband to Kathy and the father of their two boys. He is honored to instill in them his passions for music, creativity, personal growth and living a fulfilled life.

Nicki Hicks

Born/bred in MD. Raised in ME. Transplant to FL. President of red vine web studio, web geek, cheer coach, puppy momma, fitness/nutrition enthusiast, eternal optimist.

Derek Hart

In 2003, while finishing up a journalism and communications degree, Derek signed on for an internship with a public relations company. He was given the task of designing ads for a company that sold novelty caskets and urns (true story!). From then on, Derek was hooked on design. After graduation, Derek took a job with Mercer University in Macon, GA, designing medical posters. While with Mercer, he also earned a Master’s Degree in Communications.

In 2010, feeling a little burned out, Derek started a company with his future wife. Seeing WordPress as the future of web design, Derek paid a friend $100 and a case of beer for a WordPress training session. 200 plus websites later, Derek’s business has grown every year.

In 2012, Derek made the decision to focus on professional speakers and business coaches and started the company Get the Gigs. Derek lives in Atlanta with his wife, Mallie, their dog and two cats. When he’s not at the computer, you can find Derek playing bass guitar, drawing, and cheering on his beloved Atlanta Falcons.

Irina Blumenfeld

Irina Blumenfeld is an independent Front-End Developer. She has been creating websites for more than 10 years. Over time, she has branched out her skills with responsive design, theme development, and a passion for website performance. Originally from the Ukraine, Irina has lived in Orlando, FL for more then 20 years. She holds a degree in Management Information Systems and Computer Science from the University of Central Florida.
While Irina is not coding, she enjoys running and spending time with her husband and 2 daughters

Micah Wood

Micah is a WordPress developer and architect who is committed to continuously improving his understanding of WordPress and sharing his insights with the greater WordPress community. He currently works at Narwhal Digital on WordPress projects for enterprise clients and helps organize the Atlanta WordPress Coder’s Guild and WordPress Gwinnett meetup groups. Micah is an avid WordPress plugin developer and occasionally blogs about WordPress and other web development topics.

Christian Nolen

Christian Nolen is the Technical Director at emagine, a 50–person digital agency that specializes in custom WordPress solutions. At emagine, Christian mentors a team of WordPress developers and drives all of the agency’s web development innovation.

Over the past 12 years, Christian has held positions in technical support, software quality assurance and web development: giving him a unique perspective on the development life cycle. Christian uses this experience to craft sustainable solutions that not only meet the requirements of the client, but also anticipates their future needs.

Lisa Melegari

Lisa is a web content writer and social media manager for We Do Web Content, a content developer in Plantation, FL. Working remotely, she also acts as de-facto site troubleshooter for the company’s WordPress clients. When she’s not pretending to be a competent site admin, she’s helping as an organizer of the Orlando WordPress meetups and WordCamp Orlando. Outside of the Internet, she loves cooking, eating, and is the caretaker of 11 cats.