Meet our 2017 Speakers.

Andy Keson

Andy Keson has a technical background with industrial equipment, industrial processing, and industrial materials. After inventing a physical product Andy needed a website to sell his physical product invention. WordPress has filled that role since the beginning in 2009. He has created several other hobby websites since that time, and does all of his own web management without knowing any coding.


Brian Richards

Brian Richards, the creator of WPSessions.com, has been using WordPress since 2007 and training and leading development teams since 2011.

In addition to investing his time into training, Brian has had the opportunity to work with many amazing WordPress agencies and experts over these last several years. This has allowed Brian to help develop sites for Microsoft, Disney, TIME, YMCA, and numerous others. Brian has an affinity for self-directed learning and helping others to develop skills and workflows to better solve important and complicated problems.


Dan Kaufman

Dan Kaufman is a Marketing Expert and Small Business Authority. He has owned several successful small business before establishing himself as a partner at GroNow Marketing. Dan is a family man, who works hard to create a thriving life for his two daughters and wife. When he’s not working, Dan appreciates working with his hands and restoring furniture. GroNow Marketing was created out of his desire to work smarter, not harder and to give his family as much of his time as he can. If you have a question about Facebook Marketing, he’s the guy you want to ask.


Frederick Polk

I build websites using WordPress, and other CMS’s.


J Andrew Scott

I’m a mobile app and web API developer at Our Daily Bread Ministries. Whether it’s through exploring new tools, improving existing systems, or engineering new solutions, I love streamlining the development process for my team.


Jeff Large

Jeff is an agency owner, teacher, and podcaster. He leads his team at Come Alive Creative in producing podcasts for businesses and brands. Favorite things include family, board games, and learning something new every day.


Kyle Maurer

Kyle works at Sandhills Development on Easy Digital Downloads which is a WordPress plugin that makes selling digital products ridiculously simple. He’s a native of Jackson, Michigan and helps organize meetups and WordCamps in the region while brewing fine beer and playing guitar as often as possible.


Leeann Drees + Laura Eagin

Leeann and Laura run the web development studio, ellell & co, where they roll up their sleeves and craft beautiful websites for small businesses every day.


Matt Christensen

Matt Christensen is a professional developer from central Illinois. He works in many languages and technologies including: PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and .NET to name a few. Matt has presented on several topics including WordPress, PHP, Social Media, and various CMS platforms.

Matt currently works full time for a central Illinois corporation and works freelance off hours.


Mike Hale

Mike Hale is a developer at Rainmaker Digital where he helps build the Rainmaker Platform. He has worked in software development for almost 20 years, and started working with WordPress in 2010, specializing in developing custom plugins and sites using the Genesis Framework. He is also a writer, puppeteer, podcaster and co-organizer of the WordPress Naperville Meetup.


Mike Reid

I have been using WordPress professionally for 4 years. Currently, I am a BoldGrid Product Manager. I have 3 years of experience with WordPress support, both as a tech and as a supervisor.


Nicole Paschen Caylor

I have been active in the WordPress community for 2 years. I am a front end web developer and theme designer, currently doing QA and development work with BoldGrid. My 2 children, ages 4 and 6, inspired me to write this presentation.


Peter DeHaan

With over a dozen WordPress sites for his business and his writing, blogger Peter DeHaan is sold on WordPress. Peter enjoys helping beginners get started and established sites with content creation.


Ross Johnson

Ross is the founder of the design agency 3.7 Designs and premium plugin company Snap Orbital. An eighteen year veteran of the field and part time faculty of Michigan State University, he provides a holistic view of business, design and development.


Sara Dunn

Founder and Project Lead at 11Web, a digital agency based in Battle Creek, MI. A code junkie since junior high, Sara started her business with just a cell phone, a laptop, and a load of enthusiasm in 2012. Since then, 11Web has served over 100 clients, all thanks to referrals and word-of-mouth.


Shelby Elliott & Tracy Apps

Shelby Elliott is a unique blend of essential oils, coffee, and the color purple. She’s also Partner & Director of Strategy + Creative at Corner Market Media, a full service creative agency based in Columbus, Ohio. Shelby has been working with WordPress since 2009, and when she’s not creating beautiful things on the web, she can be found spending time with her 3 year old son, on a yoga mat, or exploring local businesses and events in Columbus. It’s also worth noting that she thinks she’s hilarious – many people object to this statement. You’ve been sufficiently warned.

Tracy loves solving problems creatively. Her overlap of skills in design, user experience, strategy, front-end development, photography, video, and traditional art help her not only think outside the box but to stay miles away from the box altogether! With over 20 years of web development experience and over 15 years of client work under her belt, Tracy approaches design very strategically, thinking from all angles to ensure a consistent and effective creative solution… not just something that “looks pretty.” She also could probably deadlift you.


Stacy Vanden Heuvel

In 2008, Stacy Vanden Heuvel founded Mountain Webs with the goal for her and her team to create innovative websites with wide appeal. Her clients include service companies, bars and restaurants, bed and breakfasts, architects, boutiques, galleries, spas and more. After 8 years with Mountain Webs, Stacy recently accepted a postion as the corporate Web Designer graphics and visual commuications.

To fuel her design inspiration, Stacy works in an office overflowing with books, diverse music and photos from her trips to Europe.

Stacy grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and received a scholarship to Auburn University where she earned her BFA in Visual Communication. She started her career designing for the publishing industry and then created award-winning graphic design in real estate.

When she is not creating websites, Stacy loves rock climbing, kayaking and anything outdoors. Stacy now lives in Rockford, Michigan with her husband Greg, an engineer, and their three sons.


Steve Grunwell

Steve Grunwell is a Senior Software Engineer at Liquid Web. Specializing in WordPress and application development he has worked with brands and organizations including Microsoft, TED, Xylem, Elmer’s, and Experience Columbus.

Steve has released numerous 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 https://stevegrunwell.com.


Steve Persch

Steve is a developer with 10 years of experience building WordPress and Drupal sites. While interning at a theatre company in college, Steve overheard the artistic director say they needed a blog and an online magazine. Steve volunteered to build the sites and WordPress 2.0.4 got the job done. His path was changed and he’s been building sites since.


Topher DeRosia

I’m a Christian, husband, father, and WordPress developer. Building the web one site at a time with my partners over at http://iwitnessdesign.com


Wally David

I’m a creative professional living in West Michigan, because unlike other states, it’s fun to look at trees while i’m stuck in traffic. I’m also an optimistic creative life traveler, musician and gamer besides just being a pixel-pushing, code writing technology nerd. More and more, i’m just a rebel who challenges the conventional formula, creating new approaches to the creative process. I’ve also just recently gave up over 5+ years of Skyrim so my productivity, and drinking, have increased dramatically.