Category Archives: Speakers

Speaker Spotlight: Ben Howard

Ben Howard has been building websites longer than most people have surfed the Internet. He was working with business websites back in 1995, and was one of the tester/developers for the original edition of Adobe Flash. He has worked with many WordPress sites over the years, even building custom plug-ins and themes. He has taught Internet Development at UHMaui for more than fifteen years, and has spent the last seventeen years building a reputation as an experienced teacher and programmer on Maui. He would much rather be painting and sculpting, but its easier to make a living with code.

Company: Q and A, Inc

Company Site:

What do I love about WordPress? Being able to build a sophisticated and feature-rich website, then turning it over to non-programmers to maintain, thus allowing me to move on to building the next site!

Talk Title: Sell Your Stuff with WordPress

Talk Summary: Getting online is the first part, and getting money is the best part! Whether you are selling a few hand-made products, or want to become a retail giant, WordPress has features and plug-ins to get your merchandise out to the world.

Speaker Spotlight: Adelle Lennox

Adelle loves media, publications, and technology. She fell in love with computers as a teenager and began building websites in 1999. Her love affair with WordPress began in the spring of 2008. Adelle is a trained journalist and small business owner who enjoys helping others navigate websites and online technology. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and “actually uses it.” Her skills include: graphic design, writing, research, website building, SEO, content development, photography, and social media marketing.

Company:  Amazing and Helpful


Talk Title:  Longterm Benefits of Using WordPress

Talk Summary

Free/low cost investment (How to save time & money longterm using WP)
Fast & Flexible – content, design/template, user roles…
SEO happy – use the database structure to support your keyword strategy
Super powerful – plugins, oh my! (tips, ideas, my favorites)
Gorgeous – Themes & Design (how to pick a good one, css)

Bonus topics:
Is it really free? (Minimum time & cost to setup & maintain vs. realistic time & financial investment)
It’s Fun! (Recruit a passionate WP helper)

What do you love most about WordPress?

What I love most about WP is that it gets me excited and it gets me talking. I’m passionate about solutions and I love helping others feel successful and satisfied. WordPress is a tool that I find very useful for helping people. I find it to be the best tool for my needs, because I can use it with a large and diverse group of clients, all in different industries. It’s base cost is free and I can help people build highly customized, yet affordable websites and teach them how to make updates. I have confidence using and sharing WP with others. That is a relief for me as a small business owner, because trust and reputation are critical. From its flexibility to its community of resources and developers, WP satisfies my needs for a complete CMS. Love it!

Speaker Spotlight: Sam Hotchkiss

Sam Hotchkiss has been working with WordPress for the last 10 years. Over that time he worked as a freelancer, built a successful agency, raised venture capital and started a product business, BruteProtect, which was acquired by Automattic in 2014. Sam now works on the Jetpack team at Automattic and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wonderful wife and their three dogs.

Company: Automattic


Talk title: 10 Ways to Make Your Site Better With Jetpack

Talk Summary: Most people have heard of Jetpack, but do you know how to really make it work for you? In this talk we’ll look at some of the coolest features (like Elastic Search, Remote Management and much more), and talk about how you can best use them to make your site faster, more powerful and more useful.

What do you love most about WordPress: My favorite thing about WordPress is that it gives voices to the voiceless and empowers people from around the world to come together.

Speaker Spotlight: Rosie Warfield

Rosie Warfield is the Manager of eGovernment services at Starting with the company in October 2005 in tech support and working her way through the ranks, she has happily landed in the world of website building and design. You’ll never find Rosie indoors. She spends most of her free time in the mountains or traveling to as many corners of the world as she can fit in to her schedule. Her favorite thing to do is run 100 mile ultra-marathons.

Company:  Hawaii Information Consortium (HIC)


Talk Title:  WordPress for Government!

Talk Summary:  A look at how Hawaii State Government has been using WordPress to launch over 450 cloud-based, open-source, mobile first websites. In the fall of 2012, we responded to an RFP by our 1st CIO Sonny Bhagowalia to build a common template for all state agencies. We had

What do you love most about WordPress?: There is a great feeling of sharing among the community. If you need help with a plugin, usually it’s the author that responds. Many WordPress users contribute to the forums just for the sake of helping someone else. It’s truly an open source Utopia.

Speaker Spotlight: Kevin Bates

Kevin is a traffic and conversion specialist, author of traffic courses, and marketer for WooThemes. After spending 5 years as a traffic consultant he’s now moved into the realm of paid advertising and sales funnel optimization, helping businesses acquire new customers and achieve positive ROI.

Company:  WooThemes


Talk Title:  Your First Profitable Facebook Ad

Talk Summary:  In this talk, I’ll show you all of the elements of a successful Facebook Ads campaign that earns more money than it costs. By the end of this workshop you’ll have everything you need to launch your first profitable campaign on Facebook.

What do you love most about WordPress?  WordPress is the perfect platform for marketers because you can go from idea to live incredibly fast.

Speaker Spotlight: Tamara Olson

Prior to starting Tamara Olson Designs, Tamara spent several years at Google as a design lead. She has also crafted user experiences for Apple, numerous startups, media companies, and countless small business websites. A hybrid designer/developer, Tamara has been building websites for nearly 17 years and lives in New York City.


Talk Title:  The power of outside-in thinking: Providing a better UX for both your clients and end users

Talk Summary:  Learn ways in which user-centered thinking and data can improve your process of creating WordPress websites for both end users and clients, including:

  • How to conduct research and interviews to better understand your client’s target audiences and prioritize their needs alongside your client’s business objectives
  • Ensure your clients’ user experience is also seamless and intuitive by customizing the WordPress back-end and creating easy to follow documentation

(Ideal for the solo designer/developer or small agency.)

What do you love most about WordPress?  Its flexibility, and the community (for its collective wisdom about how to put that flexibility to work).

Speaker Spotlight: Travis Totz

Part designer, part aspiring astronaut reaching for the cosmos, part business owner at Westwerk. Travis is all about connections – with travel, with people and with design. What started out as a combination of all three – a trip to Hawaii, some good friends and brilliant design – has since become a thriving WordPress business known as Westwerk. Most recently, Travis led the acquisition of WordPress theme creative house, Press75 and now heads Westwerk’s product division of the same name.

Company:  Westwerk and Press75


Talk Title:  Working Off Grid and Remote

Talk Summary:  The world is full of amazing things, and if you’re like me you would like to see as much of this beautiful planet as possible. The existence of the Internet has made working off grid a real possibility for people. During my talk I will discuss my experience running a WordPress business while being “off-grid”, the types of products that make this lifestyle a possibility, and the challenges that come along with it.

What do you love most about WordPress? The community and the connections. A thriving eco-system has helped to grow our business and without the amazing people, pushing the boundaries of WordPress and open-source software, many of us would not have the opportunities we have today. So thank you all!