Meet The Speakers

Alex Vasquez

Alex Vasquez runs a Los Angeles based Digital Marketing Agency, DigiSavvy and primarily works as a WordPress Developer and making crappy jokes. In addition to running a small business, Alex also organizes a WordPress meetup in Pasadena and is a co-organizer of WordCamp Los Angeles. He can’t resist a Hendricks…

Amanda Blum

Amanda is a past lead organizer of a various WordCamps, and a speaker at WordCamps and WP Meetups all over the world.  As Project Manager and Head of UX at Etch Software, she helps companies execute strategy and sites that makes the best use of technology and sustainable processes. She talks about information architecture, bending the WP workflow to your will,  and how to keep clients from f’ing up the sites you make them.

When not Pressing, she makes pickles, knits scarves and manages her batshit crazy doberman Clementine in Portland, Oregon.

Andy Roberts

Andy Roberts lives in L.A. after four years in Vegas and is the head of technology at, a company built using WordPress as an app engine to create a new (and better) way to publish and market books.

He’s been programming since the age of 13 and developing for the web from the time it appeared fully formed from Al Gore’s mind and he’s been using WordPress since 2007. Andy has built websites and web apps for the likes of UPS, IBM, Univision, The NBA, and the big ones and

Ben Lobaugh

Adventurous sailor and Seattle WordPress(Camp) organizer, Ben Lobaugh has been working with open source communities for 15-plus years and is an active contributor to the WordPress community. Ben currently works as a Jetpack Engineer with Automattic.

Benjamin Beck

Benjamin is the founder of Local Stampede an online marketing consulting firm for small businesses and startups. Raised in Phoenix, college at BYU-Idaho, learned SEO in Philly, and now resides in Salt Lake City. You can follow Benjamin’s Marketing Blog or connect @ben_beck on Twitter.

Billie Hillier

Billie is a blogging addict {second to being a domain junkie}. With over 15 years in traditional and internet marketing in her back pocket, she loves helping others master marketing techniques to benefit their businesses.

Individuals and businesses seek her knowledge to build their marketing strategies, plan paths of execution and leverage the results to take them to the next tier to meet their business goals.

When she is not consulting on a personal level she can often be found speaking to groups at blogging and internet marketing events.

She has authored multiple ebooks on blogging, WordPress, internet marketing, social media and search engine optimization.

Feeling that there was a need to help women entrepreneurs grow their online presence with a thorough understanding of what it takes to be successful, she recently founded Education Thru Collaboration (previously Mommy Blogger U).

Located in sunny Las Vegas, her goal is to build a local community with a common bond of bloggers, social media junkies and techies.

Chris Lema

Chris Lema is the Vice President of Software Engineering at Emphasys Software, a company you’ve likely never heard of. Instead, he hopes you’ve heard of his blog, where he writes daily ( Over the past 20 years he’s started and sold off several software startups, turned a couple around, and launched over 90 Software as a Service (SaaS) products. Today he helps companies leverage WordPress and helps WordPress companies find leverage.

Christoph Trappe

A newspaper reporter by trade, Christoph left the newspaper industry in 2007 to research, write and produce training videos for the U.S. financial services industry. He then started a community news site and currently works as a communications executive in the nonprofit sector.

His career has focused on helping organizations tell their stories in authentic and meaningful ways. He uses and teaches brand and traditional journalism as well as content marketing techniques in the pursuit of great stories.

He’s currently helping United Way of East Central Iowa tell its stories in an authentic way through a multi-channel content delivery strategy that engages all of United Way’s key audiences.

Dan Birlew

Dan Birlew is an author and Web Developer who builds sites mainly on WordPress, PHP, Java and He has lived in Las Vegas for more than 12 years and authored more than 70 video game guidebooks.

Desiree Peeples

Desiree Peeples is a mom, published author and blogger, and teaches individuals and small businesses how to integrate social media into their promotion and marketing strategies. She worked in traditional broadcast media as a reporter for almost ten years before moving her skills to the online space.

She is the creator of and has a passion for online video blogging. Her newest eGuide titled The EVERYTHING Video Blogger’s Guide for Non-Video Bloggers can now be purchased on Amazon. Desiree has worked with many notable companies in online and offline media campaigns, including LogiTech, Proctor and Gamble, AT&T, PBS KIDS Sprout, The Dial Corporation, and Sky Angel, LLC.

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Desiree currently is the head organizer of the Las Vegas Bloggers Meetup Group, a monthly meeting that connects local bloggers and digital media enthusiasts.

She has one son, Kadin, who is five years old and an adopted female rat terrier named “Bentley.”

Devin Egan

Devin Egan is a co-founder and the CTO of LaunchKey. With more than 15 years of experience in systems architecture, development, administration and security, this University of Montana graduate is no stranger to leadership and creativity in tech. Prior to LaunchKey, Devin was a lead developer at Selling Source LLC and co-founder of Ion Solutions, an online hosting company.



Dre Armeda

Dre Armeda is the Co-Founder of Sucuri Inc., the best website security company of today, and of the future.

Dre is a Harley enthusiast, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Practitioner, and a Chargers fan. He wears many hats, and love tacos. Dre is infatuated with tech startups, software as a service, and website security. Dre hopes to make the internet a safer place!

Dre is the Co-Host of the DradCast, the worlds most popular podcast about WordPress. Tune in on Wednesday nights at 8 PM by visiting

Jeffrey Zinn

Jeffrey Zinn has been a web designer since 1996. In 2004 he and Brandon Dove founded Pixel Jar, a WordPress development firm based in Orange County, California. He is a lead developer of the AdSanity WordPress ad management plugin. He also co-organizes WordCamp Orange County, and regularly attends and presents at is local WordPress Meetup. When not working on WordPress, Jeff enjoys surfing, hiking, traveling, tabletop games, and coffee.

John Lynn

I created and run 25 blogs across three niches: Healthcare IT, Reality TV, and Vegas Startup companies.  I like to blog and now I’m starting to help others learn how to be a professional blogger at You can find me on twitter: @techguy.

Joseph Karr O’Connor

Joseph Karr O’Connor lives in Santa Monica, California. When Section 508 came into effect in 1999 he began leading teams producing accessible web environments for and for

Joe has been directing WordPress development in support of higher education, research, and university news since 2005. In 2012 he organized the Los Angeles Accessibility and Inclusive Design Group.

Now leading Cities, a world-wide effort to build free accessible WordPress themes, Joe also contributes to Make WordPress Accessible as the WordPress Accessibility Team Leader and asks you to get involved.

Kelley Kassa

Kelley is an award-winning content strategist, writer and marketer. Right now she holds two roles – marketing consultant with Midnight Oil Communications and founder of Foodie Journey. Kelley’s experience includes working with technology companies, start-ups, non-profits, and consumer/entertainment brands in both consulting and staff roles. Most recently, Kelley has worked with a wide range of companies on their web and sales fulfillment content as key pieces to drive prospects and close sales. Her content strategy and pieces incorporate website content, blog posts, eBooks, white papers, case studies, videos and more. Kelley’s previous roles include Director of Marketing Communications for Datawatch, Director of Marketing Communications for Varicent Software, and serving as Vice President at several national public relations agencies, such as Davies Murphy Group, Clarke & Company and Technology Solutions Inc. (TSI). Kelley is a former president of the Charitable Irish Society, a former board member of the Irish Immigration Center, and a sweeps rower at Community Rowing Inc. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mass Communications, with a minor in archaeology, from Boston University. Kelley is an avid traveler and is always looking for her next adventure.

Konstantin Obenland

Hi, my name is Konstantin and I am a Professional Scrum Master I as well as a Certified Scrum Product Owner. In my professional life I am focused on agile software development and the successful implementation and optimization of Scrum in development teams.

When I’m not working, I contribute to open source software, WordPress in particular. In recent years, I not only published a few articles on WordPress development and coding best practices, but also some plugins and even a theme in the respective WordPress Repositories.

Most recently I started contributing by reviewing Themes, submitted to the Theme Repository of WordPress.

Mika Ariela Epstein

Mika Ariela Epstein is better known as Ipstenu, the Half-Elf Support Rogue. Working for DreamHost as a WordPress Support Specialist and Community Manager (a.k.a. “WordPress Guru”), she solves any WordPress problem that comes up, trains everyone from support to marketing in why WordPress makes your life better, and still finds time to slash unanswered forum threads by night and wrangle plugins by day. A self-taught guru on Multisite and .htaccess, she has a passion for writing and technology and blogs about them whenever possible.

The rumor that she has dice in her purse and tinfoil in her hats is in a constant state of Schrödinger proofs. It is a fact that she likes role playing games.

Natalie MacLees

Natalie MacLees is a front-end web developer and UI designer and is founder + principal of the interactive agency, Purple Pen Productions. In 2012 she published jQuery for Designers with Packt Publishing. She founded and runs the jQuery LA Users’ Group and together with Noel Saw she heads up the Southern California WordPress User’s Group, organizing WordPress meetups, help sessions, and workshops. She’s currently has two big events in the works: WordCamp Los Angeles 2013 and the first annual Website Weekend LA. She makes her online home at

Russell Aaron

I’m Russell Aaron. WordPress Enthusiast first. WordPress Developer/Designer second. I’ve used WordPress since 2.0.6. I believe that every industry should have at least one theme built on WordPress.

I started out speaking at my local Las Vegas WordPress Meetup Group. After buying the organizer several adult beverages, I started helping plan and speak at the meetups. I took what I learned in the group and applied it to a real business opportunity. I founded my startup company called We do website support for any website using any version of WordPress.

I also kept a Mortgage Company’s doors open by building and managing all of their realtor’s websites on WordPress.

Ryan Sullivan

Before jumping head first into WordPress about four years ago, I was a System Administrator managing electronic personal health information. Basically I had to make sure that the system never broke and that bad guys couldn’t get their hands on some sensitive information. I love that I’m able to work with WordPress doing support and maintenance every day now and feel like what I’m doing is helping people. I have an amazing wife and three super high energy sons (who seem to rarely sleep), and they’re my motivation to keep hustling no matter what.

Steve Zehngut

Steve founded Zeek Interactive in 1995 and he has been the creative technologist behind the Huntington Beach based company since its inception. Under his direction, Zeek has grown from an apartment bedroom to one of Southern California’s leading development and consulting shops.

Steve is the organizer of the OC WordPress Meetup and has helped build the community to over 850 members. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has taught interactive courses at UC Irvine, USC, the American Film Institute, and Cal State Long Beach. Steve has a BA in Film from Cal State Northridge.

Suzette Franck

Suzette Franck is the WordPress Evangelist at (mt) Media Temple, where she educates and advocates for WordPress and the WordPress Community. She typically participates in 2-3 WordPress Meetups a week, and will be speaking at 12 WordCamps this year: Phoenix, San Diego, Miami, Reno, Orange County, Seattle, Chicago, Vancouver, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Boston, and Las Vegas. She blogs frequently at about WordPress and is a regular contributor on She was the host of the DradCast Episode 017. Suzette is also the host and creator of WordPress For Artists Meetup, sponsored by (mt) Media Temple and Thinkspace Gallery, and helped to organize this years WordCampLAX. Suzette enjoys teaching about the wonders of WordPress and finding better ways to do things with it. She loves learning about web development and digging into code, which she has been doing for over 19 years. She discovered WordPress in 2007 and has used it to create over 200 websites with a variety of designs and requirements, mostly with hand-coded custom themes, and is showing no signs of stopping.