Our Speakers

We are happy to invite over 25 speakers from across Canada and the United States to talk at WordCamp Ottawa 2017!

Please see the Sessions page to see what each speaker will be presenting.

Bianca Welds

Bianca lives in Kingston, Jamaica (though she’s been known to get restless and has lived in Belgium, USA and Italy). Having studied technology at university, she now works in more general and project management, while freelancing through her WordPress consultancy, L’Attitude Studios. Bianca has been using WordPress since 2005 when she set up her first personal web site and has decided to get more involved in the global WordPress community, including speaking and starting a local meetup.

Bilal Hassan

Brian Rotsztein

Brian is a renaissance man whose enthusiasm, integrity and passion as a digital entrepreneur have shined over the last two decades. With a unique constellation of talents, he successfully multitasks between being a CEO, Internet marketing professional, author, conference speaker, consultant, content creator, mentor, media guest (TV, radio, podcasts), photographer, web designer,  and startup founder. His highly praised book, Content Marketing Ideas, is a complete guide to content creation and maintains an influential five-star rating on Amazon. He is in demand as the head of established brands such as online marketing agency Uniseo and RedstoneX Web Design, President of the Canadian Internet Marketing Association, Founder of WordPress maintenance service WP Phone Support, Editor-in-chief of Montreal based Citynet Magazine, and Editor at The WP Crowd, among other accolades. Brian holds two Master’s degrees in Psychology and has taught at McGill University and Boston College. Please visit www.rotsztein.com for more. On Twitter and Instagram: @brianrotsztein

Brian Zerkler

Bridget Willard

Chris Yee

Chris is a web developer based in Toronto, Canada. He has over 10 years of web design and development experience. Since 2010 he has been using WordPress to build custom websites with delightful user experiences.

Outside of WordPress, Chris enjoys video games, all things Disney and traveling around the world.

Christie Witt

Christie Witt is the lead designer for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) in Ottawa. She specializes in corporate brand implementation across both print and digital platforms. Christie graduated from the Graphic Design course at Algonquin College, specializing in web/interactive design and motion graphics. Her hobbies are fine arts, traveling, and being a CSS whiz.

Christopher Ross

I am a Canadian website designer, developer, speaker, teacher, and consultant who enjoys long walks with shortcodes, functional arguments, and playing with other people’s APIs.

Daphnée Laforest

David Bird

David Bird is the Founder and Principal of Bird’s Eye Marketing, an Ottawa firm that specializes in getting businesses found on Google. He has been managing Google AdWords and Analytics accounts for more than five years and is a recognized digital advertising and promotion expert.

Erin Blaskie

Ivan Kruchkoff

Ivan Kruchkoff is a software engineer at 10up and takes great pride in delighting customers.
Ivan has previous experience in consulting, infosec and finance.

He is based out of Halifax, NS, Canada and loves to travel, hike and tell stories.

James Koole

Jason Knill

Jason is partner and head of finance at WordImpress, a WordPress plugin company who developed GiveWP.com. Jason has worked on Brand development and finance since joining the company in 2015.  He’s a WordCamp speaker, is an Open Source fanatic and tries his best to be child-like when taking on the day to day. Outside work you will find him fishing, golfing, or running.

Jer Clarke

Jer is an earthling web developer from the Outaouais. Jer builds the international citizen media website Global Voices with WordPress and loves everything.

Jer was a founding organizer of WordCamp Montreal in 2009 and has spoken at WordCamps in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

Jeremy Josey

Kathryn Presner

Montrealer Kathryn Presner thrives on helping people get the most out of WordPress. After a career designing and building websites for clients, she joined Automattic as a Happiness Engineer in 2012. She’s currently Theme Whisperer on the Theme Team, where she helps folks with customization, configuration, and troubleshooting. She enjoys spreading her passion for WordPress and encouraging new public speakers at WordCamps, Girl Geeks, Ladies Learning Code, and other grassroots events. Non-WordPress obsessions include vintage Pyrex mixing bowls and growing garlic.

Kyle M. Brown

Business Analyst, Customer Service evangelist, Bootstrap entrepreneur, father and husband.
Kyle consults with business owners to help them understand how to use processes and software to become more efficient, scale, increase profits or just free up the time spent running their businesses so they have the freedom to do whatever they want.

Laura Gauthier

Laura Gauthier does online communications for Cuso International and is based in Ottawa, Canada. She began her career in the tech industry but quickly discovered that she enjoyed working on fundraising events in her spare time more than her day job. Never truly leaving her tech life behind, Laura has built her career over the last decade merging technology, fundraising and communications/marketing with social good to tell stories and engage with audiences. Laura received an award for knowledge management by championing internal software solutions and has written winning award nominations for clients. Using her job as an excuse, she spends a lot of time on social media, which also gives her an advantage in trivia pub nights. When she’s not on social media you can catch her at concerts, hanging with her husband and two dogs, or cooking. Often, she’s posting on social media while doing these things too.

Lorraine Murphy

I’m a digital reporter specializing in Anonymous, hackers, and cryptocurrency, freelancing to a variety of news outlets including Slate, Salon, and Vanity Fair. My specialty is covering the stories that happen where hacking meets revolution. #OpGabon, #OpSafeWinter, #OpAntiBully, and #OpTrapwire are some of the stories I’ve covered. As a social media expert I do public speaking and training around the use of technology for transformative purposes. Was responsible for all web training at W2’s Fearless City project, teaching the homeless and marginalized to use digital tools for empowerment. I’ve answered over 60,000 questions in the WordPress.com technical support forums, and I was one of the first social media professionals and first professional bloggers in Canada. I’m also former President of Social Media Club Vancouver. My personal blog, raincoaster.com, was the first custom domain on WordPress.com, and has been featured as part of the curriculum in three university social media studies programs.

Lucas Cherkewski

Lucas is a designer and developer who has worked professionally with WordPress and other platforms for seven years, for a variety of clients. In addition to client work, he follows and contributes to open source civic design efforts, working to improve the relationship between citizens and their governments. Lucas does his best to think deeply about my work; and brings a principled approach to everything he does.

Matt Graham

A seasoned coder and a clever video and audio producer, Matt uses a wide range of technologies to bring even the most outlandish ideas and designs to life. His innate curiosity translates into exceptional problem solving skills. With over 10 years of technical experience behind him, Matt is an expert in both mobile device and computer development.

Even before he was a developer, Matt was using WordPress for his blogging needs, back when he was a “prolific” blogger, before it was cool. Matt has been developing with WordPress for 6 years, almost exclusively for 2 years.

Matt is from Whitby, ON, Canada and he is currently Co-Founder and Developer at RocketCloud Inc, a startup web development company; a freelancer and aspiring coworking space founder.

Meagan Hanes

Michelle Ames

Overextended, overcommitted, entrepreneur, photographer, volunteer, and social butterfly. Avid Scrabble player. Tea snob. Mother. School board member. WordPress fanatic. 11th hour expert. Michelle runs the Rochester, NY WordPress meetup and is the lead organizer for WordCamp Rochester. She is the owner and marketing diva at Marketed by Michelle.

Mike Dickson

Miriam Goldman

Miriam wears many hats, she is either a freelance WordPress developer, a karate sensei, or a competitive latin ballroom dancer – it depends on the day.

She self-taught herself HTML in the land of Geocities in the late 1990s, and likes to believe that her career path was started back in the mid 1980s, playing computer games on a Commodore 64, sitting on her father’s lap.

Miriam loves to share her passion for all things WordPress. You can connect with her at her website, or via Twitter at @mirigoldman. She is also one of the co-organizers for WordCamp Ottawa 2017.

Neha Patel

Neha is a Web Developer and Designer by profession, an Artist and an Entrepreneur at heart. She is a WordPress Enthusiast. Neha runs and operates her own business in Montreal, Canada and works at a multi million dollar marketing firm as a Digital projects specialist. She likes how WordPress is such an amazing platform to build great things and how millions of people can use it to achieve their passion with a little bit of dedication.




Paul Bearne

As someone who makes a very good living from WordPress, I am always keen to give back to the WordPress community. I’m delighted to be speaking at Ottawa this year and, perhaps even more so, to be leading a Contrib2Core Workshop.

I am a freelance senior WordPress full stack developer. I live and work in Southern Ontario, Canada, serving both a local and an international client base.

I discovered WordPress in 2006 when asked to explore the use of collaborative tools internally for a multinational corporation, setting up a 200+ multi-blog site using WPMU on IIS7. As part of this project, I created my first plugin, Author Avatars which now has 10,000+ active installs.

From this point on, the community, the flexibility and the velocity of WordPress has made it the platform of choice for my work.

I specialize in creating highly performant scalable, accessible and SEO friendly code (plugins and themes) for large WordPress sites that are often multi-site, multi-language, VIP and/or e-commerce.

I have made core commits in 3.9, 4.0, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 and 4.7 and lead the virtual meetup, Contrib2Core. I also continue to support my  growing list of plugins and the wider WordPress community.

Remy Perona

Rick Radko

Rick Radko is a WordPress developer/designer and tech trainer. He has been creating web sites and apps since 1996, and has worked with WordPress since 2008.  Rick began teaching tech topics to others when he was elected leader of the Southern Ontario AutoCAD Practitioners in 1988.  He is as comfortable talking to beginners in plain English as he is talking geek speak to developers. Rick is one of the founders, and continues to be one of organizers of the Ottawa WordPress Meetup. Rick lead the launch of the inaugural WordCamp Ottawa 2013 and WordCamp Ottawa 2014.

He is the founder and lead developer/designer at R-Cubed Design Forge, http://r3df.com­, where he develops custom: plugins (several are in the wordpress.org repo),  themes and multilingual web sites. @r3designforge

Sam Lalonde

Sam is a Senior Campaign Manager and Strategist @ Bloom Search Marketing. Over the last 6+ years, he has managed advertising campaigns in some of the most competitive spaces on the internet. Sam is a trusted advisor to his clients and loves pushing the ad platforms to their breaking point.

Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith has been working as an open source web developer for over 10 years. She support things like making the web accessible for everyone, using open source software, and helping non-profits with online community organizing. Also hiker, sewist, poet, and mother of four.

Shanta Nathwani

Shanta is a recent graduate from the Full Stack Web Development program at BrainStation and an Instructor in Web Design at Sheridan College. She is a WordCamp addict and loves travelling.

Shawn Hooper

Shawn is the Director of IT at Actionable.co, and lives in Ottawa, Canada. His current mandate is the development of the distributed company’s internal business systems and processes, which rely heavily on the integration of various services’ APIs (including WordPress REST) to automate regular processes for this distributed company.  Shawn has over 20 years of experience as a web application developer, and has been working with WordPress since 2009.  He is also a co-organizer of WordCamp Ottawa.

Stéphane Boisvert

Sylvie Hanes

Thiago Loureiro

Thiago Loureiro is a freelance full stack developer based in Toronto. He’s been hacking and developing for WordPress since 2010. He’s worked on a number of marketing campaigns for high profile clients and made a core commit in version 4.6.

Tina Todorovic

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