I completed my MBA in Marketing, E-Commerce and Information Systems at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. I have over twenty years of experience in higher education; ten years owning a web design and marketing company; and I currently serve as the Head of Customer Success for Impress.org (developers of GiveWP.com and WPBusinessReviews.com).
I love public speaking and sharing knowledge. I’ve spoken at conferences all over North America, including many WordCamps. You can find many of my talks recorded on WordPress.tv including “Little Things That Make a Big Difference,” “Hidden Features of WordPress Revealed,” and “How to Client-proof Your Site,” as well as panel discussions on ethics, marketing, page builders, and women in technology.
I’m the podcast barista at WPCoffeeTalk.com where I get to interview people all over the World about WordPress.
I am the author “A Good Firm Handshake (and other essential business tips)” available on Amazon.com.
I’m passionate about kindness. I love sharing anything WordPress. I’m an avid community-builder.
Q. How did you come into your current field? Share a bit of the background?
A. I had been freelancing using WordPress for several years when I met the team at GiveWP in Ottawa, Canada, at a WordCamp in 2017.
I talked to them about how much I enjoyed using GiveWP on my nonprofit client websites and mentioned that if they ever had an opening, I’d love to work for them. I became the Head of Customer Success in January 2018. WordCamps are a great place to meet people and maybe even find your next career connection!
Q. Whatís the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress?
A. Being an organizer for any WordCamp has been amazing, but being an organizer for WordCamp US 2019 and now 2020 has been beyond my expectations. Second to that, I’d have to say keynote speaking and, of course, working with the amazing customers at GiveWP!
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? If yes did you learn anything useful?
A. I am the lead organizer for the Rochester, NY meetup, and I speak and attend WordCamps all over North America. I learn something new and amazing at every meetup and WordCamp I attend.
My biggest takeaway from all of them is how resourceful, helpful, and generous the WordPress community is. I wish that every WordPress user knew how much they could learn if they joined their local meetup or attended a WordCamp.
Q. What does your workstation look like?
A. You can see in the photo that I have my podcasting equipment affixed to my desk. Also, my bulletin board is covered in Wapuu pins!.
Q. What kind of tools/software do you currently use for your creations?
A. I’ve been getting better and better at using the WordPress block editor (from the Gutenberg project). I’ve been a huge Divi fan for years, too. Outside of those, I love using Slack for communication, Trello for collaboration, and Twitter for staying connected to the larger community.
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
A. Two things I would add to WordPress functionality: 1) I would make it so that you couldn’t add an image to the gallery without adding alt-text. That would be a huge step toward accessibility. 2) I would make the permalink structure default setting be the post name just to make it easier for new users.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
A. I use Divi the most as a theme for its flexibility, although I’ve been teaching myself other page builders for more diversity in my work. I love GiveWP for all my client/personal fundraising projects, Yoast for SEO, and WordFence for security.
Q. Which WordPress hosting do you use and would you recommend for your clients and others?
A. I’ve fallen in love with managed WordPress hosting. I used to manage all the updates and backups myself, but with working full-time and doing personal client work and podcasting on the side, managed is worth the investment and peace of mind.
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
A. I absolutely love my role both at Impress.org and in the WordPress community.
Q. What would you like to do in the future in the current field or somewhere else?
A. I’d love to help WPandUP.org meet their fundraising goals to help the WordPress community with mental health, physical health, business health, and skills health. The work they do is so needed in our space, and their commitment to our community is really amazing.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
A. Dan Maby (wpandup.org) Michele Jones (cantspeakgeek.com)