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Gina Bearne (Looking After Paul)
For the last two years, I have been supporting my husband Paul Bearne’s freelance WordPress business and am gradually becoming more directly involved in the WordPress community.
WCTO has been a big event for Paul for the last seven years so volunteering, giving support in whatever way I can, just seems like a natural part of what we do. Much of our commitment to WordPress rests on the strength and inclusivity of its community, so contributing to that community is very important to both of us. I am supporting Paul’s involvement, keeping him on track with speaker selection, his Contrib2Core session and the Happiness Bar and may also help with registration or as needed.
What drives me? The desire to make a difference each and every day, however small! Whatever I do, I do with passion.
My career has spanned a wide range of environments, but, the focus of my work has always been creating environments in which individuals and/or organizations can grow and change, and making connections – between people and to information. Essentially, I am a facilitator. I have also been called a ‘network weaver’, an identity I would love to inhabit ever more fully.
I’m more of a content creator than a developer, but, as a small element of wider roles, I created my first websites back in the 1990s and have been using WordPress since 2009, initially with a blog for friends and family when we emigrated from the UK to Canada.
I love living rurally, surrounded by nature, enjoy kayaking, hiking and just soaking up the ‘noisy’ peace!
Paul Bearne (Happiness Bar)
As someone who makes a very good living from WordPress, I am always keen to give back to the WordPress community – and WCTO has been my ‘home’ WordCamp for the past seven years; volunteering/speaking is a given for me! This year I will be speaking, leading a Contrib2Core session and supervising the Happiness Bar, as well as helping with speaker selection.
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.
Peg Perry (Kid’s Camp & Wapuu Drawing Contest)
Retired but enjoying a second life in the WordPress world, learning to develop websites. Two years of WordPress learning done, more to come. Primarily a front-ender.
Avid needleworker.. Learning Minecraft from my granddaughter. Provide encouragement to girl coders and kids generally anytime!
WordPress Origin Story
Post retirement from IT management at a major Canadian bank, I was looking for ways to go back to more hands on IT work (sooo much better than managing!). Tried playing with Python but life is too short to become a full stack developer.
Pre-retirement I had spent my darkest moments working on the concept for trickswithsticks, a site for beginning and intermediate knitters to grow their skills and for me to distribute my pattern designs. Found WordPress and the great Toronto WordPress community. Serendipity! Now the question is whether I prefer developing websites or developing knitting patterns?
Drew Mathers (Speaker Wrangler)
I’ve been supporting technology since doing manual data recovery in 1982. Five years later, I discovered you could get paid for it, and I never looked back. I spent 6 years troubleshooting computers at Hudson’s Bay Company, then founded Almost Painless Computing to do the same thing for small businesses in Toronto. I alternately describe myself as a computer tamer or rent-a-nerd. I’ve been developing websites since 1996, first in HTML, then Drupal, now WordPress.
Conrad Hall (Lead Organiser)
Conrad Hall is a retired Master Carpenter and Field Engineer who has also authored eight books, performed at The Second City, and learned how to iron his own shirts.
He is the founder of CERIOHS (go ahead – ask him), a WPToronto Co-organiser and the Lead Organiser for WordCamp Toronto 2017 (#WCTO). He has developed a partnership with the City of Toronto doing economic development using WordPress as a foundation. This partnership also reaches out to youth to encourage entrepreneurship, development of coding skills, and the pursuit of careers related to WordPress and website design.
He coaches business owners on how to break free from the slavery their business has become to enjoy the freedom they have always desired. His coaching motto is Cranium Ex Rectum. He also enjoys the Toronto Islands, live theatre, cycling, and doing laundry. He’s also a wee bit of a cheeky monkey.