Plan Your Stay at The Kent State University Hotel & Conference Center

Whether you’re joining us from out-of-town, or just planning to cut the commute, we recommend you stay at the Kent State University Hotel & Conference Center located at 215 S. Depeyster St. Kent, OH 44240.

WordCamp Kent will be located right on-site, so you’ll be in the heart of the action all weekend long!

And when you’re not attending sessions or the After Party, take a stroll through the nearby Kent State University campus or wander into some of the local artisan shops and restaurants downtown.

Hotel amenities include boutique-style rooms and suites, a heated indoor salt water pool and spa, free Wi-Fi, and a restaurant on-site.

Kent State Hotel Pool

Rooms are going quick, so book now to take advantage of the WordCamp Kent attendee’s discounted rate of $109 per/night (not including tax). The special rate is only valid until May 24th.or they run out of rooms, whichever comes first.

Reserve online or call 330-346-0100 (Use PROMO Code WPWC7).

See you then!

One More Thing!

We are excited to announce that Ed Finkler will be providing the Sunday Community Keynote for WordCamp Kent!

Ed is a huge advocate of wellness in the open source development community, which is why he founded Open Source Mental Illness. OSMI is a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness in the tech community.

In fact, Ed announced today that he will be making OSMI his full-time job. We are excited to welcome Ed as he begins his new journey to help the entire tech community!

Our Final Round of Speakers

WordCamp Kent is excited to announced the third and final group of confirmed speakers!

Matt Bakaitis

Matt has worked on and with the web since the days when FTP was king. He has worked with many different technologies, but he keeps winding up working with WordPress since he first encountered it in 2006. Today, he manages a team that integrates WordPress into several major sites that serve over 100 million visitors per year.

Amy Masson

Former middle school computer teacher turned professional WordPress nerd, Amy builds websites for clients big and small. She started writing code back in the early 80’s on her brother’s Commodore 64. Those skills transferred to the Internet in 1995 when she started teaching herself HTML after the world wide web exploded onto the scene. Currently, she co-owns Sumy Designs, LLC with her sister, a full-service web design company that’s been helping clients reach their online goals since 2006.

Kyle Maurer

Kyle is the co-founder of a Jackson, Michigan based firm called Real Big Marketing which specializes in using WordPress to solve complicated problems for businesses. He is also the author of and a contributor to dozens of WordPress plugins, is the co-organizer of the Jackson WP meetup, is a co-organizer of WordCamp Ann Arbor, plays in a band and is an aspiring beer snob.

Jessica Gardner

Jessica Gardner has been messing around with websites since the late 90s, focusing primarily on WordPress since 2013. At present, she works full-time as a developer and part-time as an instructor in the College of Aerospace Engineering, Sustainability, and Technology at Kent State University. She obtained her yoga teacher certification in 2012 and firmly believes the maxim that “two minutes of yoga is better than no minutes of yoga”. Jessica lives in Kent with her husband and two kids.

Mike Hale

Mike Hale is a developer at Rainmaker Digital where he helps build the Rainmaker Platform. He has worked in software development for almost 20 years, and started working with WordPress in 2010, specializing in developing custom plugins and sites using the Genesis Framework. He is also a writer, puppeteer, podcaster and co-organizer of the WordPress Naperville Meetup.

John Centofanti

John serves as a marketing consultant and content developer for B2B, Technology and Retail clients throughout the US. His background in the corporate retail environment ranges from Marketing to Store Operations Management, HR, as well as Customer and Employee Relations. The retail chains he’s served range from smaller, multi-site chains to publicly-traded, national retail chains with 100+ locations. In 2006, John founded Creative Stream Marketing (, serving national retailers, tech companies, and B2B companies across the US. John has worked with numerous start ups, early stage, and established companies both strategically and in providing tactical marketing services, developing brands and increasing response to their businesses. John’s background spans nearly everything creative for business, including marketing-communications, branding, graphic design, and more.

Nate Reimnitz

Nathan is a certified expert WordPress developer and full-time freelancer working for,, LinkedIn ProFinder & GoDaddy Pro.

Jeff Matson

Jeff is a guy who does WP stuff. He has no idea what to write in his description right now, but he will think something up. He also likes to speak in third-person.

Make sure to take a look at the full schedule!

Welcome our Second Round of Speakers

WordCamp Kent is excited to announced the second group of confirmed speakers!

tracy apps

Tracy (or @tapps) is a Visual/UX Designer for Cornershop Creative and loves solving problems creatively. Her overlap of skills in design, user experience, strategy, front-end development, photography, video, and traditional art help her not only think outside the box, but to stay miles away from the box altogether! With over 20 years of web development experience, and over 15 years of client work under her belt, Tracy approaches design very strategically, thinking from all angles to ensure a consistent and effective creative solution… not just something that “looks pretty.” She also could probably deadlift you.

Steve Grunwell

Steve Grunwell is a Senior Software Engineer at Liquid Web. Specializing in WordPress and application development he has worked with brands and organizations including Microsoft, TED, Xylem, Elmer’s, and Experience Columbus. Steve has released numerous plugins in the repositories, including one from the grounds of The White House during the first annual National Day of Civic Hacking in 2013. When he’s not writing software he enjoys hiking, music, and writing about writing software on his blog. Steve holds a B.A. in Telecommunications from Bowling Green State University where he graduated Cum Laude with minors in General Business and Recording Technologies. More information, including portfolio work and his development blog, can be found at

Donald Davis

Donald Davis has 28 years experience in high tech manufacturing including liquid crystal displays, space laser systems, MEMs displays, and micro embossed plastic films. Don currently develops roll-to-roll manufacturing processes for the Boogie Board eWriter at Kent Displays, Inc. here in Kent, Ohio. Last year he started the WordPress blog to share his long-standing love of cooking and eating food.

Alexander D. Riddle

Alex Riddle is obsessed with inbound marketing and entrepreneurship. He taught himself to code when he was just 12 years old, and started building websites for clients before he could drive. At just 18, he founded Monarch Wave Marketing determined to overcome the biggest challenge with marketing today – users don’t like being sold to.

Lee Drozak

Lee Drozak, from LeeDrozak Biz, helps small business owners and solo entrepreneurs find the wow in their WordPress websites. Her design and development abilities are supplemented by her digital strategy skills to give her clients user-friendly, attractive websites. Lee focuses on website design & development for those who are tired of fitting into everyone else’s mold and want their website to reflect the value only they can offer to their clients. Before starting her WordPress Design company, Lee Drozak Biz, Lee spent years as a Technical Virtual Assistant, supporting busy and overwhelmed single business owners carry out their latest product launch, email marketing campaign or ongoing website maintenance with ease. Lee is a sought-after consultant and host of Pittsburgh Biz TV’s technical segment, Finding Your Website Wow and is a contributor in Soar To Success magazine. When not emerged in the world of digital, Lee spends her time in her small Amish town or traveling around in her RV. She also likes anything outdoors, bacon over a campfire and sharing a glass of wine with friends.

Stoney deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the CEO and fearless pit crew leader of Pole Position Marketing, a results-driven digital marketing agency established in 1998. In addition to business training events, Stoney has been known to spin a yarn or two at nationwide conferences, such as PubCon, Search Marketing Expo (SMX), Affiliate Summit, and various WordCamp events. He is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!, and his articles about how to navigate the web marketing landscape have been published on Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, Orbit Media Studios, and Search Engine Journal as well as Pole Position Marketing’s own E-Marketing Performance blog.

Joe Querin

Joe has been a web designer/developer since 1998. Joe blends his creative side and knowledge of Graphic Design with his problem-solving skills and self-taught programming skills to build and maintain websites. Joe also has designed, implemented and maintained a wide variety of server platforms for websites over the years. When Joe is manipulating pixels into works of art, or stringing variables and methods together to bend WordPress or any other website technology to his will, he enjoys spending time with his two daughters and wife of 18 years. In his free time, Joe enjoys cooking/grilling, woodworking, video games and 3D modeling.

Mitch Canter

Mitch Canter is a Senior Web Developer with Vanderbilt University. A 10-year veteran of the digital industry, he’s worked with small-businesses, travel bloggers and fortune 500 companies to help empower people to tell their story online. Mitch is also a digital strategist, an award-winning web designer, avid video gamer, and amateur Spoony Bard.

Introducing the First Round of Speakers

WordCamp Kent is excited to announced our first group of confirmed speakers!

Introducing our Keynote Speaker!!! Carrie Dils

Carrie has been working with web technologies since the late 1990’s, but met and fell in love with WordPress in 2012. She works independently as a front-end developer and has a passion for educating others. She hosts, a podcast about running a WordPress business, and teaches WordPress courses at When she’s not working or attending a WordCamp, she’s hanging out with her husband and loving on her two rescue labs. She can be bribed with craft beer and candy.

Jarrett Gucci

Jarrett Gucci comes from a retail background that started at Home Depot in Buffalo NY as cashier and 18 months later was asked to be a project manager based out of Carson California with a goal of opening 12 stores in 14 months. This goal was accomplished. He has also been an area manager at Big Lots and Bed Bath and beyond. He left his very last retail career as a district manager at Linens & Things in 2007 to pursue a hobby of website development as hope he could make some money doing it. After 4 years of building and managing WordPress sites, he founded a company called WP Fix It and since 2011 his company has serviced over 54,000 WordPress support tickets. Something you may not know about Jarrett besides all this, is that when he was 15 his neighbor gave him a 1962 dodge dart and he completely took it apart and rebuilt it.

Bryan Cady

I build, maintain, and host WordPress websites for small and medium sized companies and non-profit organizations. In my spare time I enjoy riding my motorcycle across the country. I love WordPress because I work anywhere on the road I want.

Melinda Helt

Melinda Helt is a Happiness Engineer for WooCommerce and has over seven years experience building WordPress sites and training WordPress users. She also helps organize WordPress Meetups and WordCamps in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and is a member of the WordPress Community Training Team.

Seth Alling

Seth Alling is a Detroit-based developer turned designer turned developer, who has been working with WordPress since 2009 and currently works as the Lead Developer for Ranch House Designs. When he’s not developing (or designing), you can find him running, playing soccer, or spending time with his wife and sons.

Shelby Elliott

Shelby Elliott is a unique blend of essential oils, coffee, and the color purple. She’s also the Founder & Creative Director of Corner Market Media, a web design and branding shop based in Columbus, Ohio, and is a part time contractor for Modern Tribe. Shelby has been working with WordPress since 2009, and when she’s not creating beautiful things on the web, she can be found spending time with her 3 year old son, on a yoga mat, or exploring local businesses and events in Columbus. It’s also worth noting that she thinks she’s hilarious – many people object to this statement. You’ve been sufficiently warned.

Paul Oyler

Paul Oyler is a self-proclaimed “crazy old dude who wishes it were still the 1970’s but also loves 21st-century technology.” He has been using WordPress for almost 14 years, and in the last 3 years has become serious about the WordPress Community. The owner of Oyler Creative in Butler, PA, Paul is a Follower of Jesus, Husband, Dad, ‘Pappy’, WordPress and Genesis user, Music Lover, Deadhead, Buffalo Sabres and Bills fan. His career path includes being a Web Site Builder, Social Media Manager, Small Business Owner, Photographer, eBay Seller, Truck Driver, Executive Housekeeper, Youth Pastor, Warehouse Worker, Machine Shop Laborer, Convenience Store Clerk, Book Store Clerk, Textile Mill Worker, Security Guard, College Athletic Department Manager, Janitor, Flea Market Vendor, Retail Manager, Burger Flipper, Paper Boy, Christmas Card Seller, Seed Seller, and Lemonade Stand Operator. Paul is very committed to spreading the word about WordPress Community, with an emphasis on “Community”.

Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman is a Pittsburgh-based web designer and developer who works remotely for WordImpress. He has contributed to several plugins including Give, a WordPress donation plugin with the goal to Democratize Generosity. As a result of transitioning from custom WordPress sites to distributed plugins, Kevin offers a unique perspective of design and development that he enjoys sharing with the WordPress community.