Thank You To Our White Bear Lake Level Sponsors

Our White Bear sponsors showed up big time, and we are so thankful for their support! Sponsors are not just anonymous sources of money. These sponsors are part of the WordPress community, working, designing, and developing with WordPress just like the attendees and speakers. They have a genuine passion for WordPress and want to see it continue to flourish. Thank you for your support Lightning Base,, 3five, WPBeginner, and InMotion Hosting.

Lightning Base is a managed WordPress host founded in 2011 and based in the Minneapolis area. With a focus on customer service, performance, and value, the company has grown to host thousands of WP websites across hosting locations in Chicago, Amsterdam, and Melbourne. We’re proud of the excellent reviews Lightning Base has received, and the way we help clients, beginner and expert, keep their sites fast, stable, and secure.

cimbura-logo makes businesses more effective, productive, and profitable with brilliant technology solutions. We build custom web sites and web applications with WordPress and Mac/Windows/iPad/iPhone applications with FileMaker. Companies invest with us for our strong tech skills and ability to create innovative and cost effective custom solutions to business challenges. We provide businesses with a strong competitive advantage that is unique to their industry.

3five is a web design, development & digital marketing studio serving clients globally with offices in Minneapolis and Duluth. We design, build, support and market enterprise websites using WordPress. We are obsessed with craftsmanship, customer service and the impact this has on the community.

WPBeginner is the largest free WordPress resource site with over 320,000+ subscribers from 190 countries around the world. Founded by Syed Balkhi in 2009, WPBeginner has always helped users learn how to make the most out of WordPress. WPBeginner offers free videos and step by step WordPress tutorials for beginners.

WPBeginner has guides like how to choose WordPress hosting, how to install WordPress, how to build an email list in WordPress, and many more.

The team at WPBeginner is also behind some of the most popular plugins such as OptinMonster – WordPress popup and lead-generation plugin, Soliloquy – responsive WordPress slider, and Envira Gallery – responsive WordPress gallery.

Founded in 2001, InMotion Hosting is one of the premier providers of web hosting worldwide, with a consistent record of award-winning customer satisfaction due to their 24/7, proactive customer service. With a commitment to Open Source and a sponsor of WordCamps across the country for the past half-decade, InMotion offers WordPress users a great platform to power your WP site. Our backend technology is based on Better Linux and combines with powerful hardware to offer our customers continuous 99.999% network uptimes.

InMotion Hosting utilizes powerful and reliable Solid-State Drives for all servers, making your website hosting up to 20 times faster than normal spinning drives. All hosting plans also come with free cPanel, a free domain or site transfer, and a number of WordPress-friendly tools including an auto installer for WordPress, WP-CLI, and free data backups. Our goal is to make your WP site a success!

Jesse Friedman Interview

Jesse Friedman is a team member of Jetpack at Automattic, and he has written several books, taught 100’s of students as a professor, and organized dozens of local meetups along with a few WordCamps. Jesse is speaking on Getting them from A to B at WordCamp Minneapolis.

What got you into working with WordPress?

In a world where good content management systems were hard to find a friend said 2 simple words “Try WordPress”.
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Trevan Hetzel Interview

Trevan HetzelTrevan Hetzel is a front-end developer at Flywheel with a background in design and adaptive layouts. Trevan is speaking on Super fast WordPress themes at WordCamp Minneapolis.

What got you into working with WordPress?

In my freelancing early days, I had a few clients wanting to be able to update their table-based websites themselves (I know, right?). I was pretty much a Dreamweaver visual editor kind of “developer” back then, but found WordPress and read a few tutorials on how to build custom themes and have been hooked ever since!
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Mendel Kurland Interview

Mendel KurlandMendel Kurland is a GoDaddy Evangelist who spends his time hanging out with developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and web pros around the world and making sure their opinions and suggestions are heard. Mendel is speaking on Give away the farm to get the ranch, why you should teach your clients how to do your job at WordCamp Minneapolis.

What got you into working with WordPress?

I started building websites by hand with Perl and PHP many years ago. When WordPress made its debut, it was such a time saver, helping me make all the things I used to program manually, automatically.
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David Skarjune Interview

David SkarjuneDavid Skarjune is lead consultant for Word & Image providing content publishing for authors, artists, publishers, and orgs with WordPress, and he’s a WordPress instructor at Takoda Institute. Skarjune is speaking on Content Production for Bloggers, Writers, and Editors at WordCamp Minneapolis.

What got you into working with WordPress?

I’ve used Open Source CMS for 15 years starting with the Zope framework. Used Mambo and then Joomla when it forked. Used Drupal. Wrote PHP web apps. Started with WordPress Version 2 for blogs. Saw Toby Cryns present on WordPress as a CMS at Minnebar 2008 and took notice. Since Version 3 in 2010 my web work centers on WordPress. Continue reading

Blake Iverson Interview

Blake IversonBlake Iverson is is a founding partner of Friedman Iverson, PLLC, a law firm for consumers and creatives, and he’s an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University and McNally Smith College of Music. Blake is speaking on IP for Creatives at WordCamp Minneapolis.

What got you into working with WordPress?

I wanted an easy platform for my law firm’s blog and I’d heard good things.
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Barbara Schendel Interview

Barbara SchendelBarbara Schendel is the owner and senior designer/developer for Wizzy Wig Web Design and her specialty is fully custom WordPress websites for small to medium-sized businesses. Barbara is speaking on Create Your Own WordPress Theme at WordCamp Minneapolis.

What got you into working with WordPress?

I used to do static HTML development but clients wanted a way to edit their site content. I used a few tools to accomplish this, but then a colleague dragged me to WordCamp 2010 and I discovered custom themes — from then on everything changed!
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Alec Rippberger Interview

Alec RippbergerAlec Rippberger works at digital agency Westwerk to plan and build web solutions that solve complex business problems, bridging the gap between business goals and end-user experiences. Alec is speaking on OOCSS, SMACSS & BEM for Modular, Scalable CSS at WordCamp Minneapolis.

What got you into working with WordPress?

I started working with WordPress 2.8 during a college web-maintenance internship, and haven’t looked back since.
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Heather Acton Interview

Heather ActonHeather Acton is the founder of Helio Interactive, a WordPress-centric digital agency in Chicago, IL. Heather is speaking on Financial Business Planning for Freelancers at WordCamp Minneapolis.

What got you into working with WordPress?

In 2009 as I was building my first website, a collection of photos and stories about my young kids, I stumbled on WordPress as a website framework. Within a couple of weeks I had a nice looking and very functional website running and was hooked on doing more with the platform. That little family site led to a few projects for friends, and from there the referrals poured in. Fast forward 6 years and WordPress is the basis of my custom development agency.
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Michael Cain Interview

Michael CainMichael Cain is is a Portland, Maine-based Theme Generator for Automattic‘s Theme Team. He spends his days creating, converting, and improving the theme experience on both and Michael is part of Cain & Obenland in the Morning! at WordCamp Minneapolis.

What got you into working with WordPress?

Blogging and then later, employment. I had played around with WordPress a few times previously, but when my wife and I moved to Maine from North Carolina after college, I wanted to start a blog to keep our friends and family updated about our new travels. I spent time exploring both and Blogspot, and sadly (and now ironically) settled on the latter because of their better theme selection at the time. Then as I grew my freelance web development business in Maine, I started exploring content management solutions to offer my clients, and had a hard time justifying any other solution – WordPress was easy for clients to grasp, cheap for me to implement, incredibly flexible, and community supported and developed.
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