New and Old Friends at WordCamp Philly 2014

Jeremy Pry + Liam Dempsey at WordCamp Philly 2014

Having just caught up on sleep from WordCamp Philly 2014, I wanted to thank the people who made it such a wonderful weekend. What follows is a list of just some of the amazing folks I met or with whom I spent time while talking about WordPress, design, version control and more. Clearly there were too many people for me to thank here, so please forgive me if I left you off!

Jeremy Pry

Jeremy and I were introduced to each other about two years ago at a Philadelphia WordPress Meetup or at the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup. Since then, I’ve come to have a deep respect for Jeremy’s prowess as a developer. He has the rare ability to not only write advanced code but also to teach the less technical how to write code or use version control. Crafting and delivering a presentation about GitHub with Jeremy at WordCamp Philly was a lot of fun. I learned a lot from him and his presentational style. Jeremy is online at

Tracy Levesque

I first met Tracy in 2012, at the first WordCamp at which I presented. Since then, I’ve gotten to know her a bit more through our involvement with the WordPress community. Over the past few months as we worked together to help organize WordCamp Philly 2014, I have come to consider Tracy a friend. She’s smart, very funny, outgoing and very generous. Getting to hang out with her so much over the past weekend was a definite highlight. Tracy is a designer who codes and a co-owner of YIKES, Inc.

Brian Messenlehner

Brian is a man who really knows code and is one of the owners of the amazing Web Dev Studios. Over the course of Friday night and a good portion of Saturday, I had a great time hanging with Brian, talking WordPress, helping people in the Happiness Bar and relaxing at the After Party.

Sonja Leix

Sonja Leix is a a New York based User Experience and Web Designer. I was lucky enough to meet Sonja on Friday evening, before WordCamp Philly. Her talk about UX was delivered to a packed room at WordCamp Philly and the reviews that I heard in the hallways afterwards were all very positive. It was fun chatting more with her at the After Party. Sonja’s online at

Tom Rose

A Philly-based designer/developer, Tom Rose is a classy, friendly guy. Although I’ve known Tom for a few years now through the Philly WordPress community, it was only over the weekend that I got spend any real amount of time catching up with him, learning about the etymology of the word slurve and some of the finer points of baseball. We may have also chatted about design, WordPress and the Advanced Custom Fields plugin.

Ben Lobaugh

Ben’s a nice guy with a welcoming smile and a full beard. He’s also an Automattician who calls Seattle home. When we discussed how to best to trim a beard, Ben was kind enough to share a bit of advice with me. Ben blogs at

Spencer Hansen

I met Spencer on Friday night at the Speaker’s Party. He arrived late, half starved and wearied by the journey. (There was all sorts of traffic coming into Philly that night.) Yet by the close of WordCamp Philly, Spencer had regained his stride and was able to carry us to victory in shuffle board at the After Party at Buffalo Billiards. I look forward to catching up with Spencer before too long at another WordPress event.

The #wcphilly Crew

When Brad Williams asked me to help plan WordCamp Philly 2014, I was thrilled at the invite. Brad is a professional for whom I have a great deal of respect and admiration. To be able to work with him, Doug Stewart and Reed Gustow was a wonderful opportunity — and I was grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Now that WordCamp Philly 2014 is now a memory, I must extend my thanks and admiration to these guys – along with the amazing April Williams – for putting together what was an amazing weekend of WordPress, community sharing, knowledge exchange and great fun.

Bring on 2015!