2016 NTC WordPress Day: Bios

Seth Bannon, Amicus

OSDI (Open Supporter Data Interface)

Seth Bannon is a co-founder of Amicus (www.amicushq.com), a startup that helps nonprofits turn their supporters into fundraisers and advocates. He’s also the co-founder of Fifty Years (fifty.vc), a seed stage investment fund focusing on early stage tech-enabled high-growth impact startups, and the co-founder of Impact.tech, a community of people excited about using business to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. For his work with Amicus, Seth was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurship in 2013, and was named to the list again in 2014. Seth has been volunteering for, founding, and working for advocacy organizations, including the Obama campaign in 2008. An avid chess player, Seth can often be found in Union Square Park in New York City attempting to hustle the chess hustlers.

Kristina Bjoran

Forum One

Kristina Bjoran is a Senior Creative Strategist at Forum One, where she focuses her strategy efforts on nonprofit organizations across the world. Her day-to-day entails digging deep into spreadsheets, finding structure where there is little (or none), and providing strategic content guidance to her clients. In her spare time, Kristina contributes to and co-edits the online user experience magazine, UX Booth. She also keeps herself busy with Reddit, video games, and illustration. Follow her on twitter at @bjoran_identity.

Sarah Blackstock


Sarah Blackstock is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. She loves the Internet, politics, and cold brew coffee. In her spare time, she enjoys making things, reading, and renovating her house. She blogs daily at sarahblackstock.com & tweets obsessively as @sarahblackstock.

Ben Byrne

Cornershop Creative

Ben Byrne is Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Cornershop Creative, a small distributed agency focused on nonprofits and WordPress. As Chief Creative Officer, Ben oversees the visual design work and code produced by Cornershop.

Ben has a BFA in Graphic Design and has been working on the web for about 20 years. He has presented on a variety of topics, including the differences between print and web design, web typography, and high performance front-end performance optimization at various organizations and events, including several WordCamps. Ben lives in Indiana, though he’s moving to California this summer.

Courtney Clark

Forum One

Courtney Clark is a Senior User Experience Designer at Forum One, and has led many high-profile UX projects with non-profit organizations, foundations, and government agencies. Courtney works with organizations to develop an optimal user experience that balances their mission with the needs of their target audiences. She earned on B.F.A. from the University of Kansas, with a focus in visual communication and graphic design, and has over 10 years experience bringing a user-centered approach to many world-changing organizations. Rock Chalk!

Matt Cromwell


Matt Cromwell is Head of Support and Community Wrangler at WordImpress. He is the Lead Organizer of the Advanced WordPress San Diego Meetup and AWP Facebook group (which boasts over 17K members). He’s a popular blogger at his personal site (mattcromwell.com), wordimpress.com, givewp.com, and mediatemple.net. Matt has a background in education and as a web developer for nonprofit organizations.

Phil Crumm

10up, Inc.

Phil Crumm is a Senior Web Strategist at 10up, where he helps some of the biggest names in web and media to navigate the complex intersection of web applications, content management, and digital publishing.

Josh Fialkoff

ForwardJump Marketing, LLC

Through my company, ForwardJump Marketing, I help organizations find and interact with their best prospective customers, donors and advocates by leveraging search engines, social networks and WordPress Websites.

Adriel Hampton

Adriel Hampton Group

Adriel runs The Adriel Hampton Group, a full-service agency focused on digital and growth consulting for civic tech startups and progressive political campaigns. He is also president and co-founder of an audience targeting technology startup. Before founding AHG, Adriel was VP of Business Development at NationBuilder, worked as a political and City Hall journalist and government investigator in the San Francisco Bay Area, and co-founded Gov 2.0 Radio, San Francisco CityCamp, and the San Francisco Technology Democrats. He has received technology evangelism awards from GovFresh and the California Democratic Party’s Computer & Internet Caucus and in 2013 was named a rising star of politics by Campaign & Elections magazine. In 2009, Adriel became the first U.S. Congressional candidate to announce their run via Twitter.

Chris Harmoney

Cornershop Creative

Chris Harmoney began coding in elementary school and has been telling computers what to do ever since. After completing a BA in Economics at Washington State University, he went on to receive a graduate certification in Systems Engineering for Software Intensive Systems from Carnegie Mellon, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Computer Science from Georgia Tech.

Chris worked for Boeing for over 10 years, starting as a student intern, and staying on as an analyst, programmer, and security advisor. Developing and supporting an eclectic collection of enterprise web and mainframe applications exposed him to an alphabet soup of languages and technologies. Since joining Cornershop Creative as the senior backend developer, Chris focuses on architecting and developing CMS and CRM solutions that snugly fit client’s needs and budgets. When the opportunity arises, he delights in integrating new products and vendors into established processes.

Chris believes in the power of the Internet to help organizations succeed in their missions. He’s a vocal fan of the EFF, and shares that organization’s passion for internet advocacy. Chris, his wife, and his two cats currently live in Iowa City, IA.

Vasken Hauri

10up, Inc.

Vasken joined 10up in February of 2013 with over 10 years of experience working in technology in both the public and private sectors. Before becoming a WordPress developer in 2009, Vasken worked at Plymouth State University in several roles ranging from desktop support to systems administration, and occasionally, adjunct faculty member.

In November of 2010, Vasken joined GigaOM, a leading technology news and research online publication, as a WordPress developer working remotely from New Hampshire. Upon moving to the Bay Area in mid-2012, he assumed the role of a team leader within GigaOM’s rapidly growing product development group, a position he held until joining the team at 10up in February of 2013.

Vasken enjoys creating natural, consistent user experiences that enhance and promote interactivity through simplicity. As a developer, one of Vasken’s strengths is his ability to communicate highly technical concepts in a clear, non-technical way in order to build understanding between various project stakeholders. This, along with significant experience across several technology sectors, has allowed him to engineer successful projects within organizations ranging from small, independent businesses to public universities to online publications with millions of unique visitors each month.

When he’s not testing cache performance or planning projects, Vasken enjoys spending time with his wife, hiking with his dogs in the Bay Area’s many beautiful nature parks, and as a recent California transplant, is once again trying to find a good group of musicians to jam with in yet another new city.

Ira Horowitz

Cornershop Creative

With 15 years’ experience, Ira has become an expert in nonprofit online communications and online fundraising. Working with hundreds of organizations, Ira has managed and executed many web projects that have resulted in increased funds and resounding engagement.

Ira’s core responsibilities are to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget, and to provide our clients with the best possible final product. Ira also manages all of our strategic engagements and helps guide nonprofits to determine their long-term strategy goals for online communications.

Prior to founding Cornershop, Ira was the Senior Project Manager at Firefly Partners, where he managed online projects including website design/builds, CRM deployments, and online strategic planning. Ira also served as the Online Organizer for Free Press, where he executed online campaigns that were awarded the 2007 People’s Choice Webby Award for Best Activism Website and the 2008 Convio Innovator Award for Best Advocacy Campaign. Ira has also previously served at American Jewish World Service, Fund for Public Interest, and Grassroots Campaigns, Inc.

Ira resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife, son, daughter, and two awesome cats.

Yelena Lowenfeld


Three years after moving to the US from abroad, built a six-person full-service consulting agency, specializing in creating online marketing strategies, branding, website development, and follow up support for clients. Garnered several awards for website design and local marketing success: 2011 and 2012 Outstanding Achievement (Interactive Media Awards), “Best Local Business,” (US Commerce Association), and rated #7 on the Top 10 Web Design Companies.com list in 2010.

Yelena specializes in online marketing strategies and IT trends with an emphasis in the nonprofit sector.

She holds her MS in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics. In 2015, Yelena has also successfully completed a Fundraising Certificate Program at NYU School of Professional Studies.

Erik Mathy

Pantheon Systems

My name is Erik Mathy, and it’s been my pleasure to have been building websites and applications since 1996. I’ve worked on almost everything there is work on: The original static HTML sites, intranets for multibillion dollar pharmaceutical companies, insurance enrollment systems, e-commerce solutions, enterprise level event registration and management systems, international community sites, and more. Among my many past lives before joining Pantheon was being the Senior Drupal Developer and CMS Team Manager for Techsoup Global for over two years. Non-profits are very near and dear to my heart!

Kyle Maurer

Real Big Marketing

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.

Lesley Molecke

Cornershop Creative

Lesley has been working on the web since she was in high school and ran her own small web design shop before she could drive. Prior to founding Cornershop Creative, she served as Web Manager for Albuquerque Public Schools — one of the largest school districts in the nation — where she oversaw the main district site, 62 department sites, and 140 individual school sites.

Lesley has extensive experience performing user testing and usability studies, rewriting and improving complex language to appeal to a wide variety of audiences, and helping organizations adopt the right technologies to achieve their goals. Her heart really belongs to nonprofits and small businesses, where she can see the tangible benefits of a healthy web presence: donations, connections, engagements, and sales.

Birgit Pauli-Haack

Birgit Pauli-Haack is a web & mobile developer for Pauli Systems and Relevanza. She serves businesses, professionals and nonprofits with websites and digital marketing. She just founded a new nonprofit NPTechProjects, assisting nonprofits with IT strategy, project management and online learning spaces.

In her spare time she supports the WordPress community as a deputy and a local Meetup organizer. Since 2013 she is also an organizer for Tech4Good SWFL ( a NTEN 501TechClub and Netsquared local group. For 2016 Birgit is a Netsquared Regional Ambassador. When she ever gets off the computer she plays tennis, goes for a run or the movies and travels places. She is also a mobile photographer. Connect with Birgit on Twitter: @bph

Colin Pizarek

Neon Web Studio

Colin Pizarek solves technology problems every day in his role as the product manager for NeonCRM. He previously built e-learning solutions for Idealware and currently serves on the board for the Ridgeville Foundation in Evanston, Illinois. He would love to talk to you about code, brewing, mountaineering, midwestern punk rock, or anything else, really.

Jamie Schmid

Jamie Schmid is a WordPress Architect with a particular passion for creating excellent content experiences! She enjoys taking sites from conception through a well-managed build process that encourages communication, planning and smart use of content. She lives in Portland, OR, with lots of rain and lots of cats.

Adam Silver


Adam teaches a WP101 course at the local adult school, presents a monthly WordPress seminar at SBDC, runs the SouthBay WordPress Meetup and produces a weekly podcast over at kitchensinkwp.com.

Amar Trivedi


Amar Trivedi is founder and president of AmDee LLC. Prior to founding AmDee in 2009, Amar worked as a software developer and architect for non-profit, government and for-profit clients. Using his knowledge of the internet, gathered since 1995, he now works creating technological solutions for real-life business challenges. He specializing in providing solutions that are individually tailored per client to meet their needs and budget. He firmly believes that market creates the best solution for any size of problem.

Ben Wong


BEN WONG is the Creative & Success Services Manager at Blackbaud and Co-Founder of Birthdays For All (birthdaysforall.org), a nonprofit that provides birthday presents to foster children in the Charleston County area.

He started his career as an interactive designer where he designed and developed website solutions for hundreds of nonprofit organizations. He also worked as a director of UX at a boutique digital marketing agency, where he gained experience in the for-profit world.

He has presented at Nonprofit Hub, NTC, DIG South, BBCON, Refresh Charleston and Good Business Summit. He has written articles on mobile optimization and web design strategy for the npEngage blog and the npExperts eBook. As a Charleston resident, he is also part of the Charleston Open Source initiative to attract tech talent to the region.

He comes from the UK where he had a short career in the British music industry before completing his degree in Computer Science with Business Management at Queen Mary University of London.



Learn more about WordPress Day at the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

Don’t have your ticket yet? Registration for NTC is still open — just be sure to opt in to the 16NTC WordPress Day Pre-Conference Event.