I have been a WordPress developer, designer, blogger, enthusiast, fan, leader, organizer, and community member since version 1.8 – yes I’m using version numbers to lay out my timeline
I’ll try to make this post as short and sweet as I can – as many of you know that is difficult for me – but here we go!
WordPress changed my life - literarily! In the beginning I was a simple vb, java, c+, php, css, html, etc developer working freelance and teaching part-time at Seneca College in Toronto. I was teaching a PHP class to designers – yes I know – and I needed a simple way to help get them started and I came across WordPress. This was my first real delve into the world of open source, community, etc. I decided to use WordPress as a way to teach these students by building simple themes. Not only was it a success we started the first WordPress meetup in Toronto. The following semester we offered an official WordPress class, because it had become so popular with the students. Now, as far as I have been told this was the first official WordPress class taught in a higher learning institution in Canada – pretty cool!
This changed my life! I started building themes and plugins for fun and eventually turned it into a business. I started speaking at WordCamp’s around North America and was even called “the un-official WordPress evangelist” by some. Eventually I became an organizer and that led me back to Montreal.
Like I said short and sweet – I cut out a few years and tons of cool moments, people, stories, etc. Want to know more? Buy me a drink sometime
Moving forward …
I have decided to step down as one of the organizers of WordCamp Montreal! It is not an easy thing to do, but I have been a WordPress community leader and WordCamp organizer in 2 major Canadian cities for 5+ years and though my love for WordPress has not wavered I feel it is time to let other passionate community members take a go at it -after all – community is not owned it is shared!
I would like to thank all the amazing people over the years who have helped contribute to the success of many events and a growing community of passionate, motivated, and vocal community members. I have had the pleasure of working with some exceptional sponsors, volunteers, and organizers.
I would like to send a special thank you to Jeremy Clarke for giving me the opportunity to become a BIG part of the Montreal WordPress community – for those of you who don’t know the story I met Jeremy at WordCamp Toronto 2009. I had invited him to speak (I was the organizer) he retuned the favour by asking me to speak in Montreal that year. We became friends and 4 moths later I moved my family to Montreal, started a new life, and joined Jeremy to help organize WordCamp Montreal 2010 … the rest is history!
Being a community leader and camp organizer has taught me many things about the industry, WordPress, and people and these learnings will only help strengthen my personal and professional lives – thank YOU!
I’m am still passionate about WordPress and will continue to remain a vocal member of the community and look forward to another successful WordCamp in 2013.
Ok … I’m getting teary eyed
WordPress Montreal is in good hands with Jeremy, Karl, and Shannon!