Skip to content.

Skip to main menu.

2018 Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Jade E. Davis

Photo: Jade E. Davis

Dr. Jade E. Davis spends a lot of time thinking about how tech becomes invisible in everyday life and how it affects intrahuman interaction. She is fascinated by the accident built into, erasure caused by, and imaginary world of emerging technologies and how they recreate cultural biases. Her research focuses on questions of multi-generational trauma and crisis and the stories we’ve inherited through technology in the digital age. In her day to day life she works on bringing technology into formal learning spaces as ethically and equitably as possible. Her talks, featured most notably at Theorizing the Web, combine the traditional talk format with play and performance. Her work on digital media in higher education has been featured on the Digital Media and Learning Central blog.

Molly Wright Steenson

Photo: Molly Wright Steenson

Dr. Molly Wright Steenson is a designer, author, professor, and international speaker whose work focuses on the intersection of design, architecture, and artificial intelligence. She is the author of Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscape (MIT Press, 2017), which tells the radical history of AI’s impact on design and architecture and how it poured the foundation for contemporary digital design. She cut her teeth on the web in 1994 and has since worked with groundbreaking studios, consultancies, and corporations. Dr. Steenson is an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design, with a courtesy appointment in the School of Architecture. Previously, she was an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, adjunct faculty at Art Center in Pasadena, CA, and an associate professor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy. She holds a PhD in architecture from Princeton University and a master’s in architectural history from Yale. St. Paul is her hometown.

Photo credit: Ross Mantle

View Past Keynotes

2018 Session Presenters

Andrew Eklund

As CEO and Founder of Ciceron, one of the leading digital agencies in the country, Andrew has led his company and its clients through the entire history of the Web over the past two decades. Those clients include; Warner Music Group, Be The Match, 3M, Delta Airlines, The Home Depot, Children’s Hospital, Vonage, Capella University, Radisson Blu Hotels, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, FeedingAmerica, and many more.

Andrew has spoken extensively around the country at industry conferences, including MediaPost Summits, the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Las Vegas, E-Tourism Summit, MarketingSherpa, MobCon, multiple MIMA events, to name a few.

In February of 2017, Andrew was named one of Minnesota Business’s “Paragons of Leadership,” a distinction given to business executives who make “a positive impact through service, character, and leadership.” In May 2016, Andrew was selected as one of “The (Real) Power 50 of 2016” by the same magazine, and in 2011, he was named as one of the “200 Minnesotans You Should Know” by the Twin Cities Business magazine. Ciceron has been named as one of the “Top 100 Places To Work” on numerous occasions including 2014, 2015 and 2016. In July of 2016, Ciceron was also named a Best Place to Work by the Business Journal. Andrew is most proud of these team recognitions.

Andrew provides both senior strategy insight and leads Ciceron’s business development initiatives. He’s also one of the original members of The Big Wu and is debatably the world’s biggest Phish fan

Follow @aeklund on Twitter

Brandon Johnson

Brandon Johnson is a research engineer at space150, working with clients and brands on technology and experiential activations. Outside of space150, he is an active organizer for Javascript MN. He is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota and an active biker.

Follow @brandon_mn on Twitter

Brianna McCullough

My name is Brianna McCullough and I am originally from Detroit, Mi and I currently reside in Minneapolis, MN working at 3M as a technical support engineer. In the community I am the community and events coordinator for Graveti MN, as well as a routine tutor at the Reve Academy in southeast Minneapolis. My hobbies include all things technology, artificial intelligence, reading, and community service. I hold a degree in Computer Science and I have thoroughly enjoyed my career in the medical device industry.

Follow @_briannaaaa on Twitter

Chad Koch

Senior Accessibility Specialist

Colin McFadden

Colin McFadden is a Technology Architect for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. His work primarily focuses on media processing and advanced imaging, an in particular the ways those technologies can benefit education and research. Away from the computer, he is passionate about travel, cooking, and rock climbing. Preferably all at the same time.

Follow @cmcfadden on Twitter

David Schlotfeldt

David is co-founder of Plaudit Design. With 20 years of experience, and locations in Minneapolis and NYC, the Plaudit team has helped an impressive list of national clients redefine their digital presence and harness the web to achieve their business goals.

Follow @plauditdesign on Twitter

David Washington

David Washington is a self-proclaimed hacker. He’s Microsoft veteran of 12 years, where he’s led the developer teams that built the user experience the Windows Explorer, new form factors and the touch keyboard. He’s picked up awards for winning hacks at TechCrunch Disrupt, he’s regularly asked to speak at technical conferences around the US, and has delivered developer sessions at PDC, BUILD, MidwestJS, MobileMarch, KCDC and HDC. Besides holding multiple design and utility patents, he is continually building projects with open source, IoT, iOS, and the mobile web. David has a particular passion for working with non-technical people to enable things that have never been done with technology before. Currently, he’s a Director of developers at Microsoft, where his team works to help and enable startups, students and independent developers around the US do more.

Follow @dwcares on Twitter

Erin Arnesen

Erin Arnesen researches emerging technologies at Target. Before focusing on UX Research, she spent time in the advertising industry conducting market research and consulting on digital and brand strategy. In her spare time she enjoys doing cross-fit, attempting Pinterest recipes, and backpacking along the North Shore.

Henry Megarry

Henry is a software developer at Thomson Reuters doing mostly DevOps. He loves learning new technologies and that coupled with a passion for video games led him to VR game development.

James Squires

James is a frequent speaker and media resource. In addition to external speaking roles at Midwest Mobile Summit, IDGA Meet-Ups, Mobile March Twin Cities and MIMA Summit, he is also a frequent speaker for media like Digiday and MAKE magazine.

Kristen Findley

Marcus Finley

Marcus Finley is the CEO and Founder of FIN Digital, a full service digital application and innovation development firm. Marcus graduated from Florida State University where he majored in Mechanical Engineering and Public Administration. Marcus is a certified Scrum Master with expert knowledge of a number programming languages, user experience design and web/mobile application development. Marcus has managed over $3 million dollars of contracted technology development and strategy projects for with an average project budget of $200,000. In his professional roles he has provided technology strategies and user experiences to achieve client’s goals. He has help developed UX practices, lead a number of UX workshops with clients and guided companies with emerging needs of validating applications. He co-founded a Meetup called Color of Tech to bring together a diverse group of technology professionals to network and thrive.

Follow @marcusafinley on Twitter

Martha Megarry

Martha is a software developer, designer, and artist. In addition to VR prototypes she is currently working on a point and click adventure game and is co-host of the game development podcast Nice Games Club.

Follow @MarthaMegarry on Twitter

Max Thorson

Max is a research software engineer at space150.

Michael Schlotfeldt

Michael is co-founder of Plaudit Design. With 20 years of experience, and locations in Minneapolis and NYC, the Plaudit team has helped an impressive list of national clients redefine their digital presence and harness the web to achieve their business goals.

Follow @plauditdesign on Twitter

Ryan Strunk

Ryan Strunk has spent the past five years at Target, where he has worked to make many of Target’s digital experiences accessible. He has been actively involved in Cartwheel, the Target registry, and the launch of the adaptive release of Currently he serves as a consultant for Target’s flagship app team.

Ryan is a passionate advocate for accessibility. He serves on the board of directors for BLIND Inc., is the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota’s Metro Chapter, and he has provided accessibility consultation for YMCA Twin Cities.

Sana Baig

Sr. Accessibility Consultant at Target.

Scott Showalter

For over 10 years, Scott has been pushing teams to thrive at crafting experiences for users of digital and physical products in a diversity of industries including security, banking, dining, public safety, transit and mobility. He does nothing without first making connections with real users, understanding their journey, empathizing with their needs, and considering how they think and work to accomplish their goals within the context of the problem space. Scott has a dynamic presentation style, delivering learning in many ways for many different types of learners, and he threads humor throughout everything he teaches to help drive his points home and make them memorable. He encourages the use of Lean UX alongside agile delivery to iteratively conceive, validate and deliver valuable components of an experience within complex adaptive systems. Scott speaks frequently at UX and Agile conferences, teaching people to build teams that can create the right products by showing them how to solve meaningful problems that the people who use their products actually care about. He runs 4 active Agile & Lean UX meetups across Ohio and Michigan that serve over a thousand designers, engineers and product leaders.

Follow @scottrageous on Twitter

Sharon Kennedy Vickers

Sharon is the Co-Founder of Blacks in Technology – Twin Cities and I2I: a Center for Civic Innovation and th Co-Organizer of Code Switch.

With more than 15 years of experience in the field of technology, Sharon excels at IT strategy, business and IT alignment and software design and development. She currently serves as an IT Management Consultant on assignment with the City of St. Paul.

She articulates vision and architects solutions to meet the ever-changing role of technology in a clients’ pursuit of achieving a competitive advantage. Whether you’re talking IT optimization, process improvement, transforming the role of IT in the business, or progressive designs and ideas — Sharon believes that in everything there is “an opportunity for improvement.”

Follow @sharonkennedyv on Twitter

Stephen Boak

I’m a Senior Product Designer at Datadog and former co-founder and head of product of Opsee. I’ve been a designer in the dev tools space for the past 7 years.

Follow @sboak on Twitter

Sue Ann Rodriquez

Sue Ann Rodriquez is Director of Accessibility Services for WeCo.

A JAWS code developer who is blind, Sue Ann earned a MA in Digital Communication from Metropolitan University and has a background in applying disability-based UX to websites. Sue Ann currently directs a team of Accessibility Specialists at WeCo who develop disability-based UX test cases and reports which assist clients in making their software and website truly accessible to real people living with disabilities. She also oversees WeCo’s team of Certified Test Consultants, all of whom live with one or more disability.

Follow @WeCo5 on Twitter

2018 Workshop Presenters

Amy Grace Wells

Amy Grace is a content strategist and UX designer with nearly 15 years of experience in higher ed, publishing, and nonprofit. She holds master’s degress in higher education and user experience design.

Her experiences include leading content strategy at University of South Carolina and Texas A&M AgriLife, where she directed content strategy, information architecture, and social media for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and five state agencies. She served as an expert reviewer for “Content Strategy for WordPress,” published in 2015. Bragging rights include holding a sensei rank in karate and singing happy birthday to Muhammad Ali.

Follow @amygracewells on Twitter

Colin McFadden

Colin McFadden is a Technology Architect for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. His work primarily focuses on media processing and advanced imaging, an in particular the ways those technologies can benefit education and research. Away from the computer, he is passionate about travel, cooking, and rock climbing. Preferably all at the same time.

Follow @cmcfadden on Twitter

James Mathewson

James Mathewson is the Program Director, Content Strategy and Platforms. His job is to build the ecosystem for enterprise content management, including taxonomy, ontology, content planning, publishing, and optimization. He has 20 years of experience in web editorial, content strategy, and SEO for large and small companies. A frequent speaker, lecturer and blogger, James has published more than 1600 articles and two books on how web technology and user experience change the nature of effective content. James has two advanced degrees on related subjects from the University of Minnesota.

Follow @James_Mathewson on Twitter

Kamran Ayub

Kamran Ayub is a full-stack engineer living in Minneapolis, MN. He has been in the industry since 2006 in roles spanning front-end design to infrastructure support. He is well-versed in web technologies and loves to work with both JavaScript and .NET stacks. His passion for impeccable UX, clean code, maintainable software architecture, and his range of ability have allowed him to wear many different hats throughout his career. He loves speaking at conferences and teaching others through his Pluralsight courses. He is a core contributor on the Excalibur.js team, a hobbyist game developer, the creator of Keep Track of My Games, and a maintainer on several open source projects. Besides coding, Kamran is an avid gamer and loves to spend time with his family. You can keep up with him on

Follow @kamranayub on Twitter

Keita Broadwater

Operations and Finance Leader with Data Science, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning Specialization.

Follow @keitabr on Twitter

Samantha Porter

Terrance Schubring

Terrance Schubring’s interest in innovation and creating the future began when he saw the movie, 2001 – A Space Odyssey. It inspired him to program adventure games on an Atari 800. Much later, he continued working with technology as an interactive media producer at University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education. Next he developed mobile apps. His many app projects included original games such as Railroad Train and client titles such as Sketch-By-Step in the Apple and Android app stores.

Follow @tschubring on Twitter

Stay Connected