Tonya Oaks Smith has spent most of her adult life smoothing frayed edges, herding wet and hungry cats, breaking down silos and perfecting the #facepalm – all while dancing backwards and in heels with a big smile on her face. A former reporter who sold her soul and then redeemed it by moving to communication for a public university, Smith is a fan of the words “y’all” and “malheureusement” – not necessarily in that order, and prefers the em dash to commas. She’s currently the executive director of marketing and communications at Henderson State University.
Mykl is the Digital Platform Development Director at BringMeTheNews, designs engaging web experiences, and speaks about social media, WordPress, and typography. He is the director of Social Media Breakfast – Minneapolis/St. Paul, the largest SMB chapter in the US. He co-organizes the Minnesota Blogger Conference, co-founded and coordinates the activities of Ignite Minneapolis and UnSummit, and runs the local chapter of TechKaraoke Minneapolis. Mykl has a special passion for the social web and its power to educate and inspire. He blogs at myklroventine.com.
Ruth is a senior project manager and analyst at Clockwork with a defining curiosity about how things work. So much so that she’s asked for access to a client’s database just to better understand their data. Her past gigs in teaching and linguistics have been unexpectedly helpful in doing her job. Teaching helps her to read a room quickly and switch gears easily. Linguistics has taught her to break down an issue into smaller parts to better understand it as a whole.
She likes to quote Einstein when looking at problems: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” In non-working hours, you can find Ruth in the garden, on a bike, or reading a book.
Paul DeBettignies, better known online as Minnesota Headhunter, is a Minnesota IT Recruiter who builds IT teams with startups and tech companies, creates recruiting strategies for Fortune 500 clients and is the author of the Minnesota Headhunter blog, the longest running regional recruiter blog.
He is a frequent local and national speaker, trainer and subject matter expert on recruiter, HR, career, networking and social media topics. Recent activities include presentations at Twin Cities Startup Week, Google for Entrepreneurs, Social Media Breakfast MSP, the University of St Thomas, Capella University, MinneBar and ERE and interviews with WCCO AM (CBS) Radio, FOX 9, MSP Business Journal, Minneapolis StarTribune, St Paul Pioneer Press, Dice.com and TechTarget.
Paul is involved in the Minneapolis and St Paul technology, marketing and social media communities as a sponsor, volunteer and mentor and was the co-founder, coordinator and advisory board member of Minnesota Recruiters, the largest regional recruiter group in the country.
Trystan holds a BA in both health education and exercise science and an MS in exercise science and health promotion. She is a certified health and fitness specialist, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and wellness coach. Work with Mayo Clinic, BlueCross BlueShield, and HealthPartners provided product development experience but also allowed her to work “in the weeds” with clients and individuals. A fascination with behavior change””constantly searching for effective strategies to encourage higher quality living””continues to fascinate and motivate her.
Emily is VP of Strategy & UX at Clockwork, a digital agency that builds business applications that connect companies with their customers on the web, and in mobile and physical environments. She works with a team of content strategists, user-experience architects, and analysts to help clients – from startups to Fortune 50s – make sense of, and make the most of, digital media and digital tools.
Steve spent most of the past ten years in healthcare, working first for Kaiser Permanente and then locally for HealthPartners. He recently left HealthPartners to start his own company focused on helping small companies compete with bigger competitors. His work is focused on service design and building products that provide value to the people who use them.
Dylan Wilbanks is a web roustabout, raconteur, and curmudgeon currently practicing as a user experience designer in Seattle. He has been designing, building, and maintaining experiences for public and private sector organizations for 15 years. He has presented on user experience and accessibility at conferences such as SXSW and Webvisions. He created one of the first Twitter accounts used in higher education, but that was an accident, and he’s really sorry about that.
Mahtab is Principal and CEO at Crux Collaborative. She has spent nearly two decades as a user experience designer, researcher, strategist, leader, and mentor. She has worked on user experiences for companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 50. She has a loud laugh and a lot of shoes. She also has a lot of strong opinions and has been known to say “think about it until you agree” after expressing one of them.
Dave Olsen has been a developer and project manager with the University Relations-Web unit at West Virginia University (WVU) for the last twelve years. Over that time he has worked on and led projects that range from developing a university-wide CMS to creating award-winning marketing websites. Dave’s primary role is to help find the balance between tech, content, and design for many of the university’s biggest projects. For the last four years he has also been responsible for implementing mobile solutions for the university. These include SMS-based services, WVU’s central mobile web portal, as well as a number of responsive design-based websites.
In addition to his work at WVU, Dave actively participates in open source projects and writes as well. This past year his project, Pattern Lab, was nominated for the Net Awards Open Source Project of the Year. In 2013, Dave contributed a chapter on web performance to Smashing Magazine’s “The Mobile Book.” He shares what he’s learned about mobile, as well as his reactions to mobile trends, on his personal blog.
Viewing page 5. Page Links: