Conference Speakers

AJ Van Beest

Bayfield County
AJ Van Beest

AJ loves pushing buttons and boundaries. "You probably can't/shouldn't do that," is a clear notice to him that there are things to be explored.

AJ's love of poking and prodding has manifested as a professional focus in cyber security over the last half-decade. He's collected an impressive collection of letters to put on his business card -- GPEN; GWAPT; C)PTE; C)IHE; Network+ -- all of which mean that he's spent a *lot* of time learning how to break things in order to learn how to make them more secure. With his previous focus on website development providing part of the foundation of his current security work, web application penetration testing has become a natural home for AJ.

When he's not busy hacking your website, AJ loves being on the long trail, choosing the rocky, uphill path, and spending time with his people. He adores writing about himself in the third person, has set multiple records for using profanity in professional speaking engagements, and has had the wettest water in any NAGW session for three years running.

Augusta Branham

City of Fayetteville, AR

Augusta is the Web Content Manager for the City of Fayetteville, Ark. As part of the Communications and Marketing Department, Augusta oversees the day-to-day management of the city's websites. She started working for the city in 2015 and took over a newly renovated website, where a majority of the content was migrated from a decade-old site. From there, she spearheaded the review and cleanup of the entire site, focusing on breaking down silos and ensuring content is accessible and easy to digest.

Brett Husbands

Brett Husbands

Brett Husbands has worked with local government and the broader public sector for nearly two decades, helping organizations in three continents deliver better services to citizens using digital channels. Brett is CEO of Firmstep where he has implemented and improved digital service delivery for state and local US government, UK public sector bodies at the national level, a third of UK municipalities and local government in Australasia. Brett is passionate about helping government bodies deliver the best digital services that both they and their citizens can imagine.

Brett White

City of West Hollywood

Brett specializes in the management of public-sector digital, social and emerging media and web services. He has been with the City of West Hollywood for nearly two decades and, in his role as Digital Media Coordinator, has successfully launched and nurtured an award-winning web and social media presence that is recognized as unparalleled by cities across the nation. 

Bryan Bullock

City of Boulder, Colorado

Bryan Bullock is the web content administrator and social media team leader with the City of Boulder, Colorado. He joined the city in May 2015 and has helped Boulder evolve its social media team and strategy, based on data and emerging trends. In his former role, Bryan served as social media manager for the Ohio School Boards Association and led the organization to national recognition and accolades for its innovative use of social media. He has spoken at state and national conferences on social media best practices.

Caitlin Geier

Deque Systems

Caitlin Geier is a UX designer on the product team at Deque Systems, a company which focuses on digital accessibility solutions. As a UX designer, Caitlin’s work with accessible design flourished once she began working for Deque. She is passionate about understanding the users she’s designing for, and she continually strives to incorporate accessibility elements into her work to ensure that all users can benefit from inclusive design.

Carol Spencer

StormZero LLC
Carol Spencer

Carol A Spencer is nationally recognized for her innovative use of social media in emergency management and state of the art government web development.  Spencer brings a unique combination of skills and viewpoints to her efforts in emergency communications. She served ten years in elected office in Denville NJ, four of those as mayor.  Her Information Technology career spans forty years, including a public information managerial role focused on web and digital / social media communications.  She was mayor during the devastating Hurricane Floyd (1999).

Chris Stangland

Travis County, TX

Chris has worked in web design and development since the dark ages, and worked for Travis County since the only slightly less dark ages. He still believes in the power of the web as a transformative, playfield-levelling tool in government.

Chris grew up on the east coast but the lure of easy living got him to Austin quickly.

Dana Chisnell

Dana Chisnell

Dana brings deep experience in civic design, starting with research at NIST into the use of language in instructions on ballots (with Ginny Redish), and work on standards and testing for poll worker documentation for the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). She is also an expert in plain language and usability for older adults, including ground-breaking work at AARP that was the basis for several requirements in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Dave Watts

Chief Technology Officer, Fig Leaf Software
Dave Watts, Chief Technology Officer, Fig Leaf Software

Dave Watts cofounded Fig Leaf Software in 1992. As Chief Technology Officer, he drives the technology vision and enhances Fig Leaf's competitive edge by developing the company's best practices, covering server configuration, performance tuning, application development and deployment, and Google and Amazon cloud and search technologies. He has been developing web applications with ColdFusion since version 1.5 and implementing Google, Amazon and Microsoft solutions since 2005. He coauthored the best-selling ColdFusion book, The ColdFusion Web Application Construction Kit.

David Gallerizzo

Chief Executive Officer, Fig Leaf Software
David Gallerizzo, Chief Executive Officer, Fig Leaf Software

David (Dave) Gallerizzo is the CEO of Fig Leaf Software, a leading digital agency with an international customer base. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors. The firm operates worldwide through its major business units including Consulting Services (user experience, application development on mobile and desktop platforms, strategic analysis, and marketing), Technical Training, and Product Resale. The company maintains strategic partnerships with Google, Adobe, Amazon, SalesForce, Sencha, Acquia, EpiServer, Hubspot, Telerik, and Paperthin.

Dawn Watkins

Texas A&M University
Dawn Watkins

Dawn Watkins is new to IT Accessibility at Texas A&M University, but she has been a champion for accessibility for over six years. She has experience with accessibility requirements associated with web development, document compliance, and procurement. Dawn is an advocate and trainer for accessibility on the College Station campus. Dawn has worked in State Government for over 14 years and has been a member of the National Association of Government Web Professionals for five years. She has a degree in Visual Communication Design from Austin Community College.

Dru Fenster

U.S. Forest Service - Alaska Region

Dru has worked in the communications and public relations field for over 23 years. She has operated her own PR business, and has also worked for both the State of Alaska and the Federal Government in the field of public affairs and communications. Dru was born and raised in Alaska, and continues to call it her home today. Her love of the outdoors and the people of the state fuels her passion for work with the Alaska Region of the Forest Service in, “caring for the land and serving the people”.

Gregg Turnbull

Larimer County, CO

Gregg is the Webmaster for Larimer County, Colorado, where he and his team have recently launched a new - built using Drupal and AngularJS. Before working in Government, Gregg headed up web and software development at the Biodesign Institute, at Arizona State University.  At home, he and his wife wrangle (attempt to direct the activity of) six kiddos. 

Jack Madans

OpenCities, Inc.
Jack Madans

Jack Madans manages product and customer engagement for OpenCities, Inc. Jack was a founding team member at the globally recognized civic innovation non-profit, Code for America, where he championed civic engagement, user research and testing, and technology supported change management. Jack has long been an advocate for, and designer of, services and solutions that improve processes and outcomes for both government workers and residents. He is the designer of the Digital Services Redesign process for municipal websites, and is a much sought after speaker on the topic.Jack Madans manages product and customer engagement for OpenCities, Inc. Jack was a founding team member at the globally recognized civic innovation non-profit, Code for America, where he championed civic engagement, user research and testing, and technology supported change management. Jack has long been an advocate for, and designer of, services and solutions that improve processes and outcomes for both government workers and residents. He is the designer of the Digital Services Redesign process for municipal websites, and is a much sought after speaker on the topic.

James Hopper

Johnson County Community College, Professor/Chair Web Development and Digital Media
James Hopper

James Hopper is Professor and Chair of the Web Development and Digital Media program at Johnson County Community College. He has over 20 years’ experience teaching web design/development and digital media, including storytelling at Johnson County Community College and over 30 years’ experience creating media rich interactive websites and digital media stories. He has spoken at national conferences, such as, the National Association of Government Web Professionals on storytelling and web design.  He graduated from Kansas University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Journalism he is currently working on a Master’s degree in Graphic Information Technology from Arizona State University. 

James Tormey

JesseJames Creative
Jim Tormey, JesseJames Creative

James Tormey is a co-founder of JesseJames Creative a marketing and web development consultancy and the primary architect of OrgCentral, a Sass platform designed for government agencies that is best described as the love child of CMS, CRM and ERP. 

Jessica Milcetich

Jessica Milcetich

Jessica is the product manager of and at the U.S. General Services Administration. In her role, Jessica helps millions of people get answers to their questions about navigating the complexities of the federal government through USAGov’s websites, call center and social media accounts.

Jonathan Avila

Chief Accessibility Officer, SSB BART Group
Jonathan Avila, Chief Accessibility Officer, SSB BART Group

As Chief Accessibility Officer for SSB BART Group, Jonathan Avila is involved in updating and maintaining SSB’s Unified Audit Methodology and best practice library relating to Section 508, WCAG, and other accessibility standards.

Jonathan has deep experience in the analysis, design and repair of software, web pages, Flash, Flex, documentation and hardware for accessibility.

Josh Ditthardt

Josh Ditthardt

Josh Ditthardt is the Government Sales Manager at Siteimprove, where he continues to help government organizations maximize their online presence. He has previously spoken at NAGW, 3CMA, AMA Non-Profit Marketing Conference, and more.

Kaitlin Devine

18F, General Services Administration
Kaitlin Devine

Kaitlin Devine is a Product Owner at the Department of the Treasury. She oversees development of the new, using agile and user-centered design methodologies. Kaitlin is on detail from the General Services Administration’s technical consultancy 18F, where she served as the Director of Engineering. In addition to leading the engineering team at 18F, she has worked as both a full stack engineer and consultant. Prior to 18F, Kaitlin worked as a software engineer and on spending transparency policy at the Sunlight Foundation.

Katie Johnston

City of Tacoma
Katie Johnston

I am passionate about improving government services, whether that be communicating our results and goals using data or improving our decision making and service delivery using continuous improvement frameworks. I have worked in government for 8 years on strategic planning, sustainability, budgeting, continuous improvement, open data, and performance management. The City of Tacoma is a leader in open data and performance management work, the City has received the ICMA Certificate of Excellence for the past four years and is a What Works Cities partner.

Luis Majano

Ortus Solutions, Corp
Luis Majano

Luis Majano is a Computer Engineer born in El Salvador and is the president of Ortus Solutions (, a consulting firm specializing in web development, architecture and professional open source support and services.  His background includes over 17 years of software development experience, architecture and system design. 

Marc Pfeiffer

Marc Pfeiffer
Marc Pfeiffer

Marc has broad experience in many areas of local government policy and administration, including specific expertise in areas such as finance and property taxation, public procurement, shared services and consolidation, technology, energy, labor relations, and general government administration.

Michael Ashford

Michael Ashford

Michael grew up in local government as the son of a Community and Economic Development Director and has relied on those insights to connect public sector employees’ needs to technology solutions throughout his career. As the Vice President of Product Marketing at Granicus, Michael guides the company’s product messaging, client-product relations and thought leadership efforts. He has a decade of experience in the eGovernment software space, having worked at MindMixer and CivicPlus previously.

Michael Melham

AlphaDog Solutions, Inc.
 Michael Melham

Michael Melham is a government communications professional and PublicWebmaster.  As a former city councilman and County Webmaster, his company, AlphaDog Solutions, currently provides New Jersey governments with “Managed Municipal Websites” and communications services. Melham's depth of experience with government entities and the general public is an invaluable asset to the 25+ clients he is currently retained by.

Patrick McGovern

Equidox by Onix
Patrick McGovern

Patrick McGovern in the national account manager for Equidox by Onix, which is a SaaS solution that converts inaccessible PDFs to compliant HTML to ensure web sites and other content meets the WCAG 2.0 AA standard. Patrick has over 30 years in software and hardware solutions, working with government, higher education and corporations on web accessibility.

Peter Kageyama

Peter Kageyama

Peter is the author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places and the follow up, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places. Peter is a Senior Fellow with the Alliance for Innovation, a national network of city leaders that is dedicated to improving the practice of local government.

Rachel Reynolds

City of Keller, Texas
Rachel Reynolds

Rachel Reynolds joined the City of Keller as its first Public Information Officer in October 2012 after four years as an award-winning print journalist and editor. An Austin native and 2008 graduate of The University of North Texas’ journalism program, Rachel is passionate about engaging citizens both in person and online. In her short time as a one-woman department, Keller has earned four awards from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers, including the 2015 TAMI for Best Use of Social Media.

Rebecca Williams

Stormzero LLC
Rebecca Williams, Managing Administrator, Joplin Tornado Info

Rebecca Williams is the managing administrator of JoplinTornadoInfo, an interactive grassroots disaster recovery Facebook community that became a major communication source and resource directory in the aftermath of the May 22, 2011 EF-5 Joplin tornado. She is co-author of ""The Use of Social Media for Disaster Recovery"". Rebecca is co-creator of the Disaster Info Model developed using lessons learned from Joplin Tornado Info and subsequent Disaster Info Model social media disaster recovery, preparedness and disease mitigation efforts.

Robyn Mathews-Lingen

Designwrite Studios

Robyn brings more than 30 years of experience as a communications consultant and trainer to the variety of government clients she serves. Since 1985, she has been owner and creative director of Designwrite Studios, specializing in communications design, open source web development and customized training development.

Ron Pringle

City of Boulder, CO
Ron Pringle

Ron is a senior application programmer analyst at the City of Boulder and runs the city's open data program. He also serves on the board of directors of OpenColorado, a non-profit whose mission is to support a transformation that will lead to a simple, beautiful, and easy-to-use government. Ron previously served on the board of directors for NAGW, serving as its president for three years.

Steve Drucker

Fig Leaf Software

Steve is the Founder/President of Fig Leaf Software, a Washington-DC based digital agency specializing in IT services/integration for the public sector. Over Steve's 20+ year career in IT, he's published nearly 20 books related to web development, served as project lead on high profile projects (,,, and is a certified technical trainer.

Susan Mardele

City of McKinney, Texas

Susan Mardele is Website Coordinator for the City of McKinney, a city of more than 168,000 about 30 miles north of Dallas. For seven years, she has birthed and nurtured McKinney's websites along with about 50 contributors. From three websites and a very dated intranet, the city now offers six individual websites hosted with a partner, including an intranet and two additional themed website sections. Susan joined the city in 2010. She previously managed web content for Verizon and had her own writing and voiceover business for nearly 20 years. 

Susan Wolak

City of Longmont, CO
Susan Wolak

Susan currently works as the City of Longmont's Web Coordinator. She has been involved with technology since the early 80's and migrated into web development in 1996. She created the City of Longmont's first website 1998 and has been working there ever since. She also led the city's social media effort with Facebook and Twitter in September of 2008 and created one of the first Social Media Policies for local government. Some of her passions are security, social media, teaching others, desire to keep learning new things, traveling and digital photography to name a few.

Tony Perez

Tony Perez

Tony is the Co-Founder and CEO of Sucuri, a globally recognized website security platform providing organizations a complete website security solution. Tony is a seasoned technology professional with 17 years experience, 8 of those years with special emphasis in cyber security threats specific to web applications and websites. He is considered a thought leader in the space of website security and travels the world educating organizations of all sizes and industries on the cyber threats as they continue to evolve, and on the latest most practical defensive controls.

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