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JWC Team: TJ Baker

JWC Team: TJ Baker

TJ Baker is leading the Team that is organising Joomla World Conference 2016. We talked to him to know a little bit more about those who are working to make another great event become a reality. According to him, all team members pitch in wherever and whenever needed regardless of their role. That is especially true once they get to the venue for the event, when "all hands on deck" are required for a successful outcome.

How long do you use Joomla?

I’ve been using Joomla for a little over 10 years.

Which was your first Joomla World Conference?

My first Joomla World Conference was the first Joomla World conference, in San Jose, Californi, United States. I was honoured to be a part of the JWC team that year, and it was my first time on a conference committee.

Please, give us one or more examples of improvements on how you work with Joomla after attending JWC?

This is a tough question as there were so many great sessions at the event! One of my favourite "take-aways" from the event was a new and informed consideration for building a website that can be consumed by users in countries / parts of the world that might not have the infrastructure for providing ‘high speed’ connections. The talk that Tito Alvarez gave that year was a great presentation of the topic and ways to consider these users when building your site.

How did you become part of the JWC Team?

I was initially invited onto the team by Brian Teeman and Robert Deutz who were on the inaugural JWC team. I was on the team for the first two conferences and during the third year, I had to step out to take care of family matters. After last year’s conference, I was invited back into the team to step into the Director role.

How many people are involved and what are their roles?

Our team has a total of 8. They are:

  • Mike Demopoulos - Sponsors. Sponsors are imperative to our efforts as we are / aim to be a fully ‘self-funded’ event, without money from any of the official Joomla budget. For this reason, I’m sure you can imagine how very important our sponsors are to us, and Mike is our guy for seeking sponsors, signing them up, and making sure they are taken care of. Mike has done an amazing job for us this year.
  • Brian Peat - A/V & Agenda. Brian joined us this year as an official member to manage our audio / visual needs for the event and helps on the Agenda committee. Brian brings many years of audio / visual experience as it relates to conferences. He also jumps in and helps out in other areas of need as they arise, including print materials and meeting long beard quotas.
  • Britta Stender & Mathias Jensen - Design. Britta & Mathias are our tag team designers extraordinaire. Together these two combine their years of design experience to help us with all aspects of our design needs, including our website and print materials.
  • Matt Lenning - Marketing. Matt joined us this year as our Marketing Director, a new role we decided to add to our team to help spread the word about the event. Matt works his full-time day job helping people realise their marketing potential, and has brought his talents to our team to help us this year and going forward with developing a solid plan for our marketing efforts.
  • Jerri Christiansen - Developer. Jerri is our go to ‘web guy’. While it’s true most everyone on our team can or has built websites with Joomla, the time necessary to do the work prompted us to bring onboard a team member who could do the work, do the maintenance on the site, and add ongoing content and changes requested by the team. Jerri works full time as a frontend developer and project manager and applies his knowledge and skills for our JWC site needs.
  • Ronni Christiansen - Treasurer. Ronni is our ‘numbers guy’. Working along with the director and sponsor manager Ronni helps us to come up with our budget each year, and stick to it. Ronni also has traditionally helped us to find and secure a location for the pre-event party, as he did this year. Ronni is CEO of one of the largest Joomla firms in the world and knows numbers pretty well, so we let him help us with ours.
  • TJ Baker - Director. I’m thankful to have such an amazing group of people to work alongside.

What has the JWC Team in store for the upcoming conference?

We’ve got a great event planned this year, with 40 breakout sessions to fill your head with new knowledge and skills, a Saturday ‘working day’ with great workshops and our ‘Joomla In Action’ session to allow people to get directly involved with working groups, fantastic Keynotes, and this year we’re excited to have the Joomla Certification team join us to give attendees an opportunity to attend training sessions and to take the certification exam at the event!

What can you tell us about the keynote speakers?

This year we have a great variety of keynotes who will present on a range of topics we are excited to have at the event. From Vancouver, we have Steve Fisher and Head of Digital Services for the City of Vancouver, Tadhg Healy. Joining us from Google is Eric Kuan, from Sucuri is Dre Ameda, and from Hubspot we have Luke Summerfield. From 'across the pond' we are delighted to have JWC favourite Kevinjohn Gallagher join us again this year. Last but certainly not least we will have presentations from Joomla President Sarah Watz and a look at the Future of Joomla presented by a member of Joomla’s Production Leadership Team.

Last but certainly not least we will have presentations from Joomla President Sarah Watz and a look at the Future of Joomla presented by a member of Joomla’s Production Leadership Team.

What do you say something to those who have not yet decided to attend?

I would highly encourage anyone who’s on the fence about coming to, as Nike says, “just do it”. We are very excited about the event this year, and we think our attendees are going to go away feeling very happy they decided to join us. We’ve put great thought and effort into organising a fantastic experience at an amazing venue in the heart of beautiful downtown Vancouver, and we’d love for you to join us for what is sure to be one of our best Joomla World Conferences yet!

We are looking forward to seeing you all in Vancouver for JWC!

TJ Baker resides in central California with his wife Debi, daughter Azaria, and son Aidan. He has worked professionally with Joomla and/or Joomla based companies for the last 10 years. Often will be found travelling with his family in their motorhome which they’ve taken across the United States 12 times. When not travelling TJ spends a good deal of his time training in Japanese Goju Ryu Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which he’s become addicted to, and might be found trying to convince others about the benefits of getting on a matt and being beaten up regularly.

Come meet TJ Baker and other great Joomlers in Vancouver. Buy your ticket now!

JWC 16 Tailgating at HostingCon Europe
Keynote Speaker: Eric Kuan


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