Throughout Laura’s nearly 20-year career, she’s focused on creating meaningful content and experiences that connect people and brands. She enjoys helping clients understand where and how to focus investments in content and digital experiences for maximum impact. Laura has worked with leading companies that include SapientNitro, Manifest Digital, Sears Holdings and the National Association of Realtors. She is currently the VP of Strategy and Content at MU/DAI.
Michael Boeke is a designer, product guy, and startup veteran, who currently designs and produces software at online payments company Braintree. He focuses on applying design thinking and modern technology to shake-up traditional (read: boring) industries.
Don has been a professional software developer in Chicago since 1990 during which time, he has had the great fortune to work at many types of companies employing varied technologies. He co-founded The Mobile Makers Academy and is the lead instructor, ushering much needed iOS development talent into new careers. Don is currently leading classes at The Mobile Makers Academy and mentoring at Dev Bootcamp, and he has been an outspoken advocate for women and girls in tech.
Carolyn has been working in the field of User Experience Design for over 16 years, as a consultant and practice leader for companies such as Open Text and Manifest Digital. Now an independent consultant, her areas of specialty include design strategy, team workshops, interaction design, information architecture, and user research and modeling. She has co-authored A Project Guide to UX Design with Russ Unger (now in its second edition) and Adventures in Experience Design with Anna van Slee. Due to her work in teaching and mentoring students and start-ups, Carolyn was named one of "Chicago's Tech 50" by Crain's Magazine.
Jonathon Colman isn't ignoring you, he's just introverted. Despite this, he's a Webby Award-winning UX content strategist at Facebook, the social network. Yeah, he’s surprised by that, too. Jonathon served overseas in the Peace Corps and worked in conservation nonprofits for almost a decade. Previously, he was the principle experience architect at REI and managed global digital marketing for The Nature Conservancy. He’s spoken at over 70 tech events on five continents.
Andy Davidhazy has always followed a very natural curiosity in life, with very little regard for artificial boundaries and orthodoxy. His values and passion for storytelling, the craft and making of things, and walking slow with an open mind were on display in 2015, when he documented his 2600 mile hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail by taking a self portrait at every single mile of the trail. The time-lapse video he created immediately went viral, garnering millions of views, international press, and providing others the courage and motivation to go outside or keep moving forward.
Joseph is a User Experience Architect focused on designing effective and innovative on-line and mobile applications. With over a decade of experience in software design and user research, Dickerson has made it his mission to make technology easier for people to use.
Andrea has been at NCSA for 10 years. She started as a recruiting coach in volleyball right after playing volleyball in at South Carolina-Aiken. She moved into product in 2011 and took the reigns of the product management team in 2012. During her tenure as VP, NCSA grew to almost 50 million in revenue and moved into Crain's Fast 50 over 3 years. She now oversees a team of 6 product managers and analysts.
Tim is the author of media and marketing books that are used for professional development and by higher learning institutions in the U.S. and Europe. He is an avid environmentalist, a cyclist, and owner of Mightybytes, a triple bottom line-friendly B Corp in Chicago that creates rich user experiences to tell client stories, brand their products, and meet business, technology, and marketing needs.
Holly is a content strategist at Facebook, where she works on products that help people report pornography, work through something difficult—like thoughts of suicide—and protect their account from hackers. In April, Holly gave a talk about Facebook's new suicide prevention experience at a conference for the American Association of Suicidology. She's been doing content strategy since before it was a thing, at places like Expedia, Microsoft and Allrecipes.com.
Andrew Hinton is an information architect at The Understanding Group, and the author of Understanding Context, published by O'Reilly in 2014. Andrew is a frequent, internationally invited speaker at design conferences, and a founding member of the IA Institute. He has nearly 20 years' experience helping clients and employers of all shapes and sizes make better places with information.
Adam is an Internet of Things evangelist, founder of @ConnectSense, VP at @GridConnect, entrepreneur, husband, father, Gamer, geek, and hip hop fan with a sneaker problem.
Dan Klyn has accrued 18 years of experience in information architecture practice, and is co-founder of The Understanding Group. He's interested in planning, strategy and architecture for places made of information, likes coffee an awful lot, and teaches information architecture at the University of Michigan School of Information.
A leading content strategist since 1999, Hilary helps associations, nonprofit organizations, and corporations improve their practices for content creation, governance, management, and promotions. Her firm, Content Company, a Chicago-based content strategy consultancy, works with clients including the American Bar Association, Endocrine Society, Institute of Food Technologists, Allstate, Intuit, and California State University.
Susan came to Mad*Pow from Bentley University, where she worked in the Design and Usability Center, while earning her M.S. in Human Factors in Information Design. Prior to that, she worked as a Product Manager for Constant Contact. Susan is an old hat at consulting, and has worked with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 firms. She has experience in online education, retail, business services, financial products, and healthcare industries.
Pamela is co-founder of Change Sciences, a user experience research and strategy firm for Fortune 500s, startups and other smart companies in financial services, tech, entertainment, healthcare and ecommerce. Over the past 15 years, she’s logged thousands of hours in the field trying to better understand how people use technology and run hundreds of UX studies on almost every type of site you could imagine.
Gemma Petrie is a Senior Design Researcher at Mozilla where she leads research for Firefox Mobile. She has a passion for learning about people and designing meaningful products and experiences for a global audience. She co-organizes the Chicago UX Book Club and chiDUXX, a networking and mentoring group for Chicago women in UX. Gemma has a background in nonprofit development and her MLIS from the University of Illinois.
Corey holds a Master's Degree in Anthropology and worked as an Anthropology instructor for over 10 years. He left the academy 8 years ago so that he may dedicate himself to providing digital strategy and direction to clients in the publishing, education, and entertainment industries as the Director of Experience Strategy at the Portland-based company Neologic. Corey is a Fellow of Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination and he regularly publishes and presents on the future of digital media. He recently contributed the closing chapter to the book Examining Paratextual Theory and its Applications in Digital Culture.
Jasmine is a content strategist at Facebook. She recently helped launch Facebook’s new legacy contact feature, which gives people more options for what happens to their account after they pass away. Last year, Jasmine gave a talk at #dareconf in London about how to STOP being an expert and become a more effective collaborator.
Jonathan Sampson is a Program Manager on the "Project Spartan" team focusing on the Developer Ecosystem. He has been a web developer for nearly two decades and has been focused on investing in the developer community for over a decade. Jonathan lives in Bellevue, WA with his wife and two children.
Sharon is the co-founder and CEO of e-commerce innovator Moxie Jean, the online destination for high quality, like-new baby, kid’s and maternity clothes. Moxie Jean was voted by moms as the “Most Awesome” online consignment site through the Red Tricycle Awards, won a Chicago Innovation Award in 2013 and was a 2012 portfolio company of renowned tech accelerator Excelerate Labs (now Tech Stars Chicago).
Joe Stewart is a Partner at Work & Co, a digital product design company based in New York & Portland. He leads design and branding across all client engagements, including projects for Virgin America, Target, and YouTube. Prior to founding Work & Co, Joe was Partner & Global Creative Director at Huge.
Jason is a crazed evangelist for user experience design - accosting strangers with sermons on its value in solving business and social problems. He's a leader in the experience design practice at Manifest Digital, serves as an adjunct faculty member in the HCI Masters program at DePaul University and is Co-founder of UX for Good.
Anna is passionate (in, ahem, a professional way) about two industries: Play and Health. As Director of Product Development at Marbles: The Brain Store's Workshop, she is fortunate to marry her most favorite pursuits by creating fun products that build better brains.
Jeannie Walters is the CEO and Founder of 360Connext, a global customer experience consulting firm dedicated to creating fewer ruined days for customers- improving loyalty, customer retention, and overall customer experience. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and the Chicagoland Ambassador for the Customer Experience Professionals Association. A global speaker, Jeannie has presented to audiences at TEDx, Customer Experience World in London, Next Generation Customer Experience in San Diego, and many more.
Brett is a founding partner and creative director at Wondersauce, a creative agency in New York City that pairs high-end creative services with smart technology solutions.
Mark has been working as a creative professional and technologist for sixteen years, partnering with many Fortune 100/500 companies in UX, ideation, productization, design, and development, in the spaces of web, mobile, wearables, IoT, and automotive IVI systems. He intermittently shares what he has learned as a writer and speaker.