Meet the Business Panel

At 10AM on May 15th, we’ll be holding a special panel for business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. Our panel consists of company owners, agency professionals, and entrepreneurs. They also have wide knowledge in various areas of business and WordPress.

In this panel, you can ask questions about how to get started in your own WordPress business, how to maintain and grow your business, and how to keep a positive image. We’ll start off with some prepared questions, and then open the questions to the room, so have your questions ready!



Our Business Panel

(in Alphabetical order)

Michele Butcher

A self-styled, proud graduate of the University of Inspect Element — aren’t we all? — Michele is a triple threat in the WordPress world:

  • Accounts Coordinator for Valet.
  • Support Guru for Give.
  • Support Engineer for Yoast.

Hailing from Carbondale, Illinois (the other, prettier part of Illinois), she’s also the lead organizer of the Southern Illinois WordPress Meetup and teaches beginners’ WordPress at John A. Logan College.

Twitter: @Michele_Butcher

Site: Can’t Speak Geek.

Chris Flannagan

Raised in South Alabama, I started toying with computers at a very young age. By 12 I was building geocities websites and the rest is history. I picked up on WordPress in the mid 2000’s and really got serious about it a few years ago. I’ve been the Webmaster for Sarasota Memorial Hospital and University of South Florida (I won bid to bring first WP Campus to our school this July!) since living in Sarasota. I’ve developed plugins available at and been featured in blogs such as WordImpress! Shiny New Toys.


James Hipkin

James is an accomplished, forward-thinking marketing professional with 25+ years of multi-disciplinary experience in marketing and marketing communications companies serving high-profile, global brands and B2C clients in consumer packaged goods, durables, transportation, telecommunications and financial services.

He has been involved in digital for more than ten years, first as President of a direct marketing agency in San Francisco, where he led the evolution of the agency from traditional direct marketing to digital. Clients included Apple and Wells Fargo online bank. And then as the head of a mid sized agency’s interactive group, with Toyota as the main client. He joined Red8 Interactive, a long term vendor, as an owner and managing director, five years ago.

Shelly Peacock

Shelly Peacock, AKA @Spinbird, has been in sales and graphic design since 2001, moving focus to include Social Media Management and Digital Marketing in 2007. She built her first WordPress site in 2009- as a way to make her designs “do stuff”, and as a portfolio for her art business. Shucked it all to run The SpinBird Group, a WordPress consulting and design business. She likes short walks on the beach, cabanas, and shooting opossums off her back deck with her shotgun. Daily Mantra: Life is short- GET #FIERCE WITH IT.

Our Moderator: Chris Lema

chrislemaChris Lema is a storyteller – and a storytelling evangelist.

You heard that right.

He tells stories about the importance of storytelling.

Until mid-April the CTO and Chief Strategist at Crowd Favorite, Chris has spent the last two decades managing high-performing teams who build software products. (Largely, by telling them stories.)

Usually, that’s been SaaS products across a variety of B2B vertical markets. But the description also applies to his coaching practice, as he’s helped startups – in recent years primarily WordPress startups – develop more viable products and take them to market faster. You can find his blog at Follow him on Twitter at @chrislema.


Don’t miss out on all the awesome information that this panel will unleash, buy your WordCamp St. Louis ticket now!