We are lucky to have a fantastic line-up of local and national talent for the first Web Design Day. Read more to get to know our speakers better.
Brand and content strategy consultant, Appropriate, Inc.
Margot Bloomstein is the principal of Appropriate, Inc., an independent brand and content strategy consultancy based in Boston. She focuses on crafting brand-appropriate user experiences to help retailers and universities—including Athena Health, Eco-Bags, Harvard, Timberland, Tretorn, and Tufts University—engage their target audiences and project key messages with consistency and clarity through both traditional and social media.
Margot grounds her experience as a content strategist in communication design. She earned her BFA in Design and Anthropology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000, where she also gained a deep appreciation for the power of an M&M at the bottom of an ice cream cone. Thanks, Dave & Andy’s!
A participant in the inaugural Content Strategy Consortium and featured speaker at SXSW, Web Content 2010, and other events, Margot also contributes to the growing content strategy community by helping to organize the Content Strategy New England meetup group. She authored the August 2009 article in A List Apart on making the case for content strategy and speaks nationally on the evolution of content strategy within interactive agencies.
Creative Director, Happy Cog
Christopher Cashdollar is a graphic designer, illustrator, and interactive team leader with web design experience dating back to the mid 1990s. He has provided consultative strategy and design direction for vastly diverse clients such as LG Mobile, Northwestern Mutual, GlaxoSmithKline, Heartland Payment Systems, T. Rowe Price, Ford Motor Company, SAP, McNeil Pediatrics, Zappos, Georgetown University and Verizon.
Christopher brings a keen eye and creative focus to defining how user-experience successfully marries beautiful, purposeful design. He earned his undergraduate degree from Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design and briefly studied abroad at The University of Northampton in the United Kingdom.
When not working, Christopher loves illustrating, painting, record shopping, and spending time with his family, including his Italian Greyhound named Penny. Raised in Mars, PA Chris is proud to be a Fighting Planet and despite living in Philadelphia since 1995, he will only cheer for sports teams that wear the Black ‘n’ Gold.
Interactive Designer, Elliance
Jon Dascola is currently an Interactive Designer at Elliance, Inc, where he designs to forge connections between visual design, technology and human computer interaction for clients in higher education, non-profit, manufacturing and business services.
He previously worked at sunKING creating award winning work for global brands like the Coca-Cola Company, Heinz, Transitions Lenses and Bath & Body Works. Prior to that, he worked as a Designer for American Eagle Outfitters. A native Pittsburgher, Jon graduated from La Roche College with a degree in Graphic and Communication Design.
Co-founder & Designer, Bearded Studio
Matt Griffin is a graphic designer and co-founder of Bearded Studio, and teaches in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. He also has a great love for letterpress printing, which he acquired while attending Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he received a BFA in Graphic Design.
Co-founder & Developer, Bearded Studio
Michael Hellein is a co-founder of Bearded Studio. He has built web applications for a decade, writing code that supports a compelling user experience. From developing custom email systems to crafting innovative graphical user interfaces, he immerses himself in programmatic solutions without losing sight of the fact that every system exists to serve a human need.
User Experience Director, Happy Cog
Kevin M. Hoffman is the Experience Director at Happy Cog, working out of the Philadelphia office. Prior to joining Happy Cog, Kevin spent more than a decade building websites, developing online strategies, and leading projects for colleges, universities, and non-profits in Baltimore, MD and Pittsburgh, PA. He has been a consistent voice for intelligent communication strategies and an expert consensus builder in environments where vastly differing, passionate opinions were the norm. For most of the 90s, Kevin called Pittsburgh his home while working on undergraduate and graduate degrees at Duquesne University.
Sr. Web Designer, The Washington Post
Elliott flunked art, typing, spelling, phonics, and grammar in Grade school. Predictably, he now works as Sr. Web Designer at the Washington Post.
Previously, Elliott worked as an Interactive Designer at a small DC-area design firm where he created over a hundred unique experiences for a range of clients including startups, non-profits and religious organizations.
He’s currently the design-lead for the redesign of the Washington Post website.
Outside of work he enjoys reading, drinking coffee, and living the good life with his wife and large housecat @maaaarleeeey.
User Experience Manager, pikimal.com
Zack Naylor loves to talk strategy and big ideas. He believes that all products and services ultimately find success by crafting a great experience for them. He is currently User Experience Manager at Pikimal.com. He previously spent time as a User Experience Designer and Front-End Developer for Lockerz.com. Before that, he was a User Experience Designer at another local startup, ModCloth.com. In his extra time he has also teaches classes in Intro to Web Design and Photoshop for Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Pittsburgh Filmmakers. When he is not reading everything he can get his hands on about user research, he enjoys spending time with his beautiful fiancée and his dog Zeus. He is in love with his Vibram Five Finger shoes.
Multimedia Instructor, Pittsburgh Technical Institute
Josh is an enthusiastic interactive developer with a passion for sharing. By day he can be found beaming web technologies to the brains of his pupils and by night he's knee deep in creative projects ranging from screen printing to musical app development. That is unless it's softball night. He holds the record for most home runs in a game and is quite handy at shortstop. Josh is also the co-manager of the Pittsburgh Adobe Flash Users Group. You can find him at joshsagermedia.com