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Meet the Speakers

The quality of a conference is largely defined by the quality of the presenters. The Front-End Design Conference has always worked hard to find a truly engaging and thoughtful lineup and this year is no different.

  • Aaron Draplin

    Aaron Draplin

    Draplin Design, Co.

    Raised in the Michigan Northwoods, schooled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and currently hunkered down in the mighty Pacific Northwest, the Draplin Design Co. proudly rolls up its sleeves on a number of projects related to the Print, Identity, Web Development, Illustration and Gocco Muscle categories. We make stuff for Coal Headwear, Union Binding Co., Field Notes, Richmond Fontaine, Nike, Wired, Timberline, Ford Motor Co., Viva Voce, Hutchco, Patagonia, Chunklet, Incase, Giro, Cobra Dogs, Burton Snowboards, Hughes Entertainment, Megafaun and even the Obama Administration, if you can believe that. We pride ourselves on a high level of craftsmanship and quality that keeps us up late into the wet Portland night.

  • Ethan Marcotte

    Ethan Marcotte

    Responsive Web Design

    Ethan Marcotte is an independent designer/developer who is passionate about beautiful design, elegant code, and the intersection of the two. Over the years his clientele has included New York Magazine, the Sundance Film Festival, the Boston Globe, and the W3C.

    Ethan coined the term “responsive web design” to describe a new way of designing for the ever-changing Web and, if given the chance, will natter on excitedly about it—he even went so far as to write a book on the topic. A popular and experienced speaker, he is also the coauthor of Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing With Web Standards (3rd Edition), and a contributing writer to Dan Cederholm’s Handcrafted CSS.

    Ethan lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and would like to be an unstoppable robot ninja when he grows up. Beep.

  • Samantha Warren

    Samantha Warren


    Samantha is designer, art director, and the maker of She works with wide range of organizations from small startups to large tech companies to make their products and brands more awesome. Previously at Twitter, Samantha specializes in a blend of visual design and user experience strategy. She has been designing for the web for more than 12 years and frequently speaks at industry conferences about design process, practical UX tactics, and Style Tiles.

    When she is not in the studio she is obsessing over mid-century modern furniture, exploring San Francisco parks, learning how to be a better ceramicist, and hanging with @JimJones and Grace the cross-eyed cat.

  • Sam Kapila

    Sam Kapila

    The Iron Yard

    Sam Kapila is a designer, educator, and person living in Austin, TX with two cats and a lot of coffee. She is the Director of Instruction at The Iron Yard. She likes to spend a lot of time with responsive web design, web typography, podcasting and speaking about design, and cooking. She grew up on the Dutch island of Curaçao, and have lived in India, Florida, South Carolina, and Greece.

  • Ron Edelen

    Ron Edelen


    Ron is a cofounder of Myjive, a digital agency based out of Charlotte, N.C. He started his career working for motion design studios in Los Angeles, Calif., where he began blending his passion for film, pop culture, fine arts and emerging technology.

  • Doug Neiner

    Doug Neiner


    Doug is a Senior Software Engineer at LeanKit where he works with their incredible web team to build client side applications and related node.js services. He has been developing for the web since he was fourteen and loves complex challenges and picking up new skills. Since his first technical talk at a jQuery Conference in 2010, Doug has spoken to both design and development audiences at conferences in the US and Europe.

    When not crafting for the web at LeanKit, Doug will often be busy in any number of non-technical hobbies or activities around his home in Iowa. Whether he is playing with his five kids, woodworking in his basement, reupholstering a chair, or serving on city council, there is always some new skill to learn or activity to tackle.

  • Smith Schwartz

    Smith Schwartz

    Say Media

    Smith Schwartz is a former museum experience designer, digital and reverse nomad. She currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky and is a front-end developer and designer at Say Media, building the future of web-based publishing.

  • Rachel Smith

    Rachel Smith


    Another Aussie in LA. Totes profesh pixel pusher, JavaScript wrangler and triple hearter Works at CodePen.

  • Matt Griffin

    Matt Griffin


    Matt Griffin is a designer and founder of Bearded and Wood Type Revival. Matt is a writer, speaker, and A List Apart columnist. He is the director of the upcoming documentary film What Comes Next Is the Future.

  • Gabriel Levine

    Gabriel Levine

    Levine Baker Law

    Gabe, aka @MyLawyerGabe, is a New Media attorney, who specializes in representing web and software designers and developers. He's well known for his role in Mike Monteiro's F@#k You Pay Me Creative Mornings talk, as well as for his blog and podcast.

    Gabe is a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Levine & Baker LLP, and has been recognized as Super Lawyers Rising Star six years in a row.

    Before becoming a soldier of justice and right, Gabe spent some time goofing off in Santa Barbara (where he "earned" a bachelor's degree from UCSB and drove a cab for a year)... and then he basically kicked law school's ass. Gabe also runs a lot, and is a Coach for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.

  • Amanda Cheung

    Amanda Cheung

    Amanda is the lead UX developer at DockYard, a design-driven software consultancy based out of Boston, MA. She comes from a visual background having graduated with a BFA in painting, but another part of her brain fell in love with CSS. Finding better user experience solutions by balancing designers' and developers' priorities fascinates her. She is always trying to improve the designer-developer relationship. Amanda is also an instructor at MassArt, a co-organizer of the Boston CSS Meetup and a teacher for Girl Develop It.

  • Tiago Garcia

    Tiago Garcia

    Tiago Garcia is a Technical Manager at Avenue Code, heavily interested in cutting-edge front-end technologies. He organizes the Backbone.js Hackers meetup in San Francisco too. He is Brazilian, but you don't need to be sorry for Brazil's takedown at the World Cup, that was well-deserved. The World Cup is over and talking about JavaScript has been much more interesting ever since. You can check out his other talks at and follow him on Twitter at @tiagooo_romero

  • Greg Rewis

    Greg Rewis


    Greg has been passionate about the web ever since putting his first “home page” online in 1994. His career has taken him around the world – from a start-up in Hamburg, Germany, to the glory days of the web at Macromedia and Adobe, and finally to his role as Principal Developer Evangelist at Salesforce focusing on front-end technologies. When he's not writing Javascript or CSS, you can find him dreaming about sailing his catamaran around the world.

  • Carl Smith

    Carl Smith

    Bureau Of Digital

    Carl Smith is an irreverant ditcher of the nine-to-five and mortal enemy of the overworked lifestyle. Owner and founder of nGen Works, Carl’s role is that of an advisor, to nGen and other companies, on how to create self-sustaining teams that perform at the highest levels. Carl has made a name for himself by creating a new framework for how we get things done, and by enabling us to realign our creative communities. When he’s not conducting business experiments with companies around the world, he’s busy sculpting a new face for the world of work… and play.

  • Michel Ferreira

    Michel Ferreira

    Michel has been working with design for almost 20 years now and has had the chance of working with a variety of clients, from ground-floor start-ups to multi-national corporations all over the globe - such as Coca-Cola, MTV, NBA, amongst many, many others. Using his passion for testing and a drive to always learn, he now works as a Designer at where he uses data and design to improve the experience for their most loyal and valuable group of customers in every platform.

  • Andy Warburton

    Andy Warburton

    An old-timer in the world of web design, Andy Warburton has been building websites since the late 90’s. From humble beginnings in a small web design agency, Andy currently works as a Senior UX Designer at - the worlds largest online hotel reservation website - where he uses empathy and a/b testing to help make booking a hotel a little less painful and a lot more profitable.

  • Dr. Scott Padgett

    Dr. Scott Padgett

    Musical Stylings

    Dr. Scott Padgett is a music writer, producer & archivist dating back to his college days as a program director at WUSC radio in Columbia, SC. He followed that with radio programming & production work in the new frontier of the 'FM underground'.

    A stint as music editor at the southeast's pioneering alternative newsweekly Osceola Magazine led to becoming the first music writer/columnist at Free Times Magazine. His work appeared in Billboard, the Village Voice, Rolling Stone and practcally every other regional art/political outlet extant through the early nineties.

    After a stint in radio in Los Angeles & later at Warner Brothers Studios, he returned to the south where he and co-conspirator Steve Gibson vowed to bring live spectrum-spanning music to the masses. Thus was born the legendary Rockafellas music venue and artist management company.

    Working through Ian Copeland's legendary musical talent booking firm FBI, the likes of Soundgarden, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, et. al. were initially exposed to club venues all over the U.S.

    He is a contributor and social media monitor for semi-important e-music rags as well as several fly-by-night blogs and has a music industry specific twitter account @AntiBonIver which draws on a digest of 104 music news outlets for content.