2018 Speakers

Elizabeth K. Joseph
Elizabeth is a systems engineer and open source community advocate who enjoys focusing on on tackling operations-focused challenges at the intersection of open source and sponsor companies. She also co-authored The Official Ubuntu Book and Common Open Stack Deployments. She is the director at Partimus.org; a former Systems Engineer at LinuxForce and HPE, and served on the Ubuntu Community Council for six years.

Bridget Kromhout
Bridget Kromhout is a Principal Cloud Developer Advocate at Microsoft. Her CS degree emphasis was in theory, but she now deals with the concrete (if ‘cloud’ can be considered tangible). After 15 years as an operations engineer, she traded being on call for being on a plane. A frequent speaker and program committee member for tech conferences, she leads the devopsdays organization globally and the devops community at home in Minneapolis. She podcasts with Arrested DevOps, blogs at bridgetkromhout.com, and is active in a Twitterverse near you.

Brent Benzinger
I studied classical music in college where I discovered that when you master any discipline, you must understand how to teach yourself. I worked briefly in music and performance before deciding to travel. I moved abroad to Japan in 2014 and studied Japanese for several years, using my experience in classical music as a guide to discipline and self teaching. It was at this time I decided to teach myself Java programming. This was the beginning of what would become my programming career, learning (to various levels of success) many programming languages I considered conducive to my goals, and taking many freelance jobs in different programming disciplines. I have since moved to Russia to study the language, and eventually moved back to the United States. I am currently an internal applications programmer at Blair Technology Group. As a programmer, I use Linux both professionally and at home, and I have to learn new technologies every day.

David Both
David Both is an advocate for Linux and Free Open Source Software who resides in Raleigh, NC. He has been in the IT industry for over forty years and taught OS/2 for IBM where he worked for over 20 years. While at IBM, he wrote and taught the first training course for the original IBM PC in 1981. He has taught RHCE classes for Red Hat and has worked at MCI Worldcom, Cisco, and the State of North Carolina. He has been working with Linux and Open Source Software for over 20 years.

David has written articles for OS/2 Magazine, Linux Magazine, and Linux Journal. His article “”Complete Kickstart,”” co-authored with a colleague at Cisco, was ranked 9th in the Linux Magazine Top Ten Best System Administration Articles list for 2008. He currenly writes prolifically for Opensource.com, specializing in deep dive technical articles and the Linux Philosophy.

David is currently working on his first book for Apress, entitled, “”The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins.”” It is scheduled to be available Sept. 21, 2018.

Rich Bowen
Rich is a member, and director, of the Apache Software Foundation. He’s been involved in Open Source since before we called it that, working on projects such as Perl, WordPress, PHP, Apache httpd, and many others. By day, Rich is a Community Architect at Red Hat, working with the OpenStack and CentOS communities. He lives in Kentucky, USA.

Thresette Briggs
Thresette Briggs is an award-winning Consultant, Certified John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer & Coach, and President & Chief Performance Officer of Performance 3, LLC (aka P3), a national leadership and professional development firm. P3 provides services and products for achieving high-performance, bringing over 80 combined team years’ experience in successful business transformations. P3 has partnered with companies and industries with 10,000 plus employees and over 13 billion in revenue, including IndyGo, Butler University, Eli Lilly, Nubian Construction, and Indiana Wesleyan University.

Studies indicate that over 70% of leaders consider high-performance an illusive term. The P3 team helps define and achieve it through clear goals and a roadmap of solutions for conferences, leadership meetings, learning series, retreats, webinars and workshops. Leveraging multiple business and professional certifications, Thresette is a contributing Author for international publications, is certified to administer multiple leadership assessments, and is the inventor of IDS Performance Coaching®, a federally registered service mark. She has also coached hundreds of leaders to achieve high-performance success.

Thresette serves on multiple boards and is an Associate Faculty member for the IU Kelley School of Business. She received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Wichita State University, and her MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Andy Carlson
I have worked in the IT industry for 15 years doing System, Network, and Application Administration, DevOps, and Scripting. I have 7 years of experience using Apache Web Server as both a web server platform and a reverse proxy appliance. I live in Cincinnati with my wife, three daughters, and son, and we are in the process of adopting two children internationally.

Ethan Dicks
Ethan Dicks is a long-time Columbus IT professional with a background in embedded and systems development as well as UNIX/Linux System Administration. He is currently a Senior Consultant at Red Hat delivering Open Shift and Ansible solutions. Locally, he teaches 3D Printing, Electronics, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi classes at The Idea Foundry.

Clay Dowling
Clay Dowling is a software consultant, helping clients reduce the pain and the delivery time for software. His first programming job was on a green screen terminal, which he found to be a wildly productive environment. In his spare time he likes to build machines powered by microcontrollers.

Robb Ebright
I am the board chair of the Neighborhood Network which operates WCRS-LP (92.7 & 98.3) the longest running LPFM in Columbus, Ohio. I was a co-founder of Freegeek Columbus, a non-profit that refurbished used computers with Linux. I have a degree in computer science from the Ohio State University. As far as LibreTime goes I am one of the principal developers that helped launch the fork and continues to develop and maintain the codebase at http://github.com/LibreTime. I setup LibreTime for WCRS and provide training to local producers on how to use it. I have been involved with various independent media projects in Central Ohio for the last decade and know a fair amount about how to utilize free and open-source software to assist in media production and distribution.

Ken Elliott

Andrew Frank
While working as a full-time delivery driver and raising my family, I completed the full-time accelerated course load necessary to earn my Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. Although that was nearly 15 years ago, I have not forgotten the work ethic, determination, and importance of a strong support team that is necessary to overhaul a career and establish a new direction in life. This has cultivated in me a great understanding of the commitment and dedication that is required for Tech Elevator’s students to be successful.

Throughout my technical journey, I’ve had the opportunity to solve complex business problems as a Developer, Architect, Development Manager, and Technical Lead at companies ranging from startups to established enterprises. Technologically, I have had the opportunity to work with many technologies and frameworks, including ASP.NET, C#, Java, Ruby, PHP, JavaScript, and Angular. Along the way, I have also had the privilege and joy to coach and mentor developers looking to establish and further their careers in meaningful ways.

My passion for helping people overcome the obstacles and challenges they face in life, along with the energy, enthusiasm, and excitement I have seen from Tech Elevator’s students is what has drawn me to serve as an Instructor with Tech Elevator’s Columbus campus.

Joel Graff
Joel Graff is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in Illinois since 2006 and has practiced engineering in the public transportation sector for 20 years. He is currently involved in the statewide effort to integrate 3D parametric CAD modeling in highway design in Illinois and has also explored the role of other emerging technologies in transportation engineering, including machine learning. He is also an avid 3D modeler and programmer and has been an advocate of open source software since the days of Corel Linux and contributed to open source projects over the years, most recently FreeCAD. He is also the owner of ThinkOpen, LLC, a technology consulting firm designed to promote the adoption of open source software in small business.

Joel is currently a resident of Dixon, Illinois and shares a 135-year-old house with his wife, Nicole, his sons, Micah and Silas, two cats, and a corgi.

Scott Grimes
Over the last 25+ years in IT Scott has been a SysAdmin, VMware Admin, DBA, Security Consultant, Internet Developer and more; always with a focus toward better protecting servers and data. His diverse technical background combined with a gift for teaching, has afforded him several opportunities to take tough technology concepts and break them down using practical illustrations where users can better grasp technology and practically understand what it does for them.

Cody Hofstetter
Cody Hofstetter is the Founder and CEO of an IT/Cybersecurity firm specializing in vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, forensic investigation, and advanced data recovery/destruction. Mr. Hofstetter’s background is originally in finance and he has been forming and buying companies since the age of 19. He currently divides his time between three main ventures: his IT/Cybersecurity firm, a health-oriented and local community focused restaurant, and an educational game scheduled for release early next year that utilizes gamification and is built in the FOSS Godot game engine to teach individuals who their representatives in government are.

Garrett Honeycutt
Garrett Honeycutt, Principal at GH Solutions, has been working with open source software and spreading its merits for over twenty years. He is passionate about automating systems and teaching others. Regularly
sharing his experiences, he has had the opportunity to speak at conferences across the globe and now organizes DevOpsDays Indianapolis. He is a Sensu Partner and manages Sensu’s Puppet module.

Terry Howald
Terry is the release engineer for all motion control products at Kessler Crane, Inc. When he‚Äôs not hunting down elusive bugs in his company’s products, he’s looking for ways to include open source projects into his work environment. He’s a big fan of Ubuntu, and looks forward to the day when he only has to support Linux applications.

Alex Juarez
Alex Juarez is a Principal Engineer at Rackspace, touting 11 years with the company. Alex enjoys all things open-source as well as training and mentoring others, and is incredibly qualified to do so as an RHCA/RHCI. Alex has spoken at a number regional and nationwide open source conferences sharing knowledge and encouraging people to learn a bit more.

When Alex isn’t helping others he’s studying for the Cicerone exam and trying to find places to eat and things to see in San Antonio, TX.

John M. Kimball
I’ve been in the IT industry for 29 years and have held various roles as a UNIX sysadmin, webmaster, web administrator and technical architect. I’ve worked professionally in Ohio for 22 years now.

Jim Kittle
I’m an Application Architect within the OCIO (Office of the CIO) at The Ohio State University and have been in most roles within IT. Analyst, system engineer, developer, web pen tester, to 2am assembly line IT support.

From the start of my career I have been doing development creating and using web services and general integration related work. Through the years and I’ve worn many hats and realized what tangible and intangibles are necessary to make an integration platform succeed.

Mat Kovach
Biography: My involvement in IT is now in to decades. I’m been involved the HP/3000 systems, programmed on OpenVMS systems, held Novell Netware systems together with band-aids, batch scripts, and hope. In between that pain and an awful lot of baseball games, I worked on UNIX systems to maintain small bits of sanity.

I have been involved with Linux since Slackware was an upgrade to SLS and the kernels had not quite reached 1.x. I’ve submitted and had things rejected from the Linux kernel, numerous OSS projects.

For several years maintained Uptime (an old system to monitor websites) and MyTURL (a URL shortener). Both projects used AOLserver (a Tcl based Web server) and PostgreSQL and bits of OpenACS. I contributed bits to all of those projects.

I also maintain a database of baseball stats, including nearly every pitching in MLB since 2005

Mike Kwiatkowski
I have spent the past 4 years as a full-time instructor at Northwest State Community College teaching classes in electrical engineering and computer science. During this time I’ve taught classes on DC and AC circuits, digital electronics and interfacing with microcontrollers. In my previous life I was a network engineer for nearly 20 years making sure the bits went to the correct school districts in Northwest Ohio.

Dru Lavigne
Dru Lavigne is the Director of Storage Engineering at iXsystems, which sponsors the FreeNAS, TrueOS, and Lumina open source projects. She is author of BSD Hacks, The Best of FreeBSD Basics, and The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD.

Alex Markley
I’ve been a professional software developer for over ten years. (And a hobby software developer for another ten years before that!) I’ve spent a lot of time using and creating software for expressing myself creatively as a writer, podcaster, and comedian. I’m also a long time Open Source advocate and Ohio LinuxFest attendee, so I can’t wait to share my latest project with the Ohio LinuxFest community!

Chuck Mattern
Chuck Mattern is an Open Source advocate with technical roots going back to running Ronin BBS in the early 90’s. He started his Unix life on Coherent and graduated to Linux with the TAMU release in 1992. His IT career took him through Data Processing, System Administration on ten *nix platforms and five Linux distros (not mention innumerable home lab systems) and OpenBSD, Systems Architecture, IT Management and now Solution Architecture. Chuck has been with Red Hat since 2013 where he is a Principal Solution Architect in Georgia with a focus on Linux and Systems Management. He invests the rest of his time in his family, Android Community ROMs and Tae Kwon Do.

Eric Miller
Eric Miller is an Ohio native, with an 18 years career in Enterprise IT. Areas of professional experience include:

  • Building and maintaining DIY Linux systems (LFS, Gentoo)
  • Distributed systems design/cloud native architecture
  • Design and deploy CI/CD build/deploy automation, and practical Site Reliability Engineering
  • Strategic guidance and cultural transformation towards Cloud Adoption and DevOps.
  • Technical Evangelism around IoT hardware, firmware, and system design

Eric’s interests and hobbies include glass blowing, Deep Neural Networks, and fiddling with microprocessors. He currently serves as the Vice President of Solutions Development for Onica, and lives with his wife, three children, and a dog in Central Ohio.

Steve Ovens
I am a dedicated IT professional and Linux advocate. Prior to joining Red Hat, I spent several years in financial, automotive, and movie industries. I currently work for Red Hat as an OpenShift consultant and have certifications ranging from the RHCA (in DevOps), to Ansible, to Containerized Applications and more.

I have two boys (6 and 2) whom we home school. My wife has her teachers certificate for Montessori and we have had a significant amount of teaching time between the two of us.

Steven Pritchard
Steven Pritchard is a Puppet Certified Professional and is currently employed as a Senior Consultant at Onyx Point, focusing on Puppet, compliance automation, and all things DevOps.

Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter is a workflow and productivity expert. He is the founder of AccelaWork (www.accelawork.com), a business improvement consulting company. His team works with a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, regional non-profits, small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to help increase productivity, simplify workflow and optimize business processes.

Robby has written numerous articles for local publications such as the Hamilton County Business Magazine and the Indianapolis Business Journal. He has also been interviewed by national news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Robby is a local and nationally known speaker. He is also the author of several books. His latest is “The Battle For Your Email Inbox”

Steve Swing
Steve Swing is CTO at Substratum.net, a Delaware OH startup crowdfunded via an ICO in 2017 to create software to fight Internet Censorship. He has 30 years of experience in the software industry with 14 of those as an independent consultant. He tries make time to hone skills with open source technologies like Rust, Lagom, Scala, Akka, Play! Framework, & SBT.

Don Vosburg
Don Vosburg has been using openSUSE and SUSE Linux for more than 15 years. He has been using Linux even longer than that. In his day job he works for SUSE Linux as a Sales Engineer.
He is addicted to updates, and enjoys multiple booting Linux systems that are constantly evolving and growing. An in-demand speaker, Don has been presenting and advocating open source effectively both in the US and in Europe in numerous venues.

Jim Wildman
Jim Wildman is a farm boy from central Ohio who discovered Unix in 1985 and has been involved in that world every since. Linux came along in 1995 and lead to his first production system in 1998 (a Hylafax server). For many years, Jim was involved in with the Central Ohio Linux User Group (COLUG) and has spoken at numerous business and user group conferences. Jim has worked in every major industry vertical and is currently employed as a Principal Solutions Architect by Red Hat supporting accounts in Florida.

Matt Williams
Matt Williams always wanted to be a Renaissance Person. Maybe one day he will be. In the meantime, he designs tabletop games, reads, cooks, weaves, hacks, and spends time with his daughter in Columbus, OH.

Zachary Zlotnik
Zack Zlotnik has performed several varying roles at a diverse range of companies ranging from the sysadmin for a small family-owned manufacturing business, a 7.5 year stint as a Corporate Operations Engineer at Google and most recently, a DevOps Engineer at IBM Watson. His diverse background has been molded and shaped throughout years of professional curiosity and self-learning. Zack has interviewed over 80 candidates and has himself been an interview candidate over 30 times. When not writing Chef cookbooks and speaking at tech conferences, Zack may be found on the track at local autocross events.