Matt is the Information Architect at Graco, Inc. in Minneapolis. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in Scientific & Technical Communication in 1982. He has experience in product documentation, sales and marketing communications, IT process documentation, intranet development, and leading technical communication teams. In 2002, Matt was named an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, and in 2014, he co-presented a paper on collaboration at a conference of the Center for Information-Development Management. He is currently leading an initiative to transform how technical product information at Graco, Inc. is created and reused with a DITA/XML based component content management system. He devotes many of his off hours and weekends to his role as Scoutmaster to a Scouts BSA troop. Connect with Matt Abe on LinkedIn.
University of California, Davis
Rebekka Andersen has a Ph.D. in Professional Writing and is an Associate Professor in the University Writing Program at the University of California, Davis. There, she teaches courses in professional and technical communication and serves as the Associate Director for Professional Writing. Her research focuses on implications of content management practices for education and research in professional communication, as well as on strategies for building stronger connections between academia and industry. She serves on the Advisory Council for the Center for Information-Development Management and is Associate Editor for research articles for IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication.
Working Conversations, LLC
Dr. Janel Anderson is the founder of Working Conversations, LLC. Her company helps organizations communicate more effectively so they can collaborate better, be more innovative, and get work done faster. Dr. Anderson holds a PhD in organizational communication from Purdue University and is a former University of Minnesota faculty member. In addition to being a popular business keynote speaker and corporate trainer, Janel is also the author of two books including “Head On: How to Approach Difficult Conversations Directly” and “Polished Pragmatism: The Gutsy Girl’s Guide to Getting Good Enough.” When she’s not delivering high-content, motivational programs to audiences across the country, you can find Janel in her kitchen at home in Minneapolis, reverse engineering dishes from her favorite restaurants and trying to coax her family to eat her home-cooked, gourmet fare.
Dr. Paul Anheier started his post-grad school career as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin - Stout, where he spent five years before pivoting to industry and landing in Seattle at Amazon, first as a UX Writer and eventually as a Senior UX Researcher. As an internal advocate for customers on the Shopping Design team, he owned the research roadmap for the product page experience across Amazon.com, planning and executing both evaluative and generative studies and using those insights to drive customer-centric updates to the desktop and mobile experiences. In 2021, he departed Amazon after 7.5 years to create and lead a UX research program at Saks.com, the digital, standalone business of Saks Fifth Avenue. He holds degrees in Biomedical Engineering and German Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in RSTC from the University of Minnesota. Connect with Paul on LinkedIn.
Smiljana Antonijević explores the intersection of communication, culture, and technology through research and teaching in the USA and Europe (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, University of Amsterdam, European University Florence, University of Oxford, Roskilde University, Pennsylvania State University, Illinois Institute of Technology). She is the author of Amongst Digital Humanists: An Ethnographic Study of Digital Knowledge Production(2015), while other recent publications include Black Boxes and True Color—A Rhetoric of Scholarly Code (2020), The Internet: A Brief History Based on Trust (2019), Researcher as Bricoleur: Contextualizing humanists’ digital workflows (2018). In addition to academic work, Smiljana has been actively engaged in industry research, informing development of the BMC Software’s multi-billion dollar set of products in enterprise IT infrastructure management, monitoring, and security used by 92 of the Forbes Global 100 companies, developing a suite of medical applications at the Walgreens Boots Alliance pharmacies, and analyzing effectiveness of the world’s largest DNS Security Extensions public key-signing service at the PCH Research Institute for Internet Traffic.
Matt (he/him) is the manager of UX Research, Technical Publications, and UX Writing at 8x8, a unified communications platform. Matt enjoys growing research operations and helping advance organizational UX maturity. He promotes human-centered development in enterprise and B2B software and is energized by creating positive user experiences across all product touchpoints. Matt advocates for inclusive design practices that build better software for everyone. Previously, he managed the UX and Usability team at MEDITECH. Matt graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Scientific and Technical Communication.
JPG & Associates, Inc.
Jerry Grohovsky is co-founder and president of JPG & Associates, Inc., a technical communication company based out of Minneapolis/St. Paul since 1993. Jerry received a BA in journalism and mass communications from the University of Minnesota, and has more than 30 years of experience in technical writing and marketing communications. Immediately after graduation, he entered the technical writing field. Over the years, he held various communication roles as a direct-employee and contractor for both startups and fortune-5oo companies. Some of Jerry’s professional titles included: senior technical writer, marketing writer, technical illustrator, technical publications manager, and freelance writer He has been a member of the STC for more than 25 years, and also has memberships in AMWA and MTRN. Jerry is a frequent panelist, contributor, presenter, and technical communication career advisor for several under-graduate and post-graduate university technical communication programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Connect with Jerry.
JoAnn has a PhD in English. She led the technical writing program at the Colorado School of Mines and founded the MSTC program at the University of Colorado-Denver. She then devoted her energy full time to building Comtech Services, an information development consultancy, and founding the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM). Many University of Minnesota students have used her many books in their courses, including the original Managing Your Documentation Projects. She led Comtech for 40 years, retiring in 2017 with the sale of the company. She is now engaged in writing information-development standards for the International Standard Organization (ISO) and working on environmental projects for Evergreen Audubon and Conservation Colorado. She is also a volunteer editor for Cornell Lab of Ornitholgy’s Birds of the World. Read more about JoAnn Hackos.
Kristina Halvorson is CEO of Brain Traffic, a content strategy services and events company. She is the author of Content Strategy for the Web; the executive producer of two global content conferences, Confab and Button; and the host of The Content Strategy Podcast. Kristina works with dozens of Fortune 100 clients and has traveled all over the world teaching people about the importance of creating content that is useful, usable, inclusive, and accessible for everyone. She lives in St. Paul with her two teenagers.
Teeghan is a Technical Content Manager at 3M where she manages a team that migrates product content to new authoring software, creates/updates technical content and implements global content management systems and best practices. Teeghan has an MS in Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota.
A native of Japan, Aki Ito is an experienced localization professional who has worked in the industry since 1996 in sales, operation management, and consulting. Aki has served as a member and chair of the board of directors of the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA). He served as the team interpreter for the Colorado Rockies in 2000. He currently serves on the editorial board for MultiLingual magazine and on the advisory board for EDUinLOC, a global platform to enable communication between academics and the localization industry. Prior to his involvement in the localization industry, Aki was an account executive at Dell in the United States and Japan, selling personal computers and networking solutions to multinational companies for their worldwide implementations. Aki has an MBA in international marketing and a BA in international relations.
Wells Fargo Bank NA
Lilita (Lily) is a graduate of the Master of Science in Technical Communication program at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. Lily has worked in a range of jobs, including ESL teacher in Tokyo and automotive service technician–primarily at Ford-Lincoln-Mercury and Mitsubishi dealerships, before settling down in the technical writing field to work as a liaison between industry and the end user. Lily is the president of STC TC, the Society for Technical Communication in the Twin Cities. Before that, she was president of TC3, the STC student chapter at Metro State. Lily currently works as a Lead Technology Business Services Consultant (aka "technical writer plus"). Connect with Lily on LinkedIn.
Jacqui graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2017 with a BS in technical writing & communication. During her time at the U, she studied abroad at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and wrote a senior thesis on web accessibility in higher education. After graduation, Jacqui worked as a technical writer before transitioning into the field of user experience (UX). As a UX design researcher at U.S. Bank, Jacqui conducts research on how digital financial products can support customers' larger life goals.
Mark is a Senior Technical Writing Manager at Medtronic in the Cardiovascular Division. He has over 20 years of experience working in the regulated medical device and software industries. He currently manages a team of 10 technical writers who write for medical device projects, including pacemakers, defibrillators, leads, and accessories. Mark has a Communication Studies degree from the University of Minnesota.
City of Saint Paul
Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in Scientific & Technical Communication in 2015. She currently works in local government to combine her background in user experience and marketing strategy. As a User Experience Designer, she merges design thinking with principles of usability, developing new techniques to engage underrepresented populations as part in a larger effort to improve equity and inclusion in city services. When she's not planning research and facilitating brainstorms, she is creating memories with her husband and two young children.
Sam Racine is the Global Win Strategy Lead, championing her team through the creation and delivery of compelling business tenders and client presentations, conducting Win Loss reviews, and facilitating new forms of sales collateral and media. Sam has a PhD in Rhetoric, Scientific, and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota. She has been with Unisys for 22 years in many communication and client-facing roles. Sam holds six patents in user interface design, is certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt for improvements in consultative selling, and designed the facilitation methodology for Unisys Centers of Innovation and our internal Win Shaping Labs. Her focus on effective communication has been noted by clients and pursuit teams in the achievement of several $100M+ deals, including strategic opportunities in new markets. She is often overheard by her dog muttering "why or why should our clients care" when reviewing strategies and proposals. Connect with Sam on LinkedIn.
University of Minnesota
Nick graduated from the University of Minnesota with a MS degree in scientific & technical communication in 2008. Today, Nick is a User Experience Analyst at the University of Minnesota, working for the Office of Information Technology. He helps designers understand their users' perspective, identifying issues that affect people and their experience with a product. By understanding these issues, designers are better prepared to implement changes and avoid costly rework. Nick coordinates and facilitates a number of user experience activities for web development and purchasing teams for the University of Minnesota, such as rapid prototyping, focus groups, usability evaluations, and content strategy consultations. Contact Nick.
Dashe & Thomson
Jolene joined Dashe & Thomson in 2007. She currently serves as Vice President of Learning Solutions and Operations after working with the company for over 12 years as a contract Senior Consultant and Project Lead. During her years with Dashe & Thomson, Jolene has led enterprise-wide training and change management projects for major companies including RBC Wealth Management, McGraw Hill, Mayo Clinic, Macy's, and Hormel Foods.
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
KJ (she/her) is a Senior User Experience Designer on the Accessibility team at REI. The accessibility team exists to enable inclusive online, in-store, and outside experiences for customers by educating, equipping, and empowering teams to create experiences that are accessible by default. KJ received a degree in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development from the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and a M.S. in Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts. Previously, she worked as a User Experience (UX) Designer and Usability Tester at MEDITECH, technical illustrator, graphic designer, and web designer for the University of Minnesota Center for Sustainable Polymers, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center, and Visible Heart Lab.
Facebook awarded Bill their highly competitive Content Strategy Fellowship in 2014. And shortly thereafter, Brain Traffic snatched him up to be their very first intern. Bill wore many hats before settling into his role as a content strategist. He has worked on projects large and small for clients like Marriott, Principal, Carnegie Mellon University, Pearson, and Aurora Healthcare. Bill graduated from the University of Minnesota’s technical communications program. He likes the great outdoors, his dog, and puns.
University of Minnesota
Lee Thomas is a writer, teacher, and communications professional in Minneapolis. His experience includes information architecture, user experience planning, writing feature and benefit copy for industrial floor cleaners, content strategy for the Central Bank of Belize, and taking a seven-day Caribbean cruise in the name of "research" for a website project. Lee attended Lewis & Clark College and the University of Munich, and in 2002 he earned the M.S. in Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota. Currently, Lee helps graduate students at the Carlson School of Management learn effective ways to communicate complex technical information in business settings. He also teaches information design in the Department of Writing Studies. Connect with Lee on LinkedIn.
Dr. Kim Thomas-Pollei, as the Director Global Scientific Affairs, leads the development of clinical risk strategy in the Cardiac Rhythm Management Clinical Group at Boston Scientific. She provides project leadership and scientific expertise throughout product development and implementation of local or global regulatory requirements; develops clinical evidence analysis for submission to regulatory agencies; manages clinical risk timelines required by global regulatory bodies; and provides clinical evaluation to identify clinical harms and clinical benefits to support safety and performance for product approval. She holds a PhD in Rhetoric, Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota and previously served as an adjunct assistant professor in Writing Studies.
Daphne Walmer & Associates
Daphne is a retired expert and consultant in medical device labeling and technical communications. She has over 30 years of management experience, including 18 years at Medtronic and 6 at Fisher-Rosemount Control. While at Medtronic, she piloted electronic manuals for the medical device industry and led development of an early global content management system. She has also worked in high tech office automation, insurance, corporation communications, publishing, and academia. Daphne taught technical writing at the University of Minnesota while she was a graduate student. She co-founded and sponsored the organization which has now become the Technical Communication Advisory Board, is a member emeritus of the advisory board for the Center for Information Development Management (CIDM), and was a long-term mentor for Menttium. Connect with Daphne on LinkedIn.
Digital Accessibility by WeCo
Lynn Wehrman, Founder and President of Digital Accessibility by WeCo, began her career working in digital accessibility as one of the first government digital accessibility specialists in 2008. With an education in communications, and professional background in federal program coordination, her work on the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan resulted in ground breaking work in government digital accessibility. Lynn founded WeCo Accessibility Services after living with a lifelong cognitive disability, and seeing first hand the power of people living with disabilities working as subject matter experts, in her government role. Learn more about Lynn's career on LinkedIn.
Willenbring Consulting LLC
Jim is an innovator, strategist, communicator, coach and founder of his own strategy and coaching practice. With more than 30 years experience at Medtronic, Jim developed and commercialized many strategies and programs in the medical technology field using deep user-centered approaches. He holds ten patents in software, algorithms, and data analytics in medical technology and is a certified executive/leadership coach. In his career, Jim worked as a technical writer/editor, field engineer, product marketing manager, director of marketing & strategy, and senior director for digital health and patient operations. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (BEE), an MS in Scientific & Technical Communication, and an executive management program certificate from the University of Minnesota. Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.