Join us for TAG Summit 2019 on November 8th as we gather expertise, discuss insights, and share valuable experiences in technology.

Our theme this year is Strengthening Our Technology Community and will highlight both professional development and technical education with breakout tracks for business leadership, software/web developers, engineers, and IT/cybersecurity professionals. Activities will allow for networking, socializing, and additional discussion.

Panel Discussions, and Breakout Track Topics. We strive to bring valuable professional and technical education to our regional technology community with deeper dives in our breakout tracks for:

  • Business leadership
  • IT/cybersecurity professionals
  • Software/web developers
  • Engineers

See the full schedule for more details.

Early Access Tickets

To celebrate our addition of a FOURTH breakout track we have extended Early Access ticket pricing. Get your tickets now!

Not a TAG Member? Become a TAG Member today!

Keynote Speaker

Shelley Roberts

CEO, StrategyClicks

Featured Speakers

Kayne McGladrey

Director of Security and IT, Pensar

Maggie Roberts

Program Manager, Appen

Carl Willis-Ford

Solutions Architect, General Dynamics Information Technology


Christopher Porter

Paraeducator, Bellingham School District

Janice Walker

Cybersecurity Grants Special Projects Director, Whatcom Community College

Corrinne Sande

Principle Investigator and Director, NCyTE Center & CAE National Resource Center

Max Kaiser

Founder and CEO, Hand Crank Films and Pipeline Software

Jessica Wood

Front End Developer, WompMobile

Robert Hoover

Managing Partner, Superlative Audio & ElementalsTech

Celeste Fiorillo

Project Manager, Faithlife

Mary Elliott

Founder, Bellingham Makerspace

Nigel Burton

President, RealMax Augmented Reality

Jeremiah McCoy

Founder, McCoy Innovations

Bryan Brake

Technical Project Manager, Leviathan Security Group

CJ Seitz

Director, Western Washington University Small Business Development Center

Madison Miner

Founder, WompMobile

Todd White

Development Manager, Faithlife

Nate Merritt

Software Development Team Lead, Faithlife

Nathanael Crabb

Software Engineer II, Emergency Reporting

Leigh Woody

Scrum Master, Emergency Reporting

Nick Sanchez

Director of Veteran Services, Western Washington University

Nicholas Gorveatt

Principal of IT Operations & Security, Emergency Reporting

Bradley Grainger

Director of Software Development, Faithlife

Gina Stark

Economic Development Specialist, Port of Bellingham

Diane Kamionka

Executive Director, Northwest Innovation Resource Center

Andrew Skipton

Chief Administration Officer, Faithlife

Josh Burdick

Owner, Veritas Media Productions

Mark Peck

Human Resources Manager, Emergency Reporting

Chris Powell

Co-Host, Bellingham Podcast

Kevin Burkeland

Adjunct Instructor, Bellingham Technical College

Meg Weber

Faculty, Western Washington University

Austin Baar

Owner, Whatcom IT

Kevin Stock

CTO, Toolhouse

Dustin Masters

Senior Software Engineer, Olo

David Hirsch

Security Engineer, 3D / NPI

Event Schedule

We’ve got FOUR tracks and some great talks headed your way.

8:30am @ Syre 103

How many times have you recently heard your industry leaders talk about how your
organization and team needs to be adaptive? How many job postings have you seen lately
that suggest ‘adaptability’ as a desired skill for new team members?
We speak about adaptability as if it’s self evident. But what does it really mean? How do
we teach it? How do we develop it? How do we embed it in our organizational strategy?
And, more importantly, how will we respond when being adaptable forces us to confront
old organizational habits, beliefs and performance infrastructure that may be getting in our
way? What will we, our leaders and our teams have to learn – and unlearn – to build the
capacity to adapt well?

Shelley Roberts
10:45am @ Breakout Tracks >
Breakout Tracks (Morning)
11:50am @ Syre 103

In the IT world, many professionals are driven to push the needle, level up, and crush it in the workplace. But when these high-performing individuals get a seed planted in their minds – a new project, an opportunity to “think different,” or a mission to help others – it can lead to a satisfying side hustle, an unexpected second career, or it can even disrupt an industry (just like Gmail, AirBNB, and Uber have done.) Join Max Kaiser and Chris Powell in a conversation exploring the why behind a passion project and how it can lead to something beyond everyone’s expectations. Inspiration is often acquired with one sentence. Join the conversation!

Max Kaiser & Chris Powell

Technology program highlights from the TAG Community, featuring CyberWatch West (now NCyTE Center), Northwest Innovation Resource Center, and Port of Bellingham. Moderated by Michael Gan.

Corrinne Sande, Diane Kamionka & Gina Stark
1:30pm @ Breakout Tracks >
Breakout Tracks (Afternoon)

There is a shortage in the STEM workforce in the U.S.A. As an example, there are over 300,000 job openings (and growing) in the cybersecurity field. While women make up roughly 50% of the general workforce, they are significantly underrepresented in STEM. Again, using cybersecurity, only 12-15% of the workforce are women. The two main causes for the shortage of women in STEM are pipeline (not enough women joining the field) and retention (women not staying in the field). This presentation is based on doctoral research on the retention of women in cybersecurity, but much of the background research used was regarding STEM in general. The research results provide insights into how schools and employers can help improve the retention of women in STEM.

Dr. Carl Willis-Ford

In my time in the banking industry, retail, casino, and now working in AI. I have been able to utilize my experience in more than one Private sector to better understand the vulnerability leveraged by bad actors. In my Case Study, I will be talking about one such case that highlights the impact of cooperation and outside the box thinking across multiple agencies and companies working towards one common goal.

Margaret Roberts

Cyber attacks are bad and getting worse, and you’d like to turn things around before it’s too late. In this session, you’ll learn how the three most common attacks target people, how to deter and deny threat actors attacking your applications, and how to defend yourself and your community.

Kayne McGladrey

Closing comments highlighting key takeaways of the day. Moderated by Michael Gan.

Shelley Roberts, Dr. Carl Willis-Ford, Maggie Roberts, Kayne McGladrey, Meg Weber, Austin Baar, Kevin Stock & Jeremiah McCoy

Light food and beverages for networking, socializing, and additional discussion.

Building on the keynote session, participants will use real-time examples to learn and
practice specific tools proven to increase their ability to adapt.

Shelley Roberts

Join three Pros as they share their distinctly different wisdom on getting great work done. Whether you call it Project Management, Agile, Scrum or … we all can recognize those people who just have a knack for getting great work done while building relationships with their team. We all want to work with them and glean from their top tips. Connect with Josh Burdick from Veritas Media Pros, Celeste Fiorillo, Project Manager from Faithlife and Leigh Woody, Scrum Master from Emergency Reporting. Moderated by Meg Weber.

Josh Burdick, Celeste Fiorillo & Leigh Woody

We know that the war for talent is real, and that we yearn to work on teams where we can learn, stretch and thrive. Real world takeaways on these complex issues delivered by a dynamic group. Join Andy Skipton of Faithlife, Mark Peck of Emergency Reporting, Nick Sanchez of Western Washington University, and CJ Seitz of the Small Business Development Center in a dynamic discussion of top talent topics. Moderated by Meg Weber.

Andy Skipton, CJ Seitz, Mark Peck & Nick Sanchez
10:45am @ Syre 103
Local IT/Cybersecurity Resources

An introduction to local community resources in IT/Cybersecurity, including Whatcom IT Professionals, who have collaborated with TAG to present the IT/Cybersecurity Breakout Track.

Austin Baar

Join Kevin and the student run Bellingham Technical College Network Team in a dive into the problems and fun that come with building a network for a two day festival dedicated to all things Linux and open source: Linuxfest Northwest. https://lfnw.org

Kevin Burkeland

Learn the skills and qualities in high demand in IT/Cybersecurity and how organizations are building their teams for success. Moderated by Austin Baar.

Bryan Brake & Carl Willis-Ford

This 20 minute talk will go over at a high level things one can do to improve their networking, both in your career, personal, and professionally. Personal branding do’s and don’ts will be covered as well.

Bryan Brake

With the seeming never ending data breaches showing up in the news, and countless others that are not publicly disclosed, it is necessary to up our game on protecting our IT systems and services. If you are not already using password management and two-factor authentication, then this is a must attend. For others who are already practicing this, we will also talk about some tactics the hackers are doing to circumvent two- factor and adding two-factor to important services you may not have thought about or done in the past.

Nicholas Gorveatt

MSPs (managed service providers) have special risks around password management. Because we have access to client assets, we have a special responsibility to keep them safe with good security practices, and we are a particular target for attackers. This session will cover some of the tools and practices we use for managing passwords and some other security practices around authentication, in the hope that others will adopt them and improve their own authentication practices.

David Hirsch

While many Insider Threat assessments only include two categories (malicious and unintentional), there exists a strong argument to include a third category, the NonMalicious insider – employees that knowingly violate security policy, but not for malicious purposes. These employees present significant risk that may be at worst overlooked, at best underestimated, and impact both cyber and physical security.
The presentation delves into the underlying causes of NonMalicious Insiders, with examples of how NonMalicious insiders unwittingly participated in major data breaches by malicious insiders and outsiders. Research-based and practical non-technical approaches will be presented for recognizing and managing the NonMalicious Insider Threat, resulting in an improved overall security posture.

Dr. Carl Willis-Ford
10:45am @ Syre 107/108
Local Development Resources

An introduction to local community resources in Development, including Bellingham Codes, who have collaborated with TAG to present the Software/Web Development Breakout Track.

Kevin Stock

Learn the skills and qualities in high demand in technology and how organizations are building their teams for success. Moderated by Kevin Stock.

Madison Miner & Todd White

Mobile is the new battleground in retail, as consumers increasingly turn to their mobile devices to search, price compare and buy products. However, an unreliable and slow mobile web has long been a barrier to strong mobile revenue growth. Two new technologies—Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWA)—are changing this, breaking barriers and unlocking new possibilities by delivering a fast and rich mobile user experience. This session will provide an overview of what’s possible with AMP and PWA.

Jessica Wood

Do you know how fast your web app loads? How about for someone running a five year old drug store phone? We’ll cover some of the tools you can use to answer that question, like some of the new web performance APIs around first contentful paint, listing expensive page resources, and strategies for deferring expensive requests. You’ll leave this talk with some instrumentation code samples you can try in your production app, and widely supported improvements your team can be planning for this next year (http2, selective polyfills, server rendering for SPAs).

Dustin Masters

Microsoft announced .NET Core in 2014, and released .NET Core 3.0 in September. This session will introduce this increasingly-popular software development framework, explain its history and differences with Microsoft’s .NET Framework, and review the major improvements in .NET Core 3.0. You’ll learn when and why you might want to develop your next project with .NET Core, and how to get started.

Bradley Grainger

Users want fast and easy access to information. Every website, every app, and every company has data that users want to see. Furthermore, Google has defined the user experience and expectations for search. How can we deliver the data that users want to see in the way that they expect to search for it but without the budget of Google?

At Faithlife we use the free and open source Elasticsearch (https://www.elastic.co/) to deliver a scalable, fast, intuitive search experience for our users. This talk will go into the basics of: What is Elasticsearch? How does it work under the hood? and How can I quickly spin up a working search experience for my users?

Nate Merritt

Dive into Schematron and explore how it can be used. Introduce the NEMSIS 3 standard and describe how patient records are validated. Pros/Cons will be covered, as well as an example solution using Azure and related benefits and challenges.

Nathanael Crabb
10:45am @ Baker 105
Local Engineering Resources

An introduction to local community resources in Engineering, including Bellingham Makerspace, who have collaborated with TAG to present the Engineering Breakout Track.

Jeremiah McCoy

This session will discuss the many options available for small scale, custom manufacturing and prototyping available with current technology, by giving examples from the recent project of building a science-fiction themed escape room using tools available at the Bellingham Makerspace. Topics will cover the usage of 3d printing, laser cutting, CNC milling, vacuum forming, woodworking, and integrating electronics such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, to create an immersive physical environment full of puzzles and challenges, and showcase the many possibilities of small scale manufacturing.

Jeremiah McCoy

Augmented Reality (or AR) is a blending of both virtual and real environments. Applications for this new technology are nearly limitless, from immersive gaming and escape rooms, to adding virtual effects for concert venues, to police and paramedic training, and many more. This session will introduce Augmented Reality and present details about the hardware and software that is driving this new wave of innovation.

Nigel Burton

3d printing and other democratic rapid prototyping technologies have been empowering the development of cost effective alternatives to prosthetics, adaptive controls for games and other day to day devices, to serve people with disabilities and special needs. This session will discuss the group Makers Making Change, which specializes in providing low cost solutions tailored to the needs of individuals, and how the use of 3d printing and basic electronics can be put to use to improve their mobility and independence in the world.

Mary Elliott

Modern technology and the development of Augmented reality, which overlays virtual information on top of the world around us, has opened up interesting possibilities of providing people who suffer from physical or mental challenges. Augmented reality can give direction and guidance in performing simple tasks that would otherwise require another person to physically be present to give, allowing the users greater autonomy and self-reliance.

Chris Porter & Mary Elliott

Plan a future in a world with almost unimaginable possibilities: What will technology be like in 20 years? Let’s build it! In the past we imagined real time media generation, media networking, media servers, computer tablets and the whole concept of IoT as the foundation for home control and media interfacing. The world of the future will include remote presence, transportation, energy systems, media experiences and, of course, personal assistance. Moore’s Law predicts exponential imagination. Can hardware be the driving force of technological advances?

Robert Hoover


Whatcom Community College – Syre Hall
237 W Kellogg Rd
Bellingham, WA 98226


Emergency Reporting
Whatcom Community College
Sole Graphics
Spark Museum
Port of Bellingham
CyberWatch West
Whatcom IT Professionals
Bellingham Codes
Bellingham Makerspace
Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce

Brad Williams  |  Dr. Carl Willis-Ford