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, 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
  • Software/web developers
  • IT/cybersecurity professionals.

Stay tuned for the full agenda schedule!

Early Access Tickets

Specially priced TAG Summit 2019 Early Access Tickets are now available.

A portion of every ticket sold will provide discounted student tickets. Early Access pricing will end October 29th.

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


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

Employment Inclusion Manager, Western Washington University

Nicholas Gorveatt

Principal of IT Operations & Security, Emergency Reporting

Bradley Grainger

Director of Software Development, Faithlife

AJ Barse

Instructional Technologist, Western Washington University

Gina Stark

Economic Development Specialist, Port of Bellingham

Diane Kamionka

Executive Director, Northwest Innovation Resource Center

Andrew Skipton

CAO, Faithlife

Josh Burdick

Owner, Veritas Media Productions

Mark Peck

Human Resources Manager, Emergency Reporting

Chris Powell

Canvas LMS Admin, Western Washington University

Kevin Burkeland

IT 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 three tracks and some great talks headed your way.

Check back soon, we’ll be adding specific tracks and speaker details.

8:30 AM

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
11:00 AM
Breakout Tracks (Morning)
12:00 PM

Technology program highlights from the TAG Community, featuring Northwest Innovation Resource Center and Port of Bellingham. Moderated by Michael Gan.

Diane Kamionka, Gina Stark

Moderated by Meg Weber.

AJ Barse, Chris Powell
1:30 PM
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.

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, Carl Willis-Ford, Maggie Roberts, Kayne McGladrey, Kevin Stock, Austin Baar, Meg Weber

Happy Hour Social with light food and beverages for networking, socializing, and additional discussion.

11:00 AM
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

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, Kayne McGladrey

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.

Carl Willis-Ford
11:00 AM
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

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

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
11:05 AM
Plot Twist Workshop: Practice makes better!

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

Learn valuable insights from project management experts and discover how to “Get Work Done!”. Moderated by Meg Weber.

Josh Burdick, Leigh Woody, Meg Weber

Top Tips and Tricks from your friendly Human Resources folks. Moderated by Meg Weber.

Mark Peck, Andy Skipton, Nick Sanchez

Sharing experiences of leadership and management, while exploring key differences between the two. Moderated by Meg Weber.

CJ Seitz


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


CyberWatch West
Whatcom Community College
Spark Museum
Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce
Port of Bellingham

Brad Williams  |  Dr. Carl Willis-Ford