Michelle completed her MBA in Marketing, E-Commerce and Information Systems from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. She has over twenty years of experience in higher education; ten years owning a web design and marketing company; and currently serves as the Head of Customer Success for Impress.org (developers of GiveWP.com and WPBusinessReviews.com).
Michelle is a veteran of public speaking. She’s been an instructor for a wide variety of topics including Using Quantitative Data Analysis Software, Meditative Drawing, Intro to WordPress, and Marketing for Massage Therapy. Michelle speaks at conferences all over North America. You can find many of them recorded on WordPress.tv including “Little Things That Make a Big Difference” and “Hidden Features of WordPress Revealed,” as well as panel discussions on ethics, marketing, page builders, and women in technology.
Michelle is the author “A Good Firm Handshake (and other essential business tips)” available on Amazon.com.
Say hi to Michelle on Twitter at @michelleames and check out her website at worksbymichelle.com.
Michele: What do you do in the WordPress ecosystem?
Michelle: I’m the Head of Customer Success for GiveWP.com, a WordCamp organizer, Meetup Organizer, and frequent WordCamp speaker.
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
Michelle: A long time ago in what feels like a previous life, my best friend and I started a nonprofit. Her husband built us a WordPress website and we had to learn how to add the content. I remember being so scared I was going to break it…but instead, I ended up falling in love with WordPress. Over the next few months, I learned more and more until I decided to build a site from scratch. The rest, as they say, is history!
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
Michelle: I love that there’s Open Source software, but I love that there’s an Open Source Community even more. To me, that means that the ability to make a living, to learn, to grow, and to be involved is open to anyone and everyone who wants to be involved. I have made so many friends because of WordPress that I might never know otherwise. I’m so grateful for this community.
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
Michelle: Give (of course!), WP Business Reviews, Caldera Forms, and Post Expirator, to name a few.
Michele: Do you have a favorite theme or framework you like to use?
Michelle: I’m a Divi fan. I’m starting to embrace the block editor more and more, though!
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
Michelle: The WordPress Community is a “hidden” gem hiding in plain sight. So many WordPress users are unaware of all that the community has to offer. If I could change something it would be to find a way to help connect all those people back to the greater community.
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
Michelle: There are so many! My first WordCamp talk was exciting (Buffalo 2015). Delivering three keynote addresses this year is certainly an honor. But the most memorable is probably joining the Impress.org team and working with nonprofits and businesses around the world.
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
Michelle: Find a meetup. Go to WordCamp. Reach out to others with questions. There’s a whole sea of helpful people who are ready, willing, and able to help you out
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
Michelle: I think WordPress will continue to grow and be a huge part of the Internet. I’m excited to see how the Gutenberg project will continue to evolve and how different blocks will develop within WordPress and all the different themes and plugins.
Michele: Just for fun, share one memory that makes you proud to be a part of the WordPress Community.
Michelle: Last year I organized a hackathon in Rochester. 17 people paid to attend and build three websites for local nonprofit organizations. They gave up an entire Saturday, put in a ton of hard work, and even paid $10 each to attend. At the end of the day, those sites were ready to be published. That entire group made me so proud to be there.
You can find Michelle Frechette online at WorksByMichelle.
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