Speaker Spotlight: Chris Lema

In 2005 Chris Lema left the DotNetNuke (DNN) world and discovered WordPress as a fast, easy way to get started with a website. Within a year he’d created 20-30 sites (all of them using pages, not posts).

Lema said he’s “willing to learn from just about anyone” when it comes to WordPress mentors though he watched the WooThemes and iThemes teams in the early years, along with StudioPress. In later years he leaned heavily on folks like Andrew Norcross and Justin Sainton to tell him what was or wasn’t possible. Plus, Lema added, “I always pay attention to what Syed (@wpbeginner) is doing.”

Lema referenced Iron Man as his favorite superhero. “He’s smart. He builds tech toys. And he can fly,” he said. Chris feels his own superpower is human chess, a talent he utilizes often. Described as “seeing what makes a person unique, understanding how they move on the board and then coordinating several folks to work together for a win!,” Lema has used this ability to improve the lives of many in the WordPress community.

It’s interesting to note that Chris Lema’s first WordCamps were in 2010 at Phoenix and Chicago. Though he attended both camps, Lema said he sat in the back, watched and didn’t interact with other attendees. Seven years later, however, fading into the background is no longer an option. Lema is a highly sought after speaker, discussion and community leader in the WordPress community.

When asked about his thoughts on family and community, Lema shared, “Family and community are both about relationships to me. I think about it as the people I would be willing to be woken up at 2 a.m. for. That list gets bigger every year because of the WordPress community.” Chris also builds community through his hobby of smoking cigars.

Lema has been building B2B SaaS products since he got started in 1995, in telecommunications, in the automotive industry, in software tools, in the public sector (government agencies), and in the financial realm. He has served on nonprofit boards and on the advisory boards of tech companies for years and is currently advising Orange County-based digital agency, Zeek Interactive.

Come learn from Chris as he leads the “Becoming a Better Blogger” Workshop on Saturday at 2:00pm. Chris is also the host of Plugin-a-Palooza on Sunday afternoon.

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