The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference: Spanning Silos, Building Bridges | November 5-8, 2017 | Portland, OR


Download the preliminary program or schedule in PDF, or browse the full schedule below.

Preliminary Program

Schedule at a Glance


Virtual Track

All keynote sessions and sessions in the virtual track will be recorded and broadcast live with video. All other sessions will be recorded webinar style (slides and audio) for playback after the conference.  See the virtual track page to view a sample virtual session.

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Schedule: Sunday, 5 November 2017

Registration, Coffee

Mastering Content Models for Total Content Domination
Marlowe Beckley, Content Director, Hathway

The Anatomy of a Real DITA Documentation Project
George Bina, Managing Director, Syncro Soft / oXygen XML Editor

MPACT: A Gameful Approach to Creating Relevant Personas
Dana Ortegon, Jen Smerdel, Magga Dora Ragnarsdottir, and Priyama Barua, Mad*Pow

Management Workshop Part 1: Leadership and Management in Technical Documentation
Eeshita Grover, Sr. Manager Technical Communications, Cisco Systems

Implementing a Customer-driven Transition to DITA Content: A Step-by-Step Journey to Success

  • Susanna Carlisi, Senior Advisor – Content Strategist and Tools Specialist, Ciena
  • Alexander Lum, Director – Global Product Documentation Development, Ciena
  • Tom Aldous, Founder/CEO, The Content Era
  • Stefan Gentz, Worldwide TechComm Evangelist, Adobe
  • Dustin Vaughn, Solutions Consulting Manager, Adobe

Creating Unified Content Portals

The Joy of Improvisation: Practical Play for Serious Professionals
Anthony Apodaca, Xeditor and Jack Molisani, The LavaCon Conference

Pre-conference social event
Enjoy food and live Irish music at Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub
112 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204

Monday, 6 November 2017

Registration, Continental Breakfast

Jack Molisani, Executive Director, The LavaConConference
Grand Ballroom

Professionalization of Content Experience Specialists
Aaron Roe Fulkerson, Founder and CEO, MindTouch
Grand Ballroom

Take the Risk, Embrace the Change!
Hoa Aldous, Vice President of Operations, The Content Era
Grand Ballroom

From Yellow Pads to Virtual Reality: The Evolving Role of Content Strategists
Andrea Zeller, Virtual Reality Strategist, Facebook
Grand Ballroom

Find Your Tribe
Business Card Exchange
Grand Ballroom


Dessert and vendor demos in the exhibit hall

Knowledge Freedom: Break Down the Silos!
Nikoletta Vecsei, Director, Transamerica and Laurel Nicholes, Director, F5 Networks
Skyline I

To Improve Translation, Wield the Period and the (Typographical) Bullet
Jon Ann Lindsey, Content Strategist, Google
Skyline II

Making a Quantum Shift in Structured Authoring
Eric Kuhnen, Director of Operations, Astoria Software
Grand Ballroom

Maturing Process Maturity
Dawn Stevens, President, Comtech Services
Parlor BC

Faster Content, Better Healthcare: Improving Cancer Diagnostics with Electronic Delivery
Laura Meyer Vega, American College of Surgeons, and Gretyl Kinsey, Scriptorium
Galleria North

Overcoming Cross-silo Office Politics
Marli Mesibov, Managing Director of Content Strategy, Mad*Pow
Grand Ballroom

Structured Content Authoring For All!
Jan Benedictus, CEO, Liones / FontoXML
Parlor BC

Transform Your 1200 Page PDF into Executable Content Modules
Darko Stefanoski, Ernst & Young and Steffen Frederiksen, DitaExchange
Galleria North

Connecting Silos With Content Pipelines
Roger Hadley, Senior Technical Writer and Derek Atlansky, Technical Lead, Fiserv
Skyline I

Static Site Generators are the Game Changers
Lukasz Gornicki, Product Owner, SAP
Skyline II

Personalization of Content and the Power of Metrics
Oded Ilan, CMO, Iridize
Grand Ballroom

Case Study: How McAfee/Intel Security Scaled Up to Dynamic Enterprise Publishing
Paul Masalsky, McAfee and Gal Oron, Zoomin Software
Galleria North

It’s Amazing What You Can Learn When You Actually Listen to Customers
Jon Ann Lindsey, Content Strategist, Google
Grand Ballroom

Feed the Goldfish in 19 Minutes and 52 Seconds
Stefan Gentz, Global TechComm Evangelist, Adobe Systems
Grand Ballroom

Networking reception and book signings in the exhibit hall

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Registration, Continental Breakfast

Think Bigger
Megan Gilhooly, Sr. Manager of Content Management, Amazon
Grand Ballroom

Why Introverts Make Successful Leaders
Eeshita Grover, Sr. Manager Technical Communications, Cisco Systems
Grand Ballroom

Stop, Listen, and Collaborate: Creating an Experience-first Content Strategy
Melinda Howard Belcher, Senior Director of Digital Experience, Mastercard
Grand Ballroom

Engineering Content 4.0 for a Digital World
Joe Gollner, Managing Director, Gnostyx Research (presented remotely)

Countering the Chaos: The Case for Cross-Department Workflows
Bill Burns, Content Architect, Healthwise
Skyline I

Our Role and Responsibility in Information 4.0
Ray Gallon, Co-founder, The Transformation Society and Andy McDonald, Product Manager, TECH’advantage
Skyline II

Let’s Work Together: How SASB Implemented DITA and Changed Their Corporate Culture
Jessi Lawrence, SASB and Amber Swope, DITA Strategies
Parlor BC

Living Salad Bar Networking Lunch

Who Cares About Change?
Tristan Mitchell, Product Manager, DeltaXML
Skyline I

Smarter Enterprise Collaboration through Content 4.0 and Microcontent
Rob Hanna, Chief Info Architect, Precision Content Authoring Solutions, Inc.
Skyline II

Developing Your Edge: Getting a Seat at the Customer’s Table
Charles Rygula, Cisco Systems
Grand Ballroom

DITA: Start Small, Grow Big Using Open Source Tools
Patrick Baker, VP, Development and Professional Services, Stilo International
Parlor BC

Think Global, Act Global, Go Global
Bill Swallow, Director of Operations, Scriptorium
Skyline I

Watch that Tone: Creating an Information Experience with a Consistent Voice
Sarah Karp, Information Experience Team Lead, Atlassian
Skyline II

We Are Single-Sourcing! But How Well Do We Work With Others?
Mike Hamilton, Vice President of Product Evangelism, MadCap Software
Grand Ballroom

XaaS: XML Authoring as a Service
George Bina, Managing Director Syncro Soft / oXygen XML Editor
Parlor BC

Case Study: A Journey to Intelligent Content Delivery
Craig Prior, Mastercard and Joe Gelb, Zoomin Software

Coffee and Chocolate Truffle Break

AI: Preparing Product Content for the Voice Revolution
Hannan Saltzman, Zoomin Software
Grand Ballroom

How MOOCs, SPOCs, and Next Generation e-Learning Are Impacting Content Strategy
Keith Boyd, Director of Structured Learning Programs, Microsoft
Grand Ballroom

Evolving the New Content Order
Cruce Saunders, Founder, [A]
Grand Ballroom

Meet in the Hilton lobby at 5:45 for a Chinese Lion and Dragon Parade to Bar XV, 15 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, followed by Kamikaze Karaoke and/or Quiet Networking Upstairs)

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Continental Breakfast

Authored by Man and Machine: Interactive Documents?
Vi Kellersohn, Chief Marketing Officer, Oberon Technologies
Skyline I

Agile Localization: Building Bridges Between Translation Quality and Rapid Software Development
Laura Dent, International Freelance Technical Writer
Skyline II

Reusing Your Reuse: How to Keep the Reuse You Have When You Move to DITA
Helen St. Denis, Conversion Services Manager, Stilo International
Parlor BC

Out of Bounds Leadership: Got Flow?
Tara Knapp, Content Strategist, Lincoln Financial Group and Pam Noreault, Solutions Architect, SDL
Skyline I

Content Authoring for Localization
Dominique Trouche, WhP
Skyline II

The Farmer and the Cowhand Should Be Friends, or How UX and Content Can (and Should) Work Together
Dylan Wilbanks, Founder and Principal, Hêtre Design
Grand Ballroom

Building an Enterprisewide Content Platform—and Why DITA will Fail
Dave White, Chief Technology Officer, Quark Software
Parlor BC

Case Study: Curating Your Help Site with Data to Bridge the Gap Between Documentation and Product
Jenny Evans, Avalara and Theresa Manzo, Mindtouch
Galleria North

Building a Chatbot for Customer Support
Alex Masycheff, CEO, Intuillion
Skyline I

Lost in Translation: Why Culturalization is Important!
Jeaneane Marie Falkler, Business Development Executive, VMC Consulting Corporation
Skyline II

DITA Worst Practices
Keith Schengili-Roberts, DITA Evangelist, IXIASOFT
Parlor BC

Building an Effective Content Framework for Customer Success
Sara Feldman, VP of Programs for STC San Diego
Galleria North


Panel Discussion: Conference Recap and Industry Trends
Moderator: Jack Molisani, The LavaCon Conference

Presentation of Content Impact Awards
Rhyne Armstrong, Cisco Systems

People Love to Give You Money! And Recognition! And Headcount!
Chellie Campbell, Author of The Wealthy Spirit, Zero to Zillionaire, and From Worry to Wealthy
Closing Lunch Session
Grand Ballroom

Design Thinking Workshop
Andrea Ames, Founder and CEO, Idyll Point Group
Skyline I

Drawing the Line on Content Localization: How Much is Too Much?
Daniel Foster, Snagit Strategy Lead, TechSmith
Skyline II

How to Bridge Silos Through Search Results
Christopher Ward, WebWorks
Grand Ballroom

Much Ado About Templates: Reduce the Learning Curve and Increase Productivity at DITA Implementations
Catherine Long, Sr. Information Architect, Varian Medical Systems
Parlor BC

Getting Dragged Along? Start Charting Your Team’s Course with an Investment Model
Lisa Huffman, Senior Manager Information Development, ServiceNow
Galleria North


Management as a Strategy: Upping Our Management Game to Boost the Success of Content Organizations
Toni Mantych, Director, Content Strategy and Architecture, ADP
Skyline II

Building 4,300-mile Bridges: Making Global Teams Work
MaryKay Grueneberg, Sr. User Assistance Developer, SAP
Grand Ballroom

Content Impact Award: Tell, Show, Teach: Educating Customers With Integrated, Interactive Learning
Misti Pinter, Technical Writing Manager, Oracle + Bronto
Galleria North


Presenting for Success: Achieving Buy-In (Almost) Every Time
Stacey Seronick, Content Strategist, Wells Fargo
Grand Ballroom

TechComm Throwdown!
Multiple Speakers, Moderator: Bernard Aschwanden, President, Publishing Smarter
Parlor BC

Content Impact Award: IBM Cloud Case Study
Jenifer Schlotfeldt, Senior Content Strategist, Designer, Architect for IBM Bluemix Learn Experience
Galleria North

Microbrewery Pub Crawl (Please note the Portland Ghost Tour listed in the program has been canceled)