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


Download the preliminary program 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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Want to attend LavaCon? Build a business case that what you’ll learn will save your company far more than the cost of attending!

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

Monday, 6 November 2017

Registration, Continental Breakfast

Jack Molisani, Executive Director, The LavaConConference

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

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

Find Your Tribe
Business Card Exchange


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

Creating Strong Design and Content Partnerships
Dayelin Roman, Content Designer and Evan Prowten, Content Designer, Intuit

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

Maturing Process Maturity
Dawn Stevens, President, Comtech Services

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

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

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

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

Break in the exhibit hall

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

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

How Modern Analytics Will Turn Your Technical Content Into a Rock Star
Fabrice Lacroix, CEO, Antidot – Fluid Topics

Effective Content Framework for Customer Success
Sara Feldman, VP of Programs for STC San Diego

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

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

Networking reception in the exhibit hall

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Registration, Continental Breakfast

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

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

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

Engineering Content 4.0 for a Digital World
Joe Gollner, Managing Director, Gnostyx Research

Countering the Chaos: The Case for CrossDepartment Workflows
Bill Burns, Content Architect, Healthwise

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

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

Living Salad Bar Networking Lunch

People First! Design Content That Audiences Love
Erin O’Briant, President, The O’Briant Group

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

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

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

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

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

Collaborating on Content for a Better Customer Experience
Yvonne Gando and Utkarsh Seth, Google

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

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

Facebook Messenger is a Publishing Channel? Delivering Content Though Chat Bots
Murray Newlands, Contributor at Forbes and Founder of

Chinese Lion and Dragon Parade to Offsite Venue for Kamikaze Karaoke (or Quiet Networking Upstairs)

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Continental Breakfast

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

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

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

How a Localization Proof of Concept Can Bring You More Insight in Your DITA Content
Dominique Trouche, WhP and Joe Gollner, Gnostyx Research

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

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

Best Practices for Transactional Email
Rian Van Der Merwe, Product Manager, Wildbit

Why Culturalization is Important!
Jeaneane Marie Falkler, Business Development Executive, VMC Consulting Corporation

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

Getting Dragged Along? Start Charting Your Team’s Course with an Investment Model
Amy Bowman, Senior Manager Information Development, ServiceNow

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

Design Thinking Workshop
Andrea Ames, IBM and Erin O’Briant, The O’Briant Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

Closing Social Event