This episode is worth a watch as well as a listen as Kathy and Michelle don their tiaras and talk about some of the recent accomplishments they’ve had. Kathy and her team organized the recent Kadence Amplify event, a one-day, two-track event highlighting the brilliance of the WordPress and Kadence community. And Michelle has her own accomplishment as she is recognized in the Rochester, New York local news as a finalist in a search for local area Remarkable Women. These accomplishments are both rooted in the same values of lifting others up to amplify their voices and help people find success. Michelle and Kathy also discuss their upcoming travels to WordCamp Phoenix happening March 24-25, 2023 in the valley of the sun. Next episode might even be a livestream from the valley, make sure to follow our social media accounts to get a sneak peek into WordCamp Phoenix.
Speaker 0 00:00:00 Start your week smiling with your friends, Kathy’s aunt and Michelle Ette. It’s time to get ready for some weekly motivation with WP Motivate.
Speaker 1 00:00:12 Happy Friday, Kathy.
Speaker 2 00:00:16 Oh, happy Friday. Michelle.
Speaker 1 00:00:19 Best,
Speaker 2 00:00:20 Best of Fridays.
Speaker 1 00:00:23 If you are listening and not watching on YouTube, you are really missing out because it’s tiara week and we both have on tiara’s. I have on one of my minis, it’s kind of like a wheat design, a very blingy wheat design. And Kathy has her new tiara on very, I think it’s rose gold with pink, if I’m
Speaker 2 00:00:42 It is, yes.
Speaker 1 00:00:44 It looks very styl. . It serves you. It serves you. It’s heavy, you said. So it’s like, what did you say to me before? You’re like, you understand why the queen has to stand or sit so straight up and down?
Speaker 2 00:00:56 Yes. Yes. There, there’s important things on top of their head and must stay still and not move your head. The
Speaker 1 00:01:03 Crown jewel cannot slip.
Speaker 2 00:01:06 Yes. But you know, with everything I’ve been through with the husband and everything, people always say, oh, well, you know, you’re putting jewels in your crown, you know, the whole like biblical thing or whatever. And so like, I, I’m racing for that . I’m taking the jewels now.
Speaker 1 00:01:20 , we talked about that in our, in our, in our episode last week, which is why you have a tiara on top of your head now, .
Speaker 2 00:01:27 Yes. And this tiara is came to me. Thank you to Michelle. Michelle. I didn’t even know, you know, I was like, I didn’t order anything from Amazon. What’s this? And I’m like, oh. As soon as I opened it and she had messaged me and letting me know that something was on my doorstep, but I didn’t even need, I didn’t see the message until I, but as soon as I opened it, I was like, I know who sent me this . It’s perfect. Thank
Speaker 1 00:01:50 You. You needed one too. I, I like to joke cause I have like, I don’t know, 10 tiaras now some of them are, are plastic. Some of them are like, here’s my, my have a McDonald’s one that’s a Wonder Woman crown that doesn’t even actually fit me cuz it’s her child. Um, I, and I’ve given some away, like, I gave one to my mother on her 70th birthday who she actually wears it every year on her birthday all day, which is, I just love that. Oh. But I have all these and I never won a beauty pageant. It turns out you can just buy these on Amazon . So I do and I love them. Fun. I may have a few more fun home. Um, no, I don’t have a mirror with me today, but I just wanna hold this up. Let’s see. Can you see?
Speaker 2 00:02:31 That’s you? Yeah. Yeah, that’s
Speaker 1 00:02:33 You. I’m holding up the mirror to you today . Cause we talked about that last week. Yes. You are phenomenal. And you and your team pulled off a fantastic event yesterday and I just wanted to like, give you all the praise that’s due for CA’s Amplify yesterday, which is just an amazing event. At the end of last week’s episode, you asked me if I would be willing to speak You had an open slot. Yeah. And I was like, yes, I’ll, and I talked about podcasting and I was super grateful to be part of it. And the audience was really involved. They asked good questions, like the whole thing. I didn’t get to listen to a lot of it during the day. And I am definitely gonna go back and listen to the episodes when you, or the sessions when you have them out on YouTube, um, broken out. But it, it, it was phenomenal. So yeah. All the praises do. And I just wanted to hear from your, from the back end of it. Like I all, I could picture all day was you like the guy at the Oscars go camera one, like , like brighten the lights on three, like whatever they, I don’t know what they do at the Oscars was picturing you pulling all the strings.
Speaker 2 00:03:42 Well, you know, I have good people behind me mm-hmm. and a good product to talk about and a great community to pitch in. Um, you know, the WordPress community, whenever you have an event that’s about WordPress, everybody shows up. You know, it’s just the community comes to support you. The community comes to learn and network and have fun and, uh, to do, you know, I started this idea with, okay, we’re gonna just, let’s just showcase people in the Cadence community. And Ben actually was like, well let’s, let’s talk about everything people need in order to be really successful with WordPress. And I’m like, oh, even easier. I don’t have to like go real niche on this. I can do this with my, with my eyes closed. Hang
Speaker 1 00:04:23 On. This whole thing doesn’t have to be block-based .
Speaker 2 00:04:26 Yeah, yeah. I’m like, oh, okay. I know exactly who I want for security. Um, I just made friends with, uh, Dustin Hele who is on, um, his goal this year is to be the most helpful person in WordPress on Twitter. And I love that. Have like struck up some conversations and he’s really smart and is sharing all of his knowledge. Really, really smart guy. I don’t know, know that he’s been really active in the WordPress community, but I think, you know, I wanted to give him a st This got him out of his comfort zone. He thanked me later mm-hmm. For getting him out of his comfort zone. And he was so great. He was really nervous at first, but by the end of it, when all the questions started coming in, he’s like so helpful and so great. And to be able to give someone like that, a platform to support them and amplify their voice. Mm-hmm. . It’s a dream bet. Hannon talking about accessibility. Oh my
Speaker 1 00:05:16 God, she’s amazing. She is
Speaker 2 00:05:18 Amazing. She’s so amazing. So amazing. Can
Speaker 1 00:05:20 I just say I love her voice? Her voice is so distinctive and I could listen to it hours on end.
Speaker 2 00:05:26 Yes. And she was just, I just poked my head in, you know, cause I’m like running the stream out on track one. And so I poke in and see what’s happening on track two. Hannah Ritner, amazing human being. Yes. Had track two just covered. Um, I had scheduled, um, one of our support people to like, be support for her so that he could help her drive stuff. But he had sick and couldn’t, couldn’t finish out the day. So she’s like, I got this. And she did. And
Speaker 1 00:05:51 She did. Oh my gosh. Wow. It was phenomenal. I was in track two and she and I, we were joking beforehand, like I call it the green room, right. We’re really just not on screen at that time. And I’m like, um, this music sucks. Like that little, like, you know, that I don’t even like, it was like seventies music or whatever. Yeah. And she’s like, like, it’s not that bad.
Speaker 2 00:06:17 I’m
Speaker 1 00:06:17 Gonna start popping my head. She said, go for it. We just had a lot of fun.
Speaker 2 00:06:22 That’s so awesome. Yeah, we didn’t, uh, we didn’t, of course the dog has decided it’s now is the time. Killed the Stingray. I’m gonna take that away from
Speaker 1 00:06:31 Him real quick. . No, no. But Hannah was amazing. She like, talk about professional. She was awesome. the Stingray.
Speaker 2 00:06:42 The Stingray just a very loud St. Stingray
Speaker 1 00:06:44 Is, uh, his, looks like he’s been seen better days. .
Speaker 2 00:06:48 Yes. He yes. Yeah. Hannah was amazing though. She did great and she was just, she’s such a rockstar and such just Yeah. A radiant being and she mm-hmm. , you know, she’s a midwife. She’s like the first first person that like little beings, little humans. She’s the one of the first people that these little beings see and I think that’s amazing. So thanks. So welcome
Speaker 1 00:07:08 Them to the world. I love that. Talk about Hello world . Yeah, exactly. I wish that be a great thing for a onesie like Hello World on a, on a little baby outfit perfectly.
Speaker 2 00:07:20 Yeah, that is perfect. Um,
Speaker 1 00:07:23 and can I just also say, um, and, and he always praises you and me, but Maro wow, what a talk he had. It was fantastic. I did listen to about the last half of his, when I was doing other things and trying to multi-task as best as I could. But, and he always gives shouts out to you and me for, for reaching out to him, but he doesn’t need us. He is a rockstar in his own right. Yes. So Absolutely. Talk about a phenomenal person. What a great human being. Can
Speaker 2 00:07:53 You hear him?
Speaker 1 00:07:54 Hear him? I don’t. I see your reaction, but I don’t hear the dog . He’s
Speaker 2 00:07:58 Like,
Speaker 1 00:07:58 Hello.
Speaker 2 00:07:59 Who’s working on that?
Speaker 1 00:08:02 I want my story
Speaker 2 00:08:03 Back. We’re gonna, we’re gonna throw it. We’re gonna throw it to the other side of the end and you’re gonna go get it. Go get it. Go get it. There we go.
Speaker 1 00:08:10 What’s your dog name again?
Speaker 2 00:08:12 That’s Milo. I’ve got two dogs. I’ve got Milo, who’s the puppy, the Dachsund, and then Bodhi who’s the golden retriever and he’s older and much more mellow, but
Speaker 1 00:08:23 So yeah. So this is completely unrelated to anything, but I’m going to tell you that in my head, every doctrine is named Norman cuz they all look like they should be named Norman. So like, if, I mean a doctrine, I’m like, you’re Norman to me and I’m gonna forget your name because you all look like Norman. Even the girl once.
Speaker 2 00:08:40 Yeah. .
Speaker 1 00:08:42 I know it’s terrible, but that’s just the way it’s
Speaker 2 00:08:45 . That is so funny. Yeah. Like, oh my gosh, why do you bring it back over here ,
Speaker 1 00:08:51 Because you threw it. He wants you to do it again. But Yeah. But yeah, so just to, to reiterate, it was great and, and you were telling me a little bit before we started recording today, that one of the things that makes a successful event like that is that you’re so well connected, right? So yes, having spent and and being connected is not something that just happens. And like we talked about last year, last week, last year, it’s been a long week, like we talked about last week. It’s not just that you’re lucky to know people, you have worked hard in the industry to do networking, to be able to have success in things like creating events and doing things with marketing. So yeah. Yeah. Talk a little bit about that because yeah,
Speaker 2 00:09:31 It’s been, well, you know, when I first got into WordPress, I had no idea, you know, when I got into the community, I didn’t know who was the expert on performance or who was the expert on SEO or any of that stuff. Sure. I didn’t know the people. It took some time for me to get to know, um, sort of the lay of the land of like who was the expert and you know, I’m, I know like maybe three or four security people, um, but Robert Rowley from Patch Deck just put out this amazing report that really looked at, you know, the state of word press security in a very unique way. Yeah. And I wanted to highlight that and I wanted to give him voice. Um, so it’s like being able to know those like little nuanced things. It’s not something that somebody can just like type up on a sheet for you and say you have to, it, it requires time, investment of energy, getting to know people, establishing relationships, um, and that’s what makes really a good event. And you know, I was very lucky to be on the Word Camp Phoenix team for two years and watching how they did things. I I owe a lot of yesterday’s success to what I’ve learned from Carol Stba, Raquel, uh, da Dave Ryan, um, you know, the entire team there that really, Matt Clancy, I get to, we get to see them next week.
Speaker 1 00:10:47 I’m so, so excited. I’m excited. I know. We should do a live, we should do record our podcast live from Phoenix next week. Let’s do it. I’ll bring a microphone. We’ll do it through our computer to the phone or whatever. We’ll figure it out. But yes, that’ll be fun.
Speaker 2 00:11:00 Yes. But
Speaker 1 00:11:00 Haven’t seen you in years in person. I
Speaker 2 00:11:03 Know, I know. It’s gonna be kind of weird I think at first, but it’s gonna be great. It is very, very much looking forward to it. But you know, you, you learn these things over time. It’s not something that somebody just say, okay, here’s the playbook on how to run a successful event. You
Speaker 1 00:11:19 Oh, for sure.
Speaker 2 00:11:20 Y there’s a lot that goes into it. So, I mean, this event Cadence amplify, I pretty much, you know, Hannah helped me a lot. Um, Ben obviously, um, not, not so much, but obviously, you know, I had to put him at the end there, like as the capstone for the whole event. And he just was of course a joke was joking about that. I didn’t wanna be . He doesn’t like he wants to, he’s a dev, he wants to create great product, but also people wanna hear from him like his vision of what product he’s creating. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 1 00:11:48 , he did a great job. I listened to his, I I was working, but I was listening, so I didn’t get to to see the demo, but I’ll watch it later. But he, he handles it like a pro. He does a great job presenting.
Speaker 2 00:11:58 He’s great. He just needs a team around him to help him create that and Yeah. Yeah. He’s, he, he’s got such a great team behind him. I will conclude myself in that is like all of my absolutely experiences led to this point of being able to really give back to WordPress with, uh, with highlighting what Cadence can do, but also, you know, pulling people from the cadence community from the community at large. Mm-hmm. and, and to pull this off and then I want need to shout out Sailor. So the website I just like, kind of popped up the whole schedule. Like, all right, it’s all there sailor. Hey, can you make this a little prettier for me? Sailor on
Speaker 1 00:12:37 The good job.
Speaker 2 00:12:39 Yeah. Yeah. Nathan on this weekend, WordPress was like, oh my gosh, this is such a nice event page. I’m like, yeah, I take zero credit. I put the content there and, but the cool thing about Cadence is you can pop all the content there and then hand it over to a designer. There’s no fig mugging and it has to be this way and then hand it off to the dev. It’s almost like you can have the marketing lady put all the content there of like, this is kind of how I think it should lay out. And then a designer can come in and tweak the blocks to make it look better. Absolutely. And that’s exactly what they did. And it love it looked pretty darn good. It
Speaker 1 00:13:10 Looked phenomenal. Absolutely. Um, you and I are heading to Phoenix next week. We’re both gonna be there. We’re both speaking. You’re speaking on security, I think. Yes. And I’m speaking on community
Speaker 2 00:13:21 Masks. Yes.
Speaker 1 00:13:23 And I’m gonna do a shameless plug, if that’s okay. I’m doing the same selfie challenge that I did in a, at work Camp Asia. I’m doing a selfie challenge. Um, and I reached out to some businesses, this is what I said, I said, so my selfie challenge at Word Camp Asia raised $1,250 to big orange chart. I had only pledged to raise a $500. And I’ll tell you what, um, instant WP said, I’ll, I’ll give you 50% of that too. And they donated two th uh, $250 and then outta the blue Carl Hancock from Gravity Forms posted on Face on Twitter that he doubled it. So I was like, we raised, um, 1250, but I can’t personally fund that every single word camp. So I reached out to them, I said, I’m reaching out to a select few companies to meet that challenge at work Camp Phoenix, $5 a selfie with me capped at $500, which is tax deductible donation to Big Orange Heart. And what did they think would they, uh, support that? And then of course, I would also be tweeting about the companies that did it. So listen to this Rocket Do Net is gonna match it at $500 and do $500. Ninja Forms $500 term again, already gave their $250 Ws form already gave their $250 and Welo pledged $250. So we’re looking at, I can’t do math in my head, uh, $1,750.
Speaker 2 00:14:40 Amazing. And you’re not even there yet. It’s,
Speaker 1 00:14:43 I’m not even there yet. So I mean, so I’m excited. So all you gotta do is come up to me. I mean, I’m everywhere. Just come take a picture with me, post it, tweet it out with, uh, hashtag Michelle and me and it’ll get counted. And hopefully if we can get a hundred of ’em, we can, uh, we can make some money for Big Orange Heart.
Speaker 2 00:15:02 I love it. That’s so amazing. Yeah. I love how your generosity and your kindness gets recognized and, and attracts in other people to contribute as well, which
Speaker 1 00:15:14 It’s fun. Right. It completely surprised me.
Speaker 2 00:15:17 It’s, it’s exciting. Which I’m gonna segue into your generosity and your kindness mentioned in this great article on Rochester First, which is like, oh,
Speaker 1 00:15:28 That’s one of our local news stations. Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:15:30 Yeah. Right. And I, I saw your article, I think you shared this on Twitter, kindness is Hilton Woman’s Superpower, and I just wanted to shout you out. Oh, thank you. And congratulate you on being recognized for everything that you do. It’s just, thank you. I thought it was just so cool. I mean, yeah, it’s just local and everything, but still it’s local . Like it’s important. I’ll tell you what, to him,
Speaker 1 00:15:54 There’s four finalists. There were 80 people nominated, so I’ve gotten some information from them. 80 people nominated, four finalists. Yeah. Um, Jeff from g w p nominated me, which is super nice. And whoever of the four of us wins actually goes to LA for this big ceremony thing. And I’m like, wow. I mean, yes, it’s an honor to be nominated, but damn, I really wanna win. But also they get a thousand dollars to give to the charity of their choice. So if I do win, wow. Big orange hards, a thousand dollars richer right there. So
Speaker 2 00:16:25 That’s amazing.
Speaker 1 00:16:27 Yeah. So that is so cool. It is exciting. And, and it’s like, I posted about it on Twitter and it feels a little self-serving, like, you know, breaking my arm, patting myself on the back. But when you get that kinda recognition, I think you should share it, you know, so
Speaker 2 00:16:42 Yeah, I did.
Speaker 1 00:16:43 Well,
Speaker 2 00:16:44 Yeah, and it’s not like, you know, you’re, you’re telling everybody to like, stop what you’re doing and pay attention to me. It’s not like that. It’s just like, Hey look, you know, I’m being celebrated. This is kind of nice, isn’t it? And yeah. You know, same type of thing with, um, with like the cadence Amplify is like, yep, I didn’t do it Well. Like you didn’t like go out and say, okay, I need to have this in. You know, it’s like people recognize what you do. And I didn’t do cadence amplify in order for my, for me to have a voice, I did it to amplify everybody else’s voice. The speakers. Mm-hmm. , the people who are attending people in the cadence community, people who are brand new to WordPress and just like, yeah, oh my gosh, there’s so much to learn. What am I even doing here? Yes, we got you. We got you covered. Yes. And it’s all about like uplifting other people and to be able to celebrate you because that’s what you are doing is you’re using your connections and people’s recognition. You’re not serving yourself, you’re serving others and that serving others, uh, it just such good karma jewels in our Crown Jules
Speaker 1 00:17:47 That are Crown. If you watch the video on the link that, that I, that, that I posted on Twitter too, you’ll also see not only Jeff but Allie Neons, cuz they recorded us recording a podcast for Underrepresented Intact, which was super cool too. So she sent that to her mom. She’s like, look, mom, I’m on TV in Rochester, New York, .
Speaker 3 00:18:04 That’s so great.
Speaker 1 00:18:06 Fun of fun. Oh, so congratulations all around, you know, uh, we talked about last week, sometimes it’s okay to say, look at the good stuff I’m doing in the world. Right. It’s okay to do that. Um, and it’s definitely okay to hold that mirror up to other people as I hold my hand up, like there’s a mirror , uh, , and say, I see what you’re doing and I think you’re doing a phenomenal job. So, you know, to to that point, Kathy, everything you’re doing is great, but absolute kudos to you and your team on the event yesterday. And I can’t wait to see those videos broken out into sessions so that I can watch them in bite-sized pieces. .
Speaker 2 00:18:41 Yeah, there’s timestamps on it right now, but I am, I’ve got, uh, you know, I mean there’s like seven hours and six hours.
Speaker 1 00:18:48 Yeah, I saw that. It’s a lot.
Speaker 3 00:18:50 . It’s
Speaker 2 00:18:52 A lot. And the cool thing was, is like, because, because in like in my tracks, it was like, I figure okay, they’ll do 30, 40 minutes and then we’ll just have a few questions and then can take a break and just like, you know, take the dog out. That kind of stuff. Man, I’d get in these conversations and then it’s like, all right, the next week, weekers here,
Speaker 3 00:19:10 Gotta go
Speaker 1 00:19:12 Segue in, cross our legs so I don’t wet myself. But yeah,
Speaker 3 00:19:16 . Yeah. I’m so sorry I asked all these questions, but I’m gonna have to use that hook thing to pull you off stage. . It was, uh, but
Speaker 2 00:19:24 It was so much fun. You know, I That’s great. At the end of it, I was like, Hey Hannah, let’s do it again next month. Maybe not next month, but definitely we’re gonna do it again. .
Speaker 1 00:19:32 You should
Speaker 2 00:19:32 Absolutely, definitely do it again. I think in the fall we’ll be, you know, I think Cadence is gonna be of, um, just what everything I’m seeing coming down the pike, not even the stuff that Ben showcased yesterday. Everything that I know, like insider story, uh, cadence is gonna be a very different product. Not different, but more. There’s just so much coming. Mm-hmm. , it’s gonna be even more exciting when we do this again in the fall. So we’re gonna have to have you back
Speaker 1 00:19:58 . Oh, I would love it. I’ll have to think of a new topic, but I’ll love it. For sure.
Speaker 2 00:20:02 Awesome. Great.
Speaker 1 00:20:03 Well, I will see you next week in Phoenix everybody. Next week we will be publishing from Phoenix. Um, we hope you stay motivated this week and we will see you soon. Bye
Speaker 3 00:20:14 Bye.
Speaker 4 00:20:18 This has been WP Motivate with Kathy’s aunt and Michelle Fette. To learn more or to sponsor us, go to wp motivate.com.