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Meet Your 2024 Cascade User Conference Technical Track Speakers

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CUC24 - Technical Speakers

After a great response to our Cascade User Conference call for speakers initiative, we're pleased to offer over 20 sessions covering a wide range of topics. There will be a rich mix of strategic and technical presentations given by education marketing and web thought leaders you might recognize.

As a token of our appreciation, we'd like to honor those who offered their time to participate in this year's conference by introducing them to you in a "Meet the Speakers Spotlight" series.

This week, we're exicted to highlight the speakers from the #CUC24 technical track:   

Day 1 - February 21, 2024


Headshot of Vince Ruppert 

Vince Ruppert is a web developer for the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He has used Cascade for eight years, split between positions at Washington University and Purdue University. Dabbling in many technologies related to web development, Vince prefers to focus his efforts on optimization and simplicity.


Controlling WYSIWYG Content

Users can place just about anything inside of a WYSIWYG field. What tools do we have to restrict and help improve their content? Learn about TinyMCE’s valid_elements, how CSS files can help assist during the editing process, and how to use Velocity to further alter WYSIWYG content before publishing. Don’t just send everything to the SerializerTool! 

When: February 21, 2024, 10:05 a.m. (EST)


Headshot of Jill Whitaker

Jill Whitaker is the Director of Web Services at Southern Utah University. She has been working on the Southern Utah University Web Services team for 23 years and first started creating websites 30 years ago. Making websites has dramatically changed during that time, which can be challenging, but she finds it enjoyable... most of the time.

Outside of work, Jill is married and has one daughter and one boxer dog. She enjoys working out and reading in her "vast amounts" of spare time.

Headshot of Mark Whittaker

Mark Whittaker is the Senior Web Developer on the Southern Utah University Web Services team.


Using Program Finders to Help Prospective Students

The availability and quality of a program is a major part of a prospective student's decision when choosing a college. Students want to know that their choice will support their interests and goals.

Academic catalogs contain this information but are not always easy to browse and often aren't written with prospective students in mind.

SUU's Program Finder, built entirely in Cascade CMS, tries to solve these problems. The search feature works with program names, related subjects, and possible career paths.

The content is written broadly enough to be evergreen but can link catalog entries to communicate current program information clearly.

Each section of a program page can be pulled into any other page to treat that program page as the sole source of information on the topic.

Learn how the SUU's web services team created their program finder at CUC24. 

When: February 21, 2024, 11:00 a.m. (EST)


Headshot of Andrew Bauserman

Andrew Bauserman has been administering Cascade CMS since 2008, working on William & Mary's web presence since 2001, writing web code since 1995, and lurking online since the 1980s. He is married, has a grown daughter and two cats. He lives in Newport News, Virginia.


Magic On Every Level: Distributing Magic Throughout The Stack

Gifted wizards combine magical elements from their environments to build enchantments. Likewise, when we deeply understand each element of our web environments, we can build enchanting experiences for everyone — from Cascade editors to website visitors.

Modern web environments can be daunting: from Cascade to Apache, S3 to CloudFront, PHP to JavaScript. But know this: You can master the magic! We'll use a framework to assess the role and strengths of key technologies, ask the right questions, set practical goals, and see examples of everyday magic implemented at William & Mary.

When: February 21, 2024, 11:55 a.m. (EST)


headshot of kevin glidden

Kevin Glidden is a member of the University of Houston Marketing & Communication Digital Web Strategy team. He was originally hired in 2021 as a Student Worker and transitioned to a full-time staff member in August 2023.


Updating the University of Houston Newsroom: Implementing Query API for Improved Performance

The presentation will cover the technical advancements in the UH Newsroom, focusing on the replacement of index blocks with Query API, and the use of Velocity with preexisting news articles.

Kevin will highlight the benefits of this upgrade:

  • Faster rendering and publishing times
  • Enhanced metadata and structured-data-nodes retrieval, and 
  • Improved code design and maintainability

Join Kevin during his fascinating session.

When: February 21, 2024, 1:45 p.m. (EST)


headshot of charlie holder

Charlie Holder is Hannon Hill's Head of Success. He proactively reaches out to check in with customers, gathers feedback, and shares the product roadmap. He leads quarterly webinars for the entire customer base showcasing what's new with all of our products. He does so many things, all of them to ensure that every customer is happy and successful.

Get to know Charlie in his Employee Spotlight.

headshot of sam skinner

Sam Skinner is Hannon Hill's primary Product Trainer and the person who welcomes people aboard Cascade CMS. He helps familiarize new clients with the application and how to use it, tailor it to their needs and get them comfortable with using the CMS. Occasionally, Sam also writes product documentation.

Get to know Sam in his Employee Spotlight.


Best Practices for Optimal Performance with Cascade CMS

Unlock the full potential of Cascade CMS with a focused presentation on user management, site organization, workflow efficiency, and web governance. Learn proven strategies to enhance collaboration, streamline content production, and maintain a cohesive and compliant online presence. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced user, discover key insights to elevate your Cascade CMS experience and achieve optimal performance.

When: February 21, 2024, 2:40 p.m. (EST)


headshot of james dobravec

James Dobravec is a Technical Support Specialist on the Application Support Team, Client Services at the University of Western Ontario. He has been using Cascade since 2012 and supporting the site managers and maintainers from their initial site setup to the daily questions and queries that come into the team.


Evolution of End User Training and Documentation

The University of Western Ontario began using Cascade CMS in early 2009. The university currently has 703 sites and 1053 users in Cascade, with regular ongoing requests for new sites and new users continuing to be added.

As the number of sites and user base evolved in Cascade for the university, so did the requirement for the delivery of end-user training and documentation. By looking at what Western used to do, what Western does now, and what changes Western are considering going forward, along the way, James will take a look at what worked, what didn’t, and why.

When: February 21, 2024, 3:40 p.m. (EST)

Day 1 Keynote



Day Kibilds is the strategy director at Ologie, an employee-owned marketing and branding agency built for education. Prior to Ologie, Day led enrollment and digital innovation work at Penn State, Cornell University, and Western University. She regularly speaks about enrollment marketing, email strategy, productivity, and stakeholder management at conferences worldwide. Day is the host of Enrollify's Talking Tactics podcast and is co-authoring a book about email marketing to be released in Spring 2024.

As a lifelong immigrant who has lived in six different countries, equity and diversity are really important to her. She sees content as a tool for equity, and part of her motivation to work in higher-ed is to help students access the educational institutions they deserve to be a part of


Your content: The most ignored barrier to education

Your website is the front door to your institution. And that door can be open — or closed! Your web content can be an effective tool to support equity-deserving students. Or it could be the barrier keeping them from understanding instructions, following processes and feeling welcome at your institution. Drawing from a personal story in higher education and supported by recent industry research findings, this talk will showcase how traditional admissions websites can exclude the very groups you want to include — and it will arm you with the arguments to convince your institution to do something about it.

When: February 21, 2024, 4:20 p.m. (EST) 

Day 2 - February 22, 2024


headshot of kat liendgens

Kat Liendgens is Hannon Hill's Chief Executive Officer.

Before joining Hannon Hill in 2009, Kat gained extensive experience in the higher education and government sectors, holding positions such as Associate Dean and IT Director. She frequently speaks at conferences about topics such as content strategy and content marketing. 

Kat strives to make Hannon Hill the place with the happiest employees and the happiest customers. To that end, she often holds one-on-one feedback sessions with customers in order to understand their needs optimally. 

Learn more about Kat in her CEO Spotlight.

headshot of bradley wagner

Bradley Wagner is the VP of Engineering at Hannon Hill.

Bradley is the brains and strategic vision behind Cascade CMS and Clive. A graduate of Rice University, Bradley has been with Hannon Hill for 19 years and has seen the product through many iterations. 

He always keeps clients' best interests in mind when it comes to deciding which features will be implemented in future versions of the product. Bradley's main goal is to ensure that Cascade CMS is a great product for technical users and strategic users alike.

Learn more about Bradley in his spotlight


Cascade CMS & Clive Roadmap

The Product Roadmap has been one of the most anticipated sessions for many years. Hannon Hill’s CEO, Kat Liendgens, and VP of Product, Bradley Wagner, will share Hannon Hill's product philosophy and themes, provide a quick summary of recently released features, and give attendees a sneak peek into what’s on the horizon for Cascade CMS and Clive.

When: February 22, 2024, 10:00 a.m. (EST)


headshot of charlie holder

Charlie Holder is Hannon Hill's Head of Customer Success. He proactively reaches out to check in with clients, gathers feedback, and shares the product roadmap. He leads quarterly webinars for the entire customer base, showcasing what's new with all of our products. He does so many things, all of them to ensure that every customer is happy and successful.

Learn more about Charlie in his spotlight.


Recent Releases

Join Charlie as he will walk you through recently-released features, polishes, and fixes in Cascade CMS and Clive. 

When: February 22, 2024, 11:15 a.m. (EST)


headshot of philip kukla

Philip Kukla is the Web Technician/Automation Jedi at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He enjoys making others' lives easier via code.

headshot of danielle ferrell 

Danielle Ferrell is a Web Analyst and Red Leader at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She's a champion of change and team empowerment for better client experiences, streamlined tasks, and simpler workflows.

headshot of zachery morgan 

Zachery Morgan is a Web Technician and Automation Jedi. Among his peers, he's also known as the angler of apps and guru of GUIs.


The API Awakens: Unleashing Efficiency with Cascade

Philip, Danielle and Zachery invite you on a journey through the University of North Carolina Wilmington's website transition, showcasing how the Cascade API played a pivotal role in its transformation. The trio will share the university's story, revealing the challenges they faced and the moments that led them to embrace the power of the API.

Join them as they highlight how the Cascade API became the cornerstone of their daily operations, revolutionizing how they work and interact with Cascade. This presentation will empower you with insights from the team's experience on leveraging the API to simplify your day-to-day tasks, just as it has transformed theirs. Discover the possibilities and embark on your path to enhanced efficiency and productivity.

When: February 22, 2024, 1:15 p.m. (EST) 



Dr. Jason Beers has always had a passion for art and technology. He has had a diverse career in the California State University system for the last 24 years. Starting as a graphic designer creating catalogs and magazines, transitioning into video production and most recently involved in web development. He graduated from Cal State San Bernardino with a BA in Graphic Design in 2000. 

Dr. Beers graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Master's in Multimedia for Education in 2010. He graduated from the University of La Verne with a Doctorate of Education in 2017. He has taught web development over the last 10 years at several colleges in Southern California. Currently, he serves as the Lead of Web Development at Cal Poly Pomona.


JavaScript to Check Accessibility in Preview

Accessibility has always been a struggle for Cal Poly Pomona's content creators. Cal Poly has over 400 publishers. Training each one on the proper rules to follow is challenging. The school's new approach is to build in a JavaScript accessibility check that looks for the most common errors its users make and then provides information on how to fix these errors. All before publishing. Learn how in Dr. Beers' session.

When: February 22, 2024, 2:10 p.m. (EST)


headshot of graham lewis

Graham Lewis is a seasoned Sales Engineer at Hannon Hill, where he plays a pivotal role in enhancing the sales team's effectiveness. His expertise lies in designing and developing essential tools, including websites and slide decks, to demonstrate the benefits of products like Cascade CMS and Clive to potential clients. Graham's journey in graphic design began at Jacksonville State University (JSU), Alabama.

His career path took a significant turn while working as a Webmaster at JSU, a client of Hannon Hill. This experience, coupled with his admiration for Hannon Hill’s culture, led him to seize a career opportunity with the company nine years ago. Today, Graham’s driving force is his commitment to client success, a passion that emerged from his early challenges and triumphs in web development at JSU.

Get to know Graham in his Employee Spotlight.


Getting started with Clive: A session On Website Personalization

Learn everything you need to know to get started with Clive, Hannon Hill's web personalization tool. In this session, Graham Lewis session will cover the setup, creation and implementation of Clive Forms, Smart Content and Segments.

When: February 22, 2024, 3:05 p.m. (EST)

Day 2 Keynote


Jaime Hunt Headshot

Jaime Hunt's career in the communications industry spans more than 25 years, beginning in print journalism and transitioning to higher education nearly two decades ago.

Before joining Old Dominion University as Vice President of University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer in 2022, Hunt served as VP and Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at Miami University in Ohio. Prior to that, she was Vice Chancellor of Strategic Sommunications and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Winston-Salem State University.

She also served in public relations, marketing, digital strategy and media relations leadership roles at Radford University, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and Northwestern Health Sciences University.

She has written columns regularly for VoltEDU, Inside Higher Ed and Forbes, and hosts a podcast, "Confessions of a Higher Ed CMO," on the Enrollify network.

Kristin Nichols

Kristin Nichols is a higher education marketing professional with a wealth of experience spanning over twenty years. Throughout her career, she has worked at several top-tier institutions in the Northeast region.

Kristin's skills in market research, brand development, digital strategies, and enrollment marketing have made a lasting impact on the industry.

Currently residing in suburban Boston with her husband Chris and their two young children, Kristin devotedly balances a dedication to both her career and family. As a strategist and leader, she continues to shape the landscape of higher education marketing by contributing to the growth and success of the institutions she guides.

Allison Turcio

Dr. Allison Turcio is a marketing consultant, marketing professor, and AVP for Enrollment and Marketing at Siena College. Her work has won numerous awards, and she has presented at the American Marketing Association's Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education and many other conferences.

She hosts "The Application" podcast and publishes the "Higher Ed Marketer's Digest" newsletter. The Siena Marketing Team won the Emerging Marketer Award at AMA Higher Ed in 2023. Dr. Turcio received the Albany Business Review 40 Under 40 and Siena College's Excellence in Administration award in 2020.

She holds a doctorate from Northeastern University, a master's in Communications, and a bachelor's in English.


Keynote Roundtable Discussion on the Demographic Enrollment Cliff

Join Jaime Hunt, Kristin Nichols, and Dr. Allison Turcio to learn how you can safely navigate the looming demographic enrollment cliff. This is a session you can't afford to miss!

When: February 22, 2024, 4:00 p.m. (EST)

Last Updated: Jan 18, 2024 11:00 AM

Photo of Chris Rapozo

Chris Rapozo
Marketing Specialist