Yoast Care fund: An interview with Kathy Drewien

Kathy Drewien

Nominated by:
Brad Morrison

This week’s Yoast care fund receiver is Kathy Drewien from Atlanta, Georgia. She has been nominated by Brad Morrison. Her company, Kathy Drewien & Company, is a rescue shelter for websites. How cool is that?! Read on to find out more about Kathy, her company, and her contributions to WordPress!

What do you do?
My itty-bitty company of one allows me the freedom to work exclusively with my favorite legacy clients, volunteer in the WordPress community as a speaker and mentor, and rediscover the joy of cooking with my Le Creuset cookware.

I own a rescue shelter for abandoned, ugly, broken, outdated, and non-productive websites. My team builds new sites, repairs broken ones, provides ongoing care, and I coach, teach, counsel, guide, and nurture the site owners.

Much of my time is focused on leadership and community development in the larger WordPress community.  As a community leader, I organize two annual conferences regionally and nationally. WordCamp Atlanta attracts 650 attendees, WordCamp US exceeds 1800 attendees. My role for the past 5 years as the Sponsor Team Lead Wrangler includes raising funds for the event through corporate sponsorship and managing logistics for the sponsor experience.

I am a tireless worker, generous, compassionate, and well-organized. I’m excellent at sifting through the confusion, soothing hurt feelings, and calming disgruntled folks. And, my superpower is remembering the names and stories of everyone I meet.

In short, I do work that matters for people who care.

How did you know about WordPress? Why WordPress?
My first website was built in 1994 using HotDog, an HTML web editing tool developed by Sausage Software in the mid-1990s. I stumbled across WordPress.com in 2005 and fell in love with the ease of use. No more editing every single page when I wanted a change in the menu was reason enough to make the switch! By the time 2006 rolled around, I had hired a professional design team to customize a Revolution theme by Brian Gardner for my real estate brokerage.

Little did I know that I was laying the foundation for full-time work as a WordPress consultant when the real estate market crashed.

Why did you start contributing? Share with us the first time you contribute? What did you work on?
Attending my first WordCamp in 2008 introduced me to the world of WordPress Community and changed my life.

A few of us resolved to host a WordCamp in Atlanta, my home base, in 2010. I served on the registration team that year and each year thereafter, earning the Queen of Registration nickname until I assumed the role of lead organizer in 2015-2016.
My engagement in the WordPress community expanded from local to national in 2015 when I attended the Community Summit at WordCamp US in 2015. In addition to my leadership in the Atlanta WordPress Community, I mentor other WordPress Meetup and WordCamp organizers across the country while continuing to facilitate a monthly WordPress Meetup that began in 2011.

What contribution or moment are you most proud of?
There are two moments in my WordPress journey that I hold dear.

The first is when I walked into the Community Summit and realized that I belonged, that these were my people, and that they knew my name.

The second is every time I look upon the faces of those in the Atlanta WordPress Community. I know their names, their stories, their trials, and successes. To know that they look upon me as a leader is humbling and brings tears to my eyes.

Where can people find you? Online, WordCamps, other meetups?
I can be found online at AtlantaWPcoach.com, lots of social media (@kdrewien), most WordCamps in the South, WordCamp US wherever it may be, and 14 WordPress Meetups across the Metro Atlanta area. 

Do you also want to nominate someone for the Yoast Care fund? Visit the Yoast Care fund page to find out how!