Meet Our World-Class Instructors
Based in the technology mecca of Boulder, Colorado, BDA leverages the world-class talent in the area so that our students can learn from some of the best instructors in the world! All BDA instructors are working professionals who have deep knowledge and real-world experience and insights in the subjects they teach.
Energetic and passionate about all things video, Ethan Benninger works by day as an editor for People Productions in Boulder. He has worked with both national and international clients such as ABC Family, GE, The American Red Cross, Papa John's Pizza and The Food Network. Ethan's projects include documentaries, TV spots, and everything in between. In addition to being an Apple Certified Pro on multiple applications within Final Cut Studio, he is also an Apple Certified Final Cut Pro Trainer, and teaches at the Art Institute of Colorado in downtown Denver.
Angela Bowman of MoonGooseDesigns.com and AskWPGirl.com has been involved with internet technologies since 1996 when she became a member of the online tech support team at Quark, Inc. After learning about WordPress at BDA, she became a full-time WordPress guru, serving individuals and small-to medium-size organizations. She stretches the boundaries of WordPress by making extensive use of its built-in features combined with judicious use of plugins and creative CSS. Angela will help you think outside the blog box by helping you understand the nuts and bolts of WordPress and to endlessly customize your WP themes.
Brendan Boykin is a trainer, editor, and author based in Castle Rock. As an Apple Certified Master Trainer and the owner of Creek Mountain Media, Brendan draws on his background in broadcast and corporate video to provide training to post-production, education, and broadcast facilities nationwide. Brendan is an author, contributing writer, and technical editor/reviewer for numerous Apple Pro Training Series books. His latest book, Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Professional Post-Production, is the official curriculum of the Apple Training and Certification program.
Chris Brown has been practicing photography in Boulder for over 40 years, specializing in medium and large format landscapes. He was the first photographer in Colorado to receive a commission in the Art in Public Places program, for his series "The Hydrologic Cycle: Studies of Water," housed at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After making Cibachrome prints in the darkroom for 10 years, Chris became enthralled with digital inkjet printmaking, and how has prints in numerous public, private and corporate collections, including the Denver Art Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Brian Brown has owned his own full-service video and motion-graphics production business, BrownCow Productions, since 2004. A "one-man show," he scripts, produces, shoots, and edits all of his own content. He regularly creates video for the web, broadcast television, large events, and in-house corporate training. In December 2009, he purchased a Canon 7D video-capable DLSR, and has never looked back, embracing the cinematic look this camera provides his productions. He's shot hundreds of hours of footage with his DSLR.
Alex Bullen is an independent music producer and sound mixer based in Boulder County, Colorado. Through his 12 years of production experience he has specialized in turning raw audio into a final product. He has created thousands of minutes of custom music for a variety of projects, from "webisodes" and film shorts to full-length music albums. Alex loves helping others learn how to create great-sounding audio tracks, how to read music, and how to properly utilize modern A/V technology.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Stephen Collector has over 25 years of freelance experience. Originally specializing in tabletop photography, his attention to detail and lighting techniques were applied to working on location for editorial and corporate assignments. Stephen's magazine clients include Esquire, Outside, Men's Journal, Field & Stream, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, and the New York Times. Corporate clients include United Airlines, Ball Corporation, Shell, Hain/Celestial Seasonings, Horizon Dairy, United Technologies, Oracle, and Sears Roebuck & Co., among many others.
Mike Connolly creates and manages direct response marketing systems for fast growing businesses so they can attract their ideal customers, put an iron fence around them and develop an abundant "herd" of customers for life. He has co-created and manages marketing systems using blogs, social networking sites, newsletters, e-letters, video networks, articles, multi-media follow-up systems, direct mail, teleseminars, webinars and affiliate marketing. He's an experienced teacher, trainer and coach and loves sharing his passion for magnetic attraction strategies with high achieving business owners and entrepreneurs.
Tara Dunn is the Analytics Director at Location3 Media in Denver. As a Google Analytics and Google AdWords Qualified Individual, Tara has over seven years experience in web analytics - on everything from solutions for small businesses to large brands and enterprise level clients. She has presented numerous training sessions, leading her company to become a Google Analytics Certified Partner. Her daily activities include strategic applications of web analytics in business settings, providing and troubleshooting analytics implementations, and providing actionable insights to her clients.
Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of TechStars.
In addition to his investing efforts, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, co-chair of Startup Colorado, and on the board of UP Global. Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes the widely read blogs Feld Thoughts, Startup Revolution, and Ask the VC.
Brad holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brad is also an avid art collector and long-distance runner. He has completed 23 marathons as part of his mission to finish a marathon in each of the 50 states.
Jeff Gamet Jeff Gamet is the Managing Editor of The Mac Observer, and author of "The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X." He hosts TMO's Daily Observations podcast, co-hosts the Apple Context Machine and The iOS Show, is a regular panel member on The Big Show, and appears on Mac OS Ken Day 6, MacVoices, Mac Roundtable, Tech Night Owl Live, and more. He is actively involved in the blogging and social media world, and has spoken on social media, design and Apple-related topics at popular events such as Macworld Expo, the Macintosh Computer Expo and the RSA Conference on technology security.
Steve Gandy is an educator, trainer, technology support professional and life-long photographer. Steve has introduced the ins-and-outs of digital photography to students young and old since 1995 and has been involved in education since 1978. His photography is varied but he focuses on nature, travel, and sports. Steve has contributed to training books and websites on Photoshop Elements, StarOffice/OpenOffice and other educational topics. He leads photographic tours to the southern Utah canyon lands.
David Gray is an experienced programmer and web developer who has been designing websites professionally for over 15 years. David has designed hundreds of sites for a wide variety of clients ranging from small and meduim sized businesses to larger organizations like Google, The University of Washington, Kay Jewelers and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
David is an expert programmer and systems engineer as well a designer, artist, musician and photographer. He shares a deep love for creativity and invention. David is also an active and top ranked social media influencer boasting large active followings on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. David regulalry consults as a social marketing expert with a focus on Behavioral and Brain Science.
In his free time David enjoys photography, playing music and creating video games.
Shannon Halgren, PhD
Shannon has worked in the field of user experience design and research her entire career. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Rice University where she specialized in Human-Computer Interaction. Early in her career, she founded the Apple/Claris Usability group where she worked for 3 years before plunging into the world of consulting and starting her own firm. Sage Research & Design has been a successful consulting firm for over 15 years and has a long and varied client listing including eBay, Netflix, SolarWinds, Ascom, Old Navy, and Dell. Shannon has grown to be a respected practitioner in her field and has presented her work at several professional conferences (HFES Healthcare Symposium, UXPA, CHI) and in professional journals and books. She currently lives in Boulder where she enjoys running, cross country skiing and playing in a marimba band.
Beth Hayden is a blogging and social media consultant who specializes in using technology to give women a voice in the world. She is the owner of Blogging with Beth, a WordPress development and social media consulting company. Beth is known for her fun, relaxed, engaging teaching style, and she has provided training, consulting, blog coaching and development services for New York Times bestselling authors, political commentators, artists, and personal development coaches all across the United States. Beth has been a guest blogger with LauraRoeder.com, Problogger.net, and Copyblogger.com.
Marketing & writing with heart, not hype, Debra Jason is an author, speaker, trainer, seasoned direct response copywriter and multi-faceted marketing strategist. She speaks about the value of building relationships and the art of engaging as they relate to attracting clients, generating leads and networking online and off.
With more than two decades of experience running her own business, she empowers you with the marketing tools you'll need to gain increased exposure, create a steady stream of happy clients, boost your income and build your businesses cost-effectively. Debra has presented workshops and seminars privately for small businesses and trade organizations/associations, and has taught Continuing Education classes at the University of Colorado at Boulder and through the Professional Development department at the University of Colorado at Denver among many others.
Drini Leka brings years of experience in innovative product design and UX conception, having lived the experience of application design from napkin scribbles, to full specifications and management of implementation many times. Inspired by his experiences with the earliest Apple computers in the 80's, Drini was fascinated by the revolutionary graphical user interface and believed early on that people prefer technology to be concealed behind an artistically conceived veil of magic, rather than a nest of wires and functionality presented in an arbitrary manner. He spent a considerable period experimenting with user experience designs, visualizing new methods, coding software prototypes and integrating various features into early forms of apps, including Apple's forward-looking HyperCard. He continued his career focusing for years on advanced human interface projects in affective computing, designing new interface methods (software and hardware) which brought association with NASA as well as integration of cutting edge artificial intelligence technology. User Experience (UX) is not a secondary role, but a primary role in any innovative organization. A UX Leader must simultaneously inform and be informed by both marketing and development team requirements - Drini believes this is the key to understanding the emerging User Experience role and becoming an effective advocate for innovation within any organization. Currently, Drini consults in UX around the country and manages a mobile applications firm in Boulder that boasts three applications Featured by Apple Inc.
Sharon Levy Freed
Sharon Levy-Freed has been an active video editor since 1980. While in college, Levy took a full time position as a Video Editor for KUSA-TV, in Denver. In '82 she enrolled at the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in broadcasting. Since then, her life has never been boring. Fresh out of college, Sharon was offered a job as a Photojournalist for KAKE TV in Wichita, Kansas. Before long, Sharon returned to Denver to work for KCNC TV. Working for KCNC gave Sharon more than 10 years of news and special projects experience . She did it all...writing, shooting producing and editing. During this time, Freed earned 2 regional EMMY's and numerous first place awards from the Colorado Broadcasting Association. From 1995-1999, Sharon traveled broadly as an Avid NewsCutter instructor and workflow specialist and, today when she is not enjoying life with her fourteen year old Samuel and twelve year old Anna, her husband and their two, dogs Rosie and Charlie, Levy continues to freehand instruct: the aesthetics of shooting, Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid, Final Cut Pro, DSLR video photography and is a freelance consultant for corporations in their media development for websites and blogs.
Kevin Menzie runs a local web strategy, design, and development agency called Slice of Lime and uses Adobe Illustrator on a daily basis. In his free time, Kevin draws cartoons using a pencil, a scanner, and Adobe Illustrator. Samples of his illustration work can be seen on his website: http://www.kevinmenzie.com/.
Bob Pearson is a photojournalist and editor with 30+ years of experience in news photography, covering sports, politics and the human condition worldwide. Bob spent over 20 years with Agence France-Presse (AFP). He served as Chief Photographer and Director of Photography for AFP, covering the White House and Capitol Hill, and coordinating coverage for North America. Pearson's photographs have been published worldwide, including major newspapers and magazines such as The NY Times, USAToday, Time Magazine, Newsweek, US News and World Report, Paris Match, Der Spiegel and others.
Bob is currently based in Indian Hills where he runs his freelance photography and consulting business.
With 35 years in the film and video production world, Lowel Pierce has done a little of everything and enjoyed the variety. A Colorado native and graduate of CSU in Technical Journalism, Lowel has worked as a TV news photographer, a cinematographer in Saudi Arabia, a partner in a video production company. As both one-man-band and freelance Director of Photography for 22 years, Lowel has worked on indie features, shorts, documentaries, TV commercials, and high-end corporate productions earning a CINE Golden Eagle, Heartland Emmies, and Videographer Awards of Distinction.
Madeleine Pollak is the Executive Producer of Pollak Productions, Inc, which she founded in Boulder 8 years ago. She is a six-time Emmy Award-winning producer, writer and director, who has worked on a diverse range of TV programming including: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, TLC, Dr. Phil for CBS, HGTV, among many others. She has also worked with major corporate clients such as The US Olympic Committee, American Express, Visa, PayPal, Crocs, Coors, Microsoft, Oracle, Bank of America, and many more. Madeleine has also written, directed, acted, and coached for live stage and has appeared on camera.
Edward Popovitz has been a designer and educator for 15 years. He has worked on such diverse projects as editorial spreads for Dallas Magazine to creating 200-page self-study for an accreditation committee. He has served on a board of AIGA Colorado for the last five years and have art directed the production of the student magazine Point. He teaches at the Art Institute of Colorado in the Graphic Design Department. In 1999 he jumped on the InDesign bandwagon and never looked back. Whether producing single page pamphlets or 200 page catalogs InDesign is his program of choice for type and page layout.
Wes Price has over 19 years professional experience producing illustrations and animations with a track record of extraordinary results for more than 20 national and community-based organizations. Expertise in anatomy and physiology illustrations for magazine, textbook and animated teaching modules. Awarded a Master of Science degree in Medical Illustration by the Medical College of Georgia, one of only four accredited graduate programs of its kind across North America. Wes received his Certification in Medical Illustration in 2011 and is one of approximately 250 Certified Medical Illustrators in the world. Currently, Wes is a full-time faculty member and Associate Professor teaching within the Media Arts Department at the Art Institute of Colorado.
Dana Romanoff is an award-winning photographer and multimedia producer using art as activism to raise awareness of key issues in society. Her clients include National Geographic Society, The Women - s Foundation of Colorado, LifeQuest Transitions, Reportage-by-Getty Images, The New York times and numerous other editorial, commercial and humanitarian-aid organizations. Dana - s work is published and exhibited around the globe and she has received numerous international recognition including the 2011 Blue Earth Alliance Award, shortlist for the 2010 Anthropographia Multimedia and Human Rights Award, and was part of a team of reporters awarded finalist for a Gold Medal Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.
Justin is trained in advanced statistics and has been working with online data sources since 2001. He applies this knowledge of online data to enhance the performance. He is the founder and organizer for Analyze Boulder, a monthly event to bring together and grow the Boulder data work community. He is founder of Rosenthal Analysis, and coined the term growth engineering to describe the firm's practices.
Cheri's years of entrepreneurial successes and missteps have given her real world experience to bring to the table. Mrs. Ruskus has owned several business entities since she started her first company, Business Answers, in 1985, which she owned and operated for 16 years. She also co-founded the Downtown Business Association (DBA) in Downtown Louisville, Colorado in 1989 to assist the small business owners in that community in coming together to provide a unified front in order to sustain strong business growth. That organization stills runs strong today. In 2006 Cheri founded The Victory Circles, Master Mind forums for entrepreneurs. The curriculum for this program inspired her to write her most recent book Victory One Moment in Time - Unlocking the Power of the Master Mind was fully released in April 2012. Cheri works with entrepreneurs and small business owners through one-on-one coaching, live trainings and webinars and also hosts a weekly radio show, Victory Circles Radio Hour, where she interviews small business experts and thought leaders from across the globe.
Mike Scalisi of Triple Threat Digital is a skilled editor, director and motion graphics artist with over 8 years of professional experience creating everything from corporate videos to broadcast television series to feature length documentaries. In 2009 he worked as an editor and motion graphics artist on the Academy Award winning documentary "The Cove" which was produced right here in Boulder. Mike works daily with Adobe creative apps such as After Effects , Photoshop, and Premiere as well as Apple's Final Cut Studio to create visually stunning videos for local and international clients.
Bethany Siegler of UniqueThink helps build your complete online presence and find cost-effective marketing solutions. Bethany has created online marketing campaigns for musical artists as distinct as Frank Black (Pixies) and David Wilcox, software developers as diverse as Wild Divine and OfficeTime, and local independent businesses like The Video Station and Boulder Weekly. She has represented major corporations like SONY and Budweiser, yet prefers to find solutions for smaller companies, often by building sustainable websites and blogs in WordPress.
Photographer Erik Stenbakken shoots for editorial and commercial clients ranging from the obscure to the famous. He's been technical director on shoots for Nikon and Ford Motor Company as well as instructed several National Geographic photographers on technical aspects of artificial light and equipment. Before becoming a photographer, Stenbakken was a teacher and he still loves to teach. No questions are stupid, so come with your questions and frustrations and leave with answers and solutions! You can see his work at www.stenbakken.com or ask pre-class questions, web[at]stenbakken.com. See you in class!
Betty Taylor, detail-obsessed graphic designer, has been putting together pictures and words to communicate messages for close to 20 years. She works with clients on everything from food packaging to long document layout. Betty has been an enthusiastic fan of Adobe InDesign since it was first introduced, and offers training for both beginners and experts.
Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980 and is widely recognized as an expert on both technical and business issues. He has been published over a thousand times, launched four Internet-related startup companies, has written twenty business and technical books and holds both an MBA and MS Ed. Dave maintains four weblogs: The Business Blog at Intuitive.com, Ask Dave Taylor, Dave On Film, and Attachment Parenting Blog. Dave is an award-winning speaker, sought after conference and workshop participant and frequent guest on radio and pod programs.
Doug Wray has been working with online information systems since 1984. Starting in science using TeX and LaTeX realtime rendering on Macs progressing to desktop publishing for commercial printing thence into web design. He's used numerous electron-herding methods including HTML and CSS. Sometime in 2001 he broke with conventional wisdom and stopped using tables for structure - following in the footsteps of Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman. He now builds websites exclusively with CSS and finds it an exciting and challenging pursuit.
Abigail Wright is a professional filmmaker, writer, producer, and information designer. For the independent film company Miranda Productions, Inc., Abigail wrote and produced four environmental documentaries that have accumulated over eighty major awards and have been broadcast all over the world. She is the senior producer of an innovative immersive website soon to be launched, working on a hybrid documentary based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and developing a TV series for kids on the wonders of food. Before moving to Boulder in 1994, Abigail acted and directed on stages in New York, Toronto, and Montreal.