Who is Denise?
In a nutshell
I am a Speaker + Author + Creativity Evangelist and now Founder (more on this later) who evangelizes techniques to unlock creativity and spark innovation in people, teams, and workplaces, particularly those in the tech world. I teach game-changing techniques for busting through creative blocks, developing clear and effective communication, cultivating collaboration, and up-leveling creative productivity. Ultimately, it’s about creating real-world results: teams work better, produce more, and skyrocket their company’s success. Through speaking, writing, training, and my consulting company, The Creative Dose, I share big concepts that challenge the status quo and lead to “ahas” that translate into immediate actions, skills, and new habits to transform all aspects of people’s work lives with focused creativity.
I speak the language of tech, having been immersed in the industry since 1997.
Passionate and energetic, I am a sought-after speaker who helps technologists, developers, web professionals, CEOs, and CTOs bring the power of creativity to teams and individuals who don’t necessarily think of themselves as creative. You will find me keynoting tech, creativity, and innovation conferences worldwide such as UX Week, Automattic’s Annual Meetup, NDC London, UXPA, Oredev Developer’s Conference, Devoxx BE, and the Future of Web Design. Check out the other topics I speak on, my upcoming speaking events, and invite me to keynote or conduct a workshop (or both) at your event.
Author & Writer
I am the author of The CSS Detective Guide, the premier book on troubleshooting CSS code; and co-author to the Smashing Book #3: Redesign the Web and InterAct with Web Standards: A holistic approach to web design. I also contributed to the book Designing Together by Dan Brown.
My articles on creativity in influential web design industry publications encourage people to overcome procrastination and overwhelm, banish their inner critic, and reignite their creative spark, while getting in touch with some of the surprising ways they can enhance creative productivity. I have written for A List Apart, NetMagazine, Smashing Magazine, Web Standards Sherpa, and the Miami Herald’s op-ed section.
My older technical articles on CSS at Sitepoint, and Microsoft Script Junkie have helped people better understand how to implement CSS3 and incorporate various CSS architectures for large-scale code optimization.
Stay tuned: I’m currently working on writing several new books on creativity and innovation, the first slated to be available in 2015.
Creativity Evangelist & Founder
In the tech industry, Evangelists are people who serve as ambassadors of technologies, going out amongst the community to promote their company’s products and generate brand loyalty. Spurred by an epiphany that I experienced upon completing my first book, I now evangelize creativity to tech industry conferences, companies, and individuals in order to promote engaged, inspired, and passionate work.
Meet My Newest Brainchild: The Creative Dose
As a Creativity Evangelist, I am happy to report from the front lines that companies recognize their future success is dependent on creativity and innovation, both which are also hailed as the most important drivers of growth for the economy.
To meet this growing demand for corporate and conference training, I’ve founded The Creative Dose, A Creativity + Innovation Collective, and teamed up with Jessie Shternshus of The Improv Effect, known for her game-changing communication skills workshops.
The Creative Dose offers a leading-edge approach to creative inspiration and thinking, idea generation and execution, effective communication, and sustainable productivity — neuro-science driven, fueled by applied improvisation.
Find out how we can amplify your team’s creativity and up-level innovation. Our mission: to transform how you and your team work…for the better.
Creativity + Intention = Transformation: The Creativity (R)Evolution
There’s a movement brewing…The Creativity (R)Evolution leverages the transformative power of creativity to change our lives, our communities, and our world for the better.
As Founder + Chief Instigator, I’ll tell you the secret: It is learning how to cultivate and maintain the creative spark in both ourselves and others so we produce work infused with meaning and impact.
Find out more about The Creativity (R)Evolution, then join us! We’re not just talkin’ bout a (R)Evolution — we’re sparking one.
Changing the Face of the Tech Industry: Rawk the Web
At my core, I’m a geek girl, and the tech industry has been my tribe for 17 years. From my experience of speaking and conducting workshops at industry conferences and tech companies all around the world, I can tell you firsthand what you may already know: there’s a huge lack of diversity of visible tech experts. However, it’s not an issue of numbers because there are plenty of diverse tech experts. Instead, it’s an issue of visibility.
As a Creativity Evangelist, I know diversity drives innovation. As a creative problem-solver, I focus on developing effective solutions. So, to change the face of the tech industry, I started an initiative. Rawk the Web encourages more women and people of color to amplify their visibility and become known industry experts by becoming speakers, published writers, and company founders. At the same time, it’s also about serving as role models to show diverse youth that they have a place in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) industries.
Years ago, as part of my soap-making business, Botani Handmade Soaps, I started teaching soapmaking out of my house and found that I was hooked: not on soapmaking (I was already hooked on that), but on teaching people.
Since 1998, through independent workshops as well as programs in learning institutions, I have taught hundreds of people creative crafts, web design and development, and now conduct workshops on engaged creative productivity, creative collaboration, team communication, and innovation.
To give back to the community, I’ve also taught coding classes as a volunteer with CodeFever Miami. I developed curricula for the Web Standards Project Education Task Force (WaSP InterAct), which is now a part of the W3C Web Education Community Group Wiki.
Miami’s TechWeek100 Key Influencer, 2014
The Techweek100 is a list of 100 technology leaders and organizations who have a significant impact on business and technology, chosen by the South Florida community and Team Techweek. The Techweek100 includes managers of fast-growing technology companies, prominent investors, key enablers of the digital ecosystem, creators of new technologies, and other innovators that make important contributions to their field.
.Net magazine “Best of the Web” Judge 2014
.Net magazine “Best of the Web” Judge 2013
This year, I was invited to be a judge for NetMagazine’s Best of the Web Awards. Choosing one person as the best was a difficult task for such an impressive group of nominees.
Pastry Box Project 2012
Along with many web industry luminaries, I was asked to contribute to the inaugural Pastry Box Project, which is “30 People Shaping The Web. One Thought Every Day. All Year Round. Sugar For The Mind” started by Alex Duloz.
.Net magazine “Best of the Web” nomination 2010
Every year, NetMagazine has a contest where people in the industry vote on the best in apps, websites, and influencers in the industry. I was thrilled to be amongst the impressive list of nominees for “Web Standards Champion”.
Webbie awards nomination 2011
The good folks at NgenWorks periodically put on a contest to see who will be bestowed with a Happy Webbie charicature. Contestants are submitted by people through Twitter and then eliminated by a blind elimination rounds. I was honored to have been submitted as a nominee, even though I was eliminated in the first round. But they gave me the name of “Storm” (like the Xmen character) as my codename, which I can’t complain about at all.
28 days of Diversity
In 2011, Wayne Sutton featured me in his 28 days of Diversity site, designed to not only celebrate people of color in the industry, but to allow those featured to share thoughts on the Digital Divide and how to narrow the gap.