WordPress VIP honors Lone Rock Point as its 2023 Partner of the Year

Lone Rock Point is honored to be named WordPress VIP 2023 Partner of the Year. This is the latest milestone in a long standing relationship between Lone Rock Point and WordPress VIP. A relationship that dates back to 2018 when we began helping them with public sector strategy and evolved when we joined the VIP partner program in 2022. The past year saw close collaboration with VIP as we worked together to migrate www.nasa.gov away from Drupal and Amazon Web Services and onto WordPress and VIP.

Of all the factors contributing to this milestone, it’s the amazing people of Lone Rock Point that matter most. They’re an incredibly skilled and capable crew that is tenacious about achieving the highest levels of excellence in pursuing their craft.

This would be a perfect place to paste a getting a video clip of a “getting the crew together” video montage with everyone in it1, but instead I’ll just share a little nugget about each of them. I am so grateful for the products we’ve built together and for the culture we’ve established at Lone Rock Point.

Other than the company founders, Ann Marie Kiem is currently the longest tenured Lone Rocker. She joined in 2018, a few months after retiring from NASA to provide some expertise around FedRAMP and help shape WPVIP’s entrance into the federal government marketplace. Peter Slutsky of WPVIP called her the “Beyonce of FedRAMP”

Sometime in the Spring of 2021, Andrew Norcross joined the team to lead prototyping of WordPress for NASA’s web modernization effort. Andrew is a well respected developer within the WordPress space. When he joined the team, I knew we’d be able to deliver a compelling WordPress solution to NASA.

Jewel Blackfeather became a part time Lone Rocker later in 2021. Jewel was integral to building out the NASA team and converted to full time status in January 2023. Jewel once flexed on all of us by showing us the celebrity cell phone numbers she has stored on her iPhone2

Around the same time, Stacy Holtz joined as a Web Content Producer on the NASA team. No one at Lone Rock Point has skyrocketed in responsibility more than Stacy. She now entrenched as one of the company leaders 

We had tried a couple times to add Gary Kovar to the team and in the fall of 2022, that finally happened. Gary’s first time meeting a lot of us in person was in the entrance line to the National Air and Space Museum. He did not bring along his collection of fake Rolex watches.

Gary recruited a former co-worker and in February 2023, Alivia Rochester left Craftpeak to join our team. Louis Segovia started doing some part time work for us around the same time and converted to a full time employee in May 2023. The NASA WordPress project was growing and sucking us all in. It was quickly becoming an all hands on deck situation.

Yvonne McKenna and Narumi Mitchell joined within a few weeks of each other last summer. When the company had a meetup last October, many were flabbergasted that they had never heard of Depeche Mode.

It was at that same company meetup that we put the full court press on recruiting Michelle Schulp Hunt. At that time, she had been involved with Lone Rock Point for most of 2023, leading the front end engineer of plus.nasa.gov. She accepted a full time role a few weeks ago and, in fact, today is her first day officially as a full time Lone Rocker.

Due to a unique technicality, she’s sharing “company new person” status with Ximena Kilroe. The newest Lone Rocker, Ximena joins us after a working at WebDev Studios developing WordPress sites for the NBA. Despite that exposure, we aren’t quite sure she can name more than 10 NBA players.

  1. In case you’re wondering, my top 5 “getting the crew together” montages are: ‘The Sting’. ‘The Italian Job’, ‘Major League’, ‘Anchorman’, and ‘Oceans Eleven’ ↩︎
  2. Can’t tell you more. Don’t ask. ↩︎

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