Bekki Olivieri – Minister of Magic
While rumored to be the first teacher to have successfully smuggled a Time Turner from the Ministry of Magic, Bekki actually credits the old-fashioned to-do list with her seeming ability to be in three places at once. Her days are filled with instructing students in a high school alternative education program, and her nights are filled with training in Soo Bahk Do. In between, she can be found with her two school-aged daughters, although she wishes their company involved a lot less carpooling and much more giggling.
Jennifer Clack – Formal Programming
Jenn spent her youth traveling the country and
indulging her gypsy blood. She is now settled down in
her hometown where she loves being a Mom and working
at ASU. Jenn enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and
spending time with friends. Portus is Jenn's third
symposium with HPEF. She promises herself that she
will retire from organizing but keeps coming back to
spend time with the amazing friends she's made over
the past three years. Thrilled to be part of Portus,
Jenn will be glad to be back with her Harry Potter family.
Kari Phillips – Informal Programming
Kari will serve as the Chair of Informal Programming for Portus 2008. She works as both a Forecasting Specialist and Assistant to the Director of Production Control at Miller Curtain Company, a local curtain manufacturer in San Antonio, Texas. Kari attended Lumos and served as Head of Wizard Talent for Prophecy 2007. In her free time, Kari loves to watch movies, read romance novels, and read and write fan fiction. She shares her home with her two cats, Buffy and Willow.
Aziza Aba Butain – Public Relations
Aziza is thrilled to be a part of the Portus team for
2008. After attending Lumos in 2006 as a PR elf, VIP
escort, and Meet & Greeter, she was hooked on HP cons.
She immediately joined Team Prophecy and chaired the
Security team. In her day-to-day life, she can be
found working as a Production Assistant on various
projects with AMS Production Group in Dallas. A recent
RTVF graduate from the University of North Texas, she
is super excited to be working in the entertainment
industry in the Lone Star State. Much of her free time
is spent volunteering for the Salvation Army and the
Make-A-Wish Foundation or indulging in her two other
fandoms, Rent and Wicked.
Stephanie Coté – Site Logistics
The Chair of Site Logistics has been nursing a serious
seven-year addiction to all things Potter. This is her
first HPEF event, but she's already decided it won't
be her last! Stephanie began attending Sci-Fi and
Japanese Anime conventions at the age of twelve. Ten
years later, she still loves all aspects of them,
especially the beautiful self-torture involved in
their planning. Her background primarily stems from
being the Costume Events Director at a Tennessee Anime
convention and attending many others. A self-described
"people person," she can also be found reading books
and fanfiction (Potter fanfic, obviously), riding
horses, playing with her dog, researching historical
clothing, or partaking in her "real life" job (ha!)
designing and making commission costumes.
Lindsay Craddock – Volunteers
Although she dismissed Harry Potter as just a "children's book,"
Lindsay entered the wizarding world shortly after Order of the
Phoenix. While vacationing in Hawaii, she picked up Sorcerer's Stone on a particularly monsoon-like day and was instantly hooked. Finishing
in only ten days, she left Hawaii with all five books crammed into her
suitcase. Her love of reading had been restored! A relative newcomer
to the Potter fandom community, she attended Toronto's Prophecy symposium and loved it! Lindsay works as a pediatric neurology nurse
for children living with epilepsy and migraines and will begin
graduate school in January. She is very excited to be a part of the
team bringing you Portus 2008!
Ailene Everts – Security
Ailene, most commonly referred to as Blue, was pestered into reading Harry Potter by her sister and finally caved in just before the release of Order of the Phoenix. It took her only ten days to read all four books. Soon after, she discovered the fandom (the Happiest Place on Earth, no matter what Disney bills their theme parks) and Lumos 2006. Having just missed The Witching Hour, she was determined to go to Las Vegas and immerse herself in all things Potter. After volunteering for the Meet and Greet team, Blue was hooked. As Prophecy approached, she made sure that she was as involved as possible, volunteering for Meet and Greet, Security, Registration, and The Decade of Enchantment Ball. In the Muggle world, Blue can be found crawling her way through her undergrad work and working full time for the San Diego Unified School District as a mail clerk.
Heather French – Editing & Publishing
Heather is ecstatic that her first HPEF event is in her beloved
hometown of Dallas, she just wishes her California Portkey would whisk
her home more often. While new to the national fandom scene, she's not
new to Potter events, having organized huge release parties for the
last three books. Her friends have elevated her to headmistress status
obsession devotion to all things Potter. (Or more
accurately Ron!) A childhood love of Star Wars lead her to a
production career in Hollywood, working on various projects including
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Scream, and Mars Attacks! In Dallas,
Heather's favorite thing to do is spend time with family, especially
her favorite (and only) nephew Sean. When her Portkey leaves her in
California, she indulges her other loves— the Cowboys, Disneyland,
podcasts, hiking, and chocolate, not always in that order.
Christina Gonzalez – Registration
Like any good Ravenclaw, Christina is a serial student. She recently
returned to the Lone Star State after spending the past six years in
California (clearly, she's still in a period of culture shock). While
in the sunny state, she earned a bachelor's in graphic design from The
Art Institute of California–San Francisco. This rounded out the
bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology she earned from Texas
A&M. Although this marks Christina's first Potter event, she's
certainly no stranger to conference planning. A self-described "music
junkie," she is a graphic designer by day and one mean bookbinder by
Angie Haklar – Art Gallery
When not spending her free time heading the Portus Art Gallery, Angie Haklar devotes herself to her Muggle job working at a no-kill animal rescue. Always on the lookout for kneazles, Angie works with close to three hundred cats and dogs. If she can't always be around her own wizarding kind, animals are a fantastic substitute. She's currently mommy to six very well-fed cats (who she suspects are part kneasle). Do we see another Arabella Figg in the future? Angie became hooked on running the Art Gallery at Lumos, where she was amazed at the incredible talent her fellow wizards put forth. She continues to be a loyal Voldemort supporter, despite the recent tragedies suffered by her fellow Death Eaters.
Craige Howlett – Sponsorship & Vendors
With three and half decades' experience in Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Anime and Costume Conventions, Craige brings to the table a variety of skills sets and management experiences, which can only be learned in the school of hard knocks, and he is always willing to teach others those lessons. Currently he is comptroller of FanimeCon and a board member for ARG and SFSFC. Craige is chairing Level Two 2009, a Harry Potter Symposium, the bid chairman for a Worldcon in 2013 and in his spare time is the Manager of Telecommunications for Stanford Hospital and Clinics in Palo Alto, California.
Kristin Kucera – Meet and Greet
Kristen is not new to volunteering for the Harry Potter symposiums,
having attended all of HPEF's events since Lumos. She is very excited
to be leading the Portus Meet & Greet team in Dallas. Having come into
Harry Potter reluctantly through a forceful librarian, Krissie started
to write fanfiction about the series while stranded in the mountains
of Nevada; she was hooked. In her Muggle life, she attended a
performing arts academy for high school, which was the first place she
ever felt she fit in. Kristen is currently studying to become a court
reporter, working her way up to a whopping 225 words per minute from
her current 60wpm. In her spare time, she likes to write fanfiction
for Harry Potter and Smallville and complain about how everything is
shorter in steno.
Audrey O'Connor – Accounting
Audrey will be reprising her role from Lumos as Event Accountant since her husband has been unable to locate a self-help group specializing in convention planning addiction. Audrey spends her time working two jobs, taking online classes, and volunteering with various non-profit organizations in addition to working on Harry Potter symposia. In her spare time, she sleeps.
Amy Vezza – Decorations
Amy has been part of the planning teams for Nimbus - 2003, Lumos, Prophecy, and now Portus. Her background in theatre has been invaluable for the planning of HPEF events. It has been said that given enough time, she can figure out how to do anything, create anything, to (in the words of Tim Gunn) "make it work." In her so-called Real Life, she works for an association management company that plans meetings all over the world, including events in London, Amsterdam, Paris, South Korea, and Prague. Although work takes her to the cities around the world she chooses to vacation in wide open, uninhabited places like Death Valley, CA, Jackson Hole, WY, and New Mexico. In her off-time she likes to quilt, work on local community theatre productions, and play with her nieces (G., five years old, and B., three years old). She regularly blames her bestest, Gwen - current HPEF President - entirely for the continued insanity.
Melanie Wilke – Website & Graphics
After attending Lumos in 2006 and Prophecy in 2007, Melanie was so impressed by the coordination and passion of that year's team of organizers and volunteers that she swore to become one herself one day. When not at her "real life" job as a graphic and web designer for the ASU Foundation, the fund-raising arm of Arizona State University, she can be found reading steamy fanfiction, watching Star Trek reruns, or playing as an ogre-killing gnome mage in World of Warcraft. She continues to write passionate love letters to Alan Rickman, but mysterious gaps in the post have thus far stymied her intentions.