About PortusF.A.Q.Cast of OrganizersFor the MediaHPEF

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 for her 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 night.

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.