Chris Hardie
PO Box 9
Richmond, IN 47375
(765) 357-4335 (mobile)

In addition to the standard résumé format below, you may also want to see a portfolio of projects I've worked on and organizations I've led.


Journalist, newspaper publisher, software developer, internet technologist and engineer with over twenty-five years of professional experience. Excellent communicator with full-stack development, management and founder experience, ranging from creating and growing a boutique web application development firm to launching and supporting high-profile projects for some of the biggest names on the web. Media producer with experience in print and digital publishing, audio and video. Respected organizational leader, facilitator and community builder.


Civic Spark Media LLC / Western Wayne News
Publisher and Owner
October 2022-Present

I'm the owner and publisher of a print weekly newspaper publication reaching thousands of readers in a vibrant midwestern community. My role spans a wide variety of tasks and projects, including editorial planning, reporting, editing, advertising sales, subscriber support, design, website and software development, employee and contractor management, accounting, business strategy, marketing, office management and community outreach.

WP Lookout
July 2020-July 2022

I bootstrapped, founded and built WP Lookout, a service for WordPress professionals that tracks updates to the plugins and themes we depend on. My time and and work was spread across all the things that startup founders do, with a focus on technical architecture and software development.

Kind and Curious Ventures LLC
January 2020-Present

Organization and business consulting, startup investing and mentoring, conference and event speaking, WordPress development and consulting.

Hometown Media Group LLC
Consulting Digital Editor
January 2020-October 2020

Hometown Media Group is the parent company of two weekly newspapers in Wayne County, Indiana. I use my experience and skills in online publishing, software development, small business management and technology project management to help the organization update, streamline and manage its expanding digital offerings.

  • Workflow and business process consulting
  • Digital publishing strategy development
  • Researching and iterating on subscription business models and paywall setup
  • Analytics and subscriber data management
  • Electronic newsletter and social media strategy and implementation
  • WordPress custom theme and plugin development
  • Hosting environment migration, administration and optimization
  • SEO and performance optimization
  • Staff training and documentation development

Automattic, Inc.
Senior Software Engineer & Director of Special Projects
July 2017-December 2019

I'm a Senior Software Engineer on a Special Projects team that builds custom WordPress sites and related software tools for influential people and high-profile organizations.

  • Connecting and consulting with clients to advise on best practices, develop technical requirements and manage project lifecycles.
  • Developing custom WordPress theme and plugin functionality using PHP, Javascript, CSS and other tools. Integrating various APIs and third-party services.  Configuring and managing hosting environments for performance and security. Providing support and consulting services to existing clients.
  • Interviewing, hiring, training, coaching and supporting team members and our contractors.
  • Creating and refining team processes and tools that help us scale our work.
  • Coordinating across other Automattic divisions and teams to improve products and services.
  • From March 2018 through August 2019, I served as the team lead and Director of Special Projects, reporting to the CEO.

Political Consultant and Leader

I've helped various progressive candidates, organizations and elected officials with strategy, messaging and communications. From 2021-2022 I volunteered as the Chair of the Wayne County, Indiana Democratic Party. In 2019 I served in an unpaid role as the Director of Communications and Advisor to the Candidate for the successful campaign to re-elect Richmond, Indiana's Mayor Dave Snow:

  • Developed and implemented campaign communications strategy in both the primary and general election cycles.
  • Crafted campaign and candidate communications including written statements, public remarks, website content, paid promotions and social media updates.
  • Advised on candidate strategy for media appearances, public forums and debates.
  • Identified and coordinated media opportunities for the campaign.
  • Assisted the candidate and Campaign Manager with other strategy decisions and served as Acting Campaign Manager when needed.

Automattic, Inc.
Enterprise Software Support Engineer & Enterprise Support Engineering Team Lead
May 2014-June 2017

  • Provided support, hosting, consulting, and other services to enterprise clients building some of the biggest and best WordPress sites on the web (Facebook, TIME, Microsoft, TED, Quartz, USA Today, etc).
  • Performed best practices advising, product support, account management, project planning, software development and documentation, tool deployment and maintenance, training and related tasks.
  • From November 2015, served as a lead on the VIP Support team, building tools and coordinating efforts to improve the quality and performance of our client support services. Assisted with interviewing, hiring, training and coaching team members.

Summersault LLC
Principal and co-founder
August 1997-May 2014

  • Co-founded this Internet technology services company as a college student.
  • Led 16+ years of profitable operation providing website application development, consulting and related technical services to clients all over the U.S.
  • Responsible for overall strategy and operations, budgeting and financial management, hiring, training, managing and evaluating staff of 12, sales, marketing and community relations, project management, quality assurance, systems administration and technical support, and other duties as needed.

Instructor, Blogger and Public Speaker

  • Regularly writes and presents on technical and non-technical topics to national audiences.
  • Taught technology courses for Earlham College (Software Engineering and Robotics).
  • Organized conferences from 1999 to 2005 on economic and cultural issues related to food production and population growth.

Not-for-profit Organizational Leader

  • Sought-after community member for leadership roles at not-for-profit organizations in the Wayne County, Indiana area. Elected or appointed to chair/president of a variety of boards of directors, including for the Wayne County Foundation, WayNet.org, Main Street Richmond and the Clear Creek Food Cooperative, and have served on boards for the Earlham College Alumni Council, the Conflict Resolution Center, the Palladium-Item Editorial Advisory Board, Indiana University East and others.
  • Received broad community support in a first-time run for Richmond Common Council, winning in a primary election and narrowly losing in the general election.
  • Recipient of various awards for community improvement and contributions.


Master of Arts in Journalism
Ball State University

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
Earlham College
College Honors and Departmental Honors

Key Skill Areas

  • Full Stack Software Development: PHP, Laravel, WordPress, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Javascript and jQuery, CSS. Information architecture, project planning and management, documentation, quality assurance. WordPress and Laravel application development, customization, security, performance and scaling. Connecting APIs, complex integrations and automation.
  • Leadership: business management and administration, HR and performance coaching, public speaking, group facilitation and consensus building, data-driven decision-making, organizational strategy, planning and leadership.
  • Communications and media production: messaging and framing, technical writing and editing, blogging and story-telling, audio/radio broadcast segment design, production and editing, presentation design, workshop design and training material production.
  • Systems and networking: UNIX installation, configuration and management, TCP/IP network architecture and security, database administration (PostgreSQL, MySQL), Amazon Web Services solution design and implementation, load balancing and high-availability, Apache and nginx configuration and deployment, systems monitoring and alerting, home automation.

References available upon request