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Ben Nadel at BFusion / BFLEX 2009 (Bloomington, Indiana) with: Simon Free and Dee Sadler
Ben Nadel at BFusion / BFLEX 2009 (Bloomington, Indiana) with: Simon Free ( @simonfree ) Dee Sadler ( @DeeSadler )

CFUNITED 2008 - So Many Great People

Published in Comments (44)

This weekend, I got back from CFUNITED 2008. As my second experience at CFUNITED, I have to say, it lived up to memory and the glory of the first time. It was a new hotel and a new conference center, so I think there were some things that could be ironed out; but, rather than dwell on the those points of friction, I'd rather concentrate on what made the conference so great. At the end of the cf.Objective(), Jared had said that a conference is only as good as its Speakers. While this is true, I think it is equally as valid to say that a conference is only as good as its attendees. And, if you have been to CFUNITED, you know that the people there are simply awesome.

Everyone at CFUNITED is super friendly and outgoing and ready to talk. With every person that I got to meet, it was just another reminder of why the ColdFusion community is so great. So, rather than review the sessions, which were fantastic, I'd rather share with you my experience with the hundreds of people around me. Below is a collection of photos that I got to take with some of the people I met. Unfortunately, I didn't get photos with everyone I would have liked, but I hope you get the idea.

Sorry if I misspelled anyone's names.

This is me and Katie. You may have seen her in one of my other posts - she totally rocked my world, showing up with a t-shirt that had my banner on the front.

Ben Nadel and Katie Maher  

Here, we see Nafisa at the registration desk. She looked away just as I was gonna take the picture... more to come later.

Nafisa Sabu  

A big thanks to Nafisa (above) and Liz Frederick (below) who organize the whole event. They rock, obviously. :)

Liz Frederick  

I met Dee Sadler for the first time at CFUnited. That was pretty exciting for me.

Ben Nadel And Dee Sadler  

Ok, so this isn't a person, it's the Hotel lobby. But, it was so awsome that I felt it warented a photo.

Hotel Lobby  

I am sure I came off as pretty creepy when I randomly snapped a picture of Rachel Lehman without even asking :) Can you blame me?

Rachel Lehman  

Simon Free's butt... this one's for the ladies ;)

Simon Free's Ass  

Here's me hanging out with Qasim Rasheed and Sana Ullah. It was really great to finally put some faces to the names of people I see on my blog all the time.

Qasim Rasheed, Ben Nadel, And Sana Ullah  

Here's me and Montreal. She drives motorcycles; that's actually how she got her name, "Montreal", which wasn't her given name, as I found out three days into the conference. I didn't really get a chance to say hi to her at cf.Objective() - I was always on the other side of the table - so I am really glad I got to catch up with her here.

Ben Nadel And Montreal  

I got some time to talk to Sean Corfield. I didn't know that he and his wife raised show cats. If you get a chance to see them, take a look; very cool looking cats - they look like little leapords.

Ben Nadel And Sean Corfield  

Here's Peter Bell... at conference #4 of 343932 for the year :)

Ben Nadel And Peter Bell  

The House Of Fusion booth.

House Of Fusion Booth At CFUnited  

Clark Valberg and Michael Dinowitz chilling at the booth.

Clark Valberg And Michael Dinowitz  

Simon Free and Clark Valberg. Both Simon and Clark were first time presenters this go-round. And, I am happy to say that they both did an outstanding job!

Simon Free And Clark Valberg  

Me and Simon Free.

Ben Nadel And Simon Free  

Group dinner at the hotel. This is where I tried my first ever Chicken Pot Pie.

Group Dinner At CFUnited  

More dinner...

Group Dinner At CFUnited  

Brian Rinaldi and Hal Helms at dinner with us.

Group Dinner At CFUnited  

Sean Corfield, Joe Rinehart, Jeff Coughlin and others at the group dinner.


Group Dinner At CFUnited  

More group dinner.

Group Dinner At CFUnited  

Simon Free locked up at the Crime and Punishment museum.

Simon Free Arrestsed  

Me and Nafisa Sabu.

Ben Nadel And Nafisa Sabu  

Here's Simon and the security guard. This woman stood alllll day at the top of the escalator making sure that only cool ColdFusion programmers could come down.

Simon Free And Security Guard  

Me and Kim. Kim was one of the first persons that I met at the first CFUNITED. We shared a cab (we'll always have that cab ride). One of the things that I thought was cool about her was that she started off as an accountant and then kind of fell into ColdFusion.

Ben Nadel And Kim  

Unfortunately, Sandy Clark was really sick for her presentation :( Still, she is way cool.

Sandy Clark  

Here is me and Karen Leary. This was a particularly great moment for me because Karen and I have had some friction online; however, meeting in person, we were able to hug and make up and become good friends. She also won a cool Neuron stuffed animal at the Derby.

Ben Nadel And Karen Leary  

Me and the great Rupesh Kumar. Rupesh is responsible for CFTHREAD. You can all start bowing down now ;) Here, I grabbed a photo of him after his CFTHREAD talk, which was way awesome.

Ben Nadel And Rupesh Kumar  

Ma and Sam Farmer.

Ben Nadel And Sam Farmer  

I hope everyone got a chance to say Hi to big Steven; he was a way cool dude. I got a chance to sit down with him for a few minutes. He was like 13 or 14 years old. Charlie Arehart hooked him up with a ticket. Steve is into ColdFusion and Flex. I was just blown away by the fact that such a young guy was brave enough to come to such a large conference. I'm like twice his age and only now starting to get comfortable with such large crowds. Steve, you rock!

Ben Nadel And Steven  

A quick action shot with me and Jacob Munson.

Ben Nadel And Jacob Munson  

My first Simon Free presentation - very exciting!

Simon Free's Presentation  

Ken is an awesome guy. I spend a good deal of time with him last year and this year. I am happy to say that he has cut out a lot of soda and has lost a lot of weight. I was definitely proud of him. Keep up the great work! I also got to see some photos of his new baby girl, Sarah. She has the cutest cheecks.

Ben Nadel And Ken  

It was great to finally meet Elliott Sprehn. After going back and forth online, it's great to finally meet in person. Elliott gave an awesome presentation on the internals of ColdFusion. I think everyone who attended was pretty much blown away. Even the Adobe team, which sat in the back of the room, was quite impressed (from what I hear).

Ben Nadel And Elliott Sprehn  

This is Michelle. I only saw Michelle for like a total of 5 minutes the entire conference, but it was nice to be able to say Hi to her in passing. I got this shot, just as the conference was ending.

Ben Nadel And Michelle  

Here is Selene Bainum and her husband. Selene gave a great talk on advanced SQL.

Selene Bainum  

Me and Phill Nacelli. Phil is just an awesome guy; definitely one of the nicest guys at the conference. He always seems to go out of his way to make me feel invited (I am sure he is that way with everyone, but I like to pretend that I am special).

Ben Nadel And Phill Nacelli  

Me and John Mason. He's another cool and really friendly guy. I hope to get him back up to the NYCFUG again soon.

Ben Nadel And John Mason    

One last opportunity to hug Dee Salder before she left. Oh Dee, there wasn't enough time....

Ben Nadel And Dee Sadler (one more hug)  

Me and Dan Vega. Dan's a fellow fitness enthusiast (its harder to tell from the photo, but he has massive shoulders). I have always been a big fan of Dan's website designs and was happy to get a chance to tell him that his old site (the red one with the rock crowd background), was one of the most memorable designs in the community.

Ben Nadel And Dan Vega  

Me and Mark Drew, who is looking very sinister, but is actually and extremely nice guy. Another one of those guys that just makes you feel really welcome.

Ben Nadel And Mark Drew  

Group dinner at the all-you-can-eat BBQ place.

Group Dinner  

We needed two tables to fit everyone. Chaz, Me, Nafisa, Simon, Elliott, Nate Nelson, Cara, and Liz.

Group Dinner  

Me and Chris Scott.

Ben Nadel And Chris Scott  

Chris Scott covered in whipped cream after the pie fight.

Chris Scott  

Steve Nelson, the wild man that organized the pie fight.

Steve Nelson  

Mark Drew and Chris Scott - what's a pie in the face between two ColdFusion guys?

Mark Drew And Chriss Scott  

Mike Collins, another pie victom.

Mike Collins  

Unfortunately, I only got to briefly talk to Ahmed and James.

Ahmed And James  

At the last breakfast, I finally got to talk to Matt Woodward.

Ben Nadel And Matt Woodward  

Here's me and Yaron. It was nice to see people that I saw last year. Yaron is a great guy and of course, I always have a soft spot in my heart of fellow gym goers.

Ben Nadel And Yaron  

Me and Luis Majano. This was right before Luis' talk. I wanted to attend, but had to run back to the hotel to check out. Next time Luis!

Ben Nadel And Luis Majano  

Me and Dan Wilson. Dan is another one of those guys who is just extremely nice and makes you feel very welcome. He's always good for a conversation and a laugh. Unfortunately, my camera got a little dirty during the pie fight and started taking some iffy pictures.

Ben Nadel And Dan Wilson  

Liz Frederick and her lovely friend Cara. Cara is one of the only people that I have met that, like me, is allergic to Penacilin. She also loves thanksgiving just as much as I do and we got to trade stories about food glutony.

Liz Frederick and Cara  

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Hal Helms. Other than being totally brilliant, Hal is also one of the friendliest, sweetest guys that I have met. And, by the way he packs every talk with a full house, I am pretty sure everyone else shares this opinion.

Ben Nadel And Hal Helms  

Me and Clark Valberg leaving the conference. Mission accomplished.

Ben Nadel And Clark Valberg  

Just before leaving, I was able to catch up with Joe Rinehart. Joe gave an exremely good presentation on Flex and accidental MVC. Probably one of the best Flex presentations that I have attended.

Ben Nadel And Joe Rinehart  

So, that's it. It was an awesome time and I can't wait for next year. If you didn't come this year, I hope these pictures and my story have inspired you to check it out; you won't be disappointed.

Reader Comments


I am really glad that my ass is now online! It is getting the attention it deserves!

I definitely agree, CFUNITED was a LOT of fun! Now i cant wait for CFUNITED09! I believe that is the year that we get to attend presentations by Ben Nadel?!?!?!


Oh, and I almost forgot! Even Christian Ready popped in to say Hi. I was really bummed that he wasn't attending; but, luckily, he had a client meeting near by and stopped in to shake a few hands on the drive home. I feel like no CFUNITED would be complete with a Christian Ready appearance.


Holy cow Ben, you really made the rounds. Thanks for sharing your pictures. For those of us who couldn't attend, it does a great job of conveying the general feeling of the conference.

Oh, and a quick nod to Chris Scott for wearing a t-shirt from one of my favorite east coast breweries - Victory!


Thanks for the kind words and It was really great meeting you. It always amazes me how some of the smartest people I know are both humble and nice and you are no exception to that rule. Great times cant wait to do it again.


The conference flew by, I am bummed I didn't get a chance to actually visit with you this time. Thanks for posting the photo's! And +1 to the comment RE: Joe's Flex session. it was great.



It really did seem to fly by. I felt like I didn't get to see any of the booths this year at all. I ended up going out to lunch most days, which I think is why that happened. I definitely felt drained yesterday, but it all went by so quickly.



It was great to see you again at CFUnited. Sorry I couldn't stay for the entire conference, but dropping in and seeing everyone felt like catching up with the CF "family".

I really like the photos. It reminds us that conferences are nothing without the people that run and attend them alike. You got the right perspective on this, buddy!


I just realized that several people I took photos with didn't actually get "Taken". My camera is funny that way - if you don't hold the button down for a second, it looks like the photo gets taken, but it doesn't actually :(

I'll get you guys next time (Adam Howitt and others who's photos didn't get posted).



Glad to hear it; besides resistance was futile ;) I think a lot of people have a preconceived idea of who I am based only on my site. I like that when people meet me, they can see that that is only a small part of who I am.



Good to meet you too.

Rick was probably the last ColdFusion person that I talked to on the way home. Remember Rick, if you have any graphic ideas you want to share with me, I am all ears.



What are you talking about? That photo is good.


Great to meet you too. Thanks for coming to the expanding physically beyond ColdFusion BoF. Looking forward to see which hair-dos you whip out next year ;) ... (Brian has a different hair style every day of the conference).



You are crazy :)


Great to meet you and your brother. I look forward to speaking at one of these things in the future. Good luck bringing more of your people next time.


Hey Ben!

Had a great time hangin out with you and the rest of the gang at CFUnited.
Are you still up for that calender?
ps. Lets get Elliott to speak at NYCFUG so I can tag along with him :)


Hey Ben--it was great to meet you in person. Too bad I didn't get a picture with you. Definitely next year! Take care!



Yeah, the calendar idea sounded cool. And, we would love to get Elliott up here giving a presentation. That would be awesome. It was great to hang out with you - thanks for taking me around the Crime and Punishment museum.


Definitely next time. You can run, but you can't hide.


Someone asked me if they could get a larger copy of one of the images. It might not be obvious, but if you click on the images in this post, they open up a larger 1024 version of the image. If you want anything bigger, you have to come to me.


It was good to meet you at the conference this year. For some reason I though you'd be taller. :-)

Keep up the good work on the blog. It does a lot for the community.


Excellent photos! I could not attend the conference but its really great to put faces on all the names I read everyday. Great post Ben! And CFUNITED sure looks like a very exciting conference to attend.



There's a time for thinking and there's a time for just doing ;)


Have no fear, I was already planning to grow taller before next years conference.


See you next year my man.


I am sorry you couldn't make it - I was keeping an eye out for you; we never got to talk at last years CFUNITED despite the fact that I sat right behind you in like 3 sessions. Next year!


Dude, you got me all blushing.. ;-)
It was really great meeting you and all other guys. And yeah, i owe you a drink for the cab ride last CFUnited. :-)


Awesome pictures Ben! CFUnited was pretty damn fun this year, as the pictures show, maybe even too much fun, well maybe. It was great seeing everyone again, and I do hope we see you speaking soon as well.


Awesome writeup Ben. I feel like I was there after reading this post. Looks like it was a lot of fun.

I believe in love. I believe in compassion. I believe in human rights. I believe that we can afford to give more of these gifts to the world around us because it costs us nothing to be decent and kind and understanding. And, I want you to know that when you land on this site, you are accepted for who you are, no matter how you identify, what truths you live, or whatever kind of goofy shit makes you feel alive! Rock on with your bad self!
Ben Nadel