John Regan serves Fervor clients with his development expertise. Meet John.
At Fervor, John is: Senior Digital Strategist + UI Developer. “I’m charged with planning Fervor’s digital strategy, architecture design, and website planning and development,” he says. From building interfaces and WordPress design, John serves clients with all things web and digital.
From ministry to the military: John earned his degree in Christian Education from Hannibal LaGrange University, and spent a decade in youth ministry before serving as a chaplain assistant in the military. “My dad was a Marine, and I grew up near the air base in Belton, so there were always Marines and Airmen around. I had a passion for serving members and soldiers,” he says. “I wanted to serve people in the worst, most intense place that a human being can be: on the front lines of war.”
John’s enlistment: John served for four years as a chaplain assistant in several locations, including a trauma center near San Antonio and in Louisiana helping with Hurricane Katrina evacuation. He was completely back to civilian life when he got a letter calling him back into service for Operation Iraqi Freedom. John served as a prison guard in Camp Taji, Iraq, and returned to the United States in 2010.
A life-changing diagnosis: In 2011, John was diagnosed with PTSD, an anxiety disorder, which led to his departure from full-time vocational ministry — but his recovery from PTSD also led to a remarkable transformation, John says. “The trauma destroyed my concept of self, my personality, who I was . . . but it was through that, though, that Jesus rebuilt me. Today, I’m so much more comfortable with who I am, my marriage is better than I ever thought it could be and I’ve learned humility and love for other people. Really, Jesus completely transformed my life.”
John’s shift to digital strategy: John had always dabbled in web development. As John was getting back on his feet after his PTSD diagnosis, he put his hobby to work helping a friend with WordPress development. As he expanded his skill set, he went on to work for VML and then XWP. His clients included JE Dunn, the city of Nashville, Houlihan’s Restaurants, USA Today Sports, Hoops Hype and Variety Magazine. Outside these full-time roles, John kept busy with freelance development and loved serving Fervor clients. When the role at Fervor became available, he jumped at the chance to come aboard Fervor full-time. “I love using technical skills to, in some small way, impact people’s lives. The right website can make all the difference.”
Digs Fervor because: “First, it’s the people,” he says. “We’re all experts in our fields and we collaborate together to find the best way to get results for our clients. It’s a fantastic work environment!” He also loves how everything Fervor does is quantitatively measured. “Decisions are based on what actually motivates people to take action. Our personal opinions and preferences take a back seat to data-driven results.”
Family: John is married to Haley, his childhood sweetheart who he met in third grade. John and Haley have three children — Mollie, Daniel and Seth — as well as two dogs and a cat.
Outside Fervor, you’ll find John: From football practices and games to recitals, John stays busy with his kids’ activities. “That’s the main thing for me, spending time with family,” he smiles.
A community he loves: John loves being part of the global WordPress community. “WordPress is all open source, meaning anyone can use it and the code is available for free,” he says. “The WordPress Core is built by volunteers, and the people there are passionate about the democratization of communication, making websites accessible to anyone. It’s cool because you get people from all over the world, all walks of life and I get to work alongside them.”
Favorite choice for a beverage test: It’s not a typical bar or restaurant, he admits. “But my favorite place to have a drink is down at the river at my grandma and grandpa’s house in Iowa. It’s like a family reunion, there’s nothing formal about it. Every Memorial Day weekend, it’s great to drink a Budweiser around the fire.”
Favorite reads: John is a history buff and loves In The Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, by Hamptom Sides. “He’s an incredible history author. If I were on a desert island, that would be the book I’d take.”
What drives him up a wall: Sloppy code. “On a basic level, coding is all about the next person who will see the code, the next person who will use that code. Clean code lets me know that the person there before me was a professional and they knew what they were doing — and even better, they cared about what they were doing.”
Fervor wouldn’t be Fervor without . . . John’s WordPress acumen: He’s a WordPress Core Contributor, Theme and Plugin Author, having written code that is actually inside every WordPress site, as well as themes and plugins available for free download from WordPress.org. One of his plugins is currently active on more than 300,000 sites!