Tony Shawcross
Executive Director

The purpose of my life is to use my joy for living, my empathic spirit, and my sharp, open mind


  • having unbridled, authentic conversations and connections
  • making music
  • traveling
  • writing, and
  • making movies that expand our perspective

To bring about a world in which: people care for one another, ensuring all of us are free to focus on building the future we want, with the only limitation on our freedom to do as we wish being the requirement that we afford that same freedom to others. 


More infoTony developed and launched the visionary model for community media that has evolved into the Open Media Foundation. Before founding Deproduction and Denver Open Media, Tony worked with Little Voice Productions, the Colorado State House of Representatives, the Pan African Arts Society and FreeSpeech TV, among others. Tony has presented over 100 media education courses with the Colorado Independent Media Center, Denver Community Television, the Alliance for Community Media and various local schools and universities. Tony graduated magna cum laude with a degree in marketing and business administration from the University of Colorado.

Brian Hiatt
Senior Developer/Analyst

The purpose of my life is to focus my energy on positive, measurable change


  • improving the systems around me
  • giving my son as many opportunities as I can

To bring about a world in which it is easier for more people to lead productive, fulfilling lives

More info:

Brian focuses on developing applications, websites and business metric systems for Open Media Foundation's nonprofit & government clients. Brian has been programming in multiple languages since 2000. After graduating from CU Boulder in 2006 Brian co-founded Civic Pixel, a web development firm dedicated to working with nonprofits and small businesses dedicated to positive change. In 2008, Civic Pixel merged with the Open Media Foundation, becoming the web development arm of the nonprofit organization. Brian loves his 3 year old son, wife and numbers.

Ann Theis
Station Director

The purpose of my life is to use my hard-working nature, dedication, preparedness, goofiness, and adventurousness 


  • working for community-based organizations improving our society,
  • making media
  • trying new things and going new places and,
  • staying active and engaged
To bring about a world: in which people embrace and accept one another, where people don't starve while others throw away food, where every person is given equal opportunity and it doesn't matter where or to whom you are born, where people don't resort to violence to solve problems, where technology and resources are used to enhance all life: plant, animal and human, and where we strive for deeper understanding for each other and all things in the universe.


More Info: Ann has been working with the Open Media Foundation's online user-driven tools since they were first created for Denver Open Media. She has been involved with organizing and presenting at numerous conferences on the subject of community media, technology and the Open Media Project. She started her community media career at Manhattan Neighborhood Network as a Production Assistant and became the Director of Production and Education, managing a staff of twelve and a million-dollar budget. Youth Media has been a passion of hers and she has mentored many youth both at MNN and at DOM over the last ten years. She graduated from Antioch College, with a degree in communications and cultural anthropology. Ann has also served on the ACM Western Region and National Boards.

Leo Kacenjar
Senior Developer

The purpose of my life is to use my thoughtfulness, perceptiveness, non-judgementalness, creativity, pragmatism and empathy


  • taking a walk or bike ride
  • challenging myself to learn or create something new
  • making and drinking beer
  • teaching or explaining something new, and
  • playing board and video games with friends


To bring about a world in which: all humans and non-humans share absolute equity in a community that promotes happiness and well being. 


More infoLeo is a web developer who was introduced to the Open Media Foundation through running the University of Denver's Digital Media Outreach Center. He spent a year learning all about Drupal and OMF, then was excited to stay on. Leo's interests lie in bridging digital media, art, and environment. His current project is the Digital Garden on Leetsdale.

Brandon Stiller
Director of Community Productions

The purpose of my life is to use my loyalty, quietude, analytical cynicism, caring and passion 


  • gathering with friends and family
  • playing the guitar
  • creating video
  • participating in theatre, and
  • creating art with the people in my life

To bring about a world in which: relationships take priority, where the only thing distracting us from that priority is our passions which provide for us, strengthen our bonds and further our understanding of ourselves and others. This is a world where people succeed because they want to not because they have to. It's a world with less violence and economic strife. It's a compassionate, culture-driven world.


More infoWith over 7 years in the industry, Brandon's background in production has been focused primarily on inspirational and industrial segments in addition to live event coverage. He looks forward each day to telling the stories of organizations that are truly making a difference. Brandon is constantly humbled to be a part of an organization composed of great people who are collectively working towards real and lasting change.

Sharee Hiatt
Senior Designer

The purpose of my life is to use my creativity, kindness, passion, good parenting, and motivation  


  • Giving my whole creative self to every design project
  • Raising my son in a loving and happy home
  • "Leaning in" to my career, and
  • Travelling
To bring about a world: in which everyone has equal rights and access to food, shelter, education, healthcare, and safety. It is a world where each person can chose what passions they want to pursue.

More Info: Sharee manages all design needs for the Open Media Foundation as the Creative Lead for the Web & IT department. Since 2006, she has designed over 100 websites for non-profit clients.  Sharee has experience from working at design firms serving local, national and international clients designing logos, print, environmental, and web materials.

John Aden
Media Education Coordinator
The purpose of my life is to use my easy-going nature, sense of humor, creativity, thoughtfulness and empathy


  • pausing before talking
  • creating adventurous ways to play with my family
  • laughing with others
  • making entertaining films and music, and
  • rediscovering the world with my son, using gentle guidance


To bring about a world in which: people are working together for the common welfare of humans and the planet separated from self-seeking and selfish motives that serve an individual or specific groups.

Gavin Dahl
Open Media Project Account Executive

The purpose of my life is to use my intensity, commitment, sociability, integrity and hyperactivity


meeting new people
making connections
encouraging participation
holding power accountable
building sustainable systems

To bring about a world in which connecting to resources is simple, shining light into darkness is routine and the public is interested in the public interest.

More info: Gavin is determined to grow the reach and impact of the Open Media Project for Government, saving taxpayers' money and improving the accessibility of government meetings to constituents. After growing up in Seattle and Austin, and winning the Texas Young Playwrights Festival, he started producing college radio at KVRX "None of the Hits, All the Time" and then served as production director and music director at fiercely independent KAOS Olympia. He graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BA in media production and community organizing, going on to serve as programming coordinator at KRBX Boise, news director at KYRS Spokane and community broadcast coordinator for Common Frequency. Currently he is a reporter, deejay and the youngest member of the board of directors at KGNU Denver/Boulder. He is a Free Speech TV correspondent and writer for Boulder Weekly. His writing has also been published by The Raw Story, Radio Survivor, Boise Weekly, Common Dreams and the Austin American Statesman. 

Courtney Steele
Account Director

The purpose of my life is to use my compassion, authenticity, list-making, and laughter


  • serving others
  • being present in the moment
  • helping organizations communicate better
  • not taking myself too seriously 

To bring about a world: in which everyone is empowered to unapologetically be themselves, where people are infected by a kindness epidemic, and a sense of support and community is felt by all. 

More info: As a Colorado native, Courtney is thrilled to help her community by enabling organizations to effectively and efficiently further develop their voice. After graduating with a B.A. in Advertising from Southern Methodist University, Courtney gained experience at an advertising agency serving a national CPG brand. She is always ready to foster lasting relationships, answer questions, provide great service and ensure everyone has a positive experience with OMF. 

Nicole Marquez
AmeriCorps VISTA

The purpose of my life is to: use my creativity, humor, and compassion


investing myself in the projects I commit to
engaging with others
being present

To bring about a world in which: values the representation of all voices and encourages dialogue between them.

More Info: Nicole Marquez is a storyteller, producer, and loves to laugh.  She developed a series of poems and short stories for her capstone, “Because Yes: A Woman’s Right to Voice” while studying at California State University Monterey Bay and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Humanities and Communication with a concentration in Creative Writing and Social Action.  Since then, she has obtained her Master of Arts degree at The New School in New York City for Media Studies. Nicole is currently enjoying a new adventure in Denver, Colorado at the Open Media Foundation as their AmeriCorps VISTA.


Shannon Altner
Office Manager

The purpose of my life is to: use my playful spirit, determination, integrity, aesthetic nature, and compassion


Exploring nature and culture
Staying active and engaged
Performing art that creates empathy
Enjoying the now
Facilitating dance parties

To create a world in which: sustainability and happiness are paramount. Where people are empowered by their community to be who they are and we are all given the resources and opportunities to live our passions. 
More info: Shannon recently moved to Colorado and is thrilled to join the OMF team to help better serve the community and get peoples voices heard. WIth a passion in media and theater she graduated from the University of Florida with a Telecommunication Degree and has kept herself busy working and performing in New York since then. As well as staying socially conscious and active, Shannon enjoys making music with friends, meeting new people, traveling, and surprising herself. 

Alice Kassinger
AmeriCorps VISTA

The purpose of my life is to use my joyous and adventurous spirit, curiosity, emotional intelligence, and empathy


  • listening with an open mind
  • living with discomfort and uncertainty
  • giving everyone, including myself, room to make mistakes
  • finding the humor in every situation

To bring about a world in which: no community is isolated from another; we do not exploit our neighbors, and instead learn from their strengths; each person’s experiences and perspectives are valued equally.

More Info: Alice Kassinger, a D.C. native, is overjoyed to join the team as an Americorps VISTA and to help people take advantage of the incredible opportunities that OMF has to offer. She is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied Psychology and discovered her passion for working with victims of mass incarceration and domestic violence. Her exploration of Denver has included meeting inspiring people, eating copious amounts of cheese, and reading in hammocks across the city.

Jiang Zhan
Junior Web Developer

The purpose of my life is to use my perseverance, purposefulness, integrity


  • Creating intelligent websites/applications to save other’s time
  • Improving my mom’s English
  • Eating food from different cultures

To bring a world in which people have the right to be taught the truth in regard of the history.


Kelsey Mischke
AmeriCorps VISTA

The purpose of my life is to use my perseverance, dedication, contemplative nature, sociological imagination, and compassion


  • demanding social justice

  • challenging social systems

  • running for miles

  • creating knowledge, and

  • honoring every individual’s story

To bring about a world that is truly created by all, for all, and representative of all.  I envision a world where all identities and cultures are honored; where humans continuously strive to respect, support, uplift, and empower one another; and a world that works together in harmony rather than in conflict.

More Info:  A new member of the Denver community, Kelsey Mischke is eager to serve the people and organizations of Denver as an AmeriCorps VISTA at OMF.  Kelsey is a recent graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato (MNSU), graduating magna cum laude with a bachelors degree in applied sociology and a certificate in nonprofit management.  During her four years at MNSU, Kelsey found her passion for critical sociology, gender studies, feminism, and research, and published three scholarly research articles including “A Critical Analysis of Media Images Depicting the New Athletic Body Ideal and One Woman's Experience with Them,” “The Muscular Female Athlete:  Negotiating Conflicting Identities and Bodies," and “Race and Punishment: Demographic Disparities and Patterns in the Blue Earth County Court System.”  Following her year of service, Kelsey plans on continuing her degree in sociology, focusing on race, class, and gender inequality.  In the meantime, she will enjoy all of the running, hiking, art, music, stories, and adventure Colorado has to offer!

Joe Schmidt
Finance/HR Manager

The purpose of my life: to use my commitment, positive attitude, accessibility, entrepreneurial spirit, and social skills as recognized strengths


  • personally and professionally excelling as a valued team member
  • treating others as I would expect to be treated
  • establishing improved and progressive ways of living life
  • being true to my myself, clients, friends, and family 
  • respecting flexibility as a core value for getting through the day 

To bring about a world: where change is viewed with enthusiasm and not annoyance, with people understanding that mistakes are a required part of the journey in order to truly facilitate personal and professional growth, in that self-expression merged with accepting people for who they are is key to successful relationships  

More info: Joe has been a business professional in the state of Colorado for many years and has accentuated his industry experience with a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and an MBA from Regis University.  By developing his talents in the areas of banking, finance, project management, and accounting, Joe’s most recent venture has been to launch his own brand of integrated financial services and human resource management.  Entitled BankWing, the mission is to promote efficiency, value, accessibility, and commitment to small business back office management.  It is through this business model that Joe is thrilled to be an integral team member to the OMF mission, growth, and strategy.  Personally Joe enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and playing golf. 

Patrick Gilmore
Chief Editor

After receiving his degree in film television from The Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, Patrick began working as a videographer and editor with Lindblad Expeditions–National Geographic for which he traveled the world from the Galápagos Islands to Antarctica. After three years with the company, Patrick shifted his focus to creating powerful mission videos for local non-profits in his hometown of Portland, OR and also produced several news segments for National Geographic. Patrick is excited to be a member of a passionate, inspired team of filmmakers with whom he feels he can piece together powerful stories that foster positive change. 

Susannah McLeod
Nonprofit Video Production Manager

The purpose of my life is to use my creativity, lovingness, sense of adventure, open-mindedness, and loyalty


  • searching for new experiences
  • traveling
  • singing
  • sending packages and letters to people "just because," and
  • having open and honest conversations

To bring about a world in which: everyone is given equal opportunities, where creating art and traveling are encouraged and taking care of one another is required. A world in which love trumps all.


More infoSusannah is thrilled to be a member of the Video Production team after starting as an intern with OMF in 2012. Originally from Augusta, GA, Susannah holds a musical theatre degree from the University of Miami. After years of traveling and performing in plays and musicals around the country, she and her wife, Chloe, created a travel webseries called Sus & Chlo on the Go and filmed it in cities across America, eventually deciding on Denver as a home base. Susannah was drawn to OMF as a way to expand her video production experience while also giving back to the community. When not working or traveling, “Sus” can often be found running, biking, or hiking with Chloe & their adorable spaniel mix, Zaxby.