Tony Shawcross
Executive Director

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


Having unbridled, authentic conversations and connections

Making music



Making movies that expand our perspective

To create 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 being the requirement that we afford that same freedom to others. 

More info:  Tony developed and launched the visionary model for community media that has evolved into the Open Media Foundation.  Before founding the precursor to OMF called Deproduction, as well as OMF's project 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.  He 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 create 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. He 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. He loves his 3 year old son, wife and numbers.

Joe Owens
Chief Operating Officer

The purpose of my life is to have a positive ripple effect on every person and every thing that I encounter;


Staying positive, working hard, looking for the good in everyone, remaining calm, maximizing my own potential, encouraging creativity, capturing and sharing photographic moments of my life and the world I live in, building cultural empathy through experience, treasuring family, and contributing to the greater good;

To create a world in which we understand our place in the universe, individually and collectively; where we all follow the Golden Rule, treating others as we would hope to be treated; where every person regardless of circumstance is understood, and can have the opportunity to use their skills and their personalities to produce their own positive ripples.

More Info: Originally from Kansas City, Joe comes to OMF after spending 23 years immersed in Chicago’s digital design agency environment. There he developed a solid foundation of project management fundamentals at a global advertising organization before moving into design agency operations, helping to manage and grow the creative and digital marketing teams at a national consulting firm. With a degree in Physics and a passion for nature and the photographic arts, Joe prides himself on bringing both an analytic and a creative perspective to challenges, and is excited to use that balanced approach to help OMF provide increasing exposure for artists, charities and non-profits.

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

Creating art with the people in my life

To create 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 info:  With over seven 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.

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 that improve our society

Making media

Trying new things and going new places

Staying active and engaged

To create 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.

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

Rediscovering the world with my son, using gentle guidance

To create 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 only an individual or specific group.

Jessica George
Development Director

The purpose of my life is to bring love, every day, to every encounter


being open-minded, compassionate, and empathetic

voting with my dollar and being mindful of the planet's limited resources and how my purchases and actions affect people globally 

working to change the vast inequalities of my white privilege until there is freedom, fairness, and justice for all

creating togetherness in the face of division

To create a world in which 

every person lives as if we're all in this together, because we are. 

More Info:  Moving to Colorado in 2007 from San Francisco, Jessica slowly began a switch from her 10-year career as a Technical Writer to more meaningful employment. Since deciding to make the change, she has worked in fundraising and development for a plethora of local nonprofit and social impact companies, such as Grant Family Farms, The Local Food Shift, Veterans to Farmers, Waste Farmers, and Revision. She's served as a mentor with Reading Partners and Colorado Youth at Risk (CYAR), Communication Co-Chair on the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, and board member of the Denver Voice. Jessica currently spends her free time as Board Chair of Sprout City Farms, mentoring through CYAR, hiking, enjoying the arts, and spending time with her family and friends. She's thrilled to work with an organization that empowers nonprofits, governments, and individuals to shift the media conversation (and thus social awareness) from the corporate interests of our commercial media system towards the human interests of an open, diverse, engaged public.

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


To create 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 choose the 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 nonprofit clients.  Sharee has experience from working at design firms serving local, national and international clients designing logos, print, environmental and web materials.

Marpessa Allen
Government Transparency Account Executive

The purpose of my life is to use my authenticity, love, versatility, and drive


Promoting acceptance of individuality

Empowering others to strive for greatness

Love and affirm my children every step of the way

Make powerful connections with world changers

To create a world that knows no limits, that encourages free thought, that accepts others for who they are, that uplifts all people

More info: Marpessa is a passionate community and family leader from Aurora, CO. She is an alumni of the Family Leadership Training Institute and has worked in the Colorado State Capitol, the Dayton Opportunity Center in Aurora, the Children’s Defense Fund- Freedom Schools in Philadelphia, and Amnesty International in Washington D.C. In addition to her community and legislative involvement, she has served with Comcast Cares, We Care and Give Back -Intuit,  and Junior Achievement. She began in undergrad at Howard University and graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a B.A. in Communication Studies. Most importantly, she is a mother of 3 amazing children and serves on the Health and Wellness committee at their school.

Leo Kacenjar
Senior Developer

The purpose of my life is to use my thoughtfulness, perceptivity, nonjudgmental nature, 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 create a world in which all humans and nonhumans share absolute equity in a community that promotes happiness and well-being. 

More info:  Leo 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.

Ellie Schmidt
Nonprofit Video Production Manager

The purpose of my life is to use my enthusiasm, kindness, humor and creativity



Practicing living in this very moment

Sharing stories through the written word and video

Allowing cars to merge when they use their blinker

To create a world in which our communication with one another occurs under the consistent awareness that the same blood flows through our veins, understanding all lives are punctuated by success and struggle.  Where creativity isn’t stifled, so it can be used to cope with adversity and where everybody has the strength to find an awesome moment of beauty, whether in nature, or another human, every single day.

More info:  Ellie grew up in a small suburb outside of the Twin Cities and attended Winona State University where she earned a B.A. in History.  A few years ago she followed a passion and found herself back in school for screenwriting.  Ellie wrote and produced plays for the MN Shorts Festival and MN Fringe Festival before relocating to Denver with her husband.  A desire for creative collaboration led her to OMF, where she completed a Video Production and Editing internship.  She is excited to be part of a team that helps tell the stories of our community.

Patrick Gilmore
The purpose of my life is to use my heart, creativity, inspiration, motivation and impact
Evoking the emotion in the stories I tell
Thinking outside of the box

Being receptive to the world around me

Putting my all into every project

Revealing hidden truths

To create a world in which we think differently about the multitude of issues that we face and understand the connections we all share.  I want to craft stories that inspire others to come together, shaping a brighter future for our planet.

More Info:  After completing 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.  This position took him on travels around 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 nonprofits in his hometown of Portland, OR.  He also produced several news segments for National Geographic during this time.  Here at OMF, Patrick is excited to be a member of a passionate, inspired team of filmmakers with whom he can create powerful stories that foster positive change in the world. 

Jiang Zhan
Web Developer

The purpose of my life is to use my perseverance, deep sense of purpose and integrity


Creating intelligent websites and applications to save other’s time

Improving my mom’s English

Eating food from different cultures

To create a world in which people have the right to be taught the truth in regards to history.

Ben Boone
Finance/HR Manager

The purpose of my life is to use my passionate spirit, sense of humor, loyalty, empathy, curiosity and business background


Connecting with others on a personal level

Exploring new cultures, countries, and unmarked trails

Dedicating my time to foundations that bring about positive change

Stretching myself and others around me on a daily basis

Not sweating the small stuff

To create a world in which communities come together to bring about positive change for everybody by working cooperatively, listening to one another with an open mind and with respect to everyone’s opinion; a world that worries a little less about profits and a lot more about people.

More info:  After earning his degree in History with a minor in Business from Texas A&M University, Ben began working as a high school educator in the Greater Houston area.  During his fulfilling time as a teacher, he continued his personal education with a postgraduate degree in Accounting.  Over the last six years he has worked in several settings as an accountant, and was lucky enough to move to Colorado to pursue his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Denver.  Ben loves being part of a dedicated, passionate team and an organization that gives back to the community and spreads the word of positive change.

Shannon Altner
Community Media Coordinator

The purpose of my life is to use my playful spirit, determination, integrity, aesthetic eye 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 moved to Colorado from New York City and is thrilled to be on the OMF team to better serve the community and get people's voices heard.  With a passion for media and theater, she graduated from the University of Florida with a Telecommunications Degree.  Since then she has kept herself busy working and performing in NYC.  In addition to staying socially conscious and active, Shannon enjoys making music with friends, meeting new people, traveling and surprising herself. 

Nicole Marquez
Development Coordinator

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


Investing myself in the projects to which I commit

Engaging with others

Being present

Telling stories

To create a world in which society 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 project, “Because Yes: A Woman’s Right to Voice” while studying at the California State University Monterey Bay.  She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Humanities and Communication, with a concentration in Creative Writing and Social Action.  Since then she has earned her Master of Arts degree at The New School in New York City for Media Studies.  Nicole is enjoying her current adventure in Denver at OMF.

Ginger Harris
AmeriCorps VISTA

The purpose of my life is to use my analytical mind, empathy, curiosity and sense of humor


Connecting with others

Communicating across mediums

Devoting my time to organizations that better my community

Trying new things


To create a world in which all voices are valued; everyone has access to equal opportunities; and people approach others with kindness, compassion, and empathy.

More Info:  Ginger Harris is a Minneapolis native and is thrilled to be on her journey as an Americorps Vista at OMF.  She is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied English Literature and Integrated Studies in Science, Engineering and Society.  She completed a thesis on the various ways modern, mass media consumption contributes to political polarization.  She is passionate about communications, media, and education and enjoys serving the Denver community!

Hayley Adams
AmeriCorps VISTA

The purpose of my life is to use my energy, creativity and perseverance



Getting involved in my community

Challenging my and other's ideologies

To create a world in which positive change can be made on all levels of the Social Ecological Model from the individual to the community, creating impactful policy changes.
More info:  Hayley has lived in several states thoughout the U.S. but has recently found a home in Denver with the Open Media Foundation.  She graduated with a degree in Public Health and Health Education from the University of South Florida.  She is excited to be on board as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and cannot wait to see what the next year has in store. 
Carly Dunning
AmeriCorps VISTA

The purpose of my life is to utilize my passion, intelligence, and dedication





Challenging myself

To create a world in which people use their privilege to create an equitable society, eradicating the systems that create privilege in the first place.

More info: Carly Dunning graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in English Literature, a minor in Film Studies, and certificates in Children’s Literature, Medieval & Renaissance Studies, and Race, Gender, & Sexuality studies. She has spent four years working or volunteering in educational and non-profit capacities. A recent Colorado transplant, Carly hopes to use both her observational and her listening skills in order to better serve the community she recently became a member of. She hopes to increase member satisfaction with the Open Media Foundation and expand the reach of the organization. In her down time, Carly enjoys being either active or inert.