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
  • Traveling
  • Writing
  • 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.

Peter DiBari
Chief Operating Officer

The purpose of my life is to use my passion, energy and thoughtfulness


  • Engaging with the people in all my communities
  • Discovering and learning
  • Challenging myself and others

To create a world where everyone feels empowered ownership, and the drive to create the world they’d like to live in.

More Info: Peter has a BA from Connecticut College, and an MBA from Babson College. He has worked in non-profits, startups, and large organizations, and has a history of technology and organizational operations experience.

Kate Mason bio pic
Kate Mason
Account Director

The purpose of my life is to use my passion, conscience, and sense of humor
  • Keeping an open mind
  • Asking questions
  • Showing gratitude on a daily basis
  • Traveling the world and meeting new people
  • Spending my free time outside on mountains, trails, and rivers
  • Practicing empathy and compassion
To create a world where all people feel equally respected, heard, and included as members of the greater community. Where happiness and health are paramount in creating a naturally sustainable, thriving world.
More Info: Kate brings a decade of account management and digital production experience to OMF. After earning her degree in Media Studies and Documentary Film from Pitzer College, Kate made the jump to Colorado for the fresh air, hoppy beers and endless outdoor adventures. After working with agencies, production companies and local and international NGOs, Kate is excited to combine her love of media and advocacy as OMF’s Director of Account Services.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Brian Hiatt
Senior Developer | Cofounder Open Media Project

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 compassionate, 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. Brian is currently focused on helping governments better engage their citizens through the Open Media Project SaaS platform. He loves spending time with his 5 year old son, wife, and mountain biking.

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.

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.

Lina Gibson
Community Media Coordinator

The purpose of my life is to use my empathy, compassion, love, and inquisitive nature


  • Showing kindness to all beings
  • Sharing in laughter while still being there during the hard times
  • Seeking knowledge and creating an environment conducive to learning
  • Seeing the best in others and helping them see it in themselves

To create a world in which all people feel heard and accepted; a world in which both physical and emotional needs are met; a world in which each person can develop and use their talents to express their stories.

More info: Lina has always been fascinated by language and communication; they have a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the Ohio State University where they focused primarily on lesser-documented and dying languages. They have worked as an adult education instructor, primarily teaching literacy, numeracy, and overall high school knowledge for the General Education Development (GED) test. Lina is excited to be working in a place that values the intelligence and voice of every person.

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.

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. 

Ellie Schmidt
Nonprofit Video Production Manager

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


  • Exploring
  • 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.

Melissa Kerr
Senior UX and Visual Designer

The purpose of my life is to use my artistic, analytical and friendly nature
  • Getting energized with new ideas and challenges 
  • Collaborating with a great team
  • Chasing finish lines
  • And having fun
To create a world that has enthusiasm for life and put more empathy and simplicity into our daily interactions.
More Info: Melissa earned a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design from La Roche College in 2002 and has had the pleasure of working with clients, agencies and in-house organizations on both the East and West coasts. Throughout her career, she has been hired to empower brands through various forms of visual communication that not only look beautiful, but perform exceptionally! Melissa brings enthusiasm, collaboration and a design for good attitude to all her clients at the Open Media Foundation! 
Carly Dunning
AmeriCorps VISTA

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


  • Writing
  • Educating
  • Collaborating
  • 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.

Jaina Sorrel
AmeriCorps VISTA
The purpose of my life is to leave the world a better place than when I arrived
  • Continuous growth and introspection
  • Spreading compassion, joy, and love
  • Being open minded and accepting of new perspectives
  • Sharing my thoughts and insights
  • Making technology work for people
  • Being mindful in my daily interactions
To create a world beyond ego and hegemony in which all life may seek its own truth