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.

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.

Samantha Taglienti Rodgers
Administration & Development Coordinator

The purpose of my life is to use my loyalty, creativity, cultural pride, and compassion


  • Living with integrity
  • Seeking to excel in all endeavors
  • Always listening before speaking
  • Appreciating each day I am given with the people I love

To create a world where authenticity is paramount and strength of character is admired.

More Info: Samantha received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater from The University of the Arts and also holds a Masters in Arts Development and Program Management from The University of Denver. She is excited to assist Open Media Foundation in achieving its mission and is thrilled to be pursuing her life and career in Denver, CO alongside her husband and pup, Bandit. 

Leo Kacenjar
Director of Web Services

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 has been involved in web technology for over nine years. He got his masters in Digital Media Studies at the University of Denver. He studied the artistic and social potential of technology. At OMF Leo works with nonprofits and government agencies to envision and build technology for public good.

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.

Sam Carlson
Digital Project Manager

The purpose of my life is to learn and understand as much as possible, cultivate close friendships, and help people whenever they need it


  • Reading and learning new things
  • Being open-minded
  • Exploring the world
  • Keeping up with change
  • Lending a hand when someone needs it

To create a world that is more enlightened, patient, and open to new ideas

More info: Sam Carlson graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2011 with a B.S. in web development and computer information systems. He has a development background, but switched into project management while working in Denver. He has worked freelance and pursued entrepreneurial projects and enjoys working for mission and purpose driven organizations.

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.

Brian Hiatt
Chief Technology Officer

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.

Giorgio Ausenda
Video Producer/Editor

The purpose of my life is to inspire, move, excite and empower by telling stories


  • Being unbiased
  • Using a never-ending curiosity
  • Never stop asking
  • Seeing what awaits around every corner

To create a world in which information elevates us all and unlocks our true potential by bringing us closer together

More info: 

Born in London, raised between New York City and Milan, Giorgio fell in love with Colorado at first sight. 

With a background in History, Giorgio has obtained a Master’s Degree in Multimedia Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

During the years, Giorgio has produced footage from the West Bank, South America, Europe, and Cuba, winning the first prize at the University of Colorado's Short Documentary Festival with his work on American citizens who moved to Havana.

His work is based on the production of videos, primarily in a journalistic and documentary form, for a web audience. Giorgio has experience working both behind and in front of the camera as well as editing and post-production. He has taught nonfictional video editing as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and has thorough experience in documentary writing.

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.

Kaye Wattawa
Project Manager

The purpose of my life is to use my curiosity, practicality, and open mind


  • Learning something new every day
  • Giving others the benefit of the doubt
  • Being present and dedicating my attention to the task at hand

To create a world in which all people are equally valued and have the same opportunities, and we continue to find innovative and ethical ways of leveraging technology for the greater good. 

More Info: Kaye has a B.A. in Anthropology and French from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and several years’ experience managing software and web applications. In her free time, she likes to learn about anything and everything, ranging from archaeology to motion graphics to the myriad ways people around the world live their day to day lives. She is excited to be working with the Open.Media team on a product that helps governments be more transparent.

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.

Leslie Welch
DOM Member Support

The Purpose of My Life is to use my curiosity, drive, passion, and resilience


  • Getting to the heart of an issue

  • Analyzing systems

  • Taking the time to listen

  • Being open to new people, cultures, and experiences

To create a world in which people have the ability to better understand the world around them.  A place where people would be able to access knowledge and resources, regardless of societal barriers.

More Info: Leslie graduated with a BA in Arts & Humanities from the Residential College of Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University, as well as a degree in public policy (Go Green!).  Leslie’s experience is at the intersection of civic engagement, social justice, public policy, and media/technology.  At OMF, she hopes to bring technology to the people, particularly to those who don’t normally have access.  She can usually be found with a coffee tumbler in hand.  

Jesse Lockwood
DOM Member Support

The purpose of my life is to expand my sense of joy and expression of unconditional love in all activities.


  • Showing compassion with patience and humility
  • Seeking opportunities to learn
  • Maintaining my personal well being
  • Accepting apparent reality without expectation

To create a world in which all people are free to have their own experience and expression while respecting the wellbeing of others.

More info: Jesse has had a very diverse set of career experiences, including being a Christian Minister, Construction Worker, Loan Officer, Big Rig Salesman and Cannabis Cultivator. All while developing an array of Artistic and Musical skills. After several years of homelessness and soul searching he turned his attention to learning filmmaking where he continues to focus to this day. Jesse is happy to be of service to an organization that is empowering the expression of the common person.

Chris Keeling
Sales Manager, Open Media Project
The purpose of my life is to be present in every encounter and to be optimistic and driven
  • Creating Art
  • Constantly seeing the good in the world
  • Learning
  • Helping others
  • Being accessible 
To create a world in which seeing the good in one another becomes second nature 
More Info: Chris moved to Colorado in 2016.  He was the VP of Sales for an educational, International performance company before joining OMP.  Before that, he worked as a Regional Sales Manager focused on getting schools, non-profits, and community groups to travel and experience the world.  
He received his business administration degree in Phoenix Arizona and went to high school in Salzburg Austria.  Growing up he bounced around North America, Micronesia, and the Middle East.  He is passionate about music, politics, and the arts and believes in the power of community and family. 
Jameson Courville
AmeriCorps VISTA

The Purpose of My Life is to use my adventureness, creativity, dedication, and empathy to empower those who lack the means to tell their stories


  • Creating Media
  • Laughing with Others
  • And Globetrotting

To Create a World in which everyone receives equitable opportunities to succeed; where open and compassionate minds resolve differences; and where our stories bind us to one another.

More info: Jameson graduated from Colorado Film School and Cornell College with degrees in Screenwriting and Creative Writing, and has experience in television and film production. He is an avid traveller, and has driven to Alaska from Colorado, toured the European continent, and personally visited Yellowstone National Park at least 27 times in the last ten years.

James Boyce
AmeriCorps VISTA

The purpose of my life is to dispel negative myths in my community


  • Asking questions
  • Generating conversations
  • Writing
  • Poetry/Story/Music
  • Participating right along with my peers in strengthening community

To create a world where everyone’s default attitude toward their neighbor is trust, acceptance and love.

More info: James is hungry to ‘know’. He loves understanding information, community unity and peace. He is an author published in numerous publications in the Greater Denver Area. He also has a passion for playing music, expressed through the guitar. He feels tremendous gratitude to be a part of the Open Media Foundation family and anticipates being a productive member of the OMF as an AmeriCorp VISTA. He received his Associates Degree in Music from the Community College of Denver. He is presently working on a degree in Philosophy from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Joslyn Dorrelle
Media Job Readiness AmeriCorps VISTA

The purpose of my life is to gain a wealth of knowledge and use wisdom acquired overtime to empower and educate people around the globe.


  • Sharing stories through various media
  • Fostering meaningful relationships with communities outside my local and personal sphere
  • Enjoying every moment

To create a world where understanding is achieved, community is appreciated and accountability means something to everyone.

More info: Joslyn graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and is currently pursuing Masters in Nonprofit Management from Johnson & Wales University. Though Joslyn is a Denver native, she has produced content for Greeley Unexpected, WDIV News 4 Detroit, WCOV FOX 20 Montgomery, Alabama Public Television, among others. Joslyn hopes to help build capacity for the voiceless in low income and minority communities by equipping them with the essential tools needed to obtain journalism careers in large markets.