• Bryn Mooser

    Co-Founder

    Bryn is the co-founder of RYOT, the first news website that links every story to an action. He was named one of Esquire Magazine's “2012 Americans of the Year” for his work in Haiti. As Country Director for Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ), Bryn helped build APJ’s secondary school in Port-au-Prince, which now educates 1,400 Haitian youth per year. APJ is a celebrity-backed organization providing education for the very poor in Haiti. Before working in Haiti, Bryn served in the Peace Corps in West Africa and hitchhiked from Bangkok to Berlin. Bryn is also an award-winning film maker. His latest documentary, The Rider And The Storm, premiered in April in NYC, his third consecutive world premiere at TriBeCa Film Festival. Bryn grew up in Los Angeles, New York City and Zimbabwe and speaks Creole, Mandinka and parts of several other African languages. In his spare time, he plays bass and saxophone in the London-based band Proud Mary.

  • David Darg

    Co-Founder

    One of Esquire Magazine’s "2012 Americans of the Year,” David spent the last decade as a first responder and frontline contributor for Reuters, the BBC and CNN, covering some of the world’s largest natural disasters and wars. As Vice President of Operation Blessing International, he has traveled to over 100 countries and is currently based in Haiti. As a filmmaker, David has won numerous awards including a Special Jury Mention at the 2012 Tribeca film festival as Co-Director of Baseball in the Time of Cholera. David grew up in the Middle East and England. After receiving his degree in Philosophy from Oxford University, he moved to Africa to work in the non-profit sector. David loves to surf and play guitar.

  • Molly Swenson

    COO

    Molly joined as employee #1 when RYOT was just 3 people in a living room. She's produced RYOT Films from Kenya to the Arctic to Liberia. Before RYOT, Molly designed, implemented and managed highly-leveraged philanthropic strategies for celebrities such as Ben Stiller, Shakira and Kobe Bryant. While working at The Obama White House, identifying candidates for political appointment, she made it to the Top 50 on Season 10 of American Idol. She has been featured in The New Yorker, The Seattle Times, The Washington Post and been a speaker at Nexus, SXSW and TEDxBerlin.

  • Herve Bizira

    VP of Engineering

    Responsible for all the tech that drives ryot.org, Herve helps RYOT gain a good sense of what technological configurations will best support the vision of the company. He was born in Burundi to parents whom he considers his heroes. Before RYOT, he was a Technical Director at DreamWorks Animations where he led teams of engineers to develop software for $100M+ projects such as Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon.

  • Stacey Leasca

    Deputy Editor

    Stacey Leasca is the deputy editor RYOT News. Before joining the team at RYOT, Stacey was the social media editor at the Los Angeles Times where she ran all social accounts, hosted live chats, and wrote blogs for various sections. Stacey also spent several years in Boston as a breaking news writer for GlobalPost. With 12 years of reporting experience covering local, national and international news, Stacey has found her true love is writing about the oddest stories you can think of. When not in the building, you may find her surfing in Santa Monica.

  • Stash Slionski

    Director of Digital Content

    Stash Slionski is a Director, Cinematographer and Executive Producer based in Los Angeles. Spanning the spectrum of branded content, sports, music videos, documentaries, commercials, and feature films, his work has been recognized by the Emmy's with nominations and several awards. Originally from New York City, Stash honed his style in the arduous and fast paced world of live network television, shooting and producing show opens and features for high profile events like the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, MTV Music Video Awards, Wimbledon, and the Olympics. Stash has collaborated alongside icons as varied as Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, and U2 and has produced brand work with with some of the biggest agencies in the business. Dedicated to socio/eco/environmental causes, Stash has shot in some of the most challenging and remote locations throughout the world, and his passion and unparalleled work ethic have solidified longstanding partnerships with several non-profits and charities which he continues to support.

  • Zachary Tauber

    Front End Web Developer

    A native of Arizona, Zach spent his first twenty-five years living there before making the move out to Los Angeles. Ever since he can remember, he’s been interested in anything technology-related. He followed that path all the way through college by graduating from the University of Arizona with a double major in Management Information Systems and Operations Management. At RYOT, Zach works on the entire web development process, including design, development and deployment and any IT work that may arise. His second passion is electronic dance music. He co-founded EDMHUB.com , featuring everything related EDM music. On weekends, you are guaranteed to spot him at a music show or festival.

  • Phillip Montgomery

    Filmmaker / Creative Director

    An NYU Film School graduate with a professional background in the market research and advertising worlds, Phillip has also written and directed numerous critically acclaimed short films, commercials and music videos spanning both documentary and narrative genres. He was honored with the Special Jury Prize in the shorts program at the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival and was also the recipient of the Cannes 2013 New Director Award for his various works. His first feature documentary titled #ReGENERATION was released in theaters across the nation in May of 2012. Narrated by Acadamy Award-nominee Ryan Gosling, the film explores the state of activism among today's youth. Phillip currently resides in Los Angeles. His other directorial and creative efforts include commercial and branded content work for brands such as Guinness, P&G, Walmart, and G&E.

  • Lacey Uhlemeyer

    Producer & Story Catcher

    Lacey loves finding and giving life to amazing stories that can inspire. She believes in the power of stories and ideas to radically affect change on a global scale. A graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business, Lacey began her career in the non-profit sector working as Project Manager for the African Millennium Foundation. There, she directed projects and worked on the ground throughout Africa advising numerous non-profit initiatives. Inspired to use video as a vehicle for change, she created We Rise, a full service branded content agency working to bolster a brand's social responsibility and cultural impact. Before joining RYOT, she also worked at Stand Up To Cancer, helping produce the star-studded 2014 Telecast, raising over $110 million in one night. When she is not producing, Lacey can most likely be found eating her way through markets in far away lands.

  • Billy Kostka

    Senior Video Editor / Post Production Supervisor

    As a preteen, Billy edited his first skate video with two VHS players and a boombox. Though his tools would evolve through the years, his drive to tell stories with video would never change. He loves working with others to help turn a pile of footage into a cohesive, moving piece, and joined the RYOT team because he strongly believes the company is inspiring change. Billy is a runner, a chips and salsa addict, and an extremely amateur, noisy musician.

  • Eric Pfeiffer

    Associate Editor

    Born and raised in Oregon, Eric spent nearly a decade covering Congress, the White House and political campaigns in Washington, DC. In 2005, he became the first blogger ever credentialed to cover a White House press briefing, helping to expand access and credibility for independent reporters. Since then, his writing has focused on technology, breaking news and cultural trends while always keeping an eye on public policy. But his biggest motivation as a journalist is finding ways to empower the reader to change their own world. Eric believes today’s media is best served from the bottom up. Eric considers Harlan Ellison one of his biggest influences, and in addition to journalism, he has achieved video game excellence, ranking as a Top 10 Worldwide Ms. Pac Man player.

  • Anna Culaba

    Staff Writer

    As a writer, Anna believes that if your story touches someone, whether in a good or bad way, you’re telling a good story. Despite having a college degree in business from Webber International University in Central Florida, Anna has chosen a writing career, preferring to surround herself with people who believe their voices, their words, and their actions can change the world. One of her biggest dreams is to travel beyond the Earth and into space. She is currently detoxing from a lifelong Dr. Pepper-and-Milky-Way habit and she welcomes your support in this time of strife.

  • Ben Roffee

    Staff Writer

    Ben both writes and edits stories, assists with formulating and implementing social media strategy, and periodically gets in front of the camera for RYOT. Born in Venezuela, raised in San Diego, and reluctantly transplanted to Los Angeles, Ben found a loving home away from home with the RYOT family in March of 2014. After picking up a Bachelor's in political science back in 2011, he took a few years to aimlessly wander hot and far-away lands before returning to the states because the IRS told him to stop dodging his student loans. But for how insatiable his lust for travel may be, there's nowhere in the world he'd rather be right now than with RYOT, slangin' cultural activism and empowering young people to shape the world around them.

  • Dougal Henken

    Art Director

    A fusion of man and machine, Dougal was engineered in the frozen wastes of northern New York to be the ultimate creative professional. His development continued at UCLA's Design and Media Arts Labs where his technical abilities and processing speed were honed and refined. Dougal was deployed in numerous design missions throughout China and the US, operating as a creative consultant to equally numerous companies and firms. Now he designs for RYOT, developing all manner of experimental media. When not working, he is in "sleep mode."

  • Hayley Pappas

    RYOT Films

    A graduate of USC, Hayley’s had the privilege of working directly at the intersection of media and social change. She’s taught sex-ed in Uganda, led theater classes for incarcerated youth, developed campaigns for documentary films, and produced a virtual reality short on sexual assault that premiered at Sundance Film Festival. She currently assists in running and fostering the growth of RYOT films, and thrives on bridging the gap between filmmakers and activists. She peaked at age 10 when she starred in a string of Mattel doll commercials, and now she spends her free time with friends and family, and singing showtunes.

  • Stefan Todorovic

    Associate Producer

    Born in Washington, D.C., raised in Los Angeles and educated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism at Regis College in Boston, Stefan's experiences have led him to become a well-rounded specialist in many areas of production. He assists RYOT in editing daily video updates, production of RYOT original series, and writing articles, among other things, and strongly believes that social activism is a responsibility we are obliged to pursue and commit ourselves to. While in college he was a feature writer for Boston College's Independent Newspaper, The Heights, alongside being a visual designer for a multi-million dollar e-commerce retailer, Karmaloop.com. Outside of the office you can find him in any random city with tall buildings, letting loose at concerts, and playing the beautiful game of soccer.

  • Tania Leiva

    Associate Producer

    Originally from the small East Coast town of Meriden, Connecticut, Tania moved to California at 19 to pursue her dream of being a director at the Art Institute of California – Los Angeles. Along the way she found herself interested in camera work, lighting, editing and directing. Her passion for film has led her to work on music videos, documentaries, commercials and short films, as well as her own projects. This passion may or may not have been a factor in her naming her chihuahua Leeloo, after the character from the Luc Besson film, The Fifth Element.

  • Matt Valerio

    Creative Project Manager

    Matt assists Alma Har'el, our Global Creative Director as a Creative Project Manager, helping bring visions to fruition, and helping to curate artistic and musical content for the site. He is a self-made man of many hats: beatmaker, remixer, DJ, compilation curator, art aficionado and video artist.Formerly one-third of weirdo synth-rap group Restiform Bodies, and one-whole nice guy raised in New England, now living in the New Wild West.

  • David Gamboa

    Social Media Director

    A Los Angelino native, David is still a 3rd year in school studying marketing at CSUF. His life exists more online than it does in the physical space. As a social media junkie, David has dabbled in the social media worlds of media, non-profits, sports, photography and tech. He started his own non-profit at the age of 14. He later rocked the Instagram world with jumping pictures, which eventually landed him an internship with Samsung Mobile's digital team overlooking nearly 30 million followers. He also ran an independent case study on the NHL's tumblr presence. He runs on pure passion and couldn't be more excited to be with RYOT.

  • Gareth Seltzer

    Board of Directors

    Social innovation, good works and global interests sum him up. A a producer of RYOT film The Rider in the Storm, Gareth is also focused on preserving historically significant landmarks of Toronto and surrounding areas while advancing technological synergies that make it one of the worlds greatest cities to live in.

  • Martha Rogers

    Board of Directors

    Previously a director of Rogers Wireless Communications Inc. and Rogers Media Inc, Martha is committed to helping causes around the world through the Rogers Foundation and RYOT Foundation. She has been a passionate advocate and supporters of social issues in Haiti for half a decade.