Meet the people behind Causes
The Causes team is made up of technologists and designers, illustrators and storytellers, ideators and innovators. And though our backgrounds run the gamut, we’re united behind one singular belief: that anyone, anywhere, deserves the best tools possible to better their world.
Matt Mahan President & CEO
Matt Mahan is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of Causes, the world's largest and most powerful platform for social change. He previously managed business development at Causes, creating new revenue products and overseeing thousands of corporate and nonprofit relationships. Matt has been with the company for four years. Before working in tech, Matt taught in San Jose, CA through Teach for America and, prior to that, did economic development work in Bolivia through Harvard's Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship. Matt graduated from Harvard College, where he was elected student body president, and is a native of Watsonville, CA, home to the world's best strawberries.
Sean Parker Founder and Chairman
Sean Parker, Chairman and Founder of Causes, is an entrepreneur with a record of launching genre-defining companies that reinvent ways to spread information online. In 1999, at the age of 19, Sean co-founded Napster with Shawn Fanning and changed how people think about and share music. In 2001, Sean co-founded Plaxo, pioneering viral engineering technology for updating contact information. Sean served as Plaxo’s president until 2004, around which time he joined with Mark Zuckerberg to launch the online social network Facebook. Sean was the founding president of Facebook from 2004-2005, again turning a technology start-up into an industry giant. Sean is also a Managing Partner of venture capital firm Founders Fund, where he looks for and supports this spirit of innovation in up-and-coming developers.
Joe Green Founder and Executive Board Member
Joe Green is the co-Founder of Causes, the largest online platform for activism. Joe’s approach to building online tools is rooted in his offline experience as a grassroots political organizer for federal, state, and local campaigns. Born and raised in Santa Monica, CA, he first became engaged in the political process while serving on the local public school board. Joe graduated from Harvard College in 2006 with a degree in Social Studies.
Christopher Chan Co-Founder & VP, Product
Chris leads product strategy and design at Causes.com, and in seven years has helped grow the company from a few scribbles on a whiteboard to the world's largest platform for social change. Chris earned his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science at Stanford University.
Jimmy Kittiyachavalit Co-Founder & VP, Engineering
Jimmy leads engineering operations at Causes.com He believes that building out an amazing core product starts with creating a thriving work culture for creativity and ingenuity, and has spent the last seven years fostering that environment for the entire company. Jimmy studied Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at UC Berkeley.
James Windon VP, Business Development
James hails from Sydney, Australia and heads up the money-making division of Causes. In a former life, he worked as a corporate lawyer and in international development for the World Trade Organization in Switzerland. James graduated from Georgetown, and also holds degrees in arts and law from the University of Sydney. He knows much more about horse racing than you.
Aaron Schiller Director of Business Development
Aaron brings to Causes his many years of experience working with brands on their philanthropic, CSR and sustainability initiatives. He specializes in creating engaging campaigns that bring consumers nonprofits and corporations closer together. He is full of enthusiasm and passion doing what he can to make a difference in the world. Prior to his work with Brands, Aaron was a high school special education teacher.
Adam Olsen Software Engineer
Bio coming soon
Aiden Scandella Engineer
When he was ten years old, Aiden captured a leprechaun. Excited to wish for infinite wishes, Aiden was disappointed to discover it was not a leprechaun after all, but a deceased raccoon that had been spray painted green by some overzealous St. Patrick’s Day revelers. Aiden decided to make a wish anyway, which came true, when that raccoon agreed to become a pretty sweet looking coonskin cap.
Alejandro De La Cruz Community Manager
“Shalom,” people say when greeting Alejandro, because they think he’s Jewish. He’s not, though. Or he might be. It’s hard to tell, because he wears a yarmulke with those little sombrero danglies hanging from it. And when he orders a burrito he’ll be really firm that there’s no pork in it. And when he says, “oy vey,” one gets the impression that he said it with an upside down exclamation point at the beginning, as in “¡Oy vey!” It’s very confusing.
Alex Grinton Senior Copywriter
Bio coming soon
Alex Royea User Experience Researcher
When we found Alex bundled up in a basket on our doorstep, our first thought was, “free baby!” Our second thought was, “why is this baby so huge?” Alex, it turned out, wasn’t a baby at all, but an almost full-grown adult. And not just any almost-adult, but one who was a perfect fit to be our new marketing associate. The last one we had was an actual baby, and while good at her job, she literally needed to be spoon fed. Alex can eat on his own.
Amanda Swan Campaigns Manager
Bio coming soon
Anne Diaz Director, Product Research
Anne leads the team of data scientists, usability specialists, and user experience researchers that support the creation, development and design of features and campaigns on Causes.com. Previously, Anne worked as a consultant for the Taproot Foundation, working with Fortune 500 corporations to create robust pro bono employee engagement programs, as well as managing Taproot's award-winning pro bono programs in San Francisco and Los Angeles to deliver $6.3M worth of consulting to the nonprofit sector. Anne holds a BA in Urban Studies with an emphasis in Community Organizing from Stanford University.
Anuj Kucheria Director of Sales
Bio coming soon
Becca Berg Lead Usability Specialist
As the vanguard of Causes' Product Usability, Becca would be delighted to meet and get to know you, if she weren't an escaped next-generation military robot incapable of understanding human emotion. But what she lacks in ability to feel sunlight on her face or take joy in children's laughter, she makes up for with a variety of persuasive marketing strategies that are mostly sanctioned by the UN. Unable to return to her production batch, all Becca simulates wanting is to know friendship before her fusion core winds down in approximately 2.3 million years.
Ben Wiseley Software Engineer
When meeting Ben, you should know the following: 1) Ben is seeing your future when he shakes your hand. If you see a tear form in his eye, that’s a bad sign. 2) Within seconds of hearing your name, Ben will have forgotten it and will be convinced it is Tandy. If your name actually is Tandy, he will think it’s Mitch. Ben is too busy to deal with names. 3) Ben will think it was nice to meet you even if you don’t think it was. This is because Ben loves all of humanity.
David Gouldin Software Engineer
When David started at Causes, we had half a dozen different guys named David working here. Now we only have the one. Nobody is entirely sure where any of the others went, but each time one of them vanished, this David was found in the bathroom, trembling and wringing his hands. Some people suspect murder, others suspect manslaughter. The truth will never be known because the bodies have not been found.
Elliot Block Software Engineer
No one really knows how Elliot got here. He stepped in one day, rain-soaked, the fresh spray of the Puget Sound still dripping from his captain's hat. Perhaps it was the long years at sea that drove him mad. By night he haunts the shores, eyes ablaze as the stars, building castles made of sand and cackling gleefully into the night.
Emily Leathers Product Manager
Emily works so close to the Causes office that, with a pair of binoculars, she can peer from her desk into her apartment window to see if there are any burglars. Usually, there aren’t. Or if there are, they’re not actual burglars as much as they are drawings of burglars taped to the opposite end of the binoculars as a practical joke. Emily loves practical jokes. Her favorite is the one where someone emails her, claiming that she has won an inheritance from a Royal Prince and instead she’s bilked for everything she has. “Ha ha ha. Good one,” she says. “Okay, now fess up. Who’s got my life savings?”
Garrett Kravitz Account Manager
We won Garrett at an arcade. After earning several skee-ball tickets, we took them to the prize counter and asked the attendant what we could get. “Me,” Garrett said, pushing the attendant aside. “Please, take me with you,” he pleaded, looking over his shoulder. It was confusing, because a sign clearly stated that only items in the showcase could be awarded. Sensing our confusion, Garrett climbed inside the showcase and asked, “Now will you take me?” It was a choice between him and a pretty cool kazoo, but when he started to cry, the choice was easy.
Greg Hurrell Engineer
Greg got off to a musical start at the age of 14 as a drum roadie for the Christopher Morris Band. However as a tour ended in Los Angeles, he got a glimpse of Frank Zappa's Black Page and promptly switched to keyboards. Greg immediately showed tremendous talent, using nearly 9 of his 10 fingers, and followed freelance work on a circuitous route through Basque country during the Tinsel Town Rebellion, finally rocking and rolling to a stop in the Bay Area. For tax purposes, he lives in Joe's Garage, building Causes by day and tutoring local youth in cat twirling during his off-hours. His favorite movie, Futurama episode, and class of witty remark are all The Sting.
Hao Su Software Engineer
Hao do you do?
Henric Trotzig Software Engineer
Ingen av oss talar svenska, men inte tycker att det är rättvist att Henric tvingas tala engelska (även om han är flytande), så tills någon lär svenska, kommunicerar vi med Henric använder mest gester, och för mer komplexa begrepp, online översättare . Tyvärr, online översättare är ofullkomliga, vilket har lett till massor av förvirring. Det är därför Henric tillbringade sin första dag på Causes tänker han var vår nya VD.
Hillary Lehr Campaigns Manager
Bio coming soon
Jade Batstone Campaigns Associate
Jade can speak seventeen languages fluently, but never managed to learn French. She’s tried. She even bought a book on it once, but once the bookmark fell out and she had to start over, she just gave up. Now, whenever she orders a croissant, she mumbles and covers her mouth to avoid embarrassment. “I’d like one crmmbnt, please,” she’ll say, wondering what the proper pronunciation is and getting defensive when the person on the other side of the counter says, “pardon me?” This is why Jade is always going on and on about the virtues of Esperanto, hoping to finally unite the world.
James Rogers Community Manager
As the third and newest James in the office (counting Jimmy and not counting Jimmy James because he is fictional), James is easily confused with someone else. That may be why, as a child, his parents left him at the mall and instead took home a young boy also named James. Our James wandered around until the mall closed, when a security guard named James found James, and James and James decided to travel the country together as a musical duo named James and James Jams. They broke up when James died. The other James, not James.
Jason Putorti Creative Director
Bio coming soon
Jenn Ryan Executive Assistant
Jenn has on more than one occasion averted international catastrophe. Indeed, the plots of many bestselling political thrillers (you may recognize the name Ryan) have been based on her autobiography / graphic novel, A Jenntle Touch. Jenn joined the Causes team "to guide and defend what I see as the fastest-growing global power in the world today." Her skills in espionage have not gone unnoticed, with no fewer than three assassinations thwarted by her sharp mind and steady hand.
Jenny Griffith Visual Designer
Underwhelmed by the state-of-the-art in cupcake decoration, Jenny dropped right into the thick of things, mixing it up with new techniques and cutting-edge imagery. Describing her work as “gonzo journalism for your mouth”, she pushed poignant and sometime psychadelic cupcakes past the capabilities of traditional frosting methods and began to employ Photoshop and 3D printing to construct her pieces. In 2007, the network of Griffith Frosteries had become so deeply embedded in San Francisco's Mission district that it hampered gang operations, leading to a series of arsons and missing persons. Jenny struck back with the assistance of the FBI and a brilliant cupcake-aided sting operation, ultimately crippling 35% of the city's criminal supply chains. Victory in hand, Jenny sold her baked goods empire for an undisclosed sum and devoted her artistic efforts to more charitable means of ending California's underground violence.
Jeremy Dunck Software Engineer
Jeremy was born in Napa, lived in Texas for 25 years, and is happy to be back in the Bay Area. Jeremy is an engineer and tries to use technology for social good. He's done a wide variety of development including early mobile, Windows, and web, and worked in companies large and small. He prefers small organizations, ownership, variety, and a meaningful mission. He's been involved in Django since its release and loves teaching and making things.
Jessica Dahl Campaigns Director
Jessica Dahl is the Director of Campaigns at Causes.com. She oversees partnerships with high-profile activists and nonprofit partners to run successful campaigns on the site. Prior to joining Causes, Jessica was a Campaign Director at the Ad Council where she oversaw multiple public service advertising campaigns. Among several award winning campaigns, she managed the Haiti Disaster Relief campaign with the Red Cross that revolutionized "text to donate" fundraising and contributed to over $34 million in donations. Jessica holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Missouri and resides in the Bay Area with her husband.
Joe Lencioni Software Engineer
Joe comes to us from Minnesota, a place he assures us is real. No one in the office has ever heard of it, and we’re all too busy to look it up, but Joe seems trustworthy enough. In fact, he’s so trustworthy that he convinced a completely real woman to marry him. And to move across the country with him. Completely unrelated, Joe is also an accomplished hypnotist, and the most handsome, talented person in the office.
John Skopis Systems Operations
What attracted John most to Causes, was our elevators. John had never been in one before and he just loved it. Sure, he’d seen elevators before, but he’d always been more of a stair guy. He still loves stairs. Now he’s lobbying for us to install an escalator - the best of both worlds. We told John there’s no such thing as an escalator that goes up 21 floors. John told us there’s no such thing as a person who says no to him.
Josh Persky Star Searcher
Referred to by last name only, Persky has spent a vast majority of his 28 years fascinated by the various people and places that comprise our global community. Born and raised in Los Angeles, and a proud graduate of the University of Arizona, he has spent the last six years working in professional sports. Josh has two missions at Causes: to better communities on a local and global level through acts of selflessness and charity, and to reassure his Dodger-loving friends back home that he will never, ever, ever support the Giants. Ever.
Justin Michael Account Executive
As someone with two first names, Justin has a natural disdain for people with two last names. That’s why he spent weeks picketing outside of what he thought was Harrison Ford’s house (it was a Ford dealership). Justin ended up on the local news station, where they mistakenly identified him as Michael Justin. Enraged, Justin picketed outside what he thought was the news station, but was actually only a newsstand.
Kellen MacFadyen Community Team Associate
Kellen is from Alaska, bringing us one step closer to our goal of having each state of the country represented by a member of our staff. It also brings us one step closer to having a team composed entirely of people named Kellen – an idea Kellen proposed on her first day. “If we all had the same name there would be no more embarrassing name mix-ups,” she explained. There’s no arguing with that.
Kevin Suer Director, Product Management
Bio coming soon
Kim Mason Software Engineer
Kim Mason, originally from Australia, now calls America his home. Having turned his back on the land that raised him to become an American Engineer, he has decided to prove his love for America by having the face of every President tattooed around his waist. He’s calling it his “President belt.” He hopes to live long enough to have President suspenders and perhaps a President ascot. When asked about Australia, Kim will touch his fingers to your lips and say, “No. Never again.”
Lann Martin Software Engineer
Lann was born in an off-the-grid cabin in the woods. Standing 6’5”, it is rumored that one of his parents was a bear, although neither of his parents will admit to having ever made love to one. Suspiciously, Lann refuses to submit to a DNA test and growls when backed into a corner. One day, he bit a coworker who was later diagnosed with rabies. Coincidence? Probably. Most people in the office have rabies anyway.
Marc McCole Product Manager
During our annual Causes Talent Show, Marc displayed his talent of being able to ride a horse while blindfolded. Because he didn’t have a horse available, he instead demonstrated by riding a beer keg onto which he’d taped a horse’s tail. When someone asked why he carries a horse’s tail around with him, Marc explained that not every horse gets to stay alive forever. Then Marc started sobbing and his tear-soaked blindfold fell off, as he muttered something about how much he missed "Mr. Daisy."
Mark Wasserman Director of Visual Design
Most of Mark’s toes are named Mark Jr., but the tenth is named Get Off My Foot. This is because Mark hates having more than nine of anything, which explains why he stopped at nine children, nine cars, and nine lobotomies. It’s also his explanation for donating one of his thumbs to science. Although local rumors suggest that the real reason was because it reminded him too much of his other thumb, which he hates for reasons he won’t go into. As of today, he hasn’t been stupid enough to donate both thumbs.
Marty Schneider Office Manager
Unable to grow a proper beard, Marty sports a number of fake beards he’s collected over the years. From evil twin to post-apocalyptic hobo, he has a beard for every occasion. What he doesn’t have are any occasions. Weekends are spent alone, usually just standing in front of the mirror, trying on one beard after another. First he’ll put on Gerry (he’s named all his beards), then he’ll put on Patricia. Once he woke up wearing Penny even though he was pretty sure he’d fallen asleep wearing Pete. This only reinforced his delusion that his beards are living beings, possessed by the souls of the creatures who died to make them. Marty’s favorite beard is Ellen. Sometimes they go out together.
Matt Wilson VP, Impact Partnerships
Matt leads the outreach, campaigning and technology efforts for the organizations that create change on Causes.com. Previously, Matt led the Accounts team at Salsa Labs, a leader in online organizing tech for nonprofits. He also directed the nonprofit and political sector at Mobile Commons, a mobile marketing startup. Before that he built partner programs that integrated innovative tech and leading consulting firms into the companies Convio and GetActive. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in Classics, Matt worked throughout the country on four presidential campaigns.
Melissa Pak Community Manager
It’s not Melissa’s height (she’s nine feet tall) that makes her a great addition to our office, or her scent (she smells like bubble gum), but the fact that she is in truth, a pair of children - one on the shoulders of the other, disguised as an adult. When we first discovered this, we felt betrayed, but that quickly passed when we realized that we'd doubled our luck: Melissa #1 works during the day, while Melissa #2 works nights, so we always get to experience the joy that is Melissa.
Miche Capone Product Manager
Bio coming soon
Nancy Smith Visual Designer
Nancy has frequently been mistaken for figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. The most unfortunate instance of this identity confusion was on January 5th, 1994, when our Nancy suffered a busted leg at the hands of Jeff Gillooly. To this day she still has night terrors, and awakens in a sweat screaming, “Gillooly! Gillooly!” The one thing Nancy has learned from this is that she needs to be more selective about when she chooses to wear a Nancy Kerrigan mask.
Nebojsa Petrovic Mobile Engineer
Bio coming soon
Nick Magel Campaigns Manager
Before coming to Causes, Nick worked primarily as a discount Dick Van Patten impersonator. Most people don’t have use for a Dick Van Patten impersonator regardless of how reasonable the cost, but one elderly woman did, and it was that lone client that kept Nick employed for over a decade. “Now do Tom Bradford!” “Now do Sid Glacken!” “Now do Market Clerk!” These were the only phrases Nick heard for most of his adult life. Completely coincidentally, Ms. Acerno’s passing coincided with our need for an office Dick Van Patten impersonator. Now he’s all ours.
Noah Silas Engineer
It's not easy being one of the Huldufólk, but Noah manages well. Typically viewed with suspicion, the Huldufólk are frequently blamed for machines malfunctioning or small items vanishing and reappearing in a different place than you swear you left them. To avoid trouble, Noah keeps his desk empty of clutter, though he does have an odd knack for remembering where you put down your sunglasses.
Phil Patriarca Senior Account Manager
A recent MBA graduate, Phil joins us from the Golden Gate Park University, Panhandle Campus, where he learned that “it is far better to make change than beg for it.”
Preston Guillory Software Engineer
If you unzip Preston’s face, a slightly sweaty Joan Rivers will pop out. Ask her what she’s doing inside Preston and she’ll explain, “There is no Preston, and there never was, you fool.” Then she’ll zip herself back up and continue coding. It’s not a surprise that Preston is actually a major celebrity who wants to secretly pursue a new career; the surprise is that Preston/Joan can write a database server in assembly.
Rocky Beach Community Manager
Rocky is not rocky at all. His smooth, almost cloud-like skin is a pleasure to touch and often becomes the subject of water cooler conversations. “I brushed against Rocky in the elevator,” an engineer will say, smiling. Rocky was twice voted Smoothest Surface by an impromptu gathering of people on the street and sometimes his clothes slide right off as though he’s covered in butter.
Rohan Dang Product Manager
Rohan loves silk. Like a lot. Like too much, actually. All his clothes are silk, which sounds extravagant, but when you realize he only owns one outfit (a silk jumpsuit), it makes his dedication to an all-silk wardrobe seem more reasonable if not a bit misguided. He’s been trying to raise silkworms for years in the hopes of creating his own silk, but the problem is he loves the taste of silk worms too much to refrain. He is his own worst enemy.
Ryan Sapper Talent Acquisition
When we announced our search for an in-house recruiter, Ryan took the initiative by recruiting himself right off the street. He simply claimed a desk and announced that he’d made his first hire: himself. None of us had ever seen someone make their way through the hiring process so quickly - a testament to Ryan’s skills. Within minutes of starting, Ryan was put to the test, being asked all kinds of questions such as, “Who are you?” and “How did you get past security?” “Your recruiter hired me,” he replied. His story checked out.
Sara Vera Data Analyst
Bio coming soon
Shane da Silva Software Engineer
Shane initially began at Causes as an intern, and when he left to complete his degree, we begged him not to go. Now he’s returned as an actual employee and we’re happy to have him back. Really happy, actually, because in his absence we had constructed a fake Shane composed mostly of cardboard boxes, some tape, and a squirrel. It was a poor substitute that could accomplish only some of the work of actual Shane, and would often bite coworkers.
Shannon Riley Account Executive, Business Development & Sales
Having spent several years in advertising in New York's Big Apple, Shannon brings to Causes her skills in working with brands and their marketing campaigns. Shannon is responsible for money-making by working with Brands on their Cause and Philanthropic initiatives. Although she often complains of missing the humid summers, sweaty pits, and wintertime snow banks, she loves the new city she calls her home, her amazing teammates she calls family and her work that contributes to creating change in the world.
Syd Fleischer Director of Community & Support
An east coast transplant from Bethesda, Maryland, Syd earned a B.A. in Religious Studies from Pomona College, focusing in postmodern Jewish philosophy and aesthetics. Syd brings a range of skills and interests to the Causes team, particularly her expertise as a wrangler — of horses, cattle, small children, sailboats, larger children, ultimate Frisbee players, software engineers, and millions of Causes users. She also boasts the most truthful team bio at Causes.
Thomson Nguyen Data Scientist
As a Data Scientist, people are often surprised to see that Thomson is not wearing a lab coat. They’re even more surprised to see that he’s not wearing anything at all, and standing in their kitchen at 3 AM. But that’s just who Thomson is. He likes to surprise people. He’s even surprised himself before, like the time he jumped out of a closet, spotted himself in a mirror, thought his reflection was a burglar, then screamed and jumped back into the closet.
Tony Wooster Software Engineer
Tony loves beans. All kinds of beans. What he loves more than beans are things that are bean-shaped, like the human kidney. What he’s always wanted is to have one of his kidneys removed and put on display. “Then my family will see what awesome kidneys I have, and they’ll regret treating me like dirt,” Tony said tearfully, to a confused audience at the 2011 Portland Kidney Bean Expo. So far no doctors have been willing to electively remove one of Tony’s kidneys, so if you have any cheap scalpels for sale, he would love to hear from you.
Valerie Brown VP, Marketing
Valerie leads marketing strategy, publicity, social media and audience growth for Causes.com. Previously, Valerie led consumer and digital marketing efforts for brands such as The Bravo Network and Time Out New York. While at Bravo, Valerie served as part of the team that relaunched the network in 2005, activating the brand’s first digital marketing and social media, as well as developing multi-platform strategies that launched franchises such as Project Runway, Top Chef and The Real Housewives.