In addition to our Directors, we would like to acknowledge the contributions and deep support from Joseph Chiu, Lindsay Stuart and Kent Nichols.
Tara Tiger Brown is co-founder of LA Makerspace and Represent.la to help connect and promote the Los Angeles tech startup community. She currently serves as Technology Director for the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, Connected Learning Cooperative and Advisor to Born This Way Foundation. Brown has held every job title available in the software industry at numerous institutions and companies including USC, UC Irvine, Shazam, Topspin, and Microsoft. She has been known to blog on Forbes and was recently named a Los Angeles "Power Mom.".
Tara’s speaking engagements include Rhizome, init(together), General Assembly, SXSW, OSCON, Mozilla Fest, Fun Conf, Farmhouse Conf, BUFF Film Festival, Hollywood 3.0 Forum, Transmedia Hollywood 3.
Producer, Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Blue Rider Entertainment, Inc., Blue Rider Pictures and Vumanity Media
Jeff Geoffray is a motion picture producer and executive with a deep knowledge of all facets of filmmaking, including financing, development, production, special effects, post-production and distribution. His passions include his family, his birthplace (Louisiana), music and “the business” of storytelling. He is one of the founders of Blue Rider Pictures, one of Hollywood’s most prolific, long established, film production companies.
Since 1999, Geoffray has been developing a product called Vumanity that can help producers in a way altogether different than bridge financing. The product is a platform for creating truly social video. Vumanity allows its users to create talk shows that can approach broadcast quality with their webcams. The ‘secret sauce’ of the technology involves algorithms that automatically edit the shows into an
attractive format that is easy to customize with your own brand.
Jeff is also a musician whose single, Bring Me Rain, from his album First Barbecue reached #14 on the Adult Contemporary Charts. His day job has kept him promoting his second album, Brand New Day. He met his wife Marcy in the same week in 1983 that he met his business partner, Walter. Jeff and Marcy have now been married since 1989 and they are blessed with two great kids.
Entrepreneur & Educator, A Mother’s Haven
Teresa Gonczy is an entrepreneur and educator who wants to help the next generation of kids feel capable of changing the world. She has owned and managed several successful brick-and-mortar businesses, as well as helped to start a charter elementary school.
She is enthusiastic about encouraging kids to learn through real-life, hands-on projects – to actually ‘make’ and ‘do’, rather than just read and watch.
Teresa studied at math and computer science at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and cognitive science and child development at University of California: San Diego.
Ariel Levi Simons
Teacher, The Wildwood School
Ariel Levi Simons is a physics teacher at the Wildwood school in west Los Angeles, where he also manages a student research program. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology he went to University of California, studying physics and education before graduating with both a science teaching credential and masters in education. His teaching career started with teaching high school math and science in charter and private schools in the Los Angeles area as well as English as a second language in Seoul.It was during these experiences he practiced developing various curricula based around his experiences as an undergraduate and graduate researcher. Later this idea grew from building various science courses entirely around research projects to building a course around what students would want to research. Working with his wife, and other members of the Science Teachers And Research (STAR) network, he coordinated a water quality monitoring and mapping project with a number of high schools along the California coast. This experience, in addition to being involved with the Los Angeles-based engineering and artists group CRASH Space, has formed the basis for his involvement with Safecast in their efforts to establish a community-based radiation monitoring network for Japan following the meltdown at Fukushima. Ariel is currently involved in expanding a student research network in Los Angeles, expanding Safecast to include a variety of environmental data such as air quality, and is currently managing a community lab at LA Makerspace for students in Los Angeles to develop their own projects.
Levi hosts the monthly Citizen Science meetup.