YES! Staff

Meet the people who make YES!

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Bill Buzenberg, Vice President and Director of Strategic Initiatives

Bill became Executive Director of the Center for Public Integrity in January 2007. He has been a journalist and news executive at newspapers and in public radio for more than 35 years. He was Vice President of News for National Public Radio, as well as an NPR foreign affairs correspondent and London bureau chief from 1978-1997. He was responsible for launching Talk of the Nation, as well as the expansion of All Things Considered and the extension of NPR's newscasts services to 24 hours a day. He was also Senior Vice President of News at American Public Media / Minnesota Public Radio from 1998-2006. He also began Public Insight Journalism, an innovative use of technology to draw knowledge from the audience. A graduate of Kansas State University and former Peace Corp Volunteer, Buzenberg has also been a fellow at the University of Michigan, the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

 

Clo Copass, Editorial Manager

cloantha copassClo joined the YES! staff in the fall of 2013. A long-time YES! reader, she’s excited about the opportunity to be part of the YES! team. She has a professional background in historic preservation and, prior to a stint as an at-home parent, worked to preserve a sense of place in King County’s rapidly developing rural areas. She has been a dedicated volunteer at the Odyssey multi-age school on Bainbridge Island. Clo and her family enjoy biking and exploring the Pacific Northwest from the mountains to the shores. She earned a BA in History from Stanford University and a MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn, Editorial Director

Tracy DunnAfter 20 years as newspaper editor and art director, Tracy joined YES! in 2006, in time to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a redesign and reinvigoration. She works with both the Editorial Team and the Audience Development Team to bring to life the powerful ideas of YES! with photos and graphics. Tracy's favorite hobby these days is to use her home and family on Bainbridge Island as a test kitchen for the magazine's ideas. She has learned to commute by bicycle, grow organic vegetables, raise chickens and children, freecycle, de-corporatize her money, and vote.


Jing Fong, Education Outreach ManagerJing Fong

In May 2008, Jing joined YES! as its education outreach manager. She was drawn to the publication because of its mission to inform, inspire and empower people to work for positive change. Prior to joining YES! Jing was a senior public affairs consultant for a Northwest public relations firm and an education policy analyst with the Washington State Senate Democratic Caucus. She has freelanced as an editor, copywriter and consultant, and has done community and media outreach for various organizations and companies. Jing cherishes the three times she’s lived in the U.K. through her husband’s Fulbright Teacher Exchanges. Outside of work, Jing enjoys her two book groups, sweating at the gym, and traveling to nearby and faraway places with her family. Jing lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband Barry and her children, Isabelle and Keats. She has a BA in Political Science and a BA in Speech Communications from the University of Washington.


Yessenia Funes, Assistant Editor

Yessenia joined YES! in 2015 after graduating from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She's a New Yorker at heart. She both writes and edits for the print team. Before heading to the Pacific Northwest, Yessenia worked alongside The New York Times editors and photographers for its Student Journalism Institute in Arizona. She loves traveling to all corners. She has also freelanced for Grist.org and USA TODAY College. Though a journalist at heart, Yessenia is also very much an environmentalist. She has a second degree in environmental studies. She loves bikes, birds, and beer, but her true passion is environmental justice. Yessenia hopes to join her co-workers in building a healthier and just world for today's and tomorrow's children.

 

Susan GleasonSusan Gleason, Media and Outreach Manager

Susan joined YES! in March of 2003. With nearly twenty years as a media activist, media-maker, trainer, and community organizer, she maintains an unyielding commitment to the importance of independent and community media. Susan was involved for several years with the Seattle Independent Media Center, served on the SCAN Community Television board (Seattle & King County public access), and is a founding and active director with the public interest group, Reclaim the Media. She was also a founding director of the Seattle-based Earth on the Air Radio Works and the Vashon Island community webcast (www.voiceofvashon.org). She DJ'd and produced for several years at WMPG (90.9 FM, Portland, Maine) and has produced independent features for KBCS (91.3 FM, Bellevue/Seattle) and IMC Radio. Susan has a BA in Communication and has held a variety of professional marketing positions in independent book publishing, new media development, and the nonprofit sector.

 

Marcus Green, Reporting Fellow

Growing up in the historically underreported area of Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood taught Marcus a valuable lesson on the effect media coverage has on the general perception of communities of color and also on how they see themselves. This led him eventually to found the South Seattle Emerald, a nonprofit publication that strives to provide comprehensive coverage of the south Seattle region. Marcus decided to go into journalism after an earlier career in the hedge fund investment world. Journalism provided him an avenue to write about his passions: speaking truth to power and reminding the powerless that they actually aren't powerless. At YES! Magazine, he hopes to produce insightful and innovative articles that spur civic dialogue and social change. When he doesn’t have his head in a book or hand on a pen, Marcus enjoys hiking. He attempts to learn at least one new thing every day.

 

Christa Hillstrom, Senior EditorChrista Hillstrom

Christa Hillstrom joined YES! in 2010 as an editor and writer for yesmagazine.org. Originally from Minneapolis, she earned a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has covered issues related to human rights, women's empowerment, and international development in the U.S., India, and the Philippines. She also works as a freelance multimedia producer and is the founder and editor of Human Goods, a website that covers human trafficking in context.

 

Miles JohnsonMiles Johnson, Software Developer

Miles joined YES! in October of 2012. A Bainbridge native, Miles grew up with an appreciation for Puget Sound. After several summers traveling the west coast, he returned to the northwest to run a small business providing technical support for local companies. Low-impact living and supporting local economies is important to Miles. His interests include playing ukulele, longboarding, and cooking.

 

 

Fran KortenFran Korten, Executive Director

Fran Korten joined the Positive Futures Network in April 1998. She is delighted to be part of a team helping nourish people’s sense of what is possible at this time when we are pressing the limits of our planet’s resiliency and people’s tolerance for oppression in an interconnected world. Her passion is to use YES! to help people see the best of what we humans can become and to feel themselves to be agents of change in the unfolding drama of our time. Before joining YES! Magazine, Fran served as a grantmaker for 20 years in the Ford Foundation’s offices in Manila, Jakarta, and New York, where she supported community-based approaches to the sustainable use of land, trees, and water. She has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University and taught at the national university of Ethiopia and at Harvard University. She lives with her husband, David Korten, on Bainbridge Island, Washington, where she bikes to work. She and David have two children and two grandchildren.

 

Natalie Lubsen, Audience Development Coordinator

Natalie came to YES! in the fall of 2013 as the media and outreach intern. She was the education outreach assistant and email coordinator before joining the staff in 2015. Natalie was born and raised in Virginia, where meeting the pigs at the local farm sparked her passion for animal rights and social justice. Growing up just outside the beltway fed her interest in politics and she earned a B.A. in Political Science from Amherst College. In her free time, Natalie enjoys cooking vegan food and singing in harmony.


Jennifer Luxton, Lead Designer

Jennifer Luxton is a journalist by training, graphic designer by profession, illustrator by passion, and amateur taxidermist by moonlight. She comes from drought-stricken Los Angeles and is still adjusting to the wonderfully wet weather of Puget Sound. Aside from freelancing for a variety of media and lifestyle clients, she has an unhealthy obsession with anime, post-apocalyptic western-sci-fi comic books, loose-leaf tea and natural history. She holds several state and national college media awards for her design work, and graduated at the top of her journalism class from California State University, Northridge. Her reporting areas of coverage include green technology and sustainable death practices (the potentials for body composting have never been more exciting).

 

Stephen Miller, Senior Editor

Stephen Miller is a graduate of the University of Arizona's School of Journalism. He has worked on both U.S. coasts as an editor and reporter, covering environmental science, First Amendment law, script writing, and city news. Previously, he was the editor and then managing editor of the Capitol Hill Times in Seattle. He is an avid outdoorsman, musician for hire and occasional cartoonist.

 

Paula Murphy, Fulfillment ManagerPaula new

Paula joined YES! Magazine in December 2007. Growing up land-locked in the mid-west, Paula always had a strong desire to get to know the wet half of our planet—which she satisfied by studying oceanography and marine biology, and by becoming a certified master scuba diver. Her time on dry land is spent raising her children, Christopher, Emerson and Marina, advocating for cloth diapers, attachment parenting, and the family bed. She is a strong supporter of the Waldorf school on Bainbridge Island and also volunteers as a seamstress for local theater productions. Being a part of the staff at YES! supports Paula’s interests in making the earth a cleaner, more sustainable planet for her children and future generations.

 

Rebecca NyamidieRebecca Nyamidie, Development Coordinator

After a brief stint as a copy editor, Rebecca Nyamidie came to YES! July 2009. Rebecca has a B.A. in Linguistics from San Diego State and a graduate degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Washington. She has taught English in the U.S. and Japan, and has worked in a variety of fields including product control, software testing, desktop publishing, and technical writing. Rebecca moved to Bainbridge Island with her husband and son to be close to the YES! office and enjoys living in such a beautiful, interesting place. A Dedicated Friend of YES! for some time herself, Rebecca loves helping others discover the joys of supporting YES! in these times full of opportunity for real change.

 

Liz Pleasant, Web Producer

Liz is YES! Magazine's web producer, as well as the website’s pop culture editor. She is a native Seattleite and a graduate of the University of Washington’s anthropology department. In her off time, Liz likes to explore tiny towns in the Pacific Northwest and scavenge through thrift stores for her online vintage clothing store. 

 

Doug Pibel New 2012Doug Pibel, Senior Editor

Doug has written for YES! since 1998; he was one of the original writers for YES! But How? He tends an organic garden where he grows heirloom vegetables and saves seeds. He aspires to expand his garden. He used to be a lawyer with a small-town general practice. He's been known to write opinion columns for small newspapers and internet publications. Both his degrees (the first was in English Lit.) came from the University of Washington.

 

Yvonne Rivera, Customer Service Manager

Yvonne RiveraYvonne  comes to YES! with strong interests in business, technology and education.  Prior to joining PFN, Yvonne was a contract administrator for Boeing and taught math, technology, and Spanish at Silverwood School in Poulsbo. Most recently, she taught GED classes to students at the Kitsap Adult Center for Education and at the Suquamish Education Tribal Center.  Yvonne earned her BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and an MS in Higher Education from Walden University. She is a native of New Mexico and identifies Portugal and Northern Spain as her favorite travel destinations.

 

Erin Sagen, Associate Editor

Erin Sagen has been writing and sharing stories for as long as she can remember. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Erin specialized in multimedia journalism, producing documentary shorts, web content, and graphic design that highlighted stories about women and spirituality. In addition to editing online content for YES!, she writes for two blogs—Health With Heart, focusing on health and women's issues, and Sagen Screen Review, sharing editorial space with her brother Evin to critique films new and old. She continues to search for stories where community, justice, and love transcend human struggle. 

 

Robin Simons, Development Manager

Robin SimonsRobin Simons joined YES! as Development Manager in October 2014. She is a longtime YES! reader and brings to her position an extensive background in nonprofit management. She has worked with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Boston and Denver Children’s Museums, and most recently the Kitsap Humane Society, helping organizations strengthen both their programs and their operating procedures. She is also the author or co-author of nine nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics, from raising a child with a disability (After the Tears, Harcourt Brace, 1987) to making games, science projects and art out of recycled materials (Recyclopedia, Houghton Mifflin, 1976).

 

James Trimarco, Senior Editor

JAmes TrimarcoJames Trimarco has been involved with YES! since 2008. Before moving to Seattle to work full-time for the website, he lived in New York City, where he was active in the struggle to protect urban communities. He helped to organize incoming shipments of supplies during Occupy Wall Street’s encampment at Zuccotti Park, and participated in local occupations in Brooklyn when the encampment was over. He has a BA in anthropology and was employed as an ethnographer and data analyst at the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training. In his free time, James enjoys composing electronic music and gardening where it’s least expected.

 

Sarah van Gelder, Editor at LargeSarah van Gelder new photo

Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and editor at large of YES! She is currently writing a book based off of her Edge of Change Road Trip. On the trip, she visited communities making grassroots change in order to find where real hope lies now. 

Sarah writes articles and conducts interviews for YES! Magazine, and speaks on leading-edge innovations that show that another world is not only possible, it is being created. Topics include the new economy, climate solutions, alternatives to prisons, food, water, peacemaking, health care, happiness, and more. 

As part of her community involvement, Sarah co-founded Suquamish Olalla Neighbors, which builds bridges between Native and non-Native residents of the Port Madison Reservation. She co-led a statewide effort to return the home of Chief Seattle to the Suquamish Tribe and is a member of the board of directors of the tribally-chartered Suquamish Foundation.

Sarah has traveled in Latin America, India, China, and Central America. She was a founding board member of Winslow Cohousing, and previously was a television and radio producer, a community organizer, founder of a cooperative of food co-ops that linked organic farmers to urban markets. She has two young adult children.

 

Audrey WatsonAudrey Watson, Finance & Operations Director

Audrey joined the staff in Fall of 98 as manager of Marketing and Outreach, moved to Online Managing Editor in fall of 2002, and to Finance & Operations Director in 2009, where she combines her interests in communication, sustainability, social justice, and technology. Previously she worked as a product marketing manager for Microsoft and as a marketing manager, developer manager, and systems analyst for various computer-related companies. Outside of work, Audrey loves to do fiber and metal arts and crafts, volunteers for various organizations, enjoys traveling, and lives in cohousing. Audrey holds a BA in Applied Math from the University of Michigan, an MS in Computer Engineering from Stanford University, and an MA in management and consulting from the Leadership Institute of Seattle.

 

Michael WinterMichael Winter, IT Manager

Founder of The Winter Group, Michael Winter has been an IT professional for over 20 years working as a technologist and project manager for a variety of Government agencies and private companies.  Michael also holds a private pilots license and enjoys flying helicopters and a variety of fixed wing aircraft. Achieving independence from fossil fuel energy, climate change and general environmental sustainability are important issues for Michael and are driving forces behind his working with YES! to use technology to help bring the YES! message to everyone.