Project Manager, Regional Network
Acacia started her Burning Man journey as a Lamplighter in 2002 and continued celebrating year-round at numerous official and unofficial Regional Events across Oregon, California, Colorado, and New Mexico over the last two decades. Now serving year round as Project Manager for the Regional Network, she identifies, retains and fosters leaders to strengthen and activate our global network of Regional Contacts by guiding them through key stages of their lifecycle—from search to succession. Acacia collaborates with volunteer leaders and mentors to further the mission of the Regional Network, utilizing community management tools and project management approaches to support sustainable development while allowing for diversity of our network to flourish.
Acacia brings over 15 years of working for and supporting non-profit organizations in the US and abroad, with a focus on leadership development, organizational management, government affairs, grant making, and volunteer-led nonprofit building. She resides in Missoula, Montana, where she cherishes time with her spouse and furry family. Her personal joys include traveling any and everywhere, hot gluing shag fur to playa bikes, and reveling in the great outdoors.
General Counsel, Legal
As General Counsel for Burning Man Project, Adam oversees all of Burning Man's legal affairs. Adam has over 30 years of experience as a lawyer. Before joining Burning Man Project in 2022, Adam was a partner in the law firm of Gross & Belsky P.C., practicing in a number of areas including intellectual property, civil rights, first amendment and media law. He has represented foreign countries in litigation in the US — including on behalf of Cuba, South Africa, and Bolivia — represented the NY Times, and several reporters in successful claims against Hewlett-Packard for illegally obtaining private phone records, and settled a major civil rights case on behalf of an innocent man who was wrongfully imprisoned for over 20 years because a police officer fabricated evidence. Adam received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College, majoring in English, and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Adam is an avid Burner, and loves to help with art builds — including the Temple of Whollyness, Otic Oasis, the Black Rock Bijou, the Black Rock Lighthouse, and Singularity. He has worked on various legal issues for Burning Man Project since the late 1990s. His first year on playa was 2011.
Allison Hastings a.k.a. Sunny
Philanthropic Engagement Coordinator
Burning since 2007, Sunny continues to shine on and off playa. She joined Philanthropic Engagement as their fundraising coordinator in 2020, after seven years managing hospitality for the San Francisco office. She loves to meet new people and hear their inspiring stories. Fundraising has renewed her, as she feels it's exceedingly important for Burning Man Project to flourish in our world. Personally she enjoys sewing, knitting, embroidering, hiking, and yoga. She prefers rain over sun, forests over beaches, and can't resist a good long birthday celebration.
Ally supports Burning Man Project as a Jedi mastering the Force…the Salesforce. She works on and off playa with all departments to streamline and improve the unique processes that keep the Man burning. She works closely with the Art Department, Placement Team, and more, to constantly adapt their Salesforce instance to support their evolving work and mission. Ally is a big-picture thinker and loves to focus on tech development that gives users confidence and excitement about the tools at their fingers.
Off-playa, Ally is a competitive weightlifter and outdoors enthusiast. Due to her voracious appetite, her coworkers in the Tech Department have affectionately dubbed her, “Second Breakfast.”
Philosophical Center Producer
Andie Grace is a producer, publisher, editor, writer, and nerd for community and culture. AG (short for Actiongrl) has been burning since 1997, when she reluctantly packed her bass guitar to play some art thing in the desert her bandmates wouldn't shut up about. In '98 she volunteered at Media Mecca and quickly fell into a lifetime of participation, eventually as a full time senior staffer managing Burning Man's Communications Department and the Regional Network.
After 13 years, Andie stepped away from her role to pursue other interests in film and communication, but in 2019, she was beckoned back to a full time role with the Project, happily returning home. She is passionate about storytelling, and sharing the philosophies and inspiration of Burning Man as they can be applied to individual, civic, and global human experience. AG lives in Berkeley with her husband and kid, and the best rescue dog in the land. She plays music, cooks a lot, collects bad jokes, and is a karaoke queen. She'd like you to please tell your dog she said hi.
Senior Software Developer
Andrew started coding in QBASIC at 11 years old, and he now has over 15 years of professional software development experience. At Burning Man Project, Andrew works with the Technology Department to improve engineering standards, tooling, and processes. He architects and develops critical integrations and applications that are used by almost every department of the organization.
As a lead for developer relations with external developers, Andrew advocates for and supports efforts to build on top of Burning Man Project’s internal systems. He has presented at the Burning Man Global Leadership Conference and organized a hackathon to educate the community about Innovate and the data we provide to developers.
In his spare time Andrew makes music, digital art, and cracks cryptography puzzles.
Senior Product Manager, Product and Design
Anjelika is a seasoned Product Manager who joined Burning Man Project in June 2020. Originally from a beautiful Sakhalin island on the eastern coast of Siberia, she has worked in creative digital design, social media, event technology, and online fundraising, and holds a Master's degree in Civil Law.
Before moving to the United States and discovering Burning Man, Anjelika participated in the Moscow Competitive Charades League for seven years. After many years in the theme camp world, she is now a proud member of the Center Camp Decor team.
Project Manager, Art Department
Brody works year-round as a Project Manager for Burning Man Arts, and has worked at Burning Man since a 2011 escape from the corporate world. Brody's dual missions in life are to increase the amount of happiness in the world, and to learn how to carve a bear with a chainsaw. These two things are not necessarily related.
Bryant Tan a.k.a. Level
Associate Director of City Planning
Level started burning in 2009 and joined the Placement Team in 2014 after several years as a theme camp lead for Dilated Peoples Eye Spa. The Placement Team is a vibrant volunteer crew responsible for reviewing, mapping, flagging, and placing theme camps and other groups in Black Rock City. Prior to joining Burning Man Project's year-round staff, he worked for the City and County of San Francisco. He also worked for several community-based organizations in youth and community development, transportation planning, affordable housing development, program design and evaluation, public finance, and Asian Pacific Islander and LGBTQ communities. In his free time, Level enjoys playing Sim City and Tetris, doing anti-oppression work, hiking around the Bay Area, and serves as an Urban Planning Representative on the SF Entertainment Commission. He holds a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his B.A. in Ethnic Studies from UCLA.
Administrative Coordinator, Communications
Carly joined the Burning Man Project Communications team in 2021, providing administrative support to the epartment. After years of working in the hospitality and tech industries, Carly wanted to be involved in something she felt passionate about, and nothing stood out in her mind as fitting that bill more than Burning Man.
In 2017, after making the trek from NYC, Carly took her first steps on the playa. From that moment on, she knew she wanted to be a part of the magic. Carly volunteered as the kitchen lead for the 130-person theme camp she was a part of for three years, and now looks forward to seeing BRC from a different perspective, as staff.
Carly grew up in Ohio, lived in NYC for 13 years after college, and now lives in Lake Tahoe where she spends her free time hiking, biking, and crafting. She is the CFO of the nonprofit Sierra Relief Kitchen, which provides meals for individuals and families in need around the North Tahoe and Truckee areas.
Carolyn "Lina" Tanner a.k.a DixieRaeSparx
Senior Advisor, Government Affairs
Lina is an attorney based in Reno, Nevada, and works part-time for Burning Man Project. She specializes in energy, natural resources and land development, and she provides exemplary service to corporate, nonprofit, and governmental entities before the Nevada Legislature, local, state and federal agencies, and the courts in Nevada. As an advocate and policy advisor in the fields of energy, natural resources, and land use, Lina has spent her career working with diverse groups to achieve the consensus and cooperation necessary to meet common goals.
Lina is a Northern Nevada native, with her first Black Rock City experience coming in 2009. Since that time, she has moved to a tiny farm that serves as the satellite office for her Burning Man camp, and houses dedicated and determined Burners from all over the world. Her daughter Ruby and their meddling goats especially love it when August brings another wave of worldly travelers. Lina received her bachelor's degree from Occidental College, and law degree from the University of Denver.
Cedi Fiumara a.k.a. Logic
Ranch Assistant Manager
During the off-season, Logic is based out of their favorite place on the planet, Black Rock Station, Burning Man's so-called "work ranch". Their role consists of a variety of tasks—from heavy equipment operation and machinery maintenance, to Black Rock Station facilities maintenance and overseeing security of all Gerlach-surrounding Burning Man Project assets, the responsibilities are chameleonic and vast.
During playa operations, in addition to continuing to work at Black Rock Station, Logic is best known for providing asset security. Tasks include the pinning of locks, production of keys, and good ol'-fashioned B&E, such as lock picking.
Logic first became involved on staff with Burning Man Project through the Department of Public Works in 2015. In 2018, they moved permanently to Gerlach, Nevada, where they live with their partner (who is seasonal Burning Man Project staff) and their two small children.
Charlie Dolman a.k.a. Louder Charlie
Event Operations Director
Charlie oversees event operations in Black Rock City, including Emergency Services, Gate-Perimeter-Exodus, the Black Rock Rangers, BRC Department of Public Works, Community Services, the Cafe and Ice services, the Department of Mutant Vehicles, and on-the-ground Art operations. He also oversees the Special Recreation Permit Burning Man holds with the U.S. Federal Government during the event season. As part of this role, Charlie sits on the Black Rock City Operations Management Board, the Budget Committee and the Executive Committee. He also chairs the Event Operations Team and Event Leadership Team meetings.
Charlie came to Burning Man from the UK, having spent many years working at an array of events where his roles included production, finance, licensing, promotion, and management. Events of note include: Secret Garden Party, Wilderness Festival, and Lovebox — where Charlie played instrumental roles in founding, growth and development.
Chris Goodin a.k.a. Weldboy
Black Rock Station Manager
Weldboy is the Black Rock Station Manager. He oversees the Auto Shop, Specialty Construction, Ranch Operations, and Mobile Housing Maintenance; he has been involved with the DPW since 2005. Weldboy has held management positions in Heavy Equipment and Playa Restoration (LEAVE NO TRACE!). Weldboy live in Gerlach, Nevada, with his wife, Deadpan, and child, Fred.
Associate Director, DPW
Chris "ChAos" Neary has been attending Burning Man since 1999. He first got involved with the Organization in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, when he spent extensive time in Biloxi and Pearlington during the inception of what became Burners Without Borders. ChAos served as DPW’s Heavy Equipment dispatcher on the playa from 2007 through 2010 before joining the DPW Council as DPW Heavy Equipment & Transportation Manager, overseeing all machinery and trucking operations in the Black Rock City. In 2016 he stepped up to lead the DPW Council and oversee the entirety of DPW operations on the playa.
Chris Petrell a.k.a. Taz
Lead Northern Nevada Engineering Support
Chris (a.k.a. Taz) lives year-round in Gerlach, Nevada. Formerly he was a Unix system administrator who worked for several larger corporations but moved on after the dot com bust. Now he is responsible for building out, managing and providing support for all the technologies located on Burning Man's Nevada properties along with providing internet and technical support to the staff before, during and after the Burning Man event.
Born in Southern California and raised in Half Moon Bay, CA, Chris attended his first Burning Man in 1997, volunteered with DPW and highway cleanup from 1999-2003, and joined the Burning Man year around staff in 2003. Chris served for six years on the Gerlach General Improvement District (GGID) board, being Chairman for two of those years since he moved to Gerlach.
Chris enjoys spending time with friends, Taking spontaneous road trips, soaking in the local hot springs, riding his quad around the desert and hills of Northern Nevada, playing with fire, and geeking out — often all in the same day. Sadly there is no more ice hockey in Chris’s life, as there just is no ice to skate on in Nevada.
Director of Civic Activation
Christopher supports the volunteer-driven community leadership work of BWB, whose goal is to unlock the innate skills of local communities to solve problems that bring about meaningful change. Supporting citizen-led civic engagement solutions and community resiliency projects around the world, BWB is known for bringing unbridled creativity to every project.
Christopher has served as Board President of both Burners Without Borders and the Chicago 501c3 Bold Urban Renaissance Network and co-founded the Lakes of Fire Regional Burn, where he co-created both their Volunteer Coordinator and Arts Honorarium programs. Before joining Burning Man, Christopher worked as a freelance designer, fabricator and experiential producer. He's produced several large-scale interactive sculptural installations for festivals and corporations, and he’s an avid silkscreen and laser technology print maker.
Cody Sargent a.k.a. Ripcord
Business Services Manager
Ripcord comes to Burning Man Project with more than 15 years of business operations experience focused on transportation, logistics, vendor relations and overall day-to-day operations. His role as the Business Services Manager includes the responsibilities of overseeing the Purchasing department, DPW logistics (buildings, rental cars, heavy equipment rentals, firewood, sanitation, golf carts and many other things), and vendor relations. In addition to his role he also serves on the Black Rock City Operations and Outside Services advisory teams.
Ripcord is a Utah native who started burning in 2016, at his favorite Regional: Element 11. His favorite thing to do at Black Rock City is to volunteer with his GP&E (Gate Perimeter and Exodus) family. His hobbies include studying urban ecology, road trips, spinning dance music and dreaming up his next DIY project.
Ticketing Coordinator & Fiscal Sponsorship Administrator
Sacramento-grown and long time Bay Area resident, Colin first learned about Burning Man in high school while watching the now-off air Current TV. College foiled his attempts to make it to BRC until 2014 but once there he instantly fell in love with the playa. Colin started his journey of Burning Man participant support in 2016 while working for two of Burning Man Project’s previous ticketing vendors. In 2018, he accepted the role of Burning Man Project Ticketing Coordinator and now acts as a support expert for all things ticketing by answering participant emails, guiding and training other support staff, and helping with projects like the Low Income Ticket Program. He assists with year-round planning for box office operations and on-playa works as the Personnel Manager of Box Office staff and volunteers. Colin recently expanded his work and is now also the Fiscal Sponsorship Administrator. Colin is an avid snowboarder and loving cat dad. When he’s not helping people get to playa or shredding pow, you can find him working on crafty house projects or spinning fire, although he does not generally practice those last two simultaneously.
Director of Philanthropic Engagement
Danny is passionate about community-led strategies for creating a more equitable, sustainable, and joyful world. Danny brings 15+ years of experience working for non-profit organizations in the U.S. and internationally, with a focus on education, open-source technology, human rights, environmental justice, philanthropy, and decentralized movement building.
As Director of Philanthropic Engagement, Danny supports Burning Man Project’s efforts to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of its global events and programs. Danny was previously the Lead Development Outreach Manager for the Wikimedia Foundation, where he was responsible for raising $15 million annually. His previous experience includes resource mobilization, project management, advocacy, and strategic philanthropy with non-profit organizations in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe.
Danny resides in San Francisco, CA and holds an M.P.A. from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. Danny has been an avid Burner since 2014 and currently leads a 75-person mythology theme camp.
Fire Arts Safety Team Manager
Dave X manages all things burning in Black Rock City. He holds several certifications for fuel management, is a licensed Pyrotechnic Operator, and has worked on fireworks displays for major event clients, including the Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, and the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Celebration.
In 1992, Dave was lured to the Black Rock Desert where he knew he had seen the future — which was made of wood, and stood tall and proud on the desert floor before igniting in a blaze of fire. In 1999, after several years of creating large-scale fire installations, he realized that the use of fire and fuel had grown to a tipping point. He saw the time had come to either self-regulate its use or face outside regulation, and thus he became the most combustible manager on the playa. His current licensing includes: LP Gas certificates from the Nevada LP Gas Association, Federal Explosive Possessor Handler, and California licensed Pyrotechnic Operator.
Deets joins Burning Man Project’s Communications team as Content Manager, overseeing social media content strategy and execution, in addition to leading print production projects. She attended her first Burn in 2012, when she quickly realized she identified with the culture, and has been going back almost every year since. Prior to joining Burning Man Project’s year-round staff, Deets volunteered for the Department of Mutant Vehicles, where she helped process Mutant Vehicle applications before the burn, and approved vehicle licensing on playa.
Deets comes from a past in brand design and creative direction, having specialized in social and digital campaigns for Fortune 500 companies while working at several top advertising agencies in San Francisco. She holds an MFA from the Academy of Art University and a BFA from Syracuse University. You can generally find her hanging out with her amazing wife Ginger Snap, their Corgi, Mini Waffles, and Shiba Inu, Jinkx.
User Success Specialist
Devin joined the Burning Man Project in 2018 and now works with the User Success Team to help keep Users Successful. Devin came to Burning Man Project with 7+ years of IT experience in nonprofit and corporate environments. He has a degree in psychology and a lifelong passion for improving everything with technology. A founding member of the office’s BGCGB (Board Game Committee of Game Boards), Devin’s always down for a quick (or not so quick) game.
Devyn Madsen a.k.a. Mitzvah
Associate Event Producer
Devyn Madsen — better-known as Mitzvah on playa — holds the role of Associate Event Producer for Burning Man Project's Philanthropic Engagement Department. There, Devyn coordinates and oversees a variety of fundraising events from inspiring and intimate dinner gatherings to creative and large scale celebrations. Beyond Burning Man Project, she also holds the role of the Content Director for the East Bay Maker Faire and Co-producer of San Francisco's legendary event, The Edwardian Ball. Devyn's passions run deep through event creation, as a way to bring community together through art, music, and shared experience.
Devyn is equally at home cooking vibrant meals for any size party as she is orchestrating straitjacket escapes from a hot air balloon over playa. While you will find Devyn coordinating productions both locally and internationally, she can also be found in the studio, practicing paper arts, tending to her growing houseplant collection, and creating her next culinary masterpiece.
Dominic Tinio a.k.a. DA of Black Rock
Environmental Restoration Manager
DA is in charge of keeping the Black Rock Desert clean and beautiful throughout the creation and removal of Black Rock City each year. He ensures the success of Burning Man’s Leave No Trace (LNT) effort as the event and community increases in scale. Also a graphic designer, DA is the creator of the MOOP Map, a visual infographic produced annually to measure Black Rock City’s LNT effort and gauge the Burning Man community’s Matter Out of Place (MOOP) impact. As a poster artist, DA has annually illustrated the official Burning Man theme, beginning with 2006’s Hope and Fear: The Future. Despite the progressive growth in the Burning Man event, the community’s LNT effort continues to improve, as shown by the MOOP Map data and annual passing of the BLM Site Inspection. DA loves the Black Rock Desert and believes that if we leave no trace, we can continue building and burning for a long time to come.
Associate Director of Communications
Dominique is Burning Man Project’s Associate Director of Communications. He is responsible for managing many of the Communications Department’s functions, including press inquiries, external communications strategies, cross-departmental collaborations, social media, and on-playa media operations. Dom first visited Black Rock City in 2013, and served on the board of POrtalBurn, Upstate New York’s official Regional Event for three years. Dom came to Burning Man Project from nearly six years on the breaking news desk at CNN in New York.
Director of Finance
Director of Finance since 2009, Doug provides oversight and management of the financial and accounting operations for Burning Man, and is a member of various Burning Man leadership committees. He is an eight-year financial management veteran, experienced in building financial administration, operations, and services in corporate and non-profit organizations. Doug has provided consulting services and managed finance and accounting operations at the highest level, and has developed and implemented policy and procedure, oversight, analysis and forecasting across numerous industries, including real estate, hospitality, family offices, medical, and financial services. He has worked with Pacific Union Development Company, the Maybach Foundation, Pacific Crest Group, Charles Schwab and Company, and Wells Fargo. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Doug first attended Burning Man in 1996, and has been committed since. To him, Burning Man feeds the soul.
Emma Sanchez a.k.a. Emma Dilemma
Administrative Coordinator, Art Department
Emma Dilemma (she/they) supports the Art Department as the Art Administration Coordinator.
Emma first went to Black Rock City in 2013, to feed artists and help install art from San Francisco, California. Their first Burn was at Nowhere, in Spain, that same year. She was a Culinary Artist in Residence at The Art Monastery Project, Labro, Italy. Emma is also a Member of Future (TBD) Collective in Austin, TX, and The Full Circle Teahouse in Black Rock City. She graduated from California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
As a chef, immersive experience designer, and event producer, they have been working in private events, and nonprofits for over a decade. Emma is a passionate advocate for local music, art, food, and community empowerment, health, and safety. She is based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Chitimacha Land.
Emma Weisman, J.D.
Associate Director of Knowledge Management
As Associate Director in the Office of the COO, Emma looks at how our information becomes knowledge, and works on how we share our processes, stories, history and culture. Emma joined the Burning Man Project staff as Government Agency
Relationship Manager in 2018, a natural progression in a peripatetic
career including athletic fashion buying and management, law, natural
disaster response management, emerging agricultural industries
consulting and management, and international nonprofit management. In
2020 she moved on to the Global Activation Department as Associate
Director of Operation, and in 2022 she joined the Office of the COO as
Associate Director focused on Knowledge Management.
Emma first attended Burning Man in 2009, where she found many parallels
between her own beliefs about art and civic involvement and the 10
Principles. In 2010, Emma went to Haiti where she collaborated with
BWB alums and other volunteer disaster responders to found Haiti
Communitere and Communitere International. She is a member of the
Birds of a Feather art collective and a part of the theme camp Hearth,
which merged with Awesome(ville)! and then splintered back out to
Emma was raised in Vermont, attending the Bread and Puppet Domestic
Resurrection Circus from infancy. She graduated from the Buxton School
in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and holds a B.A. in English literature from
Kenyon College and a J.D. from the University of Oregon. She will
enter into a war of words with anyone who devalues arts high schools
or liberal arts education.
Erica Blair a.k.a. Erica Fuck Yeah
Associate Director, Executive & Support
Erica Blair (better known as Erica Fuck Yeah) is helping to lead Burning Man Project’s latest projects around organizational evolution, decision making, and engagement strategy. An advocate for community involvement, Erica’s passion lies in bringing Burners together to imagine what the future of Burning Man may hold. Erica first came to Burning Man Project to facilitate conversations around the Multiverse in 2020. A Burner since 2013, Erica has also served as a theme camp organizer on playa for Let It Go.
Erika O’Connor a.k.a. Deputy
Technical Project Manager
Deputy spent 15 years publishing LGBT travel guides before crossing over to the fiery side. She started at Burning Man HQ in 2013 producing the map of theme camps for the Placement team. Now she manages the Participation Forms for the Technology Department and provides support for a variety of event systems, both on- and off-playa. Her first year at Burning Man was 2007. She worked on small art projects in Illumination Village until 2009, then served cold beverages at Vietnamese Iced Coffee Experience for a few years. When she’s not in Black Rock City, she enjoys riding her bike around San Francisco and has a soft spot for Boston Terriers.
Erika Williams a.k.a Nipps
Nevada Operations Personnel Manager
Erica has been the Personnel Manager for Nevada Operations since September 2021. She began her career with DPW as a volunteer in 2004, then moved on to create the DPW Fluffer department in 2006, acting as its manager for 16 years. Erica enjoys spending time with her family and beautiful daughter, as well as being the host for Rage Karaoke in Gerlach, Nevada, which she has called her home since 2016.
Erin Crawford a.k.a Playground
Nevada Operations Partner
As a member of the newly formed Nevada Operations Department, Playground works on event production, business development, and cultural alignment within and beyond the Black Rock City event. She brings decades of spreadsheet-wrangling experience and a special love of numbers to Burning Man Project’s business operations. She will be working on strategic planning and budgeting for Black Rock City and for the nonprofit. Playground first came to the playa in 1995 and started volunteering with the Department of Public Works in 1999, surveying the city and erecting the trash fence. In 2003 she became a full-time employee and served as DPW’s Labor Coordinator. She was a founding member of the DPW Council in 2004, and is on a whole slew of committees.
Fred McCord a.k.a. SciFi
Technology Logistics Project Manager
Raised in an artist's studio in Nashville, in what at best would be considered a non-traditional environment, Fred learned to love art and suffer artists at an early age. After graduating from college in 1998 (with a non-art degree, but mostly artist friends) he moved to San Francisco. In 2002, at the suggestion of some friends and the encouragement of his wife, he made his way to this thing called "Burning Man." His first reaction was "We're allowed to do this?!" Eighteen years later, he still has this feeling. Fred started volunteering with the Black Rock Rangers in 2009 and has been with them every year since.
Fred made the leap from volunteer to employee in 2019 when he came on as a Project Manager with the Technology Department. The BRC Mapping Project is an event-focused project with the multiple objectives of helping department camps to coordinate their on-playa resources, assisting DPW to implement the BRC power grid, and supporting the Technology Department to design and install a city-wide network.
He has drunk the Kool-Aid and finds it quaffable...with notes of "Hell Yeah!' and a hint "Are You Serious?!?"
Administrative Coordinator, Operations
Gabbie supports the People Ops team with all things people. She enjoys working on things that help people and teams stay engaged at work, such as wage and labor issues, compensation design, and benefits management. After getting her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from California State Northridge, Gabbie worked in people-helping capacities with Sony Pictures and Insomniac Events. In her spare time, Gabbie enjoys hiking in her hometowns of Chatsworth and Topanga, California, podcast listening (think Jungian psychology and true crime), bike- riding, sunbathing, drinking tea all day, and watching furry pets while her friends are away
Gloria Beck a.k.a. Weapons Grade
Senior Project Manager, Art
A Burner since 2004, Gloria first got a taste of building community-based art with the East Bay Burners in 2012 and she has never looked back. Gloria joined the Burning Man Art Department in 2017 and now manages the Artist Liaison team as well as Art Support Services – the 70-member volunteer crew responsible for providing engineering, heavy equipment, and other resource support to the 400+ artists who build their artworks in Black Rock City each year.
In her role, Gloria has also had the distinct pleasure of being a key collaborator in the design, delivery, and installation of Burning Man art at the Google campus in Mountain View, California, and Chatsworth House in Bakewell, UK. She was also part of the project team that delivered the 2020 Virtual Burn.
Prior to working for Burning Man Project, as a 20-year marketing veteran, Gloria co-founded a successful direct marketing agency that offered targeted demand generation services to a range of corporate clients. Her Harvard B.A. in Psychology and Haas/Berkeley MBA came in handy for that, though she now realizes maybe she should have gone to art school.
Man Pavillion Project Manager
Goātt-dëëb started with DPW as a lead builder with Center Camp way back in 2003. In 2013, he moved to the center of Black Rock City to take on a lead-builder role with Man Pavilion, followed by the Construction Foreman position in 2014. In 2018, he joined the Construction Design team and began formally leading the Man build, and Man Pavilion became the center of his building life. This year — his 20th Burn — he finally retired his worn leather tool bags in pursuit of Project Management for Man Pavilion's prodigal return.
Civic Activation Operations Coordinator
Heather provides administrative support and project management to the Regional Network and Civic Activation Teams. She has developed her art of organization and coordination both professionally and on the playa. Heather has served Black Rock City as a Black Rock Ranger since 2008. She says it’s an honor and a privilege to volunteer with some of the most diverse, interesting and creative thinkers to help mediate conflict and contribute to our Burning Man community. When she isn’t covered in dust or thinking about it, you can find her serving a bowl of tea in the Japanese tradition of chado, or “The Way of Tea”.
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Burning Man Project, Heather oversees Burning Man's program development, operations and affiliations including the Education and People Operations departments. She also manages strategy and infrastructure, supporting the people and teams that drive Burning Man’s work in the world.
For over 20 years, Heather has focused on helping organizations with strategy, operations and partnerships specifically in creative endeavors. Throughout her life and career, she collaborates with people on projects and practices that actualize human potential. Heather has also been a roving member of Black Rock City’s Random Pizza Experience since 2004, as well as a staff member since 2012.
Ian Starr a.k.a. bliss
Technology Project Manager
Ian, whose name rhymes with “Brian”, finally made it to Black Rock City in 1999. In 2000, Ian joined Playa Info, where she managed projects, coordinated volunteers, and gave PI its signature red color. Shortly after, Ian began volunteering at HQ for the ticket team. In 2002, she began officially working for “The Man”, doing project management for the Tech Department and Community Services. Through the years, she has remained involved in some capacity, adding Gate and Perimeter to her resume in 2004. In 2007, Ian returned to HQ as a project manager for the Tech Department with a promotion to Collaboration Systems Manager in 2013.
Ian loves to organize, develop infrastructure, improve process and enable people to be happier and more productive at their jobs. She met her husband at BRC in 2002 and they were married at the base of the man in 2004. She also enjoys film, cooking, travelling, being away from everything technical and spending lots of time with her hubby and their darling dog.
Iris Yee a.k.a. Miao
Head of Regional Network
Iris first trekked to Black Rock City from New York City in 2008, curious about “that crazy art thing in the desert”. Fascinated by the people, the art, and experiences they created during that scorching week, she vowed to return home and bring that sense of playa wonder wherever she lived. After moving to Beijing, she sought out other China-based Burners, and served as a welcoming presence for visitors while volunteering remotely for Media Mecca. As Head of Regional Network, Iris facilitates connections between Burners across the world and supports over 250 Regional Contacts, who are volunteering to nurture Burning Man culture year-round in their local communities. Living and traveling in over 15 countries has ignited Iris’ appreciation for communities’ diverse and ingenious ways of collaboration and creative self-expression. Trained as a sociologist with over ten years of experience working in marketing, communications, and event production for organizations in film, Internet, and civil rights, she brings those skills and experiences to the Burning Man team.
Lead Technical Project Manager
Jim works on a team of Technical Project Managers that support Burning Man Project technology initiatives and event operations. He also has expertise with software development, product management, systems analysis, infrastructure, and architecture. In his down time, Jim's favorite activity is building stained glass windows.
Burners Without Borders (BWB) Program Coordinator
As Program Coordinator, Jaymie provides administrative support for the BWB team. She assists with communications, network building, community organizing, storytelling, and event production.
Growing up along the Highway 80 corridor, Jaymie recalls seeing a strange annual pilgrimage of dust-filled oddities traveling down the highway. From a young age, she had an immediate curiosity, each year asking more and more people, “Who are those people and what are they doing?” It wasn’t until the early 2000s that she found out, and it would take another eight years before she found friends that offered to be her “playa parents.” During that first week on playa in 2009, she vowed never to miss another event. Jaymie had found ‘home.’ Like many other Burners, she was fascinated by the demonstration of human potential and found herself wondering what that potential could look like if applied globally.
Jaymie first volunteered with BWB after returning from a decade of living and working abroad. Now happily tucked away in Northern California with her fiancé, she joins that same pilgrimage of dusty oddities that filled her imagination years ago—better still, she gets to support year-round impact projects aimed at directing that same human potential to create meaningful change in global communities. She dreams of a happier, healthier, and more equitable future for all, filled with ample art, dancing, and composting toilets!
Jennifer Conway a.k.a. Bobcat
Reno Office Administrator
Jen came to Burning Man Project with a background in tech, in addition to many years of commercial and residential real estate development, sales, leasing, and property management. Her first volunteer role with Burning Man was with Arctica ice sales. She spent 17 years with Arctica, learning every position as she moved up the ranks to become the Operations Manager, a position she held for seven years. In 2017 she retired from Arctica and moved on to work more closely with DPW, acting as the Housing & Residences Manager. She enjoyed housing all the work crews, law enforcement, and event partners in Gerlach, doing her best to make sure everyone’s living experience was the best it could be.
In 2021 Jen moved to Reno and began working as Burning Man Project’s Office Coordinator there. She lives with her partner, Hazmatt, and their dog, Lola, who is the head of security at the Reno office.
Jon Rosen a.k.a. Soup
Associate Director of Product and Design
Jon is responsible for leading the product management and design teams at Burning Man Project. In his role, he helps guide strategic technology investments and prioritize development efforts to support the organization’s growth and operations. Since first visiting Black Rock City in 2004, Jon has never missed an event! Over the years, he co-founded one of the larger villages at Burning Man, Nectar Village, has built three mutant vehicles, and led the volunteer team responsible for art safety at the event.
With 15 years of product management experience, Jon is excited to have his professional career intersect with his favorite community, here at Burning Man. Jon was a co-founder at Akorda and has also fueled high-growth stages at public companies Ariba and Gartner, as well as led product teams at startups Kenshoo and CrowdFlower. Jon completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the George Washington University’s School of Business.
Executive Producer, Community Events
Justin’s experience with Burning Man began in 1998, when his costumed, cosmic rock band first embarked on a trip to Black Rock City in a futile attempt to be the strangest thing on the playa. In the years since he has participated as an artist, performer, mutant vehicle creator, theme camp organizer, playa-parent, and, since late 2016, a full time Community Events organizer and an Executive Producer with Burning Man Project’s year-round and global programming. His current projects include leadership of Kindling, a portal for live, participatory, virtual events connected to the principles and values of Burning Man culture. Justin is also the founder and producer of San Francisco’s iconic underground event, The Edwardian Ball, and spent nearly a decade as the Northern California Director of Production for Goldenvoice and AEG Live, producing events and stages in theatres, arenas, and festivals including Coachella and Panorama NYC.
Karen Jacobs a.k.a. KJ
As the Learning Manager of Burning Man Project's Education Program, KJ gets the chance to connect with the global Burner community in pursuit of the program's mission: to teach the philosophy, Principles, and practices of Burning Man culture and experience around the world.
KJ has worn many hats since she began working for Burning Man in 2007. She has wrangled data and logistics for the Department of Public Works, and had a hand in much of the varied work of the People Operations team. Burning since 2001, KJ has been blessed with truly incredible experiences in BRC, including her many years of spinning fire with the performance group The Mutaytor. When not hard at work for Burning Man Project, she works hard to indulge in her passions for cooking, yoga, family time, and the outdoors.
Chief of Emergency Services
Kate was lured into coming to Black Rock City in 2001 to provide medical care. Despite being utterly unprepared for what BRC would be, she fell in love with everything about it and has returned every year since. In 2003, Kate took on the role of Medical Chief for the Emergency Services Department (ESD) and a few years later became Deputy Chief of the department, helping oversee fire services, crisis intervention, communications, and volunteer coordination teams. In 2014, Kate quit her sterile hospital day job, passed the Medical Chief baton along, and became the Chief of Emergency Services. Kate is a Registered Nurse, holds a graduate degree in clinical leadership, and resides in the quiet splendor of the Sonoma County coastal mountains.
Associate Director, Art Management
Katie Hazard (yes that’s her real last name) is the Associate Director of Art Management. As the head of the Art Department, she manages and serves on the BRC Honoraria Committee, and manages art processes, people, and placement, all toward having the most impactful art possible in Black Rock City and beyond. She’s been passionate about arts administration and grants management for many years; she has a degree in Art History from the University of Notre Dame, worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, and spent 10 years at Harvard University as a Senior Grants Manager.
Katie’s first year on playa was 2000, and she volunteered for 10 years (DMV, Man Base Lighting, art build crews, theme camp organization, fire conclave) before joining the staff in 2013. Katie is also a certified yoga teacher and has been a practitioner of Buddhist meditation for more than a decade.
Agency Relations Manager, Government Affairs
As the Agency Relations Manager, Katie collaborates with federal, state, and local agencies to facilitate the annual creation of Black Rock City. Before joining Burning Man, she spent 10 years in private practice as a regulatory and government affairs attorney, working with clients in the gaming, public utilities, banking, and cannabis fields. Katie loves thinking creatively to help organizations understand, navigate, and shape complex regulatory environments. Growing up in a military family, Katie has lived in cities across the US, but when she first traveled to Black Rock City in 2010, she knew that she was ‘home.’ Katie earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Nevada and her J.D. from the University of Colorado.
Katie spent much of her childhood in Fairbanks, Alaska where she developed a love for outdoor adventures and an appreciation for the thrill of thriving in extreme environments. She and her husband and young son can usually be found hiking, skiing, kayaking, and exploring the Sierras.
Kaitlyn McManus a.k.a. Mobo
General Manager, Gerlach Real Estate
Mobo has been attending and working for Burning Man since 2009. She worked for Gate, XRT, and DPW before landing in her current role in Nevada Operations. More than a Burner, Mobo is also mother to a little boy, Lachlan, and the wife of another Burning Man Project staff member, Popeye. She also loves travel, cooking, jigsaw puzzles, and musical theater.
Executive Assistant to Marian Goodell
As executive assistant to Marian Goodell, Kelly plays the roles of Executive Cat Herder and Harsh Muse as well as Administrative Documentrix and Whip-Cracker for the Burning Man Founders and Black Rock City Operations Management Board. Often described as part Joan Holloway and part Jackie O, Kelly holds court at the hub of the wheel sporting any combination of vintage patterns and polyester with a hand on her hip, a toothy grin and a side of sass. On playa, Kelly also manages the operations of First Camp.
Kelly first made it to Black Rock City in 2003 when she was finally able to convince her dad to let her borrow his shiny new pickup truck and completely cover it in dust. After brief stints as a local desk jockey for a huge software company and resident super woman for a small venture capital firm, Kelly was hired as Secretary to the Board after stumbling into the Burning Man office, pinstriped and patent leather pumped in early 2005. In her ever elusive spare time, Kelly is passionate about being passionate about things. She particularly enjoys vintage record playing, midnight bike rides, local art, traveling, sunshine, tall trees, fabulousness, alliteration, ellipses, lemonade, and certain shades of green. She is an only child and a double Sagittarius. You have been warned.
Kevin is the Paralegal to Burning Man Project’s Legal Department. Born and raised in northern Colorado, Kevin graduated from Colorado State University with a writing major before moving to San Francisco and earning his paralegal certificate from San Francisco State University. He loves exploring new cities, working in his garden, embroidering, and street art. Dislikes include tucking in his shirt, grapefruit juice, and knowing exactly what’s going to happen next.
Director, Creative Initiatives
Kim Cook creates: Impact. Stories. Community projects. Places. Experiences. Spectacle. She successfully builds urban, regional, national, and international projects that increase mutual understanding, advance civic well being, elevate cultural engagement, and further the aesthetic design elements of communities. And sometimes she does things for the adventure, the learning, the discovery, the fun. As Burning Man’s Director, Creative Initiatives, Kim works in the frontier of exploration for projects and collaborations that extend Burning Man culture into the world. Most recently she facilitated the team for “Virtual Burning Man 2020” with 10 technology platform partners offering a range of digital, dynamic, and interactive approaches to the “Multiverse.”
Senior Project Manager, Operations
Kimba is a Senior Project Manager for Burning Man Project Operations. She is focused on implementing the best project management principles from across industries to the unique culture of Burning Man. Burning since the '90s, Kimba has previously managed projects for the nonprofit’s community service, Technology, DPW, and Cultural departments and has spent the last seven years managing the Man Pavilion. She proudly calls herself a project geek, triathlete, Mom, and Burner.
Kirsten Weisenburger a.k.a Kbot
Listening, learning, and writing, Kirsten collaborates across the nonprofit and global community to identify and develop storytelling opportunities. As these storylines evolve, they guide co-creation of Burning Man Project's communication strategies.
After graduating from journalism school, Kirsten spent two decades swimming in a vast sea of digital content, contributing ideas and words at agencies, tech startups, and conferences.
She burned for the first time in 2004. Many, many shenanigans later, Kirsten is a Black Rock Ranger, occasional theme camp organizer, and an avid gatherer of Burning Man wisdom and lore. She loves hearing Burners say, “I didn’t know any of this was possible.”
Head of Participatory Culture
As Head of Participatory Culture, Kristy is a cultural steward for Burning Man's volunteer base. She supports, trains and connects Burning Man’s broad network of volunteers and extends the volunteer ethos to the global community. Before joining the Burning Man team, Kristy worked at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as the Associate Director of Civic Engagement. Here she led civic art projects that put creative citizens at the center of conversations, actions and policies shaping San Francisco. Kristy is an artist herself, and dedicated community builder. She’s also a science enthusiast, having devoted the earlier part of her career to the promotion and public understanding of science at Caltech. Her first years on playa were from 2010–2014 with a Theme Camp called The Phage, whose mission is to bring science to the playa through talks, workshops and interactive art. Kristy earned her BFA in painting from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002. She completed her MBA in 2006, bringing business knowledge to her background in fine art.
Kristy Neufeld a.k.a. Brinkley
Kristy is Burning Man Project’s Managing Editor, overseeing the Communications team’s various public-facing channels, including the Burning Man Journal, Beyond Burning Man on Medium, the Burning Man Project website, and more. After years of living vicariously through other Burners’ stories, Kristy finally experienced the joy of dust in all the wrong places in 2019 as she stepped onto the Black Rock City playa for the first time. She camped in Kidsville, volunteered at Arctica, and was struck by the immense beauty and magic of the people, art, quiet sunrises and howling sunsets.
A self-proclaimed word nerd with a creative soul, Kristy has degrees and experience in writing, editing & publishing, and German, as well as having spent over a decade as a freelance chalkboard artist. When she’s not wielding a pen, her free-time is spent with her two adorable smoosh-faced dogs, outdoors with family & friends, and enjoying solo van life.
Kyle has been a volunteer with Burning Man since he first camped with Lamplighters in 2003. He has seldom missed an opportunity to light the city and has made his home in Lamplighter Village every year he has attended. He received his Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2016, and officially joined the Accounting Team in 2019 after a two-year courtship.
LadyBee a.k.a. Christine Kristen
Art Collection Manager/Archivist
Christine Kristen (a.k.a Ladybee) is Burning Man Project’s archivist and Art Collection Manager. She was previously the art curator from 1999 to 2008, when she dealt with all things visual and aesthetic, including managing the art and the art grant program, photo-editing the Image Gallery, writing art content for the Burning Man website, working with the ARTery, managing the archives, and lecturing and writing about the art of Burning Man. She is the co-author of “The Jewelry of Burning Man,” with Karen Christians and George Post, and the curator of the exhibition “PlayaMade: Jewelry of Burning Man,” which debuted at the Fuller Craft Museum in Boston in 2017, and opens at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Seattle, January 2020. She has an MFA in sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago.
Project Manager, Regional Network
Lara Hopwood works with the Regional Network Committee to develop and implement education and communication initiatives that build the leadership capabilities and share the stories of Burning Man Network Regional Contacts cultivating Burning Man culture in the world. Lara’s own love of learning has led her on an interdisciplinary project support journey across arts, technology, medical, and insurance industries at private, public, and non-profit entities. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Berkeley.
Lara first experienced Black Rock City in 2008. She has been a theme camp organizer and a Burning Man Fire Conclave member many times. For over a decade, Lara has helped people develop and express their creativity in her role as a fire performance faculty member at The Crucible, an arts education non-profit in Oakland, California.
Systems and Data Manager, Philanthropic Engagement
Laura attended her first Burn in 2009, garnering the name, Daneosaur. After bumping her head on The Wedge, she grabbed the jug of kool-aid and drank it down. Today, she can be found skittering between open tabs on her laptop, muttering to herself about data integrity and optimal gift processing as Burning Man Project’s Systems and Data Manager. After getting her Ph.D. in Microbial Biogeochemistry, she decided what she really wanted to do was to use her organizational and problem-solving skills towards sharing the wonders of the Burning Man community with others. She began her journey with us as an air traffic controller for the Communications team before becoming the Grants Program Manager and leading the Global Art Grants charge. When not behind her laptop, she enjoys long walks to her stack of books filled with tales of warrior queens and haunted houses.
Associate Director, Event Operations
Laura brings a not-so-boring background of operational strategy and event production to her role. In her past lives, she was the director of operations of a recreational cannabis start-up in Oregon and was the founder and director of Firefly Gathering, an intentional music, art, yoga, and educational festival in Flagstaff, Arizona. Laura has designed and implemented various business models around environmental stewardship, exemplary labor practices, diversity, empowerment, and efficiency, resulting in a list of accolades around ‘best places to work’ and ‘greenest workplaces.’ She graduated Summa Cum Laude from NAU with a degree in Environmental Science with a focus on sustainable communities and biodiversity.
Her first Burn was in 2009, where she became inspired by the human ingenuity and creativity on playa and made a revelatory commitment to bring her highest potential to everything she did. Yep, Burning Man changed her life.
Her favorite things include Jeta (her dog), the Grateful Dead, the great outdoors, science, environmentalism, gemstones, and a good glass of Pinot Noir. Her spirit animal is a stag or lion, depending on whether she feels like a predator or prey, her spirit fruit is a raspberry, and her astrological sign is Leo.
Laura Parker a.k.a. Twin Peaks
Project & Construction Manager, DPW
Twin Peaks is the Project Manager for the DPW construction sites of metal, shade, Center Camp, Artery, special projects, Depot, Arctica, and First Camp. She first came to playa in ‘96 and has never looked back. Twin Peaks grew up in a family-owned costume shop and continues with that profession in her store “Solstice” in Nevada City, California. Freedom of expression has always been a way of life for her family, so naturally Twin Peaks’ family grew when she set foot on playa years ago.
Lauren Klein a.k.a. Midnight Cookie
Lauren provides project management and support for the office of the Chief Technology Officer of Burning Man Project, both on and off playa. She supports strategic planning, milestone management process, data gathering, presentations, and logistics for event planning and execution.
Over the years she has enjoyed wildlife, meteor showers, and volunteering with Friends of Black Rock High Rock and Burning Man Project. Additionally, Lauren is a member of the art camp, Slippery Tentacles. She thinks in pictures and enjoys working in human-centered design thinking. Lauren is actively involved with youth education and entrepreneurship and stays active by hiking, walking, running, and playing pickleball.
Lauren Merker a.k.a. Wren
Foundation Relations Manager
The role of Lauren (or Wren as most call her) is to inspire people to embrace the Principle of Gifting through philanthropy. Since she first stepped foot on the playa in 2014, the ethos of Burning Man has quickly and completely permeated her life. She has been on the leadership team for Camp Beaverton for many years and has supported numerous playa-bound art projects.
Fully committed to promoting social good and equitable opportunity, Lauren has spent her career designing and implementing effective fundraising strategies for nonprofit organizations nationwide. Hailing originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Lauren earned a BFA from Miami University and a Master’s degree in Arts Administration from Carnegie Mellon University. Wren spends her free time connecting with her more intuitive and creative sides — dabbling in her own artistic pursuits, forever learning about health and wellness (she is a certified massage therapist and yoga instructor), and deepening relationships with her chosen west coast family (including her two eccentric cats — Griffin and Harvey, named after two of her role models, Larry Harvey and Harvey Milk).
Black Rock City Communications Manager
As Black Rock City Communications Manager, Leslie’s focus is on designing and executing communications for Black Rock City participants, both on-playa and year-round. Leslie came to Burning Man Project from the nonprofit environmental sector, where she developed her communications chops by convincing people there was more to environmental sustainability than screwing in an LED light bulb and tossing single-use plastic packaging into the recycling bin. Leslie and her crew are responsible for the giant flaming BORiNG sign seen on playa since 2011, inspired by vintage Las Vegas casino signs and a healthy sense of irony. Leslie first attended Burning Man in 2004, and she’s been back every year since, joining Burning Man Project’s year-round staff in 2019.
Logan Mirto a.k.a. Cobra Commander
Cultural Development Specialist
Logan first attended Burning Man in 1998, when he hitchhiked in with a circus troupe and worked off the cost of his ticket shoveling burnt hay for the DPW. He’s been back every year since, eventually accepting his fate as DPW’s Personnel Manager in 2005. Also in 2005, Logan collaborated with artist Christian Davies to create “The Dicky Box” – arguably BRC’s most interactive art installation, and the only one that has ever involved locking someone in a large solar oven.
After 20 years with Black Rock City’s Department of Public Works, Logan is now a member of the People Operations team, where he helps to wrangle policy language, develop tools for onboarding and staff development, and fine-tune the experience of working for Burning Man Project.
Ticketing Project Manager
As part of the Burning Man Ticketing team, Lulu helps tens of thousands of people experience Burning Man every year. Year-round, she helps with the Low Income Ticket Program, handles participant support questions and requests, oversees projections and statistical analysis of ticket sales patterns. On playa, she is the Assistant Operations Manager of the on-site box office. Additionally, Lulu manages all of the Outside Services contracts and vendors. Lulu first attended Burning Man as a child with her mom in 1995, and consequently grew up seeing the world through a lens of, “Anything is possible, and you can build it if you really want to.” Prior to working with Burning Man, Lulu studied and taught organic chemistry. She holds a Master’s degree in Organometallic Chemistry from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Being the science lover she is, Lulu loves to bake, and is a whiz with fanciful cakes and quick breads.
Assistant Manager of Center Camp/Arctica/Temple Guardians
Mango helps Center Camp Café, Arctica, and Temple Guardians run smoothly all year by doing "all the things." She oversees logistics and budgets, and manages many volunteers while keeping tabs on all the details. Coming from an operations background, she enjoys systems, organization, is a natural planner, and strives to bring joy to all of those around her. Mango has been burning since 2005 and has participated in large scale art projects and volunteered across departments. Some of her hobbies include blending essential oils and macro photography. On Friday evenings you can find her sipping a glass of bubbly accompanied by a big plate of nachos. On playa you can find her scurrying around the three departments with tangled hair and a bag of potato chips. If she could do it all in the mountains, she would! (Camping is a big thing!)
Coordinator, Business Culture
Marin is the first face you see when you get off the elevator at HQ, our visitor assistance specialist at the San Francisco office. Marin's first time at Burning Man was in 2011. The 10 Principles have been an influence on her life, which is why she wanted to work for Burning Man Project. She has participated in art support camps and worked on a few honorarium pieces. She was on the Dragon Smelter crew for a few years, and most recently helped with Bare-Heart and the Gummy Bear Pyramid. Marin is passionate about art and facilitating art creation! Marin has also curated and helped build a number of events across California. When she isn't building art, Marin enjoys clowning, belly dance, costume making, and bone collecting. In recent years, she has also been practicing contortion and aerial silks.
Mark Pankratz a.k.a. KP a.k.a. Krankypantz
As Facilities Manager, Krankypantz keeps track of and wrangles Burning Man Project’s properties located in the Bay Area and beyond. His first Burn was in 2004, and in 2010 he joined BRC’s Department of Public Works. Krankypantz is an avid reader and San Francisco history buff.
Director of Government Affairs
Marnee’s work with Burning Man focuses on relationships with the Nevada Legislature, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Pershing County leadership, and various Nevada law enforcement agencies. She helps Burning Man navigate Nevada politics and federal issues affecting the Burning Man event. Marnee’s first trip to Black Rock City was 2001, and in 2007 she worked with the Department of Public Works and the Communications team, writing and photographing content for the Burning Blog “Building Black Rock City”. She loves the way Burning Man expands her world and flips ideas upside down. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from San Diego State University, a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science & Natural Resource Management, both from the University of Nevada. From 2009 to 2013, she served as the Deputy Director at Black Rock Solar. From 2004 to 2009, she worked as a Communications & Environmental Campaign strategist, produced numerous events, and worked as an art and environment journalist.
Tech Team Web Designer/Developer
Masha has been building and maintaining Burning Man’s many websites since 2012. A Moscow, Russia native with a degree in psychology from Moscow State University, she began volunteering with the Burning Man web team right before her first trip to Black Rock City in 2007. She’s been happily learning new technologies and applying her geeky skills to various web projects ever since. She spends her summers at American Steel for her non-digital creative pursuits and has worked on big art playa projects including Zoa, Mens Amplio, Illumacanth and La Victrola. Her secret vices are photography and making an occasional fractal.
Matthew Deluge a.k.a. Starchild
Solar Program Manager
A member of the Department of Public Works since 2006, Starchild learned how to do solar work with BWB and Black Rock Solar, and has been working in the solar industry in Reno, Nevada, in the off season. Now he holds the title and role of Solar Program Manager, studying and implementing the use of photovoltaics to further Burning Man Project’s sustainability goals.
Matt Morgan a.k.a. HazMatt
Associate Director of BRC Business Operations
HazMatt oversees the Purchasing Department, Contract Services and logistics (such as sanitation and power, and rental handling, including vehicles, buildings, and heavy equipment), OutSide Services, Burner Express Bus, Burner Express Air, and the BRC Airport. He also serves on the Black Rock City Budget Committee and has been a part of the DPW Management Council for more than fifteen years. HazMatt has worked for Burning Man since 2001, when he rode his recumbent bicycle out to volunteer with the DPW. He had just escaped from a job in Austin, Texas where he worked in the exciting field of data analysis for a doomed dot-com. HazMatt has a BA from UT Austin in an entirely unrelated field but it was this detailed analysis work that made him a good fit in the world of temporary infrastructure planning and implementation that so epitomizes Black Rock City.
Asset Manager, Nevada Operations
Melissa Adams is the Asset Manager for the Nevada Operations in Gerlach, Nevada. She helps promote community, complete construction projects, and identify new projects. Melissa has over 30 years in commercial real estate with a specialty in improving regional shopping centers to economic vitality. Melissa was written up in CEO magazine for her work on an outlet center in Ohio. She has lived in Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, California, and two of the Hawaiian islands.
Melissa Waters a.k.a Hormel
San Francisco Office Administrator
As the San Francisco Office Administrator, Melissa oversees all office and California-based facilities operations, leads Wellness and Well-being educational outreach on the Burning Man Hive platform, plans office events, and helps tend to the daily needs of the staff. Melissa has been working for Burning Man Project since 2001, filling various roles as a DPW manager for sign installation, line sweeps, and First Camp.
Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Michigan State University, and holds certifications as a Master Herbalist as well as in the areas of Nutrition, Chronic Disease, and Health Promotion. She is a proud and active member of Herbalists Without Borders and United Plant Savers. In her spare time, she likes to volunteer with local schools, and create low- to no-cost apothecaries wherever she sees a need. Melissa also loves to read, garden, travel, and spend time with her family and friends, in nature.
Megan Miller a.k.a. Juno
Megan is an accomplished communications professional with experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. She’s a skilled leader, writer, editor, public speaker, and strategic adviser. Megan is passionate about the art of sharing information in creative and impactful ways, and believes in the power of ideas and authentic self-expression to change the world for the better.
Before joining the year-round Burning Man staff in 2012, Megan spent ten years working for environmental protection, HIV/AIDS prevention, political campaigns, and the United States Senate. Born and raised in Juneau, Alaska, Megan earned a Bachelor’s degree in English & Art History from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and is a 2007 graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. She is also a certified yoga instructor who loves shaking it loose on the dance floor and any excuse to travel overseas.
Michael Black a.k.a Ranger Crow
Ranger Operations Manager
Crow has been a Ranger since his first Burn in 1998. He is a founding member of the Ranger Council and has been in Ranger leadership since 2001. Crow was formerly the Ranger Logistics Manager for over 12 years and was the founder of the Ranger SITE team, responsible for planning, setting up and tearing down all Ranger facilities on playa. Somewhat complementary to this logistical role, he joined the DPW in the year 2000, was the first DPW Ranger, and is now manager of that program.
Crow has been a Gerlach resident since February of 2008, where he lives with his lovely wife, Keeper, and two sons. They own a parcel of land on the edge of town that overlooks the playa. Keeper is the teacher and dean at the Gerlach K-12 School. While he travels often to other events and festivals to work in a safety and security capacity, he spends over 300 days a year in Black Rock Desert. Crow has training in tracking, Search and Rescue, incident management, public safety dispatch, as a park ranger, and is a volunteer member of the Gerlach Volunteer Fire Department. He holds several relevant certifications including HAM, EMR, and ICS. In a previous life/ alias/ career path, Crow was a project manager, professional designer, and 3D modeler with expertise in AutoCad, SolidWorks, and 3DMax. An avid student of history and anthropology, he was also formerly a musician in a band named RUINS.
Associate Producer, Philosophical Center
Vav first attended Burning Man in 1996, and worked for the Burning Man organization from 1998-2001, and again beginning in 2012 to the present. He is a member of the Technology Department, serving as a tech trainer and providing administrative support to the team and its director.
Nevada Properties Superintendent
Mike maintains Burning Man’s Black Rock Station and other production and operations properties near Gerlach, Nevada. He started volunteering in Black Rock City in 2004, handling machinery maintenance. Mike holds an Associate’s degree in Electrical Engineering and has 25+ years experience as a mechanic and electrician. Prior to working for Burning Man, Mike worked in the niche Pre-Hung Door Industry, where he began as a machinery maintenance person and eventually grew to designing custom production machines and manufacturing plant layouts. He first discovered Burning Man through a film in the mid 1990’s.
Program Manager, Burners Without Borders
As Program Manager for Burners Without Borders, Molly Rose promotes Burners’ civic impact around the world. She partners with leaders at all stages of civic aspirations, amplifies community initiatives, and supports the BWB network in self-organizing and decentralized networking. Molly is especially driven by projects related to access to creative expression, process and equity-focused partnerships, and finding shared work in dynamic collaborations. She has lived, worked, and studied in more than 15 countries, and believes that clear communication solves almost everything. Molly also works in festival, event, and immersive experience production in NYC, is an avid sunrise dancer, amateur neon bender, and loves what happens at the intersection of creative expression, a solidarity mindset, and grassroots humanitarian programming.
Molly Starkovich a.k.a. Molly S.
Administrative Coordinator, Nevada Operations
Molly manages the administrative operations of the Nevada Operations department. Long-time staff and Burner, she joined DPW in 2002 and has been a resident of Black Rock City since 2001. Molly has been part of the BRC and 360 Survey Crew, was the Assistant Manager of the Depot, worked in the commissary (back when it was just a trailer), and was one of the first crew on the 360.
Beyond her Burning Man bubble, Molly is a mother, wife, and graduated from Baylor College of Medicine’s Molecular Physiology Department in 2021. She also enjoys adventuring with her doggos, Penny and Panda, and on a rare lazy day at home, grilling, sport shooting, and gaming.
Molly Vikart a.k.a. Fireclown
Molly supports Burning Man Headquarters as Administrative Specialist. She held the role of Office Manager for seven years and was Administrative Assistant before that, supporting HQ since 2006. Molly first visited Black Rock City in 1995 with her young daughter in tow and hasn’t missed a year since. As a volunteer, she’s worked with the Black Rock Rangers and Playa Info, driven trucks, stuffed innumerable Survival Guides and Thank You cards into thousands of envelopes, and helped both the Ticketing and External Relations teams with credentialing and data entry.
Molly is a native San Franciscan who grew up in Wyoming chasing cows and developing a lifelong love of geology. After returning to California and spending years in Santa Cruz County delivering firewood, cleaning fish, and racing cars, she moved back to the Bay Area and taught Middle School math and science for more than a decade. An early adopter of technology in education, her focus shifted to information literacy, meshing nicely with her love of libraries and data. For fun she digs holes, BBQs, gardens, reads, and plays as much music as possible. Vinyl preferred.
Art Department & Regional Network Team
After years of urging from friends, Muse finally made it to the playa in 2003 and has been an active member of the community ever since. She spent five years as a Volunteer Coordinator for the Department of Mutant Vehicles and another five years as part of the Man Crew. Muse also started and led two large theme camps: Spike’s Vampire Bar and Undercity. Unbeknownst to many, while Muse was dedicating all those hours to Burning Man-related projects, she was also racking up a significant professional resume. After nearly two decades of experience in the corporate world, Muse joined Burning Man Project’s year-round staff in 2012, and has since been enjoying the best of both worlds. A member of the Legal team for seven years, Muse now splits her time between working in the Art Department, and officializing Burning Man Regional Events around the world.
When not plotting projects and processes, Muse enjoys geekery such as online MMORPGs and table-top Dungeons and Dragons. She is also a founding member of the backyard barbecue sing-along family known as Jerk Church.
Associate Counsel, Legal
Natalie Nicol has been an active participant in the Burning Man community for many years. Prior to joining the year-round staff at Burning Man Project, she worked on a broad range of legal issues, including intellectual property, privacy, employment, regulatory, transactional, and tax matters. Natalie’s true passion is intellectual property law, and she has particularly enjoyed advising clients on trademark and copyright issues related to fashion, music, art, technology, and other creative endeavors. In her role as Associate Counsel on the Legal team, she advises Burning Man Project on a variety of legal issues related to the annual event and its year-round operations, and helps enforce its intellectual property and Decommodification policies.Natalie made her first trip to Black Rock City in 2013 as part of DISORIENT, one of the longest-running theme camps in Black Rock City. She became deeply involved in this global art collective, eventually becoming one of its core organizers and bringing her own interactive maker workshop series to the playa: “DISORIENT-it-Yourself.” She also participated in the Cultural Direction-Setting Project, which will shape the future of Black Rock City. Natalie earned her JD degree from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2013, with a concentration in Intellectual Property Law, and her BA degree from Arizona State University in 2008. In her spare time, she enjoys pilates, cooking, live and dance music, and spending time with her Miniature Schnauzer, Moxie.
Noah Wilkinson a.k.a Rex on the Radio
Administrative Assistant, Community Services
Rex supports Mango and Terry Schoop in leading the many teams under the Community Services umbrella, both off and on playa. He was gifted a Burning Man ticket in 1999, and developed a chronic and severe Burning Man habit immediately, attending every Burn since—a true case study in the risks of experimenting with temporary community! Rex volunteered briefly with Greeters, longer as a Ranger, and for over a decade with Center Camp.
When not talking and thinking about Burning Man in a professional context, Rex talks and thinks about Burning Man with members of the community as a co-host of the Accuracy Third podcast. He has non-playa related interests as well, including producing another podcast—Funkiller podcast—about genre fiction, occasionally moonlighting in the cannabis industry, and exploring the nearly endless list of incredible parks and preserves in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Senior Staff Accountant
Norma joined Burning Man Project in 2019. She also attended Black Rock City for the first time in 2019 and can’t wait to go back. In her Senior Staff Accountant role, Norma supports the Controller in overseeing the day to day operations of the accounting department, reconciling account balances and bank statements, maintaining the general ledger, and preparing month-end close procedures. Before joining Burning Man Project, she spent over 15 years working in hotel accounting in a few hotel chains in San Francisco. Norma is a proud mom to three active children.
Patrice Mackey a.k.a. Chef Juke
User Success Manager
Chef Juke oversees help desk, technical support, technology-related training, account management and user communications to enable our staff and community users to successfully engage with Burning Man technology solutions.
Juke began his 24-year career as a Technical Support professional in February 1994, six months before attending his first Burning Man. Since his first Burn, he has run a large communal kitchen for his village at Burning Man, and started volunteering for the Black Rock City Department of Mutant Vehicles in 2002.
Prior to his tech career, Chef Juke studied Culinary Arts at Contra Costa College and worked at a number of restaurants in Berkeley, California. In addition to his work with Burning Man, Chef Juke is pursuing a degree in Manufacturing Technology & CNC Programming, dabbles in graphic design and layout, and is the founder of the JukeShop, a community-focused makerspace in Eugene, Oregon.
Paul Schreer a.k.a Blue
Waste Stream Sustainability Manager, Event Ops
Year-round, Paul oversees nearly all of the waste stream logistics management for Burning Man Project, with a focus on sustainability and handling our waste ecologically. Paul has been a driving force for sustainability since his first trip to the Black Rock Desert in 2001, as a volunteer with Recycle Camp.
As a founding member of the Sustainability Team (sTeam) and the Waste Streams Work Group, Paul works with other highly motivated staff members to research, develop and propose projects that will help the organization reach its sustainability goals. Paul oversees multiple teams and operations on-playa in Black Rock City, including Recycle Camp and the three Department of Public Works teams known collectively as the Transfer Station Authority (TSA).
Paul is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1995. In 2005, while working part-time at the Burning Man Project office, Paul wrote a job description for a full-time Facilities Manager role. A role which he then held until February 2022.
Paul was a co-founder and owner of a successful lighting design firm in Oakland, California, from 1997 through 2004. Paul designed the lighting for Burning Man Project HQ’s office in Reno, and he can be found out in the dust designing the lighting for the Man Pavilion, a role he has held since 2004.
Complex Art Project Manager
Peter manages the biggest and most complex art installations in Black Rock City. This includes the Honoraria grant management for those artists, all matters of scheduling, engineering, and logistics planning beforehand, as well as supporting the actual installations in the Black Rock Desert.
Before joining Burning Man Project, Peter worked as a program manager for a design and fabrication studio in the Bay Area and has managed the design, production, and installation of multiple large-scale art projects for museums, festivals, and public spaces.
Peter holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. His research focused on how government agencies measure and manage their impact. While working as a researcher at a think tank, Peter was actively involved in managing a modern art gallery and helped co-found a European-design award-winning art zine.
Peter grew up at the foot of the Alps, and was trained as a logistics officer / S4 of an Infantry Battalion (Jäger) in the Austrian Armed Forces before he decided to explore the world. While he has not lived in Austria for some 20-plus years now, sitting in a Kaffeehaus with a coffee and a newspaper is still his idea of a perfect day.
Director of People and Learning
Pedro guides the people strategy and manages human resources functions and programs for Burning Man Project. He comes to Burning Man Project with an opulence of nonprofit management experience. A community organizer, Pedro has served on several nonprofit boards and led numerous public health coalitions. With nearly 20 years of experience in public health, including laboratory medicine, clinical research, and education, Pedro has built a career of public service promoting health equity by developing cross-sector partnerships.
Born in Peru, Pedro immigrated to Miami Beach at the age of nine. A U.S. Navy veteran, he holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Norwich University, and a Certificate in Strategic Human Resources Leadership from Cornell University. Although Pedro attended Burning Man for the first time in 2009 he feels he has been a Burner his whole life. In his time off, he loves to travel, meows fluently in various languages, and you can always count on him to be the first one on the dance floor.
Ramsey is Burning Man Project's Controller and oversees the accounting and payroll teams. Since his first Burn in 2015, Ramsey has gotten further involved with the community through co-leading theme camps, building art projects, and volunteering for various Black Rock City departments. Prior to working at Burning Man Project, he helped start-ups create and manage their accounting systems. In his free time, Ramsey is engaged with his various hobbies, such as ASL, cross stitch, and Kung Fu.
Donor Relations and Gifts Officer
Sam has been coming to Black Rock City since 2009 and is an active member of the Theme Camp, Milk+Honey. He has made a career of helping steward and build nonprofit organizations. Most recently, Sam worked for the Conservation Lands Foundation, where he helped grow rural-based organizations working to protect public lands in the American West. Sam serves on the board of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, where he launched the Jewish Pride fund for LGBT and Jewish philanthropy. A graduate of Bates College in Maine, Sam is a native of St. Louis, MO. He was raised at a community arts center, COCA, where he first fell in love with the arts. Sam feels most alive in deserts and mountains and is constantly amazed at the creative human spirit.
Event Operations Administrative Coordinator
Sammy is the Administrative Coordinator for Event Operations, admin to BRC and all-things operational. Before working for Burning Man Project, he worked in the art departments for many film and commercial shoots, as well as organized large-scale art production for large festivals across the country.
Sean Kathleen Curran a.k.a. Hotspot
Utilities Superintendant, DPW
Hotspot’s role focuses on the planning, oversight, and management of critical infrastructure for the Black Rock City event — pertaining to power, fuel, water, and plumbing. One of the primary goals of this role is to prioritize sustainability - seeking creative solutions aimed at reducing resource use on playa and minimizing the carbon footprint of Black Rock City.
Prior to this role, Hotspot served as the Fuel Superintendent from 2016 through 2020, building the infrastructure-only fuel department into the BRC Fuel Safety Program. This program provides safe fueling for art projects, theme camps, and mutant vehicles, thereby decreasing the amount of fuel stored within camps. Between 2013-2015, Hotspot was the ASSistant Manager for Art Support Services (ASS), helping to build the department from the ground up, and leading the charge to compile training manuals and a project tracking system.
Hotspot has a diverse background in engineering, international business, anthropology, disaster relief, event production, and corporate management. In her spare time, she likes to be outdoors, on a trail, or off looking for her next challenge.
Administrative Associate, Executive Support
Shannon’s career path to Burning Man Project has been anything but linear. After many years as an Assistant Manager at various small businesses in San Francisco, she decided to step out on her own as an independent contractor and into the world of executive and personal assisting. After attending Burning Man for a handful of years, she followed through with a desire to volunteer with Burning Man Project and showed up to make Valentine’s Day cards (putting her Master’s in Book Arts and her attraction to organizing chaos to good use). Some special paths were crossed that evening. Many Burns and expeditions later, Shannon accepted her current role as an Administrative Associate for the Executive Cat Herders team in 2018.
Shaye Harty a.k.a. President
Outside Services (OSS) Manager
President has been the Outside Services Manager for Burning Man Project since 2016. Over the years, President has worn many hats since attending her first Burn in 2005; from theme camp lead and mutant vehicle support to Honorarium artist and Black Rock Ranger.
When not working for Burning Man Project, President balances her love of play and creativity with her work as an events professional, tech nerd, and artist. She was thrown onto the Burner path when she co-founded the nonprofit Kinetic Universe to save the 40-mile, three-day human-powered art race in Humboldt County, California—the Kinetic Grand Championship—that was started back in 1969.
Since moving to Australia (where she now works remotely for most of the year), President has continued to gift her unique skillset in event management for Regional Events like Blazing Swan and Afrikaburn. Somehow, she still finds the time to be a bonus parent and loving partner, a permaculture advocate, and an all-around passionate ball of fiery energy.
Shayna Reich a.k.a. Can I Watch?
DPW Administrative Coordinator
Shayna started attending Burning Man in 2011. After volunteering with Café Decor and Café Clean Up, she was quickly swept up by the DPW to join Playa Restoration, following the event in 2013. Shayna has worked on many crews with the DPW— from Oculus (Café Construction), Heavy Equipment and Transpo (HEaT), and Playa Restoration. She has now taken a year-round role as the DPW Administrative Coordinator, mainly assisting Chaos, The Associate Director of DPW, as well as the Council of Darkness and the DPW at large.
Shayna comes to Burning Man Project from event-based roles around the country. Shayna loves Weird Al, and you will frequently find her riding around on playa singing various tunes at the top of her lungs. Shayna holds a Bachelor's degree in Music from Berklee College of Music with a focus in Contemporary Writing and Production.
Education Team Coordinator
Siobhan (pronounced shi-VON) is the Education Team Coordinator at Burning Man Project, and a host on Burning Man Hive — creating course content and partnering with staff and the Burning Man community to foster connection and learning year-round. She attended her first Burn in 2019, and joined Burning Man Project in August 2021. With a diverse professional background ranging from education to personal wellness, Siobhan brings a unique perspective to the work of Burning Man Project's Education Program. Outside of work, you'll find her avoiding the Florida heat and humidity with her passion for travel.
spec Guy a.k.a. spec Lee
Art Management Specialist
Dr. Megavolt was the impetus for spec buying a ticket to Burning Man a couple weeks before the event in 2001. She had no idea what she was in for, and after a few years attending and volunteering, her involvement steadily increased to attending regionals, organizing a theme camp, putting on an annual bicycle race, and building an art car. In 2013 she joined DPW, working for the Yellow Bike Crew for four years. During this same time, her career evolved from working at an art gallery to getting her Master's degree in Arts Administration, and working in the nonprofit museum sector. Most recently, spec was a Project Manager for Meow Wolf's second permanent installation, Omega Mart.
spec's personal and professional lives finally converged when she joined the Burning Man Project Art Department as an Art Management Specialist. In this role, she administers the Honoraria program, acts as a liaison for selected art projects, manages the ARTerians, and does placement for all art projects. Her superpower is the ability to work through the inherent conflict between the creative process, while executing the organization and strategy required to complete a project. She has an irrational fear of balloons because of the popping risk, and is obsessed with all tiny things.
Sustainability Project Manager
Stephen Chun is Burning Man Project’s Sustainability Project Manager. He began his journey cycling and hitchhiking to music festivals and natural landscapes. Along his travels, he discovered a new passion for the arts, culture, and community around Burning Man-inspired events. To further his involvement with the festival community, he began volunteering for green teams, eventually playing an integral role in growing and operating a zero-waste events team. Stephen has worked for municipal environmental initiatives, designed zero-waste event services, and developed a variety of automated reporting systems to support field operations. With a niche for data wrangling, he eventually went on to develop support systems for Burning Man Project’s Philanthropic Engagement and People Operations teams, and for the Department of Public Works.
Chief Technical Officer
Steven is Burning Man Project’s new CTO. With a background in media technology, from building studios through mastering the first CD’s, Steven spends his days and nights contemplating the technical issues humans face everyday. Always on the forefront, he fell in love with early computers and even programmed on a “Trash 80.” While working in Hollywood studios, Steven built some of the first computer graphic systems using Mac’s, and he built and ran the first mpeg compression facility in the US and early video “networks” for GTE.
Jumping into the 2000’s, he became CTO and general manager of Winamp where he really kicked the llama’s ass before heading head first into the startup world. After a number of interesting startups he began as CTO of Current TV - the citizen journalist cable channel headed by former Vice President Al Gore. From there he was CTO for an MMORPG company, an over the top IP television company, then acting CTO at Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media, building out production and Pivot TV, and Sportvision - the group that invented the “yellow line” in American football - tagged Steven as their CTO.
Steven’s only Burn was in 2012, and he is helping lead this year’s virtual Multiverse.
User Success Specialist
Drawing on both the ancient rituals of computer nerd lore and an undergraduate degree in psychology, Steve helps maintain and explain systems both intuitive and inscrutable. Steve's first experience with Black Rock City was in 2000, where thunderstorms and too much time in an RV taught him the importance of readiness for wild desert weather and choosing your companions wisely. Attending nearly every year since, Steve hopes to never sport a natural hair color again. Known as a capable kitten-herder for group expeditions, he's lately been co-leading a support camp for queer artists. Off-playa, Steve likes bicycling with friends, occasionally riding from San Francisco to Los Angeles with AIDS/LifeCycle. Around town you can find him volunteering as support crew for all manner of night life activities and creative endeavors.
Associate Director of Community Events
$teven Ra$pa is an artist, arts advocate, pacifist, prankster, community organizer and long-time community events producer for Burning Man. He has over 25 years of event production experience and has worked with numerous cultural organizations and museums. In addition to organizing gatherings for Burning Man, he supports and nurtures Burner communities around the world with their official Regional Events. He is a founding member of the Burning Man Regional Network Committee and has a wide range of first-hand experience supporting a growing, and globally dispersed community of artists and freethinkers. $teven Ra$pa was named by 944 magazine as one of the most influential people in San Francisco nightlife and culture, although he first cut his teeth as an artist in the vibrant NYC East Village art scene of the 1980s. He has been a poet, sculptor, installation artist and living work of art. His present medium of choice is “social reality”.
Director, Philosophical Center
A member of the Burning Man community since 1993, Stuart was one of the Project’s first year-round organizers, and has held leadership roles in communications, education, and storytelling. He published Black Rock City’s first daily newspaper, the Black Rock Gazette, from 1993 to 1997, and helped organize one of the playa’s first theme camps, Tiki Camp, in 1994. He helped launch Burning Man’s first website, first radio station, and first live webcast. After a 20-year career in marketing he returned to the organization in 2013 as Education Director, helping to organize conferences and symposia and guiding our first forays into online learning. A longtime collaborator with Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, he has co-written or written nine of the annual event art themes. In his current role he is focused on collecting and disseminating the stories of Burning Man in multiple media, overseeing documentation and archival functions as well as new media ventures in print, audio, and film. A native of Los Angeles and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he holds a degree in Government from the University of Maryland.
Tabitha Hewitt a.k.a. Athibat
Gate, Perimeter, & Exodus Manager
Athibat has taken up the unicorn reins of managing Gate, Perimeter & Exodus. She works with her team to ensure all travelers coming into and out of Black Rock City have a safe, courteous and efficient experience. After 17 years with GP&E, she has developed a fascination with traffic, a familial affection for road cones, and an extraordinary ability to scale the sides of a box truck. Tabitha believes traffic lines and parking lots can be spaces of spontaneous participation, connection with one’s community, and just a really darn good time!
Tabitha went to Burning Man for the first time in 1999. This sparked her curiosity about the interplay between our physical and cultural environments, which she further developed studying Geography at UC Berkeley and investigating a variety of life paths. In her free time, she can sometimes be found drawing traffic possibilities on her whiteboard, diving into her quest for the “perfect” clown nose, making up silly songs on the fly, and exploring the planet.
Tami Taylor a.k.a. Muddy Puppy
Black Rock Station Associate
Wandering the desert barefoot for the first time in 2009, Tami recalls walking past staff camps and being cautioned of the tough DPW. Being self-determined, she investigated and has since worked seven seasons on DPW crews, most recently joining Burning Man Project’s year-round staff. She has worked everything from construction to bartending, and administration to Golf Carts Manager. Currently, Muddy Puppy works at Black Rock Station — assisting in staffing needs, vendor relations, maintaining DMV records, sustaining all on-site storage, and generally helping things run smoothly.
If you catch her outside of work, she's likely playing with her dog, climbing, or road-tripping. She has worked as a newborn and twin specialist in three countries, and easily delves into child-development theory. Tami recharges via mini spa sessions. If you see her on playa and haven't done self-care in a while, she hopes you’ll stop by.
Tanner has been with Burning Man Project since 2014. He began working in the Technology department on the design of various web properties and User Experience (UX) projects. Bringing a wide range of design experience to the organization, Tanner has gone on to design numerous logos and print designs for other internal teams — designing the Burning Man Annual Report since 2014 (now called the Dispatch), as well as the BRC theme graphics yearly, and the official Burning Man 2017 poster.
Before working at Burning Man Project, Tanner was the co-founder and creative lead of Digital Brewing Co., a San Francisco based creative agency, for 10 years. In his spare time he enjoys art, outdoor adventures, surfing, and travel. He has made his yearly pilgrimage to Black Rock City since 2012.
Community Services Department Manager
As manager of the Community Services Department, Terry oversees the planning, budgets, management, and operations of nine volunteer-staffed teams that are dedicated to providing Burning Man participants with vital public services at our event: BRC Municipal Airport, Earth Guardians, Greeters, Lamplighters, Placement, Playa Info, Recycle Camp, and the Volunteer Resource Team. As a core member of the BRC Ops Team and a member of the Event Leadership Team, Terry collaborates on the management of event-related issues affecting public welfare and resource management. Other committee membership and participation include the Communications Committee, the Volunteer Squadron, and he is chair of the City Planning subcommittee. In 2012, Terry assumed the role of annually drafting the plan of Black Rock City. Terry displayed innate talent in art and design early in life, winning local and national honors and scholarships. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design with an Art Direction concentration. His experience and skills as a collaborative problem-solver and communicator were nourished – and flourished – first as a business graphics specialist, and then for several years illustrating medical research theory and data for many Bay Area biotech companies, and as an agreement vendor to the UCSF Medical Center.
Ranch Operations Manager
Tim has been working at Black Rock Station since 2017, and has also been living at Dog Ranch since 2018. Tim cares for the facilities near the Hualapai Flats, North of Gerlach, Nevada, throughout the year, and also helps things run smoothly for crews and departments that come out to work and live here throughout the season. He is also on the Fly Working Group and helps support the Fly Ranch team. Tim cares for Burning Man Project’s two resident horses, Spirit and Willie (*staff bios to follow) and works with the local neighboring ranches whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Tony Perez-Banuet a.k.a. Coyote
City Superintendent & Safety Lead
Tony “Coyote” Perez-Banuet is the City Superintendent of Black Rock City and is a member of the council that supervises the Department of Public Works. He has been coming to Burning Man as a staff member since ’96 building the Black Rock City grid and infrastructure. Coming from an entertainment background as a professional singer and sax player, it was an easy transition to the world of Burning Man.
Of late, he has been making headway in the literary world through storytelling. He’s Burning Man Project’s first Storytelling Fellow, working on an upcoming book of his playa stories about the evolution of Burning Man. He is also a member of the Black Rock City Event Safety Team and is an OSHA trainer for Burning Man staff.
Wilfredo Sánchez Vega a.k.a. Ranger Tool
Black Rock Ranger Department Manager
In 2000, Wilfredo was asked by a college buddy if he was interested in going to Burning Man, and hasn’t missed the event since. He now camps annually with a group of people that he loves dearly, most of whom he met at the event, including his wife, Answergirl. In order to help him meet more people in Black Rock City, he volunteered for Playa Info and the Black Rock Rangers in 2001. He was a shift manager at Playa Info for a few years, and had a brief but intense stint with the Greeters. He then found his home with the Rangers, where he became a shift lead and eventually Ranger Operations Manager, overseeing the overall activities of Rangers at the Burning Man event. Wilfredo is a software engineering manager by trade and a private pilot who has made numerous flights to the Black Rock Desert.
Operations Manager, Fly Ranch
Zac has managed teams in Black Rock City since 2010. He spent three years on Burning Man’s Communications team developing the organization’s voice as a nonprofit and driving strategy behind key communications initiatives. He studied Environmental Science and spent a decade producing events and festivals focused on arts, community development, sustainability and food. As the Community & Operations Manager, Zac oversees Fly Ranch’s communications, community engagement, affiliations and site operations.