Allison Dewald a.k.a. Sunny
A staff member since 2013, Sunny keeps the hospitality flowing at Burning Man headquarters. She coordinates and executes office events and keeps the office staff fed and happy. Sunny first came to Black Rock City in 2007 and every year since for good ol’ fashioned unplanned adventures. Sunny graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University. She taught preschool for ten years in three states, was a nanny for five, and tended bar throughout. In her rare spare time, Sunny bar tends in the Mission, shoots film photography, creates costumes, reads and writes.
Associate General Counsel
Ally Deraps assists Burning Man’s General Counsel with navigating a variety of legal issues related to the annual event in Black Rock City and Burning Man’s mission to extend Burner culture to the wider world. Ally also manages Burning Man’s Intellectual Property Team, which works to protect event participants’ right to privacy and to preserve the Principle of Decommodification.
Ally’s first year on the playa was 2004, when she made the pilgrimage from New York with a longtime-Burner friend. A few months later, she moved to San Francisco, and has returned to Black Rock City almost every year since. Ally received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from New York University and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall. After practicing intellectual property litigation at a firm in San Francisco, Ally was thrilled to join Burning Man’s Legal and Government Relations Team in 2014, enabling her to combine her twin passions for Burning Man and the law.
Burning Man Tech Team Web Developer
Andrew builds new websites and applications, and maintains many of the Burning Man web properties. He has been an organizer, musician, entrepreneur, circus performer, crypto-puzzler, teacher, event producer, and writer. He works with Burning Man to combine his artistic, technical, and cultural interests, and play a part in propelling Burning Man to the forefront of culture and technology.
Answergirl oversees the vibrant crew of volunteers responsible for reviewing and placing interactive camps and other groups in Black Rock City. The Placement team works to arrange participants’ intended interactivity to create a unique version of Black Rock City each year. She also manages Placement-related communications and is active in the city planning process.
Calling on her Social Work PhD, Answergirl emphasizes the importance of communication and collaboration to build and strengthen communities in everything she does. Anything is possible with a questionnaire, a pencil, and a great team.
Event Operations Project Manager
In 2013, Audrey started working for The Man. She currently supports the Event Operations Director and Operations Team year-round, and helps manage the Burner Express Bus Program. Audrey regularly juggles many facets of the event, from Environmental Regulations Compliance, to public transportation and supporting Government Relations efforts. Audrey first attended Burning Man in 2008, and over the subsequent four years, dedicated most of her time year-round as a theme camp organizer, volunteering across many departments, and serving as a project manager for art installations.
Administrative Associate, People & Operations
Autumn made her sparkle pony debut at Burning Man 2012, bringing a broken tent, broken bike, peanut & jelly sandwiches, and broken car. The playa provided everything, including a survival guide to read on the tow truck drive back to Reno. After a year of serious prep, Autumn returned ready to give back to the magical dust land. From 2013-2015, she founded U.F.O. theme camp, volunteered for Center Camp Cafe and Box Office, interned with the Communications team, and did seasonal work at BMHQ. She joined the year-round staff in 2016 as the Administrative Associate for People & Operations.
Burning Man Headquarters Facilities Manager
Blue wears a variety of hats for Burning Man. Year-round, he can be found at Burning Man headquarters in San Francisco as the Facilities Manager. During event season, he works with the Department of Public Works as the Waste Stream Logistics Manager, the Community Services Department as Project Manager for Recycle Camp, and with Burning Man Arts as the Lighting Designer for The Man. Blue made his first trek to Black Rock City in 2001 and immediately felt at home. With a passion for sustainability, he joined Recycle Camp, and took over management of the camp in 2002. In the fall of 2004, Blue helped create the Facilities Manager role for Burning Man, wrote his own job description, and never looked back.
Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Blue has the Mid-West work ethic of multitasking. While in college, he worked at night as a DJ, lighting designer and producer for nightclubs and production companies, and by day as a Program Manager for the Office of Development at the University of Michigan. At the same time he was earning his Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Eastern Michigan University. Blue moved to San Francisco in August of 1995, first working for, and then purchasing, a lighting design firm based in Oakland, which he ran successfully through 2003.
Bre supports the accounting team in accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and other general responsibilities.
Bre was born and raised in Reno, NV, surrounded by the Burning Man culture. Having received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Nevada, Reno, Bre was thrilled to join Burning Man’s accounting team in 2015. She looks forward to soon acquiring a license as a Certified Public Accountant. Bre’s first year on playa was 2013, and she, like so many others, was forever changed.
Logistics and Analytics Coordinator
Brody works year-round in the Arts and Civic Engagement Department as the Logistics and Analytics Coordinator. She joined the Burning Man HQ staff in 2011 as a refugee from the corporate world, and has attended Burning Man every year since 2004. Her mission in life is to increase the amount of happiness in the world, and she would like someone to teach her how to carve a wooden bear with a chainsaw. These two things are not necessarily related.
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 Petrell a.k.a. Taz
Nevada Technology 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.
Program Manager, Burners Without Borders
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.
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.
Dominic Tinio a.k.a. D.A. 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.
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.
Erika O’Connor a.k.a. Deputy
Technology Project Coordinator
Deputy spent 15 years publishing travel guides before crossing over to the fiery side. She started at Burning Man HQ producing the map of theme camps for the Placement team. Now she wrangles the Participation Forms for the Technology Department, and provides on-playa tech support to the Department of Mutant Vehicles, the ARTery, Lost & Found, and the airport. She enjoys the solitude of flagging theme camps for the Placement team before the participants arrive at the event. Her first year at Burning Man was 2007. She worked on small art projects with a group in Illumination Village for a few years, and now she camps with Vietnamese Iced Coffee Experience, where she serves icy beverages to hot Burners in the afternoon.
Material Culture Manager
As the Material Culture Manager, Glenda gathers and documents the objects that Black Rock City citizens create to commemorate their experiences on the playa. Since 2010, she has amassed an incredible archive of necklaces, stickers, patches, and other memorabilia created by Burning Man participants. She first attended Burning Man in 1996, and holds degrees in Music, Dance, and Theater Arts.
Heather Gallagher a.k.a. CameraGirl
Director of Technology
Heather is a recovering corporate IT consultant with a Master’s degree in Computer Science tucked under her rhinestone-studded belt. Heather first stepped foot on the playa in 2000 and, in many ways, has not left it since. CameraGirl was born in 2001 as the Documentrix for the Center Camp Cafe and Arctica, where she became hooked on Burning Man imagery, joined the web team and eventually became the Photo Editor for burningman.com. Since 2003, under the guise of her secret identity, CalendarGirl, she has produced each of the Burning Man Wall Calendars. In early 2004, she could no longer deny her inner ComputerGeek and began managing the Burning Man Technology Department. There, she uses her cat herding abilities and special powers to bring some method to the madness. At first, her conservative East Coast family wasn’t certain about all this, but as this sort of resembles a real job and they have since visited Black Rock City, they seem to have become used to her super high-fi color-shifting blonde dreadlocks and her serious costume addiction (warning: colors and costumes may change often, and without notice).
In her “spare time”, Heather practices yoga and further scratches her constant creative itch as a photographer, mask artist, photojournalist, web geekette and image productioneer. Heather is a Scorpio in Leo rising, born on Halloween, with about 5 planets in Scorpio. So you see, it’s really not her fault.
Managing Director, People & Operations
As Managing Director, Heather oversees portions of Burning Man's programming and operations. She helps manage collaborations and infrastructure, and is a member of the team that coordinates special projects and events. Heather’s service leadership supports the people and teams that drive Burning Man’s non-profit work in the world, and she works to help streamline the organization’s efforts and systems.
For nearly 20 years, Heather has focused on strategy, operations and partnerships for creative service organizations. Throughout her life and career, she has partnered with artists on media projects and opportunities for artists to create ancillary revenue streams. Heather has been a roving member of Black Rock City’s Random Pizza Experience since 2004. During Burning Man, she welcomes you to participate in making a pizza for strangers and randomly delivering it anywhere, anytime!
Ian Starr a.k.a. bliss
Collaboration Systems Manager, Technology Department
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
Regionals Network Manager
Iris first trekked to BRC 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 a member of the Regional Network Committee, and now living in San Francisco, 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.
Based in New York City and Vancouver, Jenn works on global innovation, affiliations, and new initiatives for Burning Man. She facilitates diverse stakeholder collaborations and consults on community-focused business models, and external leading-thinker engagements. Currently she is supporting the growth of the Regional Network and Burning Man culture in New York and London. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management in Vancouver, Canada, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and International Relations at London Metropolitan University in London, UK. Previously, Jenn put her skills to work helping many grass-roots brands expand internationally, including Vimeo, Neurosky, and THNK. Jenn was a Partner at a specialist future technology communications firm in east London and a curator of TEDxLondon.
Jim Graham a.k.a. ron jon
Senior Advisor, Strategic Projects – Communications Team
As a core member of Burning Man's Communications Team, Jim is responsible for event-related communications, serves as one of Burning Man’s spokespersons, oversees Burning Man Information Radio and the webcast, and is a representative on the Unified Command. He has attended the event annually since 1996 and was given the playa name “ronjon” in 1997 when he was handed a radio and put in charge of the gate.
Jim was a reporter for a dozen years, including four years in Washington, D.C. covering Congress, the Pentagon and NASA. He has more than 20 years experience in agency and corporate public relations. In his free time he oversees a team campaigning a ’69 VW Beetle in off road races, including the Baja 1000, and is writing a book on the history of the Mint 400.
Joe Meschede a.k.a. Spark Plug
Civic Arts Coordinator
As Burning Man's Civic Arts Coordinator, Joe works to develop tools, engagement opportunities, and artist interfaces that extend Burning Man culture and practice from playa to public space. Joe's first year on playa was 2010. Since then he has been a part of numerous theme camps, performance groups, and other exercises in desert weirdness.
Jon (a.k.a. Argus) handles the day-to-day publishing of words on Burning Man’s online channels, including the main website, the Burning Man Journal, the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter, and the social media accounts. He started as a volunteer Burning Blog writer in 2010, and he’s been editing participant stories for the Tales from the Playa section since 2013. In early 2014, when the Herculean task of redesigning and migrating the Burning Man website to burningman.org was given the green light, Jon joined the Communications Team to help with content strategy for the new site. He’s been going to Burning Man since 2008 and writing about it since he first stepped foot on the playa, publishing many long-form essays and one chapter in his first book about the event and its culture.
Josh Lease a.k.a. Free Fall
Program Development Manager
Josh is a member of the nonprofit programming team at Burning Man, and is responsible for developing collaborations, managing activity reporting, and building out grant processes. With a Masters degree in International Policy and a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Language, Josh previously held positions with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program, Tostan, and the World Affairs Council. Josh's first year on playa was 2013 when he was lured by the idea of skydiving over Black Rock City. Josh joined the Burning Man HQ staff in 2014.
Karen Jacobs a.k.a. KJ
People & Operations Coordinator
KJ joined Burning Man’s Human Resources team in 2012. As the HR Coordinator, she supports the needs of the Burning Man staff throughout the year. Her work peaks during the summer’s event season when hundreds of dedicated workers come to give blood, sweat and tears to the manifestation and eventual disappearance of the beautiful mirage of Black Rock City. Prior to joining the HR team, KJ spent five years wrangling the spreadsheets and data of the BRC Department of Public Works, where a piece of her heart will forever reside.
In 2001, KJ retired from an 18-year competitive swimming career, and graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Literature and Communications. Her first post-collegiate, real-world adventure? Going to Burning Man! Participating consecutively since that year, KJ has been privileged to have truly incredible experiences in Black Rock City, including her many years of spinning fire with the performance group The Mutaytor.
Foundation Relations Manager
As the Philanthropic Engagement team’s Foundation Relations Manager, Kari takes a storytelling approach to writing grants to secure financial support for the Burning Man Project. She is passionate about the 10 Principles and their potential for community building and increasing capacity for intrapersonal and interpersonal connections. Kari has been a vicarious Burner since 2010, first visiting BRC in 2014. She found her Burning Man home in 2015 with the Friendlandia Theme Camp, which ceremonially celebrates new and longtime friendships.
Kari has five years of fundraising experience with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. She is a certified yoga teacher, enjoys investing in her community, geeking out on music, dancing and drinking coffee.
Co-Lead, Central Arts Team
Katie Hazard is a Project Manager in the Art Department, where she coordinates and organizes art processes and technology toward having the most awesome art possible at the Burning Man event. She’s been passionate about arts administration and grants for many years, having received a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Notre Dame, and spending ten years at Harvard University as a Senior Grants Manager.
Her first year on the playa was 2000, and over the years she has contributed to many departments: Department of Mutant Vehicles, Man Base Lighting, Temple Guardians, Fire Conclave, ARTery, theme camp organization, and a grant-funded art installation build crew. Prior to moving to San Francisco in 2012, she was active in the Boston Burning Man community, serving on the board of Firefly, the New England regional event, and founding the Firefly Art Grant Program. Katie is also a certified yoga teacher and has been a practitioner of Buddhist meditation for more than a decade.
Executive Assistant to Marian Goodell and Larry Harvey
As executive assistant to Marian Goodell and Larry Harvey, 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.
Cafe & Ice Assistant Manager
A New York City native, Kez holds a master’s degree from NYU in Renaissance Art, Literature, and History and has an eclectic history as an English teacher, human resources director, video game environment artist, charter yacht first mate, and nightclub bouncer.
Kez arrived at BRC in 2009, became a Ranger in 2011, and started working for The Man in 2013. Now, as Assistant Manager for Café and Ice, Kez plans to ride the BRC merry go round until they kick him off. He lives by the motto, “There is nothing I can’t do. Just things I haven’t done yet.”
Kez lives in Oakland with two of the smartest, sweetest, totally frikkin’ adorable dogs in the world.
Director of Art & Civic Engagement
Kim Cook joined Burning Man Project as the Director, Art & Civic Engagement in December 2015, managing the teams that deliver Civic Arts initiatives, Burners Without Borders, and Art to the Playa, including Honoraria and Global Arts Grants programs. Previously, Kim served as the President and CEO for the New Orleans Arts Council, serving at the intersection of arts, culture, and civic life. She helped launch the 2014 LUNA Fête, a projection mapping and light festival, and created Youth Solutions, a trauma intervention and design education project that garnered $500,000 in National Endowment for the Arts and Artplace America funding.
Kim’s talents lie in strategic management, marketing, social enterprise, and electronic media/virtual space. She has a BA in the Performing Arts and MA in Arts and Consciousness. In 2004/05 she was a fellow at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was selected to participate in the “Autopiste” program studying contemporary circus in Quebec, Spain, France, and Sweden in 2014/15. She currently serves as a founding Board Member for Ping Pong Arts in Beijing and is on the National Advisory Committee for the National Performance Network’s “Leveraging a Network for Equity” initiative. She loves reading, hiking, learning, travel, and spending time with friends.
Man Pavilion Project Manager
Having exhausted all vacation time in her project management career to participate at Burning Man, Kimba flipped the tables to come project manage the Man. Kimba wrangles the Man Pavilion concept, design, build, operation and strike along with infamous “other duties as required” when they sound fun or she isn’t quick enough to duck them.
With more than a dozen Burns under her belt, Kimba’s only trip to the Med Tent was due to a blister she suffered during a quick trip off-playa to a music festival. Pro tip: Never walk the length of San Francisco, enjoy a day of music, and walk the same distance back home, in cheap sandals.
Burning Man Headquarters Facilities Assistant
Krankypantz keeps track of and wrangles the physical infrastructure of Burning Man headquarters. His first burn was 2004. He spent many summers at the Oregon Country Fair, which he’s been involved with since 2001. In 2009, he returned to Burning Man, building a theme camp, and in 2010 he joined the BRC Department of Public Works. Krankypantz is an avid reader.
Administrative Associate, Arts & Civic Engagement
Kye joined as Administrative Associate in May of 2016 supporting the Arts and Civic Engagement team. She assures the ACE team runs as efficiently as possible.
Kye completed her undergraduate thesis in anthropology, examining how secular spirituality is fostered through ritual and rites of passage at Burning Man. Much of her thesis focused on the Temple and other works of art on the playa. After spending a year researching and writing, she became enamored with Burning Man art both on the playa and beyond. In 2014 she co-founded a Theme Camp and is excited to be able to give back to the Burning Man art community through her camp as well as her staff role.
As Burning Man’s Controller, Kyle supervises day-to-day accounting, prepares and presents monthly financial statements, and provides financial insight into the operations of Burning Man. He began working for the Burning Man organization in 2014, which was the same year he first attended the event. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Oklahoma, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 2009.
LadyBee aka Christine Kristen
Art Collection Manager/Librarian/Special Projects
LadyBee is a former sculptor and jeweler turned art curator and facilitator. She worked as Art Curator for Burning Man from 1999 through 2008, and currently manages their art collection. She first went to Burning Man in 1995, and was attracted to the art, created in a community-based, collaborative and interactive environment outside the mainstream art world in which she was schooled. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She is the Editor, Curator and Historian of the book Jewelry of Burning Man, 2015.
Grant Program Manager
Laura is the Grant Program Manager for the Arts & Civic Engagement Department. She plays a key role in administering and developing the grantmaking functions and capabilities of Burning Man. She has a leadership role with the Global Art Grant program and is also a support for the Honoraria Grants and Burners Without Borders Grant managers. In a not-so-previous life, Laura was the air traffic controller for Burning Man’s Communications Department. She attended her first Burn in 2009 garnering the name, Daneosaur. A self-professed academia aficionado, Laura holds a double B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from UC Santa Barbara, an M.S. in Soil Ecology from San Diego State, and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Microbial Biogeochemistry (don’t worry, her parents don’t know what that means either).
Lisa Nash a.k.a. Fireball
Nevada Properties Manager and BRC Storage Manager
Lisa manages the Black Rock Station facilities and the year-round activities of Burning Man’s northern Nevada properties. During the Burning Man event, she oversees the Gerlach office, provides infrastructure support at Black Rock Station, coordinates the Black Rock City Private Storage Container Program, and acts as liaison between local residents, Burning Man staff and participants in Gerlach, and the Nevada Properties Superintendent. She first attended Burning Man in 2006, and has been working with the Burning Man organization since 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering.
Logan Mirto a.k.a. Cobra Commander
Black Rock City Department of Public Works Labor Manager
As a member of the BRC Department of Public Works Council, Logan is involved in creating and planning all of Black Rock City’s physical infrastructure. Logan spends more than 100 days each year on-site in the Black Rock Desert, wrangling the DPW crew, and helping to build, maintain, and disassemble Black Rock City. The rest of the year is a blur of meetings, emails, and spreadsheets. 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 Labor Manager in 2005. Also in 2005, Logan collaborated with artist Christian Davies to create The Dicky Box – arguably the playa’s most interactive art installation, and the only one that has ever involved locking someone in a large solar oven.
Ticketing Associate and Outside Services 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.
People & Operations Generalissima
Marci has over 12 years experience in many different areas of Human Resources and joined Burning Man’s Human Resources team in January 2014. In this role, she uses her knowledge and expertise to help implement Human Resources services, policies, and programs while assisting and advising staff on a myriad of Human Resources issues.
Marci was lured to Burning Man in 2006 by friends at Death Guild Thunderdome with the promise of much violence and hard work … it was a sales pitch that does not work on many! She’s been an active and enthusiastic member ever since, helping out in any way she can (before, during, and after the event), from weapons making and truck loading, to harnessing Thunderdome participants and officiating gladiator-style fights during the event. Marci is a Bay Area native, yoga teacher and practitioner, rock climber, and retired book nerd.
Black Rock City Center Camp Café Manager and Arctica Manager, and Burning Man Special Events Coordinator
Marcia manages two of Black Rock City’s major public services: the Center Camp Café and Arctica. She oversees budgeting, staffing, and operations for the coffee and ice sales during the Burning Man event, and loves the broad variety of skills and tasks this role requires. She skillfully rides herd over a cadre of managers and volunteers, and directs the year-round planning for the Café with support from many dedicated volunteers. Marcia first discovered Burning Man in 1994 through friends in the Cacophony Society. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Vermont, and has studied leadership and interpersonal communications, which supports her in managing teams effectively. Marcia is an arts production veteran with over 30 years of experience. She was the co-Founder and Executive Director of San Francisco’s Climate Theatre from 1985-1999, she co-founded Anon Salon Events and the annual New Year’s Eve Sea of Dreams party in San Francisco, and collaborated on creating numerous arts events over the last few decades. She also co-owned a first-generation Internet restaurant, Icon Byte Bar and Grill, in San Francisco in the mid 1990’s.
Burning Man Technology Team Event Systems Manager
Mark is a native New Yorker who transplanted to the Bay Area in 2004 after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from City University of New York at Hunter College. He was gifted his first Burning Man ticket in 2007 by a near stranger, just two weeks before the gates opened and has been Burning every year since. An events industry techie at the time, he was blown away by the production and scale of Black Rock City. He dove deeper into Burning Man, joined a stilt walking troupe and a playa-born band, co-founded the theme camp Cirque du Cliché, and eventually the BRC village JankyTown. After years of producing event management software, in 2014 Mark joined the Burning Man Technology Team, where he oversees many of the applications and systems that support Black Rock City.
Political Affairs Manager
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.
Matt Morgan a.k.a. HazMatt
Black Rock City Department of Public Works Business Services Manager
HazMatt is the Department of Public Works Business Services Manager. He oversees the Purchasing Department, and manages many of the large infrastructure contracts, such as sanitation and power, and rental handling, including vehicles, buildings, and heavy equipment. HazMatt also serves on the Black Rock City Budget Committee and has been a part of the DPW Management Council for more than ten years. HazMatt has worked for Burning Man since 2001, when he rode his recumbent bicycle out to work with the DPW for, what was then, a season lasting more than four months. He had just escaped from a job in Austin, Texas where he had worked in the exciting field of data analysis for a doomed dot-com. Though he received his Bachelor’s degree in English from University of Texas, Austin, it was this detailed analysis work that made him a good fit in the world of temporary infrastructure planning and implementation, that is Burning Man’s DPW.
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.
As Director of Communications for the nonprofit Burning Man Project, Megan oversees media and public relations for the hub of the growing global phenomenon that is Burning Man. Megan helps to set priorities for the organization, shape the perception of Burning Man in the public eye, and guide the growth and impact of Burning Man culture.
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.
Meghan Rutigliano a.k.a. Megs
Regional Network Associate Director
Megs is responsible for the management of Burning Man’s Regional Network, comprising 240+ Regional Contacts in 31 countries and over 65 official Regional Events around the globe. Megs oversees the production and programming of Burning Man’s annual Global Leadership Conference and the European Leadership Summit;. She has a passion for bringing ideas to life, for public speaking, and for learning new languages. Called to the desert in search of exciting performance art opportunities and dusty dance floors, Megs first started Burning in 2005. The creative community in the Bay Area drew her in and she moved to San Francisco from Chicago in 2007 and began working for The Man in 2008. Megs moonlights as a jazz singer in her band The MegaFlame Big Band and Cabaret, and as a voice and on-camera actress.
Human-Cyborg Relations, Technology Team
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.
Molly Vikart a.k.a. Fireclown
Burning Man HQ Office Manager
Molly works as the Office Manager for Burning Man headquarters. She first visited Black Rock City in 1995, with her young daughter in tow, and hasn’t missed a year since. She began volunteering in 2000, and over the years has 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 out the Ticketing team. 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 earned a teaching credential, going on to teach 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, kills monsters online, reads, and plays as much music as possible. Vinyl preferred.
Executive Legal Assistant
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 the past five years on 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 projects, she was also racking up a significant professional resume. With 15 years of experience providing administrative assistance to high-level corporate executives, Muse is now enjoying the best of both worlds, using her experience and expertise to support the Legal and Government Affairs Department. When not plotting projects and organizing the office, Muse enjoys geekery such as World of Warcraft and table-top Dungeons and Dragons. She is also a founding member of the backyard barbecue sing-along family known as Jerk Church.
As Communications Specialist, Piper provides project management and leadership for Communications Team initiatives including publishing strategies and the Speakers Bureau, where she acts as conduit for interview and speaking engagement practices for founders and staff as they represent out in the world.
Piper is a Florida-born Bay Area resident. Burn class of 2007, she made her home at The Deep End and hasn't left the Tokyo sector since. In 2010, she co-founded the DISTRIKT nonprofit alongside 11 men as "Token Female" a.k.a. cat herder, community cultivator, event coordinator, and communications lead. Having found her bliss in being a part of a culture which gives with pure joy and no expectation, Piper left a 20-year career in retail merchandising to join us here at BMHQ.
Associate Director, Event Operations
As Associate Director of Event Operations, Playground oversees a portion of Black Rock City’s operations and staff, including BRC Outside Services, Burner Express, Café & Ice as well as other departments. She brings with with her more than a decade of spreadsheet wrangling experience and a special love of numbers to our business operations. She will be working directly on strategic planning and budgeting for Black Rock City and for the nonprofit Burning Man Project. Playground first came to the playa in ’95 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 when it formed in 2004, and had been the DPW Manager since 2008.
Raymond oversees all aspects of Burning Man's legal and government affairs. He advises the Board of Directors, CEO and department managers on a wide variety of legal issues, and is heavily involved in the long-term strategic planning for the nonprofit, and its various subsidiaries and affiliate programs. Practice areas include contracts, intellectual property, privacy rights, non-profit entities, corporate governance, risk management, insurance, employment, litigation, administrative law, regulatory affairs, compliance, public policy, lobbying and other areas of the law. He leads and directs Burning Man’s associate counsel, Public Policy representative, Compliance and Sustainability manager, paralegal, external counsel, external lobbyists and various consultants. Raymond received his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Florida. In 2002 he received his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis, School of Law. Burning Man has been Raymond’s passion since 1996, and his occupation and profession since 2004. Raymond believes that being able to dream, build and realize Black Rock City on federal land in Nevada is a testament to the power of collaboration among a broad spectrum of government departments and citizens with a multitude of competing interests and, at times, diverging opinions. As Raymond says, “Burning Man represents the extreme culmination of what is possible when people work together.”
Ticket Operations Manager
Rebecca has been Burning Man’s head of Ticketing since 2007. She creates and implements ticketing strategy and operations each year. She first attended Burning Man in 1999 and began working with the organization as a volunteer in 2001 with the Center Camp Café. Seeing firsthand the need to foster community and organize to support the 500+ volunteer base of the Café, she pioneered the role of Volunteer Community Manager. She continues to focus on ticketing strategies that support community, as well as facilitating critical communications to the Burning Man community through producing the annual printed Survival Guide and What, Where, When handbook of participant events. Prior to her experience with Burning Man, Rebecca worked in branding and creative direction, business innovation strategy, retail management, and dabbled in finance, although at her core she has always been an artist. When not working on Burning Man projects, she is happily raising two young Burners in her native San Francisco.
Rosalie Fay Barnes
Government Relations Manager
Rosalie manages the relationships, research, and reporting required to permit the largest arts event on Federal Land. She oversees compliance programs, directs multiple research teams and advises event directors on strategic growth and sustainability issues. She earned two Masters from Harvard Graduate School of Education where she studied technology and neuroscience. Rosalie believes Burning Man has much to offer researchers, educators, and psychologists about community transformation through art making. Her first burn was in 2000. She started working for the Man in 2009.
Web Production Manager
Silvia joined the Burning Man Technology Team in 2011 and currently drives new web product initiatives, evangelizes responsive mobile web development and best practices, all the while addressing the importance of user experience from a holistic perspective. Self-proclaimed technology junkie, advocate of User Experience, lover of beautiful design, typography, art and snark, Silvia is a veteran of advertising agencies, boutique graphic design and web development groups, and just a few of the Silicon Valley tech giants. After years of consulting, team management, and working with some of the most influential and creative technology teams, the opportunity to apply all these experiences came about with a position at Burning Man.
Arts Advocate & Community Events Producer
$teven Ra$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 of Education
Stuart has been part of the Burning Man community since 1993. A former member of the San Francisco Cacophony Society, he was one of the Project’s first year-round organizers. 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. During his tenure as communications manager he helped launch Burning Man’s first website, first radio station, and first live webcast. He returned to the Burning Man organization in 2013, and is now focused on cultural development programs including staff and volunteer training, public education, and historical and philosophical documentation. He collaborates with Larry Harvey on the event’s creative direction, co-develops the annual art theme, and serves as a member of the Philosophical Center. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he holds a degree in degree in Government from the University of Maryland.
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.
Director of Philanthropic Engagement
Theresa leads the Philanthropic Engagement team, which honors and develops the culture of giving threaded throughout the Burning Man experience. The team nurtures relationships and implements programs to inspire donations in support of the Burning Man Project. She invites you to join in her personal quest — called “Anonymous Altruism in August” — to do something good for someone anonymously every day in August. In BRC 2014 and 2015, Theresa camped with Camp Monkey Business, known for their soft rock happy hours, an effervescent “bananaphone” setlist, and monkey pranks and shenanigans.
With 14 years experience in fundraising, Theresa served as Vice President of Development at the Aquarium of the Pacific and teaches fundraising to grassroots environmental organizations across the country. A pragmatic optimist and lifelong advocate for social justice, the environment, and the arts, Theresa earned her Masters of Business Administration and her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from California State University, Long Beach.
Office Manager, Nevada Properties
Trixi is a long-time resident of Gerlach, Nevada and serves to keep Burning Man’s Gerlach office in order and running smoothly. Burning Man found her in the mid 1990’s when the event kept returning to the nearby Black Rock Desert. Prior to working with Burning Man, Trixi was the secretary and Office Manager for Empire Foods, and also worked in the Accounts Payable department. She began working for Burning Man in 2004.
Wilfredo Sánchez Vega a.k.a. Ranger Tool
Black Rock Ranger Operations 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.
Media & Communications Specialist
As the Media Relations Coordinator, Zac helps people tell their stories about Burning Man through words, pictures, and sounds. He first attended Burning Man in 2007, and immediately recognized it as the most potent example of creative, human gathering he had witnessed. He dove deeply into participation, volunteering for Center Camp in 2008, and eventually became a member of Center Camp Cafe leadership in 2011, where he helped lead an all-volunteer crew during the set-up and strike of the event. He has been a member of the Department of Public Works since 2012, and is a member of the Playa Restoration team, and the Oculus Crew that builds Center Camp. Parallel to his professional pursuits, Zac has been involved in event and festival production since first attending the Earthdance festival in 2003. For the subsequent ten years, he worked in nearly every department of event production for festivals throughout the U.S., helping support what has become an international network of participatory arts events. Zac worked as the Outreach Director, co-producer, photographer, and videographer for The Bloom documentary web series about festivals and festival culture. Zac has a huge passion for culinary arts and sustainable food systems, and makes a seriously mean mac ‘n cheese.
It was 1996 in the People’s Republic of Fremont, Seattle when Zaius first heard of a middle-of-nowhere Nevada campout where a giant wooden man would be burned. He arrived on playa in 1999. Having worked at special events and arts festivals in Washington, Oregon, and California, BRC was the next level event he was craving. It changed his world forever.
For years, mastering the art of survival at his camp in the dust and heat was challenge enough. In 2008, Zaius began formally working for The Company. He’s worked GPE, DPW, Box Office, hosted BMIR shows and is now a member of the Facilities Team, making all things BMHQ go. He loves pizza, coffee, and werewolves.