Allison Dewald a.k.a. Sunny
Philanthropic Engagement Administrative Assistant
Since 2013, Sunny was providing hospitality to the Burning Man office, until COVID-19 hit. She now works as the Administrative assistant for the Fundraising department.
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.”
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.
Event Operations Project Manager
In 2013, after dancing her way across the desert, volunteering and working on various art projects, Audrey (a.k.a. Audacity) started working for The Man. She works on a wide variety of projects including Burner Express Air, Burner Express Bus and the BRC Storage Program. When she’s not zipping around Black Rock City, she can be seen either at the Airport, the BxB Depot or playing on art. In her spare time she moonlights on various production teams, stilt walking, and “racing” in running and Ironman events around the country.
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.
Office Operations Manager
Brigid is in charge of…pretty much anything she puts her mind to. Brigid joined Burning Man Project as the Office Operations Manager in 2018 and is already on a roll! She's passionate about the 10 Principles and is supremely excited about exploring her new role within the organization this coming year, on and off playa. Never one to shy away from a new adventure, she's tackling numerous activities and contributing to the short and long-term goals of the organization. Something new? Something challenging? Something tasty? Brigid’s ready! Come back and visit next year for an update on what she has accomplished.
Brigid lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. She has a BS in Psychology from Plymouth State University.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Bay Area native and Sacramento-grown, Colin first learned about Burning Man in high school while watching the now off-air Current TV and made his first journey to the playa in 2014. He fell in love with the playa instantly. He has camped with Dragon Clan and led various projects including a fire-flow-arts first aid class. Upon accepting a new role at Ticketfly in 2016, Colin made the trek back to the Bay Area, where he was given the opportunity to serve on the Burning Man support team to resolve ticketing issues for thousands of participants. In 2018, Colin accepted the role as Burning Man’s Ticketing Coordinator and after a mishap, scored a new playa name! He acts as an in-house expert in participant support and assists with year-round planning for Box Office operations. Colin is a long-time snowboarder and dad-joke enthusiast. When he’s not dancing the dust off or shredding pow, you can find him reading a book or spinning fire, although he does not generally practice those last two simultaneously.
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.
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.
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.
Senior Communications Manager
Dominique is the Senior Communications Manager for Burning Man Project. He is responsible for managing many of the Communications Department’s operations, including press relations, 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. With two other co-founders and an amazing crew, he runs Kindred Spirit, a 30-foot house-and-techno-blasting American bison Mutant Vehicle. 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 Weisman, J.D.
Associate Director of Operations, Burners Without Borders, Civic Activation
Emma joined the Government Affairs department as their Government Agency Relationship Manager in 2018, a natural progression in a peripatetic career including athletic fashion retail buying and management, law, natural disaster response management, emerging agricultural industries consulting and management, and international nonprofit management. It's her privilege to have transitioned into the Burners Without Borders and Civic Activation departments in an operational capacity.
Emma first went to 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 Communtiere 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 become Awkward(ville)!.
Emma was raised in Vermont, attending the Bread and Puppet Domestic Resurrection Circus from infancy. She graduated from the Buxton School in Williamstown, Mass., 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 educations.
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.
Regional Network Lifecycle Coordinator
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. Helping people negotiate their way between "safe" and "fun" on the playa is a major part of his experience at the event.
Fred made the leap from volunteer to employee in 2019 when he came on as a Project Manager with the Technology Department. The Interdepartmental 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. With BRC 2020 being canceled Fred has redeployed his time and skills to the Regional Network, helping them manage the lifecycle of the Regional Contacts...as well as providing support where it’s needed.
He has drunk the Kool-Aid and finds it quaffable...with notes of "Hell Yeah!' and a hint "Are You Serious?!?".
Education Project Manager
Gustavo helps keep all of Burning Man Project’s education and learning initiatives running smoothly. His background and degrees in Social Anthropology (BS) and Human Development (MS) and Instructional Design (MA) serve him well here. But it is Gustavo’s love of people, and inquiring mind, that drive his passion. Inspired by the growth that happens with shifts in understanding, he truly loves helping others learn, as he had been doing for over 15 years in the fields of Human Services and Public Health. More recently, Gustavo worked in the world of higher education building online courses. On weekends and on the playa, Gustavo may be found spinning multi-colored flags that he made himself. Any curious passerby may soon find themselves swept up by his enthusiasm, and suddenly they are spinning, too. Burning Man attracted him because of the connections he made with people, and the beauty he experienced there — a cross between Dali and Dr. Seuss.
Regionals & Civic Activation 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
Technical Product 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.
James Mayagoitia a.k.a Newsboi
Administrative Associate, Communications
James provides administrative and interdepartmental support for the Communications Department, making sure the team runs smoothly and efficiently, both at headquarters and on site in Nevada before and during the annual event in the Black Rock Desert. He has worked in many industries including cuisine, education and technology. James first went to the Burning Man event in 2014 after hearing about it for years, and he has been an active community member ever since, both as an organizer of a Theme Camp and as a volunteer around the city. James is also a classically trained actor, singer, dancer, director, and teaching artist. He holds a BA in Drama (Magna Cum Laude) from San Francisco State University. You can catch him onstage regularly in the local Bay Area theater scene.
Jenn is the lead for Global Innovation and new Initiatives for Burning
Man Project. She is often found facilitating diverse stakeholder
collaborations, consulting on community-focused business models, social
enterprise solutions and multi-network thinking engagements. Jenn is the
Founder of boutique innovation consultancy, Play Atelier and a Partner at
Urban innovation consultancy Re- imagine Group. She received a Bachelor’s
degree in Tourism and hospitality 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 innovation and arts brands expand
internationally, including Vimeo, Neurosky, and THNK leadership University.
Additionally, she was co-founder of early stage incubator and
communications firm RedRobin in east London and a curator of TEDxLondon.
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 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.
Associate Events Producer
Justin works with the Community Events team, within Art & Civic Engagement, to help produce Burning Man Project’s year-round events. His experience in the arts began over 25 years ago when he first picked up the bass, leading him on a meandering creative journey which has included founding a nonprofit arts organization, producing parades and festivals, touring the U.S. and abroad, presenting hundreds of concerts, managing a hip-hop theatre company, and a nine-year stint with concert promoter Goldenvoice as Director of Production for their Northern California Region. He first visited Black Rock City in 1998 and has enjoyed creating Theme Camps, building art cars, performing with his bands Rosin Coven and Dr. Abacus, exploring art with his children, and collecting great stories.
Karen Jacobs a.k.a. KJ
Office & Training Manager
KJ is the Office and Training Manager and manager of Burning Man’s new office in Reno. She plays an integral part in deepening Burning Man’s connection to the Biggest Little City and to Northern Nevada, and works across many teams at Burning Man to strategize, develop, and deliver on learning opportunities for staff members in Black Rock City and throughout the year.
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, she works hard to indulge in her passions for cooking, yoga, family time, and the outdoors.
Education Program 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.
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, Burning Man Arts
Katie Hazard (yes that’s her real last name) is the Associate Director of Burning Man Arts. 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.
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.
Executive Legal Assistant
Kevin is the Executive Legal Assistant to the Legal Department. His experience in law goes back to his college days at Colorado State University where he majored in English and worked in the General Counsel Office. After moving to San Francisco, Kevin worked in white collar corporate law for a handful of years but always felt out of place in the stuffy corporate world. Kevin loves exploring new cities, working in his garden, embroidering, and photographing street art. Before working for Burning Man Project, Kevin had never attended the event in Black Rock City. He was somewhat prepared for it from his years camping in Colorado where he grew up in the sticks and had miles and miles of open land to roam and conquer with his dog Penny. Kevin loves a good beer, a genuine laugh, and both dogs and cats equally. Dislikes include tucking in his shirt, grapefruit juice, and knowing exactly what’s going to happen next.
Director, Creative Initiatives
Kim works as the Director, Creative Initiatives for Burning Man Project, which includes Art Direction for the Man of Burning Man, ongoing strategic support at the leadership level, and placemaking projects in the civic arena. Kim also works as a Creative Director for Moment Factory’s newest digital media design project in Montreal and as an Advisor for Agapolis Project in Portola Valley. Previously, Kim spent four years as the Director, Art & Civic Engagement for Burning Man Project, leading seven teams and generating new initiatives to support the extension of Burning Man culture worldwide. Kim serves as faculty for the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking and serves on the Art Advisory Board for SXSW which she joined in 2016. Kim’s B.A. is in the Performing Arts and she holds an M.A. in Arts and Consciousness. She is a Kennedy Center for the Arts 2004-05 Fellow, holds a certificate in Group Facilitation from Community at Work, and in 2018 earned a Certificate in Circus Dramaturgy from the French and Belgian National Circus schools.
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.
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.
Burning Man Arts Coordinator
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.
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/Librarian
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.
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 BRC Honoraria Grants, Temple 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).
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.
Despite spending over a decade of her formative years dancing and only hearing of the term “Burning Man” a couple months prior, Laura committed to going to playa in 2015 having never seen a picture of the dust. Content with following unfettered curiosity immersed in desert awe and appreciation, Laura has been participating at Black Rock City and Regional Events ever since. Laura joined Burning Man Project in 2018 and now works in the People Operations department. Before joining Burning Man Project, she spent five years working in operations, project, and supply chain management across multiple companies in the healthcare industry. Laura is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach via the Coaches Training Institute, has an MBA from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT. She has woken herself up from laughing in her sleep and believes in the power of resonance.
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.
Lindsay first came to Black Rock City in 2004, because her aunt told her it was a place where you could find and do just about anything you looked for. She’s not going to tell you what she looked for — but what she found was limitless creativity and a strong desire to return. She has been back nearly every year since, first camping with family, then with friends in a small but mighty camp called Just 5 Girls. Lindsay graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in English and has a background in Human Resources and Operations. She began working with Burning Man’s People Operations department in 2016 and partners with staff to make the magic happen.
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 Personnel 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 Personnel 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 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.
Administrative Associate, Café/Arctica
Mango helps the Center Camp Café, Arctica, and Temple Guardians run smoothly all year long by supporting the department manager in “all the things.” Coming from an operations background, she enjoys systems, organization, and is a natural (almost obsessive) planner. She’s been going to Burning Man since 2005 and has participated in large-scale art projects like the Temple of Promise (2015) and Catacomb of Veils in 2016. Things that make her happy are blending essential oils, macro photography, and eating cheese. If she could do it all in the mountains, she would!
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.
Senior Technical Product 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.
Mark Pankratz a.k.a. Krankypantz
Burning Man Headquarters Facilities Assistant
Mark (aka 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.
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.
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.
Megan Miller a.k.a. Juno
Director of Communications
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 joined the Burning Man Project team in 2018. She reviews day-to-day accounting processes, preparation of financial statements, and general reporting and compliance issues. Meghan started her career in public accounting after graduating from Boston College. She previously worked in audit, tax, and accounting services, and obtained her CPA license in 2014. Meghan first attended Burning Man in 2015 and camped with the Black Rock Roller Disco. She was amazed by the community, adventure, and creativity in Black Rock City, and is excited to support it as a staff member. When she’s not at work, Meghan loves dancing, rock climbing, reading, and exploring.
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.
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.
Program Coordinator, Burners Without Borders
Molly Rose first touched down on a playa in 2010. She supports the volunteer-driven community leadership work of BWB, unlocking the innate skills of local communities to solve problems that bring about meaningful change. Before joining Burning Man, Molly worked as Program Director of Clowns Without Borders USA, which offers psychosocial support and resilience-building through free performance tours in refugee camps, conflict zones, and natural disaster sites around the world. Molly oversaw all programming and led tours internationally (and still does from time to time!) She has lived and travelled 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 clown, a decentralization enthusiast, and loves what happens at the intersection of creative expression, solidarity mindset, and grassroots humanitarian programming.
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 & Civic Engagement Contract Administrator / Art Administrative Associate
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.
Salesforce Administrator/Project Manager
After years of hearing tales, Nondas first went to the playa in 2007. She hasn’t missed a Burn since. Before joining the BMHQ team in 2015, she worked on multiple art projects as part of several groups: the Flaming Lotus Girls, the Department of Spontaneous Combustion and the Flux Foundation, and others. Her favorite on-playa jobs were working Burn Team for the 2010 Temple and for the 2016 Black Rock Lighthouse Service. Previous jobs off-playa include operations and contract management at a webcasting company, overseeing production grants at the Independent Television Service, working as a public television producer in China and the U.S., and years in independent film production and post-production.
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
Burning Man Headquarters Facilities Manager
Blue can be found year-round at Burning Man Project’s headquarters in San Francisco as the Facilities Manager. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Blue has the Midwest work ethic. While earning his Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Eastern Michigan University, 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. 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. During event season, you will find Blue in the Department of Public Works, handling Waste Stream Logistics, designing lighting for the Man Pavilion, and with the Community Services Department as Project Manager for Recycle Camp. 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 recognized a need for a Facilities Manager role for the Burning Man Project office in San Francisco, he wrote his own job description, and never looked back.
Director of People Operations
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 9. 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.
Business Culture Partner
As a member of the newly formed Business Culture Team, Playground works on event production, business development and cultural alignment within and outside 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 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.”
Head of Ticketing
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.
Richard "Kiba" Oakes
Technical Product Manager
Richard’s goal is to support the Burning Man technology team with guidance on tools, processes, product planning, research, and best practices. He brings over eight years of technical product experience, having proudly supported technologies for Medicare, GRC, and supply chain focused organizations.
Richard has participated in a number of Regional Events since 2011 and has been falling in love with Black Rock City since 2015. He likes to keep his mind focused through yoga and climbing, and crafts a creative spark through music creation and costumed performance. He spent several months traveling to dozens of national parks, and is in awe at the country’s natural beauty. He believes strongly in being prepared, and doing a good turn daily.
Administrative Associate, Arts & Civic Engagement
Sage Bandicoot crawled forth from the lands of Sebastopol with stellar hair, snarky attitude and ready to rock the world with her witty one liners. Sage’s bright smile lead her to Burning Man in 2013 after taking on the feat of visiting half of the U.S. states in two months. Rising fast within the ranks of awesomeness, Sage went from small camp; Prime Vagine, to theme camp; Campoline, to Honoraria installation; Methuselah, and finally landed a full time job at Burning Man as the admin for the Arts and Civic Engagement Department. Sage describes this as “the exact place she is meant to be right now.” When Sage Bandicoot isn’t bringing more art to the world one spreadsheet at a time, she is schooling people on Xena and Harry Potter facts and googling awesome memes.
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.
UX Design 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.
People Operations Coordinator
Stephen began his journey to Burning Man Project long before hearing about Burning Man. After studying Kinesiology and working in the health and fitness industry, he bought a bicycle and started 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 a critical role in growing and operating a zero-waste event management collective.
In 2015, he joined Black Rock City’s Department of Public Works, as a crew member of the Transfer Station Authority to learn about waste management infrastructures at a larger scale. Since then, Stephen has worked for environmental initiatives, designed event sustainability programs and developed a variety of automated data collection systems to support field operations. With his niche in data wrangling, Stephen eventually went on to develop a time-tracking system for Black Rock City’s seasonal staff. He now serves as the People Operations Coordinator, continuing to explore systems design and supporting the operations of Burning Man Project by automating business processes, capturing data points and providing data analytics and reporting.
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.
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.
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.
While on sabbatical from her beloved theme camp, the Black Rock Boutique, Yveline volunteered as the receiving assistant in Purchasing for the Department of Public Works (DPW). She was so renewed that it seemed a brilliant next step to flip the switch and manage the whole shebang. Yveline goes where the energy flows and has an eclectic background in entrepreneurship and community endeavors that make the world feel like a wondrous place to thrive and belong. You will find her effortlessly aligning with her heart’s desires on and off playa: dancing, yoga, meditating, triple-fermenting kombucha, communing in nature, throwing batons, playing the flute, styling it up, and bringing people together to inspire whenever the opportunity beckons. She lives in Reno with her fluffy cat, Sadie, and many peace-exuding houseplants. Ommm.
Yveline has a B.A in Political Science, M.A. in Ecological Education, and has been an avid permaculture designer, teacher, gardener, and community event producer for 15 years. She is also a self-proclaimed conspiracy research nut and doesn’t care what people think about that. She knows weird stuff.
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.