For the last 25 years I’ve focused on making learning and decision-making delightful (as the founder of Jellyvision) and creating unique games that bring people together (as the founder of Jackbox Games).
I am now returning to an initiative I first piloted with a group of young journalists in 1993 to work toward a better way for the American democracy to solve its biggest problems. There was barely an internet then. But now we have the technology in place and a greater need than ever to find a way for Americans to come together.
I’ve spent the last 20 years helping improve the patient experience with digital health solutions as co-founder of Emmi Solutions and Analyte Health. Before that, I was a proud member of the original Jellyvision creative team and helped launch the first “You Don’t Know Jack” games. Before that….I was a Hollywood film editor. (Careers are squiggly paths, not straight lines.)
I believe that when we, as Americans, are divided into political factions, we are weakened. Unifying our country based on our shared goals and beliefs is not just a naive hope — it is critical to a strong future. Let’s do this.
Since I was 8 years old, I’ve been actively engaged in the United States political system. I’ve spoken at city council meetings, walked doors for candidates, and volunteered with local campaigns. After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in Cultural Anthropology, I created content for “The Lost Geographer Podcast” and was on staff at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
I grew up in a politically-divided household. My father, a retired police officer, is conservative and my mom, a graphic designer, is quite liberal. Together, they taught us that it’s possible to value shared goals and our shared humanity over a perceived difference. As our Community Organizer, I’m excited to focus my skills to welcome America’s problem solvers and consensus builders to help make our shared goals into shared solutions.
Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked hard to help people connect with new technology. I launched Chicago’s first commercial radio website for WXRT, served as Web Marketing Manager for NYU Stern School of Business, and led the team on major projects for the Shedd Aquarium, The Cleveland Orchestra, and New York’s Public Theater.
At Unify America, I want to help people connect with each other. Even if we have very different beliefs, we can all work together to achieve shared goals, building trust and understanding along the way. I embrace the opportunity to see things from new perspectives, to kindle friendships with people different than me, and to be part of a growing community of Americans unified by our common ground. Let’s get to work!
The 2016 elections—and the events leading up to it—were perhaps some of the most polarizing and divisive moments in politics that I had witnessed. It sparked discussion and debate in every sphere of my life as I began my college career. I quickly realized, however, that these ‘discussions’ were not structured with the goal to solve problems, understand the other person, or reach a resolution. Rather, they were shouting matches where people argued for the sake of arguing and where the intention was to belittle or chastise the other person for their views.
That’s why Unify America’s mission resonated with me. The real work starts when we can empathize with the people around us, especially those with contrasting perspectives, and view them not as inherently good or bad people but as products of systems and environments of which they are part. If we want to even begin to build our ideal vision of America, we have to be willing to put in the grueling work to truly understand where someone is coming from and engage them in a way that brings them closer to our shared goals. In the words of actor and activist, Dylan Marron: sometimes the most subversive thing you can do is actually speak with people you disagree with, not simply at them.
Deadlocked in a heated argument over the most minor details are where I’ve found my clients for much of my career. I began my path as an attorney in litigation and eventually transitioned to employment law. My job was guiding the opposition to see my client’s point of view…and in some cases pulling my client closer to the middle ground without losing value. From a BIPOC perspective, I am keenly aware of the voices often excluded from national conversation. I vibe with Unify America’s mission to bring more people to the table. Let’s really see what’s important to most of us.
As a biomedical engineer, I focus on design and innovation in the healthcare space, working to improve the experience of both patients and healthcare providers. Working with businesses of all industries, I believe we can bring solutions and strategies from a myriad of disciplines to solve healthcare’s greatest challenges! I’ve spent 8 years working with GoBabyGo to design and develop modified toy ride-on cars and other low-cost, DIY solutions to help children with various mobility restrictions get mobile at an early age.
I love engaging in meaningful, impactful work that brings people together and highlights our unity as a people. I find it so interesting how we all have these infinitely individual experiences, but somehow we find so much common ground with completely different individuals. By recognizing the common humanity that links us on an individual level, I know we can unify our visions and create a better future together.
I grew up in a rural central Illinois in a town of 2400 people called Farmer City. My dad was involved in local politics and community affairs. He instilled in me the desire to be involved in civic affairs. At Elmhurst University I majored in Political Science, attended the Washington Semester program in Washington, D.C., and interned for my congressman. I then was a fellow for the Illinois Senate Republican Staff in Springfield, Illinois. I have worked on a gubernatorial race and on fundraising for national races. Central Illinois politics is quite different from where I have lived for the past ten years in the suburbs of Chicago. Being raised in one type of environment and now living in another, I have had to learn how to have productive conversations with people who think differently than I do. So many people have not had that opportunity. I am excited to be part of the Unify America team so that people across the country and political spectrum can have the same opportunity. We are more alike than the mainstream media leads us to believe, so let us find and focus on those similarities.
I’ve spent the last 10 years performing a comedy juggling show in over 70 countries. Experiencing so many unique and charming cultures has inspired me to pursue a meaningful career that contributes to our country being the best it can be.
Born and raised in the South, I was bred as a conservative. Even though my party is officially in office now, the true change that is needed spans much more than political lines. We have to unify as a people of one beautiful nation to make the kind of changes that so many of us hope for. I can’t imagine a better way to help facilitate a common way forward to a better future than being part of the Unify America team!
I have known Harry for over 20 years, since I joined Jellyvision as its 12th employee. I proceeded to do about every job available there over the next few years, from running the audio/video production studio, to designing interactive conversations to writing comedy. Right now, I am on hiatus from my current career as an orthopedic surgery physician assistant.
When Harry first started to describe Unify America to me, I burst forth with passionate opinions about how crazy it is that most Americans want the same things, yet we seem to make so little progress on issues of real consequence to our nation. My enthusiasm surprised both of us, and Harry suggested I join him to help launch Unify America. I’m very pleased to be taking a break from healing patients to help heal our country. (See what I did there?)