Marc Mertens

Chief Executive Officer

I’m a consummate optimist with an entrepreneur’s mindset who believes the future is beautiful. I’m passionate about imagining what’s possible and engaging others to do the same.

As the CEO/founder of A Hundred Years, I guide clients toward inspiring action and driving large-scale change. Since starting the company 15 years ago, I have helped large corporations, NGOs, philanthropic organizations, and early-stage social enterprises connect profit and purpose and challenge their existing models and systems. My background in commercial advertising with brands like Sony and Red Bull and live event production informs my interest and ability to work across science, arts and culture, and consumer brands. I’ve tackled challenges as diverse as distilling complex scientific concepts into engaging, accessible ideas with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Institute in Panama; creating large-scale activation of public space with the immersive art experience Glow on Santa Monica Beach; and innovating education with leaders such as TED-Ed and Brian Greene’s World Science University. I have long-standing relationships with TED and Rockefeller Foundation, and I’m a partner in Bruce Mau’s Massive Change Network.

Outside of the studio, I teach design thinking and design for impact at UCLA, and I have spoken on innovation and design thinking at TEDx Phoenix, TEDActive, the National Art Education Convention, and the Museum Next Conference.

When I’m not designing experiences to shape the future, I’m rooted in the present connecting with the most beautiful ecosystem ever designed: nature.

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Maya Cohan

Partner

Maya uses her unique right + left brain mix of creative abilities and strong leadership to guide our production team. Versed in design and technology, Maya is a creative and critical thinker with exceptional depth in user-experience, innovation, and content. Her past work spans everything from education to consumer to cultural, with an eye toward the design and development of breakthrough products, integrated campaigns, and interactive experiences across an array of platforms.

Jay Geneske

Partner

I’m on a mission to introduce new ways of thinking to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems.

As a Partner at A Hundred Years, you’ll find me leading teams, co-designing strategy with clients, and collaborating with designers and strategists to efficiently effect big, bold change in the world. I’m particularly proud of helping organizations like Mattel, the New York City Department of Education, and Pew Charitable Trusts deepen their impact.

You might have seen my work featured in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Forbes, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, highlighting my experience shepherding companies like The Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Hall, Echoing Green, and Shedd Aquarium through digital transformations. I was also selected as one of 2016’s Top 20 Influential Chief Digital Officers.

When I’m not strategizing and problem-solving, I’m listening to dusty vinyl records and daydreaming about which global city I’ll visit next.

In 100 years, I hope we’ll be teaching kids how we came together to save the planet.

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Philipp Reker

Partner

I’m a strategist, entrepreneur, and creative thinker who loves to build brands with a purpose.

As a Partner at A Hundred Years, you’ll find me working with our talented team of thinkers and doers to come up with new ways of combining positive impact with business success. I help organizations amplify their purpose by building experiences that move people. I am particularly proud of collaborating with a major toy company to articulate and activate their brand purpose and map out a company-wide brand alignment program.

Prior to joining A Hundred Years, I created brand and marketing strategies for major blue-chip companies, building marketing programs across multiple disciplines for Mercedes Benz; helping to reposition Reebok as a sports and lifestyle brand; and translating Volkswagen’s brand strategy into entertainment content and experiences. I also built my own experience brand from scratch: a motorcycle travel company that was acquired by the world’s largest motorcycle tourism provider.

When I am not working on bringing brands to life, I’m finding inspiration in design, arts, and architecture, and exploring the future of mobility and urban design.

Zachary Szukala

Executive Creative Director

I’m an experience designer on a mission to empower people and organizations to live their most impactful lives, and create their most impactful work.

As Executive Creative Director, you’ll find me crafting engagements that put a focus on human-centered design across strategy, experience, interface, and brand. Over the last decade, I’ve worked on dozens of projects across the cultural, health, and education sectors. I’m particularly proud of my collaborations with LACMA and the Smithsonian, designing digital experiences to showcase collections and thought leaders; working with UCLA and Kaiser Permanente to design communication tools that enable hospitals to more effectively focus on patient care; and my work with TED-Ed and World Science U, empowering students and educators with digital educational platforms.

Prior to joining A Hundred Years, I held senior positions at Schematic (now Possible Worldwide) and Weill Cornell Medical College / NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Between the two I’ve worked on major digital initiatives for ABC News, CNN, TimeWarner, AOL, and collaborated with world-renowned educators, physicians, and researchers to further patient care at U.S. News and World Report’s 6th Best Hospital in the nation.

I’m constantly searching for order and beauty in the world, whether that’s in corporate identity manuals, street signage, or the urban landscape. I believe that beauty spurs long-term thinking and action.

Birgit van den Valentyn

Creative Director

I believe there is always a solution. I am driven to find the smartest and most creative one.

As Creative Director, you’ll find me developing strategies, workshops, and creative solutions to help organizations map out their future vision, imagine what’s possible, and identify how to create positive impact with their core business. Considering today’s advances in technology and mankind’s inventive talent, I deeply believe that we can create a more purposeful world — together. That´s why I instantly fell in love with the radical optimism of A Hundred Years.

Previously, I was Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather Berlin. I have created campaigns for Mercedes-Benz, IKEA, Volkswagen, Bosch, Coca-Cola and won over 450 national and international awards.

Otherwise, I’m loving life in Berlin. I love to discover new hidden places. I don’t own a car, nor a cat. I stand up for truth, freedom, and democracy. And pasta and wine with friends.

In 100 years, I hope we will prioritize ethics and ecological and social progress over economic success.

Gregory Hubacek

Design Director

I’m a designer, maker, and critical thinker interested in co-creating the future with anyone crazy enough to try it.

As Design Director at A Hundred Years, you’ll find me working with our strategy, design, and user experience teams to craft unique solutions to our clients biggest problems. I’m particularly proud of my work with Rockefeller Foundation helping to build a platform for their internal and external expansion; the collaboration with Doctors Without Borders crafting a nuanced brand and campaign to represent the refugee’s experience; and our partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation developing an engaging framework that illustrates the organization’s Culture of Health. Previously, you might have seen my work with GOOD, Nike Tennis, Ferrari, Google, 160over90, or Space 150.

When I’m not designing the future, I’m thinking about other forms of design such as architecture, furniture, transportation, and modern art.

Oh, and, to my knowledge, I hold the single lap record at Sonoma Raceway for a stock Toyota Prius. It’s a long story.

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Ben Kotch

Technology Director

I’m a thinker and programmer on a mission to drive purpose and create impact through technology.

As Director of Technology, you’ll find me leading teams building everything from customized content-driven platforms to engaging interactive experiences. I’m particularly proud of helping to build a platform for a program supporting women entrepreneurs; building a dashboard and integrating legacy applications for The Rockefeller Foundation to showcase their work internally and externally; and further developing the educational platform we created with TED-Ed to inspire and educate students around the world.

You might have seen me previously leading engineering teams at eMusic.com, bringing indie music to the masses; PressPlus, where I developed financial strategies for online journalism; and various startups dating back to the dawn of the internet age.

When I’m not working to deliver impact through technology, I’m thinking about how we can improve the lives of the aging and trying to make more time to play the drums.

In 100 years, I hope we live in a pluralistic society, where people live long healthy lives (thanks to advances in healthcare) and have the opportunity to spend ample time with their families, pursuing their personal dreams and goals. On Mars.

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Jason Fletcher

Finance Director

Rita Bauer

Strategic Partnership Director

Rita cultivates new client relationships, ensuring strong partnerships with purpose-driven organizations and companies. Prior to joining the team, Rita served as New Business Director at Rokkan and Huge and was responsible for long-term client partnerships with many leading brands. Rita holds an MFA from the University of Southern California and a BFA with honors from Queens University.

Kaz Brecher

Senior Advisor

In her advisory role with A Hundred Years, Kaz acts as a steadfast partner with aligned values in shaping innovative products and services to have the greatest impact. As the daughter of two rocket scientists, Kaz founded Curious Catalyst to marry investigation with action, bringing a new take to the business of social impact through her experience in agile approaches. After years working with emerging technology platforms and solving larger cross-disciplinary problems in the digital agency space, she earned her stripes in the start-up world, leading strategy and operations for early social media innovators and then an open-source cloud computing powerhouse focused on the developing world. With a background across media platforms, Kaz brings a unique creative perspective to her strategy work, combining film, print, broadcast, branding and transmedia storytelling. Kaz is known for being able to switch between the detail of producing and the big-picture design thinking necessary for successful user-centered design. She is a Stanford graduate, Challenge Faculty at and a fellow of THNK School of Creative Leadership, and a Certified Scrum Master.

Tim Leberecht

Senior Advisor

I’m a Business Romantic. I believe our world would be a better place if everyone had more romance in their lives – empathy, passion, and imagination, as well as the belief that there’s always more to experience than what we can measure. Only if we embrace our full humanity will we survive in the age of machines. Only if we do our work beautifully, will we thrive.

I love connecting ideas with people. As an author and speaker, I try to bring insights from the humanities as well as my own experience as a marketing executive, including tenures as Chief Marketing Officer of Frog Design, technology firm Aricent, and architectural design firm NBBJ, to exploring the future of business. As co-founder and co-curator of the 15 Toasts dinner series, I enjoy seeing what happens when strangers connect through their stories. As a consultant and Senior Advisor with A Hundred Years, I help clients craft their vision, tell their story, and drive their cultural and personal transformation. Find more on my point of view via my TED talks and my book The Business Romantic.

In partnership with A Hundred Years, I host The House of Beautiful Business, a nomadic home for business leaders, artists, and thinkers to meet and explore the future of humanity and technology. Together, we also recently developed and ran workshops on “A World After Work,” in which we invited participants to imagine how we’re going to find purpose when paid work is no longer the center of our lives.

When I’m not traveling with my family or binge-watching soccer, I’m trying to catch up on all the brilliant writing of our crazy, complicated, exciting times, while desperately avoiding any nearby dogs (a deep-seated fear…).

In 100 years, I hope to have learned how to make an authentic German schnitzel.

Henrik Andersson

Senior Designer, Interaction + Visual

I’m an optimist who believes design can solve pretty much any type of problem.

As a Senior Designer I spend my days prototyping and iterating designs of everything from apps to websites to fundraising decks, always balancing form and function. I’m particularly proud of my role in the development of a program supporting women entrepreneurs; my collaboration with TED-Ed to bring inspiring new educational tools to the masses; and my work with iSlate, bringing low-energy tablets to kids in rural India, making long-distance connectivity and textbook distribution more efficient.

When I’m not designing, I’m helping middle schoolers at 826LA with writing, showing midcentury California pottery at the Melrose Trading Post, or training for my next triathlon.

In 100 years, I hope we can do a better job designing for diverse audiences, building empathy with users in our global community.

Ana Khachatrian

UX Designer

I’m an idealist with a healthy dose of realism. I love solving problems (see: my first place award at the City of Burbank hackathon) and often think about the new abilities that technology can afford us as human beings.

As a user experience designer, you’ll find me asking a lot of questions and working towards creating the best experience possible for our clients and their users. I’m particularly proud of working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to translate their Culture of Health framework for the web as well as my role developing an interactive eCourse to help women realize their dreams.

Prior to working in design, I spent time growing a variety of new ventures—from collaborating with a startup in the music and tech world to establishing a community garden in Los Angeles.

In 100 years, I hope we have successfully preserved our environment and are not ruled by our robot overlords.

Chris Shellen

Senior Content Strategist

I’m on a mission to design content that improves lives by tapping into the intersection of audience and organizational needs

As Senior Content Strategist, you’ll find me digging into what makes people tick, surveying digital landscapes and trends, and synthesizing organizational needs and brand voices into content strategies for non-profits and enterprise-level brands. I’m particularly proud of co-authoring a forthcoming leadership program for North American women and my past cross-platform work for a spectrum of brands and industries, including the Gates Foundation, EIF Foundation, Girl Scouts of the USA, Microsoft, GE, Samsung, Logitech, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Southern California Edison, Target, Disney, Mattel, Oprah, and Universal Pictures, among others.

When I’m not immersed in the digital world, I moonlight as a documentary producer and creative non-fiction author. The newest feather in my cap: scoring a spot on Amazon’s Best Books list in 2015 for “Welcome to Marwencol,” the companion book to a documentary I produced entitled “Marwencol,” about the life of artist Mark Hogancamp.

Alli Magidsohn

Creative Strategy Consultant

I’m a Meaning Maker. Ultimately, my work focuses on helping companies get to the core of who they are and designing thoughtful strategies for them to captivate both new and existing audiences.

As Senior Creative Strategy Consultant, I’ve renamed the Impact Hub and told the story of Hansgrohe. I’m most proud of my role capturing this company’s dreams and ambitions in landing on the name A Hundred Years.

Prior to getting mixed up with this crew, I led marketing communications at the beloved social navigation app, Waze, and have worked alongside scores of entrepreneurs to hone and launch their tech startups out into the world. I especially love working with young companies bringing true disruption to more traditional, ‘boring’ industries, and partnering with extraordinary creative agencies, like the one you’re peeping around in here.

When I’m not glued to my big screen, I’m glued to my little screen, positing pictures of my hand’s travels around the world to Instagram (@kindahandy), seeking out the best tumeric latte, and booking an Airbnb for wherever I’m headed next. If given the chance, I also delight in painting faces and seeing how many people my two-person hammock can hold (record: 7).

In 100 years, I hope technology will have been utilized, by whatever means possible, to help create a better, more just, and more equitable world.

Kate Thiel

Creative Strategist

I’m a little bit right brain, a little bit left brain, and all designer. In other words, I’m endlessly curious to understand how and why things work and solve problems with equal parts logic and creative thinking.

As Creative Strategist, you’ll find me wearing many hats to help teams feel inspired, push the envelope, and ground our work in cultural relevance and meaning. On any given day I am reading a white paper, listening to NPR, reading VOX and watching VICE to gain a broader understanding of what’s happening in the world; pulling together human insights from research; leading an empathy-based interview; and collaborating with my team to hone a big idea. I’m particularly proud of my work on the creation of a program designed to connect and support female entrepreneurs, carrying it from vision to inception to execution; my role leading research and strategy with The Rockefeller Foundation to defined the direction for the web redesign and internal knowledge management system; and my collaboration with the Nomadic School of Wonder designing experiences.

Prior to joining A Hundred Years, I worked with the Los Angeles Dodgers creating experiences and led cultural transformations with Apple and the University of Toronto. When I’m not creating and strategizing, I’m thinking about politics, catching up on pop culture, and repairing my fiberglass egg camper, which is my primary residence while I travel the country.

In 100 years, I hope that our parks and public lands are still wild and that we have moved past the gender conversation.

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Tess Feigenbaum

Designer, Research + Strategy

I’m a multi-disciplinary designer, big-picture thinker, constant crafter, and bi-coastal resident of Maine and Los Angeles.

As a designer focused on design research and strategy, you’ll find me listening, reading, documenting, and synthesizing to develop thorough, empathetic insights into clients’ and users’ needs. I’m on a mission to help develop the most human-responsive product.

I’m particularly proud of helping to create a program to empower women entrepreneurs as well as my role bringing a big-picture strategic lens to a major toy company to help drive purpose to their core. Prior to joining A Hundred Years, I studied industrial design at the Rhode Island School of Design and crafted long-term impact strategy and graphic design curriculums at Riverzedge Arts, a non-profit empowering at-risk youth through art and design.

When I’m not researching and strategizing, I’m thinking about how design can help people become more selfless. That or baking.

In 100 years, I hope to have left the world better than I found it, and to have contributed to a legacy of positive impact.

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Nick Coyne

Senior Interactive Developer

I’m a father, husband, programmer, dog-lover, mountain biker, paddle boarder, pragmatist, learner, and systems thinker living near the sea just outside Auckland, New Zealand.

As Senior Web Developer, you’ll find me building the exciting behind-the-scenes stuff that makes complex websites work. I’m particularly proud of my collaboration on the development of educational platform TED-Ed and creation of a program for women entrepreneurs. Over the past 15 years, my work has evolved from creating intranets with Microsoft tools to creating custom solutions with Ruby on Rails

When I’m not coding, I’m thinking about improving internal office systems or really, the weather so I know when I can head out to the water to go paddling or wind-surfing.

In 100 years I hope people realize we are all interdependent.

Kara Todd

Senior Interactive Developer

I’m a front-end developer who specializes in CMS integrations. I’ve particularly worked a lot with PHP base systems like WordPress and Craft.

As Senior Developer, you’ll find me walking on my treadmill desk while coding beautiful designs, thinking about application architecture, or researching technology platforms. I’m particularly proud of our collaboration with Vulcan Productions, redesigning their website to better showcase their work and developing a new CMS as well as my role creating a custom WordPress theme for The Rockefeller Foundation. Balancing flexibility and design integrity, I also built several custom plugins which automatically integrated external data feeds to cut down on the amount of time required to keep data fresh.

When I’m not reading about new JavaScript libraries or webcomics, I’m thinking about designing games and attempting to write fantasy novels.

Abi D'Andrea

QA Analyst

I’m a QA Analyst, Certified Scrum Master and Scrum Developer, Agile Coach, mom, horror movie fan, professional makeup artist and former roller skater.

As QA Engineer, you’ll find me in the midst of software development, stopping problems before they start by constantly testing to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently. I’m particularly proud of my role collaborating with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, inspiring communities to participate in a culture of health, as well as my contribution to The Rockefeller Foundation, helping to transform the website into a strategic tool and solving a knowledge management challenge.

Prior to joining A Hundred Years, I worked as a QA Analyst, Scrum Master and Agile Coach for OLX, tested products and transactions, among other things at Gilbarco Veeder Root and assisted in programming classes at the National Technological University in Argentina.

When I’m not worrying about the quality of websites, I’m thinking about how to make my daughter’s life better and brighter.

In 100 years, I hope the earth is a place where my descendants can not only live, but enjoy.

Stephen Kimpel

Engagement Lead

I’m a connector, problem-solver, and big-picture thinker. I pride myself on helping teams get further faster by aligning on one goal, asking the right questions, and fighting for the best solution, all while maintaining a good sense of humor and humility.

As Engagement Lead, you’ll find me steering projects, organizing brand strategy workshops, and helping clients to create the greatest possible impact to drive their performance. Together with my long-time professional partner Birgit, I’m excited to bring the Hundred Years philosophy and experience to Europe.

Prior to joining A Hundred Years, I worked in marketing and communications in leading roles at Ogilvy & Mather, AKQA, DDB, and Leo Burnett, helping clients such as IKEA, Volkswagen, Montblanc, Nike, Reebok, and Coca-Cola define their marketing goals, creating communication strategies and award-winning campaigns and content. I have always been driven to understand challenges holistically in the big-picture context, which is difficult in a world that often measures success by the number of products sold. With that in mind, I’m committed to helping organizations redefine their notions of success by taking into consideration the positive impact they can create in the world.

When I’m not leading a project, I’m thinking about systems and strategies for the modern world, deep-diving into politics, or finding balance and happiness in a simpler life by farming and hiking in the Brandenburg countryside.

In 100 years, I hope we will settle peacefully on other planets because we want to and not because we have to.

Tiya Gordon

Executive Producer

I’m a producer, project clairvoyant, and engaged citizen who harnesses the power of design to do good in the world.

As Executive Producer for our New York office, you’ll find me crafting creative partnerships to take early or inexpressible client vision into finished and thoughtful execution. I’m particularly proud of our work for Doctors Without Borders, producing a campaign on the refugee experience as well as our collaboration with the Fund for Public Schools, creating materials to support fundraising benefitting New York City’s 1.1 million public school students.

Prior to joining A Hundred Years I was the Studio Director for the National Design Award winning studio Local Projects, where my clients included The American Museum of Natural History, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and The National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

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Kim McCann

Senior Producer

An east coast transplant embracing the west coast way of life, I’m a true blend of sarcasm, practicality and logic, which works well navigating the changing tides of production.

As a Senior Producer, you’ll typically find me squinting over a monitor full of project plans and budgets, collaborating with my team to strategize solutions for your toughest problems, and making sure we’re delivering on our goals and objectives while collaborating closely with clients. I’m particularly proud of my role working with Mattel identifying and articulating their brand purpose and mapping out a company-wide brand alignment program; reconnecting students and educators with the joy and discovery of learning with TED Ed; and aligning stakeholders around a shared purpose with AT&T.

My experience ranges from being a Production Assistant on a CBS sitcom to producing digital experiences for Disney, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Microsoft, Adobe, Nike, Naked Juice and Mitsubishi Motors.

When I’m not wearing my producer hat, I’m daydreaming about how autonomous cars and people who love to drive (like myself) can peacefully coexist, supercars, fashion, and my ever-growing list of dream vacations.

In 100 Years, I hope my ancestors will be proud of the world my generation and I left behind.

Carl Welti

Producer

I’m a producer, photographer, observer, creative problem solver, and simplicity seeker.

As a Producer at A Hundred Years, you’ll find me working with our clients and each of our talented team members on a daily basis to find creative and actionable solutions to real world problems. I’m particularly proud of my work with the Rockefeller Foundation helping them build and launch platforms for both internal and external knowledge sharing as well as collaborating with Vulcan Productions to reimagine their website to inspire viewers to take action. And as always, there’s at least one in the hopper that I’m especially excited about, but can’t talk about just yet.

Prior to joining A Hundred Years, I spent 8+ years at a Detroit advertising agency, working on automotive accounts, from account coordinating to print production to project management. For three years of those years, I worked as a project manager on Audi of America’s customer relationship management program, undertaking numerous data-driven marketing initiatives aimed at improving customer retention and acquisition.

When I’m not working on launching our next big product or campaign, I’m honing my skills in photography – always looking to see the world in a new way.

In 100 years, I hope to see empathy become an innate part of our collective culture. If we really understood one another, just think of the things we could do, the problems we could solve, and the future we could build.

Ellen Wroe

Office/Finance Coordinator

I’m a little bit of everything at A Hundred Years. As Office Manager you’ll find me playing roles ranging from Bookkeeper and Travel Agent to IT Department and Office Mom. I’m particularly proud of implementing our company 401(k) plan and establishing our benefits policies. When I’m not tracking down the culprits of dirty dishes and missing time sheets, you can find me writing guitar ditties and bingeing on history podcasts.

Outside of A Hundred Years, you might have seen me moonlighting as an actress in critically acclaimed roles such as “grieving mother on that medical drama” or “slightly masculine military personnel on that sitcom/crime show.”

In 100 years, I hope the LA River will be a unifying force in our city as a thriving recreational and cultural waterfront.

Heather Mertens

Studio Experience Designer

I’m an artist, educator, ​and community events producer ​dedicated to ​building a culture of hope and activating ​communities through art and entertainment.

As an Office Coordinator at A Hundred Years, you’ll find me either ​organizing ​a storage closet, welcoming our clients with photo-worthy ​cappuccinos, or ​climbing ladders to water a nursery worth of ​plants. I’m particularly proud of my attention to detail, which shows up throughout our environment in the design of our collaborative work spaces and unplug areas.

When I’m not in the office, I am writing my latest participatory play about the importance of public parks and the power of the imagination or teaching art and yoga​ to help nurture peoples’ inherent creativity

In 100 years, I hope that everyone has ​unlimited ​access to the arts and the freedom to express their authentic selves.