The On Being Project

The On Being Project is home to creators, curators, and change-makers whose work takes shape across audio, experiential, and digital channels.

 

Our Team

Liliana Maria (Lily) Percy Ruíz

Liliana Maria (Lily) Percy Ruíz

Executive Producer, On Being Studios

Liliana Maria is one of the founding team of four that brought On Being to independence in 2013.

Born in Cali, Colombia, Liliana Maria immigrated to Miami with her family at the age of four. Like many public radio listeners, she fell in love with the medium while sitting in a car, listening to Click and Clack in the backseat of her father’s Honda Accord.

Liliana Maria studied English Literature and Film Studies at Florida International University. She has worked as an associate editor at MovieMaker magazine, and as a producer for StoryCorps and NPR’s “All Things Considered” on the weekends, where she produced the series “Movies I’ve Seen A Million Times." Her work has also been featured on NPR’s Latino USA, WNYC’s Soundcheck, and Esquire.

In 2012, she received the Religion Newswriters Association Radio/Podcast Religion Report of the Year Award for her profile of four Roman Catholic Womenpriests. Liliana Maria is the host of the podcast This Movie Changed Me, and proudly serves on the board of Centro Tyrone Guzman, the oldest and largest multi-service Latino organization in Minneapolis.

Chris Heagle

Chris Heagle

Producer / Technical Director, On Being Studios

Chris has been a voracious consumer of all things public radio for as long as he can remember. He worked as a technical director for Performance Today, and contributed to several other national programs. Chris is one of the founding team of four that brought On Being to independence in 2013, and he is thrilled to have landed at On Being.

Chris spent the better part of 15 years working in theater as a sound designer and production manager. Though he occasionally pines for the immediacy of live performance, he also believes that in the vast media landscape of our world, radio is still best at stimulating the imagination.

Chris holds a B.A. from Hamline University and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois. When not in front of a computer screen, he loves the outdoors (regardless of the weather), just about every kind of music, and watching his daughters discover the world.

Mariah Helgeson

Mariah Helgeson

Senior Editor, On Being Studios

Mariah curates and edits the contributors to the On Being Blog — building a portfolio of writers who join inner and outer life in their work — and manages the internship program for On Being Studios.

She collected stories of human resilience and kindness in the classrooms of George Washington University — earning a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution — and over many cups of coffee in community movements, from nuclear nonproliferation, to interfaith dialogue, to compassionate communication.

Prior to On Being, Mariah worked with the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue and lived in southern India for a spell as a documentary curator. When she’s not submerged in a good book she might be found painting landscapes or playing chamber music. She enjoys hearing your pitches and ideas for the blog, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Marie Sambilay

Marie Sambilay

Producer, On Being Studios

Marie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and studied at New York University — where she picked up a degree in Media, Culture, and Communications, and a passion for media in the public service, in exchange for her ability to walk slowly. A voracious consumer of podcasts, she joined the team at On Being to fulfill her dream of contributing to the kind of enlightening programming that has captivated her as a listener during so many long city strolls.

Previously, Marie explored various avenues of media production — including television and documentary production, newspaper editing, and advertising.

Her other obsessions include language, British comedy, large-breed dogs, documenting poignant and humorous moments that she encounters from day to day, and winning huge amounts of imaginary money while playing Jeopardy! over dinner.

Maia Tarrell

Maia Tarrell

Senior Producer, On Being Studios

Originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, Maia and her family shipped out to Western Australia when she was six. Back then, she liked to make fun of her Dad for listening to ABC’s Radio National because it sounded like “old dudes going on about castles and stuff.” As she grew older (and marginally wiser) she had to eat her words when she, too, became obsessed with radio, especially the shows about castles and stuff.

Maia’s first career incarnation was in documentary film and animation, which gave her a fairly valid excuse to live in Melbourne, Sydney, London, and Berkeley, California. She studied at the British National Film and Television School, and learnt sound design from industry greats, Mark Berger and Walter Murch. Her work has screened at film festivals around the world and even on Swedish television (the holy grail of TV markets.) Maia spent many years making memoirs about wiser people than her and working with local Australian communities to record and shape their own stories. She has since completed a postgraduate degree in decision neuroscience because she is also very curious about brains.

Proving that no experience is ever wasted, Maia is returning to the joy and art of movies as the lead producer of This Movie Changed Me. She also loves to walk & talk, freestyle dance, eat cookies, and is currently training to become a Certified Tea Master.

Tony Liu

Tony Liu

Producer, On Being Studios

Surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains, Tony grew up in the heartland of Utah Valley, where he developed a curiosity for place and the ways we make sense of our lives. His interests eventually led him to UNC-Chapel Hill. There he studied geography, religious studies, and anthropology as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. With oral histories, DJ sets, and audio reporting, in Chapel Hill, Tony spent his time exploring how sound defines human experience and shapes emotion.

Tony began his public media journey with the radio program from his childhood — NPR Utah’s RadioWest. Thereafter, he worked for NPR’s TED Radio Hour and Morning Edition. Before venturing into audio storytelling, he taught in La Serena, Chile and analyzed operations for a solar company in the Bay Area.

When not listening to something, Tony enjoys running, cooking, thinking about social change, and writing music, which he realizes involves listening to something.

Kristin Lin

Kristin Lin

Editor, On Being Studios

Growing up in a Buddhist, Taiwanese household in Texas, Kristin was always fascinated by the power of conversation to connect the many contrasting microcosms around her. She carried her curiosity for human experience to Chicago, where she studied political science at the University of Chicago and edited the campus's long-form investigative journal. It was during her runs along Lake Michigan that she started tuning into podcasts; she has been an avid fan of On Being ever since she listened to her first episode, featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

Kristin has worked at UC Berkeley and The Wall Street Journal, where she helped produce, write, and report for diverse sets of audiences. She feels lucky to contribute to a program that has so deeply and joyfully enriched her understanding of humanity.

When she's not listening to podcasts or reading, Kristin enjoys cooking for crowds, penning her advice column, and chasing wonder in nature. She is still trying to decide her favorite installment of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy.

Damon Lee

Damon Lee

Community Manager
Damon, a Wisconsinite from the Fox Valley, grew up as the eldest son in a Hmong family with a strong sense of community. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 2015 with a B.A. in Advertising and a minor in Multimedia Communications.
He has spent time working in education as both a paraprofessional and substitute teacher, having developed a strong passion for the mentorship and education of others. Damon has also spent time abroad teaching in Japan and Thailand.
His interests vary, from listening to chill pop music with Teddy, his five pound Chihuahua-Papillon best friend to playing volleyball after a day's work. He loves to read and write in his spare time, doodling throughout his journals, and traveling.
Lilian Vo

Lilian Vo

Associate Art Director
Lilian is a recent graduate of Macalester College, where she received her B.A. in International Studies with a focus in Anthropology and a minor in Japanese. Wildly curious and energized, she is passionate about merging her design thinking with her academic interests, as a self-taught designer.
Manifested from her three passions of food, design, and community — she founded The Sticky Rice Project in 2017, a community media initiative that aims to bridge the intergenerational gap in the Seattle Vietnamese community using food. She is eager to continue exploring the different avenues of human connection at On Being.
As a Vietnamese Seattle native, coffee naturally runs through her blood. You can often find her cozied up at a coffee shop strategizing for The Sticky Rice Project or planning her next weightlifting session.
Erinn Farrell

Erinn Farrell

Chief Operating Officer

Erinn joins On Being after more than a decade in advertising, most recently in New York, where she brought her Midwestern work ethic and unwavering “never apologize for caring” approach to all things operations. She found her way to On Being by way of a childhood filled with passionate conversation and storytelling, a graphic artist father, a technologist mother, and an environment that always encouraged the respect and discipline of the arts. Erinn graduated with honors from Cornell University and has pursued a life devoted to curiosity, inclusion, and equity.

Erinn’s distinct leadership approach has helped her clients build business and win awards while earning her a place as a “40 under 40” and “Woman to Watch” by the Twin Cities Business Journal and featured by The Drum as an “Exceptional Woman in Advertising.” She loves running with friends, mountain biking with her husband, and chasing her little ones. Any additional moments are spent with her closest friends creating space and opportunities for women to connect and collaborate.

Profit Idowu

Profit Idowu

Engagement Manager, Operations and Vitality Studio

Profit is one part passion, one part entrepreneur, and two parts of a Nigerian heritage that makes him the man of service he is today. He received his B.S. in Business and Marketing and minor in Management from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Prior to joining On Being, Profit championed the power of creativity in the advertising industry by masterfully developing client relationships and projects with a polished enterprising demeanor. With experience working across strategic business units and teams to support global brands, Profit now looks to use his many talents to impact the world one day at a time.

When he’s not supporting the well-being of the organization, Profit volunteers in the community empowering future generations by participating in various speaking opportunities and chasing light with his DSLR.

Laurén Dordal

Laurén Dordal

Engagement Manager, Operations and Vitality Studio

With a passion for the tangible brand experience, Laurén cut her teeth in the advertising industry; gaining exposure in employee and consumer engagement, process implementation and event production. Laurén’s hard work and “passion for compassion” was recognized by AdFed’s list of standouts: 32 Under 32. She received her bachelor’s degree in Advertising from the Art Institutes MN, as well as served 6 years in the United States Air Force.

Growing up in the northwestern suburbs of Minneapolis, Laurén fostered a love for the arts at a young age. Today, that love remains, as she serves on the board of local non profit, Art Buddies – an organization which empowers children through creativity. She’s inspired by Scandinavian design and enjoys maintaining her home; everything from landscaping to remodeling. She finds relaxation and restoration with yoga, reading, and cuddling with her dog, Bob.

Suzette Burley

Suzette Burley

Hospitality Coordinator

Suzette graduated from Mankato State University with a B.A. in Marketing and Management. Before taking time away from the corporate world to raise three daughters, she held positions in customer service and management. Recently, she worked alongside her husband running their small business. (Yes, they still like each other.) She has enjoyed numerous volunteer opportunities, including heading up live and silent auction fundraisers, many pancake breakfasts, and running her vibrant neighborhood association.

Since joining On Being, Suzette is interested in introducing On Being podcasts to her two book clubs for discussion. Changing it up to a “pod club” will foster thought-provoking conversation on the endless captivating topics On Being provides. Suzette enjoys golf, reading, and northern Minnesota adventures. Her greatest joy is gathering friends and family around her candle-lit table for a night of food and conversation.

Erin Colasacco

Erin Colasacco

Art Director, Community & Design

Erin joins On Being as Art Director, utilizing her skills to guide the visual aesthetic of the On Being experience for members of the online community.

She is a conceptual, detail-oriented creative with nearly a decade of experience in advertising, production, and design working on behalf of global brands. She is energized by continuing to find unique ways to bring a brand to life for consumers.

Erin is a Nebraska native and Air Force brat. When she's not practicing her craft, you can find her walking or biking the Chain of Lakes, attending an improv show, pulsing in barre class (only when the teacher is looking...), and exploring new restaurants with friends and family.

Bethany Iverson

Bethany Iverson

Lead Strategist, Community & Design

Bethany is fiercely passionate about creating a more just, equitable world. She agitates with love, hopes radically, and advocates fearlessly to create a world she wants to live in. Last fall Bethany abandoned her cushy career as an advertising executive at an agency in Minneapolis to pursue a career that aligned with her values. Bethany's fire for equity and justice often felt out of place in the world of advertising, though publications like Ad Age and AdWeek proudly featured her strong point of view. Thankfully her career in advertising wasn't for naught, as she's now putting her knowledge of how to build bold, courageous, brands into practice as a catalyst to ignite The On Being Project. Her transition from Boss to On Being strategist has been nothing short of exhilarating. She believes another world is possible and is honored to have locked arms with colleagues who believe the same.

The only thing that rivals Bethany’s belief in the infinite power of human potential is the love she has for her dog, Coupon. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a Master of Art degree in Rhetoric, Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota.

Casper ter Kuile

Casper ter Kuile

Executive Director and Director of Possibility, Impact Lab
Casper is building a world of joyful belonging. In the middle of enormous changes in how we "do" community and spirituality, Casper connects people and creates projects that help us live lives of greater meaning and depth. Nothing makes him happier than learning about religious tradition and reimagining it for our modern context.
He is the co-author of How We Gather and Care of Souls and has co-convened hundreds of leaders in the emerging field of secular and sacred community innovation. He co-hosts Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, a podcast engaging a modern classic through traditional sacred reading practices like lectio divina and havruta. His work has been featured in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and on PBS.
Casper holds Masters of Divinity and Public Policy degrees from Harvard University, and remains a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. Born and raised in England, he was previously the co-founder of Campaign Bootcamp and the UK Youth Climate Coalition and endures the endless disappointments of being a Leeds United fan. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his husband Sean Lair.
Angie Thurston

Angie Thurston

Director of Formation, Impact Lab

Angie is creating spiritual formation experiences for the 21st century. She is dedicated to connecting the inner life of spirit to the outer life of action for social change. Convinced that we need each other to become who we're meant to be, Angie supports an emerging field of leaders who are deepening community and combating our modern-day crisis of isolation.

Angie is a Ministry Innovation Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and the co-author of How We Gather and Care of Souls, two reports profiling new forms of social and spiritual connection. Her work has been featured in The New York Times and on NPR.

A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Divinity School, Angie loves helping people come together to co-create something bigger than themselves. She used to do that as a New York City playwright and more recently as co-convener of more than 20 spiritual gatherings across the United States. She is a student of the Urantia Book and hosts bi-weekly study groups in her home. Angie lives in Somerville, MA with her husband Vipin Thekk.

Sue Phillips

Sue Phillips

Director of Strategy, Impact Lab

Rev. Sue Phillips is relentlessly curious about the crossover spaces between traditional religious institutions and the landscape of spiritual and community-building innovation. An ordained minister and former denominational executive in the Unitarian Universalist Association, Sue is passionate about cultivating spiritual entrepreneurship, building thriving meaning-making communities, and supporting emerging leaders. She credits radical Catholic women religious, feminist and womanist liberation theologians, and other prophetic women for activating her lifelong passion for justice.

Sue is the founder of FAITHIFY, the first denominationally-affiliated crowdfunding site, and is the co-author with colleagues Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile of Faithful and Care of Souls which explore emerging models of spiritual innovation. A graduate of Colgate University and the Episcopal Divinity School, Sue has taught at Harvard Divinity School, where she is a Ministry Innovation Fellow. She lives in Tacoma, WA with her wife Tandi Rogers.

Eddie Gonzalez

Eddie Gonzalez

Engagement Manager, Impact Lab

Eddie Gonzalez has a keen interest in the dance between inner and outer life, the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we tell each other. He joins the On Being Impact Lab after a decade of work around stories and spiritual care, most recently at StoryCorps, where he worked across the United States and Canada to help individuals and organizations create space for reflective conversations through community-based storytelling and audio recording projects. Before StoryCorps he was a hospice chaplain and received his clinical pastoral education while earning an M.F.A. in creative writing.

Eddie believes deeply in the power of collaboration and will be based in New York City, connecting the growing ecosystem of projects, leaders, and listeners as well as developing meaning-making products for the On Being community. He feels most alive when he’s gathering around the table with friends and family, reading and writing, or exploring the outside world on foot. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, John Henry Greenwood.

The On Being Fellows

Learn more about our 2017–2018 class of fellows here.