Who We Are
Andi McDaniel, Director
Andi simply can’t think of a cooler job than leading a project that’s helping make public media as playful and interactive as it is smart. Except maybe penguin trainer. But whatever. Prior to her current role, Andi worked as a multimedia producer for tpt’s Digital team. A graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, she’s been toying with different aspects of storytelling for years now—as a public radio reporter in Alaska, as a TV news reporter for CBS in San Francisco, and in her freelance writing life, where she published articles for not-too-shabby publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Orion, and the Washington Post. In her down time, you’ll find Andi getting her knees dirty in her vegetable garden. She won’t let the dandelions win.
Maribel Lopez, Project Coordinator
Maribel comes from the land down under. Not Australia, Iowa. Duh. She ventured north in 2010 upon accepting her first “real” job after college in Twin Cities Public Television’s National Productions Department. Since then, she’s done all kinds of things and stuff at tpt, including working on some pretty interesting shows like Slavery by Another Name and Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. As Rewire’s Project Coordinator, she does things like write, talk, and chew gum. A lifelong lover of public television, Maribel fits right in with her geeky colleagues. When she’s not “working” she likes to dance around in shoes with nails on the bottom of them and enjoys stopping to pet all the dogs she meets while walking her own dog, Carlos.
TPT Staff Contributors
Elle Krause-Lyons, Communications Manager
Elle is the hard-charging, deal-making, hoppy-beer swilling PR gal for tpt. She’s been in the PR/communications/media world for six years now, and has worked with a stunning array of lifestyle, entertainment and media brands - but telling the stories of Twin Cities Public Television is easily her most rewarding career experience to-date: because public TV is the best kept secret of cool/great, and being the one to let everyone in on that is a blast. In her spare time, Elle can be found stubbornly walking to all places rather than driving, enjoying bodies of water, eating unhealthy health food (I’m looking at you sweet potato fries and Thunder cookies), and frequenting the live music venues, outdoor patios, co-ops and woods that populate this great state.
Leif Brostrom, Social Media Specialist
Leif Brostrom, aka @leiftheviking, is always tweeting, rarely sleeping. Leif is Duluth-born, Milwaukee-raised and Twin Cities-perfected. So to speak. After several years teaching rappers how to tweet and trying to convince his friends to listen to Canadian indie-pop, he landed at tpt and hasn’t looked back since. You can find him managing social media within the building, and uses his unfortunately-quick-wit to interact with public media lovers around the world. He’s probably watching you tweet right now.
Ben Malley, Graphic Designer
Ben is a manipulator of graphics for the purpose of good design. He is not ashamed to say that he just wants things to look pretty whenever possible. He sees the future of content being a massive pool of professional and indie offerings that we can all access anywhere and at a very low cost (gunna take awhile). On the weekends he enjoys equal portions of tacos and Internet.
Ariel Tilson, Production Assistant, Almanac
Ariel is the fourth-largest of the 27 known moons of Uranus, which orbits and rotates in the equatorial plan. Wait no – that’s the Wikipedia bio. At tpt, Ariel is in fact newly appearing after time in the Big Apple where she worked on her graduate degree and on various documentary and public media enterprises. Now she spends her days rotating through weekly Almanac shows, orbiting tpt MN‘s equatorial planes and obstinately defying gravity (may appear to some as clumsiness, but they’re highly misinformed!).
Bobby Edwards, Associate Producer, MN Productions and Partnerships (tpt MN)
Bobby (pronounced like lobby but with a “B” sound at the beginning) has been toiling away within the depths of tpt for two and a half years, churning out documentaries that have been described (by Bobby) as high-octane, edge of your seat, stage five thrillicanes. As part of the MN Productions and Partnerships team, he’s aided in the creation of several documentaries and web videos, ranging in topics from the future of education to end of life healthcare and he’s described himself as an awakener of spirits more often than his co-workers care to listen to. In his spare time, Bobby likes test his buoyancy in local lakes, recreate life-like UPS stores in Minecraft, and tickle strangers. Avoid at all cost.
Jenn Schaal, Stand-Up Comic
Jenn Schaal is a stand-up comic who calls Minneapolis home. She also happens to work at tpt because she likes to have a car with insurance and a 401k. You can check her out online at jennschaal.com and at @jennschaal on Twitter. You should probably also come to a show. Jenn has been featured in City Pages, Pioneer Press, and on MPR News. She has been invited to perform in Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival, Limestone Comedy Festival, and was a semi-finalist in Rooftop Comedy’s National College Comedy Competition. She also owns two wigs for her cat.
Rick Ellis, Editor, AllYourScreens.com
When he’s not crafting articles for Rewire’s website, Rick Ellis serves as the founder and managing editor of AllYourScreens.com. He has more than a decade’s experience in online local news and nearly twenty years experience as a journalist. Beginning at the Chicago Tribune, he has worked for a variety of news outlets, including Patch/AOL, Yahoo and Internet Broadcasting. While he was the managing editor of NBC13.com, the web site won a regional Murrow Award for best big market news site. He describes himself as having a “hard news head and a Buzzfeed heart.”
Sarah Kieffer, Writer & Founder of The Vanilla Bean Blog
Sarah Kieffer spends much of her time taking photographs and in the kitchen with her two little ones. She loves to use any available free time rereading good books and sipping cold press. She shares her recipes and musings at The Vanilla Bean Blog, a space dedicated to creating family food history.
Sally McGraw, Creator of Already Pretty
Sally McGraw is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer, blogger, and communications professional. She has contributed writing to local newspapers, magazines, and websites throughout her entire professional life, and is an ongoing style features contributor to the Huffington Post and Minneapolis Star Tribune. In addition to writing her popular daily style and body image blog Already Pretty, she has published a style guide titled Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Learning to Dress it Well, which is available via Amazon. She can be seen every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. on Fox 9 in the Twin Cities, co-hosting the “Trendy or Timeless” segment. Sally offers personal shopping and style consultation services, both in person for clients living in the Twin Cities and via e-mail for clients worldwide. She firmly believes that style is a tool for self-love that should be accessible to everyone. Including you.
Molly Mogren, Writer & Founding Fraidy Cat of Hey Eleanor!
From hiking the Antarctic Peninsula, to outrunning a hyena in South Africa and even driving a street-legal monster truck through Des Moines, Iowa—Molly never turns down an opportunity to do something crazy. She loves writing about food and travel, and co-hosts the Go Fork Yourself podcast with Andrew Zimmern. Her latest project, Hey Eleanor!, chronicles her journey tackling one thing that scares her every day. She lives in Minneapolis with her hubby Josh, dog (Patsy) and kitty (Bogart). Follow her on Instagram & Twitter at @mollymogren