THE HUM TEAM
Created by a former CNN executive with a team of seasoned and innovative technologists; veteran business, news, content and humanitarian executives, HUM is uniquely positioned to become the global one-stop information and media source.
Joy E. DiBenedetto | Founding Chair; Former CEO - DiBenedetto is currently the President and CEO of the international exchange organization Friendship Force International. (FFI) is a worldwide network of clubs (local chapters) and individuals that advance a mission of promoting global understanding across the barriers that separate people; by connecting people from different countries at the personal level. Since its founding in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter and Wayne Smith, FFI has brought together millions of citizen ambassadors traveling between 59 countries, with thousands more serving as hosts. Read more at: www.thefriendshipforce.org.
DiBenedetto is previously a 20-year news veteran, award winning journalist with CNN and Turner Broadcasting; handling M&A research; Global VP domestic and international booking, production, journalism assignments. Managed worldwide staff, strategy, hiring, budgeting; editorial direction for 10 years; prior to this 5 years as Director, Domestic Booking, CNN. Previously a CARE NGO press officer, NYC senior citizen caseworker, travel agent, bookseller; she has spoken at the United Nations, lectures on international business strategy, and is a proud Marshall fellow who involves herself with passion causes from getting plastic out of our lives (Greenplate); to the Fugees Family; to disaster preparedness. For ten years she sat on the board of the Atlanta Press Club and has recently joined the board of IGDC Solutions. DiBenedetto is a world trekker who often roller skates and bicycles to work, and who has survived Dengue Fever.
Cristina Khalaf | SVP Brand Strategy and Special Projects – 15 years experience as an award winning journalist, producer, researcher, market specialist, and consumer services advisor with CNN and NBC. Working on highly acclaimed series at CNN (God’s Warriors & CNN Heroes), and at NBC Owned & Operated stations, audience and guest services for shows including SNL and production work on several specials including Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. She is a recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award and Alfred I. DuPont Columbia University Award. She holds a degree in Graphic Design and Business Administration from Marymount University and is a fervent documentary fan that never misses a festival.
Jill Brevda | Chief Marketing Officer - 25 years experience developing innovative programming and projects for television, CBS News/ABC News; as well as strategic marketing efforts for technology companies Intel, Archos and Olympus. Brevda sits at the juncture of mass media and technology and has built a successful career at the intersection of some of the biggest brands in history. She currently works with clients as a Creative Marketing Consultant developing plans and business relationships joining innovation companies and content providers; creating new ways for consumers to get information and entertainment by devising products and campaigns for all to extend their brand through the use of technology. She has been able to use this power and reach to explain and showcase technology, seamlessly integrated products into television and films, presented quite regularly in real-life situations. Working with both small and large technology companies, and large content providers simultaneously including Archos and Olympus. Previously, Brevda was the first ever Broadcast Marketing Manager for Intel Corporation when the company initiated a marketing program for the Connected Products Division and other branded products groups focused on the integration of consumer-based technology products into television shows and movies. She began her career at WABC-TV, N.Y. as the Segments Producer; spent five years with CBS NEWS: New York and Washington, D.C. as a Producer, Production Manager and Director for ad firms LINTAS and Sussan and Company; and the Full Moon Interactive Group. She is a proud 1980 School of Speech graduate of Northwestern University where she discovered her passion for vegetarianism.
W.Todd Daniell ǀ Chief Architect - Daniell has over 30 years experience developing software and hardware products, architecture and infrastructure for startups and Fortune 500 companies with extensive mobile technology experience; including networking products, video products, document management systems, imaging systems, location based service applications, and other consumer based products for PC’s and mobile devices sold in the United States and Europe. Todd has over 90 patents issued in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and currently has over 50 patents pending. During that time, he has held positions from VP of Engineering, to Senior Engineer; always maintaining his technical abilities. He earned his B.S. in Information and Computer Science from Georgia Tech in 1985 and is an astute rare automobile expert and an avid competitive race car driver who in April, 2010 set the new Guinness World Record for the fastest speed on a public road at 300+ miles an hour. The record he broke was 70 years old.
Andrew B. Drooker ǀ Chief Digital Officer - 25 yrs technology experience as Systems Manager, CTO, VP of R&D for firms such as Turner Broadcasting, The Gallup Org., Weather Channel and large insurance firms. Drooker began his `professional’ career at Georgia State University at the age of 15, writing SPSS procedures (FORTRAN) for government sponsored projects. Upon graduating from high school, he continued studying Computer Science, Statistics and Political Science at Georgia State. In 1986, he built the first LAN on campus for The Center for Public & Urban Research. In 1989, Ted Turner hired him as the System Specialist/Project Manager to create an electronic inventory system to prevent overbooking for his networks ad management. For the next 16 years, taking a year off from Turner to work for The Gallup Organization and then returning to Turner as VP of Research and Development, he again left in 2004 to become CTO of a regional insurance company. Two years later, he returned to broadcasting at The Weather Channel where he as Director of Technology he directs all infrastructure and ad system projects. As an innovator who builds systems for fun, he is always looking out for the next milestone in the media field. Andy is also one of the world’s foremost collectors and historian of comic book art who has his own shop; and an extreme showbiz buff, he writes a regular entertainment blog.
Courtney Body | Senior Producer, News Development (on sabbatical) - Journalist and humanitarian Courtney Body previously worked at CNN International where she produced for “Inside Africa” and “Inside the Middle East." She has covered most major news events since 2004, and has traveled to Beirut, Jerusalem, Cairo, Delhi, and many places in between. She holds a bachelor's degree from New York University in Documentary Film and speaks basic Pashto. Courtney lives out of her suitcase.
Greg Lewin │HUMMoney, Contributing editor Greg Lewin is currently a General Partner at TLF Capital, an investment management firm. Previously he served as a partner and senior money manager at Sailfish Capital. Prior to Sailfish Greg ran Lewin Capital Partners, a limited partnership he founded, which focused on long term tax efficient growth strategies. Greg was a partner at Charter Oak Partners, where he spent 6 years managing fund investments in the technology, telecommunications and retail industries. Greg also spent twelve years at Neuberger Berman managing large equity investment portfolios. Greg began his investment career at Merrill Lynch as a senior analyst in the large-cap tech group. He received his MBA from New York University in 1982 and his BS from Northwestern in 1979. Greg founded the American Dream Project, which he ran from 1988-1996. This was a nationally recognized mentoring project that helped more than 400 students, 5 New York City public schools and the “I Have a Dream Project” achieve their goals of increasing the high school graduation and college attendance rates of students from disadvantaged neighborhoods. The program was featured in many high profile publications, including the New York Times. Among many other charitable endeavors Greg also served as a board member for the Council of Economic Priorities.
Cynthia Thomet │PEACEMEAL, Contributor Cynthia Thomet is a humanitarian, a food lover and co owner and doyenne of the award winning downtown Atlanta, Georgia; US restaurant, Lunacy Black Market http://www.lunacyblackmarket.com/. You can find Cynthia's own blog here: http://thoughtfulcyn.wordpress.com/. Her pieces for HUMNEWS search for the intersection between food and humanity, and how meals unite us.
Nick Popow ǀ HUMNEWS, Youth editor Nick Popow is a native of California and grew up in the New York City area and is currently a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, majoring in Economics, Philosophy and Journalism. Nick is an avid athlete and has competed at the inter-state level in both tennis and soccer and currently teaches competitive tennis to others. Nick has experience as an editor and writer with Shannon Associates (NYC –base publisher/agent), the TCS Literary magazine and Raconteur Writing Workshops. Nick’s travels have thus far taken him to parts of Western Europe (including France, Belgium and the UK) as a student scholar with JSA and as a humanitarian aid worker to the Dominican Republic shortly after the 2009 earthquake in Haiti. A written commentary of his trip to the Dominican Republic was published in HUM news. Nick also wrote a thought piece about how economic growth and opportunity is shifting from the U.S. and other developed economic superpowers to the emerging countries and how the 2010 World Cup Soccer event reflected this reality, also published in HUM news. Nick is currently involved in bringing together university students from around the world to share and publish stories that matter with HUMNews.
Nejeed Kassam ǀ HUMNEWS, `The View From Here’ ǀ Columnist Nejeed has long been an advocate for change and social justice. Every day, Nejeed wakes up and hopes he can make a difference in the world—even a little one. He is the founder and director of the High on Life Campaign and the author/editor of the book, High on Life: Stories of Hope, Change, and Leadership. Through various initiatives High on Life educates and inspires individuals and organizations in a non-political, non-partisan way. He is also proud to be the founder of the international NGOs End Poverty Now and Networks for Change. Nejeed holds a Bachelors of Arts (Hons) from McGill and currently attends Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto; he is currently on leave from school for 8 months. He continues to work as a writer, a speaker, and most-importantly, an aspiring change-maker. Nejeed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org OR on SKYPE @ nejeed.
Alesha Porisky ǀ HUMNEWS, `The View From Here’ ǀ Columnist Alesha grew up with a camera in one hand, and a pen in the other. She truly believes that everyone can make a difference in the world, and that Mother Theresa said it best when she said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Alesha is constantly inspired by all the incredible young global citizens, and the passion they have for life and for change. Alesha is the Director and Producer of the soon-to-be released documentary Conversations for Change. She is the Assistant Director of the High on Life project, and worked on the High on Life book as a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and graduated at the top of her class with a double major in Economics and Political Science. She is the editor-in-chief of eMerge Magazine and continues to work as a freelance journalist. Alesha can be reached at email@example.com OR on SKYPE @ alesha.porisky.
Other colleagues are being developed from a group who can generally be described as international news, broadcast, communications veterans involved in worldwide activities including content production; business activities such as sales, marketing, management, and editorial operations; industry experts from notable organizations worldwide.