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Our diversity is our strength.


Our team is made up of talented creatives, events gurus, strategic marketers, journalists, and film and television producers. Despite our varied backgrounds and experiences, our team is united by the strong belief that nothing is more powerful than an authentic human story or a shared experience. People will always remember how you made them feel, above all else.

Hunter Johnson

Hunter Johnson

CEO, Executive Producer

Prior to starting Xpedition, Hunter produced shows for major networks such as HBO, HGTV, FOX, CBS, CW, Discovery, and History. After spending more than 15 years in television production and development, Hunter understands what drives an incredible story. He now brings this expertise to clients, helping incorporate authentic human storytelling through branded content.

Hunter is a proud member of both the Producers Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He earned a BFA in Film and Television Producing from Chapman University.

Fun Fact
In 2018, Hunter competed in an international basketball tournament in Paris, France for the Gay Olympics. His team went undefeated in his division and they captured the gold medal in a close game against Mexico!

Anthony Ervolino

Anthony Ervolino

Chief Content Officer

Prior to working with Xpedition, Anthony began his career in production for independent feature films, working as a first AD and UPM. Later, he focused more on post production, supervising over a hundred shows for major networks such as HBO, NBC, CW, Discovery, History and many more. In addition to his logistic skills, Anthony is also an award winning and published author, who has kept his love of storytelling as the main focus no matter what job he is currently taking on.

Fun Fact
Reading is an important part of Anthony’s life. He tries to read a book a week from varying genres and by authors of different backgrounds.

Snejana Daily

Snejana Daily

Vice President of Brand Relations

Snejana is a first generation Bulgarian-American who is passionate about people and their stories. She has traveled to 30+ countries and explored over half of the US. She began her career in production by traveling to some of the most impoverished regions of the world with “Operation Change” - the Oprah Winfrey Network’s documentary series on international philanthropy. Since then, she has been producing television series, documentaries, and digital content for brands like Nike, Bose, Kelloggs, Brawny, and Chevy. She has also spent several years running a boutique consulting agency specializing in digital marketing strategy for small businesses. As part of the Xpedition team Snejana has supervised the production of videos across regions and Google teams. Snejana has split allegiances with a Masters of Public Policy from UCLA and a BA in Psychology from USC.

Fun Fact
Snejana loves costumes (the more elaborate, the better!) and will one day make it her side hustle to design and create ethnically inspired costumes (BONUS - she once cosplayed Link from Legend of Zelda).

Corey Phan

Corey Phan

Vice President of Events

Corey’s experience in the world of events began in 2006, where he managed a series of 50 annual road shows. Since then, he's worked with clients like American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, United Airlines and Starwood Hotels on multi-day, large-scale conference with over 10,000 attendees. His creative storytelling, strategic leadership and passion for events, make him a great addition to the Xpedition family. Currently, he is leading event strategy for multiple Google teams, focused on ads, auto, gaming and travel industries.

Fun Fact
When he’s not planning events, Corey is a major foodie. He typically tries a new restaurant every week, so that he can discover new gems to share with family, friends and coworkers.

Derek Helwig

Derek Helwig

Vice President of Development

Over the course of Derek's 15 years in the media industry, his career has spanned the world, literally. Graduating from Chapman University in 2005 with a degree in Film Production and a Masters in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London, Derek dove in to international television production. He began his career with the hit CBS series, Amazing Race where he was fortunate enough to produce 12 seasons and film in over 35 countries. After leaving the Amazing Race, he produced series like Best Bars in America for Esquire, United Shades of America for CNN and Huang's World on VICE, and adventure series Ultimate Expedition for YouTube Red among many more. Derek joined the Xpedition team in early 2017 leading the research team. The ability to tell people’s individual stories was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. His favorite projects he has produced for the company have been John’s Crazy Socks and Honest Soul Yoga. Derek also teaches documentary filmmaking at Chapman University.

Fun Fact
Derek has a cat named Finnegan, who he named after his local pub in London.

Slate Johnson

Slate Johnson

Vice President of Business Affairs & Registered In-House Counsel

Slate was raised in San Diego, CA. For the past ten years, he lived in London and 5 different cities all over the country. In 2018, Slate traded in the ice and snow of Minneapolis for San Francisco. Slate has a degree in Applied Mathematics with a Concentration in Economics from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. After graduating from law school he ran his own small business for seven years before deciding to finally sit the bar and pass!

Fun Fact
Slate’s favorite drink is an old fashioned or a good manhattan and his favorite city is London, where he lived for 13 months during law school.

Kelsey Hadaller

Kelsey Hadaller

Director of Content Marketing

Kelsey began her career in marketing at the Eskenazi Museum of Art during her undergraduate years at Indiana University. She later was a Senior Account Manager for a digital marketing agency leading accounts across various verticals including photo management, healthcare staffing and telecom. She has also been a regular contributor for multiple marketing blogs.

Fun Fact
Kelsey is Beatles fanatic. She collects Beatles books and memorabilia and even took a class in college fully dedicated to the history of the band.

Christina Benaza

Christina Benaza

Director of Business Development

A multidisciplinary specializing in business strategy and brand development, Christina embodies a natural essence for unique and effective execution while maintaining true brand authenticity. With almost a decade of agency experience, Christina has successfully brokered and executed campaigns with brands such as Nike, Target and Google. Christina enjoys finding and experiencing the latest lifestyle trends around the globe, but nothing beats exploring her own native city Los Angeles.

Fun Fact
Christina is a huge fan of the Rocky film series and finds inspiration and learns something new each time she watches it. She also loves a great iced latte and hopes to design and open her own coffee shop.

Willie Brown

Willie Brown

Supervising Producer

In a career spanning over 14 years, Will has worked for MTV, FOX, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, History, Oxygen, TruTV and more. Working in the story departments on everything from the cultural icon TMZ to the Emmy Award winning Deadliest Catch, Will has story produced multiple season finales, mid-season premieres, highest rated episodes of the season and a highest rated episode in franchise history. In 2016, Will was recognized by the Academy of Arts & Sciences for his work on the Emmy nominated season of Deadliest Catch. During the summer of 2017, Will brought his creativity and visual storytelling talents to the Xpedition team. During his tenure at Xpedition, Will has written and produced Yogolandia, Ascendance Studio, John's Crazy Socks, Puerto Rico with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the soon to be released, The Krystn Keller Story and The Cheong Choon Ng Story for YouTube's #YouTubeTaughtMe series.

Fun Fact
Will’s hobbies include racing motorcycles, mountain bikes, SCUBA diving, cycling, shooting things into the garbage can, traveling, and making videos for his YouTube Channel where his fans know him as Doctor Chocolate.

Grace Olson

Grace Olson

Senior Producer

Grace’s career began as a broadcast journalist in Atlanta, where she covered sports, news, and politics as a television host and reporter. She then moved on to our nation’s capital, where she crafted stories and programs about DC-area sports -- from teams in the professional and collegiate spotlights, to prep athletes on-the-rise.

After transitioning to and working within the documentary space, she joined us here at Xpedition, where her long-held passions for finding and telling great stories, writing, and connecting with people of all kinds continues to form the foundation of every day.

Fun Fact
Two of Grace’s ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence and one signed the Constitution.

Greg Austring

Greg Austring

Project Manager

Greg discovered his interest in marketing in college as a psychology major studying human behavior. After graduating he lived in Costa Rica where he helped build a youth center and attempted to learn Spanish. Since then he has worked for both small and large companies doing digital, experiential, sponsorship, and brand marketing. He is currently pursuing his MBA at UCLA Anderson with a specialization in technology management and marketing.

Fun Fact
He won the prestigious best artist award in Mrs. Yoshida’s third grade class after a controversial second place finish the year prior. Although his love of art lives on, his dedication to drawing diminished after he was enrolled in summer sports camp.

Tim Chau

Tim Chau

Digital Lead, Events

Tim is an event planning leader with years of experience in planning and executing corporate events, conferences and trade shows. Tim began his event planning career in the travel industry, working on events for brands such as Northstar Travel Media, CLIA and Signature Travel Network. To this day Tim continues to oversee digital event needs like websites, online registration, event promotion and mobile apps for events both large and small.

Fun Fact
Tim is an avid musical fan and tries to see at least six shows per season. He loves the combination of music and storytelling coming to life on a television screen or on-stage at a performance theatre.

Ashley Carr

Ashley Carr

Project Lead, Events

Prior to working with Xpedition, Ashley’s professional experience has been focused in project management in industries ranging from interior design, to theatrical construction and event design, and, most recently, neuroscience and neuro-leadership. She loves being able to marry her creativity and design skills with her type-a, list maker tendencies. Ashley is a pragmatic problem solver, always looking for creative solutions to create beautiful and efficient environments and events.

Fun Fact
In her free time, Ashley is a show designer and choreographer for competitive high school show choirs (think Fox’s “Glee”, but slightly less dramatic). She loves being able to bring 3 of her favorite things together in one rewarding hobby: working with kids, music, and all the glitter!

Charissa Yee

Charissa Yee

Project Manager

Charissa started her career as a web content developer, updating websites with promotional and informational materials. Beyond web development, she has taken on project management roles, assisting with the development of a variety of online resources. Charissa loves how project management allows her to work with many different teams and deliver results.

Fun Fact
Charissa enjoys teaching her cat tricks, like raising her paws in the air in a hallelujah pose, or giving a high five.

Meena Lee

Meena Lee

Event Marketing Manager

Meena was born in California but grew up primarily in Albuquerque, NM (cue the Breaking Bad references). After graduating she decided to make the move to New York for grad school and was fortunate enough to work with fellow XPM'ers, Monica and Morgan (Team M @ Quirky), where she honed in on her passion for events. Prior to joining this team, she oversaw the Experiential Marketing & Site Activations at Industry City and produced international tech + hospitality events for Lenovo, Roland-Garros, and Reliance Jio while at LeadDog Marketing Group.

Fun Fact
In her free time, Meena enjoys the outdoors, fitness, and running - last year she decided to train/compete in her first and only olympic weightlifting competition. More things she loves: puppies, puns, traveling, cooking + baking, podcasts, and design, art, and architecture.

Etiam Adissem

Etiam Adissem

Associate Producer

As a first-generation American raised in the Midwest by African parents, Etiam strives to capture culture from a unique, authentic perspective. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his dog Huey, taking photos on film, and finding the best taco trucks.

Fun Fact
Etiam has been on two cross country road trips in the past few years.

Joseph Wright

Joseph Wright

Event Marketing Manager

With a background in advertising, digital marketing, media production, and product strategy for technology startups, Joseph joined the Xpedition team as an Event Marketing Manager working with the Google Cloud team. He has a passion for events, design, marketing analytics, and music. When he isn't at work he can be found at live music performances, ranking the best sour beers, hiking around California, or searching for the spiciest dish in San Francisco (after once eating a Ghost Chili at an Indian restaurant on a dare).

Fun Fact
Joseph has been playing a variety of instruments as well as performing vocals for over 10 years. He collects musical instruments from around the world and enjoys learning the unique musical dialects of other cultures.

Jonette Engelbrecht

Jonette Engelbrecht

Program Manager, Sales Enablement

Jonette was born and raised in a small town in sunny South Africa and moved to San Francisco with her husband in September 2018. After owning her own event floral design company she fell in love with the events industry and decided to pursue that as her full-time career in the Bay area. Her favorite hobbies are baking, floral design and she is always on the look-out for new and trendy wine bars wherever she goes.

Fun Fact
She was selected as one of 12 House & Leisure Next Generation Stars, featuring women that created a stir in their field. She is also a collector of statement earrings and you will most likely never see her without a pair on.

Adam Openbrier

Adam Openbrier

Web Developer

Adam grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and eventually moved to California to pursue warmer weather. Though he started his career in retail management, he found he was most talented using his technical skills. After studying web development at University of California Irvine, he focused on freelance front-end development. Currently Adam works with the Events team coding email designs and bringing websites to life.

Fun Fact
Adam occasionally enjoys sewing projects for costumes or clothing. You’ll find many glittery sparkling materials in his supplies.

Katrina Tapper

Katrina Tapper

Graphic Designer

Katrina is a Chicago born, New Jersey raised creative with an extensive background in event management. Katrina graduated with a BFA focusing in Painting and Visual Communication Design from the Hartford Art School in Connecticut. She began her career in a dual role as a graphic designer managing a small team of creatives as well as leading event registration and accreditation. Over the years Katrina has since expanded her event portfolio and has traveled both domestically and internationally while working for brands like BET Networks, The National Basketball Association, eBay, Zoom and Google to name a few. During her free time you can find her in her art studio working on her next painted masterpiece.

Fun Fact
Katrina is a Halloween enthusiast and plans her epic Halloween celebrations months in advance. She's always got a few tricks (and treats) up her sleeve and enjoys prop making, building scenic as well as special fx makeup.

Matt Hendrix

Matt Hendrix

Social Media Manager

While he deeply appreciates a long, receptionless hike, Matt’s spent most of his life in the social media realms. He studied digital film and photography in school, working for the marketing department during his time at Ohio State. He eventually made his way out to Los Angeles, where he spent a few years at YouTube guiding cross promotional, content development programs with Google brand partners, internal teams, and influencers. A few more years were spent building a small business and online brand - an art studio here in LA. Matt’s always ready for new tech-based exploration. Each day, he looks forward to putting an accepting, open mind to use in life and work to allow for continued growth, fervent creativity, and fruitful collaboration.

Fun Fact
Matt once got lost in Paris. Lacking the ability to say anything but “Sorry, I don’t speak French” in French, he settled in for a day of great wine and subtle panic, eventually finding his way home thanks to a kind cab driver. What a wonderful day it was.

Layan Olabi

Layan Olabi

Event Producer

Layan started her career in advertising and moved across multiple areas in the marketing field including program management, product marketing, and marketing communications. As her passion grew towards creative project management, Layan joined Xpedition as an event producer. Layan loves food and is constantly on the hunt for the best places out there, enjoys yoga and is always ready to go to the beach.

Fun Fact
Working with a lot of creative teams throughout her career, Layan has developed a passion towards graphic design and is a self-taught aspiring designer.

Nicole Karda

Nicole Karda

Event Producer

Nicole is a disney-obsessed, born and raised Bay Area native, mother of two puppers, who loves all things creative and art. The Bay Area has definitely spoiled her with being able to fall in love with food from all cultures and of course, all the wines. She love trying new food and then trying to make it with her own twist.

Graduating from SJSU in Hospitality, Tourism, and Event Management gave Nicole the ability to try her hand in the restaurant, hotel, make-up, and finally, events industry. Seeing the way the different parts of each industry works helped hone her skills for events because she is able to take a little from each and create her own style. She has worked with numerous companies such as IHG, the Irvine Company, Morphe, Stanford. Being able to create positive, memorable experiences while bringing together any and all demographics of people is her favorite part about hosting events.

Fun Fact
Nicole starting dancing at the age of 8, was on a competitive dance team for about 10 years (different teams), and directed a youth dance team for 4 years. Dancing has always been a passion of hers, it would be a dream to be able to one day dance in the Disney parades or back-up dance for Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, or Beyonce.

Yael Egnal

Yael Egnal

Development Coordinator

Yael was born and raised in Bellevue, Washington and moved down to California to study Television & Writing Production at Chapman University. She is passionate about the development of creative content, especially for emerging digital platforms. Yael started at Xpedition in May of 2017. Prior to Xpedition, Yael has worked at A24, CollegeHumor, and NBC Universal Home Entertainment. Outside of work, she loves about trying new food and coffee spots, arts and crafts projects, and petting dogs.

Fun Fact
One of Yael’s favorite things is discovering and documenting bougie bathrooms around the world.

Dennis Baggett

Dennis Baggett

Event Coordinator

Before joining Xpedition, Dennis worked in hotel operations for Marriott. Throughout his hotel career he gained a well rounded background in lodging operations, hospitality sales and event execution. His passion for events is driven by a love for new experiences and the power that those experiences can have in shaping one’s worldview. Dennis also enjoys exercising his creative talents in event design, driven from a love for art and architecture.

Fun Fact
Creative outlets are essential to Dennis’ mental well being, jam making being the most unusual one. He promises that he can turn your favorite fruit into a jam that will make you never want Smucker’s again.

Jayne Rio Santayana

Jayne Rio Santayana

Jr. Event Coordinator

Jayne is a San Francisco born, Bay Area native with a background ranging from channel marketing, field management, training, merchandising, event production and content creation. Thanks to the variety of fields and jobs she's held, Jayne considers herself a "Jayne of all Trades." Jayne is passionate about events and content because it's what she indulges in even during her free time. She believes that doing what you love, means you'll never have to work a day in your life. Luckily she's found her love in creating and capturing unforgettable experiences and she's super thrilled to be doing this with Xpedition as a Junior Event Coordinator.

Fun Fact
Jayne was featured on American Idol and has been singing all her life. She also has a YouTube channel that has garnered over a million total views. Although singing has been a huge part of her life, she loves food more than anything and you'll always find her at the top left or bottom right corner of the table because she's left handed.

Rebekah Bell

Rebekah Bell

Writer / Story Researcher

Born and raised on a farm in Kansas, Rebekah moved to Los Angeles for college. Prior to joining Xpedition, she worked as a staff writer and editor for a luxury lifestyle magazine and wrote for publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun, and Ms. In her current role, she loves finding and telling diverse and inspiring stories. Outside of work, Rebekah can often be found exploring new countries, going to the beach, and making the perfect charcuterie boards for game nights with her friends.

Fun Fact
Rebekah competed in speech and forensics during high school and college. She once drew a word she didn’t know the definition of during an impromptu speaking round and came up with a speech about overcoming adversity that, against all odds, qualified her for the semi-final round at a national tournament.

Daniel Gradilla

Daniel Gradilla

Editor

At the age of 18, Daniel joined the photojournalist team at The Desert Sun, a daily newspaper servicing the Palm Springs area. He was heavily influenced by the journalists there, learning about telling stories visually, and the influence of speaking truth to power.

After graduating from Brooks Institute’s film program, Daniel started working on various feature films and documentaries that have taken him across the United States and Europe. He has worked alongside many Emmy and Oscar-winning filmmakers and has cut documentary films that have screened in various film festivals around the world. Most recently, “¡Las Sandinistas!” screened at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival.

Fun Fact
When he wasn’t running around with a towel wrapped around his neck, pretending to be Superman, Daniel spent his childhood in Palm Springs, CA telling stories to anyone who would hear them. Since the tender age of 4, Daniel has had the dream of one day making movies.

Claire Paluzzi

Claire Paluzzi

Junior Editor

Prior to her time at Xpedition, Claire Paluzzi worked in post production editing digital content, charitable promotions, and documentary style videos. She also has media managed feature film footage for Blumhouse Productions, as well as digital content for Comedy Central, BET, MTV, Paramount Network, and live awards shows like the VMAs.

For Claire, editing is a way to utilize both the logical and creative mind. She loves to arrange pieces of a puzzle together until a story both mentally and emotionally clicks.

Fun Fact
Claire has an insatiable drive to learn, and an interest of hers is to watch and read content that explores psychology and the human condition.

Spencer Fields

Spencer Fields

Assistant

Growing up in Orange County, CA, Spencer couldn’t wait to get away from the sun and surf and decided to move across the country to Boston for college. Turns out, the snow didn’t agree with her and she moved back to sunny California as soon as she graduated.

Spencer started in Hollywood as a Studio Page at Paramount Pictures where she learned to give four different tours, walk backwards while talking, drive a golf cart through the backlot, and how to make foreign guests laugh at her jokes (even when they couldn’t understand what she was talking about).

Fun Fact
In her freetime Spencer loves exploring everything LA has to offer and cooking as many Bon Appetit recipes as she possibly can.