Bios

The members of the League of Technical Voters are a diverse bunch; technical, artistic, political and most of all concerned about how to make the world a better place. If you're interested, we'd love for you to join us.

Silona Bonewald: Founder

Silona is currently focused on creating the League of Technical Voters. Before this she started her own company, ElecTech that created specialized software for political campaigns, and ran a web consulting business where she was one of the first people to create websites for hire, and to successfully optimize her clients’ websites for usability and top search engine ranking. She has also worked in the gaming industry, creating high visibility web presences, content management systems, and large database back-end integrations. Silona volunteers for the ACLU and EFF on technology-based civil liberties issues, and has lobbied on various issues. The combination of her involvement in political activism, educational activism, psychometrics for gaming communities, lobbyist work, netizen activities and web design make her uniquely suited to envision the framework that will make the LoTV system all possible.

Michelle DeFrance

Michelle is an auditor for the state of Texas where she has conducted performance, financial and information system and security audits for clients such as the Texas Education Agency, the University of Houston, the University of Texas Medical Branch, Texas Department of Transportation and the Railroad Commission. Additionally, she has worked with several non-profit organizations performing process consulting, fund raising, project management and financial management.

Micheal Jackson

Micheal has six years of experience working as a software engineer and systems administrator in startup and large company environments. Experience building large, high-traffic systems for clients such as Dell, ChevronTexaco, and Dun and Bradstreet. Graduate of the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, BSc Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. Resume: http://coredump.homeip.net/~orion

Joel Greenberg

Joel is currently a Sr. Planner in GSD&M’s Marketplace Planning Group. He tracks consumer trends in technology that leads to insights in how people are communicating with one another; creating; and participating in a convergence media culture. He develops appropriate marketing strategies using the new opportunities available in understanding cultural/technological change and has contributed strategic thinking around new marketing to clients such as The US Air Force, BMW, Land Rover, AARP, Chili’s, Wal-mart, Motorola, The American Legacy Foundation, Leapfrog Toys, AT&T, and others. He is responsible for GSD&M becoming a founding partner of MIT’s Convergence Culture Consortium. Joel is a frequent conference speaker on consumer behavior with technology and is sought out by journalists for his perspective. He writes about how changes in media are affecting marketing on the Idea City blog at http://blog.ideacity.com. Joel also explores changes in marketing, society, and culture in his Friends Talking podcast at http://friendstalking.joelandkaren.com. Recent stories include an interview with a 50 year old grandmother and why she participates in Second Life as well as exploring Lead User Innovation and community marketing with Soren Lund, Director of Lego Mindstorms NXT. Joel sits on the advisory board of conferences such as South by Southwest Interactive (http://www.sxsw.com/interactive) and Chaos: New Agendas in Advertising (http://www.chaos2006.com/). He’s been a speaker at SXSWi since its inception; this year, he chairs a panel titled “Girl Video Gamers Teach You the Facts About Successful Marketing,” with Athena and AthenaTwin, founders of the PMS Clan, and team leader Rhoulette from Ubisoft’s Frag Dolls. Joel has been active in interactive strategy, design, and programming since before the World Wide Web and before even QuickTime 1.0. He has designed and programmed games and simulations for corporate America and education, including a fantasy adventure game to train pharmaceutical sales reps on a new drug and a game that teaches money skills to grade schoolers.

Sofia Martinez

Sofia has five years of experience as a technical writer responsible for a broad range of products. She has experience working as the lone technical writer, as part of a larger crew, and as the manager of the technical writing department. She has designed and written online help, customer training materials, brochures, reference manuals, user manuals, API manuals, and developer-oriented documentation. Sofia has actively worked with product managers and developers to create more usable products, and has led efforts to more effectively transmit knowledge both within the development group and across departments. Against her wishes, she has also been heavily involved in aspects of QA.

Kai Mantsch

Kai is president of Mad Penguin Inc. He has a degree in Rhetoric and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and has been writing software professionally for more than 11 years. He has held positions at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Harte-Hanks, pcOrder.com, and the University of Texas School of Information. Kai is also a published author and documentary filmmaker.

Joshua Gay

Joshua is a programmer, activist, and community organizer. As a campaigns manager for Free Software Foundation he manages campaigns that defend computer user freedom and promote free software, including DefectiveByDesign.org, Badvista.org, PlayOgg.org, and EndSoftPatents. His work in free educational resources includes volunteering for One Laptop per Child and the rebuilding of http://textbookrevolution.org as a community-based, volunteer run web site. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is the editor of Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman. 

Chris Hunter

Photo of ChrisChris walks the tightrope of web site work between design and development. Originally trained in Industrial Design at the University of Washington, he went to work for a web startup, The Cobalt Group, in 1995 and has never looked back. He's always interested in technologies and standards that will provide better experiences on the web. Chris' past work life includes positions at Humancode, All.com and the University of Washington Daily. He's currently working as a senior user experience designer for Motive, Inc.

Outside of work, Chris enjoys an active life as a father and husband. He's also a black belt and instructor in Tukong Moosul, a Korean martial art.

Edwin Wise

Edwin is a software engineer with over 25 years of professional experience, which means he has seen microcomputers appear from the dust and then grow into the world-changing devices we now know and... use. He has done work in such varied places as in Manufacturing CAD/CAM, Games, and Embedded Firmware for data acquisition systems. Edwin has a wide range of interests and has been known to write profusely about them when his schedule permits.  His interest in the League is as a knowledge engineer -- taking complex and impenetrable data and manipulating it into clear, useful knowledge.