You might be surprised to learn that Roman Mars does not hold a degree in architecture or design. He actually studied plant population genetics. It’s a long story. Nevertheless, Fast Company named Mars one of the 100 Most Creative People in 2013 and he was a TED main stage speaker in 2015. He produced the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for a podcast in Kickstarter history, and he continues to captivate listeners everywhere as the creator and host of 99pi.
Avery Trufelman thought she wanted to be an industrial designer, but decided she’d rather make audio stories about design. She is a fierce defender of Millennial Pink, and her favorite font is the official typeface of Sweden, Sweden Sans.
Katie Mingle hails from Chicago’s Third Coast International Audio Festival, where she spent a few years producing Re:sound, eating tacos, and shivering. Beyond editing 99% Invisible, Mingle also reports and produces for the show. After living on the Gulf Coast, the East Coast and the Third Coast, she’s finally settled on the West Coast.
Kurt Kohlstedt was finishing his architectural graduate thesis in Seattle when he started to pursue a career in design-related media, founding the online magazine WebUrbanist in 2007 and various other digital publications since. A lifelong public radio fan, he secretly wanted to work on 99% Invisible for years before assuming the role of digital director. He joins the show from Minneapolis (@KurtKohlstedt)
Taryn Mazza joins us virtually from Portland, OR as Roman’s assistant. So if you want to talk to Roman, you’ve gotta go through her first. With part of a flag tattooed on her arm, it seems only natural that she ended up at 99% invisible. She’s spent the last 9 years producing & engineering her daughters, Violet and Clementine.
Delaney Hall is the Senior Editor for 99% Invisible. She also reports and produces stories for the show. Before joining the team, she helped launch Reveal, an investigative radio show and podcast. She also worked as a producer for State of the Re:Union, where she won a Peabody Award, and co-created the Austin Music Map, one of ten Localore projects aimed at inventing new kinds of storytelling for public media. Long ago, she worked with the Third Coast International Audio Festival, just like Katie and Roman.
Sharif Youssef is pretty new to the radio game. He just graduated with a degree in cognitive science and focused on decision-making and choice architecture. Before joining 99pi, he interned at the TED Radio Hour and produced for Weekend and Morning Edition at NPR. He has spent much of his life between West Liberty, West Virginia and Alexandria, Egypt. In his spare time, he cooks, stares longingly into the distance, and makes music with Wendy and the Bear. Thai food is his passion, slow lorises his downfall. With any luck, he’ll be reincarnated as a bonobo. Photo by Bobby Dresser.
Emmett Fitzgerald comes to the Bay Area from Rhode Island where he covered environmental news for PRI’s Living on Earth. His favorite salamander is the axolotl. His favorite saxophone is the tenor saxophone.
Sean Real learned what they know about music and about being a responsible person from their bands Little Teeth and Real Real Talk, and from the Bay Area’s DIY music community. They’re a long time listener of 99% invisible and get gently made fun of around the office because they love every episode idea that’s pitched.
Joe Rosenberg is a Los Angeles native and a graduate of the USC film school who, for reasons he’s still trying to figure out, somehow wound up producing podcasts. His previous job was literally just down the street — okay, almost literally … you have to turn a corner — at the offices of Snap Judgment in Oakland, where he produced stories that had absolutely nothing to do with architecture or design. His work has also appeared on NPR’s On The Media, This American Life, WNYC in New York, MPBN in Maine, and KCRW in Los Angeles. If you want to know what he looks like, don’t go by the photo above. It was taken years and years ago.
Vivian Le is an audio and television producer from Los Angeles. Before joining the 99pi team, she primarily produced very strange talk shows, so she is very excited to be here. One of her favorite naturally occurring phenomenons is when dogs and their human owners look like each other.