About Cortico
Bringing underheard voices to the center of a stronger public dialogue

We believe civic life can be revitalized when we hold space for conversation, recognizing that traditionally underheard voices and marginal experiences can yield improved understanding and communication across boundaries. Our fragmented society demands civic spaces where input shared by community members about their identity and experiences sparks more informed and transparent decisions from our leaders.

Bringing underheard voices to the center of a stronger public dialogue
What we value
Authentic voices
Diverse perspectives
Community-first approach
Transparent process
Measurable impact
Our Staff
Alex Kelly Berman
Alex builds tools and processes to support Cortico’s strategy, inviting partners to be our collaborators. She has worked across non-profit sectors on projects that support participation through storytelling, dialogue, and making. She believes in handing over a microphone to amplify the public’s voice.
VP of Programs & Partnerships
Kelly Cantwell
Kelly manages routine functions of Human Resources, including recruiting and interviewing staff, orienting team members, and supporting Cortico policies, programs and practices. Her extensive non-profit HR experience includes working with community organizations, a University and a credit union. Outside of work, Kelly loves cheering for her sons’ hockey teams, growing soil sprouted greens and roller skating as often as possible
HR Generalist
Hana Carey
Hana works to build and support Cortico’s community of partners, and to ensure successful projects. She is deeply committed to education and youth development with a background in both schools and youth-centered non-profits. When not at work, you can find her at the gym monopolizing the squat rack or with her nose in a book.
Manager of Programs and Partnerships
Vy Dao
Vy supports community partners by helping them find homegrown insights that emerge from local conversations. Her time as a sociologist makes her appreciate the dynamic relationship between social forces and personal experiences. She enjoys her family, carbs, and coffee and loves the suspense of a good story told by anyone.
Director of Learning & Practice
Cole Fiscus
Cole works on the frontend of Cortico’s products, contributing to a fun, frustration-free digital experience for our end users. He’s excited to continue to grow as a software developer while part of a team that also values creating authentic online civic spaces. When away from his desk, you could find him shooting hoops, hiking a Coloradan mountain trail, or figuring out how to sing and play guitar at the same time.
Software Engineer
Sara Frisk
As Vice President of Product at Cortico, Sara brings deep expertise in human-centered design, research, and product development. Most recently, she spent seven years in Salesforce’s Office of Innovation, spearheading a suite of internal products aimed to deepen executive engagement. Experimenting with Salesforce technologies, she led multi-disciplinary teams through research, prototype development, incubation, and user testing and drove collaborations with external design and technology partners from ideation to launch. In her eight-year tenure at IDEO, Sara established communication design as a discipline in the Chicago studio and was a long-standing Portfolio Director, guiding work across digital and physical environments. With deep roots in the design community, she served on AIGA’s National Board of Directors, and as Chief Creative Officer of Uptake, a predictive analytics startup in Chicago.
VP of Product
VP of Development & Strategy
Tatiana Ivancevich
Tatiana oversees the day-to-day operations at Cortico. She pulls from her background in museum retail operations and talent development to build our internal systems and structures. She believes in harnessing the power of conversations to help create stronger and more engaged communities.
Sr. Director of Operations & Administration
Akiva Leffert
Akiva leads the Engineering team at Cortico. He cares a lot about building reliable software, humane interview processes, and making the world a better place. Beyond engineering his specialty is taking silly ideas very seriously
VP Of Engineering
Hannah Locop
Hannah Locop (she/hers) is based in Miami, FL, and she is the daughter of Filipino immigrants. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science, she began working in philanthropy and nonprofit capacity building. Hannah has eclectic experiences in politics, organizing, advocacy, and community engagement. You can often find her enjoying a stroll in the park and playing her piano or ukulele.”
Partner Learning Lead
Senior Advisor
Kimberly Mota
Kimberly focuses on continuously building and improving community engagement supports in order to effectively provide each partner with the tools they need to lead successful projects. She has experience honoring and working alongside youth and community in the realm of design, visual arts, health equity, and social justice. She is deeply interested in opportunities where she can continue to work on projects through inclusive and community-focused initiatives. When she’s not at work, you can find her on an Open Street or creating art with clay.
Partner Support Lead
Josiah Oberholtzer
Josiah works on Cortico’s backend, tightening nuts and bolts. Before Cortico, he cut his teeth on a wide variety of projects, from boutique live performance software, to open frameworks for music composition and digital musicology, to large-scale distributed financial systems. When not chasing his German shepherd around, you can find him producing tracks in his home studio.
Software Engineer
Kelly Paola
Kelly designs and manages support infrastructure at Cortico, bridging the knowledge gap between partner and product. She comes from a background in ESL education, international nonprofit programming, and hospitality management. Beyond work, you can find her teaching yoga or camping in a forest.
Product Lead
Spencer Peace
Spencer works on Cortico’s frontend, helping to build a beautiful, seamless user experience for our partners. Drawing upon previous frontend experience, he’s excited to be creating software that fosters a healthy public sphere, one where often-unheard voices are amplified. When he’s not at work, you can find him cycling around Cincinnati or snapping pictures of whatever catches his eye.
Software Engineer
Thanh-Mai Phan
Thanh-Mai Phan is a product designer at Cortico. Previously, she designed and built prototypes for MIT Media Lab’s Center for Constructive Communication and worked on a distributed cache at Microsoft. She’s interested in subcultures, how subcultures live on the internet, and what it means to be online.
Deb Roy
Deb Roy
Taylor Sheneman
Taylor builds tools to make sense of the hundreds of hours of conversation data flowing through LVN. He is focused on thoughtful technology designed in collaboration with the people it’s meant to serve, with the goal of building a stronger, more cooperative society that uplifts all of its members.

Taylor Sheneman

Software Engineer
Ryan Sievert
Ryan designs at the intersection of brand and product experience, infusing deep empathy for the user journey with a clear sense of purpose. A multidisciplinary practitioner, Ryan has led interactive initiatives at international advertising agencies like Leo Burnett and DDB, cultivated a passion for user research and human-centered design at IDEO, shaped the brand strategy and visual identities of visionary consumer startups at Listen Ventures, and collaborated with dozens of brands, bands, artists and institutions to create meaningful experiences and elegant interactions.
VP of Design
Dan Toyama
Dan sets the agenda for our technology development. In the past, he has worked mostly with small startups helping entrepreneurs understand their communities and their needs. He’s excited to bring his experience to the nonprofit sector and serve the public interest.
Dan Toyama
Product Manager
Jenine Turner-Trauring
Jenny works on Cortico’s backend infrastructure. Her goal in writing software is to build tools for projects that have a positive impact. She is also passionate about bike and pedestrian safety.
Software Engineer
Sam Woolf
Sam is a builder of all things physical. At Cortico he spearheads the design, manufacturing, and electronics of the Hearth. He’s learned his craft through designing everything from furniture to coffee roasters, saunas to robotic forklifts, and circuit boards to kayaks.
Director of Hardware
Board of Directors and Officers
Deb Roy
Chair & Cofounder
Director & Cofounder
Treasurer & Cofounder
Aphorism Foundation
Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Cortico & CCC
Bringing people & technology together

Cortico collaborates closely with MIT Center for Constructive Communication (CCC). Based at the MIT Media Lab, CCC brings together researchers in AI, computational social science, digital interactive design, and learning technologies with software engineers, journalists, political scientists, designers, and community organizers to explore and address the effects of deepening social fragmentation. Cortico maintains a unique cooperation agreement with MIT that enables collaboration on IP, prototyping, and field pilots.

Cortico & CCC
Bringing people & technology together