Welcome to the Members of Kickstarter’s Community Advisory Council

Welcome to the Members of Kickstarter’s Community Advisory Council
Kickstarter’s Community Advisory Council: Ivan Askwith, Annette Azan, Ellia Bisker, Stefanie Black, Kat Calamia, Jose Cardona, Thomas Negovan, Tony Patrick, Philip Reed, George Rohac, Philomena Schwab, and Philip Winter

Hi, I’m Kimm and I lead the team at Kickstarter that works directly with creators and backers to help them have a successful experience on our platform.

I’m thrilled to share that after reviewing hundreds of applications from creators representing thousands of projects brought to life on Kickstarter, we have selected our inaugural Community Advisory Council.

Our goal with the Council is to bring together a diverse group of Kickstarter creators who can offer insight and expertise across a range of creative disciplines. These luminaries will help us identify issues, questions, and opportunities we may not be able to see on our own and help us prioritize work that matters to them and their communities.

I’m honored to welcome Ivan Askwith, Annette Azan, Ellia Bisker, Stefanie Black, Kat Calamia, Jose Cardona, Thomas Negovan, Tony Patrick, Philip Reed, George Rohac, Philomena Schwab, and Philip Winter as Kickstarter Advisors. These creators represent an incredible pool of experience and have displayed a true passion for Kickstarter and the communities they've built. We feel very fortunate to have them work with us.

Our first meeting with the Council will take place at the end of this month. At that meeting, we’ll focus on getting product feedback from the Council to help us orient our roadmap for feature development. I’m really looking forward to digging in with the Council members to hear what they have to say and exploring their ideas for making Kickstarter the best it can be.

Please join me in welcoming the members of the Kickstarter Community Advisory Council, and read a bit about each of them below.


Ivan Askwith is a strategist and producer who specializes in organizing fan communities to reach their shared goals, and working with creators and causes to create more meaningful fan relationships. His record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns have raised more than $25M to revive fan-favorite franchises including Veronica Mars, Reading Rainbow, Super Troopers 2, and Mystery Science Theater 3000, leading Wired to describe him as the entertainment industry's “secret weapon” and Fast Company to include him in its “100 Most Creative People in Business.”

Annette Azan is a 25-year veteran of the fashion industry and the CEO and Founder of Nuudii System, a radically innovative company that is shaking up the century-old bra industry (and had a wildly successful launch on Kickstarter). She is following in the footsteps of other changemakers that she has worked for—including Diane Benson, Norma Kamali, and Donna Karan—by leading women down a new path that encourages them to reclaim and embrace their bodies.

Ellia Bisker is a songwriter, singer, and performing artist who has released ten albums since 2007 with her bands Charming Disaster, Funkrust Brass Band, and Sweet Soubrette. She holds a Master’s degree in Arts Administration from Columbia University and has over a decade of experience in nonprofit fundraising and development. She is an ASCAP Plus Award recipient in recognition of her songwriting, a Brooklyn Arts Council grantee, and a two-time alum of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology’s artist residency program. She has run several successful Kickstarter campaigns of her own and has managed or consulted on a number of crowdfunding projects for other creators.

Stefanie Black is a Queer creator (They/Them) celebrating their tenth year of running “Creepy Kawaii,” a line of professionally made plush dolls, tarot, and enamel pins. They have successfully completed over a dozen Kickstarter projects during their artistic career, and have sold their products to lovers of the strange and unusual worldwide. When Black is not working on their art for Creepy Kawaii or traveling to artistic events, they are working on creating a retro-style horror RPG video game called Casting Shadows, which they plan to launch on Kickstarter in the future.

Kat Calamia is the co-writer and co-creator of WEBTOON, Slice of Life, and the editor/creator of Bi Visibility: A Bisexual Comic Book Anthology. She has been a comic book critic and journalist for over a decade, with weekly reviews on her YouTube channel, Comic Uno, and bylines in Newsarama, IGN, DC Comics, Fandom, and TV Guide.

Jose Cardona is a Mechanical Engineer from Puerto Rico and the founder of Mechanical Design Labs. He has led the hardware design for several spacecraft that have successfully launched to the International Space Station, and more recently invented the Author Clock, a “novel timepiece” that uses thousands of quotes from books to tell the time.

Thomas Negovan is an author, gallery director, musician, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles and Chicago—and the founder of the Century Guild art gallery and museum. He has given a TEDx Talk on the preservation of archaic technologies, and released a vinyl record that was recorded entirely without electricity. Negovan has created more than 60 successful Kickstarter campaigns in publishing, art, and music.

Tony Patrick is a worldbuilder, immersive director, and founder of the Tenfold Gaming Initiative and the (Re)Writers Room. As a co-author of Batman and the Signal, a Hereborn Park collaborator, a Guild of Future Architects member, and a Sundance Institute World-Building Fellow, Patrick sculpts spaces that produce artworks, prototypes, frameworks, and civic solutions.

Philip Reed is a game designer, toy and art collector, blogger, and creator of random junk who spends his days as Chief Executive Officer at Steve Jackson Games. In what free time he can spare, he creates everything from RPG supplements to music. He likes cookies.

George Rohac has been a creator advocate for nearly two decades, from helping friends with zines in high school to leading massive projects such as Check, Please!, Ghostbusters: The Board Game, and the Bee and PuppyCat animated series. The goal of their company, Organized Havoc, is to improve the quality of life for creators of every field and focus. They've done this through developing and freely sharing templates and planners for the creator community at large while also managing nearly 100 crowdfunding campaigns through fulfillment.

Philomena Schwab is a game designer and community manager from Zurich, Switzerland who wrote her master thesis on “Community Building for Indie Developers” and co-founded the indie game studio Stray Fawn. In 2017 Philomena was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree.

Philip Winter is the cofounder of Nebia, a startup developing award-winning designs for water-saving showerheads and bathroom products that has raised over $9 million on Kickstarter across five campaigns. Winter has a background in economic development and sustainability projects, and is passionate about employing thoughtful design-centered solutions to the world’s big problems.