OUR TEAM

Each of the following members of Our Backyard Homes and the Tiny (Toilet) Home Project team has a special talent to contribute to making our concept successful. Some are members of the board of directors, some are dedicated current volunteers, and some have chipped in vital help in the past.

Interested in joining our team? Reach out to any of us by contacting info@ourbackyardhomes.org.

OUR FOUNDER
Matt "TK" Devine
Devine is the Founder of Our Backyard Homes and the creator of the Tiny (Toilet) Home Project, applying his background in minimalism, creative development, and nonprofit management to a creative, effective solution for an overwhelming housing crisis. He's published and given interviews and talks for various outlets, and is excited for LA to finally embrace the benefits of tiny living!
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DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION TEAM
Tada Ryvola
Tada is a partner at the Los Angeles-based design/build firm United Environment Architecture. He is passionate about his craft, seeing his work as an opportunity to explore how high-quality design shapes peoples' experience of objects, space, and place. Tada's been part of the program since the idea's origin.
Nate Steigenga
Nate is our Lead Builder, taking our design from concept to creation. His skills with carpentry and painting belies his youth, as his work has spanned everything from festival sets to finished furniture and exhibition artwork.
Allan Lee Haskell
Allan is our Off-the-Grid Engineer, designing and integrating specific closed-loop utilities systems for the prototype using the latest conservation technologies. More about his work at EnviroMeasures can be found on our Partners page.
Tony Vitullo
Tony is a San Fernando Valley native and owner of Urban Hydro Farms in West Hills. Tony's OBH's grand utility man, helping from everything from hydroponics to electrical to carpentry.
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Will Norskog
Custom Hinge Creator
Matthew Schow
Canvas Fabricator
Chuck Henry
Composting Toilet
Evan Ni
Lighting & Electricity
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PAST CONTRIBUTORS
Danny Sefarti
Fabrication Consultant
Geno Johnson
Geno is our fabrication coordinator, working alongside Nate to champion our prototype's first phase of construction. He's worked at the highest levels of television and event production, and is excited to be working with us in his gaps between projects.
Rick Verdugo
Rick is a self-taught builder and has worked as a carpenter for 25 years and is a jack-of-all-trades, working as a metal fabricator with his company, Four Dogs. His advice on the project has inspired our design team to think outside the box in a big way.
Erica Childs
Construction
Jack McGuire
Construction
Shawn Wilson
Shawn is an active Exhibit Builder and Finish Carpenter. His belief in the project helped transition the design from two-dimensional concept to in-the-flesh action.
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URBAN PLANNING & LOGSTICS
Lucia Hwang
Lucia Hwang is an urban planning and social justice advocate familiar working as a planning technician for the City of Burbank. She holds a bachelors in Urban Studies and Planning from UC San Diego, and is pursuing her Masters in planning from Cal State Northridge. Lucia believes that tiny homes can not only change our urban environment but also the way people think about space and homes.
Michael Newton-McLaughlin
Michael works in both urban planning and television media, currently examining the costs of rapid urbanization in northern Vietnam. He has a Masters of City Planning from UC Berkeley and a passion for solving homelessness, as both he and family members have experienced periods of homelessness. Like Tada, Michael was among the very first involved with the program and is proud to see the concept grow from idea to practice.
Jennifer Kim
Jennifer is a graduate of San Francisco State University who is driven by her passion to actualize vibrant and socially just communities, and has previously been involved with various environmental and social justice organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, and People Organized to Win Employment Rights (P.O.W.E.R). Jennifer is a key member of our strategy to identify landowning partners for charity program and prototype tour.
Shelley Hoover
Shelley is a GIS mapper charting the preponderance of LA cities compatible with our strategic goals.
Gil Navarette
BIO SOON
Mandaly Mendoza
Mandalyn is the newest among our resident urban planners, helping on our zoning and property planning efforts.
Jane Roberts
Jane is our "Jane-of-all-trades" strategist and implementer, a visionary in the creative and practical art behind concept development. She received degrees from Evangel and Harvard Universities and has worked with nonprofits from AmeriCorps to Habitat for Humanity. Her passion for using storytelling and technology to connect people and her skills in urban planning position her perfectly to make a big impact with Our Backyard Homes.
Keegan McChesney
Keegan is working toward his M.Sc. in Sustainable Development with a specialization in climate science and economics. He's studied at universities in Germany, Italy, and, currently, India. Keegan holds a BA in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College in Los Angeles. He has interned for the Mayor of Los Angeles, InnerCity Struggle, the City of Seattle and the Neighborhood Partnership Program. His genius has been vital for our goal of mapping compatible residential properties in LA.
David Galt
bio coming soon
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EARLY CONTRIBUTORS
Sonia Suresh
Sonia was a critical part of our push to interpret LA's residential building code. A graduate of Boston College and UCLA, she has worked with AmeriCorps VISTA and in the urban planning field at the San Francisco Parks Alliance. Her time in San Francisco inspired her to find sustainable solutions to homelessness though urban planning.
Ivor Bok
bio coming soon
Crystal Santoso
Bio Coming Soon
Osman Beretey
Osman is a GIS mapper and urban planning expert helping us map relevant legislation across LA metro.
James Adkins
bio coming soon
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OPERATIONS, MARKETING & EVENTS
Josiah Salerno
General Manager of the Madera Group, an international restaurant association headquartered in Los Angeles. Josiah believes in innovative solutions to housing which are cost-effective and efficiently built--which is why he loves OBH so much!
Lori Neville
Lori Neville is the Director of Operations for the Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles and has worked with various charities, including her own Pay It Forward for a Better LA, Motor 4 Toys, and BookEnds. Lori is also the owner of Queen of Alignment, a mechanic shop in the valley. Having grown up in Inglewood and the surrounding area, Lori is committed to building a stronger community through the creation of tiny living space for the homeless.
Nadir Wright
Nadir is our incoming Treasurer with a Bachelor's from Tufts, a Master's in Public Health from Columbia University, and an MBA from Baruch College.
Kevin Naruse
Kevin runs our social media, with a concentration on analytics, trends, and evolution of content delivery.
Emily Grossman
Emily is an Event Coordinator, helping arrange critical details for our Green Day LA fundraiser.
Kate Younkin
Kate is an Event Coordinator, helping arrange critical details for our Green Day LA fundraiser.
Katherine Black
Katherine is our Events Liaison, providing key guidance for fundraiser planning and implementation.
Chris Blaski
Digital Media
Yuliana Taylor
bio coming soon
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PAST CONTRIBUTORS
Andy Cohen
bio coming soon
Paola Andrade
bio coming soon
Jessaca Rowe
Jessaca Rowe is a non-profit maven and entrepreneur who specializes in non-profit and social media management. Her efforts with project social media portals helped springboard our visibility campaign.
Sun DeGraaf
Sun is a veteran television producer at the Executive level, having worked on such shows as Vanderpump Rules, Storage Wars, Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and the recently released Bravo hit Summer House. Sun's work has earned her plaudits across Hollywood, with her creative and organizational contributions to reality-based docu-series turning out award-winning programming season after season.
Cindy Quah
BIO SOON
Casey Lewis
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PO Box 642780
Los Angeles, CA 90064

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©2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 by The Tiny (Toilet) Home Project and Our Own Backyard Homes, a 501(c)(3)