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June Cohen

Co-Founder & CEO

Prior to founding of our company in January of 2017, June headed up media for TED. In fact, as employee #5 at TED, she built its digital media operations from the ground up. In 2006, she launched TED Talks on the Internet. And in 2009, she introduced the TED Open Translation Project, the largest subtitling effort in the world, with 120 languages, 20K translators and 100K translations. She also co-hosted the annual TED Conference with Chris Anderson and co-founded TEDWomen with Pat Mitchell. Under her leadership, TED’s media efforts earned 17 Webbies, 8 iTunes Best Podcast of the Year and a Peabody. Prior to TED, June was VP of Content at HotWired.com, the pioneering website from Wired magazine, which introduced many of the conventions now commonplace on the web. Before that, as a student, she led the Stanford team that developed the world’s first networked multimedia magazine in 1991. June holds a BA from Stanford, where she was Editor in Chief of The Stanford Daily.

june@waitwhat.com

 

Deron Triff

Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer

Previously Deron served alongside June on the executive team at TED where he built nearly 100 partnerships that grew TED’s audience to over 100 million per month. His love and unique skill set for creating successful partnerships resulted in hits like the TED Radio Hour on NPR, TED Weekends on The Huffington Post, TED in Cinemas with Fandango, TED Shows on Netflix, TED English with National Geographic Learning, and international collaborations throughout Asia, Latin America, The Middle East and Europe. Deron negotiated significant funding for TED Ed from Google and a joint venture with Simon & Schuster to relaunch TED Books, among other collaborations that brought millions of dollars in new annual revenue. Prior to TED, Deron served as Vice President of Digital Ventures for PBS where he launched the kids cable network, Sprout. He holds an MBA degree from McGill University in Montreal.

deron@waitwhat.com

 
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Jai Punjabi

Head of Development and Production

We think of Jai as a rare blend of content production and product development talent—adept at architecting complex and elegant web-based systems as well as producing award-winning video content. Jai produced the feature film PATANG (The Kite), which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, played in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival, earned a New York Times Critic’s Pick, and 4 Stars from Roger Ebert. Alongside his career in film, Jai established himself as a sought-after Head of Product, supporting the growth of major digital media companies including Vimeo, TED and Major League Baseball. 

jai@waitwhat.com

 
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Sarah Sandman

Head of Design

Sarah has 15+ years of experience working in branding and communication design with clients ranging from Planned Parenthood to Coca Cola. Sarah is a 2017 Senior TED Fellow and holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is a strong believer that design can help build social capital, also known value of social networks and relationships. Sarah is also the co-founder of Public Displays of Affection (PDA), a collective of artists, designers, educators and organizers that engage in nonviolent direct actions. Most importantly, Sarah loves to dance and will happily liven any party with the signature “Diamond Dance.”

sarah@waitwhat.com

 
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Cristina Gonzalez

Production Editor

Cristina is a writer and editor with experience in print and digital. Before joining WaitWhat, Cristina wrote about how to travel for free at The Points Guy and how to eat well while doing it at The Latin Kitchen. Before hitting the road, Cristina wrote about health and science for Poz, Redbook, and Popular Mechanics (where she got to play with lots of toys). At WaitWhat, Cristina works on systems and processes and organized the first ever March Madness pool.

cristina@waitwhat.com

 
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Steph Kent

Head of Special Projects

Steph is a multimedia producer and writer whose work has appeared in Macworld magazine, GamePro, Reading Rainbow’s blog and Peter Gabriel’s site for social change, The Toolbox. Steph co-founded the award-winning new literary website Call Me Ishmael where she curates anonymous stories about books. She recently launched The Wall Street Journal’s first mobile-first news app. During her time on staff at TED she built community programs for TEDActive and created brand engagement strategies for TED partners including TOMS, Theory and The Robin Hood Foundation. She was recently awarded a Creative Community Fellowship with National Arts Strategies.

steph@waitwhat.com

 
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Chris McLeod

Senior Audio Producer of Masters of Scale

After receiving degrees in Music Technology at ORU and The Recording Workshop, Chris worked as an audio engineer, producer, and songwriter with Capitol Records, MTV, Redbull, TLC, Fisher Price, Apple, and many more. After producing numerous projects and managing production facilities in Tulsa, Nashville, and Buffalo, he moved to New York for opportunities in radio and podcasting. Before his work at WaitWhat, he produced acclaimed podcasts, What’s Happening Here and The Lonely Hour among others.

chris@waitwhat.com

 
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Edmund Cheng

Director of Finance and Operations

Edmund is responsible for all financial matters at Wait What.  After stints in consulting and investment management, he followed his passion into the startup world and honed his craft at leading venture-backed growth companies and led the financial planning & management efforts in OnDeck, Dashlane, and LiveIntent. He received his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago, and his MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. 

edmund@waitwhat.com

 
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Lauren Passell

Social Media Strategist

Lauren got her start writing for Parenting magazine (ask her about assembling strollers!), where she made the move from print to digital, editing and writing content for Jezebel, CNN, The Frisky, Women's Fitness, and more. After years of reviewing books for Barnes & Noble, she was hired to build the company's digital presence, and then went on to do the same at NBC's SyFy channel and Little, Brown book publishing, where she consulted authors on their digital presences and marketed books. (Tell her what you're reading!) She has a podcast about podcasts called PodcastPodcast and would love it if you gave it a listen.

lauren@waitwhat.com