get to know our team

Interesting Fact

Seth is obsessed with sharks! He has cage dived with Great Whites five times!

Favorite Quote

“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney

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Seth Maxwell

Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Seth grew up with a love for sharks and being on stage. Interested in acting, Seth started acting at the age of 7 and moved out to California to earn a B.A. in Acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts-LA. Although all paths lead to acting, Seth’s direction changed completely when one of his friends showed him pictures from her India trip, where he loosely learned about the global water crisis. Motivated to take action, Seth gathered 7 of his closest college friends together, purchased over 1,000 water bottles, and went to the streets to spread awareness about the global water crisis. After many requests from schools later, the Thirst Project arose and has now risen over $10 million with over 3,000 water projects established in 13 countries. Since the humble beginnings, Seth has spoken internationally at over 300 schools, countless churches, and numerous conferences including TEDX Hollywood Youth Conference, Global Youth Summit, addressing the United Nations General Assembly, and meeting with Obama Administration Officials at the White House. For all of this work and more, Seth has been honored by Forbes 30 under 30, DoSomething Awards and even rang the open NASDAQ bell on Wall Street.

Interesting Fact

Devon's kryptonite is peanut butter!

Favorite Quote

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." -MLK

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Devon Jones

Director of Operations

Although Devon is originally from Seattle, he's basically a born and raised Angeleno, knowing every person and part of the city like the back of his hand. Devon guarantees a good laugh and to keep the office (let's be real and Seth) in check. He's in charge of special projects, which basically makes him sound like a badass secret agent (not too far from the truth). Devon plays an integral role in expanding the organization and getting Thirst Project in front of the right people. He keeps us anchored, working alongside every team member to accomplish our big goal of giving the entire Kingdom of eSwatini access to safe, clean drinking water. You can butter Devon up with a good toasted PB&J or an outing at Universal Studios.

Interesting Fact

Evan sleds down hills on blocks of ice. For fun.

Favorite Quote

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says IMPossible. Always. ALLWays.”

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Evan Wesley

Vice President for Student Activation AKA Chief Big Kid

Just because he’s the tallest, doesn’t mean he’s all grown up. Evan is our resident big kid and hype master, so you can always bank on him having the energy of a golden retriever puppy. If you’ve ever heard Evan give a Thirst Project presentation, you’ll know why we’ve got him educating all of you about Thirst Project and how you can help end the global water crisis. If you want to get involved, start a campaign, or fundraiser for clean water, call Evan, because he needs more friends. Evan bleeds blue with deep roots in Kentucky, which is why he loves to chase sunsets, fireflies, and apple pie. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Environmental Science with a focus in water resources, Evan decided to ditch his degree and become a ziplining guide. When this adrenaline junkie put down the ropes, he hit the road with Thirst Project as a Road Warrior. Evan fell in love with the road life and the students of Thirst Project, leading him to work for Thirst Project full-time and calling LA home. What does Cody Simpson, jorts, Our Lips Are Sealed, and Disney have all in common? Evan is obsessed with all (shocker).

Interesting Fact

At one point, Luke had 11 living grandparents.

Favorite Quote

"You can't go anywhere before you've been somewhere."

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Luke Romick

Director of Marketing & Partnerships

Luke is the jack of all trades here at Thirst Project. He’s the biz dev connect, the behind the scenes go-to guy for events and parties for clean water, and manager for all things marketing. Luke is one of our most seasoned staffers. He’s worked part-time for Thirst Project for the past 6 years and has (finally) moved out to LA, making this place a little bit more sunny (yeah, it’s possible). Luke hails from Lebanon, Ohio. He graduated from Denison University (Go Big Red!) with a degree in Communications and Environmental Studies. After hours, he dabbles in graphic design and hip-hop. Win Luke’s love over with a nice cup of black coffee and bow down to his 2016 Wooden Citizenship Cup (awarded to the best role model in college sports). We all want to grow up to be like Luke.

Interesting Fact

Tracie pours milk before the cereal.

Favorite Quote

"You teach me and I'll teach you" - Pokemon Theme Song

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Tracie Mae Umali

Director of School Tour & Systems

Tracie is the reigning Data Queen here at Thirst Project. As the logistics and systems guru, she cleans up the shop and makes sure that everything runs smoothly. She is the go-to for all things School Tour - mapping and managing all our speakers, stops, and stays! Tracie has made it a life mission to never leave anyone hanging on a high-five. She also has a slight obsession with Pokemon, Rihanna, and miniature items. Why? Because it just makes sense. Tracie is a proud Cal State Fullerton alumna with a Radio-TV-Film degree! Although still obsessed with kung-fu and horror flicks, she realized her calling was in service. After working for LA City, Tracie found Thirst Project and fell in love with the students, mission, and culture! Tracie's hobbies include eating, watching anime, and playing trivia.

Interesting Fact

Kellen once drove 32 hours straight across the United States!

Favorite Quote

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky” –Michael Scott

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Kellen Brewer

Student Activation Coordinator

He might be the youngest, but Kellen is one of the most well-travelled members of our team. After spending nine months in Spain and traveling to 15 different countries, Kellen decided to join the Thirst Team by becoming a Road Warrior. He was the first to serve two cross-country tours, adding 35 new states to his travel list and speaking to thousands of students about the global water crisis. Today, Kellen works full-time at HQ as Thirst Project's Online Campaign King and fundraising extraordinaire. He hails from Tucson, AZ and earned a degree in Global Studies (surprise, surprise!) from Arizona State University. And when he's not fighting the water crisis, you'll probably find him surfing at the beach or snacking on peanut butter (he eats like a tub a week). Kellen also loves puppies, neapolitan shakes from In-N-Out and of course his mom, the reason he's here today.

Interesting Fact

Gina eats dessert for breakfast.

Favorite Quote

"Train your mind to see the good in every situation"

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Gina Mitzman

Office Administrator AKA Chief Happiness Officer

Need some extra sun in your life? Either talk to Gina or make her give you a spray tan. Gina literally brings the sunshine to Thirst Project HQ. She studied Sociology at LMU, so she’s who you want reading your horoscope, giving love life advice, or a having as a listening ear. She’s basically a family and relationship expert. Gina enjoys ballet, watching murder investigations, and animal advocacy. We can only do our jobs well because of the hard work Gina puts in–she’s the true MVP! Call Thirst Project and you’ll get a brief glimpse of this magical amazing human named Gina.

Interesting Fact

Kaija has been playing the piano since the age of six.

Favorite Quote

"If it makes you nervous, you're doing it right" - Donald Glover

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Kaija Hinds

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Kaija is inspired by diversity, culture and human potential, so Thirst Project was the perfect opportunity for her to use her skills to change the world! Before joining our Marketing team, Kaija graduated with a B.S. in Film Production from Full Sail University! Originally from Florida, Kaija made her way out to Los Angeles and eventually joined forces with her mentor, Monique Coleman and worked on the series "Gimme Mo" that featured our organization in an episode. Kaija the perfect example of how we are all in this together, and she hopes to be an example of what it means to live life to it's fullest potential.

Interesting Fact

Emily is notorious for getting in heated debates about which breakfast food is best. (hint: it's pancakes)

Favorite Quote

"No one achieves anything alone." - Leslie Knope

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Emily Sagardia

School Tour Coordinator

Emily joins Thirst Project from the streets of Santa Clarita where she was busy fighting for human rights at the young age of 15. After majoring in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention (with a Pre-Med concentration) from the University of Southern California, she served as a camp counselor and became an event planner on the side. Talk about a humble, hustler! When Emily isn't busy fighting the global water crisis, she's at home watching re-runs of The Office with her cat, Finn and waiting for football season to begin. If you need any help with booking a School Tour presentation or perfecting your chocolate chip cookie recipe, give Emily a ring!

Interesting Fact

Damon once hiked 30 miles in a single day at Yosemite National Park!

Favorite Quote

"I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life." -Ronald Reagan

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Damon Brown

Outreach Coordinator

Damon may be a grandpa of four and our only team member with an AARP card, but he is more than just his 10% Waffle House discount! Damon has run 11 marathons, swam with sharks, and taught more than 75,000 show choir students in his 38-year choreography career! Damon graduated from Ball State University and grew up a fan of Indianapolis Colts & Cincinnati Reds. Damon is also humbled to be our Outreach Coordinator and creator of Show Choir's For Thirst, bringing in support from churches, philanthropists, school music programs, any anyone else wanting to join our army of world changers. If you really want to win Damon over, you can take him to one of the few Broadway shows he hasn't seen and help him add to his collection of 80 playbills already lying around his house.

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Sibusiso Shiba

Kingdom of eSwatini Country Director

Sibusiso oversees all of our water projects in the Kingdom of eSwatini! He's the kindest human being you'll ever meet.

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World's Leading Youth Water
Activism Organization