WE’RE BELIEVERS

Here’s the Story

Before Great Believer, we spent our days toiling away corporate clients. Antsy for more meaningful work, we sought out side projects with mission-driven clients – the kind of work we believed in. These projects made us happier and more fulfilled than ever before. At that point, there was no turning back.

We quit our jobs and dove into the nonprofit space, putting us face-to-face with the disconnect between the power of an organization’s mission and the quality of its design. Great Believer was born so nonprofits could spend their valuable time saving the world – and look great while doing it.

Today, Great Believer is a design agency for nonprofits specializing in web, branding and print. Our team of Believers is uniquely talented and relentlessly motivated by nonprofit work, allowing us to achieve inspired results for inspiring organizations.

100
organizations

served

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    Josh Riman

    Founder & President

    After graduating from Syracuse University, I spent nearly a decade immersed in the world of advertising, branding and marketing. I worked at great shops and made great friends, but never felt connected to my corporate clients.

    My quest for more meaningful work led me to the Taproot Foundation, who assigned me to a string of pro bono branding projects for NYC-based nonprofits.

    These experiences fundamentally changed the trajectory of my career, inspiring me to earn a master’s in Nonprofit Administration and launch Great Believer.

    Today, I live in Brooklyn with my lovely wife Missy, smiley son Remy and ferocious cat Sunny.

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    Christine Hunt

    Account Manager

    A nomad of sorts, I’ve called many places home throughout the south and northeast. At one time, home was North Carolina where I earned my bachelor’s degree in International Comparative Studies and African & African American Studies from Duke University.

    After college, I spent five years working at nonprofits, serving marginalized and under-resourced communities in several focus areas including education, immigrant and refugee assistance, and public health. Before joining the Great Believer team, I worked at a marketing and communications firm, which specialized in supporting nonprofit clients.

    I love helping others realize an idea, and giving something new life or creating something that didn’t exist before. I’m excited to continue contributing to causes I’m passionate about with Great Believer.

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    Mike Yamagata

    Creative Director

    Raised in Hawaii and trained at Western Michigan University’s School of Arts, I’m a multifaceted art director with an endless devotion to typography, illustrations and branding.

    My versatile creative approach allows me to bring effective design to Great Believer’s amazing clients. No matter the project, I bring a keen sense of style – and a keen sense of humor.

    In my spare time, I love listening to podcasts and exploring the food scene in Queens.

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    Ash Saraga

    Full-Stack Developer

    I’ve been gleefully pulling apart electronics and modifying software since I was a kid. Anything that could be plugged in, down to my family’s poor vacuum cleaner, was at risk of being torn to bits so I could see how it worked.

    My first road bike – a late 70s Univega, sporting drop handles and down-tube shifters – came as trade for some basic HTML edits during college at Worcester State. Afterwards, I took whatever web work I could find, with a joyous verve that’s led to ten years at nearly every level of web development for non-profits and campaigns across the country.

    Nowadays, I’m almost never without my copilot: a mighty little dog called Leela. We spend our days coding meaningful websites with Great Believer, or otherwise building, breaking and fixing things with my partner Ryan and cat Ziggy. I love books on audio, origami, chisel-tipped soldering irons and a smokey lapsang souchong.

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    Noe Oberti

    Senior Designer

    Originally from Argentina, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the University of Buenos Aires. In 2015, I made the move to the US where I’ve continued to grow my design experience.

    During my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work for the City of Buenos Aires helping new entrepreneurs start their own businesses, as well as collaborate with events, such as Lollapalooza, Fashion Week and other international design fairs.

    As part of the Great Believer team, it feels rewarding to know that my designs will inspire and make an impact on many different parts of society.

    During my free time, I enjoy gardening, playing tennis, traveling and spending time with my dog, Ginger, and cat, Mr. Pickles.

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    Claire Wajda

    Graphic Designer

    Born and raised in the beautiful Hudson Valley, I moved even farther upstate to attend college at SUNY Oswego. While there, I took far too many Lake Ontario sunset pictures and fell in love with design.

    I’ve always been looking for an agency that connects my passion for branding and illustration with the opportunity to support impactful organizations – and I’m so glad to have found that at Great Believer.

    When I’m not designing, you can find me in the great outdoors, listening to music or laughing with friends.

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    Christine Obiora

    Junior Project Manager

    Raised in the great state of New Jersey, I later studied at Pace University in NYC where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Arts and Entertainment Management.

    Having worked with various nonprofits, I’ve always been dedicated to uplifting meaningful causes. Coupled with my passion for user-centered design, I’m proud to call myself a member of the Great Believer team.

    Outside of work, you can always find me playing with all the dogs or obsessing over the latest Academy Awards ballots.

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    NatalieAnn Rich

    Designer

    I grew up on Lake Michigan in the tiny, snowy town of Holland, Michigan – often referred to as Tulip City. And yes, I own several pairs of wooden dutch shoes.

    After earning a BFA in graphic design from Western Michigan University, I set out to explore and expand my design potential. Working at well-known shops (like FCB) on awesome brands (like Busch Gardens), I gained hands-on experience with branding, web design, publication design and typography.

    I now freelance full-time allowing me to focus on running A Women’s Thing Magazine (AWT), a rad magazine run by a group of amazing women! I was connected to Great Believer through my friends from Western Michigan, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

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    John Kapenga

    Creative Director

    While other kids were off playing sports, I filled my notebooks with drawings of dragons and spaceships. So when it came time for college, I explored my design instincts at Western Michigan University’s School of Art.

    After years of hands-on design experience, I co-founded a Brooklyn-based branding agency called dc3. There, I worked with creative teams to craft identity systems for Nikon, Coca-Cola and other well-known clients.

    Next, I helped launch Great Believer, honing our mission and crafting our aesthetic – and on one occasion accepting payment in the form of chocolate.

    A great believer in creative education, I also developed and taught a graphic design curriculum at Harlem public schools.

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    Max Millermaier

    Animator

    A member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, I obtained a BFA in graphic design at the Gwen Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University.

    My animation adventures have included collaborations with Google, Oscar Health and Trip Advisor. My alter ego is a designer, and he’s had the pleasure to rebrand The Kaplan Thaler Group, Labyrinth Theater Company, and The City University of New York, Graduate Center.

    I’m humbled to say my work has been recognized and featured in Graphic Design USA Print Awards 2011: Drawing for Graphic Design by Timothy Samara.

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    Marko Kukanjac

    WordPress Developer

    I started building websites when I was 17. I grew up in Serbia and graduated from ICT College there. I’ve worked with many different companies as a lead developer and also freelance on the side. I really love WordPress and like to build full websites from scratch.

    In my spare time I like reading, learning to play jazz piano and spending time in the woods. I also like to cook new dishes and to drive long distances.

    A couple of years ago, I moved to Sweden, where I live with my wife and hope to finally start speaking Swedish.

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    Zach Ruden

    Designer

    Born and raised in Michigan, I crossed paths with other members of the Believer team at Western Michigan University. There, I received a BFA in graphic design and mastered the art of rubbing my belly and tapping my head simultaneously.

    Graduation was followed by the big move to New York City. This new atmosphere connected me to a range of opportunities and unexpected interests. Though design has always been my true passion, I found myself falling for animation and even dabbling in development.

    Today, my life is a pie chart with three equal slices: art, technology and beer.

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