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.



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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 and my ferocious cat Sunny.

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    Samantha Wasserman

    Account Director

    A native New Yorker, I made the big move to rural Vermont to attend Middlebury College. There I fell in love with fall foliage and graduated with a degree in Neuroscience.

    Prior to Great Believer, I worked at a non-profit clinical research organization specializing in concussion research. I’ve always been passionate about the nonprofit space and have volunteered and worked with several youth service and mentoring organizations.

    I am fascinated by human behavior and love working closely with our clients to keep projects on track and successfully communicate their ideas.

    An enthusiastic podcast listener and coffee drinker, I also enjoy traveling, reading and singing in my free time.

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    Mike Yamagata

    Art 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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    Lilia Aronoff-Aspaturian

    Account Associate

    Originally from sun-soaked Los Angeles, I trekked across the country to attend college at Tufts University in Boston, where I experienced seasons for the first time and realized that football is a microcosm of nationalism.

    I graduated with a degree in Child Study & Human Development and feel most inspired when I can connect a classic psychology paradigm to broader systemic issues, like the criminal justice system and mental health care.

    When I’m not thinking (read: obsessing) about the above, you can find me lost in the YouTube algorithm, listening to Fleetwood Mac and laughing with friends.

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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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    Daniel Schutzsmith

    Web Development Consultant

    Over the past 22 years, I’ve honed my craft delivering fast and immersive websites for clients like Greenpeace, Oxfam, Nelson Mandela Foundation, NYC.gov, Amnesty International USA, NRDC, Race Forward / Colorlines, Women’s March and many more.

    My work has been showcased in such outlets as The New York Times, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Chronicle Of Philanthropy and The Wall Street Journal.

    In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my kids by the pool, taking long walks in nearby nature preserves, playing pickleball and giving back to the WordPress community by organizing WordCamps and meetups.

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    NatalieAnn Rich


    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


    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


    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.