Staff Members

Staff Members

Matt Maggiacomo | Executive Director

matt@thehpalliance.org Twitter

Matt joined the HPA in 2007 as a founding member of its Board of Directors -- around the same time he quit his day job to become a full-time wizard rocker. He spent the next five years touring the US and Canada as The Whomping Willows and used his fringe internet stardom to raise money for the HPA and promote its chapters program. In July 2013, Matt left the HPA's Board and accepted a job as the organization's first Chapters Director. After presiding over the program's expansion into six continents and facilitating the creation of Granger Leadership Academy, Matt became the HPA's third Executive Director in January 2015. Matt enjoys being a Dad in Plaid, cat lady, amateur gardener, and unofficial Providence tour guide in his spare time.


Katie Bowers | Campaigns Director

katieb@thehpalliance.org | Twitter

Katie joined the HPA as a volunteer in 2013 before coming on full time as the Campaigns Director in 2015.  An avid reader with a desire to do good, Katie has been integrating her love of pop culture and social justice through youth organizing initiatives since 2005.  A graduate of Cornell University and Hunter College's Silberman School of Social Work, Katie is a proud macro social worker and devoted Ravenclaw.  Katie enjoys travel, board games, sporadic Twittering, and pretending to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer during kickboxing class.


Jackson Bird | Communications Director

 | Twitter | Youtube 

Jackson Bird is a speaker, video creator, and wizard activist. He graduated from New York University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Comparative Literature and a concentration in Documentary Filmmaking. He regularly speaks about new media and fan activism at events including TEDx Women, MIT’s Futures of Entertainment, Book Expo America, and San Diego Comic-Con. In 2015, he was a LogoTV Social Trailblazer nominee and shortlisted for Forbes' 30 Under 30. Jackson produces the HPA’s online videos, which have been featured on Upworthy, the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Mashable, and more. He also writes the horoscopes for the HPA’s quarterly newsletter, The W.A.N.D., and stars on the organization’s YouTube channel as The Boy Who Vlogged. Jackson currently lives in New York City, where he co-runs the Giant Squidstravaganza fanblog, Squid Squad, and can be found on YouTube answering the age-old question, “Will It Waffle?


Acacia Ludwig | Creative Director

 

Growing up in a family of artists and surrounded by the vibrant world of Chinatown, New York, Acacia Ludwig strives to embody a deep and sincere love for artistic expression, good storytelling, and social justice for all people. While she has had stints in acting and modeling, Acacia’s most dedicated work is in music and design. As a musician, Acacia has had the honor to collaborate with some of the world’s greatest rock musicians while living in LA, NYC, and her current home of Woodstock, New York. As a designer, Acacia has created a countless array of logos and web sites for a variety of bands and social justice organizations. She has been working with the HPA since 2007, literally shaping the face of the organization with her artwork and attitude.With a passion for humor, people who hear Acacia’s laugh either find it warm and infectious or just scarily loud.


Amber J. Ducharme | Operations & Finance Director

amber@thehpalliance.org

Amber is a new recruit to the Wizarding World. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Castleton State College, Vermont and her Master of Science in Accounting from New England College, New Hampshire. Amber has spent several years working for nonprofits that focus on affordable housing and ending homelessness. She also loves penguins, Joss Whedon, baking, and board games.


Janae Phillips | Chapters Director

 | Twitter

Janae was both a Chapter Organizer and a member of Chapters staff before becoming Chapters Director in December 2014. Born and raised in the Sonoran Desert, she’s a proud alum of the University of Arizona where she received a B.S. in Family Studies and Human Development with a concentration in Leadership Studies and Practice, and an M.S. in Educational Technology. Janae has worked closely with numerous youth leadership and social activism organizations and specializes in engagement design. She strongly believes that peeps is a sorely underutilized term for multiple humans.


Claudia Morales | Social Media Manager

 | Twitter | Tumblr

Claudia began volunteering with the Harry Potter Alliance in 2011 and was hired as the Social Media Coordinator in 2014. Raised in Miami, she is a first-generation immigrant of Honduran birth and Cuban ancestry. When she’s not tweeting or writing on the HPA’s behalf, she’s working towards a Bachelor’s in who knows what and co-running Squid Squad. Harry Potter aside, Claudia’s biggest loves include writing, fandom, and internet communities. She spends too much time thinking about the Mountain Goats, theme parks, and One Direction.


Emma Hollier | Events Coordinator

Emma Hollier started as a volunteer with the Harry Potter Alliance and is now their Events Coordinator. Her event experience ranges from festivals to theatre productions to conferences. While not working every booth in the history of ever, she enjoys baking, reading, and crafting, as well as the art of the well-structured spreadsheet.  Short, punchy and fun, she is currently hard at work earning her Lumberjanes badges and is a devotee of the Knope Way of Life (#friendswaffleswork).