Team

Ron Rivers


Founder and Executive Director
Ron is the founder and executive director of OurSociety. Ron is also the Founder/CEO of Love2brew Inc. a retail/e-commerce company founded in 2011. He is a member of the non-profit American Homebrew Associations industry council and has been a published author and speaker regarding best practices for small business owners. Prior to founding Love2brew he served as the Vice President of North American Sales for Bematech. Ron is passionate about rethinking our social systems of being so as to build a more collaborative and inclusive world. Ron graduated from Hofstra University with a dual major in Management and Marketing, is an avid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, and lives in New Jersey with his wife Tressa and their dog Umbra.

Tressa Rivers


Researcher
Tressa is a graphic designer based out of Manhattan, NY. Tressa has been working in graphic design for over 7 years focusing on apparel. Recently Tressa has opted for other avenues of professional work to better combine her passion for helping to serve local communities and empowering young woman to rise above the current narrative about what defines one’s self worth. Tressa is an active hospice volunteer at Grace Healthcare Services where she spends weekends connecting with those in need of friendship. Tressa graduated from Florida State University, is a voracious reader, and lives in New Jersey with her husband Ron and their dog Umbra.

Ben Bakelaar, MLIS


Lead UX Architect
Ben is the founder of Human Experience Systems, a digital design and strategy firm that combines processes of design thinking, user experience, usability, and user interface design to create powerful digital solutions that are simplified, streamlined, and built human-first. His passion for UX began during his graduate program with his first class in interface design. Having built webpages since 1995, he was shocked to find out there was a science to design! Ben graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Geography and later a Masters in Library and Information Science.

Michael Klaser


Videographer
Michael is an occasional geologist, amateur videographer, photographer, and video editor. He is a 10 year U.S. Navy veteran, with seven deployments aboard a Ballistic Missile Submarine, and a tour of duty in Navy Law Enforcement. Michael is passionate about science, civil rights, education, and the environment. He holds both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geological Sciences from Rutgers University. He’s an avid homebrewer, pod-cast listener, motorcyclist, traveler, and lives in Nanjing, China with his wife.