About Let's Rethink This

Who Are We, and What Do We Do?

(two very good questions)

Let’s Rethink This (LRT) is a tight team of Co-Creators who came together in February 2021 to search out individuals, organizations, and causes which have not gotten the attention their important work – impactful work – they deserve and need if they are to be funded, partnered, and put to use.

LRT came out of the real-world experience of Jerry Ashton, LRT’s co-founder, when he and a partner in January 2014 created the now widely-respected charity RIP Medical Debt (RIP) but simply a “who are you, again?” struggling start-up. It wasn’t until RIP was featured in the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver where the comedian used LRT’s charity status to publicly abolish almost $15 million in Texas medical debt.

“Overnight,” RIP was a success. Overnight, people were aware of us. Overnight, RIP’s role in educating people about this unbelievable burden contributed to a growing public outrage. Overnight, people put that concern to work by becoming our donors and partners.

Not quite “Overnight,” LRT to date has abolished over $8 billion in unpaid medical debt for almost six million families.  None of which would have happened had people not become aware of RIP and our work.

We at LRT are bringing that same energy and acquired knowledge to capture “lightning in a bottle” by using the tools and approaches that caused RIP to become a media magnet.

Our not-so-secret sauce? Searchlight/Spotlight/Ignite. Read on.

It is by way of a unique process which incorporates awareness, compassion, education, and action that LRT has polished over the past two years that our operation will achieve its goal corporate goal to create $1 billion in positive and economic impact through partnering with thought leaders and solution providers.

By way of that, by purpose and almost by default, we are creating a community of people dedicated to solving problems, not complaining about them.

People and organizations will self-select when they choose to work with us. These select few and the difference they intend to make is in keeping with our belief that success in creating social change is not “how many,” but “who many.” Who are these movers and shakers?

On the off chance that you might be among them and you want to make that “difference” that people talk about but very few experience, we’re expert guides and companions.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others. If you want to go far and wide, come with us.

"The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without changing our thinking."

― Albert Einstein

Meet the Team

Jerry Ashton

LRT, Founder

Jerry is the CEO and Founder of LRT. He arrives at that position from his key role in co-founding one of America’s fastest-growing and most impactful charities, RIP Medical Debt. In the seven short years in RIP’s existence since its founding in 2014, it has raised enough funds to enable it to purchase – and forgive – over $4 billion in unpayable medical debt to positively affect the lives of over 2.5 million Americans. It is positioned to double that success by the end of 2022.

Jerry came out of retirement to duplicate in LRT the “lightning in a bottle” success enjoyed by RIP. Starting by pulling together the LRT co-creators with a similar track record in bring dreams into reality. Three words drive our work: “searchlight,” “spotlight” and “ignite.” By way of that formula, we will find the yet-to-be-discovered people and organizations that are developing innovative solutions to today’s problems. If we do our job right - and we will - LRT will achieve its goal of achieving $1 billion in powerful and measurable social and economic impact through these collective efforts.

Joel Stevens

Technology Director

Joel is LRT’s technology director and project manager for LRT’s web presence and community ecology platform. He overseesthe building of communities or families around impact issues, while also aggregating content for LRT’s monthly newsletter.

Joel brings with him the experience of working at Hearst Corporation in its Digital Media department as a Digital Media Producer where he executed unique advertorial experiences for companies including Nike, P&G, and Unilever on Hearst’s website properties such as Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Popular Mechanics, and others. Joel also initiated new best practices and code review processes for the department while working there.

While working in the naming and branding industry with GK Brand as their Web Developer, Joel built websites and web applications for companies launching new products and new brands while also participating in logo design, name creation, brand name research, messaging alignment, and conducting focus groups. As part of GK Brand, Joel also worked with non-profit and non-governmental organizations such as Meaningful World, Service Program for Older People in New York City, and Queen Community House.

Adel Elmessiry, Ph.D.

FinTech Director

Adel serves LRT as overseer and creator of NFT’s provided to LRT and its partners who will donate a portion of their revenues from successful auctions to a charity. Adel also integrates the relationships with carbon-responsible third parties to offset the carbon footprint of this important new medium. On the LRT website, Adel will oversee the “Impact Banking” community.

As the President and chief technology officer for AlphaFin, a Draper Goren Holm portfolio company, Adel is on a mission to build the next financial technology ecosystem to empower the global economy.

AlphaFin supplies the financial/banking technology ecosystem experience to help us rethink economic transactions and ease America’s transition into a digital economy. Participating as DLN, a decentralized autonomous organization created by the community to launch an open financial network of interest-free microloans backed by one’s social reputation.

He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science at NCSU Natural Language Processing, with more than a dozen publications and inventions.

Phaedra Poliquin

Marketing Director

As LRT’s Marketing Director, Phaedra is responsible for managing our initiatives, she oversees the design and production of our promotional materials as well as structuring and managing the marketing campaigns of our clients and their campaigns. She sports a multifaceted background in marketing and management ranging from the entertainment industry, corporate executive roles through the coordination of government campaigns. She has produced TEDx events, and was a co-organizer and Marketing mentor of the COVID 19 Global Hackathon. Phaedra is motivated to increase overall technological adoption, and is focusing efforts with her other role as CMO at Anmol Network to coordinate a Blockchain Literacy Campaign alongside Darwinia and other industry leading projects in the blockchain space.

Other partners and previous roles include Burn It Down Group LLC, Dance4aCause, AT&T, DIRECTV, DotMatrix, Zydeco Media, CWA, Grassroots America, Obamacare (campaign), The Global Help Desk, Junior Achievement USA, H&M and X17 Labs.

Patrick de Warren

Photographer and Filmmaker

A French citizen residing legally in the U.S. as a resident alien since 1988, Patrick is a respected videographer and image-maker whose talents have been put to work by Sotheby’s and freelance for various high-end magazines. Along the way, he became an ardent student and chronicler of American political and social movements. He covered the Occupy Wall Street movement (“I have some remarkable footage”), Bernie Sanders, the Women’s Movement, BLM and after connecting with Jerry Ashton began to focus on healthcare issues and its “unbelievable costs unheard of in my native country.” He covered RIP Medical Debt’s first and third medical debt summits, the unique “Veterans Healthcare” summit held at the RIP Medical Debt offices in NYC on November 10, 2017 and the Veterans’ Day Parade the following day. He has filmed various veterans’ events since, causing him to become singularly concerned by the plight of medical debt burden carried by current and former service men and women. When asked about this interest, his answer is, “Because I live in America. I’m part of it.” These efforts are essential to his “The Collective Dreams Project” in which he also concerns himself with the New York Healthcare Act.

Della Creech

Editor in Chief

Della brings editorial skills to LetsRethinkThis with over a decade in media relations ranging from strategic communication for international relations within the US Air Force Reserve to mass media productions at NASCAR.

She has featured highlights of men and women in arms that earned her the title of Military Writer of 2019 from the Air Force Reserve Command, in addition to being featured on the official Pentagon’s news outlets.

Her background is in sports media and communications, international photojournalism, brand management and publication.  Curating such brands as the Charlotte Hornets NBA team, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the 315th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, SC, and Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, and local NC community brands as well.

She holds several degrees in Mass Communications, International Business, Global Supply Chain Management, Business and Air Transportation.

John Kirbow

Military Liaison

A Special Warfare veteran and anthropological / social researcher. I write about the nuances of information warfare and counterinsurgency (my most recent two publications discuss a Psyop and COIN -style breakdown of the riots, and recommendations for police reform, published several months ago). I’ve served in Iraq (via the US Army) and Afghanistan (via the DoD) in various capacities, with an emphasis on understanding the nuances of culture, people and how to effectively engage with them.

Let's Rethink This is licensed under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) 4.0 License


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