About Let's Rethink This

Who Are We, and What Do We Do?

(two very good questions)

We are a team of Co-Creators who have come together to search out individuals, organizations and causes which have not gotten the attention their good works – impactful works – deserve and need.

This is based on the real-world experience of Jerry Ashton, LRT’s founder, when he and a partner in 2014 created the respected charity RIP Medical Debt. RIP struggled unsuccessfully to get traction until featured by John Oliver of Last Week Tonight when he used LRT’s services 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. Almost four million families to date have been relieved of $5 billion in such debt.

We at LRT are bringing that same energy to capture “lightning in a bottle” by engaging with others willing to rethink the world’s problems and provide Impact Solutions.

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

It is by way of a process incorporating awareness, compassion, education and action that LRT will achieve its goal to abolish $1 billion in positive and economic impact through partnering and propelling our client-partners to success.

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. 

We know this is a rethinking of current social websites. We know that this will limit our growth, and that’s fine. People will self-select. This 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 you might be among them, get registered and get active. On the off-chance that you are looking for investment opportunities or partners, get registered. 

On the off-chance that you might want to make that “difference” that many talk about but few experience, get registered. Then, get busy.

"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.

Dina Magnes

Chief Happiness Officer | Founding Member

Dina Magnes is a certified executive coach passionate about workplaces that work and cultivating that success for organizations and individuals. Dina provides the support individuals and teams need to design and develop a healthy and positive work environment that allows the organization it's teams and individuals to thrive; working with nonprofits, impact, and creative entrepreneurs.

After an exciting career as an entrepreneur and creative design executive in NY’s fashion industry; known for building an international designer brand, developing strong teams, and growing businesses for large brands, as well as fashion startups, Dina decided to bring her expertise into the social benefit sector.

In early 2017 Dina joined RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit in its startup phase; working closely with the founding leadership to facilitate organizational growth, advance fundraising, and improve internal and external communications. To date, the organization has abolished more than $5 billion in medical debt for over 3 million Americans.

Dina holds a diploma in Advanced Coaching from the University of New York (NYU), an Executive Coaching Certificate from Accelerating Coach Excellence (ACE), and a BA in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and is a member of the International Coach Federation.

Conway Bongo

Creative Director

Conway serves as LRT’s Creative Director. He is a multi-disciplinary artist who has studied at the world-renowned Art Center, School of Visual Arts and Gnomon School of Visual Effects.

His career began within the fine arts world, with his work being featured in galleries along-side with creative juggernauts such as Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, D*Face, Hueman. Conway’s passion for the arts eventually led him to further expand his craft within the digital arts; granting him fluency with Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Premiere.

The convergence of the traditional and digital arts is where Conway’s career flourished, earning him the opportunities to work with clients such as Interscope Records, Sony Computer Entertainment, Warner Brothers Entertainment and many more.In more recent years, he offers expertise and knowledge into creative direction where he crafts and oversees high level creative assets for a wide range of brands and clients.

Previous partners and clients include Ashanti, B2K, Bow Wow, Branded Arts, Interscope Records, Omarion, Pretty Ricky, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Tierra Whack, T-pain, Warner Brothers Entertainment, Sony Computers Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Yin-Yang Twins.

Vimeo Video Portfolio

Ted Schulman

Innovation Director

Ted is LRT’s creative and strategic producer, information architect and culture strategist. His career spans advertising, business communications, technology innovation. and a commitment to social evolutionary projects. Both within LRT and the universe at large his current focus is on technology ecosystem development and connecting with global thought leaders in open source technology. This includes distributed-ledger, decentralized-finance, interoperable infrastructure, and other internet of things (IoT) foundation technologies. Bringing solutions to the Digital Divide and working within the world of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is a core interest. 

Ted has worked for clients including 360i, AIG, AT&T, Association of International Seafood Professionals, BBDO, Bristol Myers Squibb, Caribiner, Chesebrough-Ponds, DC Comics, Disney, Ellis Island Immigration Museum, Express Scripts, Fireman's Fund, Ford, GE, Grey, Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Hanna-Barbera, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Lazard Frères, Lehman Brothers, Lucent, MasterCard, McCann, Merrill Lynch, MONY, NYMEX, Ogilvy, Pfizer, Ralph Lauren, Rockefeller Group, Salomon Brothers, Silicon Harlem, Sony, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Visa, Zimmer Biomet, and others.

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.

Cary Harrison

Broadcast Director

Cary is LRT’s Broadcast and Media Reach Director and co-developer of upcoming educational programs which will feature “This is How It’s Done” webinars with the brightest thought leaders currently found at our website.

Cary also heads LRT’s ‘Impact Traveling’, focusing on meaningful enrichment experiences for both the traveler and the people/places traveled. Placed into Who’s Who in 2020, Cary can boast a lineage going back to the Mayflower and Abe Lincoln on his mother’s side and signers of the Declaration and Constitution on the paternal side.

Cary is an award-Winning Radio Host and founder of VIPwebinars.org which is based on his years in Public Radio. VIP features talent from Nobel Prize nominees to Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and speakers who offer their “insider” knowledge on a full range of life’s issues. Recipient of Vanderbilt University's distinguished Siegenthaler Award for integrity, intelligence, and courage in the field of journalism, the Sigma Delta Chi award—the highest honor bestowed for public service by the Society of Professional Journalists, and top honors—two years running —from American Women in Radio & Television for exposé reporting and investigative journalism. Cary’s received 1st place honors for “Best Commentary” from the Associated Press and was honored by the UN for his Environmental and Peace while being nominated for an Edward R. Murrow Award in Public Radio excellence.

Justin Markell

Social Impact Consultant

From LRT’s start, Justin has been on tap to bring his prowess in rethinking cultural capital to LRT to improve our own approaches to being an Impact Engine - this by way of his work in pop culture, media, activism & philanthropy, business development, and partnership creation. He is the founder of Stand With Impact, a venture studio focusing on story, capital, and behavior. Previously Markell was Head of Community at Kindred, a VC-backed impact startup (including well-known angels like the founders of Warby Parker) that did $1M in its creator product revenues in its first year. There he cultivated a creator community to channel influence for good encompassing hundreds of millions of social followers.

Markell has worked on 'Pass The Equal Rights Amendment' (FastCo World-Changing Ideas Finalist) and was part of the team that garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording nomination for ZHU. In addition to his degree at UW-Madison, he has completed coursework in Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy.

Partners and clients have included the Tupac Estate, DJ AM, Deepak Chopra, Kat Graham, Chance The Rapper, Passion Pit, Erica Ford, Steve Aoki, Tim Draper, HBO/WarnerMedia, Verizon Media, Ben & Jerry’s, Warner Bros. Studios, Microsoft, Facebook, Kraft, Pepsi, Complex, Lyft, Twitter, Nike, UN75, Black Lives Matter NY, Freedom March NYC, Conscious Capitalism, TEDx, PTTOW! & WORLDZ, YOUNGA, Long Now Foundation, National Resource Defense Council, Ad Council and ACLU.

Vic Guiza

Creativologist /cr.əativO’logist/

(noun) A person who does and implements creative ideas through art, design, and conceptual thinking. A person who takes impactful inspiration from the Ether. 

Vic Guiza is an award-Winning Creative Development Designer with over 37 years of combined experience in Comics, Mobile App Development, Children's Books, Advertising, Illustration, Design, Animation, Licensing, and Toy development. 

Vic has been involved with top companies and brands from 18 countries since the early age of 14. Some of his clients include Disney, The Simpsons (Bongo Comics), Marvel Comics/Upper Deck, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, OutskirtsPress.com, TheXTails.com, Televisa, Sabritas, PromoWorld, Kellogg´s, Danone, Exim Licensing, Sinolink Holdings Ltd., Dr. Collins, and Banamex-Citigroup, Ogilvy, McCann, Teran-TBWA, FCB, Delta Rho, Leo Burnett, among others. 

Most recently, Vic was asked to head the artistic branch of LRT, bringing to life the stories of today’s Heroes and She-roes through his comic strips and artistry. 

Always working with one single goal in mind - appeal, he is able link concept and target with the all-important common denominator: intention. This is the art of linking emotions, thoughts, and acts to fully communicate. 

Vic has received multiple awards for his work as a children’s book illustrator, he holds a Master of Product Arts from Disney Consumer Products, two different Masters in Emotional Biology & Conduct, and a B.A. in Communications.

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


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