Long story, made short: It [rootid] all started by our founders meeting through volunteer work....
Valerie had just moved to the Bay Area, and "wanted to make some new friends" (we later found out that Valerie is really good at this).
Having volunteered internationally with Habitat for Humanity, Valerie looked up the local office to do some volunteer work.
Meanwhile, Andrew was working at Habitat for Humanity as a fundraising and marketing manager. He needed to build some capacity on his team so started looking for creative minds who could help with graphic design and photography. Enter Valerie.....
Soon after, Valerie and Jason began doing some marketing work at a small agency they created before rootid. After doing a few side projects together, the three of us banded together to create rootid. (Est. 2011)
Valerie Neumark Mickela
Valerie lives with her husband, Jason (see below) and their daughter, Rosalee. She loves being in the Bay Area where, she'll remind you, it's not as hot as Southern California, where she grew up.
Her background is in art and education, but her love has always revolved around graphic design and helping nonprofits do cool stuff. She's a constant connector of people and ideas. So, if you see her at an event, she's bound to have someone that you should meet.
Valerie has always moved fluidly between the nonprofit and for-profit sectors—beginning her career as an art teacher and then school administrator before venturing into graphic design and art direction for an automotive company. Looking for more meaning in her day-to-day and ready to leave Los Angeles, she moved to the Bay Area and began focusing her design work on small companies and nonprofit organizations.
In her off time, Valerie plays soccer, hikes, travels, joins nonprofit boards and finds new ways to get Rosalee to engage in political discourse (she's already attended several marches in the Bay Area).
Jason Neumark Mickela
Jason lives with his wife, Valerie (see above) in El Cerrito, CA with their daughter.
Jason got started in programming because he wanted to develop video games. When his first development gig was working on a Microsoft Access database for a local college he unknowingly made himself highly in-demand with other education institutions. He continued to do web development as the job requests poured in. He's never looked back.
Jason never stops generating ideas. He has a whiteboard, appropriately named the "Idea Board," with such classics as 'Hipster Board Game.' You'll have to ask him how exactly it works....
Jason spends his time outside of work building robots, gaming, traveling (pre-COVID), trying to keep up with his daughter and designing new tiki drink concoctions.
Andrew lives in Door County, Wisconsin with his wife, Kendall. They have a crazy chocolate lab named Juno, who is obsessed with fetch.
He started working with nonprofits when his mother, who ran several nonprofits throughout her career, "hired" him to lick and stamp envelopes of fundraising appeals. Somehow it stuck.
Andrew continued honing his skills as a marketer throughout his days at Colorado College, working for local housing nonprofits in Colorado Springs. Upon moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, he continued his nonprofit career by joining the AmeriCorps VISTA program. And, eventually settling into a staff position managing the individual giving and digital marketing programs at Habitat for Humanity for 5 years.
When he's not working on Rootid, you might not be able to find Andrew. He's either in the backcountry skiing, at his secret fishing hole (no, he won't tell you where the biggest fish are!), or in a foreign country attempting to communicate with wild hand gestures.