The POPVOX Team
The dedicated team that makes POPVOX possible spans time zones and stereotypes, working everywhere from downtown San Francisco to the halls of the U.S. Capitol in D.C., to “theCO” in Jackson, TN.
Rachna Choudhry (Cofounder and CMO) and Whitney Wyszynski (Digital Strategy Manager, Government Relations) represent POPVOX in D.C., staying on top of what's happening in Congress and touching base with organizations and advocates based in the district or passing through on lawmaker visits. Student contributors Maddie Burton, Hannah Gourdie, and Hollie Stokes assist with content and legislative research.
Marci Harris (Cofounder and CEO) and Rebecca Sheldon (Engineer / Product Manager) work from San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
Bryan Dease (Senior Developer) makes the magic happen from his home base in Franklin, Tennessee, while Ben Harris (COO) and William Donnell (Lead Designtist) are based in Jackson at theCO. William's design team at Sodium Halogen includes Chance Smith and Shane Aday.
Cofounder / CEO
A former Congressional staffer and lawyer, Marci says that her “first startup was a town,” as she led Jackson, TN’s rebuilding efforts following a 2004 tornado. She received a B.A. in International Relations from Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland and attended law school at the University of Memphis (J.D.) and the American University Washington College of Law (LL.M). From 2007-2010, she worked in the U.S. House of Representatives covering tax, trade, and health for a senior Ways and Means member.
Marci serves on the board of LaunchTN and CityInnovate, the advisory boards of VoteRunLead and Citizinvestor, and is a mentor at theCO in Jackson, Tennessee. She was named one of Fast Company magazine's Top 100 Most Creative People in Business (2012), received a Tribeca Film Festival Award for Creative Disruption (2012), and was listed as one of DC's “Tech Titans” by Washingtonian magazine (2013), a 2013 "FastCase 50,” and a 2014 “Digital Citizen of the Year.” She was an inaugural Technology and Democracy Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Ash Center in 2016 and is currently a New America California fellow.
Rachna Choudhry Pultz
Cofounder / CMO
Rachna co-fouded POPVOX after ten years of advocacy and lobbying for several national non-profit organizations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA, and a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. She is based in Washington, D.C. and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she was named the Digital Citizenship Project’s #6 Digital Citizens of the Year.
COO / CFO
Ben graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2001 where he earned a BS in Aviation Technology. He is an FAA Certified mechanic and commercial pilot. He is a “CO:founder” of theCO in Jackson, TN, a public-private partnership co-work, makerspace and code academy designed to bring cutting edge technology and education to rural West Tennessee. Ben is a 2005 graduate of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce "Leadership Jackson" program, and a proud Boy Scout Cubmaster.
Engineer / Product Manager
Rebecca is a product enthusiast with experience in software engineering and digital marketing. Rebecca managed online ad and social campaigns for Royal Caribbean International, LifeLock, Jenga, and others, before moving into tech and completing a 10 week coding program. She has since gone on to work as a developer and product manager with Bay Area startups. Rebecca leads a popular Ruby study group with Women Who Code in San Francisco.
Digital Strategy / Government Relations
Whitney is an “I am woman, hear me roar” kind of gal interested in all things tech, media, and government. She leverages digital tools to make the legislative process easier to understand. Whitney leads Congressional Relations for POPVOX — listening to staffers’ pain points, writing legislative explainers, and creating tools to support staffers. You’ve probably seen her in congressional hearings and markups…or her office, the Rayburn cafeteria. Whitney became a web entrepreneur in college as a sorority leader, when frustration with the organization’s voting system led her to create Vox Virtual Voting Systems, later adopted by greek organizations across the Southeast. She recently received a B.A. in Political Science and an A.B.J. in Journalism – Public Affairs from The University of Georgia. While at UGA, Whitney studied abroad in Prague, planned and executed a national award-winning communications plan, served as a student judge for the Peabody Awards, and cofounded the Online News Association/Society of Professional Journalists student group.
William is founder and lead “designtist” of experience design firm Sodium Halogen. Over the past 12 years, William’s distributed team has worked remotely with startups from San Francisco to DC, as well as with established companies such as Chick-fil-A and Mars Pets, to create amazing brand experiences for the web and mobile with their “Designtific Method.”