Wayward Wild


Brad Smith


Brad Smith is Wayward Wild’s founder and CEO. He is a visionary entrepreneur who believes in the huge potential for a cultural transformation in media today, especially with an approach similar to that of Silicon Valley incubators. With multiple companies he started, grew, and sold (GoDaddy-acquired Virb among them), Smith has a proven track record of building profitable businesses, products, and ideas. Having given technology and design leaders like Ryan Sims and Keegan Jones their first start in the industry, Smith has the trust in the teams he builds more than anything. He is a mentor in Adobe’s 2016 Creative Residency program, the recipient of the American Advertising Awards’ ADDY, and member of the curriculum advisory board at Fordham University’s Professional Studies in New Media.

Stephen Hallgren

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Stephen Hallgren is Wayward Wild’s head of technology. Another Virb alumnus, Stephen has worked with everyone from 3D design pioneer Autodesk to Nasty Gal, and Dictionary.com. He is an adept full-stack coder, and his enthusiasm for solving complex problems with programming keeps Wayward Wild one step ahead of the world. He will create custom online tools that will enhance your brand, and build a CMS that will help you move mountains.

Jeanine Wright


Jeanine Wright is Wayward Wild’s board advisor for growth strategy and legal counsel. Jeanine has over 15 years of experience working with technology, finance, and media companies. She is the General Counsel and Secretary of the Board for ZestFinance — an underwriting technology platform FinTech founded by former Google CIO, Douglas Merrill. Over the course of her career, Jeanine has raised money, sold a company, and launched an international joint venture with JD.com. Her command of strategy, legal, and risk makes her an invaluable source of information in board rooms and at tech startups alike. Jeanine is also a mentor for women professionals, a pro bono volunteer, and a mother of two boys.

John Niedermeyer

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John Niedermeyer is Wayward Wild’s head of design. An experienced designer with a passion for visual journalism and editorial design, previously, John led a product team at BuzzFeed, and was at the forefront of The New York Times’s digital transition both as a designer and editor. Having worked on a range of products from BuzzFeed’s ad tech and CMS, to The Times’s digital pay model and enterprise stories, John is excited to design for the next generation of media. He declines to comment on his favorite typeface.

Dane Cardiel

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Dane Cardiel is Wayward Wild’s VP of strategy — he is the first to welcome brands and partners through our door, and the last to sign off on our meticulously-crafted projects. Before cutting his teeth in strategy and advertising at Condé Nast, and working on audience development for Kickstarter, Dane was the editor-in-chief and publisher of Manor House Quarterly, an international literature and art magazine. Though his background is in art and philosophy, he has expertise in business development and ideation.

Crystal Fawn

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Crystal Fawn is Wayward Wild’s head of community. Her focus is to grow your audience and maximize the reach and impact of the stories you want to tell. Before joining our team, Crystal worked for three thriving startups including the ASME-winning The Atavist Magazine, and OR Books, a disruptive book publisher. Crystal’s combined experience in PR, marketing, and project management makes her the perfect person to talk to for clients, brands, and lost content makers seeking the right audiences alike. She’s never not firing on all cylinders.

Elena Sheppard

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Elena Sheppard is Wayward Wild’s managing editor, which means she will ensure that your projects are delivered with the utmost editorial excellence, and are moving forward as swiftly as they can be. A writer by trade, after graduating from Princeton University with a degree in English, Elena spent three years living and working in Thailand. Upon returning to her native New York, she led the arts and culture sections of Mic.com and Time Inc.-acquired HelloGiggles. Elena’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, and Quartz, among other places. She pens a revered newsletter called Sunday Reads.

Busra Erkara

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Busra Erkara is Wayward Wild’s deputy editor. After holding staff editor positions for multiplatform fashion and lifestyle brands like BULLETT and Nylon, and working as a writer for Hearst Digital, Busra is thrilled to provide editorial insight into how media brands can evolve into their best possible selves. Equal parts writer, project manager, and cultural curator — 4AD, The New Museum, and The Trevor Project are among the organizations Busra has worked with in the past.

Anna Bouma

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Anna Bouma is Wayward Wild’s distribution manager. She will go above and beyond to give your brand the utmost newsstand presence and visibility, at home and abroad. A lifelong lover of the written word, Anna’s passion for compelling photography and strong narratives informs her career. Prior to Wayward Wild, Anna worked as a distribution specialist for The Great Discontent, and as a publicity assistant for Fleur de Lire Press in Paris. In other words, she could do her current job in French, without batting an eyelash.