Our Mission

Make connections effortless, effective and enduring

Clear and honest values

Purposeful engagement

Not just “connecting” but helping people actually form better relationships with peers and colleagues.


A product shouldn’t require a user manual - it should just work.

Data privacy

What you share should only be seen by the group with which you are sharing.
Who we are and why we do this

We are a team of leaders with decades of experience in large companies, non-profits, and alumni organizations.

I’m deeply passionate about helping people maintain close relationships and I’ve spent two decades building products to help achieve this. I’ve worked closely with the alumni offices at Cornell, Harvard and Stanford, where I did my undergrad, law and business studies, and my work with those offices led to the development of BrightCrowd, initially a tool to help my fellow classmates reconnect.
T.J. Duane
My background is in deep technical fields, Engineering Cybernetics and Aeronautics and Astronautics, the field in which I received a PhD at Stanford University. During my time at Stanford I met T.J. and started to work with him on bridging the gaps that still exist between different schools and departments. That effort resulted in BrightCrowd and I am excited to continue helping people from different disciplines to connect.
Andreas Zoellner
I joined BrightCrowd after years of working in alumni relations and development at my alma mater, where we used BrightCrowd books to engage our alumni and help them better connect with one another. I am passionate about connecting communities through storytelling and digital engagement and I am committed to helping the schools and organizations we partner with reach their goals.
Alyssa Sulinski
As a natural connector, I’ve spent the majority of my life in roles (personally and professionally) bringing people and organizations together to solve problems, facilitate valuable introductions and build community. Prior to BrightCrowd, I worked for 13 years at my alma mater, Northwestern University, in various alumni relations and development roles. We had such a wonderful experience at Northwestern reconnecting thousands of alumni via BrightCrowd books, that I was inspired to join the team and help other groups of individuals learn about BrightCrowd.
Carlos Terrazas
I’ve been developing consumer-facing software from video games to social media apps for 25 years. As a member of the original BrightCrowd team, I’ve focused on building an intuitive and engaging user interface, which has been used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. I also take pride in BrightCrowd’s early adoption by my alma mater, Williams College, our second customer, and I look forward to continuing to grow the product as we expand into new markets.
Michael Wolraich
I joined BrightCrowd in early 2021 almost immediately after learning about the product. I had never seen something that made so much sense. As a former in-house recruiter – I immediately saw the benefits for law firms and how they could potentially retain their top talent by creating that connection internally to the firm. My personal and professional goals are about connecting people and making people feel seen. BrightCrowd offers such a great channel for keeping those personal and professional connections intact, no matter what is going on in society. As the Head of Operations, I have the opportunity to work with the BrightCrowd team directly and support them as they grow the connections. I have never met such a strong group of individuals, working towards the goal of building relationships in educational and corporate communities.
Danielle Massari
Having worked in EdTech for more than 10 years, I know how challenging it can be for organizations to adopt new alumni tools. What struck me about BrightCrowd is that it’s a tool that's quite frankly genius because of its simplicity. My passion lies in facilitating and maintaining strong human connection. At BrightCrowd we help our partners strengthen connections with their constituents and build community. In a post Covid world, the prevalence of digital engagement is more important than ever.
David Birkinshaw
I find fulfillment in facilitating closer connections between people and the communities, institutions, and organizations that matter most to them. BrightCrowd offers a wonderful way for people to digitally connect safely and responsibly. Having spent my career in alumni relations and development at Notre Dame, Northwestern, Cornell, and Washington University, I know first-hand the importance of having an easy and effective solution to build community.
Cheryl McCall
I joined BrightCrowd in 2021 after 10+ years at Cornell University where I served as a digital engagement specialist and a major gift fundraiser. I was a BrightCrowd client at Cornell and after witnessing the successes/benefits of the books I had the opportunity to join the BrightCrowd team and help bring this same success to over 200+ partner schools around the world. I have a genuine passion for implementing technology strategy that helps education and nonprofits advance their mission, something BrightCrowd does on a daily basis.
Keith Hannon
My background includes marketing, multi-media selling, and creative entrepreneurship. And, at the heart of what brings me great joy is helping to bring people together. Being a part of the BrightCrowd team allows me to get to do this every day. Our lightweight books are fun and have helped my community of professional women get to know one another better thus resulting in new collaborations, friendships, and more robust gatherings!"
Terri Dean
We know how hard it is to keep people connected and meaningfully engaged. During the pandemic we watched dynamic, three-dimensional people be reduced to two-dimensional tiles on a video call. We saw that, without the casual small talk that used to happen in the hallways, the cultures of our organizations were severely impacted.
At the same time, we had grown frustrated and disappointed with social networks and social media platforms. We wanted to read updates from people we actually knew and cared about, not scroll through endless feeds or collect more friends, likes, comments, etc.

So, we built BrightCrowd to provide a better way to share what is happening in our lives with the specific groups of people that we care about in the real world. And we built it without the trappings of traditional social networks - no liking, friending, commenting, etc. and total privacy.

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