About Our Team
Annabel is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker recognized for her innovative use of social media. Working often with her partner, Eric Byler, her web videos and essays have reached millions of people and contributed to a new era of civic engagement through the democratization of media. Her previous work includes 9500 Liberty an award-winning documentary YouTube series and a feature film about the culture war over immigration policy. She studied Philosophy at Boston University and Political Theory at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar.
Eric is an award-winning film director whose debut feature Charlotte Sometimes (2002) was nominated for 2 Spirit Awards and was hailed by Roger Ebert as a breakthrough for Asian American filmmakers. His subsequent film Americanese (2006) won an Audience Award and a Special Jury prize at South by Southwest. Eric’s films have won 16 film festival awards, been released theatrically, and aired on the MTV Network, PBS, Starz, and the Sundance Channel. Together with Annabel Park, Eric has released hundreds of documentary shorts reaching millions of people on topics such as immigration, campaign finance reform, voting rights, gun safety, and health care. Their first documentary together, 9500 Liberty (2010), was acquired by MTV and opened theatrically in 30 cities, helping to transform the national narrative on immigration and netroots empowerment.
Alex Rigopulos is the co-founder and CEO of Harmonix, developers of hit the music games Guitar Hero and Rock Band. In 2008, Rigopulos and Harmonix co-founder Eran Egozy were listed in the TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of “the 100 most influential people in the world.” Rigopulos graduated with an BS in Music and Theater Arts in 1992 and an MS in Media Arts and Sciences in 1994 from the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He executive produced 9500 Liberty.
Yvonne Villarreal, MD
Dr. Villarreal is the founder and Medical Director of Embracing Health. She is a former US Navy Flight Surgeon. She received her medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and residency training at the John Burns School of Medicine in Hawaii. She is board certified in both Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine. Dr. Villarreal has been named as one of NorthernVirginia Magazine Top Doctors every year since opening her medical clinic.
Pierre Hollis Taxis
Pierre is the Managing Director of Embracing Health and is a board member of several businesses and professional associations in Northern Virginia. He is a retired US Marine Corps officer and holds an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California. He served as MiTT advisor during OIF and as an operations officer in Medan Indonesia during the tsunami relief effort of 2005.
Chris Rigopulos produced 9500 Liberty with Annabel Park and Eric Byler. He is a VP of Strategy & Music at Harmonix Music Systems, the Cambridge, MA based videogame developer of hit titles including Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central. Chris is a seasoned business professional with more than dozen years of strategic management consulting experience, with particular expertise is in the media and entertainment industries. In his spare time, he is also the lead guitarist for the Boston-based rock quartet Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives. Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.
Gerry is a designer and technologist who helped pioneer online storytelling in the early days of the web, anticipating the rise of blogs, photo sharing and social media nearly a decade later. Joining forces with several early-stage startup teams, he went on to help create entirely new approaches to harness the power of the web and mobile apps in wide-ranging areas including online learning, interactive ebooks and empowering people with disabilities.
Jennifer served in the Clinton White House as Director of Communications to Tipper Gore and has more than 30 years of experience in strategic communications and media relations for non-profit, corporate and government clients. She is an expert writer whose commentaries have been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and more.
Jack is a talented DC-based photographer and videographer. He previously worked as campaign staff for the Bernie Sanders campaign and campaign manager for David Sparks, a candidate for Ohio State Assembly. He graduated from the University of Colorado – Boulder.
Harry Yoon is a Los Angeles-based editor who straddles the studio and independent film worlds. He edited the feature Half-Life which screened at Sundance 2009, SXSW, and won the Grand Jury Award at the Gen Art film festival. In 2010 he completed The PIT, a feature documentary about commodities traders in New York that aired on PBS, as well as an ensemble comedy feature called Let Go. He also co-edited the pilot for Detroit 187 which aired on ABC. Recently, he was a consulting editor on the feature Mosquita y Mari, which premiered in Sundance 2012, and a short film called Karrabing, which premiered in the Berlin Film Festival. His credits as an assistant editor include Hunger Games, Footloose, The Crazies, and Lords of Dogtown.
Please support Story of America with a tax deductible donation.