About Troo

Why should you consider using Troo?

Our Mission

What could social media look like if a platform treated their community like human beings, instead of a “data factory”?

Being human means being social.

We see that as a virtue, something to be nurtured. Not to be manipulated for profit or taken advantage of. For too long, trading personal privacy  for access to these social spaces has been accepted as just another "necessary evil." We think it’s an outrageous and unfair price to pay.  Which led us to define our mission:

We are dedicated to providing a safe space to inspire community through ethical social media. It’s time for a platform that actually serves its people, especially those from vulnerable groups, and creates a place where they can come together, support, uplift one another, and most importantly feel seen and heard.

Our S.E.C.R.E.T. Recipe

At its core, Troo is a group of talented, sincere, and optimistic individuals, dedicated to making the world a little better, one platform at a time. Each member brings their unique experiences and skill sets, and every voice counts.

Safety

Having complete control over your information, and who has access to it, and peace of mind knowing your every move isn’t being tracked.

Empathy

Putting your needs first, in everything we create, and always working to understand and improve based on your feedback.

Community

Focus on developing real connections, and fostering a more supportive environment.

Respect

Listening to diverse voices, and making sure the choices we make improve everyone’s experience.

Empowerment

Giving you the freedom to be exactly who you are, and encouraging growth through sharing resources and opportunities.

Trust

Providing a reliable platform that follows through on our intentions, and strives to maintain accountability and integrity.

Our Team

Heather Andrews

UX Writer Consultant

Heather is a Content Strategist/UX Writer with extensive experience in developing and managing content for various channels including websites, apps, and corporate intranets. She earned her master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University and is studying UX Design. Heather is passionate about using the power of the written word to design seamless and intuitive user experiences.

Olha Bahaieva

UX/UI Designer

Olha Bahaieva is a UX/UI Designer with over 7 years of experience. She has created over 50 web and app products during her career. Olha is the author of 9 design courses on Education Ecosystem with 800k+ worldwide. She is a founder of UX Designers Club and a Top Medium writer. Olha also helps non-profit organizations by volunteering on design projects.

Daniela Branças

UX Researcher

Daniela is a UX Researcher who is truly passionate about people, their behaviors and wellbeing and about providing them with the best experience, both in the virtual and physical realms! She believes socializing is one of the most important things we do as human beings and is highly motivated to make both an ethical and safe virtual space, helping to expand and connect the world.

Lex Devlin

Data Analyst

Lex is a Data Analyst and Educator who studies philosophy, psychology, and whatever else gets at the whys of society and the human condition. He is keen on weaving straightforward and contextually sensitive narratives from vast amounts of data. An idealist, Lex hopes to help build an equitable future of sustainability, peace and abundance for everyone. In the meantime he likes to cook for others and play video games with friends.

Zeneh Farhan

UX Designer

Zeneh has a passion for all things creative, from design to poetry to music. She loves that she can mix her creative passion with her background of psychology and counseling. She worked as a counselor for 7 years and loved being able to advocate for others’ needs, so she is excited she still gets to support others, but in a more creative capacity, as a UX Designer. When she is not working with the wonderful team at Troo, she enjoys going to the beach, traveling, and staying active.

Megan Flagg

UX Designer

Megan is a UX designer with a background in higher education and the arts. She is passionate about creating inclusive, intuitive experiences for customers. She loves collaborating with people to solve puzzles and finds a thrill in identifying the most useful and delightful solutions that will empower users. When she's not working with her Troo teammates, Megan is usually painting, running around with her dogs, relaxing with some good music, or planning her next trip.

Darryl Gugig

CLO

Darryl Gugig is a corporate and transactional attorney with over 30 years of experience, licensed to practice in NJ, GA, and DC. Darryl excels at creative problem solving and strategic counseling. In addition to having previously advised other early stage businesses, Darryl spent years as the Board President of a prominent affordable housing non-profit.

Ilmaa Haque

Product Manager

Ilmaa has an academic background in Cognitive Science and Human Computer Interaction and is interested in all things user experience, product management, and project management. While she is not working with the amazing team at Troo, Ilmaa teaches reading, writing, and history to K-12 students and works on her 5 star Animal Crossing island. Fun fact, she is the only Troo team member located on the West Coast!

Lucy Lee

UX Designer

Lucy comes from a background in Statistics and Business, but is a passionate UX designer. Her passion comes from looking at how people interact with everyday products, and searching for opportunity gaps that can make their day even better. She seeks to create design that is accessible and compelling to a wide variety of users. In the end, she believes there’s always space for people’s day-to-day experiences to be enhanced. 

Emma Mantell

Creative Director

Emma is passionate about developing products and experiences that are informed through open conversation and designed with compassion. She prides herself on her humanistic approach to all aspects of design and believes empathy to be the building blocks of the new age of technology. Emma also considers herself a member, ally and, voice for the new generation of the LGBTQ+ community.

Katie Mikelsons

UX Designer

Katie is a mission-driven UX designer, who strives to make the world a better place, using a creative, collaborative, and people-centric approach. Throughout her career, she has been an outdoor educator, entrepreneur, and web designer, always driven by her passion for a cause. Her background has given her a unique lens and skillset which she uses to help solve user needs.

Alissa Monterusso

UX Designer

With over a decade of experience in customer service and a degree in psychology, her focus has always been on understanding people and making them feel comfortable. She has a knack for simplifying the complex and crafting seamless live and virtual experiences, while keeping things stylish. In her time off she enjoys traveling, mentally flipping houses she finds on Zillow, and snuggling her pups.

Serena-Lee Martin

UX Researcher

Serena is a UX Researcher based in New York. She graduated from the University at Albany with a degree in Human Biology and a minor in Philosophy and is incredibly passionate about mental wellness, social psychology, and ethical technology. In her spare time, she teaches herself foreign languages and practices dance and yoga.

Jeremy Mendoza

UX Consultant

Jeremy is a UX designer who loves working with customers to identify and understand their needs. He seeks to produce empathetic, inclusive, and engaging solutions to do just that. Jeremy has spent his recent time re-examining existing systems and pinpointing ways he can improve them to better serve their users. He is also enthusiastic about ways designers can create more accessible and inclusive solutions for the unheard and underserved.

Michael Nicholas

CEO

Michael is the founder/CEO of Troo Co. He is an advocate and ally for marginalized and disenfranchised communities, and is on a mission to help as many people as he can to live an empowered, fulfilling life. Michael enjoys reading, traveling, and connecting with new people.

Tamara Roth

UX Designer

Tamara is a UX designer who is obsessed with solving problems. She especially enjoys taking accessibility and all types of viewpoints into account when designing. She spent over 12 years solving customers’ problems to provide them with better service. Now, she applies her background of helping and understanding customers to UX Design.

Asher Silverman

UX Designer

Asher (They/Them) is a UX/UI designer who is passionate about creating designs that make the world a kinder, brighter, and more inclusive place. They spent 7 years as a graphic designer before making the jump to UX, and have a background in professional storytelling and biology to boot. In their free time, you can usually find Asher making coffee, playing TTRPGs, and attempting to finish whatever new craft project they picked up that week.

Pragya Srivastava

UX Designer

From Building Architecture to Information Architecture, she takes pride in designing experiences to help people navigate through digital and physical spaces. 8 years of design experience taught her how great designs are always an outcome of the user-centric design approach. She strongly believes in “Form follows function” and enjoys minimalistic yet impactful design solutions.

Jessica Tabac

UX Consultant

Jessica is a UX Designer who enjoys the logical and creative aspects of UX design. She values inclusivity and strives to incorporate this into her design choices. Jessica worked as a user experience designer in the physical space of Brooklyn Brewery's hospitality department for over six years. This greatly lends itself to her design thinking in the digital space.

Laura Weinstein

Trust and Safety Policy Lead

Laura decided to become an expert on Trust and Safety after a bunch of racist trolls mobbed her on Twitter in August 2019. In addition, Laura holds a PhD in Irish History for which she wrote her dissertation on gender-based violence and harassment of women; and, she holds a Master's in Irish Politics for which she interviewed female terrorists. She is a dyed-in-the-wool nerd and truly loves research and writing policies that will keep all users safer online. In her spare time, Laura enjoys everything Italian, listening to punk music, stand-up comedy, and designing and sewing her own clothes.

Jiawei Yue

UX Designer

Jiawei graduated from SCAD with an MFA degree in graphic design and has been working as a web designer, graphic designer, and interactive art director for more than 13 years in various industries with diverse team structures in the U.S and China. Now, Jiawei is teaching graphic design at Northwest Arkansas Community College. He is passionate about using my design skills to solve users' problems and loves learning new things. In 2020, I started to take UX design courses at Interaction Design Foundation and got five UX design certificates so far.

Our Advisors

Jessica Groopman

Jessica is an advisor to Troo, and an emerging technology analyst focused on ethical design questions surrounding a wide array of emerging technologies and business models. She is currently the Director of Digital Strategy & Innovation at Intentional Futures. Prior to that, she led emerging technology research and strategic advisory at several research firms, including her own. Jessica is passionate about the anthropology of systems change, and studies how humane and regenerative design of technologies can support more inclusive and resilient products, organizations, and structures. 

Kimberly Sommers

Dr. Sommers is a licensed psychologist in Minnesota who is passionate about mental health, well-being, and social justice. She works with college students as a therapist and teaches classes about wellness and academic skills. She serves on the advisory board of Troo to provide insight and feedback about the relationship between mental health and social media. In her spare time she watches bad television, hangs out with her dog, and plans camping trips for the summer.

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