SalaamGarage Team

Amanda Koster: founder + leader

Amanda Koster is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose commercial and personal work has shown a consistent commitment to telling stories of real people, human rights, cultural diversity and global equality. She combines her anthropology background with multi-media skills to create content as a means for powerful communication and storytelling.

She created SalaamGarage because: 1) many asked “Can I Come With You” [on international projects] 2) after so many travel slide shows wondered, what would happen they had visited NGOs and included that in their slides? 3) wondered what would happen if people plugged meaningful, powerful content into their social media sites?

Her book Can I Come with You?” (Bennett & Hastings, 2008) is a collection of over a decade of her int’l social documentary projects, including excerpts from her personal journals. She has received many awards and grants for her personal projects including 8 awards for her project AIDS Is Knocking in the prestigious IPA Lucie Awards. Amanda is featured among the fifty successful, inspiring American women in the book: “In Their Shoes.” (by Deborah Reber, publisher: Simon & Schuster).

Besides shooting commercially, Amanda is working with the NYU Dept. of Global Health creating hyper-local multi-media content for software to serve HIV/AIDS patients in Kenya. Clients include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Int’l YWCA, The New York Times, Newsweek, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Business Week, and national advertising agencies. She has taught photography internationally and is invited regularly as an industry speaker and representative worldwide. She is represented by Samara Lectures for all public speaking events. Personally she is an avid mountaineer, known for her x-ray vision, laser communication style and unbreakable spirit.

photog site: amandakoster.com | blog: http://amandakoster.wordpress.com | twitter: @amandakoster +  @salaamgarage

Amanda is represented by Samara Lectures for public speaking, artist-in-residency, workshops and book signing events. To schedule,  please contact info@samaralectures.com


Maggie Soladay: Trip leader + SalaamGarage Local: NYC Chapter Chief,
New York , NY

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Maggie Soladay is an editorial photography editor, producer, and photographer based in NYC.  She is a passionate activist, using her knowledge of the old and new media to tackle the world’s humanitarian and environmental problems.  Maggie believes everyone has a calling to give back to the communities they care about. And photographers and journalists have a special duty:  “We can be officers of justice and social change by putting our media skills to use for good.”

Soladay will has launched SalaamGarage Local:NYC with it’s first project, Aging Out of Foster Care in NYC.

View Maggie’s photography at http://maggiesoladay.com | twitter: @maggiesoladay@salaamgarage


Charlene Jaszewski: Content Strategist, Web Mistress for Site Redesign, New York, NY

Charlene Jaszewski is one of those insatiably curious gals who has her fingers into everything, but especially loves helping small businesses get their content and message across most effectively, using smarts and technology. She has a background in both journalism and art and is psyched she can use both to give the SalaamGarage site the visual punch it needs to connect viscerally with people who can help.

website: theredheadsaid.com | twitter: @theredheadsaid | tumblr: theredheadsaid.tumblr.com


Sabrina Messineo: organizer + SalaamGarage Blurb Books for Good Liaison, Los Angeles, CA

Sabrina is a certified health counselor who helps people learn how to listen to their bodies. Her passion is food as medicine and biodiversity is one of her greatest inspirations. She considers it an honor to be working with SalaamGarage to share the amazing stories of people who are empowering themselves and the global community. Website: healthyhappydiet.com


Katy Balatero: digital Marketing Strategist, Seattle, WA

Katy Balatero has worked as an editor and writer since 2003, most recently for Microsoft.com and Grist. She is a graduate student in the Master of Communication in Digital Media program at the University of Washington, and holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University. In her spare time she plays violin with Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Rock Orchestra and swims. Katy’s addiction to foreign travel has led her to Central and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Turkey, Kenya, and Australia. Her friends tell her she needs an intervention, but she is firmly in denial and planning her next adventure.

Website: http://about.me/kbalatero | Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kbalatero | Twitter: @kbalatero


Angela Dollar: traveler relations extraordinaire, Seattle, WA

Angela Dollar was born with a severe case of wanderlust. A Washington native, Angela is based in Seattle and her travels have taken her to wonderful places in Southeast Asia, South America, Europe and the Sub-Continent. During her wanderings, she has forged deep bonds with several small communities and became aware of the vital need to protect indigenous cultures. She’ s been a staff member with community-based travel organization Crooked Trails, SalaamGarage’ s fiscal sponsor, for over 5 years. Angela is passionate about cultural preservation and sustainable travel, which she blogs about at Travel with a Purpose.

She is ready to answer all of your questions about upcoming SalaamGarage trips: travel@salaamgarage.com

Megan Taylor: advisory Board, Seattle, WA

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Megan drove SalaamGarage’s community outreach in social networking forums such as Twitter and Facebook in 2009. Her current role on the advisory board. As a travel enthusiast with a personal passion for both photography and social justice work, Megan enjoys connecting SalaamGarage with others who see the power created when amateur and professional media producers direct their energy toward issues that matter to our global community. Megan graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in International Studies and a focus on development and Spanish language. Her true loves are traveling, learning new languages, playing with friends and family, snapping photos, running around Greenlake, hosting rooftop BBQ’s, spending time outdoors with her fiancé Erik and goofy black lab Harley, and generally striving to find positivity, humor, and spontaneity in everyday life. Megan traveled extensively during study abroad programs in France, Cuba, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala and recently returned from a six month backpacking adventure around Southeast Asia.