James Stewart (web developer) first encountered *cino during the three years that he lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan after marrying Kari. After a few years Kari was easily tempted to move back to his native UK and they are settled in the North London neighbourhood of Harringay, expecting their first child in December 2008. As well as building web tools and sites for *cino, James works as a freelance web developer and consultant for a number of clients and has worked for Jubilee 2000, Greenbelt Festival and a range of others. He runs an occasional concert series—the Ambridge Acoustic Revue—with a few friends at their church, and tries to make the most of the vast range of concerts, cinemas, galleries and other opportunities that his favourite (and, fortunately, home) city has to offer.
Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma (senior editor) discovered her interest in periodical publishing when she and (her now-husband) Rob were the co-editors of their high school newspaper. Since then, she has received a bachelor's degree in English literature and theatre from North Park University in Chicago after completing her freshman and sophomore years at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. Kirstin and Rob live in southwest Michigan where they help run a fair trade store in a historic downtown district; work with films, concerts and students on the campus of Calvin College; and attempt to live walkable, bikable, freshly edible, sustainable lives. She is particularly passionate about how we renew our experiences of community—interpersonal, ecumenical, local and interfaith—through storytelling in an increasingly distancing society.
Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma (web designer) wears many hats as the executive director of *culture is not optional, including designer, accountant and data manager. After completing two years at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, he gained experience in design by freelancing in Chicago during the dot-com boom that began in the late nineties. In 2005, he finished his undergraduate degree in peace, justice and conflict studies at Goshen College (Goshen, Indiana). When he's not doing work for *cino or freelance projects, Rob enjoys biking, reading and playing music with friends.