Andrew created and co-founded the Harry Potter Alliance. Known for his inspirational speaking at dozens of Harry Potter fandom events, he has given keynote addresses at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, the Millennial Mega Mashup, a talk at TEDx Rome, and spoken at South by Southwest, Comic Con, Educating Our Democracy in the Digital Age hosted by former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Futures of Entertainment, National Conference for Media Reform, the Annenberg Presidential Learning Center, and symposiums at MIT, Brandeis, and Tufts University. Andrew has written for the LA Times, a cover story for CNN.com, the Huffington Post (which in 2010 named him “Greatest Person of the Day”), and the forward to “Dear Mister Potter.”
In his prior career, Andrew performed comedy at hundreds of colleges, produced, cowrote, and costarred in three videos that have been seen more than twelve million times, and wrote comedy for the owners of the Red Sox, the bassist for Aerosmith, and William Shatner. Trained at an acting conservatory in London, he has taught theater and creative writing workshops in both the US and Northern Ireland. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University, Andrew is dedicated to the building of a movement that harnesses the energy of popular culture, modern myth, and social media to transform our lives both personally and collectively.
Melissa Anelli is a writer from New York City who runs The Leaky Cauldron, co-hosts PotterCast, and has spent most of the last decade reporting about Harry Potter. She has written the New York Times Best Seller, Harry, A History, chronicling the Harry Potter phenomenon, and is currently writing her second nonfiction book. She loves peanut butter and theater, and thinks the HPA is the best thing to happen to fandom since the invention of the midnight release party.
Paul co-founded the Harry Potter Alliance with Andrew Slack in 2005 and currently serves on its board of directors. In 2002, Paul and his brother Joe started the band Harry and the Potters, now cited as the founders of Wizard Rock, a genre of music based on Harry Potter. They have spend much of the last 9 years touring the country, performing in libraries, and promoting the powers of love, reading, music, and enthusiasm. Paul also founded the Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club, a subscription-based CD club that has raised over $50,000 for lit-based charities. He was profiled in the 2008 documentary We Are Wizards as a pioneer in the creative subculture spawned by the Harry Potter phenomena. His heros are Bruce Springsteen, Ian MacKaye and Wayne Coyne and his high score in Ms. Pacman is 261,370.
Matt is the singer/songwriter behind The Whomping Willows, and also serves on the Harry Potter Alliance Board of Directors. Matt is a native of Rhode Island and has been writing music for 15 years. He fell in love with the Harry Potter series in 2000, but he wasn’t introduced to the Harry Potter fandom until May 2007, when The Whomping Willows were invited to play at the Phoenix Rising conference in New Orleans. After realizing that Harry Potter fans are the nicest, most charitable and loving people on earth, Matt has devoted his life to everything Harry Potter, particularly the wizard rock community and the Harry Potter Alliance.
Seth is a co-founder of the HPA, and currently spends his time on its board of directors. In 2000, while at Brandeis University, he co-founded sketch comedy group the Late Night Players along with Andrew Slack. Together, they have produced, written, and performed in online videos that have been seen over six million times, as well as performed hundreds of shows live in front of tens of thousands of audience members. Seth runs a blog about basic homesteading, and is also the creator of sethTV, which is really just videos of him goofing off.