Meet the tireless production team behind The YEARS Project.
Josh Futtersak leads research and fact checking at The Years Project. He specializes in OSINT based investigative research and often writes and works behind the camera. Josh received his Master’s from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism where his research focused on organized crime in Eastern Europe, religious history, and unique New York subcultures.
Maya Lilly became an environmentalist before it was hot at only 15 years old. Her gateway was discovering that we were clearcutting the rainforest to make room for cattle… and emitting carbon in the process. Shocked, she immediately became a vegetarian, and figured if she told EVERYONE around her what was happening, they would immediately take action. …Few did. This teenage Ah-ha moment sent Maya on a lifetime journey to discover the best ways to get people to care about climate. Because it was, and still is, the most important thing.
Maya’s produced long-form documentaries like Amazon’s Generation Wealth and The Big Fix; fictional projects like Starhawk’s iconic classic, The Fifth Sacred Thing (for which she narrated the audiobook); short form like Pulse’s Resist and Seven Bucks/BET’s Finding Justice; and digital stories with Brave New Films and Elevate Films. Maya is a Udall Congressional award winner, and holds a Masters from the United Nations in Environmental Security and Peace. In the (very) little spare time she has, she likes making videos for @GunghoEco, her eco-influencer channel on YouTube, Fbook, Insta and Twitter. And with Years, Maya hones her initial question of HOW to make people care every time she produces a shoot, writes a script, and forges a relationship with a frontline community.
Vernon Church began his management career as a co-founder of Newsweek Interactive, Newsweek’s award-winning digital media venture and the first of its kind in the world. He went on to lead digital and creative teams at HarperCollins Publishers, Blue Man Productions, John Wiley and Sons Publishers and TMP Worldwide, the world’s largest recruitment advertising company, where he oversaw all digital, brand and creative operations in North America.
He also acted as Chief Content Officer and EVP of Operations for media start-up UGO Entertainment where he led strategy and optimization work that contributed directly to acquisition by Hearst Interactive.
Before beginning his management career, Church was an environmental scientist, journalist and playwright with a peer-reviewed paper, more than 60 articles and two plays produce off-Broadway to his credit. He is also a board member of the CUE Art Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to elevating emerging and under-recognized artists. Church holds a BS in biology from Cornell University, an MS in oceanography from The University of Rhode Island, and an MA in science journalism from New York University.
Founder, Chairman & Executive Producer
David Gelber is co-founder and chairman of The Years Project. He served as Ed Bradley’s producer at 60 Minutes® for twenty-five years, during which he won every major journalism award, including a Peabody, two DuPont Awards and eight Emmy® Awards.
During the nineties, Gelber was executive producer of Peter Jennings Reporting at ABC News®. He spent two winters in Sarajevo producing documentaries on the Bosnian Conflict. He returned to CBS News® in 1996 to head the Ed Bradley Unit. Gelber and Joel Bach left 60 MINUTES in 2011 to create the Emmy-winning series YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY and have focused on communicating stories about the climate crisis ever since.
Founder, Executive Director & Executive Producer
Joel Bach is the founder and executive creative director of The YEARS Project. He was the showrunner and series director of YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, the Emmy Award winning TV series on climate change. The series was executive produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the late Jerry Weintraub — and featured an ensemble cast of A-list celebrities and journalists who traveled the globe to tell the story of climate change.
Joel now serves as the director of YEARS’ short-form video campaign, the videos of which have been seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Joel sets strategy for the company and determines the creative direction of the enterprise. Before creating The YEARS Project, Joel was a field producer at 60 MINUTES, working with Scott Pelley, Steve Kroft, Lesley Stahl and the late Ed Bradley. Before working at 60 MINUTES, he directed and produced music videos, short films and commercials in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Maggie Badore is an environmental journalist and the Web Director for The YEARS Project. She previously served as an editor for TreeHugger.com, and has contributed work to CivilEats, Mother Nature Network and Real Detroit Weekly. She holds a Master’s from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and earned her undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied environmental studies and writing.
Executive Production Director
Drew Magratten is the executive production director for The YEARS Project. Magratten was a producer for the second season of Years of Living Dangerously, which was broadcast on National Geographic in over 170 countries and 45 languages. Now he’s helping the YEARS team bring its climate-focused content to an even larger global audience, via social media. Prior to YEARS, Magratten worked with NPR, The New York Times, the BBC, CBS News and 60 Minutes, where his work won three Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow award.
Amy has spent over two decades in the film and television industry specializing in all aspects of production accounting. Her experience ranges from feature films to prime time television to documentaries. Her vast experience, attention to detail, and ability to adapt to changing environments are key assets to the production team. She has been working with Years of Living Dangerously since its inception in 2012. Amy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Binghamton University and resides on Long Island with her husband and two sons.
Micaela Erickson is a junior at Hofstra University majoring in Journalism with a minor in civic engagement. She is passionate about social and climate justice and hopes to pursue a career in advocacy journalism and nonprofit work. As a writer, Micaela strives to use her voice to educate, engage, and uplift people.
Sania Qureshi is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Urban & Regional Planning Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her passion for environmental justice is rooted from her love for animals and wanting to protect the areas they inhabit. Through her Urban & Regional Planning Studies major, she has learned how environmental and social injustices are interconnected and neither can be solved without solving the other.
She’s interned for a grassroot nonprofit organization based in Richmond, Virginia working to support environmental initiatives across the state. In 2019, she spent the summer at the Amalfi Coast studying marine conservation and volcanology. In her personal life, she enjoys hiking, road-tripping, and cooking with her friends and family.
Sam is a junior at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, pursuing a major in environmental studies with minors in biology and French. He grew up in Goleta, California around the ocean which sparked his interest in marine life, eventually leading to his passion for environmental justice and advocacy. Sam’s previous work has encompassed topics of coastal sea-level rise, environmental racism, and LGBT+ justice. In his free time, Sam sails for his college’s team, plays the cello, and bakes bread.
Felix Kimbrell is one of our new environmental research and journalism interns at The YEARS Project. He is currently earning a bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Broadcast Media from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.
Having grown up in Texas his entire life, Felix has had an appreciation for the vast beauty of our environment. And through this appreciation, a passion for social responsibility and justice was cultivated in his time as a student and worker. He believes that we all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and the place we call home as sustainable and lasting as possible. Especially in regards to the disenfranchised and marginalized communities effected most by climate change, Felix believes that now more than ever we must come together to create effective and immediate change.
Darien is a senior Bioethics major and Philosophy minor at Howard University in Washington, DC. Bioethics consists of studying our behaviors and attitudes towards medicine, research, and climate change through an economic, social, and environmental lense. Darien has always been interested in reflecting critically on the connections humans make to survive and thrive. As the first HBCU student intern at The YEARS Project, she aims to bring a new cultural and philosophical perspective to the way we view the world around us. The relationships we form with each other and our environment ultimately determine the course of our future.
Darien has lived in various places across the East coast of the US. She attended 11 public schools from K-12 which has lent her a unique outlook on life and society. The one takeaway from her experiences that she wishes to show people is the beauty in community, the importance of empathy, and the connection that all living beings have to each other.
Lizzie Stricklin is a senior at the George Washington University majoring in Journalism & Mass Communications and minoring in Sustainability. Coming from suburban Philadelphia, Lizzie is especially passionate about climate action, environmental justice, and telling the stories of where human rights and environmentalism meet. She hopes to pursue a career in climate reporting. In her free time, she also loves fencing, playing the oboe, and watching musicals.
Short Form Editor
Priya Subberwal is a junior at New York University, studying Environmental Studies and Documentary Film. Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Priya has always been passionate about the natural world and the stories we tell about it, and hopes to use her degree to continue to educate and agitate people to involve themselves in issues of climate change and environmentalism. She enjoys hiking and camping, and is enthusiastic about public lands advocacy and education. Her other interests include yoga, writing, and taking care of her lizard, Stevie.
Morgan is a passionate environmentalist that has been devoted to conservation since she was a teenager. A native New Yorker, she immersed herself in the culture of progress that the city has to offer. She holds a BS in Environmental Science from Hunter College and a Master’s in Renewable Energy & Sustainability from University of Colorado: Boulder. She is committed to fighting for climate justice and a just transition in the face of our changing world. Her interests include writing and journalism, connecting with the earth and meditation.
Social Media Community Manager
Ilana Berger is a recent NYU graduate with a B.A. in journalism in environmental studies. She helps create brand engagement and grow TYP’s active social media communities, as well as build strong relationships and partnerships with other non-profits, digital influencers, celebrities, and thought leaders.
Prior to working at TYP, Ilana worked in digital marketing at Urbanstrong, a Brooklyn-based environmental project management firm. Prior to that, she helped with communications and digital content creation at AARP.
Ilana’s interests include green urban infrastructure, environmental justice, and being extremely online.