Discourse ID: @swickie
UCLA, Bachelors in English Literature
Columbia University, Publishing Course
USC, MFA in Film & TV Production
With a diverse background spanning roles from academia to foundations and branding to entertainment, I would bring a unique blend of professional experience to the ApeCoin Special Council. As VP of Academic Affairs, I honed my community advocacy skills as liaison between university-level student government and the Academic Faculty Senate. I also traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby congress for higher education.
At the Documentary Fund, I evaluated proposals, made recommendations based on the Fund’s mission, guided proposals through the process & made recommendations that adhered to 501(c)(3) regulations. I also effectively bridged communication between grantees, high-level executives and board members.
My role in branding and entertainment strengthened my endurance for long-form reading and providing insightful feedback. I sharpened my financial management and coordination skills in a dynamic production environment at the Discovery Channel, and led campaign development & strategy as Director of Operations at a creative agency.
This broad yet interconnected professional background makes me well-suited, and a trusted team member with sound judgment that will carry on to the Special Council position.
Concise statement on why you are running for the Special Council
Over two years ago I arrived, bright-eyed and energized by this new, exciting corner of the world where I quickly learned the potential of Blockchain as a means to empower and build alongside equally energized people. Every day since then I have worked in service of the web3 as a community builder by co-creating organizations and collectives committed to bringing together communities—from sports to the arts—most times self-funded to provide quality experiences that would push the space forward by uplifting creators in the web3 ecosystem and onboarding.
Running for ApeCoin Special Council is an organic, logical continuation of my service to the community. The Special Council has built the foundation and now is the time to use their good work to grow.
My Focus Areas:
- Community-Facing. My track record has proven that I am a trusted member of the community and that my skills as an active listener, collaborator and confidence to make sound judgments in accordance with the vision of the ApeCoin DAO. A diverse council that offers differing viewpoints and skill sets makes for well-rounded discussion and execution.
- Expanding Community. We should strive to reach communities beyond BAYC-MAYC and there’s a need to provide clear communication, education and guidance on how to join the ApeCoin DAO with an emphasis on 1:1 ApeCoin token entry. One of my strengths is being a connector to communities spanning web3. Supporting Working Groups in this arena is key to ApeCoin awareness, education, impact and growth.
- Ape Token Adoption. In addition to community expansion through education, if Ape token is to become a leading token on a more global stage, expanding the community will ideally lead to innovative ways and opportunities for Ape token adoption and use case in AIPs—and beyond.
- Representation. Communicating and upholding ApeCoin DAO’s vision (and eventually, official mission) with an experienced community-building perspective in mind.
- Effective Leadership and Execution. As much as I enjoy crossing tasks off the list, I also value taking time to read, digest and synthesize. My unique combination of experience in web3 and my professional resume illustrates that I have the trust of the community as a critical thinker and decision-maker alongside the SC.
Details on your motivation for becoming an ApeCoin DAO Special Council member
We have such a rare opportunity to create and enact change in the course of collective action.
My motivation to run for Special Council stems from my love of building genuine relationships with people and communities, a shared belief in the potential of the ApeCoin community, and a chance to level up.
Having built and maintained several communities from scratch, I am confident I provide solid contributions through community-facing communication, advocacy, and assisting in building frameworks that align with ApeCoin DAO vision. As a seated SC member it would be my responsibility to uphold and protect the interests of the community.
Share relevant experience and skills that will bring value to the ApeCoin community
Web3 Community Builder. After joining BAYC in May 2021, I volunteered at the very first BAYC meetup in Venice (thank you, Josh), contributed on the team for the second (thank you, Aped Collective), then adorned you with first year ApeFest NYC event wristbands.
These were pivotal moments for me. I saw the magic of this community and the potential to create experiences together IRL that would build genuine relationships, networks, and real impact growing the NFT space.
In the following 18-months I co-created the following not-for-profit organizations and collectives:
- NFTBA: a full-scale bracket basketball tournament dedicated to bringing the NFT community together through sports & NFTs from Venice to Miami
- Space Dust: an art collective dedicated to bringing NFTs x IRL. Collaborations with BAYC IP and IRL icons in fashion, graffiti, chefs, and more. Hosted gallery shows where we onboarded new artists & “normies” with one-on-one guidance during live mint.
- OtherBlock: Partnered with Yuga, a BAYC community-led art & music festival hosted by Space Dust & Project Roadmap first for Art Basel in Miami and then again in LA. Featuring artists, music, live podcasts and IP-infused food experiences from coast-to-coast, we celebrate the vibrant culture of each city through the lens of the BAYC community while curating a multi-activation experience that combines the physical + digital + meta arts.
I share these experiences to illustrate the value created (according to community feedback) by facilitating new friendships, professional opportunities, and inspiration that began with the platforms we created. As a result, these collectives eventually garnered the support and partnerships of other web3 brands including Yuga.
My collectives have successfully survived the bear market because they are not contingent on selling something. They do not extract from the community; instead, they add value. And that is the spirit and vision I plan to bring with me to the ApeCoin Special Council.
Professional Experience. My academic and professional life is not linear. I moved away from home at 17 years old, even before I graduated from high school. I had to work the first few years to save for college. At the time I was employed as a reporter for the County newspaper. They funded an initiative to offer paid positions to teen reporters in the newsroom and at 20 was promoted to journalist for the education and crime beat. This experience shaped and molded me into who I am today. It gave me the confidence to connect and communicate with people from all walks of life.
I advocated for the student body in Academic Senate meetings and traveled to Washington D.C. with a committee to lobby for higher education while attending college.
I have extensive experience in foundation and grant environments. Reading proposals, scripts, providing insight, guidance and regulatory recommendations were all requirements of my past positions in academia, branding and entertainment. I’ve worked alongside communites, creatives as well as high-level executives and board members.
My ability to translate concepts and communicate on an interpersonal & professional level is a strength I will lean on to be transparent with the community & properly relay the needs of the community.
I’ve created and built operational structures to assist in launching businesses from the ground up. I believe these skills will translate well in SC to understand the scope of projects and/or any other specific duties that may arise.
Further describe relevant experience, including crypto and governance participation, and/or ideas for DAO improvement
Relevant Experience and Crypto Participation
I have befriended and engaged with a spectrum of NFT and crypto communities from NBA Top Shot to ArtBlocks simply because I am social, a nerd for digital collectibles as well as tools built for the Blockchain. And I truly believe in it.
I was also part of the first cohort to pioneer IP and licensing for NFTs for my BAYC, Kiki. Kiki won the Pixel Vault IP contest bracket through several rounds of voting, down to eight apes in October 2021. As an Elite Ape, I consistently and actively provide value you can track to 750 cover holders through offering access to AL, real life events and community giveaways. I believe in long-term value and follow through.
Though most of my community-building focus has required more than full-time effort, I have dedicated time to reading and being as present as possible in the ApeCoin DAO via discord, discourse, voting and interacting. I’ve had amazing guidance from active members and prior to deciding to run, I reached out to some former Special Council members to ask about their experience and the scope. I am confident that I have the combined experience and passion as a front-facing community-builder to be an effective council member.
Areas of Improvement for the DAO (see also “My Focus Areas”)
Community-Facing. Upholding the Vision (and official Mission) of ApeCoin DAO with community-building perspective in mind as well as going where ApeCoin is not, but where I am already
Expanding Community. Supporting Working Groups to expand the ApeCoin community, create impact & change through education & communication. Supporting Working Groups is key in this arena
ApeCoin Adoption. Innovative paths & opportunities for Ape token adoption & real use case in AIPs & beyond. Emphasize 1:1 token entry (BAYC not required)
Community Trust. Unique experience in web3 & professional resume illustrates trust of the community as a critical thinker & decision-maker.
Summarize your statement as to why you are the best choice for Special Council
Deeply believing in the empowering potential of blockchain and community, I’ve dedicated the last two years to fostering growth and innovation in organizations devoted to uplifting the web3 ecosystem and beginning my journey in the ApeCoin DAO. It is the natural next step in my continued service to the web3 community.
I am keen to uphold the vision of the DAO and the duties of the Special Council to protect the community. My focus, within the boundaries of the Special Council, is to support the Working Groups as keys to education and impact such as DAO community expansion, advocating for broader adoption of the Ape token, and enhancing communication channels within as well as outside of the community.
Envisioning my role in the ApeCoin Special Council, I aim to incorporate the same tenets that guided my previous initiatives: education, value creation, fostering authentic relationships, and harnessing the power of the platforms we develop to inspire and motivate others. Given the opportunity to serve on the Special Council, I will infuse this spirit of community-centric innovation into my service to the ApeCoin DAO and its members.