Meet Our Tribe
While our company is grounded in firm roots of tribal citizenship, we also believe strongly in our chosen family, a community of great people built through a focus on diversity and character with a drive to get the job done right and well. We are as diverse and storied as the various, sometimes international, places that we live and we believe that our solutions are that much better when a variety of voices, perspectives, and empowered team members contribute to them.
Founder: Rusty D. Pickens
Rusty D. Pickens is the Founder and Principal of 580 Strategies. He is the former Senior Advisor for Digital Platforms at the U.S. Department of State, and former Acting Director for New Media Technologies at the White House, where he led teams who operated cloud platforms for the Obama Administration to increase public engagement, improve user experience, enhance staff productivity, and heighten security posture. During this time, Rusty created new systems for and built new teams to lead Whitehouse.gov, the White House email outreach services, the Presidential correspondence system, the We The People petitions system, the White House Appointment Center, and the U.S. Embassy contact management systems.
Rusty's two decades of leadership experience aligning organizational vision with technology strategy across top federal agencies and start-up environments included the Federal Salesforce Community of Excellence, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee, Obama for America 2008, and the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. He currently advises clients on unlocking the potential of cloud computing and agile software delivery to vastly improve their digital presence and citizen experience.
Rusty currently resides in Washington, DC.
Human Centered Designer: Michael McDaniel
Michael McDaniel was born and raised in Centreville, Mississippi. After beginning his design career in California, he now lives in Austin, Texas where he co-founded Lostin to focus on design & strategy for space. Prior to Lostin, Michael was an Expert Associate Partner with McKinsey & Company. He joined McKinsey after working at the White House for President Obama as part of the U.S. Digital Service. Before heading to Washington, Michael invented a new of shelter and founded Reaction – a startup that revolutionized products around one of humanity’s most basic needs: shelter. Michael also invented and created a new transportation system for Austin, Texas, called The Wire. Prior to founding Reaction, Michael worked at frog design as a Principal Designer. There he led diverse teams to solve complex experiential, interaction, transportation, & branding problems across a variety of industries. His broad skill set and thoughtful approach to design has led to very unique solutions for clients including MTV, Comcast, AT&T, American Airlines, Best Buy, HP, Sprint, and Disney.
His work on design teams for M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, has been recognized by several professional design organizations, including the Society of Environmental Graphic Designers (SEGD). His redesign of the entire Interstate Highway System won top honors from the Cooper Union back in 2006. Michael's design work has been featured in major design publications such as Fast Company, Print, Critique, Communication Arts, How, and Step Inside Design. His work has been published in several design books including Design Secrets: Layouts by Rodney Moore; Minimum Dwelling by Eduard Broto; and Get Backed by Evan Baehr and Evan Loomis.
Human Centered Design: Carl Sieber
Carl Sieber is a process-driven, user-centered, multidisciplinary designer with experience creating design systems, products, services, apps, mobile experiences, websites (intranet and extranet), rich applications, touchscreen kiosks, and all sorts of deliverables. Carl leads all design efforts and subcontract teams for 580 Strategies.
He is adept in all phases of client engagements including: sales, planning, ethnographic research, collaborative workshops, usability testing, and stewardship (fully integrated agile or other methodologies). His process for human centered design is pioneering the way of applying HCD to government digital spaces and ensuring we put the citizen, veteran, or constituent in the driver’s seat of any application we develop.
Carl currently resides in Austin, Texas.
Web Accessibility Expert: Blake Foss
As a web developer and accessibility expert, Blake brings over 20 years of experience within web development. He has a strong foundation based in multiple technology stacks that allow him to understand the technical requirements that drive accessible web sites and mobile applications. For 580 Strategies he leads our WordPress implementations and accessibility audits across multiple projects.
Blake currently resides in San Francisco, California, where he enjoys taking his motorcycle out for leisurely rides on the coast.
Data Analytics Expert: Britt Farbo
Britt Farbo is a seasoned political professional with two decades of experience. She spent her formative years working on political campaigns throughout the Southwest. This work brought her to Washington, D.C. in 2005 where she served as an intern and blogger at EMILY’s List. From there she took her skills as a to work with one of the early leaders in political email communications Advocacy Inc. and most recently as a project manager for digital franking projects for the United States Senate and House of Representatives with Advocacy Data.
Her expertise in constituent communications and community organizing blossomed into an advisory position in the Policy and Legal Analysis Department of the Planning Directorate at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as an Associate with The Asia Foundation. During her time there she also worked as a liaison on base for a women’s day shelter focused around the embroidery and textile traditions as a form of livelihood. She keeps ties as an advisor for TechWomen Afghanistan. After Afghanistan, she was called to consult for Base Communications one of the top media firms in New Delhi, India on best practices for the integration of new social media platforms.
Her international work took her to Cambodia in 2011 where she assisted the American community in registering voters for the 2012 and 2014 elections through Democrats Abroad, working with IT startups, and writing essays on the food life of Phnom Penh for a local arts and culture weekly.
She has pursued a course of study in Norwegian at the University of Oslo, Interfaith Conflict Resolution through the United States Institute for Peace, and recently graduated with a degree from Saint Mary of the Woods College, graduating in 2018 with a B.A. in Creative Writing. Farbo is currently a seminarian pursuing two M.A.’s in Theology, and in Theopoetics and Writing as Ministry from Bethany Theological Seminary and Earlham School of Religion. Her work focuses on the intersection of poetry, religion, and the collective imagination as it relates to the work of peace and justice, and the impact on American culture.
Along with travel, politics and technology, her other interest includes fine art and documentary photography, painting, poetry, comparative religion and Southwest and Southern American culture, and is in the process of starting her own small press to amplify writers, creatives, and intellectuals from the middle of the country.
She currently resides in Savannah, Georgia.
DevOps Engineer: Dave Colangelo
Dave is the technical team lead for engineering subcontract teams for 580 Strategies and a Managing Partner with P&D Technology Solutions. After spending time as a developer and project manager at various large companies in the commercial private sector, he decided it was time to strike out on his own and bring his industry knowledge to everyone. He has recently partnered with 580 Strategies to bring agile development methods, embrace of cloud computing, and industry best-practice of DevOps principles to government.
Dave has had the opportunity to work on large scale data processing and storage projects for the environmental industry. Payment and PCI compliance applications for the credit card industry as well as high-scale code scanning and security solutions for software packages. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Dave’s platform of choice and he has architected numerous solutions that now run at scale in various high capacity environment.
Dave is skilled at large scale Java API architecture and development, highly scalable database layers, elastic search optimization and integration, large scale data processing and big data analytics, end to end security and system architecture.
Dave currently resides in Ireland.