Co-Founder & CEO
Edward Wittenberg was born to Hungarian immigrant parents who started a successful printing and packaging business which evolved into an investment and securities firm in 2006. After completing his degree in philosophy, he joined the family business as well as obtaining a commercial flying license and working as a flight instructor.
Creating a social media platform and becoming its CEO was not the original plan, but the concept of Lyf App seemed more interesting and needed for society than any social network currently available online. The dream grew from there.
Now a father of three young children with his partner of 20 years, Tracey DeGray, Edward has dedicated himself to building and supporting Lyf, a platform that promotes compassion and well-being of global citizens of the modern age.
Lyf is important because no matter how perfect people’s lives may seem to be on mainstream social media, every person has a struggle of some kind. Whether it’s a relationship problem, a mental health issue, grief, addiction, grappling with one’s own sexuality, illness, injury, dilemma or challenge of any kind. Lyf is a judgement-free community where people can meet others who are going through the same struggles and support each other.
As the sole-financial backer of the platform, Edward has dedicated the past 5 years of his life to making people of the world better through his technology.
In 2018, Edward befriended a user within the app who happened to run a successful marketing agency in Los Angeles. Together he and Jordan Freda, the CO-Founder/Co-CEO of Giant Propeller made the decision to partner up and combine their skills in an effort to take the community to the next level with the goal of expanding the community and further enhancing the experience.
In the future, Lyf will continue to court compassion through connection, offer affordable and immediate 24/7 professional services, and be a much needed alternative to traditional social media.
CCO / Advisor
Jordan is equal parts creative and marketing business expert. Launching his first start-up at age 17, he grew up alongside the e-commerce era learning the ins and outs of modern brand building and marketing. From producing media for legendary musicians, to launching his visual effects company focused on Hollywood movies in 2009, to working as Creative Director for several noteworthy startups. From there he went on to build his marketing agency Giant Propeller alongside his partner Mike Bodkin. Embracing the spirit of helping others, Giant Propeller serves multiple independent businesses helping them grow and scale.
Beyond his achievements in business, Jordan has always maintained a true passion for helping others. In 2010 immediately following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Freda traveled there launching an online documentary series that spanned 4 years focusing on taking action and assisting in projects in impoverished communities around the world. His online show successfully encouraged hundreds of youth to volunteer and help others. After the show ran its course he helped the cause-based shoe company “Inkkas” design the creative approach and giveback program. Inkkas preserved Amazon rainforest land and plants hundreds of thousands of trees.
When Jordan discovered Lyf while going through his own struggles and using the community for advice, he reached out to Edward filled with passion to form a partnership. His love for helping others and partnering with Lyf to do so has brought a new sense of fulfillment and joy to his life.
CMO / Advisor
Sam has over 20 years’ senior management marketing & brand experience, with 5 years of direct C-suite expertise as a CMO. His primary focus and passion is launching new startups to market and scale. He has consulted for a myriad of brands from Health & Wellness, Food and Beverage, to CPG, Telecom at the start up level, and post funding round level at Fortune 50s. Sam is a Disruptor who prefers the term opportunity-maker. Sam intends to bring the voices of life together to help share the mission of its CEO by sharing the community, compassion, and connection to everyone as mental health and its barriers continue to be a global challenge.
Director of Operations
“Work hard, stay happy and have fun”, the familial saying by which Kate leads her life. Being the youngest of five she knows what it is like to work in a team and inherently what it is like to compete.
Kate has always enjoyed a challenge in life and loves to learn in any way she can. Moving to Melbourne at 21 from a small city in Queensland, she was eager to pursue her Graphic Design career. Stepping through the design world from billboards to packaging, Kate found her calling when she saw a Graphic Design role at Lyf. Upon joining Kate moved up to become Lyf’s Product Manager and then VP of Operations where she now oversees all elements of Lyf’s platform and operations. Kate keeps her eye on how everything is constructed and functioning from the inside out.
Her strength in communication makes for a cohesive team across the globe. Working side-by-side with Lyf’s CEO, CMO and CCO and leading the charge day to day with Lyf’s team of developers and marketers.
Growing up in a Naval family as the eldest of two, Brooke saw the impact the armed forces had on her father and knew that she had a future in mental health support. Moving from Queensland to explore tertiary education and broaden her horizons, she began working at Lyf.
Brooke’s touch is all over the app — she manages, coordinates and schedules Lyf Support Psychologists, as well as ensures a quality experience across all digital platforms.
She believes that everyone deserves to get the help they need and works hard to ensure these valuable resources are accessible to all.
Mike is a business and operations expert who focuses on building and growing disruptive companies. Before starting his marketing agency, Giant Propeller, Mike spent over a decade in film production. There he helped several industry leaders (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros.) establish and optimize large-scale workflows. In 2010, Mike was hired by a technology startup company, Stereo D (Deluxe Entertainment), to create and structure its ability to scale. In just four years, he was instrumental in developing the entire operation and management systems, bringing the company from 30 employees in Los Angeles to an international workforce of over 1,500. As the leader of a 500 person team, and with his dedication and ingenuity, Bodkin helped place Stereo D on Fast Company’s competitive list for Most Innovative Companies of 2013. Coming from a family of caretakers, Mike has always had a passion and concern for people and the world. In addition to running Giant Propeller, Mike is now leading a marketing and innovation team to disrupt healthcare. Their first focus: increasing time-to-diagnosis and quality-of-life for patients and families of Pulmonary Fibrosis. As an Advisor to Lyf, Mike brings his business and operational savviness to support the app’s continued growth.
Lead Mental Health Expert
Maricar’s passion is to provide emotional, mental and psychological healing to those who are suffering in silence. This was her greatest motivation to become a Registered Psychologist. She rates being a full-fledged multicultural online therapist as her greatest achievement because she can help individuals from different parts of the world.
Hearing Lyf’s vision and witnessing their sincerity in delivering this vision was the driving force behind Maricar being selected as team leader where she is responsible for the training of the entire online team.
Knowing and understanding the hidden struggles of Lyf users and how these struggles are likely to be impacting on everyday life, Maricar prides herself on being able to achieve holistic success by restoring purpose in life.
Audri Talavera brings a diverse skill set to her role as Creative Directer with her extensive background as a UX/UI designer, content creator, digital strategist, and startup founder. Over the past 12 years she’s headed up the design of various mobile and web apps and has helped high-potential startups scale into high-impact successes through digital marketing.
She is also a singer, impressionist, avid solo traveler, and content creator who has amassed over 16 million views across her social channels. Her content, spanning from musical covers, parodies, impressions, and comedy sketches, to adventure and travel vlogs, is all written, shot, and edited by her as well.
As a first-generation Latin American woman, she grew up in a bilingual, multicultural household that instilled in her the importance of hard work and fighting for something you believe in. She is proud to be part of a team with an unwavering commitment to bettering the world’s mental health through technology.
Growing up in a close knit family in Sydney, Gareth moved to Melbourne as a challenge to create a life for himself, and 15 years later is amazed at what he has accomplished. He strongly believes in empowering people to be able to help themselves by harnessing the strength of others when needed, and is proud to be a member of the Lyf Squad.
As Community Director, Gareth is a highly rational thinker who’s able to remain impartial when dealing with community issues that arise on the platform. His experience in conflict resolution and team building are utilised daily throughout the community, along with his studies in Education and Counselling. With decades of experience in Customer Service, Hospitality and People Management, he enjoys the intimate aspect of conversation that occur on the app, and the community building and moderation he heads up. Seeing users grow over time and progress brings Gareth satisfaction and keeps him motivated to always improve app experience for all users.