Meet the Team

Greg and Julie Cook, Founders of the Cook Center for Human Connection

Greg and Julie Cook founded the Cook Center for Human Connection in 2020 and have provided a significant portion of the financing of the My Life is Worth Living animated series. They have designated suicide prevention as one of the pillars of giving for their family foundation. This was spurred by the recognition of the need for more mental health resources and from personal experiences. Greg worked with the family of an eleven-year-old boy who died by suicide. Julie lost a favorite uncle to suicide. These experiences marked them both very deeply. The Cooks believe deeply that this series will reach young people in ways that nothing else can and hope to save lives by broadcasting these powerful stories that model human connection.


The Cook Center for Human Connection is a Utah-based non-profit dedicated to eradicating suicide and advocating for mental health and wellness. The My Life is Worth Living series is one of many of the mental health initiatives that the Cook Center is supporting. Learn more and get involved at cookcenter.org.

Terry Thoren, Ceo of Wonder Media

Terry Thoren is the driving force behind the My Life is Worth Living animated series. He left Hollywood 15 years ago to launch Wonder Media to produce animated stories to prevent childhood trauma. He is the former CEO of Klasky Csupo, Inc., the company that incubated the first 65 episodes of The Simpsons and produced Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, Rocket Power, As Told By Ginger, and more.
 
Wonder Media is an animation production studio in Los Angeles, producing stories to connect with children and teens at risk with content that addresses hunger, emergency preparedness, social-emotional learning, critical thinking, autism, children with exceptionalities, the prevention of child sexual abuse, the prevention of teen suicide, and providing guidance to children living in a home with an addicted adult.
 
The studio has produced animated lessons for the Global Institute for Habits of Mind, the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, the Cook Center for Human Connection, the Betty Ford Children’s Center, the Hero in You Foundation, the Gabe Alvarado Foundation, the NALC Food Drive, the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America, and the Wyland Water Foundation.

Scientific advisory board

Dr. James Mazza, PhD

Dr. James Mazza is a professor at the University of Washington – Seattle where he has been teaching and conducting research over the past 25 years in the field of adolescent mental health. He received his masters and Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Jim is the past president of the American Association of Suicidology from 2005-2007 and is still actively involved in trying to help school educators play a major role in helping to prevent suicidal and self-harming behavior among students. His current research focuses on the implementation of DBT STEPS-A (Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents) curriculum.

Dr. Melissa Lopez-Larson, PhD

Dr. Melissa Lopez-Larson is a board-certified psychiatrist for adults, children, and adolescents. She received her MD from the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. Dr. Lopez-Larson performed her adult and child psychiatry training at Harvard Medical School training sites, including Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, and Cambridge Hospital. For over fifteen years, she practiced in a variety of settings, including academic, research, inpatient, residential, and outpatient psychiatric services. Her practice in Park City, UT combines psychiatric services with evidence-based complementary treatments. She consulted on the My Life is Worth Living script development.

Dr. Russell J. Osguthorpe, MD

Dr. Russell J. Osguthorpe, MD is a pediatric infectious disease specialist. He received his medical degree from the McGill University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Children’s Hospital in Denver and a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Osguthorpe currently serves as the chief medical officer of doTERRA. In this capacity, he is establishing a network of primary care clinics focused on wellness and prevention through integrative, evidence-based medical practices.

Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall, PhD

Dr. Gregory A. Hudnall is a former high school principal and associate superintendent with the Provo City School District. He has been involved with suicide prevention for the past twenty-five years. Dr. Hudnall is the founder of HOPE4UTAH, a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. The school-based program, Hope Squad, has been responsible for over 5,000 students referred for help and over 1000 hospitalized. The Hope Squad program is now in over 1100 schools around the world. Dr. Hudnall has trained over 60,000 in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. He has presented across the United States and three countries on suicide prevention, including to the Minister of Education for Madrid, Spain.

Lead production team

Anne Brown, Executive Producer

President and CEO of the Cook Center for Human Connection, Anne Brown brings a unique blend of education, corporate, and non-profit leadership to solving the crisis of suicide. Her decades of experience as a public school teacher and an Ed Tech executive offers a wealth of talents and abilities to her role. However, more important than the skills Anne offers, it is her early life that gives her a heart for this work. With a father who suffered from alcoholism and bipolar disorder and a grandfather who died by suicide, Anne understands first-hand how mental illness and suicide not only affects the person suffering, but all of those around them.

Jonas Brandão, Co-Executive Producer

Jonas Brandão is an animator, producer, director, writer, and co-owner of Split Studio, the animation studio base in São Paulo, Brazil, that Wonder Media has partnered with to produce the My Life is Worth Living series. Jonas has been working in animation since 2007 and has worked on hundreds of projects. Most recently, he co-produced the Are You Okay? short film with Wonder Media. As a producer, Jonas has been involved in several international productions including Rick and Morty, the Hello Kitty and Friends Supercute Adventures, and the Tito and the Birds feature film, which was a 2019 Oscar Pre-Nominee and Annie Awards Nominee.

Gabe Alvarado, Co-Executive Producer

Gabe Alvarado’s work with Wonder Media laid the foundation for My Life is Worth Living. Gabe’s passion for teen suicide prevention began with a life-threatening workplace accident that left him with severe burns all over his body. As he healed physically from his injuries, he realized the amount of mental healing that is required for those facing trauma. Soon, he gran a mission to help teens who were experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts learn positive coping skills. His story of trauma and recovery was used as inspiration for the My Life is Worth Living character Danny.

Amanda Carson, Creative Director and Series Producer

For the past seven years, Amanda Carson has developed and produced a diverse slate of animated series for Wonder Media including episodes for the Global Institute of Habits of Mind, the Hero in You Foundation, Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, and the Cook Center for Human Connection. Amanda’s experience producing complex stories for children and teens alongside experts in emergency preparedness, abuse, and suicide prevention has solidified her mission to help foster deeper communication in times of crisis. Amanda’s background in childhood education and the arts has kept her regularly involved in projects that seek to creatively and authentically affect change.

Mark Baldo, Supervising Director

Mark Baldo joins the Wonder Media team having just directed Rock Dog 2: Rock Around the Park for Lionsgate Entertainment. Best known for his animation direction of Scrat in the original Ice Age (Blue Sky Studios), Mr. Baldo has developed, directed, and produced animated movies and television series for Disney, DreamWorks, Technicolor, Mattel, and LEGO. As a strong believer in the power of animation to entertain, as well as educate, Mark is utilizing his vast animation experience to lead the Wonder Media team in creating compelling narratives for teens that provide messages of hope in My Life is Worth Living.

Jordan Gibler, Head writer

Jordan Gibler is an LA-based screenwriter and producer with an extensive background developing socially-conscious web series for properties including the Global Institute for Habits of Mind, the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, and the Cook Center for Human Connection. Jordan’s experience writing engaging stories for children and teens has helped elevate the vital social initiatives that Wonder Media pursues. With viewership in the hundreds of millions, these unique series give young people access to meaningful, relevant, and representative stories and the hard-to-talk-about situations that are prevalent in homes but rarely depicted in traditional media.

Michelle Cahn, Associate Producer

Michelle Cahn is an LA-based producer. She has worked with Wonder Media since 2017, most recently as an associate producer on the short film Are You Okay? for the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation’s Fight Child Abuse initiative. She is dedicated to Wonder Media’s mission to reach youth in crisis through the unifying medium of animation and is proud to be working on My Life is Worth Living alongside the Cook Center for Human Connection.

Edino Israel, Art Director and Character Designer

For the last 19 years, Edino has worked in pre-production, storyboard, concept art, and character design. Most notably, Edino worked with Cartoon Network and Disney, and on such projects as the Luke Luke Movie and Metegol the Movie by Oscar Award Winner Juan Jose Campanella (2010), as well as other original animated projects created by him and sold to Disney, Nat Geo Kids, and Anima Estudios. Recently he participated in Are You Okay? the animated short film project of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation produced in collaboration with Wonder Media and the Joshua Center at the University of Washington. Edino loves to create visual storytelling with a meaningful message.

Alexander Taylor, Composer

Alexander Taylor is a music composer living and working in Los Angeles. Having worked with Wonder Media for nearly a decade, he is a seasoned music composer in the world of children’s animation and during the past five years has excelled at creating beautiful musical scores for Wonder Media’s animated stories targeted to teens. Also known for his works in horror, Alexander’s versatility is matched only by his passion for the craft of film music.

Zoë Prescott, Backgrounds and Prop Designer

Zoë Prescott is an artist from Rhode Island. She studied animation at Emerson College in Boston, and now lives in California with her partner and two cats, Button and Cotton. Zoë has worked on several projects at Wonder Media as a story board artist, prop designer, and background designer. She is thrilled to be involved in projects she feels so passionate about. She also creates comics and illustrations on her own, focusing on small fantasy scenes or conversations with friends. In her free time, Zoë enjoys video games, embroidery, and listening to horror stories, as well as telling her cats they are soft.

Adam Campbell, Storyboard Supervisor

Adam, the son of a Lebanese immigrant, grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from CSUN in 2014 with a degree in Art and Design. From an early age he showed interest in drawing and sculpting. While studying journalism in college, Adam decided to make a switch and finish his undergraduate with a degree in art. He figured “why not get paid to draw things?” and now he does. As a storyboard artist, Adam has boarded over a dozen episodes of the Fight Child Abuse animated series as well as the Rocket Rules for Safety series. Most recently Adam has worked on the short film Are You Okay? and the suicide prevention series My Life is Worth Living. Adam loves being a part of a strong team of talented and hard-working people. He believes in collective power and the ability of a team to achieve any goal.

Alex Trugman, Sound Designer

Alex Trugman is a sound designer and composer from Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and has since worked on a variety of projects, most recently as a composer on the musical short film Paillette (Dir. Gabi Goyette), for which he won Best Score at the Vancouver International Film Awards and Paris Film Festival. He has enjoyed working with the team at Wonder Media on a project with such an important message for today’s youth and those struggling with their mental health.

James Keller, Editor

James Keller went to Emerson College for Film Production. For the past eight years James has worked as a CGI puppet animator, an editor, a motion graphics artist and at times as a voice actor on an impressive slate of animated projects for Wonder Media including episodes for the Global Institute for Habits of Mind, the Hero in You Foundation, Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, and the Cook Center for Human Connection. When he’s not at Wonder Media, James enjoys writing, gardening, and spending time with his friends. He enjoys deep conversation and exploring the power of imagination. He believes in the power of mindfulness and mental health awareness.

Jesse Weiss, Editor

Jesse is an editor, motion designer, cinematographer, and photographer. He has worked in television for three years. Jesse graduated from CU Boulder with a BA in Cinema Production, and a Global Business minor. He grew up in Colorado, but a lot of his childhood was spent in France. Jesse speaks fluent Spanish and some French. He loves traveling, cinema, drawing, painting, and anything outside.