The following individuals serve as consulting members of the Burning Man Senior Staff:
Ada Lee Chester
Operations Manager, DPW
On a hot summer afternoon, while traveling through New Orleans, Ada made surprise discovery in a brochure tossed on a friend's coffee table: Burning Man. Two weeks later, Ada assembled a crew from Austin, Texas, and arrived in the desert on a hell-bent mission to volunteer for three months at DPW. Years later, Ada now splits her year living between San Francisco and Gerlach, working full time for Burning Man in DPW.
As Operations Manager of DPW, Ada oversees DPW business management, including purchasing, receiving, human resources, accounting, volunteerism, the Gerlach offices, and other behind-the-scenes support. Ada's background is in purchasing, event coordination, and bronze casting.
Law Enforcement and Agency Liaison (LEAL) Team Manager
Duane Hoover (aka Big Bear; that's him on the right in this picture taken during the on playa radio show 'Boris and the Bear') serves as the Team Manager for the LEAL Team. This group, charged with the role of being Burning Man's primary Law Enforcement and Agency Liaison, affords an opportunity for Duane to apply his experience as an organizational consultant and Professor of Management. This experience, combined with five years in the role of Ranger Director (Rangering since 1997), has allowed Duane to not only become familiar with many of the primary Law Enforcement and Agency personnel, but also to develop positive, long term working relationships with them.
As a member of the Burning Man Senior Staff, Duane directs his efforts towards assisting Burning Man in reaching its various goals, as well as acting as an interface between Burning Man and those various entities that have regulatory responsibility over our beloved annual gathering. When asked what his experience is like on playa, he says "It is a non stop process involving riding the edge of chaos, done under often frustrating conditions, using a set of tools and a time frame ill suited to the purpose." Duane also reports that he gets to go to a lot of meetings on the playa, a place he first approached in 1996 as a break to get away from meetings. On this topic, the quote is "But going to meetings on behalf of Burning Man and the citizens of Black Rock City is not burdensome work in the traditional sense of the word. Rather, it is an act reflecting both a love of the Burning Man community of kindred spirits and a devotion to what Burning Man has become and will evolve to be. Facilitating successful and desirable outcomes in that context is so joyous that doing it does not feel like 'work' at all."
Duane, over the years, has been a college professor, owned a beer distributorship, managed his consulting company, formed his own auto race team, owned and managed radio stations, and even acted as a Morning Show air personality. He spends what spare time he has reading Burning Man e-mails, and working on a book on motivation, leadership, and management.
LadyBee, aka Christine Kristen, deals with all things visual and aesthetic, including managing the theme art and the grant program, photo-editing the Image Gallery, writing art content for burningman.com, working with the Artery and Image volunteers, managing the Archives and lecturing and writing about the art of Burning Man.
After earning an MFA in sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago, she spent four years in Africa and Jamaica as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching art and working with woodcarvers. Always interested in popular culture, she began photographing hand-painted signs while hitchhiking across West Africa, and later published articles and lectured about them. She has also written several articles about visual culture in Jamaica. After struggling as a sculptor in New York for a decade she moved to San Francisco and started a jewelry business. In 1995 she found Burning Man, and proceeded to get deeply involved in the community, performing in the Court of Gaia at Mysteria (1997), creating the Shrine of the Dessicated Rats (Burning Man 1997 and 1999) and throwing the Ageing Hipsters Cocktail Party (Burning Man 1998). After helping to curate the first Art of Burning Man exhibit at the SF Arts Commission Gallery in 1998, she realized that she found greater satisfaction in curating art than in making it, and started her work at Burning Man. As a former sculptor and painter, she has an empathy with artists that serves her well in this work. She is known for her outgoing nature, her wit and style, her devotion to the arts, her photographs and her amusing costumes.
Mark "Bucky" Evan Oliver II
Bucky has been operating incognito at Burning Man for going on his 7th year. After being invited to volunteer at the mysterious northern Nevada festival back in 1998 by a previous Gate Leader and his "real world" foreman, Bucky finds himself bringing his crew back year after year to save the day when conditions take a turn for the worst, ensuring that everyone who enters Black Rock City is entitled to be there.
Growing up in a meager agricultural community in the middle of California, Bucky knew that the small-town was not for him, and quickly moved at the age of 18, to the the East Bay, where he now lives in Oakland. When he's not wrangling the Gate/Perimeter staff, Bucky is a Journeyman Electrician with IBEW Local 595. With what little spare time he has, he enjoys spending time in the Studio playing guitar, Long-Range Shooting, and building strange contraptions, the latest of which is a Bathtub-on-wheels.
Rob has been acting as Burning Man's Director of Technology since November of 2001. Before that he was the coordinator for the Systems Administration and the Extranet Teams. He started volunteering for the organization immediately after he first attended the event all the way back in the year 2000, and has contributed greatly to the growth of the organization's technological infrastructure since that time. He has been known to call himself a software engineer, a systems and network administrator, a daddy, a lyricist, a modern dancer, a minister, a word freak, a musician, a tarot reader, a metaprogrammer, and a burner. Other people have been known to call him, well, other things.
DPW Site Manager
The Coyote or Tony Perez has been coming to the Northern Nevada desert from San Francisco to work on Burning Man since 1996 and embraced the project by setting the spires on the promenade. Coming from a background of music, entertainment, and the night side, it was easy for him to take to the expressive nature of the event and after six years, he's now the Site Manager and a Sr. Staff Consultant. This job encompasses the building and striking of Black Rock City and the management of the crews there in, and puts him out on site in the field doing the actual hands on work with his crew for a nine-week duration. During the rest of the year he sings and plays the saxophone in his own band called "Second Hand Smoke" and does some casual bartending in a neighborhood bar in San Francisco. Though his roots are in the city, the call of the high desert brings him back every year as well as the satisfaction of bringing the magnificence of Black Rock City to fruition... unless the surf's up.