Ian Rosenberger


Ian Rosenberger founded both Team Tassy and Thread in 2010 in the wake of the Port-au-
Prince earthquake. Team Tassy’s mission is to unleash the inherent power in every
person to end global poverty. Thread takes trash from poor neighborhoods and turns it
into jobs and useful stuff people love. They work together under the same core
philosophy: the biggest problem we face as a species is multidimensional poverty;
ending it is entirely possible in our lifetime; and to do this, we need to invest in the poor
to create as many dignified, sustainable jobs as we possibly can. To date, Team Tassy
has engaged almost 50 Haitians, preparing them and their families for employment.
Thread has processed almost 250,000 lbs of recycled plastic, which will eventually be
converted into fabric and turned into finished goods and jobs for Team Tassy families.

Ian came to his work with the poor upside down and sideways, previously having
travelled all over the world producing and hosting media and programming seen on
MTV, FC Fox, The Women’s Entertainment Network, and the BBC. Thread and Team
Tassy are not his first ventures, having started an adventure television and film
production company called Untapped Content on the mean streets of New York City. He
has previously been employed as an outdoor adventure group dynamics facilitator,
EMT, street performer at Walt Disney World, and briefly, a dolphin-assisted therapist at
a facility for children with disabilities. Ian has been SCUBA certified and has two jumps
in his skydive logbook. He spent a lot of his 20s traveling Alaska, the Caribbean, Africa,
and the South Pacific, always trying to find what he was “supposed” to do. In 2006, he
ran his first 56k marathon in Cape Town, South Africa to raise awareness for Grassroot
Soccer, a global AIDS education organization founded by a friend. After several weeks
traveling Africa and participating in the Grassroot program, life was never quite the
same. When the 2010 Haiti earthquake happened and he subsequently met Tassy Filsaime,
who had survived the earthquake, but was dying of an operable tumor on his face
because of where and when he’d been born, he learned it isn’t what you do that counts
at all. It’s the impact you have that matters. Working with the poor will be his life’s work.

Prior to his professional career, Ian attended Penn State University, where he was
elected as the university’s Undergraduate Student Government President. He is a
member of both the Lion’s Paw and Parmi Nous Senior Honor Societies, and is an Eagle Scout. He has spoken about Thread and Team Tassy for TEDx and as a panelist at One Young World, and this year, was recognized as one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 Under 40”. He is also a University of Pittsburgh 2013 Johnson Institute Emerging Leader Awardee. He placed 3rd on CBS: Survivor Palau and has since gotten the chance to talk thousands of people all over the country about his experiences on the show and in the
developing world.

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