Jennifer Brandel is the CEO and Co-founder of Hearken. She began her career in journalism reporting for outlets including NPR, CBC, WBEZ, The New York Times and Vice, picking up awards along the way. In 2012 Brandel founded the groundbreaking audience-first series, WBEZ's Curious City, and is spreading this public-powered journalism model around the world via Hearken. Her company participated in the Matter VC accelerator in San Francisco and took home the prize for "Best Bootstrap Company" at SXSW in 2016. That same year, Brandel was awarded the Media Changemaker Prize by the Center for Collaborative Journalism.