The Humble Warrior Group is a collective of local activists who  inspire the community to create powerful social change. 
THE IMAGINE FEST TEAM

NATALIE BACKMAN

Founder and Executive Producer

I am a yoga teacher, and the Founder of Imagine Fest.  Originally from Washington State, I have called Los Angeles home for nearly seven years and have been teaching yoga for five of them.  I am currently a 500-hour Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher of the Himalayan Tradition and I am working toward certification in ParaYoga with Rod Stryker.  I teach weekly at Agoura Power of Yoga as well as Horizons Senior Center, MUSE School and for several private clients.  I also partner with my dear teacher, Tracee Stanley, in offering the Sankalpa Shakti 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training.

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I was introduced to Unlikely Heroes through an article in LA Yoga Magazine three years ago.  I tore the article out, sensing its significance.  I felt a firm resolve to do something to bring hope, love and light to those in need.  With experience in event planning and a passion for both yoga and music, I approached Unlikely Heroes with the offer to produce a yoga and music themed event with all proceeds benefitting them.  Imagine Fest was born.  I, along with the entire Imagine Fest family, donate my time and energy to offer healing and empowerment to our local community, as well as an opportunity to be the change we wish to see.

www.NatalieBackmanYoga.com

KIM KOCH

Event Co-Producer

My name is Kim and I am a co-producer of Imagine Fest. I have worked beside Natalie for the past four years to put on this incredible festival. My two daughters, Cassidy and Sheridan, also are a part of Imagine and are members of the Young Leaders Council. I am originally from New York and by having a theater background, working with something as special as this festival has been an incredible experience.

These past four years working on Imagine, I have learned a lot about life. It taught me to imagine a world where our hearts are filled with love,  to live with kindness, patience, and tolerance.  I imagine for all of us to live in peace as equals, and inspire others to believe. I achieve this by working with Natalie on Imagine Fest and I look forward to the years to come. 

KIYOMI KOWALSKI

Guest Experience Producer

Kiyomi Kowalski is a mom, a Marine and she is out in our community making a difference. Kiyomi is passionate about public service. She earned a Bachelor's degree in political science from the California State University of Northridge and a Juris Doctorate with a Public Service Distinction from Southwestern Law School. Currently, Kiyomi serves as the community coordinator on the Board of Jewish Education at Valley Outreach Synagogue (“VOS”) in Calabasas and she is a board member of LAW Project of Los Angeles, a non-profit organization that advocates for system-involved youth and families. She is also the former co-President of the San Fernando Valley chapter of Mocha Moms, Inc., a national organization, where she helps organize local events and meetings about issues that impact mothers of color. Kiyomi learned about Unlikely Heroes while she was a candidate for a seat on the Las Virgenes school board in 2018. Although she did not win the seat, she was successful in broadening the conversation around diversity and inclusion in our local community. 

HELENE SCHERER

Silent Auction Producer

My name is Helene Scherer. I have true passion for helping people, fostering growth, and empowering others to create a "win-win" for humanity.  I have been a day camp counselor, elementary school teacher, and I currently teach yoga and other group fitness classes. Some people have said to me, “I’m not good at yoga” so they don’t show up to their mats, they choose to find an excuse to not “show-up.” I explain to them, it’s not about how flexible or physically strong you are, it’s about an intention to make a difference in your own being. “Showing up” is the WIN.  Work, dedication, and persistence facilitate the end results.
It’s the same working with Imagine Fest family.  I met Natalie working on Rock It To The Core for Unlikely Heroes, from there Imagine Fest was born. I have continued my journey with Natalie, a heroic, funny, passionate, loving and strong leader, who has paved an amazing pathway for us and so many young leaders to continue with the revolution of change in the world of sex trafficking.

Working with the Imagine Fest family and all the Young Leaders Council has lit up my world. The purpose driven enthusiasm of the Young Leaders makes my personal journey that much more meaningful.  We are a group of people choosing to “show up” and create change in the world.  I love being apart of this dynamic and inspirational team!

TIANNA WINTERS

Social Media

Tianna Winters is a working journalist and social media consultant. 

Tianna specializes in the power of engagement for brands when it comes to their social media campaigns.

With over eight years of experience in marketing on digital platforms, Tianna is helping us harness the power of social media for good. She will be working closely with creative and bringing new ideas to help us reach a larger audience. 

“I love telling stories,” Tianna said. “Journalism provided me with the skills needed to tell a story and connect with the audience. Social media has taught me empathy and how to connect in a way that makes others want to listen. I’ve always wanted to be apart of something that mattered and am so grateful for the opportunity to do just that.”

MICHAEL BLEAU

Consulting Producer

Michael has been involved with Imagine as a volunteer producer since its inception. As Co-founder and CEO of Event Hub, an industry leading live event management platform and sponsorship marketplace, Michael works with hundreds of festivals nationwide and lends his expertise to festival operations and sponsorship. Prior to Event Hub Michael managed major brand sponsorships at live events for over a decade, and also had a stint in the film industry working in finance at Lionsgate Entertainment. He is passionate about the work of Unlikely Heroes and is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to their organization by helping our festival. His favorite yoga style is vinyasa, and his favorite pose is the tree (Vrksasana).

DOMINIQUE PALOMBO

Photographer, Videographer

Thoughts on the work
Human bodies in movement… expressive faces… that’s my thing. 
I absolutely love good movement. I’m entranced by it. But… bodies in motion are just part of the equation, it’s the expressive nature of faces that really complete the story. It’s fair to say that I’m a little obsessed with the subtle nuances of body attitudes, gestures, and expressions. I’m in my element composing a powerful, graphic still image as a photographer, or capturing and assembling kinetic sequences in motion as a director. Locations… I’m into that too. Hunting for the perfect spot, and looking for the exact compositional angle for maximum impact, is also my thing. For me, a casting or an audition is like being a kid in a candy store, there is nothing better than finding just the right talent. Ok, I love good lighting too, that’s my thing too. Nothing else really, that’s all I do well. But don’t just take my word for it, hopefully all this comes through when you look at my work. Worked for a number of years in New York and subsequently Paris, I've recently returned back to Los Angeles, where I’m now based.
www.DominiquePalombo.com

JAN EVANS

Design

A classically trained artist, Jan Evans finds beauty in everything from the simple activities of daily life to the snow covered peaks of New Zealand. When Jan was a child, her family was constantly moving. Her parents insisted that the next destination would be the “perfect place.” Growing up as a sort of nomad imbued Jan with a travel bug. After college at Art Center, Jan traveled around and ultimately settled in Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and near her two adult children. Jan built a career as an illustrator and graphic designer. Her projects range from wine labels to movie posters and everything in between. Jan remains active in her community of painters and wherever you find her, she will have paper and paints nearby. The Unlikely Heroes cause is dear to Jan because she has encountered women and children in her travels who have been victimized, and she has seen firsthand the irreversible damage it causes. By contributing her design skills and artistic eye, Jan hopes that her visual support will help make their plight known to the public and contribute to the success of Imagine Fest and Unlikely Heroes. 

When she is not working, you can find Jan in the Santa Monica Mountains hiking, painting, or perhaps just admiring the wildflowers. JanEvansStudio.com