About Jesse

I was lucky enough to have a computer in my house from a young age. It was an old IBM that my mother used for work, but for me it unlocked a whole new world. I spent all my free time learning to code using books I found at the library. I still remember the first day we got internet at our house. I was never the same after that.

I’ve always been creative, thankfully my family put an emphasis on creative outlets, but never thought of it as a potential career. I wanted to make games, but I struggled at math, so I figured that wasn’t what I was meant to do. In college I majored in commercial photography. Which forced me to take a few graphic design courses. I was hooked. I started focusing my time on digital and interactive design.

My first proper design role at an agency was as an interactive designer. Which is a fancy way to say that I designed and developed Flash ads for clients. You can thank me for a lot of those annoying flash ads that followed you around on the internet. From there I moved on to lead design roles, and eventually art director. Over the years I’ve started more companies than I can count. Most have failed, some I’ve sold, and one that is still thriving and growing.

Glean is a creative agency I founded in 2010 to help nonprofits with their marketing and creative needs.

Glean now is a thriving consultancy, with offices in the United States and South East Asia. I’ve been blessed to work with amazing organizations that are trying to solve the world’s biggest problems. The World Bank, DAI, Oxfam, Splash, FHI360, and Hagar International are a few organizations I get to call partners.

Technology, Culture, and Innovation

It’s the intersection of technology and culture that gets me excited about the future. I’m passionate about finding ways that technology can help change people’s lives. It’s this passion for people and technology that led me to a program manager role at DAI, on their USAID project: Development Innovations.

I now focus on technology research and design for agencies based in South East Asia. I am also serving as the Innovation and Technology Advisor for Alongsiders International, working to design and implement technology within a grassroots movement across 16 countries. I’m excited about the future of technology in developing countries and how we can use it to make people’s lives better.

I’m still a hacker and builder of things. I’ve built a few iOS apps (app store link) and I have plans to build a few more apps over the next couple of years.

My Family

But more importantly than all of that, is my family. I met my wife Breanne after she went on a date with my best friend. I stole her away, married her, and we’ve been on this crazy adventure ever since. Our passion is to help, to serve, and love people.

We have two children: Eden and Rhys who keep us busy and make life fun and crazy!

Other Projects

I write on a few different topics around the internet: User First Design, ICT thoughts, design, development, and online marketing. I also run the User First podcast, as well as speak at a number of events throughout the year. If you want me to speak at your event, you can email me. I’m not a developer for hire currently, but Glean would be happy to help you out.

I’m on Facebook only because it’s a must in Cambodia, but I love TwitterWhen I have time to design, I post my work on Dribbble. I’m always interested in talking about startups.

Jesse Orndorff

The founder of Glean, an agency for change. Formerly Innovation Program Manager at DAI. He's now focused on building technology and startups that work on challenging issues and doing social good.

Get in touch

I'd love to connect over social media. Feel free to Facebook, tweet, or snap at me.

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