Our Team

Aaron Mandel – Founder



Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the former editor and publisher of the Clarion Content, a multimedia and consulting company. For more than five years, the Clarion Content’s media arm, under Mandel’s direction, has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content’s consulting arm represents a bevy of artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs; from classically trained painters and sculptors to hip-hop MCs, from professors and consultants to inventors.

Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer, produced numerous art shows, and was recently a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference held in Durham, NC. He was also the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league, this summer. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana and Baja California, Mexico.



Javier Sandoval – Vice President



Javier Sandoval is a teenage entrepreneur who now teaches entrepreneurship at Brown University.

Hired as an office assistant during The Clarion Content’s startup stage, Sandoval went beyond and was promoted to vice president and given part ownership in early 2012. Sandoval is now responsible for managing team members and client accounts, improving the company’s efficiency, and growing the clientele base.

​With The Clarion Content, Sandoval has consulted, marketed for, and/or promoted  TriClean, Runaway Clothes, Alchemy Dimensional Products, Vaguely Reminiscent, LiLa, Mark Coffman, Sustain-a-Bull, and many more.


Justin Laidlaw – Columnist, Podcast Co-Host


Columnist, Justin Laidlaw, aka Buddy Ruski, is a renaissance man. Born and raised here in Watts-Hillandale, Durham, his interests range from the music business to politics, from Durham’s history and culture, to the world beyond. He is an avid hoops fan and self-proclaimed “Steph Curry of the YMCA.” The co-host of the Clarion Content’s podcast, he is fast becoming a veteran columnist.

He is a fashion model and marketing associate with Runaway Clothes, creative consultant for Hip-Hop producer Funkleberry, collaborator with Durty Durham Arts Collective, and more.

“…style not only reveals the spirit of the man but reveals his identity, as surely as would his fingerprints.”

– E. B. White


Thaddeus Hunt – Technology Director

Tad Hunt

Personal Website: ThaddeusHunt.com
Business Website: ConduitDesigns.com

Tad is a freelance writer and web designer based out of the heart downtown Durham, NC.

He’s been writing since he figured out to pick up crayons as a child and he’s been creating things with ones and zeroes since the 90’s. He uploaded his first website over a blazingly fast 56k modem in rural New England where he was born and raised.