Be brave. Be kind. Be free.

our team


ephraim mattos


Ephraim Mattos, Milwaukee, WI

Ephraim Mattos is an entrepreneur, writer, humanitarian, and former U.S. Navy SEAL splitting his time between Milwaukee, WI and Los Angeles, CA.  He is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fireside Journal.

Ephraim served for 6 years in the U.S. Military as a Navy SEAL, serving throughout the Middle East and South East Asia.

In 2017, after leaving the military, he founded The Fireside Journal to document frontline humanitarian work.

His humanitarian work with the Free Burma Rangers in Mosul, Iraq gained worldwide attention after a rescue mission of an Iraqi girl from ISIS went viral on the internet and on mainstream media.  Ephraim was shot during the successful mission, but made a full recovery.

He is working 0n a book about his experiences in Iraq with Scott McEwen, the No.1 New York Times Best-Selling Co-Author of American Sniper.


benton bohannon


Benton Bohannon, Citizen of the World

He is a traveler, a health enthusiast and spiritual pursuer. He usually has his foot in his mouth, tongue in his cheek, heart on his sleeve and his head in the clouds. 

He makes TV for a living and is good at it, his references love working with him and he is  partly responsible for shows like "Shahs of Sunset" and "Summer House" On Bravo or the “Kardashian" spinoffs on E! 

He's good with people and luckily for him - he’s fascinated by all of them. Stories are what do it for Benton - everyones got one, and he's always curious to know more. 

He grew up in the movies amongst a backdrop of finance and higher learning and he has beaten his own path from the Upper East Side.

With the ever increasing distance between him and his youth a fearless optimism and excitement for life remain. 

Benton is  a humble producer with a career on the rise he is excited to sink his teeth into his own projects, with hard work and persistence he believes there is no failure.


Michael Humphrey


Michael Humphrey,  Dana Point, California

Michael Humphrey is an artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and business owner with residences in Orange County CA and Indianapolis, IN.

He attended Ball State University on full athletic scholarship where he studied Art and Architecture and played 5 years as a member of the Cardinal football team. He is an accomplished visual communicator having started his career working on branding for the Indianapolis 500.

He founded MH Creative which specialized in branding, messaging, and illustration for architects, builders, and developers regionally and nationally.  MH Creative evolved into what is now CloudNine, a branding and advertising firm based in Dana Point, CA, serving a wide variety of clients in corporate and entertainment America.  Humphrey brings his unique insight and multiple skill sets to TFJ's production of Two Worlds: A Human Experience as Director of Cinematography, offering what will be an eclectic and visually dynamic feel to the production. 


Derek Spahr

Derek Pyramids.jpg

Derek Spahr, Orlando, FL

Derek Spahr is an Engineering student, humanitarian, adventure traveler, and audio specialist based in Orlando, FL. 

Derek has a passion for going to the furthest reached places on earth and offering a helping hand to those in need. In the last four years he has been to 50 countries and 6 continents, circumnavigating the globe twice. 

Aside from his world travels and humanitarian efforts, Derek has been attending Valencia College, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Audio Engineering. He is currently certified in Audio/Visual Production and has worked on a number of local projects with professional and up and coming artists in the Orlando metropolitan area. 

With his expertise in audio, artistic eye, and familiarity with foreign places and different cultures, Derek brings a unique perspective and skillset to The Fireside Journal.