Who We Are


Hands-on Heritage is a professional communications team headed by Robin Van Auken. Robin is an author, an educator, and a registered professional archaeologist, a skillset she uses every day as a heritage specialist. The Hands-on Heritage team is unique for embedding itself within communities, developing relationships with citizens, and finding the unheard voices, the unseen images.

Robin Van Auken
Robin Van AukenCEO
Robin is the founder of Hands-on Heritage. She has extensive experience as a researcher, a writer, an educator, and a registered professional archaeologist – a skillset she uses every day as a cultural communication specialist. She works with communities, galvanizing individuals to contribute their memories, photographs, and artifacts to develop legacy projects.
Lance Van Auken
Lance Van AukenConsultant
Lance enjoys directing museum renovation projects, from architectural and construction aspects to selection of graphics and artifact mounting. He served as a Vice President for Little League Baseball and the liaison for Little League International to The White House and President George W. Bush’s Tee Ball on the South Lawn initiative. Lance served for 12 years in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Tonya Anderson
Tonya AndersonConsultant
Tonya Anderson is a researcher, writer, therapist, and public speaker. A clinical mental health counselor (MS, CMHC), she has vast experience working with veterans, politicians, law enforcement officers, and victims of trauma through her private practice. She provides inspirational presentations for colleges, universities, professional organizations, and businesses, and is a TEDx speaker.