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 AukenResearcher, Writer
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 specializes in working with communities, galvanizing individuals to contribute their memories, photographs, and artifacts to develop legacy projects.
Lance Van Auken
Lance Van AukenResearcher, Writer
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 AndersonResearcher, Writer
Tonya Anderson is a writer, sacred therapist, and inspirational speaker. A clinical mental health counselor, she has vast experience with veterans, politicians, law enforcement officers, and victims of trauma. The author of “One More Day,” a memoir of overcoming suicidal ideations and renewing joy, she spoke about the future of 21st Century Communities at the 2019 TEDx Williamsport.
Sarah Vandenberg
Sarah VandenbergEditor, Consultant
With a background in analytics, web development, and communications, Sarah helps you find the most efficient and engaging way to tell your story and inspire your supporters. A digital nomad based in Miami, she funds her travels by helping startups and NGOs with their business development and digital marketing strategies. She owns Frayed Passport, a site with stories by travelers, for travelers.