GGJ Says Farewell to Founders, Welcomes New Board Members

The Global Game Jam, Inc® announced on 1 April its annual board changes, as the original founders, Susan Gold and Gorm Lai, as well as high profile board members, Justin Berenbaum and Alexander Fernandez, say goodbye to welcome four new board members: Carl Callewaert, Shelley Miles, Kevin Miklasz and Lenore Gilbert.

"I think that GGJ is the best of me as an educator and game designer, but also as an organizer and activist. I’m so excited that I was able to see us grow from an idea to a movement, a true global collaboration,” said Susan Gold. “I am leaving the organization in great hands with great staff and an amazing new board. It’s really been an honor to serve the game development and education community." “

It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to work so closely with Gorm, Susan, Justin and Alexander on Global Game Jam initiatives since I joined the organization last year,” said Kate Edwards, Executive Director of Global Game Jam, Inc. “While we say goodbye to these video game industry luminaries, we are excited about the direction in which they are each heading from here. We will remain united in our ongoing goal to empower individuals around the world to learn how to create games and introduce them to what could become a potential lifelong career. Meanwhile, I’m very excited to welcome our new board members and look forward to their contributions.”

"It has been an honor to have been part of what has truly become a global movement. Along with the growth of cheap and accessible game engines and opening up of digital marketplaces, the Global Game Jam and the game jam movement has played a core role in the expansion and growing diversity in the games industry in the last 10-15 years,” said Gorm Lai. “I am excited to see where Kate, Jo, Joseph and the rest of the team will take GGJ in the future.”

As of 1 April 2020, the existing board members Joseph Olin, Houssem Ben Amor, Foaad Khosmood (another GGJ founder), and Ashley Brown will be joined by a great selection of seasoned industry leaders who bring a great breadth of knowledge and experience to the GGJ. Say hello to the next generation of Global Game Jam board directors:

Carl Callewaert

Carl has over 20 years of experience in 3D production and has spent much of that time developing outreach programs to inspire and educate creators all around the world. At Unity Technologies, he is committed to improving adoption and retention cycles for technical users across all markets by combining delightful engagement with organic evangelism. Before joining Unity in 2011, Carl held positions at the Canadian Space Agency, Motion Capture Studios, and Autodesk Education. He has also helped produce many AAA titles, indie games, and industrial applications.

Lenore Gilbert

Lenore Gilbert is a trans-feminine game developer, engineer, and activist. She currently serves as the CEO of Phoenix-based game developer Rainbow Studios. Lenore has worked professionally in games for over 17 years, on franchises including MX vs ATV, Planetside, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Hitman.

Kevin Miklasz

Kevin Miklasz has worked in and around the fields of game design and education for the last 10 years. As a trained scientist, he has a PhD in Biology from Stanford University, but has spent his time gaining a smattering of diverse experiences in education: designing science curriculum, teaching after-school science programs, designing science games, running a science and cooking blog, running game jams for kids, and running professional development for teachers and professional engineers. He is currently the VP of Data and Prototyping at BrainPOP, where he leads the data team and coordinates prototyping work on new products.

Shelley Miles

Shelley has spent over 30 years leading the growth and development of entertainment and technology businesses including at the Walt Disney Company, where she started the interactive game business and managed the Recorded Music and Music Publishing businesses. She is currently Executive Director of the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship whose programs include Million Stories Media and Venture Valley Game. Shelley was one of the founders of the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House, and has served on the boards of nonprofits including the National Children’s Chorus and the Ronald McDonald House Southern California. Shelley is a USC alumna and California CPA.