Judges and sponsors

The game mentors and judges for our event at Gameway 2015 are Doug Chadwick, Eric Elder, Todd Goldman, Brandon Hegland, Andy Nicholas, Ben Ritter, and Rich Sommer. Our sponsor is Strategicon/Gateway 2015.

Doug Chadwick
Husband, Father, Avid Gamer

Always willing to to lend a hand or give advice to designers.  Doug has been in the Game industry since opening up a game store in Kenosha Wisconsin in 1995.

Co-founder of 42 Games, makers  of Orbit Rocket Race 5000, Spell Chess and more to come soon.  Both of those games were Kickstarted.  Doug's team placed second in the first LA Board Game Jam.

Doug also is Executive Director and co-founder of The Literacy Club, which creates Little Free Libraries placed in Community Centers and Police Stations and provides free books to children and adults.  His charity has built 36 large libraries some holding 1000 books!

If you need some advice and he doesn't know it he can usually help get you to the right person, whether it is design or manufacturing, or even Kickstarter.

Eric T. Elder
Founder OW! (Online Worlds) Entertainment

Eric T Elder has been a passionate lover of games since childhood.  He was one of the first kids on his block to get an Atari 2600 in 1977 and has been hooked ever since.

With a background in animation he worked at MTV Animation on the Beavis and Butt-Head feature and moved to Los Angeles in 1997 to work at Film Roman on King of the Hill and the Simpsons.

It was during this time he discovered Boardgame Geek.com and the world of Euro or German style board games.  Starting with Puerto Rico and Settlers he quickly became immersed.

In 2002 he founded the Game Art & Design program at the Art Institute of California - Los Angeles in Santa Monica.  One of the first of it's kind in the world he led the program to be the most successful in the AI system and won international awards.

He managed the program for 8 years and during that time had a 90% placement rate in the industry.  His graduates went on to become Environment Artists, Modelers, Game Designers and more at companies like Blizzard, Activision, EA, and Sony to name a few and work on games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, God of War, Guitar Hero, Bioshock Infinite, Transformers and many more.

Currently Eric is working full time with his company OW! Entertainment to develop virtual reality games and experiences for movie and TV licenses.  He has also started up a new game, animation and VR studio workshop called Black Magic Studios where he offers career coaching and project consulting.

Todd Goldman
Financial Life Advisor & O.G. (Original Gamer)

Todd Goldman has been steeped in the tabletop gaming hobby since before it was socially acceptable and no one but your closest friends ever knew you played D&D. One of the lucky few to attend Dungeons and Dragons Summer Camp at Shippensburg University from 1982-1985, Todd Goldman went on to work for Games Workshop U.S. during his college years where he demoed countless sessions of Talisman, Chaos Marauders, and Warrior Knights when not working in their main warehouse.

Since 2006, Todd has been most involved with modern board games. A huge evangelist for the hobby, he can be found spouting the merits of playing games to curious (and sometimes random) people all across the Westside of LA and the San Fernando Valley.

By day, Todd is a Certified Financial Planner and Financial Life Manager, providing guidance to individuals and families in the Media and Technology industries.

Brandon Hegland

Brandon Hegland is an avid gamer who works as a designer in the social casino gaming industry. His job on the product team is to help invent new features and to design the user interface for the world's largest online Bingo game. In his free time he plays and develops board game prototypes. He has an affinity for hidden identity and bluffing games. He has a keen eye for a clean, minimal aesthetic. Presentation counts!

Andy Nicholas
Non-profit and Community Organizer

By day, Andy Nicholas uses his skills in finance and policy to advance nonprofits and community organizations. After hours you'll find him enjoying games of all kinds, from Ticket to Ride to Napoleonic Wars.

Andy is currently designing two games: a nonprofit governance simulation board game and a card game based on Australian politics in the '90s. To which he adds, "Yes, they'll be fun... that's the single most important element of any game, regardless of type or length of play. Otherwise, why are you playing?"

Ben Ritter
Game Designer

Ben Ritter is an Eagle Scout and a Mensan. He co-created the game Clown College, which won the L.A. Board Game Jam at Gamex last May.

Rich Sommer
Actor & Board Gamer

Rich Sommer is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Harry Crane on the AMC series Mad Men. He is also a keen board gamer and the host of the board game podcast CARDBOARD!.

Sponsor: Strategicon/Gateway 2015

Gateway (est. 1984) is an annual four-day gaming convention offering the chance to learn, play, watch and buy a wide variety of board, card, miniature, roleplaying, collectible and video games.  Gateway 2015 will bring game demos, shopping, miniature painting, seminars, tournaments and a massive board game library to the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel, September 4-7.