Staff

Illustrated portrait of Alex Stone.

alex stone

CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Alex Stone has 12 years of experience developing educational software and is credited on over 50 math, science, literacy, and civics games in programmer, technical lead, and executive producer roles. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Illustrated portrait of Dan White.

dan white

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Dan White believes that good gameplay and good learning are complementary rather than oppositional forces. An alumnus of Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Dan earned an M.S. in Education Technology under seminal learning game scholars Drs. Kurt Squire and James Paul Gee. Prior to founding Filament, Dan worked as a teacher, an instructional designer, and a game developer. Dan’s passions include learning games, sustainability, mindfulness, and modernizing institutional education.

Illustrated portrait of Dan Norton.

dan norton

CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER

Dan Norton loves approaching each new project at Filament as an opportunity to find authentic passion and engagement around learning new things. Dan blends his love for game design with his love of collaborative creativity to support Filament’s design and artistic teams.

Illustrated portrait of Georgia Adkins.

georgia adkins

QUALITY ASSURANCE ANALYST

Georgia developed a keen interest in education while teaching English overseas before ultimately venturing into the field of educational games. She assists in testing various projects and values the joy and challenge in attempting to break things.

fun fact!

Georgia loves dabbling in Korean cooking to appease her reverse-homesickness.

danny aguilar

VISUAL & INTERACTION DESIGNER

Danny has studied graphic design and game development. He has worked for many years with instructional designers and web developers to build educational sites. When he is not working on art, he is often playing CRPG’s and board games.

fun fact!

Danny is obsessed with baking and cooking and recently has gotten into brewing mead.

Illustrated portrait of Josh Bartels.

joshua bartels

AUDIO & VIDEO DIRECTOR

What does photosynthesis sound like? What music should accompany virtual reality robots? These are the kind of questions Josh creatively answers as Sound Designer and Music Composer. From 1920’s ragtime, to futuristic space, he provides all the acoustic color!

fun fact!

Josh also produces the studio's video content with trailers, motion graphics, and marketing videos.

Illustrated portrait of Shawn Baxter.

shawn baxter

VISUAL & INTERACTION DESIGNER

Shawn has never been content pursuing just one creative endeavor and has had experience designing in a number of industries. He is in constant pursuit of a well-thought-out and artistic interface.

fun fact!

Wait, we were allowed to write a fun fact?

Laura Beukema avatar

laura beukema

GAME DESIGNER

Laura has been designing educational and positive impact games and interactives for over a decade. She loves blending learning and play into new experiences. Her favorite thing about it is exploring such a wide variety of topics!

fun fact!

When not gaming, Laura can often be found knitting for a cozier apocalypse.

Illustrated portrait of Leah Blasczyk.

leah blasczyk

GAME ENGINEER

Straight out of UW-Whitewater with degrees in Math, Computer Science, and Game Design, Leah is excited to be working on games that make people smile. She never wants to stop learning and loves putting her skills to the test in game jams.

fun fact!

Leah has had many odd hobbies including duct tape art, a 2nd-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and playing the oboe!

Tara Boonngamanong avatar

tarathorn boonngamanong

VISUAL & INTERACTION DESIGNER

Tarathorn studied Game Design & Production and VR & Immersive Experiences at Drexel University. They are passionate about educational games and immersive experiences that promote empathy.

fun fact!

In their free time, they enjoys bouldering, learning random DIY projects and mushroom foraging!

Michael Brissie avatar

michael brissie

3D GENERALIST

Michael studied sculpture and drawing before his transition to the digital space. Now, he wiggles verts and jiggles bones, modeling objects and creatures of all sorts. He’s a tinkerer, through and through.

fun fact!

Spicy food is addictive, because of adrenaline & endorphins! You can also build a tolerance to spice. Michael likes ghost peppers. The spice must flow.

dylan caldwell avatar

dylan caldwell

GAME ENGINEER

Dylan started working in games after a game jam in 2017, which led him to port educational mobile games in Unity. Since then, Dylan has worked on a VR music game and cofounded an indie studio. He now writes features and squashes bugs at Filament.

fun fact!

Dylan does kickflips to make himself feel better on bad days.

Illustrated portrait of Chen-ya Chang.

chen-ya chang

SENIOR GAME ARTIST

Chen-ya draws round things, cute things, and dirt. Sometimes the dirt is cute and round.

fun fact!

Chenya is trilingual and is incomprehensible in all three languages.

Illustrated portrait of Meghan Connor.

meghan connor

3D GENERALIST

Meghan began her 3D journey because she loved creating fun and wacky environments. More recently she is also known to dabble in character art where she gives faces to the mundane objects. Life has also led her to do things like rotoscoping puppets, decorating cakes and 3D scanning human remains.

fun fact!

Meghan has enough yarn to insulate a small home

Illustrated portrait of Gene Cook.

gene cook

GAME ENGINEERING MANAGER

A former west coast game engineer and dot-comer turned proud Midwest hockey dad — complete with a sweet Subaru station wagon! Gene is an accomplished classical pianist who sometimes wishes he’d learned to play the guitar instead.

fun fact!

Gene’s useless super power is a steel-trap memory for key stats of most motorcycles produced between 1976 and 1992.

Illustrated portrait of Nick Curto.

nick curto

GAME ENGINEER

Nick is passionate about games and the good they can do. He likes group bike rides, reading non-fiction, and rhythm games. Nick is a golf enthusiast but wishes the sport was more action-packed.

fun fact!

Nick will always accept a plastic instrument duel.

Illustrated portrait of Brian Czech.

brian czech

QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER

Brian has been doing software QA since 2007. He tested Epic’s CVIS for 5 years before making the switch to Filament in 2013. In his free time he enjoys biking, canoeing, travelling, reading, trying new beers, and relaxing with his wife, son, and dog.

fun fact!

Brian and his wife Beth travelled around Australia for a year in a campervan they named Magnitude. Pop! Pop!

Miah Dawes Avatar

miah dawes

VISUAL & INTERACTION DESIGNER

In college, Miah learned UX design while pursuing a more technical IT degree. There she found her niche exploring user interactions in games and extended reality. She loves creating immersive experiences that help players have fun while learning.

fun fact!

Miah has a plumeria (Mr. Plume) that, despite her best efforts to care for, refuses to grow flowers.

Illustrated portrait of Ian Feldschneider.

ian feldschneider

GAME ENGINEER

Ian is a game engineer, passionate for the medium of games and how they evolve through time. He enjoys experimenting with procedural generation, and has a fascination with making wild predictions on the future of the gaming industry.

fun fact!

Ian owns an authentic Club Nintendo Hanafuda deck on his desk, and is always willing to challenge someone to play.

Illustrated portrait of Rob Frank.

rob frank

GAME ENGINEER

Rob is a Game Engineer and programmer. After several Unity development contract projects through Filament, the allure was too great and he had to continue working here full time.

fun fact!

Rob has developed several VR games, and had one featured by PewDiePie!

Illustrated portrait of Alyssa Froehling.

alyssa froehling

MARKETING ASSISTANT

Alyssa is a graduate of Ohio State’s MFA Creative Writing program. She supports the sales and marketing team through content marketing and writing for social media. While not working, Alyssa is reading mystery novels, crying while playing the Life is Strange series, or walking her dog, Duckie.

fun fact!

One of Alyssa’s favorite animals is the red river hog.

kylie gilde

GAME ENGINEER

Kylie joined Filament as her first job out of college, where she majored in game design and development. Making educational games is the perfect intersection of her two passions: programming games that make people happy and learning obscure trivia.

fun fact!

Kylie owns well over 1000 books (she's counted) and once designed and programmed a catalog to keep track of them all.

Illustrated portrait of Shaina Peshkov.

shaina grade

STUDIO OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Shaina diligently manages the Production, Quality Assurance, and AV departments. Her primary responsibility is to make sure the studio is allocated properly and that projects are running smoothly from the sales process through development and maintenance.

fun fact!

A huge Star Trek fan, Shaina has met several cast members including William Shatner, George Takei, and Walter Koenig!

Illustrated portrait of Kenny Green.

kenny green

PRODUCER

Ever the competitor, Kenny doesn’t back down from a challenge. He enjoys learning from each project and sharing those lessons with new teams. You might even catch him occasionally wearing his varsity esports jersey while leading a standup.

fun fact!

Kenny has webbed toes and can do a backflip!

Illustrated portrait of Joe Horan.

joseph horan

VISUAL & INTERACTION DESIGNER

Joe makes games.

fun fact!

Joe plays games.

Illustrated portrait of Carlos Horta.

carlos horta

3D ENVIRONMENT ARTIST

Since preschool, games became Carlos’ passion but it wasn’t until he grew up watching awesome cutscenes and playing epic stories that he decided that he wanted to do the same. Carlos likes to learn new things like cooking or how to play an instrument.

fun fact!

Carlos' wife told him that he tends to stick out his tongue when he's deeply concentrated playing games or doing something funny. He wasn't even aware of this.

Illustrated portrait of Jennifer Javornik.

jennifer javornik

VP of Partnerships & Business Development

Jennifer works with people from all over the globe who potentially want to work with Filament to make games, simulations, and VR and AR experiences that make an impact. She helps them understand what Filament can do and how we do it.

fun fact!

She was told she was special for being born on Leap Day to distract her from the fact that she only has a birthday every 4 years.

Illustrated portrait of Luke Jayapalan.

luke jayapalan

SENIOR GAME DESIGNER

As a Game Designer, Luke works with clients and with Filament’s talented development team to find fun and effective ways to help players learn. Luke loves working on educational games because the wide range of subjects makes every game unique.

fun fact!

Luke loves to sing and has been doing so for as long as he can remember.

Illustrated portrait of Roma Jensen.

roma jensen

GAME ARTIST

Roma is a graduate of Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, where she studied illustration and animation. She puts both of those skills to use at Filament, drawing various chickens and jungle plants. In her spare time, she watches cheesy 80’s films and draws clowns who are also cops.

fun fact!

Don’t look now, but I’m right behind you.

Illustrated portrait of Charlie Klein.

charlie klein

ACCOUNTING DIRECTOR

Charlie produces clean and concise financial reports and budgets in an effort to create clarity in a rapidly changing business environment. He is a CPA and CMA who enjoys the professional challenges of working in the learning games and technology sectors.

fun fact!

Charlie occasionally believes that a well-tailored spreadsheet can communicate better than words.

Illustrated portrait of Brandon Korth.

brandon korth

ART MANAGER

Brandon works across all disciplines to create intuitive interfaces and experiences. From day to day you may find him designing wireframes, creating polished game art, documenting new feature behaviors, or animating bubbly characters.

fun fact!

Brandon was a producer & programmer for 3 years while improving his artistic skills to land his dream job in UX Design.

Illustrated portrait of Steve Lilley.

steve lilley

GAME ENGINEER

Steve is a former mechanical engineer that is now a game programmer and developer. He loves all things gaming: all kinds of video games, board games, and sports. He also enjoys chilling out with activities such as hiking, puzzles, and drawing.

fun fact!

Steve subconsciously makes lots of sound effects when doing mundane activities throughout the day.

Kellie Lu avatar

kellie lu

GAME DESIGNER

Kellie breaks down game genres and reassembles them elegantly. Her player-driven design is informed by backgrounds in psychology and creative writing. She loves world-building, crafting, and games where teammates support each other.

fun fact!

Kellie practices Aikido to put her mind in tune with her body. It’s nice exercise for both!

Illustrated portrait of Alan Martin.

alan martin

GAME DESIGNER

Driven by the lasting impression that games can leave on players, Alan loves collaborating across roles to craft engaging experiences. If not designing games, he can be found under a blanket or at a heavy metal concert.

fun fact!

Alan is a self-proclaimed Tetris Wizard.

Illustrated portrait of Kristen San Martin.

kristen san martin

WEB DEVELOPER

Kristen is part of the Web Team. She is passionate and driven and loves to solve technical problems which led her to a career in software development.

fun fact!

Thanks to a class performance she was in when she was 7, Kristen can still recite all 50 states in alphabetical order.

Garret Moran avatar

garret moran

GAME ENGINEER

Since graduating from Champlain College, Garret has made a physical card game, mentored middle-school kids in the ways of game development, and released the first level of his 3D platformer with horror elements all before arriving at Filament!

fun fact!

Garret has been known to recreate giant robots from video games out of lego bricks.

Illustrated portrait of Sydney Myers.

sydney myers

VISUAL & INTERACTION DESIGNER

Sydney studied Media and Game Development at UW Whitewater in hopes of going into an educational field to create things that could help better the world or people. She’s an avid Star Wars enthusiast who enjoys hiking, board games, and Pokemon.

fun fact!

Sydney has a collection of over 50 Pokemon plushies

Vian Nguyen avatar

vian nguyen

GAME DESIGNER

Vian is a queer Vietnamese-American artist using game design to facilitate spaces of feeling, self-reflection, and noticing the world. Coming from Epic Games they’ve arrived to pursue their dream: creating playful educational experiences for youth.

fun fact!

Yoko Ono and Ms. Frizzle are Vian's inspirations. Games and aesthetic respectively.

Cal Oliverius avatar

cal oliverius

PRODUCER

Cal is a seasoned production wizard with humble beginnings in the board game industry. As a CAPM Project Manager and Certified Scrum Master, they are experienced in a wide range of solutions for holding projects together and getting things done.

fun fact!

Cal is an aerial performer and choreographer! They fly around in the air in aerial hoops and trapezes - WITHOUT accidentally hurting themself!

Illustrated portrait of Brandon Pittser.

brandon pittser

VP OF MARKETING & FUNDING DEVELOPMENT

With a 10 year tenure in the Ed Tech industry, Brandon leads the content marketing practice and helps to guide the overall business strategy at Filament Games. His role also includes oversight of Filament’s funding development practice, tracking and pursuing funding opportunities for both internal and collaborative projects.

fun fact!

Brandon has a small collection of non-functioning vintage cameras.

Illustrated portrait of Srivathsan Prakash.

srivathsan prakash

GAME ENGINEER

After moving from design to engineering in college, Srivathsan finally gets to do what he loves at Filament: pull his hair out fixing bugs. Besides game dev, he likes to write rap, get outdoors, travel, and spend time with his favorite people.

fun fact!

As a kid, Srivathsan wanted to become a scientist so he could make a radioactive spider, get bitten, and become Spiderman.

Ana Qiu avatar

ana qiu

GAME DESIGNER

After years of working as a “player” in global financial markets, Ana decided to become an educational game designer to promote people’s lifelong learning. She went to NYU Games for Learning program and now joined Filament to make fun learning games.

fun fact!

Ana is a real-life Tetris master. She’s good at stuffing refrigerators, suitcases, closets, shelves, car trunks, and board game boxes.

Illustrated portrait of Jon Rakocy.

jon rakocy

IT MANAGER

Jon is in Information Technology and loves working with people and computers. His strengths cover a variety of areas. His current focuses are on Linux servers and VMware.

fun fact!

Likes hot peppers and long walks on the beach.

Illustrated portrait of Tracey Reinke.

tracey reinke

WEB & GRAPHIC DESIGNER

A renaissance woman at heart, Tracey’s many passions magically assembled into a graphic design position at Filament. She loves problem-solving and longs to make pleasant experiences for users. She is also the self-appointed sheriff of using crisp web graphics.

fun fact!

Tracey has been swing dancing for 15 years and can frequently be found teaching classes locally.

Illustrated portrait of Luis Remes Garcia.

luis garcia remes

GAME ENGINEER

Luis is an avid gamer and game engineer. He enjoys working on gameplay and AI. He also enjoy playing and designing board games/card games.

fun fact!

Luis has two wiener dogs, named Loki and Bacca (named so because his dad was named Chew).

Illustrated portrait of Nicole Remily.

nicole remily

MARKETING ASSISTANT

A proud UW alumni, Nicole loves marketing! Be it writing, researching, or content creating, she enjoys being challenged and brainstorming. When she isn’t at work, she’s at the gym, movie theater, or home with her dog and collection of video games.

fun fact!

She can recite all lines from The Lion King, The Dark Knight, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy from memory.

Johnny Ruiz avatar

johnny ruiz

WEB TECHNOLOGY MANAGER

Johnny is based in Orlando, Florida. He started his Software Engineering career in Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore until finally moving to USA 16 years ago. He enjoys music, gardening, and taking care of goats, chickens, and quails.

fun fact!

Johnny loves gardening and collecting tropical fruit trees. He has 50+ young fruit trees in his backyard.

Illustrated portrait of Allison Salmon.

allison salmon

SENIOR GAME ENGINEER

Allison is a seasoned game developer with over 17 years of experience. She has worked with teams of all shapes and sizes from large AAA to tiny indie. When not making games she enjoys karate, knitting and traveling with her husband and two kids.

fun fact!

As a child, she was a member of a touring puppetry company that performed shows all around Wisconsin.

Illustrated portrait of Mark Savage.

mark savage

GAME ENGINEER

Mark has an eldritch entity that takes control of their body when they sit at their computer, occasionally resulting in functional game code. This unsettling talent complements their love of games and the ways that they can connect us to the world and people around us.

fun fact!

Mark used to sing with a youth choir that was on the Halo soundtrack, although they themselves weren’t on the recording.

Illustrated portrait of Erica Scheelk.

erica scheelk

GAME ENGINEER

When not doing game dev, you’ll find Erica tending to her cats, watching plants grow, or cooking a large cauldron of soup.

fun fact!

Mint and Catnip are in the same family. You can tell by their square shaped stems.

Jennifer Seo avatar

jennifer seo

VISUAL & INTERACTION DESIGNER

Jennifer worked in various industries as a marketing designer in California. She was always interested in exploring new spaces, especially in gaming. RPG games are Jennifer’s jam and she would sell her soul for the next installment of Dragon Quest.

fun fact!

Jennifer's small dream is to collect every food shaped plushie in existence.

Robert Sharpe avatar

robert sharpe

PLANNING PRODUCER

Robert enjoys getting deep in the weeds of various creative projects. Music, art, stories, programming – you name it. He always loves learning the process in those endeavors and will bug you about yours soon enough! Also, spreadsheets!

fun fact!

Always unsure what he does best, Robert fancies himself a bard! Mostly by pen & paper and in RPGs, but in real life too...

Illustrated portrait of Colin Skinner.

colin skinner

GAME DESIGNER

Colin appreciates the unique power of games as tools for learning about systems. He enjoys studying real-life systems and devising game mechanics that illustrate their behavior. He also likes playing ultimate frisbee, kiteboarding, and cooking tasty Chinese food.

fun fact!

Colin is on an eternal quest to create the fluffiest steamed buns.

Illustrated portrait of Demetri Sofides.

demetri sofides

3D GENERALIST

Demetri studied Classical Civilizations and Creative Writing in college, and wants to use the medium of video games to make obscure topics engaging and accessible. He worked at a VR studio before coming to Filament, and spends his free time sketching concept art and poring over word etymologies.

fun fact!

Demetri was part of an archaeological excavation in the Aegean, where he helped dig up a Byzantine-period grave containing seven skeletons.

Ryan Throw avatar

ryan throw

GAME ENGINEER

Ryan has had a passion for game development for over 10 years. He loves the creative process, especially engineering and design. When he’s not making games he’s riding his motorcycle, rock climbing, or painting.

fun fact!

He really likes Go Karting and usually manages to get a “Top Ten Monthly” lap time when he goes.

Illustrated portrait of Megan Tran.

megan tran

SENIOR VISUAL & INTERACTION DESIGNER

Megan enjoys understanding people’s needs and helping those around her, whether it’s by creating fun and intuitive player experiences, or by collaborating with teammates on design, art, and the weird little technical bits in between.

fun fact!

Megan once got 5 seal plushies in a row out of a crane machine.

Illustrated portrait of Joe Truesdale.

joe truesdale

PRODUCER

Diving into the unknown, shedding light on it, and wrangling it into submission is what Joe loves to do most. Finding answers and connecting people is how that manifests at Filament. At home, it’s going on adventures with his wife and son.

fun fact!

Joe learned how to square dance in high school and can still square-thru-four and allemande left with the best of ‘em!

Illustrated portrait of Pattie Umali.

pattie umali

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Pattie previously worked in study abroad and higher education. She nerds out on food and culture, fantasy and lore, cats, and world travel. She wants digital storytelling to be a primary tool for intercultural learning and cultural expression.

fun fact!

Pattie’s fantasy goals include starting a cheese farm and creamery.

Vanessa Vostmyer avatar

vanessa vostmyer

SENIOR PRODUCER

Vanessa enjoys working with diverse teams to produce impactful learning. Her can-do attitude and years of experience help facilitate success. She enjoys partnering with clients and providing win/win solutions. Crafting, gaming, and anime are her jam.

fun fact!

Vanessa loves nature and animals. She has a koi pond in her backyard!

Illustrated portrait of Mackenzie Walter.

mackenzie walter

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Administrative Assistant & Coordinator of Awesome! Mackenzie originally went to school to become a doctor and help people, but plans changed. She still gets to help people every day – this way she’s buying coffee, keeping schedules efficient, and being the go-to gal for any odd job or question.

fun fact!

With 3 dogs, 2 cats and a husband who drums, she regularly wears earbuds at home. In her free time, she enjoys art making and playing volleyball.

Shannon Weaver avatar

shannon weaver

GAME ARTIST

Shannon is a Digital Art graduate from Pennsylvania where she studied 2D animation, concept art, and character design. She loves working as part of a team to create and share works that bring people together.

fun fact!

Shannon’s creative space of choice is a 30 minute car drive into town to get coffee, blasting music while brainstorming her next art project.

Illustrated portrait of Virginia Wilkerson.

virginia wilkerson

GAME DESIGNER

Virginia majored in comic books in college then got her master’s in video games. She believes there’s something interesting about everything and loves finding cool, engaging ways to communicate ideas.

fun fact!

Virginia collects hobbies including ballet, drawing, sculpting, knife juggling, unicycling, tinkering, and more.

Illustrated portrait of Carter Williams.

carter williams

GAME ENGINEER

Carter enjoys making simple games. He thinks learning is fun and that multiplayer and coop games have incredible potential as an art form. In his spare time, Carter likes being bad at hard video games.

fun fact!

Carter's favorite language is Toki Pona: a minimalist constructed language with only 120 words.

Illustrated portrait of Alex Yaeger.

alex yaeger

VISUAL & INTERACTION DESIGNER

Coming from a background in graphic design, Alex developed UX skills at interactive-advertising agencies before coming to Filament. Now a team member for a number of years, Alex wields a demanding pickiness for aesthetics and a keen eye for detail.

fun fact!

The eternally youthful Alex has been described as an elvish prince from the land of tasteful furniture and decor.

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