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AetherCon Staff Listing
Stephen J. Holodinsky|
Senior Staff - Event Coordinator, Chief Hat Juggler, Bullet Catcher, and Technical Crash Test Dummy
Before the beginning of AetherCon Stephen J. Holodinsky was best known for...well...not much of anything really. Despite photos that suggest the plausibility of such, he was not raised in the wilds of Canada by a family of beavers and knows little to nothing at all about building dams, engineering or woodwork in general. Moreover even though he is fond of claiming that 'Bob's your Uncle' this has been proven to be a falsehood as Bob is actually his brother.
Stephen got his start in RPGing by playing a dwarf fighter with a 3d6 Great Hammer in an early D&D game some 35 to 40 years ago. Since then he has witnessed a Cavalier march his entire retinue to their deaths by confidently commanding "Follow me men!" before walking into the Sphere of Annihilation in Tomb of Horrors, been knocked out of a tree some 60 feet up by an angry Momma Troll some 20 feet tall throwing an iron pot, and learned to speak Russian English as well as Orcish Common.
He took the 90's off, leaving Canada in 1989 to go to Europe on a one way ticket with a backpack and $2200 CDN before finally returning in 1999. While there he learned the fine art of hitchhiking, the value of 'nette mensch kleidung' (nice guy clothes) and the understanding of German license plate codes. His best run was going from Bonn, Germany to Reading, U.K. in 18 hours. He also came to understand during this time that 'Has Du mal fuer?' (Do you have a light?) was actually four different words.
When not juggling hats, catching bullets, or being launched at speed into whatever code Justin cooks up, Stephen is a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Blue Jays, as well as Game of Thrones, True Detective, and Burn Notice (even though he almost always blows the landing when trying to quote a character from any of them). He also has a 12 year old cat named 'Cleopatra' that has never been called anything but 'Kitty'.
Justin Andrew Mason|
Senior Staff - Website & Web Application Developer
Hailing from a small town on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee, Justin has been an avid tabletop role-playing game fan for 25 years. At the game table he almost always fills the role of game master, judge, or referee, and has had decades of experience with designing and running adventures for groups of gamers on various platforms.
Over the past two decades, Justin has worn many hats. His employment has included being: an award-winning graphic designer for multiple area newspapers, magazines and the local television station, a senior systems administrator for an international webhosting company, a database administrator and data/market analyst supporting corporate buyers for multiple national retail chains, the senior web developer for the region’s largest IT firm, and finally as a freelance software and web application programmer.
Justin is also involved in professional RPG game development. He is an ENnie Award winning staff writer for prominent RPG gaming blog, has contributed to multiple published game products, and has received multiple industry awards recognizing his commitment to tabletop game design. He has generated content professionally for over a dozen different game publishers and even had a highly successful crowdfunded campaign for his upcoming series of RPG books.
During AetherCon III, Justin was invited to be on the Cartography Panel, and though he is a longtime supporter of the convention as an attending fan, once meeting with senior staff, he realized that his skillset might be able to make elements of convention more efficient and streamlined. This began with the development of the web-based interface for the speed painting trials during ACIII, and has now evolved to this new website development for ACIV and ACV.
Senior Staff - Public Relations Coordinator
Ed Clower has been a player of RPGs since the late 1970s. He is
predominantly an old-school gamer, focused on First Edition AD&D,
original Champions, and original Traveler, with occasional forays into
the new-fangled editions the young folks seem to like. He likes to
remind his players that back in his day, when Elf was a Character Class,
they had to draw numbers out of an empty margarine tub because they
didn't have those fancy polyhedral dice, and he had to walk three miles
uphill through the snow to borrow a Player's Handbook.
Prize Wrangler for AetherCon IV, Ed works with some of the most
brilliant minds in RPG publishing to help them get new and exciting
products into the hands of players around the world. When he isn't
lining up Prize Support or gaming, Ed works in Computer Network Defense
for a well-known Sovereign Nation.
Senior Staff - Artist's Enclave Coordinator
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest in a town named Auburn, Chris began gaming as a teen - a journey that would eventually culminate in him becoming an industry illustrator. Through products such as Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer 40,000, Magic: The Gathering, Savage Worlds, and so on, he developed a taste for the fantastic, storytelling, and of course the joy of spending time with friends, laughing at the ridiculous ventures that would be shared together through said games.
Currently, with over a decade of experience as an illustrator on many of the games that he grew to enjoy, Chris now works with AetherCon to spread a love of the arts that have inspired so many through the decades of such wonderful games. He is thrilled to be overseeing the Artist Enclave, which lines up the annual AetherCon Wallpaper line and Speed Painting Duelists for the convention.
When not painting for massive hours on end and attempting to talk artists into partaking in the various AetherCon events, Chris works on his plans to overthrow humanity so that penguins can take a shot at being the prevalent species. He may also have a caffeine addiction.
Senior Staff - Technical Coordinator
Peter is a producer, podcaster, artist, game designer, and writer.
As a game designer, artist, and writer he has developed professional material for R. Talsorian Games, Tri Tac Games, Dilly Green Bean Games, and Chapter 13 Press. Outside of RPGs he has released Rogue Chess and is in heavy development on the new version of Cube of Death.
As a podcaster he is the host of a live broadcast video series called the MythWits (mythwits.com) where his team interviews industry guests every week, provide on-location con coverage, and talk all things geek related.
Peter is the Director of New Media for TSR Games and produces the Game School PodCast and the Cube of Death PodCast for TSR.
Senior Staff - RPG Coordinator, Assistant Webmaster
Travis is an entity of great mystery and many talents. He claims to be from an unknown shore of the Southern United states, but has been witnessed all over the country. He has worked in radio, academia, engineering, and food services. Also, he has been sighted at numerous professional conferences and fan conventions opening the ears and eyes of the willing to the glory of the uncaring universe. When he is being observed and thus real, he studies genre evolution in relation social and technological changes, teaches transmedia storytelling techniques to anyone who will listen, and subjects semi-willing RPG groups to incoherent tales ripped from the dark corners of his mind. Speak his name 3 times, or poke him on some form of social media, to summon him for a chat.
Senior Staff - Public Relations Coordinator
As Aethercon’s resident European, John’s gaming career began in the Netherlands when his mum decided that the geeks at the friendly local game shop would make excellent babysitters. Already a ferocious reader and author, the gateway drugs of trading cards and board games soon led him down the path of polyhedral dice.
A degree in English Literature and further studies into Interactive Performance Design & Games later, the young Dutchman found himself in Germany, employed at Nintendo of Europe. After a few years there, another career move lead him to the German capital of Berlin. It would probably take a great deal of effort and violence to remove him.
Firmly entrenched in the Berlin gaming scene, John’s constant desire for human interaction (what a weirdo, eh?) brought him to online “tabletop” gaming and ultimately Aethercon, where he promptly won an inordinately large amount of the prizes on offer.
In penance, he has agreed to work off this tremendous debt by utilizing his content skills, not to mention his willingness to deal with actual people, by becoming the event’s Public Relations Coordinator.
Senior Staff - Anvil Alley Coordinator
Jennifer hails from the wide open plains of Wyoming. She turned down an art scholarship to attend Rockhurst University in Kansas City before deciding she wanted to be an artist after all. Starting a few years ago with her husband's stockpile of old GW miniatures and two great teachers she translated her art abilities into minis people seemed to like. Still in the Kansas City area she is fairly new to tabletop RPGs having only made the transition to tabletop after Warhammer Online went offline. Mostly you will find her painting and playing DGS's Freeblades game although she also reads, runs a free range poultry farm and writes funny barnyard stories.
Jesse R. Davis|
Senior Staff - RPG Organized Play Coordinator/Roll20 Tutor
Support Staff - Moderator Wrangler
Devon Kelley is the creator and host of the Shark Bone Podcast. Through the show, Devon seeks to inspire other gamers through world and adventure building, gaming discussion and actual plays.
Devon began his gaming career relatively recently with D&D 3.5 in '07. He took to it like a fish to water, quickly moving into the World of Darkness and expanding into small-press games. Just a few short years later, he was podcasting weekly and trying his hand at game design. Tabletop RPGs are a huge part of his life and he's always looking for a chance to play the many games that pique his interest.
Devon began working with AetherCon in the fall of 2016 and really enjoyed the accesibility of the online format. He hopes to continue his relationship with the organization to help bring more people into the hobby he loves so much.
Support Staff - Graphics Primary
Colin is a freelance illustrator base in sunny California. When he’s not working, he likes riding his white horse along the beach with his hair down, while sipping a margarita and listening to heavy metal.
Colin Chan has been participating in AetherCon since 2014 as a speed duelist. This year, he has helped build the new AetherCon Convention Magazine.
Support Staff - Graphics Secondary/Artist Enclave General Assistant
Born in California, sun-burned in Arizona, indebted in Connectictut, changed tires in Virginia, fled to Michigan, learned carpentry in the Dakotas, before finding love in NYC. During my thousand miles journey, I honed my crafts. Drawing, painting and cooking. Most of my experience in illustration is focused on character concepts, environments, landscapes, action scenes, storyboarding and cartography. I work with a variety of science fiction and fantasy publishers including Radiance House, QT Games and Dark Skull Studios to name a few.
Support Staff - Social Media Manager
John Eric Harp works as a Systems Administrator at a doctor’s office in Arkansas. He was first introduced into the role playing game world when he got married to his wife 12 years ago. He is more familiar with D&D although is very interested in other games as well. He has four daughters, a lot of patience, and only a little sanity left.
He dabbles in a little bit of everything from console gaming, pc gaming, tabletop gaming, web design, 3D rendering, to any other random hobby that strikes his interest.
Support Staff - Baublebrook's Bazaar Manager, VTT Manager, E-mail Tech
Greg is a long-time gamer. A sponsored competitive FPS gamer for many years he won Irish and European Quake and Counterstrike competitions then got sucked into World of Warcraft. Finally realising his body couldn't take that many hours behind a keyboard he became a table-top war-gamer, a board-gamer and eventually returned to RPGs - a long abandoned love of his child-hood.
Now Greg works as a software developer, creates online tools for his various gaming hobbies, GMs two Swords & Wizardry RPG campaigns every week, cycles, plays the guitar and the ukulele and parents his three young children.
Support Staff - Pinterest Manager
Marisa Erven is a concept artist and illustrator who thrives bringing beauty and story to life through art.
With over six years of professional experience, she has contributed artwork to multiple game titles to date. She has also provided art direction to multiple teams during the creation of new Intellectual Properties.
Prior industry contributions include the creation of cinematic content, concept art, and illustration for clients in Games, Augmented/Virtual Reality, Independent Film, and Publishing.
In her downtime, Marisa enjoys sunshine, travel, photography and painting in the office with her cat.
Support Staff - Convention Program Editor-in-Chief
Tyler Omichinski is a writer, editor, and game designer from the wilds of Canada. His publications include the Ultimate Celts Guide, "The Bar Run" in Protodimension, and "Eggshells" in Another Place. He lives with his partner and a gigantic black dog.
Support Staff - Convention Program Layout Lead
Heather is a designer/illustrator for a variety of publishing houses including Penguin Random House, Hyperion Books and lots of smaller indie publishers. She spends half of the year roughing it in a secluded wooded cabin aka Twin Peaks style, and the other half in a cave in NYC with her artist partner Adam Schmidt. Her passions include video and tabletop gaming, creating art and servicing the whims of her cat. Her current tabletop character is an elven space pirate with an addiction to hallucinogens.
Support Staff - RPG Staffer
I’ve been a gamer for as long as I can remember starting
with family get together where we played card games like pitch, cribbage, Uno
and suc. A middle school friend induced me to D&D in the mid ‘80s and
my obsesstion with RPG’s only grew from there as we played games like Car Wars,
Werewolf, Vampire, and FASA’s Doctor Who, even mixing the games from time to
time. Imagine a D&D Druid who is half Time Lord. He owned a Spelljammer ship
that doubled as his TARDIS.
Today I am the owner of Multiverse Comics & Games, a
brick and mortar retail shop in Grinnell Iowa. My love fore games has only grown
over the years, having got ten back into playing a significant number of board
games and card games, such as Magic the Gathering and the Pathfinder Adventure
Card Game. I’m also an avid computer gamer, having played WoW since just after
release and I’ve logged somewhere north of 700 hours in Civilization V.
Ultimately I’d like to rite and publish adventures and
maybe even a home brewwed game system that I’ve slowly been working on for the
last 20 years.
I become involved with AetherCon during AetherCon II has an
open gaming GM and then joined the staff for AetherCon III. Like most of us I
wear many hats, but I mostly enjoy helping the Con grow and I look forward to
many more years of adventuring.
Stephen Jacobs learned the fine art of bio writing at the feet of blind mute monks deep in the jungles of deepest, darkest Africa – Stephen's Mom
Support Staff - Graphics Secondary
Eleri Hamilton is a woman of eclectic talents, both geeky and muggle-ish (that's a totally a word now). She runs conventions, develops puzzles and games, does graphic design, paints, crafts, herds cats (both literally and metaphorically), and generally juggles more things than she really needs to! She's one of the team behind "Unwritten: Adventures in the Ages of MYST and Beyond" and author of its supplements: The D'ni Primer, and The Myst Saga.
Support Staff - Prize Support Wrangler
Sam has been playing tabletop RPGs since he was in the 8th grade. Starting with a mash-up of 1E, 2E, and Basic D&D, most of his gaming experience comes from 3/3.5E D&D and Pathfinder. He has dabbled in Traveller, MERP, The One Ring, and 4E and 5E D&D. Sam’s current game of choice is Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. Going back to his old school roots, he favors low-prep, rules-light gaming where on-the-spot adjudication takes the place of flipping through rule books. Even when using Roll20, Sam eschews the use of squares, tokens, and exact measurements in favor of maps, handouts, and theater of the mind.
A huge proponent of online gaming, Sam carried out an online campaign for 3 years using Roll20 and Google Hangouts and he recently ran games for online conventions Roll20Con and JackerCon. As such, he is super excited to be a part of AetherCon and to be a part of Prize Support. Sam uses PDFs more than hard copies and learned a lot about small publishers and their products through this affordable medium. Sam is very happy to be helping spread the word about great publishers and their products through prize bundles at this year’s AetherCon. When he not gaming, Sam spends his time educating America’s youth about their history and the history of other peoples.