IGDA Chicago Board of Director Elections – 2013 Candidates

Posted on November 25th, by Heather Decker in Elections, Featured. No Comments

IGDA Chicago Board of Director Elections – 2013 Candidates

Nominations for the 2013 IGDA Chicago Board Elections have closed and elections are about to begin.

We have 5 nominees running for 5 available seats on the Board of Directors. We have provided their candidate statements below so you may review who has stepped up to run.

If you are a paid IGDA member, please watch your inbox for voting instructions.

2013 Candidates

Heather M Decker-Davis

Candidate Statement

Chicago has a fantastic and diverse game development community and my goal is to keep bringing all of us together for great events so we can continue to grow and thrive as colleagues and friends. Inevitably, we will end up showing the entire country that the Midwest is a powerful force of creativity and determination. We can do so many great things as a united force!

In the coming term, I aspire to see IGDA Chicago continue to collaborate with other local dev groups to bring the community both education and entertainment. I aim to gather our studios together once again, get everyone’s input, and plan more great things for the community, as well as build up a volunteer base of amazingly talented people who can work together to make big things happen. Last but not least, I want to enrich the next generation of game developers, because the future of Chicago is what we shape it to be.

We’ve had a tremendous past couple of years after rebooting the chapter and I will strive to keep pushing to make each coming year even better.

I greatly appreciate your consideration. Please be sure to read up on all of our candidates and vote so you can help shape your chapter leadership!


Heather M Decker-Davis served as Secretary on the IGDA Chicago Board from 2011-2013 and is the Senior Technical Artist at Zynga’s Chicago location, previously known as Spooky Cool Labs. As a two-time IGDA Scholar alumni, she is now on the IGDA Scholarship Committee and continues to volunteer with the IGDA in general.

Patrick McCarron

As long as I could remember I’ve always shared my love for games with others. Growing up in Chicago during the evolution of the game industry in the 1990s I was always proud to learn that games developed in Chicago were making a mark and transforming gaming before our eyes.

With the rise of the Internet also happening at the same time, I found myself wanting to share not only my love for these games with others, but also help players get better at them. I started writing “FAQ” strategy guides for what were typically games being developed in Chicago since I usually had early access to them at local arcades. This led to me learning how to program and building online fan communities for these games, some of which I am still actively running now almost 20 years later.

With these skills that I continued to develop, I decided to go into software product development. I eventually fell into game development by creating one of the first native iPhone OS games before there was even an official platform to do so. Since then I have been working on creating both entertainment and non-entertainment “apps” for Apple’s ever growing and changing iOS platform.

Not long after, I started to get involved with the local Apple development community that was already in place. In doing so I saw a need to not only grow our local game development community but speak to how great and talented it is. There is a wealth of great talent in this city, and it pains me when people don’t realize that their favorite game is actually made down the street from their house. So I started to get involved with our local IGDA Chicago chapter by first attending events by volunteering to help where and when I could.

It was just a few short months ago that the board invited me to join and help out more directly. So far I’ve helped run and organize both fun and educational events that will help showcase the greatness that is the Chicago game development community.

Having experience in both creating games and creating and managing communities, I feel I can help to grow the Chicago chapter of the IGDA if I were to be elected for a full term. I think our chapter has the potential to do great things if we take what we did in 2013 and improve it even further in 2014. I hope to be elected to be a part of that effort.

Thanks again for your consideration.
Patrick McCarron

Sheri Rubin
Candidate Statement:
Over the last three years – when the reboot really kicked into full speed – I’ve really seen this chapter grow and succeed. We’ve engaged the community at all levels. We’re starting to build up a good volunteer base, we’re hosting events for all types of interests, partnering with other dev groups, and we’re starting to really gain some momentum especially with the two most recent additions to the current board: Patrick and Eric. Along with those two additions and my original cohorts Heather and Neal I think we’ve done a great job at pulling together some amazing events this year. I would like you to consider supporting my nomination for the IGDA Chicago Board of Directors so that I can help ensure we can continue transitioning into a stable, solid, successful chapter. I think we’re on our way there and I think I can help do that when combining my love of the industry, my love of Chicago, and my love for this Chapter. I hope you’ll honor me with another chance to serve our chapter and I also hope you’ll join us along for the ride – 2014 and 2015 are going to be amazing!Biography:
Sheri Rubin is the founder and CEO of Design Direct Deliver (DDD). With her zealous attention to detail and a passion for improving customer experiences, she is responsible for creating many of the services DDD offers. Prior to starting the company, she was Producer and Corporate Communications Director for High Voltage Software, Inc. Sheri got her start in the game industry over 15 years ago and has more than 30 game credits under her belt. She is an avid philanthropist and fierce advocate for the betterment of the video game industry, dedicating much of her free time to volunteer organizations including the Red Cross, Women in Games International (WIGI), and the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). Sheri received her B.S. summa cum laude in Business Administration and serves on the boards for Global Game Jam, IGDA, IGDA Chicago, and Rival Games Oy.

Volunteer Contributions/Credits:
Lifetime Member & Volunteer from 1999-Present
IGDA Annual Report 2005: Member Highlight (One of only three volunteers highlighted that year)
Board of Directors:
Board Member (2012-Present)
Secretary (2012-Present)
IGDA Chicago (Member & Volunteer from 2000-Present): Executive Advisory Board (2004-2005), Board of Directors, Treasurer (2011-Present), Interim Chair (2013-Present)
IGDA Orange County (Member & Volunteer from 2009-Present): Board of Directors, Treasurer (2009-2010)
Quality Assurance SIG (Member & Volunteer from 2004-Present): Founder, Chair (2004-2011), Chair Emeritus (2011-Present)
Sexuality In Games SIG (Member & Volunteer from 2004-Present): Founder, Leadership Council Member (2004-2005)
Women In Games SIG (Member & Volunteer from 1999-Present): Steering Committee Member (2010), Advisory Board Member (2009-2010, 2012-Present)
Member & Volunteer for: Casual Games SIG, Diversity SIG, Game Accessibility SIG, Game Design SIG, Human Resources SIG, Localization SIG, Quality of Life SIG, Production SIG, Programmers SIG, and Writing SIG (2001-Present)
Member of over a dozen other SIGs (2002-Present)
Committees and Task Forces:
IGDA Marketing and Communications Committee Member & Volunteer (2010-Present), Chair (2012-Present)
IGDA Chapter Committee Member & Volunteer (2010-2011)
IGDA SIG Committee Member & Volunteer (2010-2011)
IGDA Voter Guidance Task Force Member & Volunteer (2009-Present)
IGDA Programs and Memberships Committee Member & Volunteer (2007-2010)
IGDA Scholars Volunteer: Mentor (2005-2006, 2010, 2013), Judge (2007-2009, 2012-Present), Coordinator (2011), Committee Member (2012-Present)
Global Game Jam Volunteer: Global Play Party Coordinator (2011), Chicago Site – Mentor & Judge (2012-Present)
IGDA Chicago Game Jam Volunteer: Organizer (2011), Mentor (2013)
IGDA GDC Volunteer: Planning Committee (2011-2012)
IGDA Summit Volunteer: Planning Committee (2011-2012)

Neal Sales-Griffin

One day I got tired of being merely a consumer of video games and other technology and wanted to get involved in developing software myself. In my journey to learn I ended up discovering I wasn’t the only one that had that problem, so I started a school called The Starter League to help solve it for myself and others. My goal is to take an entrepreneurial approach to software development by building web applications that are designed as games.

In the past I’ve helped start some companies, and I’ve worked at a couple venture capital investment firms where I did research on the video-gaming industry and analyzed technology and for-profit education start-ups. I convinced one of those companies to send me to the GDC a few years and after getting to know the awesome guys at Tap.me as well as connecting with Josh Tsui of Robomodo, I wanted to find ways to help galvanize the Chicago game development community.

I crashed an IGDA member meeting with the Board of Directors in San Francisco, and asked them why there wasn’t much activity in Chicago. They said they didn’t know but wanted to talk further. So I followed up and discovered that things had been dormant for quite some time! Instead of sitting back and complaining or dissing the chapter’s inactivity, I decided to take matters into my own hands by getting involved. In doing so I helped re-establish the IGDA Chicago Chapter back in 2010 with the help of Sheri Rubin and Josh Tsui.

It was a tough road at first, no one really knew who I was (or cared much about IGDA/ Chicago for that matter), but I persisted and kept trying to make connections in order to seize an opportunity to start helping Chicago become a vibrant community again. In doing so I met Jay Margalus and Heather Decker-Davis, two amazingly committed people.

In the past year, I’ve been really involved in running my school, and while I’ve served on the board still, my commitment pales in comparison to Sheri’s, Patrick’s, Eric’s and Heather’s. My goal for this next year is to continue offering my company’s resources and facilities to host IGDA Chicago events, and to stay active in supporting the programming and events our team comes up with and puts on. I really enjoyed hosting game tournaments for Super Smash Brothers and Injustice this year, I’m already thinking about the next game tournament I’d like to host.

I would love to continue serving the Chicago community through the events, workshops, game jams, and parties that we have been successfully planning and implementing over the past year.

Eric Shofe

Candidate Statement:

Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten to know quite a few of our members here in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. I’m continually amazed at the pool of talent and skill in this city. With each interaction and every event I attend, my conviction to help unite this amazing group of people grows stronger.

I believe it’s critical to form an alliance amongst ourselves and really bring it, as far as supporting each other goes. I have some solid plans to enrich the lives of our members and I’m excited to see how we will implement them in the future. Things like a device library/exchange for our mobile developers, a more active presence on the IGDA Chicago jobs board from local studios and continuing to improve the value of our monthly events for our membership, are on my to do list for the new year.

It takes time, commitment, knowledge, creativity and passion to make games and I plan to continue to employ those same things in my time spent volunteering with IGDA Chicago. From game jams to developer panels, product demos to social events, look for many more great things in the future from IGDA Chicago.

Thank you for your support!

Eric Shofe


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