We've got some great news to share this week. We are excited to announce Jason McGuigan, head of Lenovo's Commercial Virtual Reality, as our second keynote. Phoebe Peak's art was chosen as the ECGC 2023 t-shirt design winner. Meet Eli, Derald, Randy, Steph, Jesse, and Bonnie in this week's Speaker Spotlight.
Our social media director, Kenly Simmons, is graduating soon and is looking for opportunities in the game development industry. Check out her bio and make arrangements to meet her at the conference.
Head of Commercial Virtual Reality at Lenovo | VR Supervisor at The Hydrous | Metaverse/VR/AR Thought Leader & Evangelist
Jason McGuigan is the Head of Virtual Reality at Lenovo where he is responsible for the business strategy of VR including solutions, hardware, software, and partnerships. His focus is on driving enterprises to scale adoption of VR in training, collaboration, and the enterprise metaverse. For over 20 years, Jason has designed, directed, and produced award-winning VR experiences and other media for clients including Lenovo, National Geographic, IBM, The Home Depot, BASF, Disney, and many others. A strong passion for gaming and technology drove him to build his first PC over 30 years ago and he has continued to grow this technical knowledge over the decades. This gave him the ability to create unique hardware solutions in the early days of VR for companies such as Gulfstream and General Motors. Jason is a regular speaker, thought leader, and advocate in the VR/AR space and has presented at industry conferences across the globe as well as unique venues like Skywalker Ranch and NASA.
2023 ECGC T-Shirt Design
We were overwhelmed with more than twice as many design submission as previous years. Our judges have selectedPhoebe Peak’s art as the official design for 2023. She will be receiving 2 VIP passes and 2 t-shirts as prizes.
Phoebe's design can be ordered in advance or purchased next to registration during the conference.
Wondering who’s behind ECGC on social media? Meet our Digital Marketing Intern, Kenly Simmons! Kenly is a graphic designer, social media content creator, photographer, cat mom, and longtime lover of video games. Focusing on social media, outreach, and branding, Kenly works to help ECGC grow. Since starting with us in 2022, she has helped to grow our Facebook reach by over 40% and launched a brand new ECGC Instagram account. She will complete her program at Wake Technical Community College later this year and we can’t wait to see what she does next! If you think you could use someone like Kenly (we think you do!) to help with community management and/or social media, you can reach out to her through our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) or email her directly at email@example.com!
Eli is an award-winning actor, voice artist, and director in the film industry. He is the current voice of LFA / UFC Fight Pass, and has voiced several games ranging from Elder Scrolls: Skyrim to the highly anticipated ARPG, Superfuse. Originally from Lynchburg, Virginia, he started his career at age 6 doing theater for the Cherry Tree players. His parents got him involved in the performing arts and martial arts as a way to ensure that he used his energy in a positive way. He began doing theater in elementary school and continued throughout his school years.
In his 20+ years in film and television, he won two awards for Best Actor in a Drama for the short film Henry, which Eli wrote and produced, yet, he still wasn’t totally fulfilled. It wasn’t until 2019/2020, that he started pursuing his journey into the world of voice over, even winning the coveted Gerald “Jerry” Lawson Performance Award for Video Games in 2021. Now he is the voice of several Fortune 500 brands and game franchises.
Being an avid gamer, in 2010, Jesse picked up his first 3D program, Blender, but found another passion as well - filmmaking. Through his filmmaking endeavors he worked in Visual Effects, Animation, Cinematography, Directing and dove deep into the art of Storytelling. Along the way he decided his passion for 3D Animation and VFX was undeniably calling him away from the camera, so he launched his freelance business in early 2020. He worked mainly on commercial projects for clients such as Toshiba, Lenovo and Cree Lighting. It wasn't long after that he was approached by a recruiter to work for a video game company as a VFX artist. After an art test, months of hard work and some initial contract work he landed a full-time role with Funcom as a VFX artist and worked on several other titles through a 3rd party developer. He is currently a Senior VFX Artist with Atomic Arcade working on his childhood dream game in the G.I. Joe Snake Eyes universe.
Steph owns and helps operate Oak City Indie Games, a local indie game showcase event based in Raleigh. Steph has been in the games industry for 12 years working in QA, Customer Service, Community Management and Social Media. Past studios include Epic Games, Invisible Collective, Puny Human and Drastic Games. She is currently working on the next Oak City Indie Games showcase event in October.
Derald Wise, Customer Practice Manager - Games, Amazon
Deraldis a Customer Practice Manager for Games at Amazon Web Professional Services with over 15 years working in the games and simulations industry. He has lead immersive game studios and built training programs around game based technologies to include Mixed Reality, Unreal Engine, Unity and other simulation technologies. He is a veteran of the United States Army and enjoys teaching how game based technologies can be leveraged in the training and education space.
Bonnie is a successful author, professional speaker, and top marketing consultant. Today, Bonnie provides clients with marketing, coaching, and speaking services. Her book, Harmonic Messaging, helps readers learn how to accomplish their business goals. Bonnie’s podcast, From The Bottom To The Top, provides listeners with the tools to bring their business success by using proven sales, marketing, and productivity tactics to their advantage. Bonnie developed the FAST DOT GAME, to improve cognitive function in young children and seniors.
Randy Nash, Principal Technical Designer, Arkane Austin
Randy has been in the game industry for 20 years covering a variety of Design roles but found his calling in Technical Design more than 10 years ago due to his love of solving technical problems and helping others. Getting his start at Red Storm Entertainment working on the Ghost Recon franchise, he later moved to Deep Silver Volition, Playful, and finally to his current home at Arkane Austin. As a Principle Technical Designer his work ranges from helping support Designers with bugs and requests, to identifying and writing tools, to profiling, optimizing, and planning.
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