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The Midwest Gaming Classic hosts lots of industry professionals each year! Here are the guests we expect to host this year!

List subject to change.

Chuck Bleich

Chuck Bleich

Chuck Bleich

Chuck Bleich

Chuck’s current position is to oversee all electronics that are developed for the games at Stern Pinball. Chuck has a long history with the coin-operated game industry and has designed and oversaw various gaming electronics at a variety of companies for the better part of 43 years.

John Borg

John Borg

John Borg

John Borg

Pinball designer John Borg has created more than 25 iconic titles including Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Tales From the Crypt, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Man, Metallica, Tron, Aerosmith, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Steve Bowden

Steve Bowden

Steve Bowden

Steve Bowden

Steve is the Sales and Marketing Manager at American Pinball working social media, helping distributors, and assisting with implementation of game rulesets. He is also among the top competitive pinball players in the world and has received a following for his tournament commentary as well as for his pinball news website, Fun with Bonus. 

Dave Brennan

Dave Brennan

Dave Brennan

Dave Brennan

Dave Brennan is the Tech Service Manager at American Pinball, helping to the incredible American Pinball machines running with phone, email and tech video support!

John Buscaglia

John Buscaglia

John Buscaglia

John Buscaglia

John is the Chief Revenue Officer and VP of Sales and Marketing at Stern Pinball, Inc. Before pinball, he had experience in leadership with many other Fortune 500 companies. Picture courtesy of the PinGame Journal.

Don and Liz Caldwell

Don and Liz Caldwell

Don and Liz Caldwell

Don and Liz Caldwell

Don and Liz have been ambassadors for MGC since the early days. Don has authored various pinball articles and is always ready to share his knowledge and Liz is a keen competitor. Together they are very active in the Milwaukee pinball scene and often host league nights.

Tylor Carson

Tylor Carson

Tylor Carson

Tylor Carson

Tylor Carson is the Director of Location Entertainment with Stern Pinball. He’s been with Stern for about 8 months now, and prior to that he spent over 9 years in the beverage industry involved with a few distribution companies, Boston Beer, and Yerbaé. With Stern he directly manages and oversees everything Stern Army related. Responsible for growing, and maintaining the location based pinball! Look forward to meeting and discussing the Stern Army program at MGC!

Scott Danesi

Scott Danesi

Scott Danesi

Scott Danesi

Spooky Pinball*

Pinball Designer, Pinball Software

Pinball designer, mechanical engineer, sound and music programmer and software engineer… Scott did it all on Total Nuclear Annihilation and is the designer behind Rick & Morty pinball! Scott built Total Nuclear Annihilation just to create a semi-simple custom machine. The result was so good, Spooky Pinball worked with Scott to start production of the machine in 2017!

Jack Danger

Jack Danger

Jack Danger

Jack Danger

Jack Danger is the eccentric and enthusiastic host of the award-winning Pinball broadcast, DeadFlip on Twitch! A daily live-stream focusing on Pinball that was only meant to be a fun side project, but today is the largest visual outlet for Pinball game launches, tutorials, and entertainment.  Danger is also Stern Pinball’s newest Pinball Designer, and already has a title under his belt with the Jurassic Park Home game. Growing the hobby and showing how fun Pinball can be, is his number one goal. 

Larry Demar

Larry Demar

Larry Demar

Larry Demar

Larry Demar worked with Eugene Jarvis to design games like Defender and Robotron 2084 before moving into pinball where he is credited on the design and / or software team for many of the most successful pinball machines ever including the Addams Family, Twilight Zone, Fun House, High Speed, Space Shuttle, Black Knight and World Cup Soccer!

Brian Eddy

Brian Eddy

Brian Eddy

Brian Eddy

Brian Eddy started in pinball doing effects, moved on to software and then got the chance to design games, and… wow! Brian designed both Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness, two of the best rated pinball machines ever! Recently, it was announced that Brian has returned to pinball with Stern Pinball as Senior Game Designer!

Barry Engler

Barry Engler

Barry Engler

Barry Engler

Barry is the Production Manager for American Pinball, overseeing parts, building, QC, and shipping of American Pinball machines. He has been working within the pinball industry since 1990 starting as an operator prior to coming to work on the manufacturing side in 2018.

David Fix

David Fix

David Fix

David Fix

David is the Executive Vice President of American Pinball, overseeing all business and production operations. He has been involved in the pinball and gaming industry for over 20 years, including his role as Vendor Hall Chairman for the Chicago Pinball Expo. 

Gary Flower

Gary Flower

Gary Flower

Gary Flower

Independent*

Writer, Historian

Gary is an author and historian for the hobby of pinball, perhaps most well known for his outstanding book “The Lure of the Silver Ball.” Gary has also done countless presentations and seminars to help share his knowledge and keep the history of pinball alive, including helping to invite many of our pinball VIPs to the show this year!

Erik Gilly

Erik Gilly

Erik Gilly

Erik Gilly

Erik is the main person at Stern pinball who helps to manage and grow the Stern distribution chain, helping to get the machines that Stern is building into people’s hands to play! Before working at Stern, Erik played a similar role for Bandai Namco.

George Gomez

George Gomez

George Gomez

George Gomez

George leads the game design studio. He has spent his entire career creating entertainment products. His diverse portfolio includes early 80’s video arcade games, consumer toys, redemption novelty games, PlayStation and XBOX video games and Williams and Bally pinball machines, including hits such as Monster Bash and Pinball 2000 Revenge From Mars. He first worked with Stern pinball as a consultant designer; during which time he created hits such as Lord of the Rings, The Sopranos, and Batman the Dark Knight. In 2010 Gary Stern and Dave Peterson invited him to join the company full time to lead the design studio. He has designed 18 pinball machines over the course of his career; 13 of those titles for the Stern brand. Occasionally, the company still lets him design a game. His latest design was Deadpool

Michael Grant

Michael Grant

Michael Grant

Michael Grant

Michael Grant is the Marketing Manager of Stern Pinball. Michael assists with all Stern Pinball marketing activities, including the promotion of Insider Connected and Stern Army initiatives, content creation and community relations. Michael also helps coordinate the logistics for Stern’s presence at pinball shows. An avid pinball player, Michael relocated from New England to Chicago in early 2020 to begin his career in pinball as the sales and marketing manager of a pinball startup. Before pinball, Michael marketed licensed collectibles, tabletop and collectible card games to retailers across North America and beyond.  

Carson Gunby

Carson Gunby

Carson Gunby

Carson Gunby

Carson is usually busy making sure all the computer systems and network infrastructure are all up to the task of allowing our talented team to create all the great pinball games that Stern produces. Much like pinball, it’s a constantly advancing field that gives him plenty of new things to work on. He also assists with much of the physical and electronic documentation that goes into the release of each title.

Imoto (Arcade) Harney

Imoto (Arcade) Harney

Imoto (Arcade) Harney

Imoto (Arcade) Harney

Imoto does it all! As the face of MarcoTV, Imoto helps introduce the world of pinball to new players and educate pinballers of all ages! A positive force in the community, Imoto Arcade is there to cover it and share her love of all things arcade!

Ben Heck

Ben Heck

Ben Heck

Ben Heck

Ben is a master hacker, engineer and tech hobbyist who has done things that touch nearly every aspect of the show… including naming it in 2002! Ben has hacked consoles to create portable versions of them, created pinball machines that were then manufactured by Spooky Pinball, talked with Dan and Terry Diebold to help fix the Nintendo Playstation Prototype and runs a popular online show, the Ben Heck Show, while he’s at it all!

Evan Kirby

Evan Kirby

Evan Kirby

Evan Kirby

Evan is the Director of North American Commercial Sales for Stern Pinball. He manages Stern’s relationships with distribution partners while helping place games on location for the public to enjoy! Evan also oversees Stern’s award-winning Insider Connected program in the commercial market. A second-generation member of the industry, Evan previously worked with TouchMagix and Andamiro USA before joining Stern Pinball.

Tanio Klyce

Tanio Klyce

Tanio Klyce

Tanio Klyce

Tanio is the Senior Software Engineer at Stern Pinball, which means that he writes the code for some of your favorite Stern games like The Walking Dead and Star Trek! Before working at Stern, he was a Developer at both Valve and Backbone Entertainment working in the video game field.

Kevin Kolodziej

Kevin Kolodziej

Kevin Kolodziej

Kevin Kolodziej

Kevin joined Stern’s Product Development team as a Mechanical Engineer in December of 2021. He has been playing pinball as long as he can remember and has always been fascinated by how the insides of a machine work. While working with pinball machines was not something he realized could become a career until recently, his 20+ years of designing and building competitive robots as a hobby and professionally has certainly prepared him well for anything a game designer can throw at him. 

Josh Kugler

Josh Kugler

Josh Kugler

Josh Kugler

American Pinball*

Director of Software Engineering

A pinball fan since a young age, Josh used his homebrew games as his resume to switch careers and jump into the pinball industry.  He was instrumental in the launch of American Pinball as he did rules, programming, and a whole lot more on their games.  Josh uses the ‘method’ approach to pinball, totally immersing himself into the themes he works on. Learning all he could about magic and the man himself while working on Houdini, drinking a ton of beer and eating unhealthy carnival food while doing Oktoberfest and driving fast and wild for Hot Wheels (fighting an evil scientist and his dinosaurs was not an option).

Mike Kyzivat

Mike Kyzivat

Mike Kyzivat

Mike Kyzivat

It’s those dastardly Kyzivat brothers, as George Gomez has dubbed us.  Well, one half of the dastardly duo anyway.  Hi, this is Mike Kyzivat.  I am a programmer here at Stern pinball and I’ve been with the company for a little over 10 years.  I was originally hired in 2007 and have worked as a support programmer, designer, and even voice actor on many games.  Some highlights include Shrek, Spider-Man Vault Edition, Elvira House of Horrors, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Deadpool, Godzilla, and Ghostbusters.  I am also a massive fan of pop culture, which lends itself well to my line of work, especially in theme integration and writing dialogue.

Tom Kyzivat

Tom Kyzivat

Tom Kyzivat

Tom Kyzivat

It is I, the other half of the dastardly Kyzivat Brothers duo!  Mike handles the programming while I storyboard and animate the LCD screen animations!  I came into the business in 2007, and have been slingin’ pixels ever since.

Randy Martinez

Randy Martinez

Randy Martinez

Randy Martinez

Randy Martinez has created official art for Lucasfilm (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), Marvel, DC, Aliens, Harry Potter, The San Diego Padres and The San Francisco Giants. Considered the Swiss Army Knife of Illustrators, Randy Martinez has been creating Cartoons, Caricatures, Illustrations, Paintings, and 3D art for just about every form of media and merchandise, since 1992.

Ed Owens

Ed Owens

Ed Owens

Ed Owens

Ed is general manager for Victory Glass restoration jukebox parts, oversees parts reproduction and overall operation.  Ed has been active in the coin op hobby for over 20 years restoring jukebox’s pinball and arcades. Active YouTube co-host of Pinball Mayhem.

Allan Reizman

Allan Reizman

Allan Reizman

Allan Reizman

Allan Reizman is a former Bally R&D lab supervisor and a pioneering member of the solid state pinball electronics design team. Allan’s team was responsible for Squawk and Talk, Vidiot, and the -17/35 and 6803 MPU platforms. Allan often worked with game designers to bring their ideas to fruition whether it be a long forgotten talking Kiss game, Xenon Multiball, or a Flash Gordon flash-tube. Still working as a computer engineer today, Allan continues to assist the Bally pinball community with their projects and trivia.

Kevin Schechtel

Kevin Schechtel

Kevin Schechtel

Kevin Schechtel

Kevin Schechtel is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Stern Pinball.

Stern Pinball, Inc. designs and manufactures arcade-quality pinball games. It is the only maker of arcade-quality pinball games in the world and is located just outside Chicago, Illinois. For a quarter of a century Stern has continued to carry the pinball banner and promote the game throughout the world.

Aaron Schmitt

Aaron Schmitt

Aaron Schmitt

Aaron Schmitt

Aaron is the new Owner of Victory Glass Restoration parts. He has been a long time jukebox and arcade collector. Oversees all new products and operation of victory glass. Grew up around jukeboxes in the living room as his family has a history with operating and collecting Coinop machines.

Max Senesac

Max Senesac

Max Senesac

Max Senesac

Max Senesac- Max is a Sales Associate at American Pinball hailing from Milwaukee. He works with distributors, shipping tasks, and is the face at the American front desk/voice on the main phone line.

Zach Sharpe

Zach Sharpe

Zach Sharpe

Zach Sharpe

Zach of all trades, master of all things pinball! Director of Marketing for Stern Pinball. Vice President of the International Flipper Pinball Association. Former #1 ranked competitive pinball player in the world. To say I was born into the world of pinball would be an understatement. To say I love my job working in the pinball industry would be a disservice. When you love your job you never work a day in your life and I hope to live a very long one with pinball by my side!

Jim Shird

Jim Shird

Jim Shird

Jim Shird

28 Year veteran of the Pinball/Amusement Game Industry, Jim got his start at Alvin G in 1991. Working on games such as Mystery Castle and Pistol Poker before designing Punchy the Clown. In 1994 Jim moved to Williams/Bally where he ran the Manufacturing Lab. He continued to do Electrical Cabling, manager of the prototype lab and was a part of the Pinball 2000 design team. Currently at Stern working on the electrical configurations for games and making sure they are in compliance.

Dwight Sullivan

Dwight Sullivan

Dwight Sullivan

Dwight Sullivan

Williams Electronics, Stern Pinball*

Senior game developer

Dwight is currently a senior game designer with Stern Pinball, and has worked on lots of different games for Stern, including being the team leader for games like Pirates of the Caribbean and more! Before that, he worked for Williams Electronics.

Jerry Thompson

Jerry Thompson

Jerry Thompson

Jerry Thompson

Stern Pinball*

Sound designer

Jerry is a sound designer working on some of Stern’s best titles recently including Iron Maiden, Star Wars, Batman ‘66, Ghostbusters and Whoa Nellie: Big Juicy Melons!

Mark Valuch

Mark Valuch

Mark Valuch

Mark Valuch

Love pinball? Learn how it works with Mark’s Basement Arcade! Mark has an incredible YouTube channel where he shows how to fix and maintain older, electro-mechanical pinball machines. Want to ask questions while you learn? Mark hosts Mark’s Basement Arcade Chat and Repair every Sunday at 2 pm CST on tvMGC on Twitch!

Mukesh Vasani

Mukesh Vasani

Mukesh Vasani

Mukesh Vasani

Mukesh is the Founder and CEO of Aimtron Group, known for the production of printed chip electronics, and the parent company of American Pinball. He has utilized his manufacturing business expertise in building up American Pinball to a major player within the industry and is continuing to expanding it to the next level. Mr. Vasani also started the Aimtron Foundation which is a not-for-profit Sec 501(c)(3) USA / 80G entity with the focus to empower youth to pursue their full potential and engage in community social activity.

Nirmal Vasani

Nirmal Vasani

Nirmal Vasani

Nirmal Vasani

American Pinball

Marketing Strategist

Nirmal has been with the American Pinball since 2018. He started on in sales and marketing, and moved to a project management role in 2020. He directs efforts to design electronics, creates PCBA prototypes, and troubleshoots electrical and PCBA design related issues.

Mike Vinikour

Mike Vinikour

Mike Vinikour

Mike Vinikour

Mike does software testing, helps with rule design, and runs the Stern Pinball field test program to ensure that the Stern Pinball machines are the most fun they can be!

Brett Weiss

Brett Weiss

Brett Weiss

Brett Weiss

National columnist Brett Weiss has been a gamer since 1975 and a professional gaming writer since 1997. He’s the author of a dozen books, including The NES Omnibus Vol. 1 and 2, The SNES Omnibus Vol. 1 and 2, and The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987. With his Classic Home Video Games series, he wrote the world’s first complete guides to numerous video game consoles, including the Atari 5200, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Vectrex, Odyssey2, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Neo Geo, TurboGrafx-16, and Sega Genesis.

Eddie Yates

Eddie Yates

Eddie Yates

Eddie Yates

Abt Electronics, Stern Pinball

Technical Support Engineer (Stern Pinball)

Hey there! My name is Eddie Yates, and I am a technical support engineer for Stern Pinball. I joined the Stern Family in October 2020. Prior to joining Stern Pinball, I worked at Abt Electronics as an appliance repair technician for 7 years. Overall, I’ve been in customer service and in the technology industry for over ten years. At Stern, I’m responsible for customer service, which includes diagnosing and advising on the repair of our pinball games. In my department, we reach out to all branches of the company. We work with programming, engineering, marketing, sales, as well as manufacturing

Alumni

Below are some of our guests from past shows

 

 

Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson

Perhaps best known for his role as Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters series (including voice work for the video game and pinball machine!), Hudson has appeared in countless movies and shows, and is currently producing and starring in The Family Business on BET. Mr. Hudson is expected to join us on Saturday, April 13.

Eugene Jarvis

Eugene Jarvis

Eugene Jarvis

Eugene Jarvis

Atari Pinball, Williams Electronics, Vid Kidz, Midway, Raw Thrills*, Play Mechanix*

Video Game Programmer, Pinball Programmer, Co-Founder of Vid-Kidz, Owner of Raw Thrillz

Eugene designed many landmark arcade video games including Defender, Robotron 2084, Narc, Smash TV, and the Cruis’n series. He also worked in pinball, helping to bring designs like Firepower, Pinbot, Space Shuttle, High Speed, and F-14 Tomcat to life. If that isn’t enough, he owns Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix, the premier modern arcade developer with hits such as the Walking Dead, Jurassic Park, Injustice Arcade, the Big Buck Hunter series, and more!

Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee

Gottlieb

Arcade Video Concept and Design

@!#?@! Perhaps best known as the creator of Q*Bert, Jeff Lee is an artist who created great work for many of Gottlieb’s video arcade games, as well as games on the Macintosh and Genesis.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern

Gary Stern

Gary Stern

Stern Electronics, Data East, Sega Pinball, Stern Pinball*

President*

Gary Stern has been in the pinball industry his entire life, starting by working with Stern Electronics, then moving to Pinstar, Data East, Sega Pinball, and then eventually in 1999 purchasing the company from Sega and renaming it Stern Pinball. Since 1999, Stern Pinball has been the largest pinball manufacturer in the United States, producing multiple incredible machines each year!