The Midwest Gaming Classic hosts lots of industry professionals each year! Here are many of the guests we hosted in 2022! In late Summer / early Fall we’ll start adding our 2023 guests!
List subject to change.
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.
Don and Liz Caldwell
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!
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 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 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 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!
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!
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 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 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
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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
Below are some of our guests from past shows
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.
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!
Stern Electronics, Data East, Sega Pinball, Stern Pinball*
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!