Adam D. Davis, MA Ed, co-founded Game to Grow and is a principle architect of the Game to Grow Method of Therapeutically Applied Role-Playing Games. With a degree in drama therapy from Antioch University Seattle, he has provided training to hundreds of professionals in TA-RPG and spoken to thousands about applied gaming. Adam is published in the field of geek therapy, with his most recent publication being Therapeutically Applied Role-Playing Games: The Game to Grow Method. In addition to his work with Game to Grow, Adam also developed the CoRe Gaming program for Seattle’s Atlantic Street Center to teach Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills using video games, served as an educator at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, and taught fourth-grade literacy.
Director of Groups Services
Michael More, MSc, has worked professionally with neurodiverse youth, teens, and adults for over 15 years in community centers, universities, and sports teams. In 2013, Michael started organizing and running gaming groups for co-workers, friends, and the local community, often using his own games, maps, and stories. Through all he is involved with, Michael strives to create welcoming, fun, dynamic spaces for folks to come together and learn from each others’ experiences. Michael is an alumni of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he earned an MSc in 2012, and also works in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington.
Gregory Barrett has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Education from Western Washington University and was part of the campus improv troupe. He has been teaching skills using Live-Action Role Playing Games for the past seven years in Portland Oregon, and brings what he’s learned from outdoor education to his work with Game to Grow. In addition to role-playing games, Gregory enjoys practicing archery and exploring the forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Andrew Brazzale, MSW has been working in the mental health field for several years after earning his Master’s degree in Social Work and Bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Illinois. He presently works as both a facilitator for Game to Grow and as a counselor for a local mental health community agency. He is very active player of tabletop role-playing games and board games, as well as engaging in other “general nerdery.”
Anna Choquette, MSW received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Dayton, and is a graduate from The Ohio State University’s Master’s program in Social Work. She has found a passion working with LGBTQ+ youth, and strives to make her table accessible to everyone. Anna has been gaming both as a player and as a game master since she was eight, and knows the absolute joy players can feel when accomplishing something big in-game.
Hillary Clayton, MS Ed, earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Johns Hopkins and has been working with youth professionally for ten years as a classroom teacher, tutor, and after school program coordinator. She runs the gaming club at her school and has been a lifelong fan of video games, dating back to her very first GameBoy in the 90’s. Hillary was introduced to TTRPGs five years ago and has fallen in love with the storytelling, creativity, and cooperation she experiences as both a player and a game facilitator. At her table, Hillary hopes to inspire a lot of laughs, a sense of belonging, and a handful of wholesome moments.
Sekayi Edwards, LMFT, earned his Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy at California Institute of Integral Studies. Sekayi also works as a therapist privately and for a community-based clinic. He has worked with children and families for over 19 years in various capacities and enjoys facilitating TTRPGs as a space to draw from the power of the arts, culture, geekdom, and education in service of strengthening identities and relationships.
Randi Heidenreich earned their Bachelor’s in Human Services from California State University of Fullerton. Randi’s older brother introduced them to table top role-playing at an early age. She loves collaborative storytelling, especially when working with LGBTQ+ and neurodiverse youth. Randi enjoys integrating character backstories in their games and seeks to make their table a safe space where players can practice emotional regulation, conflict resolution, and forge lifelong friendships. Outside of work, she enjoys video gaming and reading a wide range of fantasy novels.
Amelia Herbst, MS is a clinical psychology doctoral student at Chestnut Hill College and has her master’s in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. She has worked as a therapist in multiple environments, from teens in residential treatment to older adults in community mental health. She started using TTRPGS with college students to practice addressing their social anxiety through role playing. As a therapist, Amelia is passionate about using games and geek culture because of their ability to empower, inspire, and heal.
Kerry Järvi has worked as an educator for many years, teaching 2nd and 3rd Grade for Baltimore City Public Schools, English as a Second Language in South Korea, and Finnish as a Second Language at Concordia Language Villages. He is currently pursuing his MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Antioch University Seattle. Kerry is an avid gamer, particularly favoring collaborative board games and role playing games.
Hayden Jones holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Missouri and is a student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Antioch University. Hayden has worked extensively in educational roles helping students learn necessary skills to promote self esteem and positive communication with others. He has worked with all ages in mental health and education settings, and believes in fostering healthy communication skills through strength-based approaches, positive communication, and humor.
Ellie Lovde is currently earning a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling & Addiction Studies at Antioch University in Seattle. Ellie has a decade of experience with all ages in a variety of healthcare roles, including as an EMT in their home city of New Orleans and for Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. They are passionate about aiding LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent folks build resilience with self-compassion, storytelling, and humor. Ellie has been writing and world-building since childhood, inspired by video and tabletop games alike.
Tommy Nolan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Education from Illinois State University and is a hands-on drama educator specializing in teaching using non-traditional classroom spaces. He has worked with learners of all ages and has a passion for creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth. At his table, Tommy strives to foster good relationships, collaborative storytelling, and more than a few good laughs.
Rachel Pollari, MA earned her B.A. in English and creative writing from the University of Iowa and her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison iSchool. She previously worked as a Teen Services Library Assistant cultivating programs and partnerships to help teens reach their highest potential. A teen introduced her to TTRPGs, and she quickly became passionate about the intersection of stories, teamwork, and dice. At her table, Rachel aims to foster leadership, empathy, and community.
Akira Sakoda has been facilitating groups since 2019 and has a wealth of experience working with a wide variety of kids and teens. In his time at Game to Grow he’s helped create a path for the continued expansion of the facilitator role. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and an A.A. in English from the University of Washington and a lifelong passion for using games, puzzles, and humor to enlighten.
Johnny Spangler, MA, LMHC, earned his degree in Mental Health Counseling at Antioch University and currently works as a counselor for adolescents and young adults around the Seattle area. He is also an adjunct professor at Antioch University in Seattle, teaching classes in their counseling program. His previous experience focused around teaching communication skills to students of all ages from classrooms to offices. His work reflects his deep belief that the greatest skill one can learn is how to communicate effectively with those around them.
Teri N Todd earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling with a focus on Children and Adolescents from Lewis University. Prior to working with Game to Grow, Teri worked in Community Mental Health settings in Southern Illinois specializing in using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Play Therapy with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. When she isn’t working, Teri loves relaxing with her cats and husband, watching role-playing games and Minecraft on YouTube and Twitch. She also spends time with her family enjoying the country.
Paden Vance, MA, is a graduate of Antioch University where he earned his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Drama Therapy. In undergraduate, he earned a double major in Psychology and Theatre while acting in as many plays as he could. Paden first learned about the benefits of role-playing games while using games for social skills development groups in the Seattle area. In 2020, he co-wrote an original drama therapy social skills curriculum for neurodiverse youth. Paden has been playing video games all his life and has a soft spot for everything Nintendo.
Tor Warren earned his Bachelor’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he began his exploration of tabletop role-playing games. In his work with youth, he seeks to build safe spaces that encourage creative expression. When he isn’t facilitating groups for students or playing games with friends, he’s creating comics and illustrations for fantasy anthologies. Tor enjoys reading extensive backstories and implementing them into collaborative narratives almost as much as he likes writing them himself.
Director of Critical Core
Virginia Spielmann is Executive Director of STAR Institute for Sensory Processing, in Colorado. She trained as an Occupational Fielding Graduate University in Infant and Early Childhood Development with an emphasis on mental health. Virginia has been working with children from 0-19 for more than 20 years, and believes in strengths based, respectful support for all individuals and is an advocate for the social model of disability.