MICHAEL FISHER – PRESIDENT
Mike has led Grand Prix International as President and GM for the past 22 years, a business that began with his father John Fisher, who founded the company in 1978 after careers with Montgomery Ward in Chicago and Milton Bradley here in Springfield. Beginning his professional life in 1984, Mike worked in sales and marketing outside the toy and game industry and purchased GPI from his father in 1999 when the latter entered a happy retirement. In its previous incarnation, GPI supplied components to US-based toy companies and commercial printers, but under Mike’s leadership, quickly pivoted to offer complete board game development and production. For the past 25 years, he’s been an avid runner, biker, and triathlete who now enjoys backpacking along the many trails and mountains of New England. Mike’s favorite game is Codenames,, which he plays with his family. He’s also never hesitant to take out the trash at the office (and we thank him for it).
TAMI MURPHY – ACCOUNT MANAGER / MARKETING MANAGER
Tami is an active member of the specialty / small retailer toy and game community. She is the Chair of ASTRA’s Innovation Council, a past member of their Board of Directors, and is an ASTRA Certified Play Expert (CPE). She’s also a board member of The Roachy Fund, a charitable organization formed by GPI employees and the Roach family that raises scholarship money for students interested in a career in commercial art and board game creation. She joined our team in 2005 with The Haywire Group, and now services GPI customers such as Hunt A Killer, Chronicle Books, and others. She previously worked in sales for an event planning firm and an industrial manufacturing company. She is a PROUD (note all caps) alumni of The Ohio State University and a passionate (some would say “obnoxious”) Ohio State football fan. Tami loves Boggle and cherishes every opportunity to beat her Mom at the game, the latter of whom is an avid gamer and crossword puzzler.
DAVID BLANCHARD – VP BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
For the past 15 years, David has worn several hats at GPI and the former Haywire Group, including project management, product development, marketing, and business development. As well as managing production for publishers including Big G Creative, Steve Jackson Games, and The Op Games, he currently partners with the Art Director in the ideation and creation of game concepts that GPI presents to their client roster and potential new customers. David is a cycling enthusiast who has raised thousands of dollars for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and spends his down time writing and recording music. He released an album under the moniker One Trick Phony in 2020. Anomia is his favorite board game.
KATHY KARY – PROJECT MANAGER
Kathy has led a successful career with GPI, a veteran project manager with almost 20 years of experience. She’s responsible for the custom manufacturing of games for a wide customer base, including Bananagrams (their classic word game, Cheeky Butts, and The Furglars,) Tenzi (featuring Slapzi and Itzi), Farkel, and Hunt A Killer (Death at the Dive Bar). Kathy has said how fortunate she is to do a job she loves, and it shows in the close collaboration she has with her clients over the course of the entire project timeline, from initial specs to the end of production. She has a diverse professional history, which she has credited in preparing her for the challenges of project management, from a background in accounting to time spent in the pharmaceutical computer industry. When not at the office, Kathy loves to travel, spend time outdoors, and hang out with her family. She is an avid workout fiend and has been focused on weight training for the past decade.
TOM WETZEL – ACCOUNT MANAGER
Tom is an industry veteran with an impressive network of industry friends he’s gained over the years, no doubt, due to his calm and super approachable manner. He has a real passion for all things board games and grew up playing the standard board games. Tom was introduced to designer games in college and when asked what his favorite kind of board game is, Tom said “I’ll play any game twice.” But when pressed to name just one game as his favorite, he’ll reluctantly Carcassonne (don’t worry Tom, we won’t tell the other games you love that they just don’t make the top cut). In his spare time, Tom unwinds by repairing vintage small engines. Tom also enjoys creative woodworking, baking bread, growing tomatoes, and waterslides.
ERIN GAGNE – LOGISTICS COORDINATOR
Erin keeps the trains running on time for GPI, tracking completion dates for the large majority of our customers and arranging shipping and delivery of goods to one or multiple locations. She came aboard in 2016 and has been in the toy and game industry since she was 14 years old (!), assembling parts in a plastic manufacturing company, which gave her early knowledge of different types of injection and extrusion molding. She was later an assistant manager at KB Toys, and most recently was the Merchandise Manager at Barnes and Noble, running the toys, games, and children’s departments. She also spent 7 years at a large software company managing numerous consultant schedules. In short, Erin is ORGANIZED, and provides excellent service to our customers. She is a monster at gardening (she typically has 3 different summer vegetable gardens going at once), and when it comes to Monopoly, she does not mess around. Erin and her husband have been playing it for over 26 years with friends, family, and now their children. When the games get heated, they’re more than happy to jump into a game of Sorry or Coup. Erin is considered a master of Coup, flexing her game muscle at office lunch breaks.
AL ULLMAN – PROJECT COORDINATOR
Al is a lifetime member of the Toy & Game Industry, having grown up in a board game inventing household, and is excited to join GPI as a Project Coordinator. He hopes to leverage his experience in the field to help game designers find the components that make their games “POP!” at retail and feel great for consumers. Before jumping full time into the board game industry, Al has been a published chemist (ask him about experiments gone wrong), a professional cellist (highlights include performing on stage with the Eagles and soloing with an orchestra), and a music educator (every student was a highlight). He loves all kinds of games from mass market to hobby to TTRPGs. Rather than replay the same games ad nauseum, he prefers to try new games with interesting mechanics, challenges, and interactions. The one exception that he will play over and over is Settlers of Catan, which he has played for the last 7 years to keep in touch with his closest friends from college.
REBECCA D’AMATO – VP ACCOUNTING AND OPERATIONS
Rebecca is responsible for overseeing the accounting workflow of GPI, including order processing, AP/AR, cash management, financial reporting, budgeting, and monitoring internal controls, as well as freight forwarding administration, HR, and office management (her hands are always full). She joined the team in 2016 and has been in the accounting field for over 20 years. She previously worked in the insurance world before joining the board game community. In a previous life, Rebecca traveled the world and once studied abroad in Australia, but has since returned home to Western Massachusetts where she raises her teenage daughters Kloud and Kyla. She worships her morning cup of coffee, and is most comfortable surrounded by puzzles, slippers, and concert tees (“NF,” anyone?). She also laughs aloud daily at “The Lockhorns.” Rebecca’s most amazing fact is that she’s not on any social media, (so don’t try and find her).
RYAN NOONAN – ART DIRECTOR / PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Ryan has been a graphic designer for over 20 years, and joined GPI’s sister company The Haywire Group in 2015 and ran the creative side of the business with his mentor and close friend, Alan Roach. Since 2019, he has led the branding, design, and illustration on projects for some of GPI’s client roster, including Big G Creative (Who’s The G.O.A.T.? and Mega Mouth), Studio71 (Umbrella Academy), and Bananagrams (Duel!), as well as partnering in the development of all game concepts GPI presents to their clients and publishers in the industry. Ryan broke into the board game world with Hasbro in 2012, directing art & visuals for entertainment properties including Star Wars, Jurassic World, and Marvel. He enjoys the beach, cycling, and nature hikes, loves all things logos, all things New England Patriots, and especially his wife and 2 daughters (to whom he routinely takes L’s playing games of Santorini).
CAITLIN OBERG – ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATE
Caitlin joined GPI’s accounting department in February of 2019, having majored in the field at Springfield Technical Community College and Westfield State, where she earned her degree. As well as handling our billing and accounting, she also helps with the behind-the-scenes fun stuff on the product development side of the business, play testing new ideas and concepts that the team reviews and creates. She enjoys a break from dealing with math and numbers all day by engaging in creative and artsy projects at home, surrounded by her dog and 2 cats, Zoey, Oliver, and Sam. She got her family hooked on Tenzi last summer, so much so that it’s now a staple at every family function — and it never gets boring (there are 77 ways to play, after all)!
ARIANNE HUTCHINS – PROJECT COORDINATOR
While Arianne is a big fan of video games, working at GPI allows her to be part of the process of bringing games to life and work with the people who make ‘fun’ possible. She gets particularly excited to help game makers along their journey from concepts to shelves and everywhere in between. Arianne’s favorite card game is Cards Against Humanity, which is pretty on-brand for her sense of humor. However, her more family-friendly favorite is the classic Scattergories, where being frustrated is more of a team sport. Arianne is passionate about lifelong learning and has earned her master’s degree in art education at Boston University.
ARMANIE DELEON – PROJECT COORDINATOR
Armanie is one of two new additions to our staff in 2021. He attended Quinnipiac University where he majored in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. He has first-hand experience with Kickstarter, developing a game, creating the marketing plan, and then managing the campaign. Although his Kickstarter didn’t fund, he is happy to have had the experience now that he finds himself in the game industry. Armanie enjoys and values philosophical conversations, understanding how the world economic and financial systems work. Given his interest in finance, it is no wonder one of his favorite games is Monopoly and in his own words, he is a cutthroat player. He looks forward to the day when he can not only travel for personal entertainment but can attend industry tradeshows.
GRACE BUTTRICK – PROJECT COORDINATOR
Grace is a recent graduate of Western New England University with double majors in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Marketing. While in college, Grace competed in entrepreneurship competitions, winning national and local competitions for business plans and engineering development. Having spent the last four years working in a machine shop building and competing with robots, Grace is excited to help GPI customers manufacture their products. Her favorite card game is Rummy which Grace loves to play with her family but Blood on the Clocktower is the favorite at her weekly game night with friends. In her free time, Grace is an avid reader, loves to sew, she enjoys Zumba, visiting museums and traveling. From those travels, Grace has acquired an impressive collection of decks of cards from both national and international trips.
ALEX MACKIE – ACCOUNT MANAGER
Not only does Alex have one of the more interesting backgrounds among the GPI employees, having majored in neuroscience and sold gastrointestinal devices, but he is also in the lead for the best lumberjack look amongst his co-workers! Alex is an avid and hopeful golfer, spending his weekends at the many clubs and courses around the area. He has a high-energy dog that keeps him on his toes and provides him with an unending supply of stories of canine mischief to share at staff meetings. He manages manufacturing for Games Workshop, Indie Game Studios, and others. His go-to games for gamenight include Coup and Loaded Question.
JACK SCHEURICH – PROJECT MANAGER
Another of our veteran employees, Jack has had great success with GPI since 2000, managing production for several of our largest accounts, such as Wizards of the Coast (D&D Icewind Dale and various dice sets), Roxley Games (Brass Birmingham), Paizo (Pathfinder 2E Beginner Box), Indie Boards & Cards (Coup), The Fountain Tarot, and Gamewright (Rory’s Story Cubes). Jack is a student of European history, a lifelong Dusty Springfield fan (including Dusty In Memphis, one of the finest Southern-fried American Soul albums ever recorded), and proudy calls himself a devout follower of Liverpool FC (though don’t test his knowledge of Celtics basketball). His whereabouts are currently shrouded in mystery.