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 has 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 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 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.
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 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 with 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 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 MANAGER
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.
CAITLIN BROHMAN – ACCOUNTING & OPERATIONS MANAGER
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 MANAGER
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 working 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.
HANNAH WOODS – PROJECT MANAGER
Hannah recently earned her Master of Science specializing in Project Management and previously worked as a system administrator and IT project coordinator. Transitioning from IT to the board game industry was, in her words, the best decision ever! She’s always happy to help transform game makers’ dreams into reality and celebrate every step along the way. Hannah is partial toward games that are fast-paced, slightly chaotic, and highly competitive, such as Bananagrams, Pit, and Nertz. However, she can’t turn down a relaxing round (or twelve) of Unstable Unicorns or Mysterium. When not in the office, you can find her hiking, practicing yoga, and baking. Just don’t ask for her pecan pie recipe, it’s a secret she’ll take to the grave!