Who We Are
Brian Lenz: Founder
My passion for gaming started at the early age of three. I remember sitting in on games of Euchre and Monopoly with my family as they did their best to teach me how to play. Albeit the concepts were unclear to me in my early years, the pretty colors, shapes, and the din of dice being rolled were attractive enough. I took a fondness to it all and all of it to me. It was later on in my youth that I knew I had an affinity for gaming. I plays tabletop games any chance I get!
I expanded my passion for gaming when I founded West Michigan Tabletop Gamers in 2011. West Michigan Tabletop Gamers has grown to be one of the premiere tabletop gaming groups in all of Michigan. West Michigan Tabletop Gamers continues to be a shining star for gamers in the local area including GrandCon itself. WMTG was indeed the catalyst that brought myself and Marc together to create GrandCon. GrandCon now lives annually in September of every year, and will forever be Michigan's premiere tabletop gaming convention!
Jason Shroll: Assistant Show Manager
For me, the world of Hobby Gaming came about in 2012, when I randomly picked up a copy of Pandemic at a local bookstore. Previous to that moment I had no idea that anything lied outside the boundaries of Catan. After my third or fourth run-through of the manual, I knew I was on to something big. That purchase sent off a chain reaction of being introduced to Brian Lenz, WMTG, and eventually GrandCon. I am currently in process of exposing as many of these modern titles as I can to my growing family! I am excited to be part of GrandCon and am looking forward to making it the most successful event yet to come!
Ryan Foerch: Volunteer Staff Coordinator
My name is Ryan Foerch. I am the volunteer staff coordinator for GrandCon. My history with gaming started early. I grew up in a family where time together was quite often spent at the table playing cards. My early experience was with games like Monopoly and various card games. In my teen years, I branched out into more complex titles like Acquire and Stock Market. Then there were the dark years of college and my early 20’s where games were pushed to the back of the line. Then, one day in the Spring of 2002, a good friend of mine by the name of Marc Specter lured me into a game of Settlers of Catan. It was all downhill from there. Since that day I have spent countless hours playing a myriad of different games. In 2012, I attended Origins with what is now the Grand Gaming Academy. That was a great experience of not just playing, but also teaching games. It was a blast to sit down with people who wanted to learn the games I love. I had the privilege of meeting Brian Lenz about a year ago, and got on board with he and Marc earlier on to be part of GrandCon's team. The first two years were huge, and I look forward to seeing the convention grow and all of you at the show. Let the games begin!
Jason Kornoely: Community Relations
My name is Jason Kornoely. I am a member of the GrandCon Community Relations Team. I have been playing games of all sorts since I was eight-years old. Being the youngest of five children I was eager to be included so I would play whatever hit the table. We loved to play Risk, Fortress America, and Axis and Allies. We also enjoyed playing Monopoly with custom boards. Marathon games of Trivial Pursuit were often our Saturday night ritual. When my older brother was around, we would roll up D&D characters, lay waste to orc tribes, and liberate treasure from twisting and perilous dungeons. In my adult life, I married a wonderful woman who is patient with my passion for games. We have four children. Two of them are old enough to play games; which we do nearly every Friday night over pizza. We mostly play Dixit, Sushi Go, Machi Koro, and Sleeping Queens.
I love how games bring families together.
I am a teacher at Pine Ridge Elementary in the Forest Hills school district. I have created a board game club at my school; which has been going strong for the past past three years. I also organize family game nights. It is so gratifying to watch kids and their families enjoying quality time together. That is why I am thrilled to be working with the good folks of GrandCon because they believe in the power of games and the magic that they weave among family and friends.
Mitch Neubert: Community Relations
Mitch's first memories of board games involve Monopoly with his cousins, Stratego with his uncle every Sunday, and playing Wise and Otherwise with his family all the time. In college, Mitch was introduced to something he'd never experienced before: Settlers of Catan - after that, he was hooked into the wonderful world of tabletop gaming.
Mitch currently works as the Director of Development for the American Diabetes Association of Greater Michigan and is working hard to fulfill the mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.
When Mitch isn't working or playing tabletop games, he enjoys adventuring and being outdoors with his wife and family. Mitch currently resides in Grand Rapids.