PixelPop Team

Carol Mertz - Executive Director

Carol Mertz

Executive Director

Carol is an independent game designer, educator, and community organizer. Between making and teaching games, hosting game dev events, and participating in local mentorship and educational programs, Carol spends a substantial amount of her time encouraging others to make games that they can be proud of. Because if there are two things she likes to see, it’s good games and happy people.

Mary McKenzie

Mary McKenzie


Mary is a producer, developer, and builder of worlds for Volcano Bean, a small independent studio currently working on Battlecakes, a snack-sized RPG. She previously produced the all-ages mobile games Sleepy Kraken and Where’s My Goblin for Volcano Bean. Mary is also an event organizer for several area indie craft shows. Coming to game development from a costuming and illustration background, she just really, really likes to make things.

Jeremy Johnson - Logistics Director

Jeremy Johnson

Logistics Director

Jeremy is an event planner and coordinator for nerdy stuff with 10+ years of experience. He is the founder of Dynamic Midwest Events, and the show organizer for the long-running Anime St. Louis convention. His special power is eating almost anything regardless of the conformist notions that breakfast foods should not be eaten for dinner, and vise versa.

Mary McKenzie

James Reichmuth

Media Manager

James Reichmuth is one-half of the entertainment company Forever an Astronaut. Growing up with a love for video games but lacking the fundamental skills to make them, he turned to filmmaking instead, where he co-created the developer-centric documentary series and podcast, Dev Diary. James is excited to dive headfirst into PixelPop and is excited by the possibilities of this year’s festival.


Previous Collaborators

Ben Triola

Ben is the game director/producer and co-founder at St. Louis studio Happy Badger Studio, where they recently released the quest-based hovercraft game, SmuggleCraft. He is also the co-founder of Rampant Interactive and the Mauhaus cat cafe. His dream of having a conference for midwestern game developers is what helped bring PixelPop to life in 2014.

Wendy Buske

Wendy is the producer and PR director at Nerd For A Living. Wendy has been organizing panels and speaking at conventions around the country for several years with Nerd For A Living, and led the charge for programming at PixelPop Festival 2017. Wendy is also Senior Digital Producer & Content Marketing Lead at award-winning advertising agency, Rodgers Townsend – and has nearly a decade of agency experience in digital media, advertising & marketing.

Adron Buske - Media Director

Adron Buske

Adron is the co-founder of Armadian Media and host/creative director of the Nerd For A Living family of podcasts. A digital media veteran since 2001, he also spent 11 years working in the radio industry as a multimedia creative director. Adron is a frequent presenter at pop culture conventions and comic cons around the country, speaking about careers in genre entertainment and ways to power-up your personal and professional life using ideas from gaming and storytelling.