Board of Directors

Joshua ArcherJoshua Archer

Joshua Archer is a co-founder and the President of the Board of The Game Academy, and is following his dream of expanding the horizons of interactive storytelling experiences which engage, educate and motivate.

Joshua has been an avid tabletop role-playing gamer since 1979, and contributes a large portion of his enthusiasm for games, related academic subjects, and a core portion of his socialization to participation in tabletop gaming. Joshua has been a member of the RPGA for years, and was an officer in Paizo's organized play for pathfinder (The Pathfinder Society) for 4 years. 

Joshua received his BA in Philosophy from UC Berkeley in 1994, and worked as a software engineer from 1995 through 2008. For three years, Joshua co-ran Archer Web Solutions with his wife, Julia Dvorin, a web design solutions company. In 2011, Joshua founded Iocari Games, a private company which designs Educational Role Playing Games, and at the beginning of 2016, Joshua and Bert founded The Game Academy.

Joshua has been involved with various educational enrichment programs over the past dozen years using integrative learning opportunities that engage both sides of the brain.

Joshua is currently pursuing his Master of Arts degree in Education at Sonoma State University, with an expected completion date of June, 2017.

Bert HolcombBert Holcomb

Bert Holcomb is a co-founder and the Secretary of the Board of Directors for The Game Academy.

Bert Holcomb is a gifted educator with a passion for the power of narrative. For more than ten years, Bert has worked with Bay Area K-12 students as a classroom teacher, athletics coach, tutor and summer-camp director. In addition to earning a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature (2002) and graduating from Sonoma State University’s rigorous California Teacher Credential program (2010), he has been a Tennis Instructor, a Volleyball Coach, an Event Manager for high-end catering and a Team-Building Educator for both children and adults.

Bert designs and implements interactive storytelling games (RPGs) for The Game Academy, as a diverse and powerful educational tool to engage and inspire players of all ages, backgrounds and interests. In his spare time, he is an active athlete with local sports leagues, an amateur musician, and a not-so-secret comic book geek. Bert finds no greater joy than in sitting down with people to tell a good story.

Aaron VanekAaron Vanek

Aaron Vanek is the Vice-President of the Board of Directors for The Game Academy. He has participated in role-playing games and live action role playing (larp) for over 30 years. He is the former editor of Larp World Magazine, a co-creator of the Larp Census, and has designed interactive and game experiences for the Girl Scouts of America, the West Hollywood Book Fair, Sanrio, Inc., the UCLA Game Lab, the Paul Biane LIbrary in Rancho Cucamonga, and the San Diego Public Library, most recently an ARG for their First Folio Exhibition. He created 17 edu-larps for schools and consulted for Texas State University for their nursing simulation program through Seekers Unlimited, a 501c3 non-profit he founded and ran (2011-2015). He currently teaches analog game design to middle school students at the private Kabbalah Children's Academy in Beverly Hills. He is a regular speaker at game and fan conventions such as San Diego Comic Con, Games for Change Festival, and many more. He has published RPG scenarios through Chaosium, Inc., Pelgrane Press, and forthcoming from SixtyStone Press. 

Michael Azzolino

Michael Azzolino is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for The Game Academy.