We’re proud to welcome new members to the GaymerX board of directors. After an extensive search and vetting process, we have selected a group of experienced games industry and nonprofit professionals. Each one of them is deeply committed to our mission of supporting and celebrating LGBTQ+ people and culture in gaming.
Over the next year, our board will focus on fundraising, improving and increasing the programming offered by GaymerX, and developing partnerships with other nonprofit organizations as well as gaming and tech companies. Keep an eye out for exciting announcements in the coming weeks.
We’re thrilled to introduce to you our new board members…
Cherry Thompson is a games accessibility specialist/developer with a keen focus in systems design and user experience. They’ve worked on projects of various sizes from small indies like Gambrinous (Cardpocalypse), GlitchMN (HyperDot) to AAA such as Guerrilla Games (Horizon Zero Dawn), Media Molecule (Dreams), Crystal Dynamics (Marvel’s Avengers), Ubisoft and more.
Cherry is also a successful public speaker at conferences like GDC, Full Indie, PAX, a11yTO and internal to many studios. They’re bisexual and non-binary and have a passion for making both games and the industry inclusive of everyone. Their hobbies consist of cake eating, bird watching and adventuring with their one eyed cat, Odin.
Mark Barlet has 25 years of hands-on experience in the technology and assistive technology field. Widely regarded as one of the leaders of 508 accessibility, Mark manages a team of high-end accessibility experts through his veteran-founded business The Barlet Group, as well as the highly trained assistive technology experts at AbleGamers. In 2004, Mark founded AbleGamers after Multiple Sclerosis attacked his best friend, Stephanie Walker, nearly taking away her ability to interact and connect through video games. His vision was to ensure that no one with a disability would ever be without answers on how to conquer disabilities and continue enjoying one of the world’s largest past times.
Pronouns: He/Him or They/Them
James Nieves has been leading local gaming communities since a young age and has proudly attended every GaymerX convention held in North America. They led video game operations for GaymerX East, Flame Con’s gamer lounge and most recently organized events for Samsung 837 and local NYC gaming communities. James has a deep love for classic video games and enjoys retro-inspired indie titles.
Katie Kaitchuck is the Executive Director of GaymerX. She is a staunch proponent of incorporating more robust Diversity & Inclusion initiatives into the games industry. An AmeriCorps VISTA alumna, she is a seasoned nonprofit and gaming industry professional having honed her skills at Ubisoft, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and Feminist Frequency.
In her early days at GaymerX, she organized the –now yearly– GaymerX GDC Scholarship Program, sending LGBTQIA+ game developers to Game Developers Conference in San Francisco since 2018. In her role as Executive director she has traveled the country speaking at gaming conventions and advocating for more and better queer representation in games. In the coming years, she plans to expand the scholarship program to be a more holistic offering, ensuring that participants can travel and be housed safely while in San Francisco. She is also in the process of developing exciting new programs to add to GaymerX’s portfolio.