Special Guests

Proto ATL

Special Guests


Kathleen Mercury has been teaching gifted middle school students for fourteen years, using design thinking to create functional art from tabletop game design, RPG design, filmmaking, cosplay, and more. She shares all of her game design teaching resources at kathleenmercury.com for free, and loves to collaborate with educators and industry leaders to promote game design curriculum at every level and format. 

She currently cohosts the podcasts, Games in Schools and LibrariesBoard Game Broadscast, and is a frequent guest on other podcasts. She has multiple games in various stages of design with her first, Dragnarok, hitting Kickstarter in early 2020. Kathleen thinks happiness comes from being able to create the life you want, and she feels very fortunate that she's been able to do that.


Nicole Fende, A.S.A. has successfully self-published two books with her second premiering at GenCon Authors’ Avenue in 2016. She is a Book Yourself Solid® Certified Coach, and hosts the podcast The Sci-Fi Biz Show. Leveraging her experience as a Chief Financial Officer as well as her time in investment banking, Nicole brings practical financial insight to the board game industry.


Eugene Bryant is a commercial real estate and lending attorney with the law firm of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP. Eugene is also an accomplished board game designer and developer, being the designer of such games as Brook City: The Sixth Cycle, the upcoming Cracked Earth: Pangea in Pieces, and the winner of Hasbro’s Next Great Family Game Challenge, Cloud Control. Eugene has used his professional experience to assist board game distributors and publishers both as an attorney and consultant as well as to educate board game designers on the legal and business issues encountered in the board game industry. Eugene is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia, and he currently resides with his beautiful wife and three children in Atlanta, Georgia.