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The Creative Team

The Gridheads from Gridopolis

Dave Schultze

OWNER | FOUNDER | CREATOR

Dave founded Gridopolis after the idea was was deemed 'too innovative' by several established toy companies.

Dave is an industrial designer and educator. As an industrial designer, he has developed products for Microsoft, LG, Umbra, Target, and Hasbro. He has won multiple industrial design awards, with work recognized in media coverage worldwide.

As an educator, he has taught at the college level at OTIS College of Art and Design since 2001 and is the lynda.com author of 15 courses in 3D design, modeling, rendering, animation and prototyping.

For fun, Dave likes to fly his paraglider.

Loren Roberts

COMMUNICATIONS & MEDIA

Loren is a multi-talented expert at videography, audio recording and editing, web design, and printed material that move messages forward.

His professional video editing for film and corporate projects has been recognized in festivals worldwide. His  his corporate identity projects have won a long list of industry awards.

In his spare time, Loren is a talented musician who plays a wicked keyboard.

Peter Santaw

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Peter is a seasoned professional product designer, project leader, and engineer.

His 30+ years of professional experience have concentrated of juvenile products and toys. Peter has worked at the Vice President Level for Maclaren, Jakks Pacific and K’nex.

Peter has extensive experience working worldwide with designers, developers, retailers and manufacturers.

His hobbies include a passion for new trends & technologies ... and eating nuts.

Mikko Meronen

ADVISOR / DESIGN & INNOVATION

Mikko is a promotional toy expert with over 25 years of experience in ideating, supervising and presenting industry-leading creative work.

In his career, Mikko has provided the creative "secret sauce" that has helped the companies he worked with land, and retain multi-million dollar accounts like Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy's and Kellogg's to name just a few.

For relaxation, Mikko enjoys yoga.

Samson Lee

ADVISOR / DEVELOPMENT & LAUNCH

Samson is a talented product development and brand consultant. Working with established brands as well as innovative start-ups, Samson brings a passion for building brands that the world can love.

He especially enjoys creating properties that showcase new experiences and characters. Of particular note is Samson's skill at mixing the traditional with the cutting edge, resulting in a sum more compelling than the individual parts.

For fun, this Toronto resident enjoys reminding people that the Raptors are the current champions of the US NBA.

Bill Gordon

MANUFACTURING SOURCING & LOGISTICS

Bill has been offering 'turnkey' solutions to OEM & custom manufacturing in Asia for nearly 20 years.

Working as the liaison between his clients and manufacturers, his emphasis is on combining product concepts, with his product development expertise and engineering capabilities. 

Specializing in unique and exclusively designed products, Bill’s experience includes Educational Products, Toys, Pet, Health & Beauty, and an array of Consumer Product categories. 

Being the 'boots on the ground,'
Bill has a passion for being at the factories and asking questions, which got him the nickname, “The Why Guy." As in, “Why do you do this?” and “Why do you do that?”

Realizing early on that that knowledge is king, Bill is still asking, always learning, and absorbing like a sponge.

Enjoying a work/weekend balance, Bill can often be found hiking, eating, and taking photographs on the weekends. 

Max Rosenblum

COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING

Max is a communications and marketing professional skilled in crafting, targeting and pitching compelling stories for social causes, events and consumer products. He is an expert in utilizing social media platforms to build communities, drive business development and boost brand awareness.

Max is also an experienced writer and editor across many industries including e-commerce, technology, political advocacy, real estate, retail, music and entertainment.

On top of this, Max is a comedian and writer who can be found performing on stages around the Los Angeles area.

Chris is widely published on the topic of toys and family life and his work has appeared in a variety of trade magazines, journals and websites. He is also featured in the Netflix series, The Toys That Made Us as a toy historian. His book on the most popular toys from the 1950s to the 1980s, Toy Time gives the background on some of the all-time classic toys. He is also the author of An Introduction to the U.S.Toy Industry: Serious Fun, published by Business Experts Press, which is used as an introductory textbook for students studying the toy business. His book Funny Business: Harnessing the Power of Play to Give Your Business a Competitive Advantage was published by Career Expert Press in 2015. And is widely used by management consultancies. He wrote two books for the Toy Association: Toys (2003) and They Came to Play: A History of the Toy Industry Association (2017).

Chris is extensively quoted in the media and appears regularly on local and national television commenting on toys and demonstrating new products. His media appearances reached more than 200 million consumers in 2018 in just a three-month period.

For fun, Chris enjoys theater whenever possible.

Chris Byrne

ADVISOR / CONSULTANT / INSIGHTS

As an independent toy analyst, researcher and consultant, Chris brings more than 30 years of industry experience in the toy industry to his role. He is an acknowledged expert on toys and play in the culture and brings his extensive knowledge of toys, education and child development to his work.

Chris began his career working on major toy brands in a variety of marketing and operations positions. He was instrumental in the development and merchandising of many successful products including those marketed under the Gabriel, Child Guidance, Creative Playthings, and Ideal brands, among others. He led the team that established the game Pictionary as one of the most popular games of its era.

In 1988, he formed Byrne Communications, with broad-based consulting in the toy, children’s entertainment, financial and consumer products industries. He was one of the founders and creative director for the web site TTPM. Today, Byrne Communications works with companies of all sizes and entrepreneurs, helping them to develop and launch products. He consults regular to the analyst and investment community about the international business of toys.