Before the 2018 winter vacation, I suggested to my son Ben that we not spend the week looking at our phones but instead, maybe we try to make a board game together?! We spent the week brainstorming, drawing maps, and simulating, getting his sister, mother, and grandparents involved. Eventually, we had an actual working game. Then he went back to school, and I continued making games! It has been a non-stop pleasure ever since.
In 2002, I founded a test preparation company, Pinnacle Prep, and was fortunate to see it expand to 40-50 employees. Combining my tutoring experience with rigorous analysis of published tests, we developed methods and techniques to help students achieve higher scores. Knowing that motivation and engagement are key, we stress handpicking tutors not only for their impeccable academic records, but also for their excellent communication skills and dynamic personalities.
Prior to starting Pinnacle Prep, I served on the faculty at both New York University, where I earned an M.A. and was ABD for my Ph.D. in music composition, and Hofstra University. During that period of time, I founded the Look & Listen Festival, a non-profit organization that presents new music concerts in art spaces. In 2022, Look & Listen celebrated its 20th anniversary! I also served as president of another non-profit, the League of Composers/ISCM, the oldest new music organization in the U.S. While President of the League/ISCM, we launched the Orchestra of the League of Composers, started Residency, Membership, and Commissioning Programs, and increased the organizational budget by over 300%.
I have also explored various other artistic media, including writing a novel entitled The Canvas and directing and editing a documentary film entitled Mitia, which aired on local television and was added to the collection of the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.
I have had a lifelong passion for games and have been fortunate to win significant tournaments in billiards (such as the Big 10 Championships in 1991), poker (including several at top casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City), and chess (personal highlight was achieving a draw against Susan Polgar in a simul!). I’m also an avid fantasy baseball competitor and proud champion in some of the nation’s most competitive leagues :). I created my first board games when I was a kid and after a long hiatus, I’ve worked on around 60 new games in the last four years.
In my spare time, my wife Jen (the CFO of Pinnacle Prep) and I can often be found cheering on our kids in their pursuits or taking our beagles Gordon K. Gordon and Aretha (the official Pinnacle Prep office dogs) for walks.