JoeOps Born in Minneapolis and raised in a less than ideal neighborhood I often found myself lost in fantasy worlds. Video games, Anime, Comic books and Fantasy novels kept me distracted from my social status and anxieties. I still considered myself to be somewhat of a loner, I would rather stay at home and play Final Fantasy or Pokemon than go out and meet new people. I attended my first convention in 2003, I was 14 at the time and met a ton of new people who I could connect with on a level previously unknown to me. Since then I have attended over 100 conventions and have met thousands of people. I started This is Geek with Kyle Mattson and Brandon Stigsell in 2009 to help others experience the same connections in both small and large events.
// Email Joe // jopsahl (at) thisisgeek (dot) net


Shanna Hartzell

Shanna I went to school for accounting and currently work as a Dev Ops Tech.
To be honest I am very new to the convention scene. My siblings and I grew up massive fans of Anime, fantasy, magic and games. Where I grew up this was not the norm so we were always loners.
This is Geek recognizes that this is still the reality for many of our peers.
Breaking down the walls and making sure everyone is able to express themselves and their interests is why I’m here and why I am so excited for our future.
// Email Shanna // shartzell (at) thisisgeek (dot) net

Vice President

Kyle Mattson

Kyle With a passion for anime and video games, I found myself immersed in an amazing culture, with peers who shared the same hobbies and interests that I did. I have been attending conventions for roughly 10 years, throughout the Midwest. I have staffed many conventions, from tech, to security, to Division Head over Multiple departments. During this time, I had met so many wonderful people, my friends and I wanted to share that experience, and based it off of what made our first encounter so magical, and Co-founded This Is Geek.
// Email Kyle // kmattson (at) thisisgeek (dot) net

Internal Director

Brandon Stigsell

Hawn  I am a Korean Adoptee born in Seoul, South Korea raised in Minnesota. I was never one of those popular or outgoing people in my early years, in fact I was quite shy and introvert. I attended my first convention in 2003. That convention changed my life, I met Joseph Opsahl and we became best friends after that convention. I also met Kyle Mattson around that same time, we were both shy and introverted but our passion and love for all things Geek brought us together and has formed a lifelong friendship. In 2004 Myself, Joseph, and Kyle all attended the same convention. Being around so many people with the same passion, hobbies, and interests in one enclosed area was life changing. Being able to finally be “myself” and express those things with others was the most amazing experience. Since 2003 I have gained more confidence and am no longer that shy person I was in the past, I owe it all to the conventions that introduced me to amazing experiences and lifelong friendships. In 2009 This is Geek was formed between Joe, Kyle, and Myself. I want to give back to the community that has given me so much and I want to provide the same opportunity now to others.


Matt McMillan

Matt Working with various conventions for 10 years, Matt has worked hard to synergize with various groups. The group he founded, Twin Cities Game Fest, is a hobby club that works to connection conventions, Game Stores and the general public together to enhance the family friendly gaming experience.
He is a board game collector, and has been playing video games since the Atari 2600 days. Hobbies include strategy games, logic puzzles, role playing games, miniatures, and video games.
Conventions he has worked with are: 2D Con, Anime Detour, Anime Fusion, Console Room, Con of the North, CONvergence, Crypticon, Furry Migration, MantiCon, MarsCon, MiniCon.Matt helps to run events at Level Up Games, who also help to sponsor many of the conventions and events that he assists with.Matt has an AA in Business, a BS in Information Technology, and an MBA with Tech Focus.

Director of Charity

Samantha Heuermann

sAM From a young age, my parents introduced me to science fiction and fantasy novels, movies, and comics. On top of this I was lucky enough to have friends that showed me anime, manga, tabletop gaming, video gaming, and forums. The exploration of my interests can only be described as a journey. It was one with trials but more than anything it brought me self discovery. After working with the local community for so long I know that we have the opportunity to help those just beginning their journey or overcoming their trials. With such wonderful people we have a chance to positively impact the lives of those around us. This path is much more fun to walk when shared with others who share the same interests, after all.

Director of Social Outreach

William Dewey

Dewey   Since 2010 I have spent my time developing one of the the largest gaming channels on Youtube, TheMediaCows. With over 600,000 subscribers and over a billion hours watch it is something 10 year old me would be stunned and incredibly proud (Those 800+ hours in Guild Wars were for something!). Gaming has always been a huge passion of mine and TheMediaCows has allowed me to share that passion with the world. In 2010, I went to PAX PRIME in Seattle and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I’m extremely happy to be a part of the ThisIsGeek and 2D Con community. We love games, we love conventions and we love bringing the two together for the world to enjoy.
// Email Dewey // wdewey (at) thisisgeek (dot) net

Member at Large

Tom Mahle

Tom  Bio Coming Soon

Member at Large

Ross Johnson

Ross  Bio Coming Soon

Member at Large

Daniel Scott

Daniel  Gaming and fantasy have been my passions since I can remember. I didn’t have many games of my own when I was younger, so I was very appreciative of the times I got my hands on one and made the most of the time. As I got older my passion only grew. Anime and convention were added into the mix and I’ve never looked back. These days I don’t play too many games, but I do enjoy eSports and live gaming. I hope to work with This Is Geek and others to help establish a healthy and welcoming environment for people with their own gaming or other nerdy passions. I’m also an avid karaoke enthusiast.