GAMA Appoints John Stacy as New Executive Director

The Game Manufacturers Association Board of Directors have appointed John Stacy as the new Executive Director. Stacy will replace out-going director John Ward. Ward’s contact was not renewed. 

The official announcement from the Board:

“Please join the GAMA Board of Directors in welcoming John Stacy as the new Executive Director of the association. John comes to us with extensive experience in nonprofit management as well as a strong background in communication and marketing.

He has served as Executive Director of two nonprofits, the St. John Learning Center/Literacy Ohio and the Autism Society of Ohio. While with these organizations, he led workforce development teams, managed and allocated fiscal, staff, and volunteer resources to offer a variety of education programs, created public visibility for the associations, leveraged partnerships with other nonprofit organizations to expand outreach and engagement, trained and led individuals in serving on various state boards and commissions, and increased the legislative influence and impact of the groups. Prior to his nonprofit work he was a Senior Legislative Aide in the Ohio House of Representatives for 18 years where he served as the lead staff for 5 state representatives and 8 legislative committees. In that capacity, he assisted elected officials in their duties as ex-officio members of state boards and commissions and served as a designee to three state boards.

While with the Autism Society of Ohio, he organized the Columbus Chocolate Fair, a fundraiser for the association. For three years, he also organized the Columbus VegFest, a consumer-facing festival that required strong diplomatic skills. He has been involved in planning numerous conventions, festivals, and community events, the largest of which is the Dublin Irish Festival, the largest 3-day Irish heritage festival in the United States, which draws more than 100,000 attendees, 1,000 volunteers, 250 vendors, and 40 musical acts with an annual budget of more than $2 million.

He served on the Culture Workshop subcommittee 2010–2015 and was promoted to the full committee in 2016. In addition, he holds a Master of Science in Marketing and Communication, worked as an adjunct professor in Marketing and Communication, and most recently put his knowledge to work as the Director of Advocacy and Communications for the Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice. There, he launched the association’s Government Relations Initiative to advance strategic priorities, defined the organization’s legislative message, policy agenda, and media engagement efforts, and led advocacy efforts that resulted in securing a $14.5 million increase in wages for home health aides.

John also impressed the Board members with his obvious high emotional intelligence, creativity, clear problem-solving skills, and his background in boardgaming and RPGs. John says, “I am a life-long gamer having grown up in a household that didn’t have much money but enjoyed spending family time playing board and card games. This led to role playing games during college where I attended CapCon for many years. Next I moved onto strategy games such as Diplomacy and a host of Avalon Hill games and then proceeded to miniatures before returning to board games with a side trip into historical reenacting with a Civil War historical society for a number of years.”

John lives in Columbus and begins his transition work with GAMA on December 27. The Board and John Ward are finalizing the transition contract, and the outgoing and incoming Executive Directors will be working together to ensure a smooth hand-off that serves the organization and ensures proper continuity of GAMA Trade Show and Origins Game Fair.
We look forward to a strong, prosperous organization that serves its members not only through the current revenue-producing events but also through programming, advocacy, marketing, communication, and legislative initiatives that John Stacy is uniquely positioned to lead GAMA in developing.

GAMA Board of Directors”

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