Anna Jordan-Douglass, PhD, is an award-winning interactive producer of educational media and is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Makefully. She is endlessly curious, fueled by big ideas, and loves to laugh. She is inspired by kids (including her own 3) and how they play, and her work aims to bridge research and practice in learning through play. Her expertise in designing learning ecosystems is evident from her work across digital media, learning games, animation, maker education, arts integration, and family & community learning. Her work is child centered, and informs her approach to R&D. In all her work, she hopes to spark curiosity and a love of learning.
Anna holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from the department of Design, Informal and Creative Education. She was formerly the Vice President, Interactive Media and Digital Development at The Jim Henson Company, where she oversaw all aspects of digital production and business development, seeing all of the company’s interactive products through from ideation to distribution. Her work has received over a dozen awards, including a Prix Jeunesse Interactivity Prize, and the Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award for Educational App.
Miguel Montanez Jr.
Co-founder & Chief Creative Technologist
Miguel is a big kid at heart that sees the world as a sandbox to create within and explore. He is passionate about playfully jumping in and figuring out innovative ways to tell stories and engage users in play on emerging platforms—both physical and digital.
As a proud "maker of things"—when he is not cooking, playing games, adding to his toy collection, or forcing his wife and daughter to partake in various other forms of nerdery—Miguel is equal parts experience and product designer, interface and game developer, technologist, creative content strategist, and maker of very long lists. His diverse skill set stems from over 15 years of leading UI design and development teams, spearheading R&D efforts, and creating products for large media organizations, numerous start-ups and strategic partners across various industries.
Lead Creative Engineer
Derek’s passion for creating things out of code started at the early age of 8, creating games for his siblings that were certainly more fun for him to make than for them to play. While completing his dual Bachelors in Computer Science and Mathematics at Berry College, he made every opportunity to submit his coding assignments as games. After graduation, Derek became the Technology Manager at the Appalachian State University at Hickory for 8 years until 2010 when he co-founded Gopherwood Studios to focus on HTML5 game production. His work with Gopherwood Studios involved creating Entanglement, one of the premier HTML5 games used by Google to promote an early Chrome Web Store. He also shared in the design and development of many PBS KIDS games, refreshing both the Dinosaur Train and Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That websites for modern responsive design, helping create the PBS KIDS Platypus game engine, and leading the design and production of the Space Scouts PLE App for Ready Jet Go! He enjoys spending time with his wife and 4 boys who love playtesting their dad’s projects.
Lead Play Developer
Todd’s life as a game designer began at the age of 10 in his neighbor’s basement with a box of popsicle sticks, a hot glue gun, and a crate of army men. After a long stint in timeout for getting glue in the carpet, Todd went to college and earned a Bachelors in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology. Since then, he’s gained 16 years of game development experience in design and programming roles across mobile, web, desktop, handheld, and home console platforms. His career began at Gameloft NYC where he developed educational and entertainment titles for mobile devices. With 5th Cell Media, in Seattle, he developed titles for the Nintendo DS, Wii, and PC including Scribblenauts Unlimited, Drawn to Life, and Lock’s Quest. In 2010 he co-founded Gopherwood Studios to work on HTML5 titles. In the years since, he has designed and programmed titles for PBS Kids, Mozilla, DeNA, Random House, The Jim Henson Company, and more.
Allison Kerek Williams
Designer & Animator
Allison spent a majority of her childhood glued to Nickelodeon and MTV, waking up at 5AM to watch a few hours of cartoons and music videos before heading to school. It was no surprise then that she wound up becoming an experimental animator and illustrator.
It has been almost a decade since this Pennsylvania native became a Kansas Citian, recruited to work at Hallmark Cards after graduating from Philadelphia’s Tyler School of Art with a degree in Graphic and Interactive Design. She spent her time at Hallmark illustrating cards for the kids and humor teams, during which time she began freelancing, illustrating and animating for clients like Nike, TIME, HOW Books, Nylon Magazine, Scholastic, and more. Prior to joining Makefully, Allison taught graphic design and illustration at the University of Central Missouri for 7 years. In her spare time Allison enjoys drawing in coffee shops with her husband, reading books to her son, and spoiling her dog.
Designer & Animator
Rachel is an enthusiastic, energetic animator who loves every part of the pipeline from concept to animation. Her work is largely informed by people watching and observation, and has been fine tuned through a lifetime of watching copious amounts of television (Saturday morning cartoons were taken very seriously growing up). Her high school years were spent constantly drawing, making comics and creating casts of characters in different fantasy worlds.
Rachel received her BFA in Animation at SCAD in Savannah, GA. She has always had a playful spirit and loved working with kids. During her college years, she’d spend her summers working as a camp counselor for the Springfield Park District at Camp L.E.A.P, a program for pre-school through adults, specifically designed for individuals with varying disabilities. Prior to joining Makefully, Rachel had a successful freelance career that included the creation of an animated commercial spot for Nanobebé which she led from concept to completion, and was most recently the Digital Director of Capitol Radio Group.
Tao Tao Holmes
Tao Tao Holmes is a lifelong tinkerer who loves to craft unique experiences, both in real life and through the magic of words and images. She brings a background in writing, programming, and experience design, which traces back to her childhood days creating fictitious local newspapers and turning the family kitchen into a café. In her role as strategist, she looks for ways to share the incredible work Makefully is doing, communicate Makefully’s values and vision for the future, and connect with others who are equally curious and excited about the potential for playful learning. Tao Tao previously worked at Atlas Obscura, where she developed editorial and creative content as well as produced (and sometimes hosted!) unique events and trips around the world. She’s also led outdoor trips for teenagers and taught college students in Xinjiang, China. Her writing has been featured in the BBC, Huffington Post, and other publications. Tao Tao is committed to bringing new ideas and opportunities to life—and maintaining a playful spirit throughout.