Meet the Team!


Meet our cheerful crew o’ geeks, designers, toy fans and friendly weirdos.

Anthony Watts

Designer

Born in the 1900s, Anthony spent most of his time playing D&D and dismembering He-Man toys on his bedroom floor. Later he got good at drawing dragons, painting miniatures, doodling in class, and playing with toy soldiers. Now 40+ years later, nothing has changed.

  • "Official" Role: Designer
  • Code Name(s): TBD
  • Super Powers: Cold Resistance, +1 Charisma
  • Vulnerabilities: Miniatures, Paint, Kitties, Cheap Coffee, Dad Jokes, Vespas
  • Past Toys: Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, Lego, Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer, dirt, sticks, rocks
  • Junk Foods: White Cheddar Smartfood, Doritos, Rosebuds, Nachos, 70s inspired desserts, leftovers
  • Quotes: "No problem"; "Word"; "I'll figure it out"
  • Previous Jobs: Popcorn Maker, Art Gallery Attendant, Weed Killer
  • "Education": Ontario College of Art, YouTube, People Smarter than Me
  • Social Media: If you are nice you can friend me on Facebook
Bliss as a baby sitting with a doll

Bliss Man

Product Manager

Bliss was born and bred in the great city of Toronto. She grew up in the 80’s when kids could take the streetcar on their own, run around in the back alleys and buy all the 5 cent candy they wanted at the corner store. She later went on to study fashion design at Ryerson University. Soon after graduating she started a business called the Monster Factory where she created cute plush toys. After many many years of making her own toys she decided to make even MORE toys at Happy Worker. She enjoys the numerous snacks they have there and is definitely going to have to buy new pants soon. 

  • “Official” Role: Sales Manager and Product Developer
  • Code Name(s): B
  • Super Powers:  No joke, folding laundry while watching Netflix and drinking a glass of red wine. No spills to date.
  • Vulnerabilities: Putting said laundry away. 
  • Past Toys: Popples and all the Barbies in the world, many of which were later given to her younger cousins without any of their clothes. Sorry cousins
  • Junk Foods: Chocolate and regular chips and french fry truck fries.
  • Quotes: “Follow your bliss” ha ha!
  • Previous Jobs: Co-creator of the Monster Factory and before that I worked at numerous chocolate shops
  • “Education”: Graduated from Ryerson University for Fashion Design.

Carter Lee

Director of Product Development

 

  • “Official” Role: Director of Product Development
  • Code Name(s): Johnny Canuck
  • Super Powers:  Able to make silly things seem important
  • Vulnerabilities: Tripe!
  • Past Toys: Lego, Meccano, Lincoln logs, dinky cars (I liked building stuff...lol)
  • Junk Foods: Donairs!!! 
  • Quotes: “No problem"
  • Previous Jobs: Activision, Take Two Interactive, Beamscope, Saturn...
  • “Education”: World education through osmosis 
Julia as a child playing with toys

Julia Babici

Designer

Growing up Julia spent most of her time building forts with her siblings, making mini movies, drawing cartoons, sculpting clay characters and exploring the forest behind her house. She is constantly searching for hard to find books, scarier ghost stories, better music and even cooler record shops.

  • "Official" Role: Designer
  • Code name(s): Babs
  • Super powers: Analytical, quiet yet stealthy, aloof and mysterious nature
  • Vulnerability: Baby animals, things on high shelves
  • Past Toys: Play Mobil! Beanie babies, Etch-a-Sketch, Sega Dreamcast, K'nex, Groovy girls, Lego, Molly from the Big comfy couch, Mini accordion
  • Junk Foods: Cheetos, chocolate covered pretzels, sour rainbow belts, sour skittles, warheads, how many more lines do we have here? Candy apples, matcha almonds, Mochi icecream, and popcorn jellybeans.
  • Quotes: Don't have any! 
  • Previous Jobs: Worked at a video and music store, record shipping, daycare worker, Science educator (volunteer)
  • Education: Studying Industrial Design at OCAD University (in-progress)

Kris Schantz

Co-Founder & Catalyst

Kris was born and raised in Calgary, and as he grew up, he never grew out of his toys. Over the years Kris played trumpet, piano and drums... and even went to band camp. Several times. He enjoys hiking, except when he gets marooned on mountain peaks overnight. A learner and a sharer, Kris is intrigued by pretty much everything. He's shared his love for toy design and toy making on panels at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con. And beyond his own fun adventures in creative entrepreneurship, Kris enjoys supporting passionate young entrepreneurs.

  • "Official" Role: Co-Founder & Catalyst
  • Code Name(s): Mr. Happy Worker, Perfectionist-in-Chief, Bonne Chance/Schantz
  • Super Powers: Constant curiosity; Is Always Right; Bad pun making; Super tasks juggler; Crazy ideas generator; Problem zapper; Just-in-time timeliness; Idealistic optimism; Honorary Asian
  • Vulnerabilities: Junk food, Bad movies, Video gaming addiction, Pizza, Random acts of kindness
  • Past Toys: Lego, He-Man, G.I. Joe, various board games, Atari, Apple ][, NES, PCs
  • Junk Foods: Gummi bears, gummi worms, gummi coke bottles, gummi fish, gummi berries, chocolate bars (all), jalapeno chips, jello, homemade chocolate chip cookies, ice cream floats, chocolate cake, and, well, you get the picture
  • Quotes: "If it's easy to do, it's not worth doing"; "You can do it!"; "That's not a problem."
  • Previous Jobs: Web product manager, mad science guy (chemistry research assistant), pizza dough maker, farm hand, paperboy, lemonade stand proprietor
  • "Education": B. Sc. in Biochemistry, McGill University
  • Social Media: LinkedIn Twitter

Shirley Yee

Co-Founder & Strategist

Shirley grew up in a small town in Northern Ontario, and her formative years were fairly typical: summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. Besides creating toys she also paints and writes. Some of it's actually good. (Note: but she didn't write this!)

  • "Official" Role: Co-Founder & Strategist
  • Code Name(s): Master of Elective Operations, Ms. Happy Worker, SuperMommy
  • Super Powers: Able to make anything & everything better; Is Never Wrong; Internet surfing record holder; Master case packer; Child wrangler
  • Vulnerabilities: Caffeine and sugar, Sleep, Want it all attitude
  • Past Toys: Etch a Sketch, Barbie-look-alikes, Smurfs, Lego
  • Junk Foods: Slurpees, potato chips, cheesecake, swedish berries, homemade desserts, and any junk food that Kris has bought for himself
  • Quotes: "What if we do it this way?"; "Where's the magic 8-ball?"; "I'm going to Google that."
  • Previous Jobs: Web developer, spud researcher (potato geneticist), Ice cream server at Denise's Dairy Delights
  • "Education": B. Sc. in Biology, McGill University
  • Social Media: LinkedIn

Stephen Burling

Happy Account Manager

Stephen grew up in many fantastic worlds.... his formative years were spent in the mystical kingdoms of Eternia and Etheria. He went on to fight crime with mutant ninja turtles and gargoyles, hung out with misunderstood mutants born with incredible powers, joined forces with ordinary citizens utilizing gadgets to take on injustice, and went on all sorts of high flying adventures with ducks in Calisota and a trio of trouble making chipmunks. Everything was magical and everything was possible, and these worlds live on through his passion for movies, TV, comics and video games. He enjoys food-related nourishment - especially things with cheese, salt, all the sauce, or sushi. Most of all, Stephen loves hanging out with friends and family, and laughing and laughing... and more laughing.

  • "Official" Role: Happy Account Manager
  • Code Name(s): High Level, Fred (don't ask)
  • Super Powers: Dog whisperer, euchre master, shuffleboard shark, office decorating, interpersonal, time management, solutionizer, making funny (probably annoying) sounds when reading e-mails, zoning people out (and then getting scared when someone gets his attention), creating happiness
  • Vulnerabilities: Video games, comics, loot and collectibles, anything deep fried, soft things, shiny things, dogs, an excel challenge
  • Past Toys: Toybiz marvel legends, ghostbusters/tmnt/he-man action figures, mighty max, pogs, micro machines, troll dolls, etch a sketch, lite-brite
  • Junk Foods: Cheez-its, cheesies, cheetos, anything cheesy, oatmeal peanut butter pirate cookies, chips, dark chocolate, coffee Ice cream
  • Quotes: "It don't matter"; "Can we look at this high level"; "Wait a minute..."; "You royal boob!"
  • Previous Jobs: McDonald's burger flipper, security guard payroll helper, art store crafty things seller, book recommender, EB Games fanboy, felt a touch of the dark side at Hot Topic, served fancy people fancy foods at fancy functions, experienced corporate culture at Sears and Joe Fresh head offices, procured loot and collectibles and spread geek happiness via Nerd Block
  • "Education": Dabbled in graphic design and business; Fashion Business Industry at George Brown
  • Social Media: LinkedIn

Celine Cimon

Painter & Color Counselor

Celine was born among a trolley of other kids in Ste-Foy, a town next to Quebec City. As a young girl she was fascinated by colors and shapes and soon started to make her own toys. When she was 12, Celine moved to a farm in the country which broadened her field of experimentation! She also learned to play violin, guitar and harmonica. When she turned 24 Celine decided to be a visual artist, sculptor & painter and moved to Toronto. While learning English she worked in film special effects & model making. Always focusing on her magic hands, besides painting and sculpting she’s learned Shiatsu, and after much training and practice she has also become a medium.

  • "Official" Role: Painter & Color Counselor
  • Code Name(s): Queen of Color, Methylene & Styrene; Merry Medium
  • Super Powers: Self-teacher, Jill of all trades, Primal screamer during deadlines, Just-do-it kind of girl, Fast chocolate eater
  • Vulnerabilities: Chocolate (the expensive kinds), Virginia chocolate bar (sadly no longer available & Celine’s still in mourning), chocolate with cherries inside
  • Past Toys: Paint by numbers (the more intricate, the better!); hot wheels; her father’s tools; darts in the barn; transformed custom bike
  • Junk Foods: Green and black caramel chocolate, chocolate with nuts, lentil chips, fries, donuts
  • Quotes: “Celine, like Celine Dion… but I’m a little fatter and I don't sing”; "I don't believe it!"; "That's for sure!"
  • Previous Jobs: model maker, special effects artist, shiatsu practitioner, farm girl, typographer
  • "Education": CEGEP in Esthetique de Presentation
  • Social Media: LinkedIn

Raven Hood

Sculptor & Modeler

Raven has over 20 years of experience as a sculptor in the model kit, collectible and toy industries with occasional adventures in computer animation. He began as tow-headed little boy playing with robots and spaceships while he watched the last missions to the moon on TV. Growing up in the shadow of his father, a commercial artist with Walt Disney, Hasbro and NASA, lead him into the family business doing a bit of everything on the film Holly Boy. While suffering the pains brought on by biz school Raven learned the art of Computer Graphics and 3D Animation. But lacking the funding for a Cray XMP his dreams went back to the boyhood hobby of model making and character sculpture. Finally finding recognition from his heros in the comic book and film industries lead to work on the Disney film Dinosaur. Raven continues to create, sculpt, art direct, and sometimes consult on properties based on the characters of Jim Henson, Monty Python, Toho (Godzilla), and all sorts of Happy Worker toys(!).

  • "Official" Role: Sculptor & Modeler
  • Code Name(s): The Raven Hood, Nevar Moore, Mold and Cast Monkey, Dark Thursday
  • Super Powers: The ability to see what is about to happen much to late to do anything about it!
  • Vulnerabilities: Synthesizers, Sculpting Tools, Plug-ins and other accessories. 
  • Past Toys: Confessor, Rygel the XVI, Dr. Teeth, Kermit, Minister of Silly Walks, MoneyMan
  • Junk Foods: Rice Cakes (mmmm!), Halvah, and Gluten Free Waffles
  • Quotes: “Never more”, “Hello World”, “I got a bad feeling about this”, “That’s no moon…  Wait that wasn’t me!”
  • Previous Jobs: Production Assistant, Model Designer, Mold Smith, Vice-President, Sculptor, Instructor, Table Monitor
  • "Education": Graph Arts Apprentice, A.S.M.S., B. A. B. A., and Y.O.U.T.U.B.E.

And a Big Thanks to Our Advisors, Alumni & Supporters...

It Takes a Community to Raise a Creative Company.

Happy Worker is the sum of many wonderful souls. We simply wouldn’t exist, let alone be who we are today, without the collective ideas, passion, talents, hard work, and generosity of time and spirit of all those who’ve collaborated or helped us on our way.
 

Advisory Team
Rod Thacker – Business, Legal Affairs
Jason Herod – Finance, Business

Contributors
Derek Dresser – Toy Collecting & Action Figures

Mastermind Mentors
Evan Carmichael, Louis Trahan, Mark Drager, Jeff Golfman, Anna Baranowsky, Steve Southin

Alumni + Past Interns
Bryan Aguilera - Tabasco Cat
Anna Birjevaia - Anna Nirvana-Banana
Christelle Broux - Crafty Christelle
Connie Choi – Go Woon
Stefan Erkeling - The New German
Aliza Gold-Ruvolo - Meow Meow-liza
Jake Grundy - Big Head
Chris Johnson - The Toy Man
Gregory Klotz - Froggy Panda
Scott Koza - Sketchbook Scott
Sabrina Leung - Pikablech
Halley Louie - Mr. Roboto
Robin Merry - Bubs(y)
Karla Ordorica
Deena Pagliarello - Deena Colada
Heidi Peckover - Happy Heidi
Ashley Ramnarain - Shlee
Marcelo Vieira - Psycho Coder
Evan Vincent - Kid Vincent
Greg Wong - The Original Greg
Stephanie Young - Steph-the-Sneak
Roxanne Ziman - Rockin' Roxanne

Supporters, Artists, Collaborators, Family + Friends
We started creating a giant list of supporters and talented collaborators, along with our family and friends – everyone who’s helped in ways big and small. Then realized there were so many people it was impossible.
So for now a cheerful collective shout out to everyone who’s lent us a hand or an ear along the way – a very big n’ happy THANK YOU!

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Be a happy worker! :)