Meet the Team!


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

Heidi Peckover

Head of Client Happiness

Heidi was born and raised in Belleville, Ontario, and later escaped to Ottawa, Peru and Ecuador for higher learning purposes. Heidi grew up playing with her sister and learned how to be a cooperative game-player. Heidi enjoys soft animals, especially the overweight variety, and will cop a feel of street animals whenever possible. She enjoys walking/biking, sneezing in sequences of 2 or 3, juggling, drinking tea, and travel.

  • "Official" Role: Head of Client Happiness
  • Code Name(s): Happy Heidi, Tidy Heidi
  • Super Powers: Soft animal radar, light-activated sneezing, super Spanish speaking
  • Vulnerabilities: Bolero, idle juggling balls, furry creatures, garden flowers that require dead heading
  • Past Toys: Play dough, Lego, Skip-it, Nintendo, Glowworms, Spirograph, coloring, Weebles, couch cushion forts, Magnadoodle
  • Junk Foods: Cookies, pies, sour coke bottles, Thrills, chocolate and peanut butter combinations, and mom-made baked goods
  • Quotes: "Good times"; "Word"
  • Previous Jobs: Employee supervisor, project coordinator, garden center worker, office-cleaner, gas station attendant, chicken-catcher, canteen worker, papergirl
  • "Education": B.I.B. in International Business, Minor in Spanish, Carleton University Exchange student, 2005, Lima, Peru Intern, 2006, Quito Ecuador
  • Social Media: LinkedIn

Aliza Gold-Ruvolo

Client Happiness Coordinator

Piercing through the morning mist, Aliza set forth on her quest. She heard from a contact that the Toy Lord was searching to hire a Creature Wrangler, and thus she set off to explore this employment opportunity. Traversing the vast plains of Toronto, Aliza swiftly navigated through the complex and grandiose buildings blocking her path. Upon arrival at the rumoured location of the Toy Lord, she drew her weapons and prepared for the encounter ahead. [Made a Perception check to determine what was ahead of her. Aliza rolled 11+3]. Ahead, Aliza saw a dungeon filled with mysterious, other-worldly creatures and humanoid figures. [Made a Charisma Check to determine how she approached the humanoids. Aliza rolled 20+2]. Aliza greeted the humanoids in a friendly manner, inquiring after the advertised position. After a few days work, she was invited to stay in the dungeon. Some may say she was destined to forever search for creatures across the land, bring them back to the dungeon and add them to the family.

  • “Official” Role: Client Happiness Coordinator
  • Code Name(s): Alize, Lizey, Zia Liza
  • Super Powers: Disney singing, Organizing, Eating Carbs, Nerdy talk, Dragon slaying, Salsa dancing, Walking quickly 
  • Vulnerabilities: Plush toys, Seafood, Reading in moving vehicles, Trace amounts of spice, Fancy pens, Hang nails, Shakespearean Romance
  • Past Toys: Marble works, Lego, Playmobil, Nintendo 64, Gameboy, Groovy Girls, Plushies of many shapes and sizes, Pop-up Trouble
  • Junk Foods: Peameal bacon, nutella (on almost everything-especially goldfish), gummi bears, cookies and cream ice cream, chips ahoy rainbow chocolate chip cookies, fuzzy peaches, barbeque chips, powdered donuts
  • Quotes: “Meow meow”, “Legit”, “Good job team!”
  • Previous Jobs: Assistant Marketing and Procurement Coordinator for Guelph’s Solid Waste Resources (Recycling Radical), Communications Coordinator (Phone/email Responder), Waitress and Receptionist (Food Bringer/Service Provider), Page to Lady Lily McEwan of Amtgard (Sword Carrier and Craft Apprentice)
  • “Education”: Honours B.A. in Environmental Governance, University of Guelph
  • Social Media:LinkedIn
Sabrina Gaming
Sabrina Gaming

Sabrina Leung

Designer

Sabrina was born and raised in the wilds of East Toronto, occasionally running off to Hong Kong, New York or Italy for work and school. Her childhood was comprised of drawing, playing with toys and delving into console video games while battling her family for controller time. She enjoyed a fulfilling education in architecture, and her combined loves of toys and video games have guided her to become a happy worker!

  • "Official" Role: Designer
  • Code Name(s): Pikablech
  • Super Powers: Master of Dungeon levels, Detail scrutinization, Workflow optimization, Nerdy lore regurgitation, Incredibly mild spice detection, Secret subway rider sketching
  • Vulnerabilities: Video games, Adorable and fluffy things, Nostalgic cartoons, Large quantities of leftovers, Cute dogs and red pandas, Ancient Roman buildings, Clutter, Not-so-timely Transit systems, Alcoholic beverages, Unpainted figurines
  • Past Toys: NES/SNES, Beanie babies, Lego, Stickers, Plush that are bigger than she is
  • Junk Foods: Very thin banana pancakes, Ketchup chips, Gummi bears, Vanilla oatmeal crisp cereal, Pizza, Mac and cheese, Chinese sponge cake
  • Quotes: "Ack!", "Eeeeeee!!", "Cool Cool"
  • Previous Jobs: Architectural Assistant in NYC and HK which included tinkering with theme parks, retail storefronts, horse racing stadiums, furniture, and a grab bag of various products
  • "Education": Bachelor of Architectural Studies, University of Waterloo
  • Social Media: LinkedIn
Robin with Lion Plushie
Robin with Lion Plushie

Robin Merry

Production Manager

Robin is a Pirate-Ninja who's really just a big kid at heart. Her not-so-secret life goal is to run away and join the circus. She has danced the tango, made copious amounts of cakes, loves to put on elaborate scavenger hunts, and will jump at any opportunity to just be outside. She is an avid lover of all things sci-fi and comic book.

  • "Official" Role: Production Manager
  • Code Name(s): Bubs(y), Beans, Bobbin, Goobs, Ann, Aunty Robin, Rob, Robbie
  • Super Powers: Hugs, Flight and Telekinesis, Pancake Art, Altering song lyrics to mess with parents heads, Fort Building, Master of Cartwheels, Makes snacks appear magically
  • Vulnerabilities: Garbage, Poor Spelling and Grammar, Pre-made Sandwiches, Spiders
  • Past Toys: 7' T-Rex named Reggie, Flying Monkeys
  • Junk Foods: Ice Cream; Cake. Sometimes ice cream and cake! Anything Vanilla. Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiatos
  • Quotes: "Presentation Counts", "Cool Beans", "More the Merrier", "Oreo", "Let it go, Elsa"
  • Previous Jobs: Toys; always something to do with toys. Captain of the S.S. PotC. Ice Cream Scooper and Balloon Artist. Developer of the Bouncy Ball Golf League, Eldest Sister of Many (position still retained)
  • "Education": Masters in Toy Kitchen and Play Table Building, Trivia Engineer specializing in Group Activity Coordination, Crossword Junkie with a Minor in Sudoku, Jack of all Trades Life Learner, B.Comm University of Ottawa

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

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.

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

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 Group
Evan Carmichael, Louis Trahan, Mark Drager, Bailey Vaez, John Carter

Alumni + Past Interns
Anna Birjevaia - Anna Nirvana-Banana
Christelle Broux - Crafty Christelle
Connie Choi – Go Woon
Stefan Erkeling - The New German
Jake Grundy - Big Head
Chris Johnson - The Toy Man
Gregory Klotz - Froggy Panda
Scott Koza - Sketchbook Scott
Halley Louie - Mr. Roboto
Karla Ordorica
Deena Pagliarello - Deena Colada
Ashley Ramnarain - Shlee
Marcelo Vieira - Psychopathic Programmer
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!

Newsletter signup

Mailbox

Monthly e-news, chockfull of toys, design, and things worth looking at.

Be a happy worker! :)