Our bid committee has extensive con experience.
This page is a work in progress.
Wayne Brown, Bid Chair
Wayne Brown (he/him) is the founder of Astronomicon, Rochester’s science fiction convention, and he has been chief organizer of the convention for the past thirty years. He is well known in Western New York and central Ontario fandom. He’s been attending Worldcons for almost 40 years. After Discon 3, he saw an opportunity to bring WSFS fandom to upstate New York, so he has assembled a group of Western New York, upstate New York, and central Ontario fans to bring a NASFIC to the region.
Marah Searle-Kovacevic, Vice Chair
Marah (she/her) was born and raised in the Buffalo area. She has been active in Worldcon and local fandoms for decades. Marah began in Star Trek fandom in Buffalo and Toronto in the early ’90s, serving as President (and Captain) of the USS Hudson Bay club. Her friendship with Tom Veal from media fan groups on Genie led her to the Toronto in 2003 Worldcon Bid, where she organized bid parties and tables. She has been chair of SFContario in Toronto and ConConCom in Vancouver and Spokane. For Worldcons and NASFIC she has served as division head or deputy division head of Operations and Hospitality and she is well known as a leader in social media departments at Worldcons and other conventions.
Alex von Thorn, Treasurer
Alex von Thorn (he/him) was raised in the Buffalo area; he graduated from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. His family has lived in the Buffalo area from the 1920s to the present. He has a B.Comm. in Information Technology Management from Toronto Metropolitan University. He has been a game designer, fan writer, and conrunner at science fiction, media, mystery, Mensa, and other conventions and organizations. He won the Aurora Award for fan writing in 2002. He has worked with TSR, Victory Games, and Steve Jackson Games and is the author of Tredroy and contributing editor to GURPS Cyberpunk; he also managed The Worldhouse game store in the 1980s and ’90s.
Throughout the 2000s he was Service Assurance Manager for Verizon Canada, handling customer service escalation, documentation, network incident management and national outage reporting, product development, project management, staff supervision, and other areas. He has worked on four NASFICs and several Worldcons, Westercons, and local conventions in programming, publications, registration, website, and other areas, and as chair. He was vice-chair of the 2005 Seattle NASFIC Bid and chair of the 2015 Spokane Worldcon Bid. In recent years he has been a web developer specializing in ecommerce, and has been webmaster of Chicon 7, Sasquan, and other conventions.
David Ennis, Corporate Secretary
David Ennis (he/him) moved to Buffalo to attend college in the late 1980s, and has been active in local fandom since. He hosted a pop-culture radio program on WBNY radio for a decade. He has also worked in a technical role supporting popular media websites. He joined the Buffalo Time Council, a local SF fan group, and was a regular contributor to their zine. He’s been active in many conventions in the Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Toronto areas, including chairing Polaris (formerly Toronto Trek) three times and chairing EerieCon twice. His convention experience includes registration, hotel liaison, programming, and other functions.
Debi (she/her) was born in Calcutta, India and grew up in New York City before moving to upstate New York to attend University where she currently resides. She has thirty years of event management experience for a diverse array of events, including writer’s conferences and gardening events. She has been working on Worldcons for the past decade, helping with the Masquerade at several Worldcons, and has also worked in hospitality and guest liaisons, party coordinator, and other roles. She was an organizer of the New Orleans in 2018 Worldcon Bid.
Lisa Hertel (she/they) is an artist and former pharmacist. Her first convention was Boskone in 1979; she started volunteering a few years later, and has volunteered at over 300 conventions, including chairing twice (Arisia and Albacon). She has worked in every division possible, and on all sorts of conventions, including anime, gaming, media, and literary, and of all sizes, including two previous NASFiCs.
Nate Hoffelder, Webmaster
Nate’s (he/him) experience as an organizer includes stints as president and program director of writing clubs. He has also programmed a conference, built numerous con websites, and organized a variety of events including picnics. When he is not volunteering, he writes bad jokes on Twitter and creates memes and graphics.
In his day job, Nate has been helping people fix broken tech since 2010. He turns broken down WordPress sites into sites which convert visitors into superfans, also builds sites from scratch, and helps authors with their social media and newsletters.