Part designer, part technologist and part entrepreneur. John has been developing and founding web, music, and print productions for over 10 years. His work has garnered attention in USA Today, Brandweek, The Daily Beast, New York Times Tech blog, Mashable, homepage of Drupal.org, were featured on multiple CSS design blogs and achieved the coveted 'New and Noteworthy' nod from Apple
Don Bora, Co-Founder | Principal of Technology
Don brings 25 years of professional coding and entrepreneurial experience to the product discussion. From startup to enterprise and in between, there isn’t much he hasn’t seen. Don is passionate about tech, collaboration, and ensuring the Eight Bit dev team is integrated and accessible. Don is an outspoken advocate for women and girls in tech, seeking to bridge the technology gap by exposing the fun and creative side of programming. He frequently mentors students who display an interest in technology and coding.
Steve Polacek, Co-Founder | Principal of Design
Steve knows that great product design starts with empathy and ends with solving a problem. He leads the team down that path through design thinking and collaboration, leveraging over a decade of experience across industries and markets. Past clients include: Aerosmith, AT&T, Britney Spears, Field Museum, Hard Rock, Justin Timberlake, Kraft, MLB, Motorola, MSN, NBA, WNBA.
AKA "The Cruise Director", I'm looking over the horizon for our clients to forge solid go-to-market strategies and generally make sure they don't fall off the boat. We work with startups as well as proven small and large companies where the sky is the limit, but budget is not. As Managing Partner of Account Strategy, it's a requirement that I have an internal and visceral understanding of what it takes to introduce an MVP level concept to our customers and help them execute a strategy for future success. With 15 years of experience in digital marketing, front-end design, account management and sales, Brett has the learned the keys to most success are transparent communication and collaborative and passionate execution on an idea. All of which is led through the good fortune of the "family-affair" approach of the Eight Bit team.
Dan Blackburn, Director of Growth + Innovation
Heather Brown, Director of Project Management
Heather has managed digital projects for some of the world’s most well-known brands: Motorola, Butterball, Harpo, Verizon, Kraft and Sears. With her experience in managing small to large scaled projects, Heather brings a diverse background in web and mobile projects. Mobile in all forms of her life, Heather is also a professional tap dancer and Co-Founder of Bughouse, a digital toy and game company in Chicago.
Jennifer Gardner, Project Manager
Jennifer has PM'ed web, app and design projects with Eight Bit Studios since 2014. Jennifer is a graduate of Startup Institute Chicago, an 8-week career accelerator program focused on developing awesome startup employees. Jennifer previously worked for a large law firm and spent the early part of her career at a midwestern film festival (yes, those are wildly different experiences).. When she’s not PMing your projects, Jennifer can be found in front of her sewing machine or catching a film at one of Chicago’s many cinemas.
Paige Busse, Project Manager
Emily Labbe, Project Manager
Mayrav Newman, Project Manager
Sara Shoemake, QA Analyst
Dan Lopez, Product Designer
Carolyn Chandler, Director of Product Experience
Amber Vasquez, User Experience Designer
Cristin Siegel, User Experience
Randy Ellis, User Experience
Jordan Polonsky, Director of Product Design
Jordan is a designer. A lover. A hater. A storymaker. A storyteller. A moment maker. A moment hacker. A loving husband. An adoring father. Prior to Eight Bit Studios, Jordan was a Digital Creative Director at SapientNitro where he was responsible for managing digital creative for Abbott Laboratories, Burger King, Illinois & Indiana Lottery, Dodge, Beam Global, GM, Lego, State Farm and Motorola.
Alyssa Low, Product Designer
Alex Berkowitz, Motion and Interface Designer
Mark Winkler, Director of Technology
Mark has been coding and creating applications for over 15 years. As a Senior Developer at Eight Bit Studios he leads the development of mobile and web projects. He is experienced in all aspects of application development, from server configuration and data modeling to API creation and front-end integration. He also plays piano and accordion, but is not available for weddings. Wait, Is it a destination wedding?
Eddie Wang, Software Engineer
Katie Kelly, Software Engineer
Javier Otero, Software Engineer
Senior software engineer, developing native apps for both iOS and Android. with extensive design expertise. Experienced leader devoted to the development of functional, intuitive, and meaningful products. Javier spent over a year honing his OpenGL chops, custom crafting native experiences for Delta Airlines and the World Wildlife Fund.
Meredith Elise, Software Engineer
Brian Lewis, Software Engineer
Brian leads many of the iOS development projects here at Eight Bit Studios. He is experienced in all stages of app development, coding your ideas from initial concept all the way to a successful app store launch. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Computer Engineering, he spent a few years in the UK working for Microsoft. Sadly he did not pick up a British accent. He spent four years in Chicago before moving to sunny Los Angeles, where he makes sure to have palm trees in the background whenever he is in a video chat with his Chicago coworkers.