Tabletop gaming trade organisation GAMA’s board officers are all women for the first time in history

Hobby games trade organisation The Game Manufacturers Association is celebrating the first all-women lineup for its board officers in its 47-year history.

Nicole Brady, the creator of board game review website SAHM Reviews, has been elected as president for the 2024/25 business year, stepping up from her previous role as treasurer.

She replaces the outgoing Eric Price, the long-time president of Japanime Games and part-time international business development exec at China-based Meijia Games Factory.

Monica Rasso, who most recently served as secretary, was elect to fill the role of vice president. Rasso is the CEO of board game cruise Meeples at Sea, and part-owner of TantrumCon, Proto ATL and Game & Party Con.

Rhonda Becker, the co-owner of retailer The Gamers Den, shifts from vice president to secretary, while Garima Sharma was elected to an officer role for the first time as the new Treasurer.

Sharma is VP for licensing and partnerships at Skybound Entertainment, the company behind comics including The Walking Dead and Invincible. She joined the GAMA board of directors last year representing the publisher group.

Brady is yet to reveal her plans for her presidency of GAMA. Her predecessor Price said in March last year that he was focused on growing the organisation’s membership and adding more international connections, starting with European members and organizations.

At that time about 90% of GAMA’s membership hailed from the US, 5% from Canada and 5% from the rest of the world.

Brady spent her early career as an accountant before founding SAHM (Stay-At-Home-Mom) Reviews alongside her husband, board game designer Scott Brady, after becoming a mother.

She said, “As someone who started outside the industry, I feel I bring a fresh perspective and representation to many.

“I have a GAMA Media & Events membership for SAHM Reviews, I am married to an award-winning designer, and I am an investor in the publishing company, Play to Z.

“While I started outside the industry, I have spent more than a decade becoming more immersed in it and I am ready to lead.”

New GAMA vice president Rasso, who also works as an independent consultant for conventions in the gaming industry, will oversee the routine GAMA audit this year and advise on Board Standard Operating Procedures.

She was the first director elected to the board in the new Media & Events membership
group in 2021, and said she had seen significant growth in the organisation since the voice of four
new groups of game industry professionals had been added to GAMA.

Rasso said, “As a newly elected director in 2021, I had a seat at the table, but we lacked significant diversity.

“We had just launched several initiatives that year under the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program, focused on outreach and mentorship for people from underrepresented and marginalized communities.

“Over the past three years, GAMA has really strengthened and encouraged the growth of these programs.”

GAMA’s latest treasurer, Garima Sharma, said, “I am deeply honored to be elected as Treasurer for GAMA, an organisation that works tirelessly for the tabletop gaming community.

“As we embark on this new chapter together, I am eager to lend my voice and represent the diverse perspectives of publishers at this table of respected industry professionals.”

She added, “My two commitments are to amplify diverse perspectives and secondly, to prioritize data sharing that can help chart a course towards industry-wide growth.”

Becker, like Brady and Rasso, also has officer experience within the organisation, having previously served as GAMA’s vice president.

She entered the tabletop space in 2003 as a new retailer, first attended GAMA Expo in 2004, and said she had seen the value of GAMA firsthand – and intends to bring those same benefits to the next wave of tabletop companies.

Becker said, “Since our first trade show in 2004, our store has grown, survived and thrived.

“We have collaborated, mentored and guided and I am proud to be in a position where I feel I can give back a portion of what has been given to me over the years by others.”

Brady said of GAMA’s first all-women officer cohort, “These four individual women did not achieve this alone. It was created by the current board of directors with the support and encouragement of past board members.”

Rasso added, “We represent an ever-changing industry, which welcomes diversity in our leaders, whether serving as CEO of a company or as a member of the GAMA Board.

“It’s important to celebrate this historic moment for GAMA and gaming, as recognition of the changing faces and voices of leadership.”

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