John Payne is
Chairman and CEO of Croquet, and a member of its Board of Directors. He also serves as
Executive Chairman of GIGXR, Inc., an early stage extended reality (XR) medical training
business serving medical and nursing schools, hospitals, higher education and the U.S.
Department of Defense. Mr. Payne has significant public company executive experience as the
former CEO of two public Internet software companies, Stamps.com (STMP), where he also
served as Chairman, and Day Software (SW: DAYN). While at Stamps, he led the development of
its operating business, its $65 million IPO and a $365 million secondary offering co-managed
by Goldman Sachs and Salomon Smith Barney.
He served as Chairman and CEO of SimpleAir, Inc., a technology licensing company, from 2004
to 2020. Mr. Payne is an Inventor who has been awarded more than 20 patents by the USPTO
covering Internet, cybersecurity and digital mail plus wireless technologies which are
widely licensed across the smartphone industry. Mr. Payne holds a B.A. in Economics from
University of California, Irvine. He started life as a Wilderness Ranger for the US Forest
Service working on foot, horseback and skis. In a post COVID world, he splits his time
between Laguna Beach, CA and Boise, ID.
David A. Smith is the Founder and CTO of Croquet and a member of its Board of Directors. He
has more than 30 years of experience as a pioneer of AR and VR, and has founded 7 companies,
including The Colony, the world’s first 3D adventure/shooter game, and Virtus Corporation,
the first real-time 3D PC design tool, in addition to creating the visualization software
behind James Cameron’s “The Abyss”. He has sold 10’s of millions of games and
Early in his career, he was co-founder of Red Storm Entertainment with Tom Clancy and Brian
Upton. He was also Chairman of Gensym, the first large-scale public AI company, and most
recently was Chief Innovation Officer & Senior Fellow at Lockheed Martin, leading their AR
and VR efforts. He invented 3D portals and co-invented the core tech behind Croquet. He has
been issued 32 patents in 3D, AR, VR and AI by the US Patent and Trademark Office, and holds
a BS in Mathematics from University of Chicago.
Brian is a
veteran of the game industry. He was one of the
founders of Red Storm Entertainment where he designed the original Rainbow Six and
Recon. He spent fifteen years as a senior designer at PlayStation, guiding external
through every stage of production, including innovative indie titles such as Fat
Warhawk, Sorcery, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Bound, and Here They Lie. Brian
author of the books The Aesthetic of Play and Situational Game Design.
Vanessa designed Croquet’s
architecture, and implemented its client framework as well as the networking
global Reflector infrastructure.
A former member of Alan Kay’s research group, she has been developing interactive
systems for more than 20 years with a focus on live, self-supporting architectures
(including Squeak Etoys, Scratch, Lively, Frank, and even a revival of
Vanessa’s PhD was awarded for new real-time non-photorealistic 3D rendering
While he was
the graduate school of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yoshiki joined Walt Disney
in 2000 as an intern and helped developing prototypes of Disney’s theme park
also has been involved in Alan Kay’s research group, and participated in the
development effort of education programming environment Squeak Etoys and later took
leading role. Yoshiki has worked at the Viewpoints Research Institute, SAP Labs CDG,
Combinator Research, all of which Dr. Kay founded or helped found.
He was awarded his PhD. for designing and implementing a massively parallel
programming system from Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Aran is another Co-founder who
from Alan Kay’s former research group, having started working with David Smith in
interaction research, focusing on his concept of "subjunctive interfaces":
interfaces designed to inform users about the context surrounding a computed result
hinting at alternative results from nearby, subtly different computations. He is
the lookout for ways to stir those ideas into the Croquet ecosystem.
Jenn is a
Transylvanian UI UX engineer living in Vancouver, Canada. Her early career began in
fine art but merged with her love for technology - migrated into a career in UX.
Jenn’s work was recently featured in multiple globally published magazines and large
scale signage designs that can be viewed around downtown Vancouver. At Croquet, Jenn
works at enhancing the overall user experience for seamless integration and
Lucas is a creative software engineer,
humanist, and craftsman futurist. Lucas has previously
worked on realtime 3D apps, XR-enabled applications, and networking. Lucas is focused on
displaying the team's excellent work in the best light by designing and building
applications that directly demonstrate Croquet's powerful interactive, live, and
collaborative environment. At any odd hour of the day,
he enjoys gaming, exploring music, and mountain biking.
Dennis is the
Director of Product Marketing at Croquet. He has over a decade of experience as a product
leader in companies ranging from startups to large enterprises. He has led product
development in a variety of areas including Operational Tools, Big Data Analytics &
Infrastructure Services such as Content Delivery, constantly keeping an eye on the value
proposition from the customer’s perspective. Prior to starting his career in product
management, he led Operations teams for retailers such as FAO Schwarz and Rakuten, where he
streamlined processes to improve service quality, and holds a BA in Economics from UC,
his career in Jordan, leading account management for brands including Orange and Royal
Jordanian at a global ad agency. He later joined his father's construction business, where
he co-launched a construction collaboration software startup, helped win a design management
contract for a Zaha Hadid opera house project, and then moved to Lebanon to start a second
office and grow the business. He received his BBA in management at the American University
of Beirut, and his MSc in construction management at the University of Reading.
enjoys being a Quality
Assurance Specialist at Croquet Corporation. His gaming background makes this a natural fit.
He also has many CompTIA IT certifications. He is a graduate of The Fletcher Academy.
Kai is an
industrial designer from the San
Francisco Bay Area with a background in digital
modeling and transportation design. As a modeler for 3D spaces, it's Kai's goal to create
interesting-to-look-at and engaging-to-work-with worlds for Croquet's Microverse.
Makaram is a graduate student
studying Electrical Engineering with a focus on machine learning. She is a part time intern
at Croquet and has worked with the HCI group at MIT CSAIL. In her spare time, she enjoys
singing and playing the flute. She also enjoys traveling and visiting new places.
Katie has more
than 20 years’ experience leading integrated communications campaigns for emerging
technology companies. Her team at Market Street Group delivers a mix of strategy and tactics
that ensure that the various facets of marketing work together to drive business growth.
Margaret is our
Controller based in
Southern California. She has extensive experience as a Finance Executive with startups and
multinational corporations. She served as Controller and VP of Operations for Mitsubishi
Materials Corporation for over 10 years, helping them set up their first US-based
operations. Margaret also has over 15 years in the software and gaming industry, building
Finance and Ops teams in game development and localization. Margaret is a hands-on
Controller who is passionate about helping companies grow and succeed.
uses her strong
organizational skills and her passion for process development to assist clients in creating
and maintaining HR functions such as HRIS set up, benefit administration, payroll,
onboarding and offboarding, and other compliance related processes. Before joining the
Talent Distinctions team, Velveeta worked for 15 years in the Real Estate Industry. She
handled all the legal cases for an investment property firm in Marina Del Rey by attending
court cases and negotiating deals. She also handled their employee relations function and
hiring process. Additionally, she managed their properties in New Mexico and Oregon.
Velveeta is very passionate in the community and volunteers with homeless shelters on a
regular basis. She also travels abroad for medical and building missions. She is always
looking for an opportunity to give back.