It takes most of a year and a fearless crew to produce a WonderFest Weekend.
There is a core group that works throughout the year, and then there are staff and volunteers who work like mad for the intense period leading up to--and after--the show.
Building models since the age of 6, Dave has been a part of WonderFest for many years, eventually coming to lead the show as its CEO. As much a fan of the show as anyone he takes great pleasure from all the folks who come year after year for the fun and comradeship. His other great passions are the big and small wildcats he takes care of as a retired zoo keeper and cat sanctuary volunteer. Great enjoyment now comes from sculpting images of his favorite felines.
Melinda is the Chief Operating Officer & Dealer Room Babe of WonderFest. If you're a dealer with an issue, she's the go-to gal! She brings to the role more than 20 years' experience in teaching, coordinating events & doing public speaking. She's a life-long monster lover who looks forward to growling around the Dealer's Rooms every WonderFest. Yep, she's looking for monsters!
Dave Conover refuses to grow up and has managed to turn childhood obsessions with monster modeling, cool space toys and classic films into a way of life. He’s been actively involved with WonderFest since 1996 and writes, blogs and yaks regularly on internet radio about pop culture like a million other guys. He even wrote a book, "War Eagles: The Unmaking of an Epic," in 2011, but admits he'd rather be playing with Major Matt Mason.
One of WonderFest's founders, Lee is a life-long s-f modeler. Starting with letters to Aurora when he was a kid in the 1960's, he's had constant involvement with model companies and has built countless hundreds of kits. After a few years as a professional modeler, he now concentrates on building the hobby. His step-by-step articles have appeared in FineScale Modeler and Amazing Figure Modeler.
Beau Kaelin steps into the role of Guest Coordinator in 2013 after years of working with WonderFest’s programming team, and has literally “grown up” with the show since first attending WF back before the turn of the century. He’s a talented makeup artist, filmmaker and mixologist as well, and is easily identifiable as the single tallest individual wearing a staff shirt during the weekend!
John has always been a fan of movies and comic books. After walking into his local comic book store and seeing Horizon's "Wolverine" and their "T-800" it was all over with. John's been with WonderFest since 1993 and runs the best model contest there is with the best crew there is! He also has the distinction of being married at WonderFest! He's also one of the biggest "Batman" fans in the country!
Drew's a nice guy and a great asset to the Amazing Model Contest as a judge wrangler and all-around wiz at co-running the event. But he didn't turn in his write-up in time for the new website launch. We could make up mean things to say...but hey, we LIKE Drew! So we'll take the high ground and drop a little filler in here until he sees the light. As the contest has grown to, well, amazing proportions, we hope Drew will be there to keep it on track.
Brian's been a fan of sci-fi modeling since he was a kid, and “discovered” WonderFest while on a business trip to Louisville in 1995. With his friend “Crazy Joe,” he kept coming back until the WF staff finally agreed to let him join the crew. Brian assists in show logistics, and coordinates the Hardware Modeling demo track at WonderFest. He helps keep in touch with fellow 'Fest attendees through the Starship Modeler forum.
"Crazy Joe" Nejberger was given his nickname at the Atlanta College of Art, where he led his fellow artists on wild escapades reminiscent of Delta House back in '78. These days he lends his years of modeling and painting expertise as well as that of his many colleagues he's befriended here at WonderFest to organize one of the most in-depth demonstration programs of its kind.