Our Teamour team
William GadeaCreative Director
Will was born in Peru and brought up in Australia and the Dominican Republic before coming to the U.S. to study film at New York University. He has been working in the animation field since 1999 as an animator, editor, compositor, director and producer. Before starting this company in 2006, he worked for studios such as Animation Collective, Funny Garbage, and MTV Animation. This experience has given him a broad overview of the animation pipeline in many different techniques. Formerly a published, produced and award-winning playwright, he has an unusual combination of verbal and visual story-telling skills. Apart from being an animation aficionado, he is also a passionate foodie.
Follow Will on Twitter: @willgadea
Originally from San Diego, California, Robert began as a street artist en route to the Art Center College of Design. While still at school, he was working at legendary commercial house Duck Soup, having a hand in designing classic spots for clients like Kellogg’s and Heublein. After years as a successful Big Apple illustrator, with work appearing regularly in publications like The New York Times, Playboy, and Sports Illustrated, he returned to animation as an Emmy-nominated designer for Cartoon Network’s Sheep in the Big City and Codename: Kids Next Door, and as the Art Director of the Emmy-award winning PBS Kids pre-school show, Word World. He’s also a classic animation and movie buff, and can make a pretty mean tamale. You can see his work at www.kopeckydesign.com.
Dan EnglanderHead of BusinessDevelopment
As the first employee and Senior Account Manager at IdeaRocket, Dan helped launch the studio by generating new business with many startups and Fortune 500s, and managing productions. He’s the author of Mastering Account Management, The B2B Sales Blueprint, and The Lean Explainer Video, and he teaches several online business courses. He’s a decent guitarist and he makes a mean paella.
Hailing from the Catskill Mountain area of New York, SaraJane is a graduate of the Boston University School of Management, where she obtained a degree in business administration. SaraJane gained her first experience in animation as an intern on the Transformers PRIME television show. Before joining IdeaRocket, SaraJane was an Assistant Editor at Avalanche Comics Entertainment where she managed numerous comics and animation projects under the auspices of former Batman editor, Jordan B. Gorfinkel.
Blake grew up in Chappaqua, NY—a friendly, tranquil suburb that people often confused with Chappaquiddick (Mass.) until President Clinton moved there following his second term—and graduated from Horace Greeley High School in 2001. He then attended Georgetown University, where he studied creative writing and wrote his first novel.
After college, Blake lived something of a dual life; trading commodities (like sugar, coffee and soybeans) by day, and writing film scripts (like The Flying Scissors) by night. In 2014, HarperCollins published his first book: Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation. He currently resides in Astoria, NY, where he lives with his lovely fiancé and mischievous family of teddy bears.
Born on a Navy base in Maryland to a military family, Scott grew up all over the country -including Alaska, until his family settled down in Northeast Ohio. When he was finally old enough to escape his staid surroundings, Scott joined the Navy himself and served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Independence. Five years later, now a veteran of the First Gulf War, he set his sights on art school and attended Parsons School of Design in New York where he majored in Illustration. After graduation in 1995 he entered the animation industry by working on the Nickelodeon show Kablam!. In 1999 he was part of a team that was awarded Emmys for Main Title Design for The Rosie O’Donnell Show and in 2000 Scott received a second Emmy for that year’s opening. Over the years Scott has worked for a variety of animation studios, and in a variety of capacities: a background painter on Courage The Cowardly Dog, a compositor for MTV Animation and for Nicktoons, a character animator for Sesame Street and for a documentary film Chasin’ Gus’ Ghost. Recently, Scott was also a Adobe and Apple certified trainer for their video and graphics softwares such as Photoshop, After Effects, and Final Cut.
Scott now lives in New Jersey in his Dutch Colonial home with his french wife, two sons, two dogs, a cat, and a goldfish.
Phil was born and raised in New Jersey; where he would often find himself gazing at the distant NYC skyline, hoping to one day fulfill his dream of working at an animation studio in the Big Apple. A dedicated athlete, he was recruited to play men’s lacrosse at Roger Williams University, where he graduated with a four-year degree studying political science and fine arts. Looking to switch gears, Phil moved across the country to enroll in the animation program at Laguna College of Art and Design, simultaneously being mentored in figure drawing/anatomy by the great Karl Knass. Equipped with ample knowledge and experience, Phil made his way back east. He got his start in the NYC creative scene with independent animation legend, Bill Plympton, contributing to numerous commercials as well as the feature film, Revengeance. Phil is a believer in the Gustav Rehberger quote: “If you can draw the figure, you can draw anything!” As a result, he can be found at figure drawing sessions throughout the city, perfecting his craft. He’s also the proud owner of a Hurricane Sandy rescue dog named Kirby.
You can see his work at philpowersart.com
Cherry YeungMarketing Associate
Born in Hong Kong, Cherry spent her early childhood in Brooklyn, NY before moving to the quiet suburbs of New Jersey to blossom into an awkward and overachieving teenager. She then moved to Baltimore, MD to attend Johns Hopkins University, where she graduated with a degree in Psychology. After spending some time working and researching in behavioral psychology, Cherry decided to bring her experience in research and data analysis into the faster-paced world of marketing. She began by joining IdeaRocket as their marketing intern, and attended classes at General Assembly in digital marketing strategy. Outside of her life in NYC, Cherry can be found tutoring algebra and pre-calculus to students in New Jersey, and playing video games or trying out random new hobbies in her free time.
Merelice is from Litchfield County, CT and received a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Southern CT State University. Merelice started her career in the banking industry while still in college, and upon graduation was placed in a professional development program which afforded her a wide breadth of business experience ranging from Marketing, Operations, Asset Management, and Project Development. Merelice moved into the field of accounting as a Sarbanes-Oxley analyst supporting the credit line and leasing portfolios at Pitney Bowes. Merelice is a Quickbooks Pro Advisor and member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. Prior to supporting the team at IdeaRocket Animation, Merelice has served in a variety of accounting and finance roles at large corporations as well as smaller local businesses.