Mark Deppe

MARK DEPPE currently serves as Director of UCI Esports, leading the effort to create the world-renowned program at UCI. Working closely with student leaders, administrators, faculty, and industry partners, Mark built a business plan that is both cost-neutral to the university and that broadly approaches the world of esports through the five pillars of Competition, Research, Community, Entertainment, and Careers. While at UCI, Mark has helped UCI break six world records and led their League of Legends team to a 2018 Collegiate Championship. Mark has a B.S. in psychobiology from UCLA and a MBA from Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

Tom Turner
Chief Education Officer

TOM TURNER has been an educator for the last 20 years, working as a classroom teacher, Principal, and Director of Instruction. At Orange County Department of Education, he regularly interacts with classroom teachers, site administrators, and district leadership in implementing STEM professional learning and program development. He also is a member of the Board for Discovery Cube Orange County and supports grants from the National Science Foundation.

Samantha Anton
Chief Operating Officer

SAMANTHA ANTON currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF). Operating out of UCI Esports, Samantha oversees daily operations including tournament governance and organization, event production and marketing. In her previous roles, Samantha worked in higher education event production, coordinating and supporting events for prospective and incoming students. Samantha is a proud graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with a bachelor’s degree in Film & Media Studies and Political Science. Go Anteaters!

Mike Beteag
Chief Technology Officer

MIKE BETEAG is the Chief Technology Officer at H&S Ventures supporting the Anaheim Ducks, Honda Center, San Diego Gulls and The Rinks organizations.

Mike previously lead Forebrain Technologies Inc, a team of programmers, graphic designers, and project management consultants that provide information technology solutions for critical customer needs, including such companies as 20th Century Fox, Edison International, Disney, Toyota, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola. Mike previously served as president of Convergence Inc and has generated more than $14M in revenue during his tenure. Mike earned his Bachelor of Science from San Diego State University and a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University.

Claire LaBeaux
Communications Director

CLAIRE LABEAUX has significant experience directing communications efforts to help companies and non-profits reach their objectives through strong sales, involvement, and support. She has obtained positive company and product stories in outlets ranging from niche to national blogs and magazines, papers, TV, and radio. She ensures that key audiences are informed and engaged through relevant channels and integrates traditional-style media outreach with native content and social elements. Her experience spans a variety of well-known software products and web sites, retail consumer products, and science and education projects. Recognizing the important role of STEM education to our future, she has intentionally focused on organizations with a mission to educate and empower youth, including the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), SciStarter, Science Cheerleader, Science Buddies, STEM Learning Ecosystems, and now, the North America Scholastic Esports Federation.

Kevin Brown
Esports Program Specialist

KEVIN BROWN thought he would be a life-long hotelier, working with 5-star properties like Four Seasons Hotels He found his way into education after the massive shift in the hospitality market post-911. Kevin taught career technical education classes (primarily hotel hospitality and management) for the Orange Unified School District in California before being recruited to open a massive hotel project in Newport Coast, CA. Kevin returned to career technical education just in time to catch the rising tide of educational restructuring through esports, where he puts his years of experience as a gamer, classroom chops and a passion to meet kids where they are to the test every day. Kevin holds a business management degree from Argosy University, a teaching credential from Cal. State, Long Beach, and speaks more languages than most people have toes.

Jessamyn Acebes
League Operations Coordinator

JESSAMYN ACEBES serves as the League Operations Coordinator. She has been an active leader in the esports community since 2008. Previously, she worked as a supervisor and intern for UCI Esports, helping shape and cultivate the program in its inaugural years. She specializes in event planning, media production, team management, and training future generations of esports talent. Jessamyn is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with a bachelor's degree in Political Science.

Steffi Lin
Social Media Coordinator

STEFFI LIN currently serves as the Social Media Coordinator for NASEF. Through her past work in branding, digital marketing, and social media, she has helped businesses in Southern California and Silicon Valley grow their online presences and expand their customer base. She ensures that target audiences are kept engaged while finding new ways to build up the esports community as it relates to enhancing education and community engagement. Steffi is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.

Marvin Maldonado
Esports Ambassador Coordinator

MARVIN MALDONADO is the Director of STEM Education & Pathways for the Schools of Engineering & ICS at UC Irvine. A proud UCI alum, he incorporates his electrical engineering degree to develop robust programs for K-12 and community college students, especially those that are underserved and underrepresented in STEM. These programs include Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), FABcamp, and APPcamp. He is passionate about working with youth as well as training STEM educators to incorporate fabrication and digital making along with Arduino and Raspberry Pi technologies. He loves to play Halo and Formula 1 Racing, but needs more practice on LoL, Fortnite, Overwatch, etc.

Bethany Pyles,
Coaching Coordinator

BETHANY PYLES is the Coaching Coordinator for Connected Camps. Bethany overseas the hiring, training and management of all of the league's coaches. Her educational background includes a B.A in anthropology and a minor in sociology. Previously, she has worked as a refugee caseworker and specialized bilingual shelter advocate for families of domestic violence. Her focus on societies, cultures and vulnerable populations fuels her dedication to diversity and inclusion in esports.

Galel Fajardo
Digital Media Manager

GALEL FAJARDO helps organizations to develop digital marketing strategies to help them reach their ideal audiences. A graduate from UC Irvine with a degree in Political Science, he thought he’d be working as a deputy district attorney. Instead, his career took him into the exciting world of digital marketing and brought him to NASEF. He earned a Master’s in Performance Psychology from National University, and is the Lead Faculty for Digital Marketing at Fremont College in Cerritos. Passionate about involving young people in sports, Galel volunteers as a board member, manager, and umpire with his local Little League.