TCGplayer and the Game Manufacturers Association Announce Conclusion of Inaugural Horizons Fellowship Program to Foster the Next Generation of Game Publishers, Creators and Retailer Owners

SYRACUSE, N.Y., April 26, 2022 — TCGplayer, the leading technology platform for the collectibles industry and operator of the largest online marketplace for trading card games, and the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA), today announced the conclusion of the inaugural GAMA Horizons Fellowship (Horizons Fellowship), a program that supports emerging tabletop game publishers, creators and retail store owners from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

“At TCGplayer, we strive to create a Community For All across the gaming ecosystem, ensuring that all game publishers, creators and brick-and-mortar store owners have the opportunity to take part in our incredible industry,” said Chedy Hampson, founder and CEO of TCGplayer. “This is why partnering with GAMA to support the Horizons Fellowship was a no-brainer. Together, we are helping emerging business owners from historically underrepresented backgrounds in our space, equipping them with the tools and resources needed for success. I look forward to continuing our partnership with GAMA and want to congratulate the Horizons Fellowship class of 2021-2022!”

Created in part by the GAMA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, the Horizons Fellowship connected each participating fellow with a dedicated mentor in the industry focused on helping to grow the fellow’s business while also providing access to grants and resources. The first-ever fellowship term lasted from October 18, 2021 to March 18, 2022 and included a total of nine emerging tabletop game publishers, creators and retail store owners. 

“We are thrilled to announce the successful conclusion of the 2021-2022 GAMA Horizons Fellowship, which offered opportunities and resources to business owners in our community who have historically been underrepresented,” said John Stacy, Executive Director of the Game Manufacturers Association. “TCGplayer was critical in helping the program reach its full promise, providing a comprehensive support package for retailers, one-on-one coaching with their seller growth experts and cutting-edge tools. I am excited to build on this partnership and want to thank the GAMA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for their hard work to bring this program to life.”

The 2021-2022 Fellowship Class
The retailer fellows from the inaugural Horizons Fellowship class include: 

The game publisher and creator fellows from the inaugural Horizons Fellowship class include: 

Mentors who participated in the program include Kathleen Donahue of Labyrinth Games & Puzzles and Rebecca Banky of Black Knight Games, among others. 

In connection with the Fellowship, Brandee Ybarra-Lopez of Cardboardia and Desireé Vaughn of Dub This! were awarded an additional $5,000 grant to help accelerate their business growth.

TCGplayer’s Retailer Sponsorship
As part of its sponsorship, TCGplayer provided focused support to retailer fellows and mentors, including equipping each retailer participant with a brand new Chromebook, Quicklist scanner, novelty playmat, branded apparel, and resource guides. Following the conclusion of the 2021-2022 fellowship, retailer fellows will also receive one-on-one coaching conducted by an expert from TCGplayer’s Seller Growth and Success (SGS) team in addition to access to webinars hosted by TCGplayer, GAMA and the Horizons Fellowship curriculum teams. Additionally, all retailer fellows will receive discounted TCGplayer Pro Seller fees for six months with access to TCGplayer’s innovative Retail Solutions, including its In-Store Kiosk, Pro Website, and MassPrice tools at reduced rates. 

About the GAMA Horizons Fellowship 
To be eligible to participate in the GAMA Horizons Fellowship, fellows were required to run businesses that are 51% owned and/or operated by members of historically underrepresented backgrounds based on but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation and/or religion. Additionally, fellows must have identified as either a prospective publisher in the process of creating a tabletop game or starting a tabletop game publishing business; a newly established publisher already producing tabletop games; a prospective retailer in the process of opening a tabletop game retail business; or a newly established retailer currently engaged in the sale of tabletop games to end consumers.

All selected participants received from GAMA monthly one-on-one coaching sessions with dedicated mentors and peer coaches, virtual group workshops, and a one-year complimentary membership in GAMA. Additionally, participants were awarded a $1,000 grant to cover business or operational expenses, free admission to the 2022 GAMA Expo (the Expo) and booth space, a complimentary retailer box following the Expo and reimbursement for travel related expenses. 

About the Game Manufacturers Association 
The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is the non-profit trade organization dedicated to serving the hobby games industry. GAMA strengthens and supports all industry professionals by advancing their interests, providing educational programs and opportunities, and promoting our unique form of quality social entertainment. To learn more about GAMA, visit

About TCGplayer
TCGplayer is the leading technology platform for the collectibles industry. Founded as a digital media platform within the collectible hobby space, the Company has grown from its initial roots working inside Syracuse-based hobby stores selling comic books, sports cards, CDs, collectible cards, action figures, and tabletop games into an expansive ecommerce marketplace. TCGplayer develops applications and technologies that are revolutionizing the collectibles marketplace by connecting thousands of hobby and collectibles businesses with customers around the globe. The Company's ecommerce and data management tools power sales through physical stores, websites, mobile apps and the TCGplayer Marketplace. TCGplayer prides itself on creating a culture that fosters camaraderie, embraces diversity, and exudes passion and provides stock options to all of its employees. The Company has been ranked amongst New York State's 50 best employers and's top 100 companies for women in the U.S. and certified a Great Place to Work by our employees five years in a row.