Meet the Team

Jon Soong

CEO  |  Co-Founder

Roland Peddie

CTO  |  Co-Founder

Anthony Chhoy

Executive Director |  Co-Founder

Lap Leung

Director of Inside Sales | Co-Founder

Mandi Dimitriadis director of learning at Makers Empire

Mandi Dimitriadis

Director of Learning

Christina Soong

Director of Marketing

Matt Stuckey

Director of Customer Succces

Andrew Barter

Director of IT Operations

Rhiannon Hood

Customer Success Manager, USA

Rhys Lindsay

Software Developer

Puzhi Yao

Software Engineer

Kien Nguyen

QA Tester

Luke Tansell

Hardware Specialist

Miki Liu

Business Administrator

Sandra Benlota

Sales Representative

Advisory Board

Tim Stollznow

Non Executive Director & Chairman

Jana Matthews

Advisory Board Member

Kevin Richardson

Advisory Board Member

Andrey Shirben

Advisory Board Member

2020 Interns

Holly Inglis

Marketing – Outreach & SocMedia 

Zoe Gomez

UX – Customer Research

Ella Kain

Marketing – Outreach and Comms.

Thomas Lee

Marketing – Chinese JV

Michael Zaccardo

Marketing – Video

Jess Van Pelt

Marketing – Outreach

Jon Soong, CEO

Favourite food: Char Kuay Teow (Malaysian Fried Rice Noodles)

Favourite drink: beer – Coopers, Little Creatures Rogers, Epic, Belhaven Twisted Thistle

Place I want to visit next: Malaysia!

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: David Brent, Michael Scott, Omar

Favourite way to unwind: boxing with Rhys

I like working at Makers Empire because: we get to make stuff!

Official bio: After completing a Bachelor in Computers Science (Hons) and a Bachelor of Law (Hons) at Adelaide University, Jon studied a Master of Science (IT) at Carnegie Mellon University on a full scholarship. He then worked in software development at IBM, Internode and the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Jon also founded a profitable web startup profitable with 60,000 users and was responsible for the IT systems and trading platform of a quantitative hedge fund.

Roland Peddie, CTO & Co-Founder 

Favourite food: Moussaka

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Dave Grohl, Shigeru Miyamoto, Randy Thom (sound designer)

Place to visit next: a snow resort in Japan… or the Mentawai islands

Favourite way to unwind: hanging out with my kids, doing board sports (surfing, skating, snowboarding), and playing music

Likes working at Makers Empire because: it’s fun to make things, and to help other people make things…

Career highlights: Creating Makers Empire. Winning a BAFTA award for Use of Audio in Crackdown on the Xbox 360. Recording voice actors in 3 different languages on 3 different continents and licensing 150+ music tracks for All Points Bulletin (APB).

Official bio: Roland is the creative brain behind the Makers Empire product. After studying computer science at Adelaide University, he worked firstly at Ratbag Games in Adelaide, and then in Scotland with Realtime Worlds where he won a BAFTA for his work on Xbox 360 title, Crackdown. His experience in gaming technology and development coupled with his fascination with learning makes him the ideal person to lead the Makers Empire engineering team.

Anthony Chhoy, Executive Director & Co-founder

Favourite food: Sapa grilled pork and goose

Favourite drink: cappuccino and Barossa Shiraz

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Warren Buffet, Pony Ma and Roger Federer

Place to visit next: Blue Hole (Red Sea)

Favourite way to unwind:Swimming with my kids, reading and tennis

Likes working at Makers Empire because: of the company’s ability to make a difference to young students, developing their design thinking skills and preparing them for future jobs.

Career highlights: Navigated Central European Media Enterprises Ltd through the financial crisis in 2009 and running into former employees and discovering that they have become accomplished leaders and thriving with their career and personal goals.

Official bio: Anthony started his career as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in Adelaide followed by a two year secondment with Ernst & Young in London. Spent a decade in London and Prague as the Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations for Central European Media Enterprises Ltd, a NASDAQ listed media and entertainment company. Returned home to Adelaide with his young family at the end of 2013 and met Jon, Roland and Lap…and decided to partner with them to change the world with Makers Empire!

Lap Leung, Director of Inside Sales & Co-founder

Favourite food: Ferrero Rocher

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Batman, Richard Branson and Julia Roberts

Place to visit next: Brazilian F1 Grand Prix

Favourite way to unwind: the beach

Likes working at Makers Empire because: they are like family

Career highlights: world’s first successful scramjet experiment at Woomera Rocket Range, Guinness World Record with about 1000 students designing in HK. Launching Makers Empire.

Official bio: along with Jon, Anthony and Roland, Lap was a co-founder of Makers Empire. After completing his studies, Lap worked as a management consultant at SMS Management and Technology in Sydney and Hong Kong. He also founded consumer application, nepchin.com and men’s fashion label, lapmen.com. 

Mandi Dimitriadis, Director of Learning

Favourite food: vanilla slices

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Carol Dweck, Sir Ken Robinson and Santa Claus

Place to visit next: Russia because I love Babushka dolls

Favourite way to unwind: long drives in the country with my family to find a bakery with vanilla slices.

Likes working at Makers Empire because: I like building something for young people that matters with people who care.

Career highlights: Working with teachers all over the world to help their students develop design thinking skills and solve real-world problems. Running into former students and discovering that they have now become awesome young adults.

Official bio: Mandi is an experienced and qualified classroom teacher who recognises the power of technology to enhance teaching and improve educational outcomes. She was the social impact winner of the 2019 Winnovation Award celebrating innovative South Australian women. Mandi has extensive experience with curriculum development and learning, having previously developed programs for the Australian Government’s Department of Education. She is passionate about Design Thinking and how best to prepare today’s students for the future.

Christina Soong, Director of Marketing

Favourite food: Penang Assam Laksa

Favourite drink: Gin and Tonic. Soy Latte.

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Tina Fey, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mindy Kaling.

Place I want to visit next: Japan (again)

Favourite way to unwind: writing, reading, cooking, visiting markets, weekend getaway, Netflix

Likes working at Makers Empire because: I get to do new things every day. The people are nice. I like working with my brother.

Career highlights: running the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. My food and travel blog, The Hungry Australian, winning the Australian Writers’ Centre’s national Best Australian Blogs 2014 competition. Being commissioned to shoot restaurants and wineries for the 500+ page coffee table book, Flavours of South Australia.

Official bio: Christina has worked for over twenty years in senior management and marketing roles for leading arts, culture and education organisations in Australia, Asia and England. She is also a multi-award-winning writer, photographer, recipe developer, consultant and blogger. Her creative work has appeared in numerous international magazines and publications. See www.christinasoong.com

Matt Stuckey, Director of Customer Success

Favourite food: ramen

Favourite drink: whiskey

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: David Chang, Elon Musk, my friend Rob

Place to visit next: Scandinavia

I like working at Makers Empire because: I enjoy the opportunity to create something genuinely useful which will have a positive impact on a great many people. We could potentially inspire millions of students, who knows what they’ll come up with in the future?

Official bio: Matt is an interdisciplinary designer, switching between graphic design, illustration, interior design, product design and top level brand strategy. Perhaps best known for his large scale public artworks, he is equally at home painting in a boom lift, behind a Mac screen or in a boardroom. He enjoys applying his own design skills to help create an engaging platform to inspire future designers and creative thinkers.

Andrew Barter, Director of IT

Food: pizza

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Jack Ma, Bill Murray, Tim Cahill

Place to visit next: New York

Favourite way to unwind: sleep

Likes working for Makers Empire because: technically diverse, great people to work with, company with HUGE potential.

Career highlights: managed the IT for a film/media company in Adelaide for 7 years. Built a successful website from scratch to manage and measure the performance of University supervisors and students.

Official bio: Andrew has over 18 years commercial experience in the IT industry across a broad range of projects and technologies. He has extensive experience in IT management, web/mobile development, systems administration, hosting, scaling and support

Rhiannon Hood, Customer Success Manager (USA)

My hometown: San Diego, but I lived in San Francisco, CA and Boston, MA

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Oprah, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs

Place I want to visit next: Italy or London

Favorite way to unwind: I’m mesmerized by the beauty of Nature, it’s my go-to place to relax and just be.

Likes working for Makers Empire because: I’m a maker at heart, I enjoy helping people, and I want to make technology accessible to all. Plus, I absolutely love Makers Empire software – it’s fun, addictive, and I get to play on it all the time!

Career highlight: seeing kids use the Makers Empire software for the first time

Official bio: Rhiannon worked in with Tech Startups in Silicon Valley for over 7 years. In that time she was heavily involved in the Technology, Wearables and IOT scene. For two of those years, she ran a non-profit that taught underserved youth how to build android apps. Her background is in Sales and Marketing.

Career Highlights: Worked in with Tech Startups in Silicon Valley for over 7 years and was heavily involved in the Technology, Wearables and IOT scene. For two of those years, I ran a non-profit that taught underserved youth how to build android apps.

Rhys Lindsay, Software Developer

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Hideo Kojima, Gustavo Santaolalla, my lovely wife

Favourite food: delicious French toast with bacon and maple syrup

Place to visit next: Gloomhaven

Favourite way to unwind: playing video/board games or writing music on my guitar

Likes working at Makers Empire because: I’ve been able to turn my passion of making Unity games into a career plus we have a great team who I learn a lot from.

Career highlight: seeing kids use the Makers Empire software for the first time

Official bio: Rhys first used CAD software in my engineering degree. Whilst he enjoyed modeling in 3D he found the software difficult to use and somewhat anti-creative. He is now doing something about it now by helping make Makers Empire the world’s easiest to use 3D design and printing software.

Puzhi Yao, Software Engineer

Favorite food: Schnitzel.

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Einstein, Arthas Menethil and Illidan Stormrage.

Place to visit next: Antarctica.

Favorite way to unwind: Sleep.

Likes working at Makers Empire because: it’s fun and challenging.

Career highlights: Making an mobile online RPG from scratch.

Official bio: Puzhi is a Unity Developer of Makers Empire. After completing his software engineering studies at Adelaide University, Puzhi worked as a developer at FoxieGames in Adelaide and participated in the development of mobile game, Horse Riding Tales.

Kien Nguyen, Quality Assurance Tester

Favourite food: Spicy Beef Noodle (Bun Bo Hue)

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Bill Gates and Natalie Portman

Place to visit next: Tokyo and Seoul

Favourite way to unwind: sitting on a comfy couch and listen to my favourite music.

Likes working at Makers Empire because: it’s like a kid longing to be back to school after summer holiday to meet his dear friends

Career highlights: moving to South Australia and join Makers Empire, moving from a pure project manager to a versatile member of the team.

Official bio: After more than six years working in different positions (QA Trainer, QA Lead, QA Project Manager and Game Producer) at Gameloft and GoGame in Vietnam, Kien sought a new challenge. So he completed a Computer Science degree at The University of Adelaide to broaden his work opportunities.  Originally hired as a part-time quality assurance tester at Makers Empire, Kien was promoted to a full-time position after one year. 

Luke Tansell, Hardware Specialist

Favourite drink: vodka!

Favourite food: definitely Gnocchi Carbonara!

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Simone Giertz, Elon Musk, Richard Branson

Place to visit next: North Korea. Their culture is so very different to ours, and I’d love to experience it.

My favourite way to unwind: playing online games, or getting out into nature and getting adventurous!

I like working at Makers Empire because: it’s a great group of people to work with, and I always like being at the front line of new technology!

Career highlight: I’m 21, so the career highlight is working at Makers Empire!

Official bio: Luke is currently studying a Bachelor’s of Industrial Design whilst also volunteering at Fab Lab Adelaide. He has been using 3D printing as an industrial design tool for many years. He enjoys sharing his 3D printing journey via the videos he makes for Makers Empire and his own Youtube channel. He believes 3D printing is a technology that will go far and unlock doors we never knew were there, and he is stoked to be at the forefront, doing what he loves.

Miki Liu, Business Administrator

Favourite food: Sichuan food (hot and spicy)

Favourite drink: green tea

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Xi Jinping, Barack Obama, Bob Iger

Place I want to visit next: Hokkaido, Japan

Favourite way to unwind: reading a book in a cosy place or spa

Likes working for Makers Empire because: it’s nice to be part of a family company. Opportunity to learn lots of new tech from amazing professionals.

Career highlights: becoming part of the team at Makers Empire. Previously, I worked for the China Leather Association, exported South Australian wine to China, and provided admin support for KESAB for our beautiful Australian Environment.

Sandra Benlota, Sales Representative

Favourite food: Carbonara

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Liza Soberano, Jenelyn Mercado, Julia Montes. They’re all Filipina Actresses.

The place I want to visit next: Hong Kong Disney Land

Favourite way to unwind: pig out, eat any food on my way.

Likes working at Makers Empire because: our support system is as awesome as our founders. Makers Empire is able to change the way students view education. Who knows, in the next few years, we might be able to change the world with the help of 3D printing.

Official bio: a graduate of BS Nursing at Silliman University and a mother of one. Landed a job as a Bank Teller at Bank of the Philippine Islands after working a few years as an article writer under Daniel Salazar.

Holly Inglis, Marketing Intern

Favourite food: chocolate, donuts, anything sweet!

Favourite drink: Moscato, Gin

Place I want to visit next: Europe!

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Freddie Mercury, Ellen DeGeneres and Phoebe Buffay

Favourite way to unwind: taking my dogs out to cafes.

I like working at Makers Empire because: it’s a creative and happy environment where I am always learning!

Official bio: Holly is in her third and final year studying a Bachelor of Marketing at the University of Adelaide. Holly joined Makers Empire in 2020 on a marketing internship working with Christina Soong, the director of marketing. Holly has been managing the marketing activities for a local legal firm where she created the firm’s business site from scratch.

Ella Kain, Intern, Marketing Intern

Career Highlight: My internship at Makers Empire, particularly receiving the opportunity during the midst of COVID-19!

3 people I’d have dinner with: Michelle Battersby (previous Bumble Aus CEO & KIC CMO), Michelle Obama, Serena Williams

Favourite Drink: Mocha (not quite converted to coffee yet!

Favourite Food: Chocolate!

Place to Visit Next: There are many, but New Zealand is on the list!

My Favourite way to unwind: Getting outside! Or listening to podcasts

I like working at Makers Empire because: I am able to put the theory I am learning at Uni straight into practice and develop on the job skills!

Official biography: Ella is in her second year of studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) and is also a part-time nanny. She took a gap year prior to studying, and completed her Certificate 3 in Business while working at a school as the Administration Officer. Ella enjoys numbers and analytics associated with marketing, and believes marketing and communications lies at the heart of any business.

Thomas Lee, Marketing Intern

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Michael Pompeo, Ka-Shing Li and Steve Jobs (too late for this one…)

Favourite drink: Honey Green tea

Favourite food: I love fine dining from all over the world.

A place to visit next: Antarctica. I must go there while I’m young enough to cope with the extreme temperature.

My favourite way to unwind: reading books and chilling in the natural environment.

I like working at Makers Empire because: For a marketer, working across multiple countries is more fun and challenging. Also, the culture and working environment at Makers Empire make me feel very welcome.

Career highlight: I have been working in the advertising and marketing industry for more than ten years. I am an all-rounder and can handle anything from project planning to advertising design and procurement. I like working on new projects that haven’t been done before. One of my previous projects was the first project that combined VR technology into an outdoor advertisement in Hong Kong.

Official bio: Thomas has recently graduated from a Master of Marketing at Adelaide University. He believes that the fusion of 3D printing and child learning experience is going to make our future better and that 3D printing is set to be the next industrial revolution.

Michael Zaccardo, Marketing Intern 

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Larry David, Garry Shandling & George Miller.

Favourite drink: Iced Coffee.

Favourite food: Anything my mum cooks.

Place to visit next: My fridge.

My favourite way to unwind: Video chat with my friends from Congo and playing soccer.

I like working at Makers Empire because: They understand where my strengths and interests lie and are able to match me with work I enjoy doing!

Official bio: I am currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) at The University of Adelaide whilst simultaneously volunteering my time with E-Raced Mount Gambier in a marketing and communications based capacity. 

Jessica Van Pelt, Marketing Intern

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Emma Watson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Carrie Bradshaw

Favourite drink: East End Hold Ups at 2KW

Favourite food: Thai would have to be my favourite!

Place to visit next: Europe, but Italy in particular, I was meant to visit there during the Australian winter, but unfortunately had to cancel.

My favourite way to unwind: I love practicing piano. I’m not that great, but hopefully getting better.

I liked working at Makers Empire because: I was given the opportunity to do real work for Makers Empire which contributed to the business. Even though I worked remotely I felt like I was a valued member of the workplace because everyone is so welcoming.

Career highlight: Getting to use the skills I have learnt at Makers Empire to help my boss implement new marketing strategies and tactics at my work. It has been so amazing to actually be able to use the skills to make a difference at my own workplace.

Official bio: Jessica worked as a Marketing Intern during her final year of university. She is studying a Bachelor of Media (Marketing) at the University of Adelaide and hopes to have a career in Marketing Communications and Public Relations. During her time at Makers Empire, Jessica worked under Christina Soong to promote Makers Empire through various social media channels. Currently, Jessica is in her final semester of study and is helping her workplace with their current marketing activities.