OUR LEADERSHIP

Blake Ryan

President

As President of Storyland Studios, Blake Ryan’s focus includes leading our team with a (sometimes unhealthy) hyper-focus on championing creative collaboration and clarity. He also serves as President and Managing Principal of PlainJoe Studios. Prior to that, Blake held various C-Suite roles with nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and around the world, overseeing operations, finance, and marketing.

Outside of Storyland, Blake serves his community as a chaplain and social entrepreneur. He’s passionate about captivating and reforming culture by elevating the stories and value of the nameless. Blake co-founded Restoration Roasters, a specialty coffee bar that provides hands-on vocational training for the homeless of his community. He also serves as the volunteer chaplain of the Corona Norco Rescue Mission, and Chief Executive Officer of Ethur. Blake graduated with honors from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in accounting.

Peter McGowan

Chief Design Officer

Peter McGowan serves as Chief Design Officer at Storyland Studios, where he leverages his passion for storytelling, brand development, and technology. Peter provides story oversite, design leadership and creative solutions from the ether to the environment for clients around the world. He is also the Design Principal and Co-Founder of our sister company PlainJoe Studios. Prior to that, Peter held positions at IBM and Johnson & Johnson. Peter holds a degree in business/information systems from Cal Poly, Pomona.

He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children and serve in leadership and ministry roles at Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, California.

Mel McGowan

Chief Creative Officer

Mel McGowan, AICP, DBIA, LEED AP creatively leads Storyland Studios’s unique, multidisciplinary Spatial Storytelling practice, which integrates master planning, conceptual development, architecture, interior and production design, graphics and wayfinding, and dimensional fabrication and installation. He combines his background in film and design with a decade-long stint at the Walt Disney Company to create a team synergy inspired by Disney’s original Imagineers, designers, and fabricators.

Mel is passionate about creating compelling experiences and immersive environments around the world. Post-Disney, he co-founded Visioneering and PlainJoe Studios, where he led multi-award-winning architectural teams and was named one of the top 25 influencers by OC Metro Magazine. Mel is the author of Design Intervention and an adjunct professor at CBU’s College of Architecture, Visual Arts & Design. Mel is the host of The Themed Attraction Podcast, a show featuring interviews with themed entertainment innovators past and present.

Mel’s experience and portfolio includes the renewal of the Disneyland Resort, Morongo Casino, new urbanist towns, and museum and theme park work in the US, China, and Korea, as well as non-profit cause-oriented projects in the Americas, Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia.

Tom McGlinchey

Chief Financial Officer

Tom McGlinchey provides Chief Financial Officer services to Storyland Studios and is no stranger to storytelling on large scales as he previously held the position of Business Manager at Walt Disney Entertainment, assisting with the establishment of a new entertainment division with offices in Europe, Asia and Australia. Tom has a passion for helping entrepreneurial business leaders and has done so as Chief Financial Officer for Church Development Fund and Provision Ministry Group. Tom is a Certified Management Accountant, earning his BA in business administration from California State University Fullerton and his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.

Tom McGlinchey lives in Irvine, California with his wife, Shelley, and his two children, Austin and Ainsley. He enjoys traveling with his family, golf, reading and mentoring financial leaders.

Johnny Davis

Art Director

Johnny Davis serves as Art Director for Storyland Studios, where he guides projects through all phases of design, from concept to completion. He’s passionate about uncovering our clients’ unique story DNA and target audiences, then using those discoveries to craft their messaging and overall design. Johnny’s portfolio includes Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, Pretend City, West Virginia State Museum, and the Las Vegas Mob Experience. Johnny continues to serve as Art Director and Illustrator for PlainJoe Studios. Before that, he completed design work for Penton Overseas Publishing, Archeon, MMDesignWorks, and Home Depot. He attended Mira Costa College and San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, earning a B.A. in Illustration with a focus on character animation, and has been mentored by Conrad Vernon, director of Shrek 2 and voice of “Gingy” for Dreamworks Animation.

Matt Molsberry

Principal Architect

Matt Molsberry, AIA, NCARB serves Storyland Studios as a Principal Architect from PlainJoe Studios Architecture, where he oversees the master planning, design, and development of innovative, immersive environments and themed spaces. Previously, he served at Chevlin-Molsberry Architects and Visioneering Studios where he emerged as one of the leading church architects in the nation, serving as the Principal Architect on teams that won multiple Solomon Awards for “Best Church Architect.” Matt is a CalPoly alumnus, and his design studies included a focus on VR and Augmented Reality. Matt cut his teeth at AECOM (the world’s largest architecture & engineering firm) where he was part of multiple architectural teams for various projects and attractions at Warner Brothers Movie World (now Parque Warner) in Madrid, Spain, Disney’s California Adventure, and Disneyland.

Krysten Burton

Architectural Account Manager

Krysten Burton was born and raised in Riverside, California and has spent her career cultivating her passion for the intersection between culture and design. She received her BA from UC Riverside in Languages: Spanish and Japanese and her M.Arch from UCLA. She has experience in architectural design and project management and spent several years working for Walt Disney Imagineering developing new themed entertainment offerings.

She is currently an Architectural Account Manager for Storyland Studios and a Professor of Design at California Baptist University. She believes that the stories behind why and what we design are often as compelling as the designs themselves and that empathy and service create the foundation for the strongest ideas. Krysten lives in Riverside, California with her husband, son and two dogs.

Mike Schwalm

Creative Director

Mike Schwalm is an expert at translating inspiration and story into striking images and is currently a Creative Director for Storyland Studios. Previously a Creative Designer for Disney Imagineering and a Lead Concept Designer at Mousetrappe, Mike provides concept images, storyboards and art direction for projects ranging from Disney castle spectaculars to cultural installations. Relying on his skills in set design and illustration, Mike creates both beautiful concept images and detailed design packets. His work at Mousetrappe has included concepts and storyboards for the new Disney nighttime spectacular Happily Ever After, as well as model studies and art direction for the Enzo Ferrari pre-show at PortAventura’s Ferrari Land.

During his five years at Disney Imagineering, Mike was involved in concept development for experiences based on some of Disney’s most popular IPs. He worked with Lucasfilm on concept development for an Indiana Jones themed bar in the new Disney Springs shopping district and also spent three years working on filmmaker James Cameron’s team to bring the immersive world of Avatar to life in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Prior to working at Disney, Mike did freelance concept design and illustration work with Victory Hill Exhibitions, designing interactive exhibits for both the Avengers and Transformer properties. During graduate school Mike illustrated children’s books for Jackson Fish Company. Mike and his wife live in Burbank with their son.

Shane Grammer

Sr. Creative Director

Shane Grammer is an established modern-inspired painter, sculptor and art director whose work spans a variety of mediums and can be seen internationally in theme parks, attractions, museums, galleries and in private collections in the United States, South Korea, China and Dubai. His art has been signed by actors Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Tim Curry and Disney animation voice stars Paige O’Hara (Belle), Irene Bedard (Pocohantas), Robbie Benson (Beast) and Ed Asner (Carl Fredricksen from Up!). A former Disney Imagineer, Grammer is a skilled scenic artist, fabricator, painter, sculpture and conceptional designer. Recently, his work has been commissioned by Ryman Arts, the Walt Disney Birthplace, the Dick van Dyke Foundation and Give Kids the World.

Having grown up near Paradise, the Northern California town recently devastated by fire, Grammer is currently working on his “Beauty from the Ashes” mural projects, painting images of locals and other figures on the ruins left behind by the Camp Fire. This heartfelt project, designed to bring hope to the fire’s survivors, symbolizes the ability of a community to be reborn from devastation. “Beauty from the Ashes” has received international media coverage, including in the New York Times and on NBC’s Today Show.