Shortly after it occurred, Iello COO and GAMA President Stephan Brissaud released a statement regarding an incident at Gen Con which resulted in being expelled from the show (see "Iello COO, GAMA President Expelled from Gen Con").  The GAMA board is meeting this week to consider what actions, if any, to take (see "GAMA Board to Consider Police Report, Photos, Other Findings").

Hello friends.

I just wanted to clear the air about an incident that occurred at Gencon Thursday morning.

Right at the outset, I want to say I regret that it happened as well as my behavior.  I recognize and acknowledge that no matter how tired, irritated or stressed I was, my behavior was unacceptable and goes entirely against my core beliefs and principles.  There are no excuses for my behavior, and I would like to publicly apologize to everyone involved or affected.  I fully accept and respect the decision of show security and management to take away my badge for the remainder of this year’s show, and apologize to them as well.  I will absolutely do better in the future, and nothing like this will ever happen again.

The basics of what happened is that two pallets, containing all new releases for the show as well as other vital elements for my booth, were not delivered as scheduled the day before the show (Wednesday 8/1).  Therefore the morning the show opened (Thursday 8/2) when they did arrive, my team and I were scrambling to get everything from the loading dock to the booth.  Because the rugs were down on the show floor, we couldn’t use any heavy carts, pallet jacks, etc.  So it was basically 6 or 7 of my team members, and I hand carrying boxes and booth items piece by piece.  During this process, we were asked by security to use entry doors that were very far from our booth.  I misguidedly thought it was an unreasonable demand and tried to talk my way into doors much closer.  It didn’t go as I’d hoped, the conversation became heated between security and myself, but I complied at that point.

My team and I then walked to the doors we were directed to, and when walking through those doors, I was asked by security to display my badge.  This I felt, unjustifiably of course, was adding insult to injury and I had another heated conversation with security.  During this exchange, I was out of breath, and my hands were full with boxes, so I refused to stop to show my badge (extremely stupid, I know) and brushed up against a member of the security team as they attempted to bar my path.  To be clear, there was no violence, malicious intent, injuries, or any other third parties (attendees, etc.) involved.  I say this only to make sure the facts are clear, and in no way as an excuse, as I, of course, regret and am very sorry for it.  When I got back to the booth, a security representative visited me there, I showed my badge, was not very polite in doing so which I also regret and I am sorry for, and I thought the matter was closed at that point.  Unfortunately for me, it was not.  As a consequence of my actions, my badge was taken from me, and I was informed that for the remainder of the show this year, I was no longer welcome in any areas of the convention center that required a badge.

The technical reason behind Gencon’s decision was that Gencon has a zero tolerance policy for any such behavior.  I completely agree with that policy and its decision.  In fact, I believe in it so much so that I fully intend to own my mistake and use this unfortunate incident as a teachable moment in all other aspects of my personal and professional life.  As soon as I am back in my office, I will be putting together a program in this regard that I am very excited about.  I hope to share the details of it with you in the coming weeks.  My greatest hope at this point is to learn from this mistake, and turn it into a force for positive change.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me on this issue.  I am genuinely touched by the overwhelmingly supportive messages I have received from all of you, and want to assure you that I will be there for all of you in the future should the need arise.

All the best,