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Arkadium, Inc.

2011 SAWIB WinnerCompany: Arkadium, Inc., New York, NY
Company Description: Arkadium is the premier game solutions developer for the advergaming and casual game markets. Founded in 2001, the company is a privately held, family-run business and its growing library of over 200 Flash-based and custom game solutions currently reaches millions of people through some of the most popular online destinations and corporate branded Web sites on the Internet.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Employee of the Year

Nomination Title: Julia Detar, Senior Game Designer

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated employee during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

Julia Detar, senior game designer at Arkadium, a casual and social game development firm based in New York City, has been working at Arkadium for five years. In her role she is mainly focused on the production of art and frontend programming for Arkadium’s games, whether they be casual online games, downloadable games or games developed specifically for Facebook.

Like many of the other women who work for Arkadium, Julia is a minority in the field of game development. However, what sets her apart from others is that not only is she a rare hybrid programmer and artist, but also Julia chose to work in an industry that is dominated by men. Her ability to dive in and learn how to work around a disability (dyslexia) to become a successful programmer sets her apart from many others in her field.

Because of her strong work ethic, Arkadium executives have awarded her in a number of ways. Beyond receiving multiple promotions, Julia has been tasked with an exciting project that has been her primary focus during the past few months. She has been diligently working on one of Arkadium's most popular game franchises, Mahjongg Dimensions. Julia helped bring the social version of Mahjongg Dimensions to Facebook and continues to focus on this product bringing new changes to the game and its functionality.

While the entire team applauds her work at Arkadium, they are also proud of her accomplishments outside of the office where she is influencing other women in the gaming industry and positively representing the company. For the last five years, Julia has dedicated countless hours as a volunteer at the game industry's premier trade show, the Game Developers Conference (GDC). With nearly 1,000 volunteers at her side, Julia works hard to ensure that the event goes off without a hitch. As an unpaid volunteer, she gives up her time to be part of educate future game developers on what it takes to succeed in the industry. Her excellence in game design recently helped her secure a speaking opportunity at the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) conference in Israel last May. Here she talked about Mahjongg Dimensions and the steps taken by Arkadium to successfully turn the already popular casual online game into a blockbuster hit on Facebook and beyond.

Her efforts did not stop there however. Julia was also asked to participate in revolutionary PBS series called “Get The Math,” a multimedia project to educate youth about using math in the real world. Math educators identified a need to find new ways to teach children real math skills and get them excited about learning it. The series demonstrates how professionals use various types of math in interesting careers to get the job done. In the series, Julia describes how she got involved in the gaming world, gives an introduction to the role math plays in computer programming languages and presents a videogame-related math challenge.

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []:

Provide a brief biography of the nominated employee (up to 100 words):

Julia is a New York-based senior game artist and programmer. She has been working for five years at Arkadium making casual and social games, including the hit Facebook game Mahjongg Dimensions. Before that she graduated from the Cleveland institute of Art. For her thesis, she created an educational flash-based game for second graders at a public school.