Phil Hettema President - Creative Executive

Phil Hettema is the President and Creative Executive of The Hettema Group (THG).  With a distinguished 30- year legacy in themed entertainment, Phil leads a world class team of experience designers, architects, and media producers known for creating uniquely compelling guest experiences with great emotional resonance.  Notable projects include One World Observatory at One World Trade Center; the High Roller Observation Wheel at The LINQ, Las Vegas; and Beyond All Boundaries at the National World War II Museum, New Orleans.

Prior to forming his own company, Phil Hettema was Senior Vice President, Attraction Development for Universal Studios Theme Parks Worldwide for 14 years. He was responsible for the creative development of all major attractions and shows, including Terminator 2: 3D, Jurassic Park, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Backdraft and many more.  He oversaw master planning for all five Universal parks, including domestic and international expansion for Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s PortAventura (Spain), and Universal Studios Japan, and, most notably, the conception and delivery of Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Florida.

Phil is an alumni of ArtCenter College of Design, instructed courses at the institution and endowed a scholarship for Enivronmental Design.  He has been a guest lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, USITT, IAAPA, KIN, ICOM, SIGGRAPH, and at the TED Conference. Phil holds four patents for entertainment technology solutions and has been honored with numerous Thea awards from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) including Theas for One World Observatory (2016), Beyond All Boundaries (2010), FiestAventura (2000), The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (2000), Universal’s Islands of Adventure (2000), and Terminator 2:3D (1997).

Barbara Nelson Art Director

For three decades, Barbara has been an art director for theme parks, museums, animation, and hospitality industries worldwide.  She apprenticed under artists including Eric Larson and Ollie Johnson and learned the traditions of character art and background design.  She has worked with Walt Disney Consumer Products and The Disney Stores creating toy concepts, store environments and displays.

Barbara joined Walt Disney Imagineering as show set designer for projects including Tokyo Disney Seas, ESPN Store, Anaheim Disneyland and Shanghai Disney. She worked with Busch Entertainment and PGAV to create the first water ride attraction at Sea World in Orlando, Florida.


B.F.A., Art Center College

B.F.A., Cal State University, Northridge


Art Center College, Columbus College of Art and Design, Ryman Arts Foundation

Bria Alvarenga Project Coordinator

As a project coordinator, Bria plays an indispensable role managing the day-to-day workflow of THG’s creative teams. Her dedicated and intuitive support to our teams is backed by more than three years of experience in corporate event staging and 12 years in customer service.

Before joining THG, Bria worked as a sales lead for a large event planning firm in Los Angeles, expanding the company’s customer base, training team members, and coordinating rentals and purchases. Prior to that, she served as a lead supervisor at a major home goods retailer, managing staff and operations, and ensuring excellent customer service. Additional experience in customer service reinforced Bria’s core belief in the power of teamwork.

In her spare time, Bria likes to enjoy the sun with her faithful canine, hiking in the mountains or strolling through Huntington Dog Beach.

Carol Young Dimensional Designer

Carol is a self-taught artist who has worked in the entertainment biz since her early twenties. She grew up in a small town in Kentucky and left home at a young age to conquer the world. Her first stop along the way was New York City, where she landed a job with a comic book company as a colorist. She was mentored by many talented artists and soon began her design career, first by hand-painting the pages.  When technology entered the world of design, Carol quickly moved into digital paint. Her love of the digital world presented several opportunities and she soon found herself in Hollywood working on movies, television series and commercials as a visual effects artist.  She eventually became a supervisor and artist for Stereoscopic Conversion. Carol’s love for and involvement with creating fantasy worlds became a natural transition into the themed entertainment industry. She has been working for the last several years in various design roles in themed entertainment, including color and color concept, interior design, scenic design and dimensional design.

Notable Projects:


Bloodshot, Turok, Solar, Shadow Man, Rocky Horror Picture Show

Visual Effects:

Daredevil, I Robot, The Simpsons, Harry Potter

Themed Entertainment: 

Bollywood Park, Dubai 

Chris Bradley Concept Artist

As a concept artist for The Hettema Group, Chris is always dreaming up imaginative and inspiring new ideas for rides, shows and interactive guest experiences. Not only is he a prolific idea generator, he’s also a master at visualizing attraction concepts via his highly original sketches, illustrations and finished renderings.

Chris brings to THG an impressive background in content creation across the entertainment industry. He has led teams of artists and show designers to deliver unique, world-class themed attraction concepts for industry giants such as 20th Century Fox, Lotte, Hasbro, Nickelodeon and Walt Disney Imagineering. In addition to his work in themed entertainment, Chris has illustrated visually engaging characters and scenes for tabletop games, including Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

Prior to his career as a professional artist, Chris was a Field Superintendent and Project Manager in the commercial construction industry. He personally led an interdisciplinary team of experienced professionals to build nearly 30 restaurants, retail and office locations.


B.F.A. – Visual Communication, University of Arizona

Watts Atelier of the Arts

Notable Projects:

20th Century Fox World, Dubai

Soarin’ – Tokyo DisneySea

Frozen – Hong Kong Disneyland

Chuck Ballew Art Director

In Chuck’s 26-year career at Walt Disney Imagineering, he worked in many different roles on a wide variety of projects. He contributed designs for multiple attractions in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom and was the Lead Designer for five different installations of the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters attraction. He has served as Creative Director for projects in Tokyo Disney Sea and worked on the design for Toy Story Land in Disney Hollywood Studios. His artwork has been featured in numerous Disney publications including Poster Art of the Disney Parks and most recently The Art of Disney’s Dragons.


B.A., East New Mexico University

M.F.A., Carnegie Mellon University


Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, 5 global installations

Indiana Jones Adventure, Disneyland, Anaheim

Tower of Terror, Tokyo Disneyland

Connor Sinclair Graphic Designer

Connor is a graphic designer from Westport, Connecticut. As the son of two creative parents he discovered a love for art and design at an early age. After receiving a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design, Connor left the East Coast to pursue a career in location based entertainment. Five years later, as a member of The Hettema Group graphic design team, he helps to create marquee signage, environmental graphics, and marketing presentations for some of most unique and innovative experiences worldwide. Connor’s interests include hand typography, model building, customizing cars, and snuggling with his cat.


B.F.A., Graphic Design, Savannah College of Art and Design

Dave Max Designer

Bio coming soon….

David Clayton Dimensional Designer

David has been working in 3 D (as in 3d modeling/animation) for well over a decade.  In his years at Technicolor and Walt Disney Imagineering he created elaborate 3D worlds touching on all elements from modeling, texturing, lighting, animating and particle FX.  The majority of his current focus has been working on pre-viz for Disney theme park rides and attractions.

When looking to free his brain from the detailed world of 3Dcreation, David can usually be found with guitar in hand.  A graduate of the Atlanta Institute of Music and creator of, music is not only his original passion, but is a huge asset when it comes to understanding the timing beats, rhythms and flow when animating and editing.


Atlanta Institute of Music

Gnomon School of Visual Effects


Voted “best guitarist Orlando, FL” 1992

David Lepor Illustrator

With experience in the world of theatre and a background in art, David feels right at home in the themed entertainment industry.  Whether concept design, color work, or illustration, David strives for quality, beauty, and consistency.

As an illustrator on Motiongate Dubai, David developed the visual design for a wide mix of dark rides, flat rides, play areas, retail spaces, and restaurants. He has additional experience in interiors, art direction, production design, and model making.

While not working on theme parks, David spends time designing sets and props for regional theatre productions.


Bachelor of Science, Graphic Design & Illustration, Communications Minor – Grace College, Winona Lake, IN

Master of Fine Arts, Scenic Design – University of California, Irvine


Motiongate Dubai

Bollywood Parks Dubai

Devin Flanigan Creative Director - Senior Writer

Devin is a creative director and writer with 15 years of experience in themed entertainment, film, and television. He has conceived and created theme parks, shows, and attractions for world-class clients like Walt Disney Imagineering, Warner Bros., Sony, Lionsgate, Nickelodeon, Sea World, LEGO, DC Comics, the NFL, the NBA, and the Smithsonian Institution.

As Area Creative Director for Motiongate Dubai, he created seven major attractions for the park’s Sony Pictures Studios zone. Devin developed all attractions for the indoor Eon Time World park in Harbin. His television and film credits include R.I.P.D., Lie to Me, and The Chicago Code.


B.A., College of William & Mary

M.F.A., University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts


Motiongate Dubai

Warner Bros. Park Abu Dhabi

The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort

Sea World Australia, Storm Coaster

Don Carson Senior Art Director

Don is a legend in the theme park world for his exceptional work as concept illustrator and designer. He is known for bringing focus on design principles unique to environmental storytelling to projects all over the world.

Don has applied his long career in theme park design to computer games, theater, and other media.  He strives to show the potential of using the principles of environmental storytelling to influence an audience’s experience, whether they are exploring a physical or virtual world.


University of Art College


Splash Mountain

Blizzard Beach

Mickey’s ToonTown

Estephan Quass Dimensional Designer

With professional experience in the entertainment business, Estephan provided art and creative direction in TV production for a major network in Brazil. In the US, he has designed sets for corporate businesses, exhibits, sports and music events. His work includes global theme park development, facility and attraction design, food & beverage and retail development, rock work, landscaping and ride vehicle design. With the use of 3D models, realistic renderings, animations, scale models and drawings, he serves as the bridge between the concept stage and the project production.


F.A.A.P.Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, Sao Paulo, Brazil

B.A., Industrial Design

M.F.A., Interior, Set & Exhibition Design


X Games Mega Ramp

Red Bull Extreme Cliff Diving – ICA, Boston

2016 Desert Trip Animatics for Stage; Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan

Gwen Ballantyne Art Director

Gwen has leant her imagination and creativity to movies, theme parks, video games, museum exhibits, theatrical experiences, and architectural design projects worldwide for over 23 years.  She has worked as an Art Director, Concept Designer, Illustrator, Sculptor, and Costume Designer.  And each time, she transforms her design sense to suit the unique parameters of the projects, which run the spectrum from “Sesame Street to “Delta Force-Black Hawk Down.  For Walt Disney Imagineering she served as Art Director for “Journey to the Center of the Earth” at Tokyo DisneySea.

Her project client list has included Disney Imagineering, Universal Creative, Warner Bros., Paramount Parks, Henson Studios, Nickelodeon, Lionsgate, National Geographic, Sesame Street, HBO, The Hettema Group, Thinkwell Group, BRC Imagination Arts, and Novalogic.


B.F.A. in Fine Art and Anthropology, University of California at Santa Cruz

M.F.A in Production Design and Technology from California Institute of the Arts


World Fair Dubai 2020, Concept Designer

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Art Director/Show Designer

Tokyo DisneySea, Art Director/Show Designer of Journey to the Center of the Earth

Disney California Adventure, Concept designer/illustrator

Sanrio Hello Kitty Theme Park, Show Designer

NatureQuest, Fernbank Museum of Natural History GA, Art Director

Sesame Street Presents the Body Museum Tour, Art Director


Hudson Gordon Production Assistant

Hudson earned a degree in Film, Television & Digital Media at UCLA where he began developing his love for the intersection of artistic and logistical skill. As a production assistant for THG, Hudson supports producers, illustrators, and technical teams, bringing together their talents to create fantastic experiences. Whether it’s coordinating meetings, putting together deliverable packages, or searching out the nearest company dog to pet, Hudson helps keep the team moving. In his free time, Hudson loves to spend time fishing and hiking in the beautiful California nature.




B.A. University of California, Los Angeles

Jeremy De La Garza Illustrator

For 10 years Jeremy has worked as an illustrator doing character design, concept art, and storyboards for comics, games, animation, and theme parks.  He has worked on a variety of projects with companies including Inkle, Boom! Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, Zoic, Petrol Advertising and Olympus Flag and Banner.

He started drawing in Colorado, at a small kitchen table with a box of crayons.  Alongside his brother, they would draw comics and epic Ninja Turtle battles.  While drawing, background noise of shows like Batman, Mask, and Knight Rider filled the air.  At 12 years old, he hitchhiked to LA where he now resides.


B.F.A. – Colorado State University

Semester Abroad – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy


Voyage to the Iron Reef Storyboards, Knott’s Berry Farm

Background Painting, Fringe TV Series

Transformers Game Cover, Petrol Advertising

Joe Lanzisero Senior Creative Director

Joe spent over 3 decades with the Walt Disney company starting in Feature Animation where he learned directly from Walt Disney’s “9 Old Men.” From Animation he moved to Walt Disney Imagineering where he rose to be the Senior Vice President Creative in charge of the design for the Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Resort and the Disney Cruise Lines. He led the design for many unique and iconic projects around the world including Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland, Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland and the latest state of the art cruise ships The Disney Dream and Fantasy. His artwork and designs have been featured in numerous publication, is often quoted, and speaks on design around the world.


B.A., Character Animation, Cal Arts


Hong Kong Disneyland

Disney Cruise Lines

Tokyo Disney Resort

Mickey’s Toontown

Justine Huseth Producer

Justine comes to us after 15 years in Documentary Programming, where her work has taken her from the Straight of Magellan to the Arctic Circle. She has a background in directing, writing and editing, as well as extensive experience in scheduling and budgeting.


She has produced content for networks such as: Netflix, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, TLC, NBC, ABC, FOX.


Prior to her career in broadcast television, she worked in Advertising in New York City.


B.S. Anthropology & Spanish, Boston University

Karen Thompson Colorist - Designer

Karen has more than 25 years in the themed entertainment and visual effects industries. Her focus has been color design and special effects. Karen was on the creative projections team for “Standard Time” at the Getty Museum, LACMA, and Tom Bradley Terminal. She served as Field Art Director on Little Mermaid, Clarke Quay Adventure, and Knott’s Kingdom of the Dinosaurs rehab.  She was lead special effects painter at Digital Domain on Apollo 13, and Terminator 2-‐3D and at Disney Animation

Universal Studios projects included Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure, King Kong at USF, and Jurassic Park at USJ. Karen was lead special effects painter at Digital Domain on Apollo 13 and Terminator 2-3D.

Karen teaches Matte Painting at Art Center College of Design.


Pima College




Seuss Landing

King Kong

Jurassic Park

Keith Kaminski Art Director

Keith experienced numerous creative careers over his past 33 years in the entertainment industry before joining The Hettema Group in 2015. He worked with Disney legend, Bob Gurr at Sequoia Creative, Entertainment Design International and spent seven years at Universal Studios where he served as Production Designer for multiple areas within the parks. His work at Universal included, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Ride, Sneech Beach, Mayor’s Grandstand, Truffula Forest and ‘If I Ran the Zoo’ Children’s play area. Keith was also lead designer for the Universal Studios backlot tram tour ‘Mummy Experience’ and The Flying Unicorn coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.


BFA, Art Center College of Design (Illustration ‘83)


White House Halloween 2010

Busch Gardens Tampa “Howl-O-Scream” Designer/Art Director 2005 to Present

Eli Roth’s “Goretorium” Year-round haunted experience, Las Vegas

On screen artwork for Frasier, Saved by the Bell, Love and War etc.

Kevin Chi Ya Kuan Designer & Illustrator

Kevin Chi Ya Kuan brings to THG a breadth of experience in design and illustration for theme parks, museums, cultural experiences and events. Kevin aspired to become a designer from a very young age. From drawing Dragonball characters at five years old to building cities and environments with his toys, he has always known that art is a major part of who he is.

In addition to his work in themed entertainment, Kevin has worked as a background designer for animated TV series. His passion for visual storytelling extends into literature as well, and he is a published graphic novel artist, having developed the artwork for The Nameless Prince.

Two of Kevin’s driving passions are to make the world an innovative and better place and to enjoy life with his family and friends.


B.F.A., Illustration, Brigham Young University – Idaho

B.F.A., Entertainment Arts, Art Center College of Design


Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

Lionsgate Entertainment World

SongSong Town

Expo 2020 Dubai

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Lights, Camera, Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg, Universal Studios Singapore


Kristin Showalter Illustrator

Bio coming soon…..

Larry Quach Illustrator

As an illustrator for THG, Larry helps visualize the one-of-a-kind breakthrough rides and attractions our creative teams dream up. Since graduating from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Larry has worked in various areas of the Entertainment industry, ranging from film and videogames to advertising and theme park design.  His clients have included Warner Bros, L1N Pictures, Rhythm and Hues, Glu Mobile and Quest Nutrition.

He currently has one dog, Zeus, that wanders THG’s studio in search of attention, which inevitably means finding some mischief along the way. After Zeus and his foster puppy, Darwin, Larry’s next favorite monster is Godzilla.

B.F.A. – Studio Art, University California Irvine

B.S. – Entertainment Design, Art Center College of Design

Mark Shumate Art Director

Mark Shumate has created dozens of dynamic attractions, environments and events in America and Europe, over a battle-hardened career spanning somewhat more than 20 years. He has left his design fingerprints on presentations ranging in scope from kiosks to major attractions to full theme parks for a list of companies that include Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Creative, Busch Gardens and Paramount Parks. 

In addition, he has designed and executed stadium-wide spectacles including events for Olympic Ceremonies.  Mark has a BFA in Theatre Design from California State University, Sacramento and did graduate work in the Theatre Design Program at UCLA. He also studied at The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where he currently teaches Entertainment Design. He holds 2 patents for attraction innovations and is a LEED accredited designer. 


BFA, Theatre Design, California State University, Sacramento


Nina Rae Vaughn Art Director

For more than three decades, Nina has been a major creative force in theme park attractions, fountains,

museums and hospitality venues worldwide. During her 20 years at Walt Disney Imagineering she started as a Special Effects Designer during the development of EPCOT to Director of Design on Pooh’s HunnyHunt, Tokyo Disneyland. She has contributed to countless Disney projects and created many of the park “Fun Maps”.

Early in Nina’s career she was a fountain designer at WET Design, responsible for design, presentation and field installation. Projects prior to joining THG include Paramount Park Spain, Harry Potter, Universal Orlando, Shanghai Disneyland and creating the design for “The Disneyland of Walt’s Imagination Model” at the Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco.


Art Center College of Design


Pooh’s Hunnyhunt, Tokyo Disneyland

Main Street, Disneyland Paris

Disney Hollywood Studios, Orlando

Indiana Jones Adventure, Disneyland

Los Angeles Music Center Fountain

Fountain Place, Dallas


Disney Cruise Line, Art Center College of Design, Ryman Foundation Living Master’s Program

Richard Gutierrez Senior Illustrator

Richard has been entrenched in the theme park industry for upwards of 40 years and is still going strong. His expertise runs the gamut from blue sky, concept, and production design, including themed architectural design, art and illustration.

Richard has been extensively involved in countless domestic, and global themed entertainment projects over the years. Working with industry heavyweights such as, Universal Studios, Favilli Studios and Disney Imagineering.

Notable Projects:

  • Tokyo Disney Sea/ Little Mermaid Lagoon
  • Epcot Center/ World Showcase
  • Jurassic Park the Ride/ Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Sanrio Puroland
  • Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas/ Caesar’s Magical Empire


Ron Vance Dimensional Designer

After graduating from Art Center College of Design in 2003 with a degree in Entertainment Design, Ron worked at most of the top companies in the theme park industry, including Thinkwell and Walt Disney Imagineering. His combined education in architecture and industrial design gives him a unique understanding of three-dimensional space, including how to represent it on paper and in model form, which is valuable in the production of entertainment projects both virtually and in the theme park industry. Ron brings over seventeen years of experience to his current job at The Hettema Group as a Dimensional Designer.

Previous projects include The Harry Potter Experience at Leavesden Studios, The Bollywood Theme Park for Riva Group, as well as Treasure Cove and Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disneyland.


B.A., Art Center College of Design

Notable Projects:

Harry Potter Experience at Leavesden Studios

Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure, Shanghai Disneyland

Scott Chase Art Director

For more than 25 years, Scott has worked with leading worldwide entertainment companies and museums to bring a wide variety of projects to the public.   

With more than a decade of experience at Walt Disney Imagineering, Scott served in key design roles on numerous Disney theme park projects, including extended assignments on the Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea design teams.

Other projects include The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, “Top of the Rock” Observation Decks and Visitor Center at Rockefeller Center, and exhibits for The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.


B.A. Art/Graphic Design, San Diego State University

Notable Projects:

Shanghai Disneyland, Tomorrowland

Tokyo DisneySea, Port Discovery and Fortress Explorations

“CSI: The Experience”, Traveling Science Center Exhibit

Scott Sinclair Senior Creative Director

Scott has played key roles in concept and design on numerous high profile projects including Lotte World interactive dark ride, the Hello Kitty Theme Park in Anji, China, Tokyo DisneySea, Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland, Disneyland Marketing and Entertainment Division live stage shows and parades, Sony’s retail entertainment center, Metreon in San Francisco and Mediage in Tokyo.

Scott has been lead designer on a number of ambitious projects, including Paul Allen’s Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, The National Ag Science Center in Modesto, California,  Ski Dubai for Thinkwell, and Paul Allen’s “Flying Heritage Collection,” a WWII fighter plane display in Seattle.


B.A., California State Long Beach


Tokyo DisneySea


Dubai Media Center

Ski Dubai

Abbey Road Studios

Chicago Museum of Science & Industry

Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, Seattle

Sue Li Character Designer

Sue is originally from Beijing, China, working as a character designer/visual designer for 3 years after college. She came to the United States in 2010 to obtain her Master’s Degree in Animation.  After graduating, she began working on a variety of assignments in all aspects of graphics and creative arts for Disney Parks worldwide. She is responsible for the development of designs treatments, logos, graphics and creative arts for live shows including parades, stage shows and special events on and off the Disney property and onboard the Disney Cruise Line. She loves design, including computer graphics, digital painting, and character creation.


B.A., Animation, Jilin College of Arts, China

M.F.A., Animation, Savannah College of Art and Design


26th Shanghai Tourism Festival: Shanghai Disneyland Resort “Igniting the Dream” Parade

Disneyland 60th anniversary: Paint the Night Parade

Disney Cruise Line: Tangled: The Musical

25th Disneyland Tourism Festival: Shanghai Disneyland Resort “Happy Dream” Parade

Tokyo DisneySea: Into the Shadow show

Disneyland Resort: Frozen Fun

Susan Spence Senior Writer

Susan has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and content developer for museums, visitor centers and theme park attractions. She produces written materials for all phases of THG projects—from research outlines and concept narratives to multimedia scripts and exhibit copy.

With an academic background in anthropology, Susan brings a unique cultural sensitivity to our projects. She has completed additional coursework in documentary and fiction film history and production. Susan’s ability to translate complex topics into entertaining visitor experiences has earned her the privilege of working on projects for high-profile clients around the world.


M.A., Anthropology, The American University

B.A., Anthropology, University of Florida

Select Project Experience:

One World Observatory, World Trade Center, NYC

Above and Beyond Traveling Exhibition, Boeing

U-505 Submarine, Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago

Apollo/Saturn V Center, NASA Kennedy Space Center

Thomas DeVoss Senior Facility Designer/Show Set Associate

An AIA licensed and LEED certified architect in the state of Texas, Thomas leads the architectural design of THG project facilities, inside and out. His work in themed entertainment is informed by an accomplished portfolio of experience as an architectural designer and project manager for high-profile civic, cultural and residential projects around the world.

Thomas opened his own architectural practice in 2009 and has provided design services for a diversity of projects including an off-grid orphanage complex in Haiti, amusement parks in South Korea and more than 30 private residences across Los Angeles. Previously, he worked as an architectural designer at Gehry Partners on several iconic projects in the U.S. and abroad.

As a member of the Art Director’s Guild, Thomas also provides a variety of illustration services to the commercial entertainment industry, including set sketches, 3D models, set design and renders.


M.Arch., Washington University in St. Louis, Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design

B.A., Classics, Georgetown University


Barclays Arena, Brooklyn, NY (home of the Brooklyn Nets)

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE

Kay Angel Orphanage ‘10, Jacmel, Haiti

The Future of Smart Cities and You; Urban Prototyping (2012) (co-author)

Tim Guo Illustrator

As a concept designer for The Hettema Group, Tim is responsible for dreaming up and visualizing ideas for rides, shows, themed settings and interactive elements. He brings more than six years of professional design experience to THG, having worked for notable clients such as Audodesk, Nintendo, 2Dawn Games, Impeller Studios and Universal Studios. 

Tim’s childhood passion for drawing cars and dinosaurs paved the way for a career in art and design. After graduating from Pratt Institute with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design, Tim continued his studies in the entertainment design program at Art Center College of Design. There, he was able to direct his focus toward designing video games, films, commercials and theme parks.

In addition to his work for major studios, Tim has partnered with other up-and-coming agencies to produce mobile and indie video game.


B.I.D Industrial Design
Pratt Institute
Art Center College of Design

Notable Projects:

Ferrar World, Abu Dhabi
EonTime World
Ski Egypt
Starfighter Inc. (Impeller Studios)
Ravaged (2Dawn Games)

Tim Kirk Show Designer

Tim was an Imagineer at the Walt Disney Company for 22 years and still consults for Disney Theme Parks worldwide.  Tim is a designer and illustrator with wide experience in a broad media spectrum — from theme park and museum exhibit design to book illustration and greeting cards. Other projects include the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the University of Notre Dame, Ghiradelli Chocolate, and the Mini Time Machine of Miniatures in Tucson, Arizona.


5-time winner of the Hugo Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy Illustration


Tokyo DisneySea

Disney-MGM Studio Tour,  Walt Disney World

First American artist to illustrate the J.R.R. Tolkien Calendar for Ballantine Books

Tolkien work is featured in the Greisinger Museum in Switzerland

Victor Armstrong Illustrator

Victor is a relatively young designer and a newcomer into the themed entertainment industry. Already his growing portfolio of projects include branding, zoo and aquarium design, attraction design, and theme park design. He enjoys wearing many hats when it comes to his work. From concept sketching and master planning to color board direction and story writing. Simply, he enjoys contributing to all aspects of the design process. In Victor’s freetime he would likely be found abroad sketching and learning new ideas at a local attraction.


Citrus College – Architectural Drafting

Art Center College of Design – Illustration

Notable Projects:

Haichang Ocean Park



Yasmin Pazandeh Dimensional Designer

Trilingual in English, Farsi and French, Yasmin (pronounced Yass-Meen) comes from a multicultural background. Several relocations through the years have exposed her to many extraordinary historical and geographical points of interest. Since graduating from the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture, she has combined a strong architectural foundation with years of design experience in a variety of fields, including Themed Entertainment, Production Design and Interior Design.

Yasmin’s professional experience reflects her appreciation for design’s different facets. She believes that her real experience comes from the greatest teacher of all – life. As an immigrant who now proudly calls California her home, she has had profoundly beautiful experiences traveling the world and understanding that imaginative design and exquisite details are all around us, just waiting to be appreciated and interpreted or celebrated through our eyes.



B.S., Architecture, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

A.S., Architectural Studies, Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa


Motiongate Theme Park, Dubai Parks and Resorts

Malibu Wines at Queen Mary, Concept Designer

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