Language and Love and Joyful Inclusion…
ENSO & LARESA – Inspiration & Inventor
Inventor Laresa remembers the wonder she felt as a child volunteering with her mom for autistic children. That experience planted early seeds of empathy and joy for the different ways we interact and learn. Years later as a new mom herself, she hoped to recreate that feeling for her son, Enso. After purchasing many separate learning toys for sign language, shapes, colors, numbers, vowels etc. she wondered what if the information could be combined in a meaningful way. With a teaching background to complement her love of research she began iterating the idea. The first Polyblox prototypes were a huge success with Enso and his teachers. Polyblox is now patented for all languages and considered a must-have for parents and educators who want to introduce the spirit of joyful inclusion into early learning.
“My friend Nikki was blind and I was jealous. I loved to read in my room and when my mom said, ‘lights out’ at bedtime – that was it. Goodbye, Nancy Drew until the sun came up (and every chapter was a cliffhanger!). But Nikki …well she could read in the dark, couldn’t she? I imagined myself with her incredible ability to read with fingers. I was in awe of her. I never lost that wonder about how people adapt to their unique abilities.” -Laresa
Our Awesome Team! “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” Halford E. Luccock
PHIL – CFO|Board Member | Founding Investor
Phil Nahajewski has a proven record serving multi-billion dollar technology and media companies, non-profits, and internet startups. He is masterful at driving growth the right way – creating sustainable financial outcomes while building customer loyalty and employee engagement. Phil is passionate about Polyblox “SOJI” -our mission to spread the “Spirit of Joyful Inclusion” worldwide. Phil is also the reigning Polyblox “Super-Speller” – most amount of words in timed challenge!
MARSHA – Board Member | Founding Investor
Marsha Montgomery is a former ballet teacher, choreographer, and performing artist. She has had the joy and privilege of teaching dance to children with special needs and knows the value of the “Spirit of Joyful Inclusion” especially in a learning environment. Marsha is also an emerging artist and enjoys writing. We are thrilled to have her support as a founding investor and board member as we forge close bonds with our community partners.
TAMMY – Board Member | Founding Investor
Tammy Quezada has been an influencer in the high tech and public relations/marketing communities as both an entrepreneur and corporate leader. As a founding investor and board member she has been instrumental in the success of the Polyblox transition to US-based manufacturing. She cares deeply about giving back and has made it possible for Polyblox to do just that.
ALFRED – Web and AR
Love our website? Excited about Polyblox having augmented reality? Thank Alfred Espidol owner of Launchable! He is much more than tech support, he is a true PolyPeep – who shares our love of education and knows how to add “JOY” into learning.
JEREMY – Keeper of the Algorithm
Laresa’s brain can be a rollercoaster (hang on tight) but Jeremy Joseph was up for the task. Together they created a way to calculate the complex Polyblox letter placement without having to do it by hand, as Laresa did for the original Polyblox. Jeremy who studied Modeling and Simulation also co-owns Leguminati and is the Manager of Sensor Application Software at Luminar Technologies. Thanks to his fancy computer-brain you can expect to spell over 100,000+ words per set of Polyblox as we add new languages.
MANDY – Cultural Liasion: Deaf Community | Accessibility Advisor
Mandy David is a dynamic, passionate and driven sign language interpreter and teaching professional with nearly 20 years of experience within the interpretation, teaching and programmatic space. Fluent in ASL, she brings personal experience as a CODA (Child of Deaf Adult) and a lifelong involvement and cultivation of relationships and networks within the Deaf community. Mandy offers value, resources and compassion to drive accessibility, inclusion and unique enrichment opportunities for both the Deaf community and the education sector.
DYLAN – Cultural Liasion: Indigenous People
US Veteran, Entrepreneur and Crow Nation Leader, Dylan Jefferson played a special role in Polyblox. He acted as a cultural liaison to several Native American Tribes on our behalf. With his help we received overwhelming assurances that it was acceptable for us to refer to individual Polyblox pieces as “totems.” Elders from three Native American Tribes agreed Polyblox Totems act in the true nature of a totem; they protect something sacred, language –which is culture.
DAT – (Dang) Awesome Human
Words can’t express the level of AWESOME that resides in Dat’s heart. Dat Dang founder/owner of D&D Unlimited Inc. introduced Polyblox to the world of manufacturing. An early supporter of Polyblox -it is thanks to his mentoring, financial gifts and loyalty that Polyblox first became a tangible product. He is the man behind our inspiration to “do good and do well. He only asks that we pay it forward and we aim to make him proud.