Along with five former con-chairs, there are other experienced pros and some newbies joining the staff for JemCon 2016: Up N' Rockin' in Upstate New York.
Here's a breakdown and a bit of background information on all the hard working individuals who, through a combined effort, bring to you this truly outrageous event in your Jem calendar!
Please note, all links detailed below lead off-site (externally hosted) and open in a new browser window.
Tivia (JemCon 2016 Chair) is a longtime fan and avid collector of all things related to Jem. She has a background in media and creative arts and has used her skills in these areas to direct stage productions, children's theater and has even done some animation voiceover work herself. She loves to make custom creations and credits the Jem series as having an early influence on her and inspiring her creative nature. Tivia identifies with the duality of the Jem/Jerrica characters and loves the "secret identity" element of the show. She also loves all the music and has enjoyed being present for some great musical moments at JemCon including Britta Phillips hitting the high note on "Music is Magic" and watching Anne Bryant in the process of creating "a new Jem song". The wonderful friendships she has made through JemCon are part of what keep her actively involved and she is enthusiastic about bringing JemCon to Upstate New York for 2016.
Elizabeth Pemberton (Mother JemCon / JemCon Founder) is from Van Wert, OH, and lives in Minneapolis, MN, where she hosted the first JemCon in 2005. Liz remembers seeing a few episodes of the cartoon when it first aired, but she was in high school and didn't have time for much TV. She didn't get her first Jem doll until 2003, but has made up for that with not only a large Jem collection, but also extensive chunks of the Darci, Maxie, and Creata doll lines, 1980's knockoff fashions of all kinds, and stupefying numbers of That Other Doll. Liz works at a music store, doing nerdy data and computer stuff. She also holds a job as the first soprano soloist and section leader at the Episcopal cathedral in Minneapolis, plays saxophone and recorder, reads voraciously, and spoils her cats. At JemCon, she can most frequently be seen lecturing about shoes. The JemCon community never ceases to amaze her, and she is deeply honoured to be part of it, and to be on staff again for 2016!
Allie hails from Brooklyn, NY. She has always enjoyed Jem, but experienced a true Jem Renaissance when the show began airing on The Hub. Her favourite episode is "Island of Deception." Allie never had Jem dolls as a child, and always favored the cartoon aesthetic of the characters. This led her to get her first Jem doll (Stormer) and begin repainting and sewing cartoon-accurate custom fashions. Allie also enjoys painting and drawing, and loves all the inspiration from creative people in the Jem community. You can see her work at: www.dearstormer.etsy.com and www.dearstormer.tumblr.com. She loves the Misfits best, and Stormer is her true-blue favourite.
Ankur grew up in Toronto, Canada, watching the show as a small child, but his memories of it were hazy until he re-discovered the show in his early 20s. However, Ankur grew up singing songs such as "Congratulations to Me" and "All's Right With the World" and it wasn't until he got back into the show that he realized these were Jem songs. Ankur claims that hearing Jem and all of her high notes as a child was a gateway for him to become a lifelong Mariah Carey fan. An avid traveller and photographer, Ankur has enjoyed visiting all of JemCon's varied locations. Ankur's favourite part of JemCon is always the masquerade and karaoke, where he gets to sing in costume/character (with his unique twists on cosplaying), and is looking forward to doing that for the seventh time at JemCon 2016.
Damon V. D'Amore has an AA in Social Sciences with a concentration in History. He was born just outside of Philadelphia in 1991, after Jem's original run. He has been a fan of Jem since the late 2000s, when he caught it on Cable while skipping school, which might make him the subject of a 'Be a Superstar' segment. He fell in love with the music first, but the story kept him hooked. He has connected with many wonderful people through JemCon and he believes that many people here really keep the spirit of Jem alive - not just the glamor, glitter fashion and fame, but also the life lessons about ourselves, and more importantly, each other. Damon hosted JemCon 2015 in Philadelphia and is looking forward to helping out again in 2016.
David Butz first came to know Jem in the summer of 2008 and was hooked after watching all of the DVD episodes. Since then, David has obtained the entire produced doll and fashion line in unopened condition. He first attended JemCon in 2009 and climbed all the way to the "Top of The Charts" (his favourite song from the cartoon) by hosting JemCon in St. Louis, Missouri in 2012. Of hosting JemCon, David says, "It was a positively surreal experience which I will remember for all time. It felt great to bring everyone together and to see so many smiling faces." His favourite character is Roxy, and his is favourite episode is "Britrock".
Garth Jensen (aka Jumbo Jem) lives near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Garth has been a devoted Jem fan since his childhood. He had an original Jem/Jerrica doll, and has recently begin to collect some of the new dolls from the Integrity line as well. Garth is always keeping himself busy with multiple hobbies and projects, including a love of all things Wonder Woman and Madonna, plus he's a die-hard over-the-air television fan. He's also a renowned remixer, known especially for his Mariah Carey remixes, but rose to new remixing heights with his Jem remix compilation CD "Mix/Mash" which was distributed to all attendees and supporting members of JemCon 2014. When in costume, Garth loves to perform as Jem, though his friends will be the first to tell you that he is a Jerrica since he is always wanting to do the right thing... and that makes him a superstar! Check out his websites: tvgarth.blogspot.com and frothypoptreats.blogspot.com
Jessica Center aka faejemgrl makes her home in Maryland. She is the queen of cosPlay and completely fierce in every way imaginable.
Maria O'Connell aka bluehairedgoddess makes her home in Phippsburg, Maine. Some of her favourite pastimes include crafts of all kinds, expanding her several collections and of course doll customization. Maria's life-long love of Jem began when the cartoon originally aired. She soon acquired her 1st Edition Jem and Aja dolls. Christmas of that year brought many more Jem surprises, further allowing her to expand her imagination. Due to Jem, Maria also adopted a love of music that would lead to a stint in a local band. Her passion for Jem was reignited in 2001 with the discovery of Jem on the web and eBay where the "frenzy" began. Currently, Maria boasts 60+ dolls including 7 original childhood dolls. Her goal is to own all of the produced fashions and dolls to display them. JemCon has quickly become a second home for Maria. Here she has met many amazing friends. Maria hopes to use her creativity and unique personality to bring added excitement and a fresh perspective to an already rich community.
Shevona is from MI and is a full-time stay at home mom of two. She has loved Jem since she was a little girl. This passion for Jem has led her to collect the entire produced line and over 50 custom fashions and dolls. She was honoured to be featured in the Jem Fan section of the DVD release. Shevona's favourite episode is "Mid Summer's Night Madness" and her favourite character is Jerrica. She loves to make OOAK Jem dolls, fashions and accessories.
TJ is a fan of all things 80s and has been making art since he was old enough to hold a crayon. He has been a Jem fan since the beginning, when Jem was aired in 10 minute episodes on Super Sundays. The wild colors, mysterious makeup, and rockin' adventure storylines made a vivid impression on him. So much so, that Jem has been influencing his artwork in one way or another ever since. His favourite characters are Stormer and Kimber, the good bad girl and the bad good girl. TJ's favourite episodes are "The Bands Break Up", "In Search of the Stolen Album" and "Adventure In China."