The Reality Escape Convention is a conversation for the escape & immersive game industry. With core tenets of knowledge, connection, and immersion, RECON opens dialogues. By attending RECON, you will gain new insights and a broader community. RECON supports a sustainable escape room industry now and in the future.


For years, people have been asking when Room Escape Artist would host a conference. In 2020, we saw the needs of our community were not being met so we responded with the inaugural RECON event: RECON ‘20 Global.

Our convention is born out of a love for these games. It is about growing this industry. It is about realizing potential – of creators, of experiences, of storytelling.

We see escape rooms as a new medium for storytelling and play. Our goal is to turn it into a medium that is timeless like theater, music, tabletop games, video games, film, and the written word.

From Room Escape Artist

RECON is presented by Room Escape Artist, your source of well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous escape room reviews, design tips, player tips, and industry commentary… and your source for industry reports, coveted awards, escape room tours, and media appearances. We are wry cheerleaders, critics, and ambassadors of the escape room world.

Take a look....

The Organizers

David & Lisa Spira

Room Escape Artist

Lisa and David Spira founded Room Escape Artist in 2014. There they publish daily well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous escape room reviews, design tips, player tips, and industry commentary.

Their professional expertise includes User Experience and Speech Writing (David) and Language Technology and Data Analytics (Lisa). They have experience managing projects, teams, and products in different areas of technology.

They are best known for:

Lisa and David have been featured as industry experts in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on a CBS Sunday Morning segment. They are the escape room industry’s most prolific leaders.

Theresa Piazza

Exhibitor & Sponsor Coordinator

Theresa is bringing her experience solving complex business problems to support RECON’s Exhibitors and Sponsors.

She has been known to proclaim “project management is my jam” and has over 5 years’ experience overseeing projects from concept through completion.

Theresa has been an avid escape room (probably, over-) enthusiast since 2015. She’s also explored many other facets of immersive entertainment, including interning with an immersive theatre company and standing up a small-scale immersive entertainment piece.

Theresa is constantly organizing immersive theatre outings and puzzle hunt teams. In both professional and social spheres, she brings people together.

Cindi Saiewitz

Speaker & Attendee Coordinator

Cindi is providing the answers to all your questions about attending RECON.

In her professional life, she’s an experienced communicator known for developing teams, solving problems, and getting things done. She has over 30 years of experience in IT management, development, support and global project leadership with Fortune 100 companies and is Project Management Professional (PMP) certified.

As an avid escape room enthusiast with more than 200 escape rooms completed, Cindi chose to get more involved in the community and push the industry forward.

Brendan Lutz

Technology & Infrastructure

Brendan is the invisible support and structure behind RECON. He has led 50+ person technology teams to success in various industries by continually pushing boundaries.

Today Brendan leads the Information Systems department at Blue Apron, overseeing the DevOps, Network Engineering, and IT teams. He is a professional technology generalist who is passionate about bringing cutting edge tech into people’s day to day lives.

Brendan has been an escape room player since 2014, and he is a 2-time Great Gotham Challenge Champion & Runner Up. He loves the thrill of a good search and discovery escape room. He also loves being a part of growing companies, events, communities and is a bit of a startup junkie.

James Cobalt

Jack of All Trades

James is a professional generalist and many-hats-wearer from the agency and events world. He’s produced commercials and radio ads, created narrative-driven puzzle hunts, performed sound engineering for immersive attractions, developed viral campaigns covered by international media, worked on numerous award-winning website projects, and co-organized the past ten annual Boston Midnight Marathons.

Thanks to his lack of impulse control and fundamental misunderstanding of how sleep works, James is also opening an immersive gaming venue in Boston called “The Immersive” in mid 2022.

Michael 'Auggie' Augustine

Creator of Mystery

Auggie – as everyone knows him – is the person behind the hidden mysteries of RECON.

He is a Brand Strategist by day, specializing in social data and analytics as well as big-picture ideation and campaign development.

Auggie is also a student, creator, and enthusiast in all things escape room and immersive. He’s played over 150 games and placed 10th in Red Bull Mindgamers 2019 Escape Room World Championships as one of the 4 members of Team Slackers United. He has also created a handful of escape rooms for clients, as well as ideated, created, and produced a 6-month grant-funded alternate reality game in Cincinnati in 2017.

Lee-Fay Low

Program Lead

Lee-Fay is coordinating the Boston talks, workshops, and discussion program. She spends a lot of time thinking about how people experience things, and how to improve that experience. Her day job is as a psychologist and researcher.

You can find her simultaneously on the Escape Room Discord, walking the coast of Sydney, baking, knitting and helping with the Escape Room Enthusiasts Survey.

Theresa Wagner

Executioner of Extra Fun

Theresa is a chaotic neutral goblin from Washington, DC, who has trusted strangers to lock her in rooms 283 times. When not trying the same code 8 times in a directional lock (of course the combo is right!), she can be found playing Warhammer, video games, board games, Magic the Gathering, or looking up videos of Mariachi bands playing for beluga whales. She used to compete in Super Smash Brothers Melee and Rainbow 6 Siege, but now focuses her video game energy on speedrunning, including Portal 2 and Sly Cooper. Oh, and she also has a bird named Wally.

Heather Burns

Research & Coordination

Heather is an organizer, planner, mom, First Responder, small town treasurer, RECON volunteer, as well as an experienced escape room player. She is often heard saying “I just want to play fun rooms” when her husband gets too far in the weeds discussing escape rooms with his nerd “friends.” She brings her special ability to worry too much about every little thing to the RECON team.

“Eat well and travel often” is her motto. Taking trips to Las Vegas and attending rock concerts are some of her favorite activities.

Richard Burns

Escape Room Philosopher

Richard is a player enthusiast from Wisconsin. Being conveniently located in the Midwest makes it easier for him to plan escape room trips that crisscross the country in irresponsibly tight time windows.

He is a writer for Room Escape Artist, a RECON volunteer, and a bit of an escape room philosopher. For him, reading, writing, talking, and thinking about escape rooms and what they can be is just as interesting as playing them. Always on the lookout for innovation and advances in the industry, Richard appreciates the business of escape rooms as much as the games themselves. He sees a bright future for the industry as it evolves into a more mature storytelling medium.

Ryan Brady

Volunteer Coordinator

Ryan brings over a decade of convention staffing experience to bear on ensuring that the RECON volunteers have the support they need to make RECON run smoothly.

Together with his wife, Ryan forms an enthusiast pair who enjoys working escape rooms into their travels around the country and world.

When not working a convention or being immersed in adventure, he has been found doing less interesting things such as operating a nuclear reactor or being a laser scientist.

Kate Wastl

Event Manager

Kate is an escape room addict who is a project manager during the week and loves to travel to play games on weekends. She lives in western New York with her absolutely adorable shiba inu puppy and enjoys volunteering as an EMT.


Our Amazing Thoughtful Hard-Working Well-Spoken Dedicated Energized Eloquent Caring Volunteers

Amanda Dupuy

Andrew Reynolds

Anne Lukeman

Ben Rosner

Bill Chang

Brett Kuehner

Chris Holland

C.J. Smith

Dan Egnor

Daniel Dilley

Darren Miller

Denise Kuehner

Errol Elumir

Heather Burns

Jason Lisnak

Jeb Havens

Jennifer S

Kate Wastl

Lindsay Froelich

Manda Whitney

Matthew Stein

Melissa Miller

Melanie Keep

Michael Andersen

Myra Ramdenbourg

Nick Moran

Noam Strassfeld

Richard Burns

Scott Olson

Shannon McDowell

Sheila Holland

Shuai Chen

Sim Lauren

Tammy McLeod

Tommy Honton

Tom Mortishire-Smith

Yuehwern Yih

ARG Puzzle Hunt Team

Michael ‘Auggie’ Augustine

John Bromels

Amanda Dupuy

Errol Elumir

Brett Kuehner

Colin Sanders