Who is TRI?

The Role Initiative, Inc. (TRI)

The Role Initiative (TRI) is a group of like minded individuals that like to expand the hobby of roleplaying games through helping the community and raising funds for other not for profit companies and charities.  Unofficially born at PAX East 2016 while supporting the organized play arm of Dungeons and Dragons, Adventurers League, we officially became a not for profit company mid-June 2017.

We support local game stores by running events and game days and run multi-table conventions by organizing, facilitating, running areas of roleplaying games.  While currently the focus has been on Adventurers League, this will not always be the case as there are other organised play organizations that also need assistance in the area.

Over the past year we have also started creating custom “Convention Created Content” as part of Adventurers League to offer conventions premier content that can not be played at any other location to be a draw for the event.

Starting at Carnage Con 2016, we shifted focus of our group, from just running conventions being the end goal, to helping charities like Extra Life through the events and conventions that we run.  If you would like to donate to one of our charities, go to our “Charities we Support Page“.

Mission Statement:

The Role Initiative, Inc.’s (TRI) mission is to raise awareness and funds to support worthy charity organizations through the coordination and facilitation of all forms of organized tabletop roleplaying games.

The primary focuses are to support the local game-store and conventions in the form of offering communication, customized content, and logistics.

Leadership Team

President – Mark Merida

Mark Merida is has been playing Dungeons & Dragons since 1987 with the “Red Box” and has played every iteration of D&D except 4th edition. He has been Dungeon Mastering since that time as well including Cthulhu and many 1st edition clones like Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea by Jeffrey Talanian. Currently Mark is one of the founders, Directors, and the Acting President of “The Role Initiative, Inc.” which has the taken their mission to be “…to raise awareness and funds to support worth charity organizations through the coordination and facilitation of all forms of organized tabletop roleplaying games.” An IT Manager by day, he and his wife live in New Hampshire and enjoy camping, hiking, and playing Tennis.

Vice President – Deb Berlin

Deb Berlin has been playing D&D for about two years, and loves Adventurers League more than many things. She doesn’t run any RPGs (yet) but will likely be dungeon master for a Dungeons & Dragons elective at the school where she works this year, and she is excited to teach 5e to a new generation. Deb serves as the convention coordinator for The Role Initiative, channeling her love for all things related to organization into this organization and the wonderful tabletop community. When not working at conventions, Deb is a middle school science and math teacher. Deb lives in Massachusetts, and spends her free moments planning travels, hiking, camping, and reading.

Communications – Ryan Parker

Ryan Parker began playing D&D in 1987, when he was 14 years old, in his hometown of Benson, NC.  He borrowed the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook from his friend Scott and he was instantly hooked. With their friend Packy behind the Dungeon Master’s screen, they and few other friends adventured through the world of Greyhawk every Sunday afternoon. The group soon discovered other RPGs like, Traveller, Twilight 2000, Star Wars, DC Universe, and Teenagers From Outer Space.  In 1991, Ryan attended university at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC where he received his degree in Broadcast Communications. In 2011 he and his wife Rosanne moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he attended The International University in Geneva, and received his Master in Public Relations Communications. When he and Rosanne moved back to Raleigh, NC in 2014, he found that Scott and Packy had also moved back to the area. They picked up the fifth edition rulebooks for D&D and started playing again, this time with Packy’s 12 year-old son.

Ryan coordinates organized play for his area, know as “The Research Triangle”, in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. He admins the “Adventurers League of the Triangle” FaceBook page where nearly 400 members come together in their love for D&D. He has helped organize several “Triangle Epic Game Days” and tabletop games for major local conventions. Ryan also works at Game Theory, one of the larger tabletop game stores in Raleigh and he also produces and co-hosts the CPGB Podcast, where he and local comedian Reid Pegram discuss the world of comedy punk, games and books. Ryan also owns a custom leather business, Oak City Leather, where he works on private commissions for a select group of clients. He owns several guitars and mandolins but never has the time to play them. He lives with his wife Rosanne and their two cats, Roy and Charlie, in Raleigh, NC.

Content Coordinator – Eric Boaen

Eric Boaen has been playing tabletop role playing games since 1986 including the following: D&D, AD&D, 2ed. AD&D, 4e D&D, 5e D&D, Rifts, and Shadowrun. He has been a Game Master for most of the games he’s played in, and enjoys writing and designing new and exciting ways to challenge his players. Eric is one of the Directors as well as the CCC Coordinator for The Role Initiative. In real life, he also has a challenging career as a network engineer. Eric’s primary hobbies also include 3d printing, all things automotive, and online gaming.

Community Coordinator – Derek DaSilva

Derek DaSilva has been playing D&D/RPGs since 2010 and though he misses feeling like a golden god in 4th edition has fully embraced Adventurers League play in 5th edition. He can be found DMing at Excelsior Comics and Games in Maynard, MA where he gives his party a weekly lesson in decision making and consequences for their actions; and at TRI conventions throughout New England. Derek works as TRI’s Community Coordinator. He is the point of contact for stores and other organizations looking to network and run events. When not doing that, Derek helps run a high school youth group, works as an IT Technician, and occasionally sees the sunlight.

Operations – Garrett Colón

Garrett Colón was introduced to AD&D by his godfather at the tender age of 8. Those sessions gave way to scattered experiences with 3.5e in high school, as well as jaunts with Shadowrun, Pathfinder, Mage the Awakening, Fate Core, and other RPGs. At PAX East 2013, the 5e playtest needed DMs, and Garrett, having never played the system, jumped in. This is how he lives – diving head first into his hobbies. Since then, Garrett has worked countless conventions, with his current count of over a dozen each year spanning varied genres in the US Northeast: scifi, video games, anime, tabletop, and multi-genre. When not driving to conventions, Garrett runs AL each week at his local game store in the Boston area, serves as Operations Coordinator for The Role Initiative, writes CCC for TRI and independently, and serves as a resource for the wider AL community. When not waist-deep in his gaming hobby, Garrett analyzes systems, coaches a preadolescent swim team, hikes, plays 10 instruments, reads the entirety of the internet, acts as local animal whisperer, and takes care of his gatos, Hermes and Aries.