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The Institute & Team

The Rube Goldberg Institute stands as a "museum without walls," offering 21st Century experiences that span the virtual and the physical, introducing visitors of all ages to the rewards of engaging in the arts and sciences. The Institute's resources and programs are free and open to all, with specific efforts to reach and empower historically underserved young people and communities through STEM and arts education. Today, the Rube Goldberg Institute is a not-for-profit organization that serves audiences around the world. 

Meet the team

Jennifer George

Chief Creative Officer

Jennifer George is quite literally the DNA of the Rube Goldberg Institute (RGI) and oversees all aspects of her grandfather’s estate. She has led this effort since 2007 and has conceived and developed a new generation of cultural events and educational projects, often linking the fields of art, science, technology, and entertainment in visionary ways. Under her watch, the Institute manages annual competitions, traveling exhibitions, and produces books, product licensing, merchandising, and entertainment properties that enhance the brand and promote its educational mission.

Deborah Burton Calagna


Deb, who hails from Blue Man Group, manages much of The Institute’s day to day operations and works closely with George to lead its strategic partnerships in education and exhibitions. Deb also oversees image and contest licensing.

Kristen Kelley

National Projects

Kristen’s previous experience was with MTV at Paramount Global. She supports STEM and arts initiatives with education, museum and corporate partners. She leads the Institute’s social media and is the liaison for RGMC builders.

Rebekah Wyman

Communications Specialist

Rebekah, having attended National Finals twice with her high school team, is passionate about sharing Rube Goldberg with others and leads the Institute's efforts to keep its contests free for all.

Cheryll Obendorf


Cheryll's career in education and K-12 STEM programming led her to RGI where she has produced dozens of competitions. For inquiries about hosting a competition, contact Cheryll.

Ross Misher

Strategic Partnerships

Ross Misher is the founder and CEO of Brand Central, our agency for brand extensions including Sponsorships, Consumer Products, and Entertainment. For inquiries, please contact Ross.

Zach Umperovitch

National Contest Director

Creator & Co-Host of Discovery’s “Contraption Masters”, Professional RGM builder with x3 Guinness Records, plus a National RGMC Champion: He’s certainly earned his title as “World’s Leading Authority on RGMs”

General Inquiries

Have a question for the Rube Goldberg team? Please email us at