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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


Working closely with Jennifer George, Deb manages much of The Institute’s operations and leads its strategic partnerships in education and exhibitions. Deb also oversees image and contest licensing.

Kristen Kelley

National Projects

Kristen supports all STEM and arts initiatives with education, museum and corporate partners. She also serves as the Institute’s liaison for Rube Goldberg Machine Contest® builders and leads all social media efforts.

Cheryll Obendorf

National Competitions

Cheryll can answer almost any Rube Goldberg Machine Contest® question. Having produced many live regional and finals competitions for the Institute, she is an invaluable resource for hosts, teams, and sponsors.

Abby Meryll

Cartoon Contest

A veteran of the New York City Parks Department art program for underserved youth at The Society of Illustrators, Abby is an integral part of our Rube Goldberg Cartoon Contest®.

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.

General Inquiries

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