Our Leadership



As President of Storyland Studios, Blake Ryan’s focus includes leading our team with a (sometimes unhealthy) hyper-focus on championing creative collaboration and clarity. He also serves as President and Managing Principal of PlainJoe Studios. Prior to that, Blake held various C-Suite roles with nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and around the world, overseeing operations, finance, and marketing.

Outside of Storyland, Blake serves his community as a chaplain and social entrepreneur. He’s passionate about captivating and reforming culture by elevating the stories and value of the nameless. Blake co-founded Restoration Roasters, a specialty coffee bar that provides hands-on vocational training for the homeless of his community. He also serves as the volunteer chaplain of the Corona Norco Rescue Mission, and Chief Executive Officer of Ethur. Blake graduated with honors from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in accounting.


Peter McGowan is one of the founders of PlainJoe and Storyland Studios. He is a champion of bringing clients’ unique stories to life by broadening their visual vocabulary beyond words and helping shape the cultural influence of their organizations.

Having worked with large-scale corporate clients such as Infinity, Nissan, IBM and Johnson & Johnson, as well as creative pioneers including Disney, Universal and Lego – Peter has a robust background in technology, art, and architecture which has equipped him to skillfully integrate these fields of design to tell immersive stories on the graphic and environmental stages. He is especially passionate about partnering with non-profit and cause-based organizations to reflect their missions with excellence and heart.

At the end of the day, he loves spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and their three kids making memories that usually involve Lego sets, Star Wars, Disney, or all three.


Mel McGowan, AICP, DBIA, LEED AP creatively leads Storyland Studios’s unique, multidisciplinary Spatial Storytelling℠ practice, which integrates master planning, conceptual development, architecture, interior and production design, graphics and wayfinding, and dimensional fabrication and installation. He combines his background in film and design with a decade-long stint at the Walt Disney Company to create a team synergy inspired by Disney’s original Imagineers, designers, and fabricators.

Mel is passionate about creating compelling experiences and immersive environments around the world. Post-Disney, he co-founded Visioneering and PlainJoe Studios, where he led multi-award-winning architectural teams and was named one of the top 25 influencers by OC Metro Magazine. Mel is the author of Design Intervention and an adjunct professor at CBU’s College of Architecture, Visual Arts & Design. Mel is the host of The Themed Attraction Podcast, a show featuring interviews with themed entertainment innovators past and present.

Mel’s experience and portfolio includes the renewal of the Disneyland Resort, Morongo Casino, new urbanist towns, and museum and theme park work in the US, China, and Korea, as well as non-profit cause-oriented projects in the Americas, Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia.


Johnny Davis serves as Art Director for Storyland Studios, where he guides projects through all phases of design, from concept to completion. He’s passionate about uncovering our clients’ unique story DNA and target audiences, then using those discoveries to craft their messaging and overall design. Johnny’s portfolio includes Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, Pretend City, West Virginia State Museum, and the Las Vegas Mob Experience. Johnny continues to serve as Art Director and Illustrator for PlainJoe Studios. Before that, he completed design work for Penton Overseas Publishing, Archeon, MMDesignWorks, and Home Depot. He attended Mira Costa College and San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, earning a B.A. in Illustration with a focus on character animation, and has been mentored by Conrad Vernon, director of Shrek 2 and voice of “Gingy” for Dreamworks Animation.


Matt Molsberry, AIA, NCARB serves Storyland Studios as a Principal Architect from PlainJoe Studios Architecture, where he oversees the master planning, design, and development of innovative, immersive environments and themed spaces. Previously, he served at Chevlin-Molsberry Architects and Visioneering Studios where he emerged as one of the leading church architects in the nation, serving as the Principal Architect on teams that won multiple Solomon Awards for “Best Church Architect.” Matt is a CalPoly alumnus, and his design studies included a focus on VR and Augmented Reality. Matt cut his teeth at AECOM (the world’s largest architecture & engineering firm) where he was part of multiple architectural teams for various projects and attractions at Warner Brothers Movie World (now Parque Warner) in Madrid, Spain, Disney’s California Adventure, and Disneyland.


Shane Grammer is an established modern-inspired painter, sculptor and art director whose work spans a variety of mediums and can be seen internationally in theme parks, attractions, museums, galleries and in private collections in the United States, South Korea, China and Dubai. His art has been signed by actors Ben Affleck, Ray Liotta, Tim Curry and Disney animation voice stars Paige O’Hara (Belle), Irene Bedard (Pocohantas), Robbie Benson (Beast) and Ed Asner (Carl Fredricksen from Up!). A former Disney Imagineer, Grammer is a skilled scenic artist, fabricator, painter, sculpture and conceptional designer. Recently, his work has been commissioned by Ryman Arts, the Walt Disney Birthplace, the Dick van Dyke Foundation and Give Kids the World.

Having grown up near Paradise, the Northern California town recently devastated by fire, Grammer is currently working on his “Beauty from the Ashes” mural projects, painting images of locals and other figures on the ruins left behind by the Camp Fire. This heartfelt project, designed to bring hope to the fire’s survivors, symbolizes the ability of a community to be reborn from devastation. “Beauty from the Ashes” has received international media coverage, including in the New York Times and on NBC’s Today Show.