Bio: Catherine Thomson

Photo of CatherineCatherine and Graeme Thomson are co-founders of the board games publishing company, HL Games, and designers of a number of board games that work on the principal that when education is fun, it’s fun to be educated.

Although Catherine has a Masters in Agricultural Economics from Purdue, and Graeme one in English Language and Literature from Oxford, they met in London when they were both working as investment bankers (don’t ask, it’s a long story).

Together or separately they have lived on four continents and nearly a dozen countries from Tanzania to Japan, and from Hong Kong to Italy where they purchased a number of piles of rubble and acres of brambles deep in the Tuscan countryside laughingly described by the realtor as an “estate with renovation potential”.

Despite 9 years spent deep in the Italian countryside, Graeme knows absolutely nothing about nature. They founded HL Games on (fittingly) April Fools’ Day, 2003. In 2006, they relocated to Chicago.

In addition to designing board games and running HL Games, Catherine has lectured on Italian Renaissance Art, sings soprano in a choir and as a professional cabaret performer, and is a volunteer at the Art Institute of Chicago; Graeme lectures on the role of board games in education, board games in neurological development, and is a producer and director of public poetry concerts in Chicago. He has been, at various times in his life, a teacher of English Literature, a cookery columnist for women’s magazines, and a movie producer.

Catherine and Graeme have a perfect marriage that is the result of a perfect division of capabilities: although Graeme knows everything (except about nature), Catherine knows best.

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