How does Gray Matter and Party Games go together you ask?


Meet the Gray Matters Games team!

Lauren and Joe, and their trusty Chief SecurityOfficer Gipper, have set out to Brighten Your Play.

Gray Matters Games designs and publishes lively and cognitively challenging experiences for people with active minds. Through our games, we promote community, encourage fun and give back to Alzheimer's research.


Why gray matter is so important to us

We believe that business should be a force for good. Over the years, we have witnessed our family members bravely fight for quality of life when diagnosed with memory-based diseases. Because of this, Gray Matters Games will donate a meaningful portion of prots to support the valuable work of the Alzheimers's Association.


Why board games?

It began on a road trip through the Arizona Desert. On a family road trip from Tombstone to Sedona, the best of Joe’s creativity came to life, and he thoroughly entertained a car full of passengers with his new trivia-based “game.” After testing it with friends and family, as well as adding a few fun twists, the initial concept for You Bet-Cha!, was born!

We spent many nights brainstorming the company's name, and we finally came up with Gray Matters Games. It connects with the type of games we make and our devotion to supporting brain health. In short, we believe that exercising the gray matter in your head… matters!

Meet the Team


Things, Wits ‘N Wagers and Trivial Pursuit

Joe Barron



In order to survive the long winters in Northern Michigan, Joe enthusiastically took up board games in his childhood.  After seeing the movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Joe fell in love with the game of chess and still occasionally puts Lauren’s medial chess skills to shame. He enjoys his family’s annual Thanksgiving weekend game night and is passionate about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.



10+ years in Finance and Corporate Development roles.  Joe was also the mastermind behind the questions for his Aunt’s annual “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” holiday party for many years.



B.S. in Finance from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.


Contract Rummy, Uno, and Monopoly

Lauren Barron



Lauren’s family always played cards or board games after their weekly Sunday night dinners, and this is where her love for friendly competition blossomed. As she grew, so did the complexity of the games. What started out as a short round of Pizza Party at age 5 turned into serious games of Contract Rummy as an adult. Lauren has joined Joe in helping fund Alzheimer’s research while bringing engaging and community-driven games to families far and wide.



10+ years in Investment and Corporate Banking. In addition, Lauren coaches and mentors a large organization of entrepreneurial professionals.



B.S. in Finance and B.S. in Accountancy from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business.

Tug of War and “The Chase Game”




Despite an intense napping schedule, Gipper manages to run a tight security detail at Gray Matters Games. Her responsibilities include barking at all who come close to the premises and “protecting” Joe or Lauren by hogging the office chair... while they sit in it.  She is a frequent gamer but gets easily distracted by treats, squirrels and leaves.



Professional Cuddler and Food Taster



Graduated as Valedictorian in her Advanced Puppy Skills class from Wiggles ‘N Wags Dog Academy


"Hey, Mr. Squirrel, Come Down From There" and "Let's See What's In The Garbage?




Rudy is all about bringing the energy to every situation - this includes jumping four feet high from a standing position when he gets excited, to giving socially awkward face licks.  He loves sitting on anyone who isn't joining in on the fun, so you best comply or you might be his next seat!  Rudy is excited to be the newest member to the Gray Matters Team and spreading joy one puppy kiss at a time.



Professional High Jumper and Amateur Squirrel Hunter



Graduated at the bottom of his class from Woof Beach - but we love him anyway!