Our Vision

To develop the future leaders and thinkers of tomorrow by empowering them to hone their strategic thinking, focus and social skills through practice today.

Leonard Criddle

Leonard Criddle

Founder, CEO

Lenny grew up in rural Mississippi dreaming of being a professional comic book artist. He would spend all day drawing from comic books and dreaming of fantastic adventures. While he never made it big drawing comic books, he never lost the love of them or of adventure. He would later move to Chicago to continue learning and growing. He received his undergraduate degree from DePaul University and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Lenny, along with his five very active children and beautiful wife Melissa, plays board games regularly and is up to date on all the comings and goings of all the characters in the Marvel, DC and Independent universes. Lenny loves talking about board game strategy and how it can relate to succeeding in business and in life. Creating Villains & Heroes Academy was a dream come true that he wants to foster and share with the world.

Melissa Criddle

Melissa Criddle

Vice President of Social Enterprise

Melissa grew up empowered to be all that she can be and with the goal to empower other girls and women. From her younger days in the girl scouts to her career in the Military, Melissa has worked hard to break stereotypes and promote strong self-confidence in women. Melissa believes that Villains & Heroes Academy serves a meaningful purpose of training in leadership, strategic planning, and logical thinking that is critical for success in young ladies. Melissa has her degree in Biology from the University of Illinois and is a Major in the United States Army Reserve. Melissa’s love of board games and comic books came later in life as she was exposed to them by her husband Lenny, but she is now an avid gamer. When Lenny was beginning to shape the idea that would eventually become Villains & Heroes Academy, Melissa instantly saw how she could add value and help promote the self empowerment message that she so firmly believed in.

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