Our Team

over 30 years of award winning
expertise reinventing kids
entertainment

Shaan Kandawalla
Steve Grieder
Michael Cohen
Matt Raithel

Shaan Kandawalla

Steve Grieder

Michael Cohen

Matt Raithel

Shaan Kandawalla

Shaan brings her experience and passion building digital and retail businesses for global kids brands to PlayDate Digital. Most recently, as VP of Digital and Consumer Products at Nickelodeon, she built and ran some of Nickelodeon's most successful digital businesses—preschool content for console, handheld and mobile platforms– while overseeing the global video game, book app, digital learning toy and distribution businesses. Prior to Nickelodeon Shaan worked in brand management for Hasbro and in the Investment Management and Capital Markets Group at Goldman Sachs. Shaan has also served on the board of Women in Toys. She has a BA from Wellesley College and MBA from Harvard Business School.


Steve Grieder

Steve has launched and run top-rated kid and youth entertainment networks around the world, including #1 channels in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Starting as a junior member of the team that reinvented Nickelodeon in the 80's, Steve has worked in kids entertainment ever since, most recently, running all of Nickelodeon's international channels and selling and distributing all of MTV Networks' owned content around the world. He is now an entrepreneur and advisor in the fields of Behavioral Health and Innovation Education.


Michael Cohen

Dr. Cohen is a psychologist and President of The Michael Cohen Group. Recognized globally for his research with children, parents, education and media, Michael brings 30 years experience to PlayDate Digital. Currently, Dr. Cohen serves as Principal Investigator for two U.S. Department of Education Ready-to-Learn Trans-Media grants - focused on the optimal use of media in the education of young learners. Dr. Cohen is known for his participation in New York City's post-9/11 recovery, both as communications consultant to Mayor Guiliani as well as Principal Investigator of the large-scale study on the impact of the terrorist attacks on school-age children.


Dr. Cohen has conducted research on children and media for an extensive list of clients, including: The Walt Disney Company, Cartoon Network, PBS, Sesame Workshop, Scholastic, Nickelodeon, and the Toy Industry Association. His numerous publications and presentations include "Young Children, Apps and iPads" and "The Use of Evaluation in Educational Media". Michael serves on the Board of the Children's Museum of Manhattan and has taught at Yale University and the Children's Study Center at Brooklyn College. Dr. Cohen holds a PhD in developmental psychology from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


Matt Raithel

Matt has served as Art Director, Director of Art and Design, VP of Operations and President of Black Lantern Studios' Springfield Office before starting the St. Louis office - Graphite Lab. Inspired by his two daughters (age 6 and 2), he has worked on over 40 family friendly video game titles across multiple platforms for brands such as Dora The Explorer, Sesame Street, Garfield, Zhu Zhu Pets. Matt and the Graphite Lab team now apply their expertise creating educational apps for PlayDate Digital.


Matt holds a BS Degree in Electronic Art from Missouri State University and is an adjunct professor in the Art and Design Department of Maryville University in St Louis.