Who’s Who at first

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Who’s Who at FIRST

FIRST Leadership 2

Becky Alseth 6

Ken Johnson 7

Anna Maenhout 8

FRC Program Staff 10

September 2008 13

January 2009 18


June 2009 19

September 2009 21

January, 2010 28

June 2010 30

September 2010 32

June 2011 46

September, 2011 48

January, 2012 60

September, 2012 – 66

New Faces at FIRST 66

FIRST Leadership

Dean Kamen
Founder, FIRST

President, DEKA Research & Development Corporation

Dean Kamen is an inventor, an entrepreneur, and a tireless advocate for science and technology. His roles as inventor and advocate are intertwined—his own passion for technology and its practical uses has driven his personal determination to spread the word about technology's virtues and by so doing to change the culture of the United States.

As an inventor, he holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. While still a college undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, which rapidly gained acceptance from such diverse medical specialties as chemotherapy, neonatology, and endocrinology. In 1976, he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and market the pumps. At age 30, he sold that company to Baxter International Corporation. By then, he had added a number of other infusion devices, including the first wearable insulin pump for diabetics.

Following the sale of AutoSyringe, Inc., he founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions as well as to provide research and development for major corporate clients. Kamen led DEKA's development of the HomeChoiceTM peritoneal dialysis system for Baxter International, Inc. The HomeChoiceTM system allows patients to be dialyzed in the privacy and comfort of their home and quickly became the worldwide market leader. Kamen also led the development of technology to improve slide preparation for the CYTYC (now Hologic Inc.) ThinPrep® Pap Test. Kamen-led DEKA teams have also developed critical components of the UVARTM XTSTM System, an extracorporeal photophereisis device marketed by Therakos, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, for treatment of T-Cell lymphoma. An advanced prosthetic arm in development for DARPA should advance the quality of life for returning injured soldiers. Other notable developments include the HydroflexTM surgical irrigation pump for C.R. Bard, the CrownTM stent, an improvement to the original Palmaz-Schatz stent, for Johnson & Johnson, the iBOTTM  mobility device, and the Segway® Human Transporter.

Kamen has received many awards for his efforts. Notably, Kamen was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000. Presented by President Clinton, this award was in recognition for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology. Kamen was also awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005.

In addition to DEKA, one of Kamen’s proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology.

Walt Havenstein
Chairman of the Board, FIRST
CEO, Science Applications and International Corporation (SAIC)

Walter P. Havenstein joined Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as chief executive officer on September 21, 2009. He is also a member of SAIC’s board of directors.

He is also chairman of the board of directors of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. He serves on the board of advisors for the Whittemore School of Business, University of New Hampshire.

Prior to joining SAIC, Havenstein served as chief operating officer and member of the board of directors for BAE Systems plc, a $34 billion global aerospace and defense company; and as president and chief executive officer of BAE Systems Inc., the company’s wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, which employs 53,000 employees and generates annual sales in excess of $20 billion. Havenstein previously served as president of the Electronics & Integrated Solutions Operating Group within BAE Systems. Before that, he was president of BAE Systems’ Information and Electronic Warfare Systems business unit. Havenstein was president of the Sanders defense electronics business prior to it being acquired by BAE from Lockheed Martin in 2000. Before joining Sanders in 1999, he had been vice president and general manager of the Strategic Systems Division for Raytheon. He began his defense industry career at the ITT Aerospace and Communications Division in business development and program management roles.

Havenstein received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1971 to 1983, specializing in tactical communications and systems acquisition management, and completed his career in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1999 retiring as a colonel.

Don Bossi, President

Don Bossi joined FIRST as President in May, 2013. Don, who has excelled in a 20-year career with several high technology companies, primarily in the fiber optics field, brings deep technical and management skills to the organization. Starting his career as a research scientist, first at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and then at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), Don was a part of an advanced project at UTRC which was acquired by JDS Uniphase (JDSU). After a series of promotions at JDSU, he became Vice President and General Manager for JDSU Electro-Optics Products. Don next served as Group President of JDSU Active Components Group, and then as Group President, JDSU Transmission Products Group. In 2005, Don joined Technology Ventures Partners, serving first as CEO of Aegis Lightware, Inc. and then as CEO of Inlet Technologies. Most recently, Don served as the COO of CIDRA Holdings.

Woodie Flowers
FIRST National Advisor

Dr. Woodie Flowers is the Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Distinguished Partner at Olin College. Dr. Flowers participates in the design of the FIRST Robotics Competition game each year. He has served as a National Advisor to FIRST since the inception of the FIRST Robotics Competition.

Dr. Flowers helped create MIT's renowned course "Introduction to Design." He also received national recognition in his role as host for the PBS television series Scientific American Frontiers from 1990 to 1993 and received a New England EMMY Award for a special PBS program on design. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He recently received The Joel and Ruth Spria Outstanding Design Educator Award from ASME, a Public Service Medal from NASA, and a Doctor Honoris Causa from Andreas Bello University in Chile. He is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT for extraordinary contributions to undergraduate education. He was also the Inaugural Recipient of the Woodie Flowers Award by FIRST. Currently, Dr. Flowers is a director of three companies. He and his wife Margaret live in Weston, Massachusetts.

Virginia Szymanowski
Senior Advisor to the President, FIRST

As Senior Advisor to the President, Ginny provides managerial support to all members of Senior Management, as well as having responsibility for business planning and Human Resources. Prior to serving in this role, Ginny was a member of the FIRST Finance Department for four years specializing in Financial Planning and Compliance.

Ginny has worked in financial management and planning in the not-for-profit sector for 20 years, including work for a state-wide historical society, a Federal Health Center, a fine art museum, and a social services agency. Like FIRST, these organizations strive for the betterment of children, which has become Ginny’s life work. Prior to entering the not-for-profit world, Ginny worked in finance for a multi-national manufacturer of optical devices, and as an auditor for a major accounting firm.

Ginny is a CPA and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University, an MBA from Babson College, and a Master of Science in Taxation from Bentley College.

Steve Chism

Vice President, Programs, FIRST

As Vice President of Programs, Steve Chism has overall program responsibility for all FIRST programs including budget, planning, implementation and logistics. At FIRST, Chism has worked tirelessly with each Program Director to oversee the tremendous growth in the FIRST mission through all four programs: FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL). Chism joined FIRST as the Senior Director of Programs in 2003.

Chism brings more than 23 years of leadership and experience in technical programs for the U. S. Navy in submarines and submarine related systems development and acquisition. While teaching in the Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering Department of the U. S. Naval Academy, Chism started and co-mentored the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 165, Das Goat, in 1998. Chism then went on to both volunteer and judge as an FRC Judge and Judge Advisor for several years before becoming the Committee Chair of the Chesapeake Regional Planning Committee. It was in September 2003, after the successful inaugural FRC Chesapeake Regional at the U. S. Naval Academy in March 2003, that Chism signed on with FIRST to be the Senior Director of Programs.

He has earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Southern California, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree and Degree of Mechanical Engineer at the Naval Postgraduate School, and his Master of Science in Engineering degree at The Johns Hopkins University. Chism also holds a level III Program Management certification from the Defense Management Systems College for his work related experiences in submarine industrial shipyards and systems acquisition jobs in the U. S. Navy.

Terry Durkin
Vice President, Finance,

Terry Durkin is Vice President of Finance at FIRST. Durkin joined FIRST in 1999 as the Director of Finance adding Administration to his duties shortly thereafter.  In addition, Durkin has had interim responsibility for Human Resources (2004-2006), Information Technology (2005) and has overseen the management of the FIRST facility since 2003.

Prior to joining FIRST, Durkin held financial positions at several major New Hampshire for-profit corporations including ten years at Sanders Associates (now part of BAE Systems), five years with Freudenberg-NOK as Controller of the Bristol New Hampshire manufacturing plant, and he later joined a manufacturing startup LLC in Maine.

Durkin received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and his MBA from Rivier College in New Hampshire. His volunteer interests include the Lions Club and serving on the board of David's House, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to provide support and a home-away-from-home for families with children receiving treatment at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Roseann Stevens

Vice President, Field Operatons,

Roseann Stevens is Vice President of Field Operations at FIRST. She is responsible for field operations and has principal responsibility for overseeing Regional Directors and Committees, managing a global Volunteer and Mentoring Resources, and organizing and promoting Regional Events and Strategic Partners for FIRST.

Stevens has been affiliated with FIRST for more than 10 years, serving as a Mentor, Judge and Judge Advisor for FIRST events. She has more than 25 years of industrial technology experience in the automotive industry, having worked for Tier-1 suppliers such as Lear, Visteon and Metaldyne. She became the first female vice president at Lear and was instrumental in leading the sales team that won the first-complete interior program. Her specialties include organizing global sales teams and expanding markets.

She began her career with the Ford Motor Company and has twice been listed on “The 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry.” In addition, she has served on the boards of CLARCOR, Inforum, the Automotive Women’s Alliance and the Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit. She holds a bachelors degree and an M.B.A. from the University of Detroit Mercy. 

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