Who’s Who at first

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September 2010

New Faces at FIRST  

FIRST Headquarters Staff

Terry Allen, National Grants Writer/Manager

Terry Allen joins FIRST as its new National Grants Writer/Manager. She feels fortunate to have a career that combines her love of writing with her desire to help others. As the former director of Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations at Merrimack College, Terry brings several years of experience writing STEM grants in higher education. Terry has also served as the grant writer at Easter Seals New Hampshire, the manager of public relations at the Currier Museum of Art, and as the senior writer at Public Service of New Hampshire. Terry earned her master’s degree in 19th Century American Literature from the University of New Hampshire and she continues to have a strong interest in this field. In her free time, Terry enjoys traveling, painting, and writing her own fiction. She lives with her husband David in Milford, New Hampshire. 

Shana Benzinane, Marketing Communications Program Manager

Shana Benzinane joined FIRST in August as Marketing Communications Program Manager. Prior to FIRST, Shana worked in various creative positions at Scholastic Book Fairs, Giga Information Group, Toysmart.com, and Little, Brown & Company. Having dedicated most of her career to making educational content fun for kids, Shana was immediately drawn to the FIRST mission to make science, technology, and math enticing for young people. 

"With kids, it's all in the pitch. If you call it a science experiment, it doesn’t sound fun," Shana said. "But if you call it an icky-sticky, ooey-gooey (only-do-this-when-your-mother’s-not-looking) experiment, you’ll definitely turn some heads!”

Shana is the author of six children's books published by Scholastic including World Series of Math, two books about the rainforest, and a science experiment book called Grow Your Own Monsters. When she’s not busy consignment shopping or messing around in Photoshop, she can often be found on the floor of her New Hampshire home giving horsey-back rides to her toddler or listening intently to her 6-year-old’s enthusiastic read-aloud of yet another Captain Underpants book.


Bonnie Bourret, Accounts Payable Specialist

Bonnie Bourret joined FIRST in August as Accounts Payable Specialist. A Massachusetts native, Bonnie moved to New Hampshire before heading south to Florida where she lived and attended Florida Metropolitan University for Accounting. In Southern Florida, she held several accounts payable positions before moving back to Manchester.

Outside of accounting, Bonnie has enjoyed professional pursuits as house-painter, interior decorator, seamstress, and hair dresser. But her true calling is in the finance field, where she feels her niche is in accounts receivable.


“I am thrilled to be supporting the FIRST mission while continuing my career in finance, which I most enjoy,” Bonnie said.

Eoin Clarke, IT Network Engineer

Eoin Clarke (pronounced like Owen) started at FIRST in August as IT Network Engineer. Born and raised in New Hampshire, Eoin earned a bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State University. Before joining FIRST, Eoin recently held various positions at Keene State College and Monadnock Family Services and brings 14 years of IT and customer service experience to the position. Although he is the first in his family not to be born in Ireland, Eoin spent six years living and working in Cork, Ireland (where everyone already knew how to pronounce his name) and traveling to various places in Europe.


Eoin was drawn to FIRST because of its mission to inspire young people with real-world science and engineering programs, something he feels his school system lacked growing up.

“When I was a kid, I used to love taking apart the clocks in the house and trying to put them back together. But at school, there were no programs to support this kind of thing.” Eoin said. “I am delighted to be a part of an organization that encourages kids this way. It’s brilliant!”

When Eoin is not busy driving around his BatJeep, he enjoys movies, reading, camping, fishing, hiking, walking, breathing, laughing, and yes—even working (hmm, likely story). Eoin lives right up the street from FIRST in Manchester with his cat Squeaker.

Martha Dickey, Operations Grant Manager

Martha Dickey joined FIRST in September as Operations Grant Manager. Martha comes to FIRST with eight years of experience working in the non-profit world, including time spent at Concord Hospital and at the NH Local Government Center. Most recently, she worked as a program assistant for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation in Concord where she administered the Neil & Louise Tillotson fund grant program. As an adult student, Martha graduated from Franklin Pierce University in 2008 after earning a bachelor’s degree in business management.


“I was attracted to FIRST after seeing its impact firsthand through my son’s involvement with Jr.FLL and I thought it would be fun to become part of such an interesting and talented group of people,” Martha said.

Martha lives in Boscawen and enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grand-children and exploring her adopted state of New Hampshire.

Ryan Foley, Software Engineer - FIRST Robotics Competition

Ryan Foley joined the FIRST team in August as the FRC Software Engineer. Ryan graduated in May of 2010 from the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Digital Systems. Prior to FIRST, he worked as a student engineer at the UMaine Advanced Manufacturing Center where he was responsible for mechanical and controls design as well as software development for a variety of projects. Ryan’s first FIRST experience was with an FLL team for the 1999 challenge: FIRST Contact. In high school, he joined FRC Team 350 “Timberlane Robotics” for the 2001-2004 seasons. While in college, Ryan volunteered at more than 20 FIRST events, and served as a mentor on FRC Team 1995 “Fatal Error.” Ryan is thrilled and honored to be “on the inside” as a member of the FIRST staff.




Collin Fultz, Kit of Parts Engineer- FIRST Robotics Competition

Collin Fultz has been involved with FIRST since 2001 and is excited to join the FIRST staff as FRC Kit of Parts Engineer. From 2001-2004, he was a member of FRC Team 234 “Cyber Blue” from Indianapolis, IN.  Since 2005, he has volunteered as a Game Announcer and Master of Ceremonies at Regionals and the FRC Championship. In 2006, he was a college mentor for Team 1747 “HBR.”  In 2008, Collin rejoined Team 234 as an engineering mentor. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and was a co-op for Rolls-Royce Corporation through college. He worked full-time at Rolls-Royce after graduating for two years before accepting this position at FIRST.


When Collin is not doing FIRST, he enjoys travelling with his wife, Jenny, camping with his family, wakeboarding, and spending time with friends. Having never lived outside of Indiana, Jenny and Collin are excited about the opportunity to explore a different part of the country.


Dan Maggio, FIRST LEGO League Partner Development Manager

Daniel Maggio joined FIRST in August as the FLL Partner Development Manager. He was drawn to working for FIRST because of his 11-year role as one of Michigan’s FLL partners, his 13 years as a FRC mentor and supporter, and his desire to make a positive impact on today’s youth.

Dan was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Detroit where he received his B.S and M.A. in mathematics. After graduating, he worked for his alma mater for the next 20 years as an Adjunct Professor in the Math and Computer Science Department and as the Director of Pre-College Programs in the College of Engineering and Science. During this time, he helped develop and deliver STEM-based programs to the K-12 community in and around the City of Detroit, which impacted more than 5,000 students annually.

Dan is an avid curler in the winter and a member of the Detroit Curling Club. He is a long-time panelist on the University of Detroit Mercy’s Ask The Professor radio show. He also enjoys biking, gardening, and chess.


Brian Packard, FIRST Tech Challenge Engineer

Brian Packard joined FIRST in September as FTC Engineer. An alumnus of Merrimack High School’s FIRST team and a 2009-10 FIRST mentor, Brian brings a breadth of experience to FIRST. He is a 2008 graduate of University of Alaska with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. Brian also worked in the research department at BAE Systems in Merrimack and as a mechanical engineer for MKS Instruments in Andover, MA. In addition to working at FIRST, Brian is an active community service volunteer who is “excited to work for and help develop such a great organization.” When asked what about his expectations for his new role, Brian said, “It is my hope that someday all of the world’s youth will have a chance to work with and learn about robotics, as my experience has been.” Brian currently lives in Manchester.


Allison Smith, Mentor/Coach Program Services Coordinator

Allison Smith joined FIRST as the Mentor/Coach Program Service Coordinator in the Volunteer Resources Department. Prior to joining FIRST, Allison served two years in AmeriCorps at the Mass Mentoring Partnership in Boston, MA, the umbrella organization for mentoring programs across Massachusetts. As a senior corps member of the Highland Street Corps Ambassadors of mentoring, she focused on event planning, social media, and public awareness campaigns to recruit mentors.


During her off time, Allison volunteers as the Membership Coordinator and Leadership Camp Facilitator with the New Hampshire Chapter of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, a girls youth leadership nonprofit.

Allison is a 2007 graduate of Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, NH. She has her graduate certificate in Non Profit Leadership Development from Cambridge College and is pursuing a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.


Lisa Yesse, Programmer/Analyst

Lisa Yesse started at FIRST in August as Programmer/Analyst in the IT Department. She is a 28-year-veteran of Digital Equipment Corp./Compaq/Hewlett Packard, mostly in storage engineering.

“Having come off several months of unemployment, I feel like I’ve landed my dream job at FIRST!” Lisa said. “Not only is it a good match technically (as a programmer/analyst in IT), but it’s also wonderful to be a part of programs that benefit and positively impact students.”

A native New Englander, Lisa has also lived and explored Utah and Colorado. She currently lives in New Hampshire where she is an active community member, volunteering at Friends of Goffstown Rail Trail and formerly at the Bedford Animal Rescue League. Lisa likes hiking, skiing, and outdoor activities that include her two dogs.

“The people at FIRST are great, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the local competitions.” Lisa said. “Someday, I also hope to try out a Segway!”

In the Field

Jess Jankowitsch, Assistant Regional Director, Southern Texas

Jess Jankowitsch became active in FIRST in 2001 as a student member, and later as president of the 2003 Championship Chairman's Award-winning Cybersonics Technology Team 103 from Kintnersville, PA. Upon moving to Pittsburgh in 2005 to begin her undergraduate education at Carnegie Mellon University, she dedicated herself to aiding local teams and the regional, eventually taking on the roles of Volunteer and Judges Coordinator and local FIRST Senior Mentor. In 2009, she was awarded the Pittsburgh Regional Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award.


This past season, Jess completed her third year as a Volunteer Coordinator at both the Pittsburgh Regional and FIRST Championship in Atlanta, Georgia. Jess has also served as an FRC, FTC, and FLL team mentor and Regional and Championship Volunteer. Jess is currently working toward a master’s and doctorate degree in Developmental Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is thrilled to assist the new Alamo Regional in San Antonio as its Assistant Regional Director.

FIRST Americorps*VISTAs… work to create awareness of FIRST in their community, focusing particularly on the needs of the underserved initiative, while seeking sponsors, mentors, and volunteers for FIRST programs.

Nakia Beasley, FIRST AmeriCorps*VISTA, Pittsburgh, PA

Nakia has extensive experience in public relations, community outreach, and volunteer coordination. While she has served at a wide variety of organizations, including government agencies and small businesses, her passion lies in the world of nonprofits.


Laura Bitterman, FIRST AmeriCorps*VISTA, Massachusetts/New Hampshire

Laura is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a bachelor’s degree with honors in biology and plans to attend graduate school to become a public health nurse. Laura is passionate about health and has headed teams that raised over a thousand dollars for the American Heart Association Heart Walks and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Walk.

As a volunteer with the University of Wisconsin’s Biocore Outreach Ambassadors for three years, Laura taught science to students aged 9-15 in rural schools. In this program, Laura worked closely with the teachers to develop a curriculum that they can deliver in future years. Her senior year, Laura created and led an after school science club for an under-served elementary school students in Madison, WI. Team sports—Ultimate Frisbee and Soccer—are also an important part of her life. Through coaching and teaching youth, Laura enjoys being a role model for kids and encouraging them to become the people they want to be.

Sharlene Brown, FIRST AmeriCorps*VISTA, Baltimore, MD

Sharlene is a former FIRST team member from the Techno Warriors at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore. She graduated from Ursinus College with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience and biology and is pursuing a doctorate degree in biomedical sciences at West Virginia University. Having volunteered off-and-on for such organizations as the American Cancer Society, Youth AIDS, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Sharlene was ready for a greater challenge. For this reason, Sharlene is taking a year off from her graduate studies to commit to a year of service as a VISTA Volunteer to give back to FIRST in Maryland, an organization that had a pivotal role in shaping her passion for the sciences and gave her the confidence to succeed.

Carl Schreep, FIRST AmeriCorps*VISTA, Eastern Pennsylvania

Carl graduated from Duke University in 2009 with an M.A. in ancient Jewish history and literature. He has been actively involved in his communities by leading student organizations, volunteering, and tutoring at-risk children. Most recently he worked at the Chester County Historical Society where he helped develop programs for children and continuing education programs for adults and educators.



Mary C. Samot FIRST AmeriCorps*VISTA, Sag Harbor, NY

Mary has extensive work experience with non-profit organizations. As President of Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed community service fraternity, Mary has been dedicated to enriching the lives of others through leadership, friendship, and service. As a student leader, Mary has developed leadership skills, acted as a change agent, role model, team builder, and a creative problem solver.



Scott Statman, FIRST AmeriCorps*VISTA, NYC

Scott graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. During his time there, Scott gained extensive volunteer experience as a member of the Campus YMCA. He was responsible for coordinating an after-school science and math education program called Catalyst. On a weekly basis, Scott and his co-leaders brought Washington University volunteers to St. Louis public middle schools to perform fun, hands-on experiments with the kids. Scott gained additional exposure in the nonprofit community during the summer he spent as a fellow in the St. Louis Science Center’s Youth Exploring Science program. Scott was responsible for designing a five-week science education curriculum, which he used to mentor a group of ten at-risk St. Louis public high school students. Scott is excited to continue pursuing his passion for science education as an Americorps VISTA member serving FIRST in New York City.

Benjamin Weber, FIRST AmeriCorps*VISTA, Boston, MA

Benjamin Weber graduated from Brown University in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. He has worked with a variety of nonprofits, including The League of Young Voters in NYC, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin and the International Organization for Migration in Timor Leste. These opportunities have helped him gather experience about many different aspects of community development and non-profit work, and he is looking forward to using this knowledge to help FIRST in Boston. Benjamin is excited about the opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA with FIRST in Boston and is looking forward to an exciting and fulfilling year.

FIRST Senior Mentors..."Make Magic Happen” by seeking out, recruiting, and fully supporting Team Mentors and Event Volunteers for FIRST programs and other initiatives in the geographic area in which they reside.

Don Brobst, FIRST Senior Mentor, Washington DC/Virginia

Don has 30 years of experience in software and systems engineering in defining requirements and project management. Don graduated with a BS from the University of Maryland and is a certified PMP, and a retired Naval Reservist. Don is active in the Falls Church community and currently serves as the Chair of the City’s Housing Commission. Don has been involved with FIRST for more than seven years, and is a mentor to Team 1418, going on four years now. Don has a daughter who is a junior in college.


Mike Siegel, FIRST Senior Mentor, New York City

While still in engineering school, Mike worked in aerospace. After graduation, he took a position at a college television studio where he worked as an Assistant Chief Engineer. It was also at this time that he started to work with the Ferrari North American Racing team as an engineer. After a few years, he made a move to the ABC Television Network. This position took him literally all over the world, working in Video Tape Technical support, RF Engineering, and as a Post Production Engineer/Editor. After 21 years at the television network and having won 21 Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award, he decided to take an early retirement.


Soon after, he was contacted by the Staten Island Technical High School inquiring if he was available to teach engineering subjects. Over the years that followed he taught: strength of materials, technical drawing, electronics, and started a robotics curriculum, and within a month was introduced to an FRC team: Team #375. Under his leadership the team excelled; each year improving more and more, building better robots, and winning highly coveted awards. Mike has also been a long-time member of the regional FLL Steering committee, and an event coordinator for regional FLL tournaments. Mike’s involvement has spanned over 10 years of being affiliated with FIRST, and after being nominated to ‘Who’s Who in America three times (in two different industries) he has finally decided to retire—sort of—and has been a senior mentor with FIRST now since July, 2010.

January 2011

New Faces at FIRST  

FIRST Headquarters Staff

Danielle DeCaro

Having joined FIRST in November as a staff accountant, Danielle feels fortunate to be given the opportunity to work with a dynamic group of people supporting a mission about which she feels strongly. Her previous experience was as Audit Senior at Baker Newman Noyes, a public accounting firm in Manchester. Danielle graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2008 with a master’s degree in accounting.

In her free time, Danielle enjoys gardening, reading, and hiking. She lives in Nashua with her husband and two cats.



Jack Endyke, Purchasing Agent

 With an extensive purchasing career behind him, Jack Endyke joins the Procurement department at FIRST as Purchasing Agent. Jack enjoys the services he performs in helping individuals as well as helping the company to attain its goals. He also appreciates the challenge of negotiating with suppliers for cost savings and delivery schedules. Jack is looking forward to experiencing the competition season at FIRST and helping to make it enjoyable for its Volunteers and participants.

An enthusiastic fan of Boston sports teams, Jack enjoys many outside-of-work activities with his large family, such as skiing in the winter and golfing during the warmer months.


Derek Mullen, Shipper/Receiver

Raised in New Hampshire, Derek graduated from Pinkerton Academy for High School where he pursued an interest in theater and art. He continued his education at UCONN with two BFA’s as an individualized art major with a specialized degree in puppetry/theater. Being able to animate things into a new view for people has been Derek’s greatest thrill in his work.

FIRST is a company all about changing one’s view on science and technology; and the mission is one I can relate to very well,” Derek said, adding, “I am happy to join the FIRST staff in making that vision become a reality.”

To enhance his education and learn new things, Derek has started ballroom dancing, stilt walking, western sword training, and graduate classes that continue with his majors. He also enjoys the outdoors whenever possible as a pastime. Derek currently lives in Chester, New Hampshire.

Robin Pullo, Human Resources Generalist

Robin Pullo is thrilled to be part of the FIRST team. Her HR career started with a company called Softdesk, which was later acquired by Autodesk (a FIRST Championship Sponsor). From there, she had the opportunity to be part of the Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) Division, surviving through two acquisitions (RealWorld Corporation and Great Plains). After Microsoft centralized and closed the Manchester office, Robin went on to work for a law firm and then a non-profit. “The non-profit experience at Granite State Independent Living was very rewarding”, said Robin. “You feel you are truly making a difference in people’s lives.” She had a brief stint with a public company but saw it close its doors in April 2010. The impact on people’s lives was devastating. Her desire to again work for a non-profit was renewed and then fulfilled when she joined FIRST.

Robin’s husband, Chris, is Head Coach of the Seacoast Fencing Club located in Manchester and Rochester, NH. Her daughter, Juliet, is a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis. She plans to volunteer for the FIRST Championship in April and cheer on her brother, Marcus, and his FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 1922, “Oz-Ram.”

Erin Robie, Operations Coordinator 

Raised in Hillsboro, New Hampshire, Erin Robie earned a degree in business administration and economics at Plymouth State University. Having been familiar with FIRST since 2008, when she attended a Regional competition with a friend who mentored a local Manchester team, Erin is impressed with the organization’s ability to influence people of all ages to become involved with science and technology. With a charismatic personality, and always looking for innovative ways to think outside the box, Erin feels she is a natural fit for FIRST.

“I thought with my educational background and desire to be around fun and outgoing people – FIRST was a great fit for me,” Erin said. “I couldn’t stop smiling when I found out I was accepted to come on board.”

Erin is thoroughly enjoying herself as she settles into her role in the Operations department as Operations Coordinator, but she is anxious to meet other employees and to attend FIRST events to witness the effect of the FIRST mission, which has inspired so many students, Mentors, parents, and communities over the years. In her spare time, Erin practices her hobby as a voice and piano musician. She has lived in many places throughout New Hampshire and currently resides in New Ipswich.

Gwen Silva, Senior Executive Assistant

Gwen Silva joins FIRST as Senior Executive Assistant reporting to Jon Dudas. Her career as an executive assistant includes companies such as Symmetrix, World Conference Holdings, Epsilon Data Management, and Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research. For the last seven years, Gwen worked for the CEO at Newmarket International, a software company for the hospitality industry, located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“I was drawn to FIRST because of its commitment to encourage creativity and teamwork in our youth,” Gwen said, adding, “I’m excited to be a part of the FIRST family.”

Raised in North Carolina, Gwen moved to the Northeast many years ago and is still trying to get used to the long, cold winters. During her off-time, Gwen enjoys traveling and spending time with her two grown sons and their families in Nashua – especially her ten grandchildren. Gwen resides in Maine with her fiancé.   

Nicholas Skripsky, FIRST Place Resources Coordinator

Nicholas Skripsky earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University mostly due to a life-long obsession with breaking things. He loved trying to figure things out, but wasn’t always graceful during disassembly. He transitioned quickly from tearing apart everything he owned to the world of LEGO, and his parents were never happier than the day that they invested in his first LEGO kit.

During college, Nicholas volunteered at a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) event in Ames, Iowa. He was a judge’s assistant for an entire day and fell in love with his judges, the teams, and the planning team at Iowa State. After writing the planning team a “middle school love letter” asking how he could help, they offered him a spot on the team! Nicholas had the opportunity to work as an operations chair at ISU, and was lucky enough to go to FLL World Festival for three seasons.

Four years later, Nicholas left Iowa State in pursuit of a “real job” and was welcomed with open arms into the FIRST family as FIRST Place Resources Coordinator.

“I cannot express how excited I am to be HERE, in Manchester, and I cannot express how excited I am to be working for FIRST,” Nicholas said.

In his free time, Nicholas loves to create with LEGO, play video games, dance, skate, cook, watch movies, and hang out with friends. Almost all of them still live in Iowa, so Nicholas is looking forward to making new friends in Manchester.


Kim Wierman, FIRST LEGO League Program Manager

Kim joined FIRST in November as FLL Program Manager. Prior to FIRST, she was co-owner of Waves of Gratitude, an online community and retailer of TouchStone Jewelry. She has held various marketing communications positions for both non-profit and for-profit companies, with an emphasis on writing and public relations. Kim feels fortunate to have been a stay-at-home mom of three great boys for 12 years and to have worked as a freelance writer during that time. She has ghost-written more than 10 books on everything from lowering your blood pressure without drugs to planning the perfect baby shower to researching your family tree. She has had her own work published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms edition. Kim is a graduate of Brigham Young University and enjoys attending her boys’ sporting events, reading, baking, and going to the movies. 


In the Field

Mark Breadner, FIRST Regional Director, Canada

Mark has been a strong supporter of FIRST robotics since 1998. A member of the FIRST Executive Advisory Board and a Woodie Flowers Award recipient, Mark co-founded FIRST Robotics Canada with FIRST Board member, Gordon Homer, and brought FIRST to Canada. Under his leadership, the number of FIRST teams rose quickly and the Toronto District School Board created a fully funded robotics administrator position that incorporates the regional director role. Mark was a Regional Director for three years before returning as Vice-Principal within the Toronto District School Board. During that time he served on many FIRST committees, including Game Design Strategy, World Festival site selection, and Regional Director’s meetings. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a bachelor of education from the University of Toronto.

Michael Campbell, FIRST Regional Director, Washington

Mike brings to FIRST more than 30 years of experience in marketing, event production, advertising, public relations, sales, broadcasting, and finance. A skilled business leader and manager, Mike is president of the Northwest Marine Trade Association and former president of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Active in civic affairs in the Seattle community, including the Washington State Tourism Commission and the Seafair Foundation, Mike holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Washington. 

Maggie Peterman, Regional Director, Wisconsin

Maggie has been a newspaper reporter for more than 29 years for The Saginaw (Michigan) News. As a member of the Dane County YMCA Board of Directors, Maggie has served as Chair of the Board of Development, and as a member of the Financial Development and Marketing Committees. Active in the Madison, Wisconsin, community, Maggie has raised more than $1 million as Chairman of the Dane County YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.

Paul Borchardt, FIRST Assistant Regional Director, Kansas City, Missouri

An experienced video and live events producer/director, Paul is a program development and educational consultant who helps organizations in the education and not-for-profit sectors achieve their communications, organizational, and leadership goals. A former Assistant Regional Director for FIRST, Paul helped to initiate the greater Kansas City Regional, developed the Kansas City Regional Planning Committee for FIRST, recruited FIRST teams and Mentors, and cultivated Sponsors, oversaw grants administration, and established business and higher education sponsorships. Founder of the Alexandrea Corporation, Paul is a successful educator, trainer, and director.

David Berggren, FIRST Assistant Regional Director, California

David has served as a Senior Mentor for FIRST teams in southern California, is engineering instructor department chair for High Tech High in San Diego, Calif., and has championed the concept of engineering in the high school curriculum through real-world community work. Owner and engineer of Blue Chip Machine and Fabrication, he holds a B.S. in marine science technology from California State University’s Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif.

Eunice Brown, FIRST Assistant Regional Director, Kansas City, Missouri

Eunice has several years of experience with FIRST, having served as Mentor, Sponsor, Volunteer, and as a parent of FIRST teams. She has recruited teams of 175 Volunteers in support of FIRST events and activities. A successful entrepreneur, business owner and manager, Eunice earned a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from Central Missouri State University.

Joan B. Rogers, FIRST AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer, Connecticut

Joan has extensive experience in non-profit organizations in capacity building, advocacy, and fundraising and development roles. Joan served for four years as the Community Coordinator of the Granby Early Childhood Council in Granby, one of 54 Connecticut community coalitions working to build strong connections between the early childhood environment and public elementary education. In this role, Joan was actively engaged in ongoing community organizing and capacity building, which enabled community members the opportunity to be effective advocates for children and families.



Rick Sisk, FIRST Senior Mentor, Southern California

Rick found the magic of FIRST when he helped his wife Dona start a rookie FRC Team in 2008. Since then, he has helped start and mentor several rookie teams, as well as acted as a judge at the Los Angeles and Phoenix regionals and the Championship in Atlanta. Rick served in the Air Force at Langley AFB in VA. This is where he learned about computer programming, which led to his current position at Sage Software in Irvine; designing applications that run many small and medium-sized businesses around the world.



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