Staff Profiles

OUR STAFF

These are the people who help our thousands of volunteers deliver great programs in over 40 countries around the world:

Executive

Dan Mantz

CEO and Chairman of the Board

Dan Mantz is CEO and Chairman of the Board for the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation. He is responsible for the long-term strategy, structure, and fiscal health of the organization. He acts as a direct liaison between the REC Foundation and the Board. Prior to joining the REC Foundation, Dan was President of Rack Solutions for four years and spent 19 years in the industrial robotics industry at FANUC Robotics. Dan lives in Texas and can be contacted at dan_mantz@roboticseducation.org

Jason Morrella

President

Jason Morrella is president of the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation. He is responsible for the overall strategic planning, organization development, program operations and financial management of the non-profit organization, and reports directly to the Board of Directors. Prior to joining the REC Foundation, Jason served as the Senior Director of Education and Competition for Innovation First International (IFI). While working for IFI, he led the development of the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) program and oversaw its explosive growth in becoming the largest middle and high school robotics competition in the world. Jason lives in California and can be contacted at jason_morrella@roboticseducation.org

Operations

Jim Crane

Director of Regional Operations
Territory: Pennsylvania

Jim Crane is responsible for the organization’s day-to-day field operations and supervision of the organization’s Regional Support Managers. Jim works closely with the Vice President to ensure that VEX Robotics Competition events are delivered in a consistent and well-executed manner in the countries where the programs are delivered. jim_crane@roboticseducation.org

Mike Martus

Director of Regional Operations
Territory: Illinois, Michigan

Mike Martus oversees the organization’s VRC league play operations, serves on the VRC Game Design Committee, and assists with the development of the SkillsUSA mobile robotics program. He joined the REC Foundation after spending 37 years as a high school educator. Mike lives in Michigan and can be reached at mike_martus@roboticseducation.org

Kelly Ryan

Director of Regional Operations
Territory: Alabama

Kelly Ryan is responsible for the organization’s day-to-day field operations and supervision of the organization’s Regional Support Managers. Kelly works closely with the Vice President to ensure that VEX Robotics Competition events are delivered in a consistent and well-executed manner. Kelly joined the REC Foundation after a 26-year career as an administrator and faculty member in higher education. He has administered robotics education programs and coordinated numerous robotics competitions in his career. Kelly lives in Alabama and can be reached at kelly_ryan@roboticseducation.org

Brad Lauer

Director of Operations and Regional Support Manager
Territory: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island

Brad Lauer is a member of the operations team and is responsible for day-to-day operations of the REC Foundation. Additionally, Brad provides support to VRC operations in Connecticut. Before joining the REC Foundation, Brad was the senior manager for education channel development at VEX Robotics. Brad lives in Connecticut and can be reached at brad_lauer@roboticseducation.org

Jay Allbritton

Content Coordinator

Jay Allbritton is the REC Foundation’s Content Coordinator. He worked as a cataloger at an academic library and as a writer, editor, and blogger before joining the organization. He lives in Florida and can be reached at jay_allbritton@roboticseducation.org

Daniel Benavides

Shipping & Receiving Clerk

Daniel Benavides assists the operations team with day-to-day logistics and handles shipping/receiving for the Greenville office. He resides in Texas and can be reached at daniel_benavides@roboticseducation.org

Leslie Cruse

Special Initiatives & Teacher Training Assistant

Leslie Cruse is responsible for assisting with the management of teacher training, and special events. She also assists with the execution of VEX Robotics Competitions. Before joining the REC Foundation Leslie spent 13 years at Jacksonville State University, most recently working as a Project Coordinator for the Math and Science Initiative. Leslie resides in Alabama and can be reached at Leslie_cruse@roboticseducation.org

Ashley Davis

Administrative/Operations Assistant

Ashley Davis provides support and assistance with day-to-day operations in our Greenville office. She resides in Texas and can be reached at ashley_davis@roboticseducaion.org

Melinda Henderson

Operations Coordinator

Melinda Henderson is responsible for customer service as well as providing logistical support and assistance with day-to-day operations in our Greenville office. Melinda resides in Texas and can be reached at melinda_henderson@roboticseducation.org

Charla Pittman

Operations Manger

Charla Pittman is the Operations Manager for the REC Foundation Operations Center​ ​located in Greenville, Texas.​ ​She works to ensure the Operations Team provides proper support to all of the organization’s constituents. Before joining the REC Foundation, Charla was a paralegal for a Dallas law firm and has held multiple positions within the public school system’s PTA and PTO as well as the Boy Scouts of America. Charla lives in Texas and can be reached at Charla_Pittman@roboticseducation.org

Janice Miller

National Volunteer Coordinator

Janice Miller is the National Volunteer Coordinator for the REC Foundation. She manages execution of the volunteer program, including recruitment, training, marketing, and development. Janice also oversees the annual Online Challenges program. She spent most of her career managing strategic partnerships and creating education programs empowering students to use design technology. She lives in Michigan and can be reached at janice_miller@roboticseducation.org

Cristina Munks

Human Resources Manager

Cristina Munks manages the day-to-day Human Resources operations of the REC Foundation. Cristina brings to the REC Foundation nearly 10 years of human resources experience in the tech and healthcare industries. Cristina resides in California and can be reached at cristina_munks@roboticseducation.org

Cayla Whitney

Office Manager and Graphic Designer

Cayla Whitney manages operations in the San Jose office as well as assists with various design projects. Cayla comes to REC Foundation from San Jose State University where she studied graphic design. She lives in California and can be reached at Cayla_Whitney@roboticseducation.org

Development and Communications Team

Brent Gray

Sponsor Relations Coordinator

Brent Gray is responsible for maintaining positive, lasting relationships with the organization’s local, national, and international alumni and sponsors. Before joining the REC Foundation, Brent worked for the Foundation for a professional sports franchise in Dallas that uses sports to change the lives of youth through physical education programs and STEM curriculum. Brent lives in Texas and can be reached at brent_gray@roboticseducation.org

Victoria Grisanti

Senior Director, Communications and Community Relations

Vicki Grisanti oversees the development and communications departments. In this role she is responsible for internal and external communication, marketing, and community involvement. Vicki comes to the REC Foundation from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), where she worked in university advancement. Prior to WPI, Vicki managed corporate community involvement at EMC Corporation with a focus on improving K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Vicki resides in Massachusetts and can be reached at vicki_grisanti@roboticseducation.org

Finance

Mike Ward

Accounting Manager

Mike Ward manages accounting and financial reporting functions for the REC Foundation. Before joining the organization, he was the chief financial officer for a company that managed asbestos trusts. Mike has an MBA from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas. Mike can be reached at accounting@roboticseducation.org

Victoria Carter

Accounts Payable Clerk

Victoria Carter is responsible for day-to-day accounting functions. Victoria attended Kapiolani Community College and Tennessee Tech University and has 15 years of full cycle accounting experience. Victoria resides in Texas and can be reached at accounting@roboticseducation.org

Marnie Short

Accounts Receivable

Marnie Short is responsible for day-to-day Accounts Receivable functions at the REC Foundation. She attended Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and has over 10 years of Corporate Finance and Accounting experience. Marnie resides in Texas, and can be reached at accounting@roboticseducation.org

Diana Strezo

Accounting and Customer Service

Diana Strezo works with our accounting department and provides customer service to our REC Foundation clients. Before joining the REC Foundation she had experience with full cycle accounts payable and customer service. Diana resides in Texas and can be reached at accounting@roboticseducation.org

Regional Support Managers

The REC Foundation relies on a dedicated group of Regional Support Managers who provide day-to-day oversight of the organization's activities, and critical support and training to the organization's constituencies. Additionally, each of the Regional Support Managers have special initiatives and/or projects that they oversee. Regional Support Managers are listed alphabetically by last name.

Shelli Brasher

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee

Shelli Brasher joined the REC Foundation after 30 years as a high school Mathematics/STEM teacher and curriculum consultant. She has served as coach/mentor for VEX Robotics teams and as an Event Partner for robotics tournaments, workshops, and camps. Shelli is dedicated to helping schools and communities provide sustainable robotics education programs for their youth and to empowering girls to pursue STEM careers. She lives in Collierville, Tennessee, and can be reached at shelli_brasher@roboticseducation.org

Dylon Caudill

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia

Dylon Caudill joined the REC Foundation after competing in VEX Robotics for three seasons. Dylon worked as a LAN Administrator providing technology and systems support. He lives in Ohio and can be reached at dylon_caudill@roboticseducation.org

Matt Conroy

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina

Matt Conroy assists with Event Partner training, development of the VEX U program, and the REC Foundation’s Certifications Program. He joined the REC Foundation after spending 32 years as a teacher. Matt lives in Florida and can be reached at matt_conroy@roboticseducation.org

Randy Decker

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Indiana

Randy Decker provides regional support for Indiana focusing on VEX IQ. He joined the REC Foundation after 29 years as a Career and Technical Education teacher. He has been involved with VEX Robotics since its beginnings in 2005. Randy has taught electronics, Introduction to Engineering Design, Digital Electronics, A+ Computer Repair, and Robotics. Randy attended Purdue University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology. He lives in Indiana and can be reached at randy_decker@roboticseducation.org

Katrina Hill

Regional Support Manager
Territory: District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia

Katrina Hill worked in program development for a national non-profit serving over 3,000 pre-college students prior to joining the REC Foundation. She also worked in public school education for over eight years. Katrina lives in Washington, DC, and can be reached at katrina_hill@roboticseducation.org

Susan Kennedy

Regional Operations & Support Manager
Territory: Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont

Susan Kennedy joined the REC Foundation after a career as a high school Engineering, Design, and Robotics teacher. She served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow with NASA Aeronautics and developed curriculum in the areas of Engineering, Design, Computer Science, and Science. Susan implemented robotics programs throughout the state of North Carolina and served as the State Coordinator for VEX Robotics for the North Carolina Technology Student Association. She lives in Washington, DC, and can be reached at susan_kennedy@roboticseducation.org

Jason Mason

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Texas

Jason Mason joined the REC Foundation after serving as a Special Operation Aerospace Engineer for the Air Force and Navy. He will finish his bachelor’s degree in Learning and Technology from Texas A&M-Commerce in the Spring of 2017. Jason lives in Texas and can be reached at Jason_Mason@roboticseducation.org

Terry Marbut

Teacher Training Coordinator
Territory: Alabama, Georgia

Terry Marbut coordinates the organization’s teacher training initiatives and provides regional support in Alabama and Georgia. Terry joined the REC Foundation after working three years in manufacturing engineering and 30 years as an administrator and faculty member in higher education. He has administered robotics education programs and served as the Event Partner for the VEX State Championships in Alabama. Terry lives in Alabama and can be reached at terry_marbut@roboticseducation.org

Corey McCoy

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah

Corey McCoy joined REC Foundation after 26 years in education as a teacher and mentor. She served as a coach and facilitator for various VEX robotics teams, leagues, and robotics events. Corey lives in Arizona and can be reached at corey_mccoy@roboticseducation.org

Nancy McIntyre

Regional Support Manager
Territory: California

Nancy McIntyre plays an instrumental role in managing the organization’s on-going curriculum development, spearheading international robotics initiatives, and organizing the REC Foundation STEM Hall of Fame. She joined the organization after spending 23 years as an educator. Nancy lives in California and can be reached at nancy_mcintyre@roboticseducation.org

Luis Medina

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Louisiana, Texas

Luis Medina joined the REC Foundation after developing and running a successful robotics program during his ten-year tenure at Clear Creek Independent School District. He has been an Event Partner for over six years, hosting many events annually including the State Championship. Luis lives in Pearland, Texas, and can be reached at luis_medina@roboticseducation.org

Kirk Norrid

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma

Kirk Norrid graduated from Northeastern State University with a background in science education. While at NSU he competed on the College of Education robotics team, developed robotics curriculum for several schools in Oklahoma, and served as a special ambassador in robotics, a special initiative in Vienna, Austria. He also worked for two years as an assistant to the Director of the Robotics Academy of Critical Engagement. Kirk lives in Oklahoma where he can be reached at kirk_norrid@roboticseducation.org

Steven Rummell

Regional Support Manager
Territory: California

Steven Rummell joined the REC Foundation after more than a decade in education. As the principal of one of the largest elementary schools in Silicon Valley, Steven began numerous STEM initiatives. He served as faculty advisor for VEX IQ Challenge teams and as an Event Partner for robotics tournaments, leagues, and mentor workshops. He lives in Santa Clara, California, and can be reached at steven_rummell@roboticseducation.org

Bill Ryno

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Bill Ryno joined REC Foundation after 30 years working in industrial technology, technical writing, and technical training. He also served several seasons as Robotics Coordinator for 14 teams, coach/mentor for VEX robotics teams, and Event Partner for robotics events. Bill lives in Appleton, Wisconsin, and can be reached at bill_ryno@roboticseducation.org

Willem Scholten

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Alaska, Oregon, Washington

Willem Scholten supports the Pacific Northwest region. He joined the REC Foundation after more than 10 years of robotics education experience. Willem mentors robotics teams from kindergarten through college-level and has coordinated robotics programs for many years. Willem lives in Washington and can be reached at willem_scholten@roboticseducation.org

Lisa Schultz

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington

Lisa Schultz joined the REC Foundation to support the Pacific Northwest after a career as teacher and mechanical engineer. Lisa has developed high school curriculum to teach Introduction to Engineering Design and Robotics. She mentored a high school robotics team for three years focusing on outreach to young women. Lisa lives in Seattle, Washington and can be reached at lisa_schultz@roboticseducation.org

Tarek Shraibati

Strategic Initiatives Manager and Regional Support Manager
Territory: Hawaii, California

Tarek Shraibati is responsible for creating and maintaining relationships with the organization’s many strategic partners and overseeing the VRC judging process. He also assists with the growth of VEX U, and developing the organization’s college scholarship program. Prior to joining the REC Foundation, Tarek taught college engineering courses for 27 years at California State University, Northridge. Tarek lives in California and can be reached at tarek_shraibati@roboticseducation.org

International VEX Robotics Competition Support Staff

Paul McKnight

Head of VEX Operations, Innovation First International, UK & Europe
Territory: Europe

Paul McKnight heads the expansion of the VEX Robotics Design System across the UK and Europe and provides support to the teams in the region. He lives in Northwest England and can be reached at paul_mcknight@innovationfirst.com