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

Jason-Morrella

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

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Miller J. Roberts, III

Vice President

Miller Roberts is responsible for the organization’s day-to-day administrative operations and the supervision of the REC Foundation staff. Miller reports to and works closely with the president to ensure that the organization meets its annual goals, produces the highest quality special events, and maintains positive internal and external relations. Previously, Miller served as the chief of staff for an organization focused on recruiting, retaining, and recognizing under-represented individuals in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. Miller lives in Texas and can be reached at miller_roberts@roboticseducation.org

Operations

Jim Crane

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 Posted 2013May

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

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 Posted 2013May

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

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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

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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

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Melinda Henderson

Operations Assistant

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

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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

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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

Charla Pittman

Charla Pittman

Office Manager

Charla Pittman is the Office Manager for the REC Foundation Operations Center. 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

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Cayla Whitney

Office Assistant and Graphic Designer

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

Development and Communications Team

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Pattie Cook

Development Manager

Pattie Cook is a Development and Regional Support Manager for the REC Foundation. She provides support for local event partners in addition to working with the Development and Marketing team to create and grow sponsorship and branding opportunities. Pattie has spent over 20 years in the non-profit world, with the past 15 being in the STEM education arena. She has served as a Regional Director for FIRST and Executive Director of VirginiaFIRST, and owned a special events company which specialized in designing and executing cause-marketing events to benefit non-profit and community organizations. Pattie lives in Virginia and can be contacted at pattie_cook@roboticseducation.org

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Matt Ebner

Sponsor Relations Coordinator

Matt Ebner is responsible for maintaining positive, lasting relationships with the organization’s alumni and sponsors. Before joining the REC Foundation, Matt worked as Site Coordinator with a non-profit organization that aimed to keep at-risk youth in school. Additionally, he served on the organization’s Fundraising and Event Planning Team where he assisted in the planning and coordination of events, and led all fundraising efforts. Matt lives in Texas and can be reached at matt_ebner@roboticseducation.org

Vicki-Grisanti

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

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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

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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

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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

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.

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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

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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

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Matt Conroy

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Florida, Georgia, 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

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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

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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

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Corey McCoy

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and 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 Posted 2013May

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

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Thomas Mead

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Texas

Thomas Mead manages the expansion of the VRC program in Texas by helping high schools, home school cooperatives, and youth organizations obtain funding, training, and resources that allow them to start, sustain, and grow educational robotics programs. Thomas spent more than a decade providing advanced certification courses and training to physicians and nurses and has mentored several VEX robotics teams. He lives in Texas and can be reached at thomas_mead@roboticseducation.org

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LeRoy Nelson

Regional Support Manager
Territory: California

LeRoy Nelson, a regional support manager who supports VEX IQ in Southern California, joined the REC Foundation after a career as teacher, software engineering manager, and consultant. He has mentored robotics teams and coordinated robotics programs for many years. LeRoy lives in California and can be reached at leroy_nelson@roboticseducation.org

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Bill Ryno

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

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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

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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

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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 Posted 2013May

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

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Karthik Kanagasabapathy

Manager, Innovation First International, Canada, Inc.
Territory: Eastern Canada

Karthik Kanagasabapathy serves as the regional support manager for Eastern Canada and serves as the chair of the VRC Game Design Committee. He has been with Innovation First International since 2007. He lives in Toronto and can be reached at karthik@innovationfirst.com

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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

Interns

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Rosie Aguero

Intern

Rosie Aguero assists the accounting department at the REC Foundation office in Greenville, Texas. Rosie is a graduate student at Texas A&M-Commerce, where she received her BBA in Finance and is currently working towards her MBA.

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Karan Bansal

Intern

Karan Bansal is a regional support intern for Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. He studies Computer Science at the Northern Virginia Community College at Manassas Campus. Karan competed in the VEX Robotics Competition for over three years. This summer Karan interned at NASA using robotics skills to design, build, and test an autonomous system.

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Veronica Bitz

Intern

Veronica Bitz is a senior at University of New Haven (UNH) studying Communication, Video Production with minors in Photography and English. She has been involved in the University’s Communication Club and recently joined the UNH Robotics Team. Veronica will be assisting at Connecticut events during the season and with production at the VEX Robotics World Championship.

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Jarred Cool

Intern

Jarred Cool is the Regional Support Intern for Indiana. He studies Mechanical Engineering at Indiana University Purdue University Indiana (IUPUI). Jarred competed in VRC for a total of five years and has moved on to found the IUPUI VEX U Robotics club.

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Andrew Lawrence

Intern

Andrew Lawrence assists local events and teams and works as an intern in the San Jose office. Andrew has 15 years of competitive robotics experience and is currently studying at De Anza College in pursuit of degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics.

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Dillon Lee

Intern
Territory: Idaho, Montana

Dillon Lee provides regional support for Idaho and Montana under the supervision of Mike Martus. He joined the REC Foundation after competing in VEX Robotics for five seasons. Dillon is currently attending Wisconsin Indian-head Technical College for IT.

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Marcello Leone

Intern

Marcello Leone assists teams and events in the city of Miami. Marcello studies Electrical Engineering at the Honors College at Miami-Dade College. He has four years of experience in VEX EDR.

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Ruben Lopez

Intern

Ruben Lopez joined the REC Foundation after being involved in robotics for six years. While in high school, he received his associate degree and currently studies Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Josh Martin

Intern

Josh Martin provides regional support in New Hampshire and Vermont. He studies Mechanical Engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Josh competed in VRC all four years of high school as well as VEX U during his freshman year of college.

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Jason Mason

Intern

Jason Mason is a member of the Operations Team in Greenville, Texas. Jason was a Special Operation Aerospace Engineer for the Air Force and Navy and he will finish his bachelor’s degree in Learning and Technology from Texas A&M-Commerce in the Spring of 2017.

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Sinh Nguyen

Intern

Sinh Nguyen assists teams and events in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Sinh is currently a senior studying Computer Science and Mathematics at Jacksonville State University. He works closely with the JSU robotics team and has been involved in VEX robotics for over two years. Sinh plans to pursue a career in robotics education.

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Stevie Noble

Intern

Stevie Noble assists teams and coaches at local events throughout Washington and Oregon. She studies Education at Central Washington University. After graduation, Stevie plans to incorporate Robotics Education in her future classroom.

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Steven Paqueo

Intern

Steven Paqueo recently began his fourth season as an intern supporting events in California. A Mechanical Engineering major at the same university that hosted the first VEX Robotics World Championship, Cal State Northridge, Steven has now competed in VEX Robotics at the middle school, high school, and university level.

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Tyler Raine

Intern

Tyler Raine assists with day-to-day operations at the REC Foundation office in Greenville, Texas. He currently studies finance at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

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Travis Rodgers

Intern

Travis Rodgers assists with logistics, day-to-day operations, and events throughout the state of Texas. He received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Southern Arkansas University in 2014, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Computer Science at Texas A&M-Commerce.​

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Hariharan Vijayakumar

Intern

Hariharan “Hari” Vijayakumar assists teams and events in the state of New Jersey. Graduating in 2020, Hari currently studies Mechanical Engineering at Rutgers University where he is a member of the VEX U team. He has four years of competitive robotics experience.

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Matthew Watson

Intern

Matthew Watson is a sophomore at Michigan State University, studying Computer Engineering. A member of the MSU VEX Robotics team, Matthew has been involved in robotics for the past 11 years. He and his team, the Haslett VEX Raptors (Team 7581H), won the 2014 and 2015 High School State of Michigan Excellence Award and the 2014 World Championship Excellence Award.

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Alani Waugh

Intern

Alani Waugh provides technical support for the state of Missouri. She attends the University of Missouri-Kansas City and will graduate with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering in 2021. Alani competed in VEX Robotics for three seasons, and competed at VEX Worlds each season.

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Nikolas Zapata

Intern

Nikolas Zapata spent two years on a TSA VEX team and is our most senior intern. As a member of the operations team, he assists with the day-to-day operations of the REC Foundation. Nikolas also assists staff and Event Partners with training exercises and special projects to create successful events throughout the United States. He lives in Orlando, Florida, and studies mechanical engineering at UCF.

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Zack Zofrea

Intern

Zack Zofrea has been an intern since 2013. His role is to support REC Foundation projects and events. Zack is a University of Florida student majoring in Physics and intends to get a Master of Science in Information Systems.