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 RackSolutions 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.

DIRECTORS

Brad Lauer

Director of Technology

Brad Lauer is the Director of the Technology and is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of technology, web, and IT projects. Brad has previously served as the Director of Operations and Senior Director of Development for the organization. Additionally, Brad serves as the Executive Producer of the VEX Robotics World Championship. Prior to joining the REC Foundation, Brad was the Senior Manager, Education Channel Development at VEX Robotics, Inc. Brad lives in Connecticut and can be reached at brad_lauer@roboticseducation.org.

Charla Pittman

Director of Operations

Charla Pittman is the Director of Operations for the REC Foundation. She oversees the daily operations for the REC Foundation, supervises the Greenville, Texas, office staff and leads the event planning for our annual signature events. 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.

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 CEO 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 lives in Pennsylvania and can be reached at jim_crane@roboticseducation.org.

Mike Martus

Director of Regional Operations
Territory: Michigan

Mike Martus is responsible for supervision of Regional Support Managers and oversees the organization’s League play and VEX U program. Mike works closely with the CEO to ensure that VEX Robotics Competition events are delivered in a consistent and well-executed manner in the countries where the programs are delivered. He joined the REC Foundation after spending 37 years as a high school Vocational Robotics Educator. Mike lives in Michigan and can be reached at mike_martus@roboticseducation.org.

Peter Giusti

Chief Development Officer

Peter Giusti is the Chief Development Officer for the REC Foundation. In his role, he serves as the primary fundraiser for the organization, establishing new funding opportunities, forming new relationships with funding sources, and expanding those that currently exist. Prior to joining the REC Foundation, Peter served as the President of USA Cares, Chief Development Strategist for AMVETS National Headquarters, and as Chief Executive Officer of the Scleroderma Foundation and the Celebration of Health Foundation. Peter lives in Louisville, Kentucky, and can be reached at peter@roboticseducation.org.

Victoria Grisanti

Senior Director, Marketing and Communications

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.

OPERATIONS

Amy Magazzu

Graphic Designer

Amy Magazzu provides graphic design for the Development and Communications departments. Before joining the REC Foundation she worked as part of a publication/design team for a scientific magazine and freelancing. Amy has a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts, with over 11 years experience in the graphic design field. She lives in Massachusetts and can be reached at amy_magazzu@roboticseducation.org.

Ashley Davis

Operations Coordinator

Ashley Davis is responsible for providing logistical support and assistance with day-to-day operations in the Greenville office. She also assists customers with their various needs. Ashley resides in Texas and can be reached at ashley_davis@roboticseducation.org.

Brent Gray

Corporate Program Manager

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.

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.

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.

Dillon Lee

IT Support Specialist

Dillon Lee is a graduate of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College with an associate degree in Industrial Automation, Controls, and Networking. Currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Information Communication Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Dillon assists the REC Foundation with IT and technology support.

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.

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.

Ruby Pontbriand

Marketing Communications Coordinator

Ruby Pontbriand is responsible for executing the organization’s overall messaging and branding through printed and online materials, and across social media channels. Prior to joining the REC Foundation, Ruby managed event communications, email marketing, social media, and internal and external communications in the local real estate community. Ruby resides in Massachusetts and can be reached at ruby_pontbriand@roboticseducation.orgg.

Taunja Weber

Administration Support Specialist

Taunja Weber is an Administrative Support Specialist assisting in the Volunteer Coordinating and Accounting Departments in our Greenville office. Before joining the REC Foundation, she worked as an Executive Assistant, Membership Manager, Accounting Assistant, and Office Manager. Taunja lives in Texas and can be reached at taunja_weber@roboticseducation.org.

FINANCE

Victoria Carter

Accounting Supervisor

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.

Melinda Henderson

Accounting Specialist

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 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.

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.

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.

Dan Larochelle

Regional Support Manager
Territory: New Hampshire, Vermont

Dan Larochelle provides regional support to New Hampshire and Vermont. He has an extensive background in STEM training and curriculum development. Dan holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from UNH. He has been involved in competitive robotics since 1996 and with VEX since 2005. He lives in New Hampshire and can be reached at dan_larochelle@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.

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.

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.

Kirk Norrid

Regional Support Manager
Territory: 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.

Leslie Cruse

Regional Support Manager and Special Initiatives
Territory: Alabama

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nancy McIntyre

Regional Support Manager
Territory: California

Nancy McIntyre joined the foundation in the summer of 2012 after a 23-year career as a teacher, administrator, coach, and robotics mentor. As a credentialed educator, she has helped to develop the foundation’s online curriculum, the engineering notebooks, and has worked with teachers around the world to empower them to successfully incorporate VEX Robotics teams on their school campuses. Additional foundation initiatives that Nancy has played a role in developing include the Online Challenges, the STEM Hall of Fame, and Girl Powered. Nancy lives in California and can be reached at nancy_mcintyre@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.

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.

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.

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.

Terry Marbut

Teacher Training Coordinator
Territory: 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.

Veronica Bitz

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island

Veronica Bitz provides regional support for Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. While earning her degree in Mass Communications from the University of New Haven, she joined the REC Foundation as an Operations Intern, supporting local events in the Southern New England area. She also assisted with the production of VEX Robotics World Championship. Veronica lives in Connecticut and can be reached at veronica_bitz@roboticseducation.org.

Willem Scholten

Regional Support Manager
Territory: Alaska, 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.

INTERNATIONAL VEX ROBOTICS COMPETITION SUPPORT STAFF

Grant Cox

VEX Global Competition Manager

Grant Cox oversees the international VEX competition support team and also serves as the Chairman of the VEX Game Design Committee. He has been involved in robotics since 2007 at all levels of competition, from student to mentor and volunteer to event planner. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and previously held the title of VEX Robotics Marketing Manager for four years. Originally from Michigan, Grant ​​​​​​​​now lives in Texas and can be reached at grant@vex.com.

Crystal Zhang

VEX Competition Support Manager
Territory: Asia Pacific

Crystal Zhang is responsible for VEX events and team registration in the Asia Pacific region. She lives in China and can be reached at crystal_zhang@vex.com.

Jason Kang

VEX Competition Support Manager
Territory: Asia Pacific

Jason Kang is responsible for supporting VEX events and teams in Asia Pacific. He has a Master’s degree in Mechatronic Engineering and worked as an engineer for many years. Jason lives in China and can be reached at jason_kang@vex.com.

Eli Osornio

VEX Customer Service Manager
Territory: Latin America

Eli Osornio has been with VEX Robotics for six years and is responsible for sales and competition support in Latin America. He joined VEX as a technician and currently serves as Customer Service Manager specializing in Latin American sales. Eli is originally from Mexico and speaks fluent English and Spanish; he now lives in Texas and can be reached at eli@vex.com.

Richard Seniuk

VEX Competition Support Manager
Territory: Canada

Richard Seniuk is responsible for supporting VEX events and teams in Canada. He was the head mentor and coach for a high school robotics team in Ontario for 11 years. As a VEX Event Partner, he started the first VRC tournament in Ottawa, actively grew the number of teams in the area, and has been a VEX Worlds volunteer since 2013. Richard lives in Ontario and can be reached at richard_seniuk@vex.com.

Bridie Gaynor

VEX Competition Support Manager
Territory: Europe, Africa, Middle East

Bridie Gaynor is responsible for supporting VEX events and teams across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. She lives in the UK and can be reached at bridie_gaynor@vex.com.

Chris Hamling

VEX Competition Support Manager
Territory: Oceania

Chris Hamling is responsible for supporting VEX teams and events in the Oceania region of Australia and New Zealand. Originally an entrepreneur specializing in networked embedded systems and blue sky product development, he has been involved with the VEX Robotics Competition since 2008 in his role as National Manager for the New Zealand Robotics Charitable Trust. Chris lives in New Zealand and can be reached at chris_hamling@vex.com.