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.
Brad Lauer manages fundraising and sponsorship activities for the REC Foundation. Brad is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of technology, web, and IT projects. Additionally, he 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.
Tarek Shraibati works closely with the CEO and senior management to oversee the Foundation’s programs. He is responsible for supervising the Directors of Regional Operation and Global Competition to assure that REC Foundation programs are delivered in a consistent and well run manner. Tarek has over 20 years of experience in competitive robotics programs and joined the REC Foundation after 27 years teaching engineering at university.
Jim Crane works closely with the CEO to execute the strategic vision of the REC Foundation. He is responsible for directing programs that provide support to areas of need across all programs. He is the main point of contact for multiple partnerships and a member of the Program Design Committee. Before joining the REC Foundation, Jim was a physics teacher for 16 years in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
Mike Martus is responsible for supervision of Regional Support Managers and oversees the organization’s League Play 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.
Andy Schaafs is responsible for supervision of Regional Support Managers (RSMs) in the South and Southeast US while also fostering the foundation’s partnership with Project Lead the Way. He works closely with the Senior Director of Programs and the RSMs to encourage the discovery and growth of Event Partners so that students can participate in multiple VEX Robotics Competition events of the highest quality. Andy comes from a 20-year background in chemical engineering, STEM education, and CTE/STEM project management with an emphasis on robotics and PLTW.
Charla Pittman 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.
Lauren serves as the main human resources point of contact for REC Foundation staff, contractors, and outside parties. Before joining the REC Foundation, she worked in human resources and recruiting in both the automotive and staffing industries. She is also fluent in Spanish from spending several years in Spain where she taught English in both schools and STEM camps.
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.
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.
Leslie Cruse is responsible for the management of our Regional Grants Program and working with state and government initiatives to further the mission of REC Foundation. 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 Hughes is responsible for performing research to identify potential opportunities for grant funding from government agencies and foundations to meet the financial and operational needs of the REC Foundation and then facilitating the process of writing the grant proposals. Previously, she was a grant writer for nonprofits and for her own consulting firm and has been involved with nonprofit grant writing for over 10 years.
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.
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.
Ashley Phipps is joined the REC Foundation after a career in web development, information technology, and education. She has been a teacher and an established VEX Robotics coach for 5 years as well as a prominent Event Partner within the state of Florida.
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.
Carol joined the REC Foundation after ten years with the CREATE Foundation where she managed robotics events, conducted coaches training, and provided planning and implementation support for regional robotics championships and the U.S. Open Robotics Championship. She has a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, and an automation and process control industry background in international business development, strategic sales, and marketing management.
Cheryl Rausch has 11 years of experience with competitive robotics working previously for the CREATE Foundation where she managed and supervised multiple areas of the U.S. Open Robotics Championship; such as Volunteer Coordinator, Team Registration, and Judging. Cheryl has also assisted with planning and support of robotics camps.
Before joining the REC Foundation, Connan taught at both the High School and the Community College level in Math and CTE/STEM for over two decades. He coached students in Skills USA and Ford AAA competitions at the Regional, State, and National levels.
Dan Troy provides regional support for New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Delmarva. He started his robotics journey back in 2002 with FLL and has competed in or mentored in a variety of robotics competitions including FRC, SeaPerch, VEX EDR, VEX U, and VEX IQ Challenge.
Diana Fultz joined the REC Foundation after 14 years as a middle school science and math teacher, as well as serving as robotics coach. She has a Master of Education in mathematics curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington.
John Gilligan joined the REC Foundation after a career as an information technology professional and entrepreneur. John has mentored numerous robotics teams at all levels of competition, served as an Event Partner, and worked to engage more students through initiatives on a regional level.
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.
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.
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.