Staff Profiles

Hailing from across the U.S. and around the world, the staff of the REC Foundation works to inspire the next generation of STEM students.


Executive
Directors
Human Resources
Operations
Finance
Regional Support
Managers
International
Support

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.

Location: Texas

Senior Director, Operations

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.

Location: Texas

Senior Director, Programs

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. 

Location: California

VP of Development and Marketing

Amelia Gulling is the VP of Development and Marketing for the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation. She is responsible for leading, managing, and implementing all fundraising and external communications in order to build visibility, impact, and financial resources to support both short and long-term strategic goals. Prior to joining the REC Foundation, Amelia was the Director of Science Alive STEM Education at the Desert Research Institute for seven years where she founded Nevada Robotics. She has a Masters in Public Administration, with an emphasis in Fundraising and Nonprofit Management, and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).

Location: Nevada

Director of Global Competition and Strategic Initiatives

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.

Location: Pennsylvania

Director of Regional Operations

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.

Location: Michigan

Director of Regional Operations

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.

Location: Texas

Director of Operations

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.

Location: Texas

Human Resources Coordinator

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.

Location: Texas

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.

Location: Massachusetts

Office Administrator

Ashley 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.

Location: Texas

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.

Location: Texas

Operations Coordinator

Daniel Benavides assists the operations team with day-to-day logistics and handles shipping/receiving for the Greenville office.

Location: Texas

Content Coordinator

Jay Allbritton worked as a cataloger at an academic library and as a writer, editor, and blogger before joining the REC Foundation.

Location: Florida

Administrative Assistant

Karina Chavez provides customer service and assistance with day-to-day operations in the Greenville,TX office.

Location: Texas

Grants Program Manager

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.

Location: Texas

Community Innovation Manager

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.

Location: California

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.

Location: Massachusetts

Volunteer Coordinator

Taunja Weber is an Administrative Support Specialist assisting in the Volunteer Coordinating and Development Departments in our Greenville office. Before joining the REC Foundation, she worked as an Executive Assistant, Membership Manager, Accounting Assistant, and Office Manager.

Location: Texas

Project Manager

Veronica joined the REC Foundation back in 2016 as an Operations Intern while attending the University of New Haven earning her degree in Mass Communications. In 2017, she transitioned into the Regional Support Manager role for most of the New England area supporting over 800 teams and 100 events. Now, she is the Project Manager managing the logistics and execution of many of the Girl Powered events and workshops!

Location: Connecticut

Accounting Manager

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.

Location: Texas

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.

Location: Texas

Regional Support Manager

FL

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.

Location: Florida

Regional Support Manager

DC, MD, NJ, VA

Ben Mitchell joined the REC Foundation in the summer of 2018 and has an extensive background as a former robotics team advisor, event coordinator, and volunteer in a myriad of roles.

Location: New Jersey

Regional Support Manager

IL, WI

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.

Location: Wisconsin

Regional Support Manager

AZ, CO, NM, UT

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.

Location: Colorado

Regional Support Manager

IA, MN, NE, ND, SD

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.

Location: Nebraska

Regional Support Manager

Nevada

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.

Location: Nevada

Regional Support Manager

DE, NY, PA

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.

Location: Pennsylvania

Regional Support Manager

LA, TX

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.

Location: Louisiana

Regional Support Manager

OH, KY, WV

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.

Location: Ohio

Regional Support Manager

MI

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.

Location: Michigan

Regional Support Manager

KS, MO, OK

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.

Location: Oklahoma

Regional Support Manager

AL

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. She started as a volunteer for VEX Robotics tournaments and providing professional development for Alabama teachers through AMSTI. Leslie is dedicated to helping Alabama schools and communities provide sustainable robotics programs for students.   

Location: Alabama

Regional Support Manager

AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY

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.

Location: Washington

Regional Support Manager

CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT

Louann Cormier has been involved in the robotics community since 2011 when she started a neighborhood team in her basement.  She has progressed from a robotics parent and volunteer at local, regional, and national events to a coach to elementary, middle, and high school teams. Most recently, she was an REC Foundation Event Partner.

Location: New Hampshire

Regional Support Manager

IN

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.

Location: Indiana

Regional Support Manager

Texas

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.

Location: Texas

Regional Support Manager

NC

Ryan Osweiler joined the REC Foundation in the summer of 2019.  He has a Masters degree in Instructional Technology.  He was a Technology Coordinator in a large Virginia school division for 12 years and finished his time in Virginia as a Regional STEM Education Coordinator. While there Ryan mentored successful VEX IQ Challenge and VRC teams, was a long time Event Partner, and did extensive work in curriculum development for STEM camps and regional professional development related to robotics. He helped coordinate State Championships and a Signature Event.

Location: North Carolina

Regional Support Manager

AR, MS, TN

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.

Location: Tennessee

Regional Support Manager

CA, HI

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.

Location: California

Teacher Training Coordinator

GA, SC

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.

Location: Alabama

Regional Support Manager

AU, NZ

Jess joined the REC Foundation in June of 2019. She has a background working in pediatrics and clinic management. She continues with website involvement across various platforms and enjoys bringing her skills together to support the AU & NZ Event Partners and teams.

Location: Australia

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.

Location: Texas

VEX Competition Support Manager

Europe, Africa, Middle East

Bridie Gaynor is responsible for supporting VEX events and teams across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Location: UK

VEX Competition Support Manager

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.

Location: China

VEX Competition Support Manager

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.

Location: Ontario

VEX Competition Support Manager

Asia Pacific

Crystal Zhang is responsible for VEX events and team registration in the Asia Pacific region.

Location: China

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