FIRST Appoints New Regional Directors for North America

FIRST News Release

FIRST® Appoints New Regional Directors for North America

MANCHESTER, N. H., Nov. 17, 2010 - FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, today announced the appointment of six new Regional Directors (RDs) for Canada, California, Washington, Wisconsin, Missouri and Wisconsin.

New appointments include Mark Breadner, Regional Director, Canada; Michael Campbell, Regional Director, Washington; Maggie Peterman, Regional Director, Wisconsin; Eunice Brown, Assistant Regional Director, Kansas City, Mo.; David Berggren, Assistant Regional Director, California; and Paul Bouchardt, Assistant Regional Director, also Kansas City, Mo.

"The appointment of our latest Regional Directors reflects the phenomenal growth and international scope that FIRST continues to experience," said Roseann Stevens, Vice President of Field Operations, FIRST.  "The continued emphasis on STEM and the mission of FIRST, as seen through the White House and other national events, are fueling this growth. Our Regional Directors play a critical role in furthering our mission and making sure that the ‘FIRST’ experience’ is carried out to parents, schools, mentors, the business community and young people."

The role of an ‘RD’ includes coordinating FIRST activities, as well as developing new regional partnerships and volunteer mentors - with the goal of creating and maintaining robust, volunteer-driven, and self-sustaining programs in each region. FIRST holds local and regional robotics competitions, including the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®), the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC®), the FIRST LEGO® League (FLL®), and the Junior FIRST  LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®).

  • Mark Breadner, Regional Director, Canada - Breadner has been a strong supporter of FIRST robotics since 1998.  A member of the FIRST Executive Advisory Board and a Woodie Flowers Award recipient, Breadner co-founded FIRST Robotics Canada with Gordon Homer and brought FIRST to Canada.  Under his leadership, the number of FIRST teams rose quickly and the Toronto District School Board created a fully funded robotics administrator position that incorporates the regional director role Breadner was a Regional Director for three years before returning as Vice-Principal within the Toronto District School Board.  During that time he served on many FIRST committees, including Game Design Strategy, World Festival site selection, and Regional Director’s meetings. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a bachelor of education from the University of Toronto.
  • Michael Campbell, Regional Director, Washington - Campbell brings to FIRST more than 30 years of experience in marketing, event production, advertising, public relations, sales, broadcasting and finance. A skilled business leader and manager, Campbell is President of the Northwest Marine Trade Association and a Past President of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Active in civic affairs in the Seattle community, including the Washington State Tourism Commission and the Seafair Foundation, Campbell holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Washington.  
  • Maggie Peterman, Regional Director, Wisconsin - Peterman has been a newspaper reporter for more than 29 years for The Saginaw (Mich.) News. As a member of the Dane County YMCA Board of Directors, Peterman has served as Chair of the Board of Development, and as a member of the Financial Development and Marketing Committees.  Active in the Madison, Wis., community, Peterman has raised more than $1 million as Chairman of the Dane County YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.
  • Paul Borchardt, Assistant Regional Director, Kansas City, Mo. - An experienced video and live events producer/director, Borchardt is a program development and educational consultant who helps organizations in the education and not-for-profit sectors achieve their communications, organizational and leadership goals. A former assistant Regional Director for FIRST, Borchardt helped to initiate the greater Kansas City Regional, developed the Kansas City Regional Planning Committee for FIRST, recruited FIRST teams and Mentors, and cultivated Sponsors, oversaw grants administration,  and established business and higher education sponsorships. Founder of the Alexandrea Corporation, Borchardt is a successful educator, trainer and director.
  • Eunice Brown, Assistant Regional Director, Kansas City, Mo. - Brown has several years of experience with FIRST, having served as Mentor, Sponsor, Volunteer, and as a parent of FIRST teams. She has recruited teams of 175 Volunteers in support of FIRST events and activities. A successful entrepreneur, business owner and manager, Brown earned a bachelor of science in business administration from Central Missouri State University.
  • David Berggren, Assistant Regional Director, California - Berggren has served as a Senior Mentor for FIRST teams in southern California, is engineering instructor department chair for High Tech High in San Diego, Calif., and has championed the concept of engineering in the high school curriculum through real-world community work. Owner and engineer of Blue Chip Machine and Fabrication, he holds a B.S. in marine science technology from California State University’s Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif.

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and $14 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLLT) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious ProfessionalismT is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

Media Contacts:

Dennis Garrigan, FIRST