FIRST Senior Mentor Program

Click to EnlargeDemand for FIRST has increased so rapidly and organically that it continues to face a growing challenge to sustain the infrastructure needed to support this growth. Founded in 2005, the FIRST Senior Mentor program prides itself in its cross-program, grass-roots approach. Through outreach events, expositions and demonstrations they are able to attract new Volunteers, Mentors and Coaches to sustain and support both rookie and veteran  teams. 

The FIRST Senior Mentor program is a critical addition to an organization that needs people on the ground, working in a hands-on environment, filling  in the gaps of support to whomever and whatever is needed. FIRST Senior Mentors, or FSMs, are both technical and non-technical individuals and bring  with them a vast array of background and experience.

FIRST Senior Mentors are recruited through a cross-program nomination process that occurs locally at the collaborative recommendation of their Regional Directors and Partners because of their previous relationships with FIRST Programs and their general understanding of the culture of FIRST. Most, if not all FSMs have had existing relations with FIRST as Team Mentors, Coaches or event Volunteers. They work in a part-time capacity, (10-15 hours per week), in constant communication and collaboration with each Program Lead; their area Regional Director, Regional/Planning/Operational Committees, Program Partners, and VISTA Volunteers (if applicable).

FIRST Senior Mentors


Name *click name to access bio

Contact Information

AR John Novak
AZ Armand Gahol
CA, Los Angeles Eileen Kahn
CA, Northern Los Angeles Ty Fredriks
CA, Northern Rob Greene
CA, San Diego Rick Sisk
CT Stacey Gray
DC  Don Brobst
DC Angie Fontanilla
FL, Gainesville Andrew Milluzzi
GA Linda Pham
IA Emmaly Burklund
IA Andy Marshall
IL Diane Cabiness
IN Lisa Beckwith
IN Keith Hall
KS/MO Jean Melech
KY Roger Riquelme
KY Jeff Slaton
LA Daniel Eiland
MA Dana Henry 
MD Dana Aucoin
MN Evan Hochstein
MN Laurie Shimizu
MO, St. Louis Henry Graham
MS Kevin McKone 
NC Fiona Last-Powell
NJ           Lou Okrent
NV Russel Evermann
NY Rebecca Wasmer
NY, Finger Lakes Ron Borden
OH Ted Hood
OR Debbie Kerr
PA, Eastern Ben Martin
PA, Eastern Doug Williamson

TN Sydney Buckner
TX, Brownsville Javier Saenz
TX, Dallas Joe Varnell
TX, Houston Brenda Meyer
TX, Lubbock George Tan
TX, Rio Grande Valley Veronica Baca
TX, San Antonio Mike Henry 
VA                                         Kristin Clemons
VA Kevin 'KP' Pardus
WA Eric VanBuren
WV Jaime Ford
AB, Calgary Craig Maynard
ON, Greater Toronto  Paul Keenan
ON, North Bay Nancy Dewar-Stenning
ON, Southern George Chisholm
ON, Southern Lynn Rampertab
ON, Windsor Sheri Lynn Koscielski
Québec Serge Audet

Senior Mentors strengthen and expand FIRST partnerships with businesses, educational institutions, and communities. In doing so, the Senior Mentor program has moved us closer to achieving the goal of FIRST - to change society by providing youth with experiences that give them not just the skills, but also the desire, to solve problems through scientific and technological innovation.

Read more about becoming a FIRST Senior Mentor.

Read the FIRST Senior Mentor bios.

Read about the FIRST Senior Mentor Emeritus group.

Read about our Ask an Expert Calls for rookie teams, Mentors and Coaches, cross-program.