Dominique Deweese, Outreach & Volunteer Manager
Dominique Deweese joined the ORTOP office in 2017 and currently leads the volunteer recruitment and training programming for ORTOP. Experienced in community programming, Dominique is participating in a formal nonprofit manager’s training program and is focusing class projects on scopes of work that advance his knowledge of volunteer program development and management. Mr. Deweese manages the monthly volunteer orientation schedule and has completed extensive outreach presentations keeping the community informed of ORTOP’s mission and relevancy int he community.
Jacie Fortune, Operations Manager
Jacie Fortune has a background in process systems development which serves her well in her current ORTOP capacity. Mrs. Fortune manages multiple operations processes and drives that advancement of information improvement across staff and programs serving at ORTOP. Ms. Fortune’s role actively integrates issues that impact team billing, database design, and grant allocation reporting.
Debbie Kerr, FIRST Robotic Competition Program Manager
Debbie Kerr has been involved with FIRST since 2007 when her oldest son joined FIRST LEGO League. What started out as a fun activity to support her children’s love of STEM has blossomed into a wonderful life. She began as a parent volunteer and has never left. In 2012, she began working as a Senior Mentor by supporting FIRST in the Portland area. Kerr graduated from BYU in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science and a minor in Business.
Don Nelson, Grant Manager
Don Nelson joined ORTOP in 2016, as an INTEL Encore! volunteer. After his successful tenure, Mr. Nelson was invited to assist ORTOP in a focused position on grant applications and reporting. Mr. Nelson’s leadership capacity and experience at INTEL has served him well as he advances the relationships and tools to cultivate several corporate, community, and private foundations. Besides grant writing, Don is an avid photographer, and has recently achieved authoring a technical resource for those in the photography industry.
David Perry, Executive Director
David has been active with FIRST long before starting his official capacity as Executive Director of ORTOP in November of 2016. Mr. Perry worked as an educator in OMSI’s Vernier Technology Lab and refined his knowledge of technology programming and partnerships when in OMSI’s official liaison role with ORTOP. Helping launch FIRST LEGO League Jr and FIRST Tech Challenge in Oregon he was an instrumental volunteer leader and FIRST LEGO League coach in addition to acting as an Emcee at the FIRST Robotics Competition regional championships. Mr. Perry is a respected advocate of statewide STEM alliances and brings partnership opportunities, quality evaluation, and collaboration to his leadership approach.
Jennifer Pollock, Consultant
Jennifer was a FIRST Americorps VISTA serving with ORTOP. She continues to work in a consultative capacity and has more than 15 years of volunteering experience with FIRST, as well as 2 years on a FIRST LEGO League team. In June 2017, Jennifer graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Oregon State University. While at OSU, she acted as the FIRST LEGO League Manager in the OSU Robotics Club, as well as the Tournament Director for the Corvallis Area FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Tournament in December 2016. She looks forward to helping expand all four programs throughout the state of Oregon, to places and populations we haven’t reached yet.
Cathy Swider, Program Manager – FIRST Tech Challenge
Cathy Swider has been part of ORTOP since 2001. Starting as a member of the ORTOP FIRST LEGO League Planning Committee her involvement quickly led to coaching a FIRST LEGO League team for three years. As the first ORTOP Program Manager she oversaw FIRST LEGO League and brought FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST LEGO League Junior on board in 2006. In 2010, Mrs. Swider was recognized as the FIRST LEGO League World Festival Volunteer of the Year with a trophy and a life size Flat Cathy and recognized by Dean Kamen for her outstanding commitment to FIRST. She is in the Daughters of the American Revolution Significant Women in American History registry for her work to engage young women in STEM. Currently, Cathy is “Team Mom” to the 200 FIRST Tech Challenge teams as the FIRST Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner.
Sarah Tenney, Director of Development and Communications
Sarah Tenney started assisting the ORTOP staff in the Fall of 2018. With an extensive background in for-profit and non-profit business development, Ms. Tenney is tasked with growing the statewide fund development campaigns and programs, activating the Board Development & Communications Committee, and leading the preparations for the 20th Anniversary Campaign in 2021. As a CFRE certified professional fundraiser, Tenney enjoys seeing the FIRST team create and develop their plans to support their team funding efforts as well as visiting statewide community events to celebrate and promote the ORTOP Annual Recognition & Supporter Program for statewide partners.
Loridee Wetzel, Program Manager – FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League
Loridee Wetzel participated in a leadership capacity for FIRST programming in the 4-H extension office in Idaho, before joining the ORTOP operations in Oregon. Ms. Wetzel manages two programs, both FIRST LEGO League Jr. and FIRST LEGO League, as well as active in the community in several volunteer and service capacities. In this capacity she has several events to operate. In her spare time, she is actively learning ASL and facilitates several social media and web-based communication tasks to keep more than 600 teams in both programs informed and up to speed.