Note from Theresa Klemme,
As we start 2019, its time to officially say goodbye and thank you to Gigi Johnson as she moves on from FIRST and LAFTC Robotics to invest her time in other educational endeavors outside of FIRST.
As many of you know, Gigi played a critical role in organizing the LAFTC infrastructure, making us more official with proper balance sheets, registration processes, and team communications (just to name a few items!). She was a MEMORABLE Emcee in her dinosaur costume and was the face of LAFTC! She poured her heart and soul into this organization for several years and I am grateful for her leadership and the impact she has left our group.
As we move forward, I am happy to introduce our new President of Next Careers and FIRST Los Angeles Affiliate Partner, Arabian Prince, who has taken over Gigi’s role at the 501c3. Arabian is on the NEXT Careers board, and graciously agreed to be President. He is heavily involved with regional STEM and also is president of an incubator called Inov8 Next Open Labs. Arabian also is well known for his Rock N Roll Hall of Fame work with the band NWA, and his continuing involvement with technology and music. Arabian will be working with the board on increasing fundraising and staffing support in the coming 1-2 years. Now that the region has grown beyond 160 teams, it is in a transition to expand its funding and staffing for continuing growth. The LAFTC Committee is excited for the energy Arabian will bring and the growth strategies he can help enable.
I will continue as co-Affiliate Partner Rep for the Los Angeles region (and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon!). Patrick Brophy, who has been involved from the Palmdale Aerospace Academy as a mentor/teacher/event host for several years, has stepped up as the second co-Affiliate Partner Rep. I know Patrick and I will make a great team and represent Los Angeles well with FIRST HQ.