Mentors

Our amazing team of mentors.


Mentor Facts

Total Years FIRST Experience:   160+ Years

Woodie Flowers Finalist Award Winners: 3


George Chisholm

Years in FIRST14
Skill Set: Design, Build (machine work, welding), Administration, Logistics, Purchasing, Joe Jobs
Awards: Woodie Flowers Finalist Award – Waterloo Regional 2011

Mr. Chisholm graduated from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Geography and from the University of Toronto with a degree in Education and taught in the tech area at Oakville Trafalgar High School for 30 years until retiring in 2009.  In 2003, he was a founding mentor of FIRST Team 1334, The Red Devils.  In 2015, Mr. Chisholm was delighted to be part of a great group that started FIRST Team 1360, Orbit Robotics.  They’ve never looked back.  He is also a FIRST Senior Mentor for Southern Ontario.  Outside of volunteering with Oakville Community FIRST Robotics, Mr. Chisholm is President of the Oakville Historical Society, co-chair of the property committee at his church and he is a Scottish Country and Longsword Dancer.  Mr. Chisholm was the Commanding Officer of the local Army Cadet Corps off and on for 21 years and he is a member of the United Empire Loyalists Association.

Jim Wilks

Years in FIRST: 10
Skill Set: Electrical, Pneumatics, Common Sense
Awards: Woodie Flowers Finalist Award – Greater Toronto West Regional 2012

Mr. Wilks is an electrical engineer by training and he graduated from the University Of Waterloo many years ago. His first career was at Hatch in Mississauga, where he was involved in a wide variety of consulting engineering projects. Mr. Wilks’ second career is at Mohawk College in Hamilton, where he teaches Electrical Engineering Technology. He enjoys all aspects of FIRST, both technical and otherwise and he has filled many volunteer positions at FIRST events, including Lead Robot Inspector and Judge. His hobby is collecting, restoring and (of course) playing pinball machines from the 1960’s to the present.

Greg Chisholm

Years in FIRST: 7
Skill Set: Design and Manufacturing

Greg is a CNC machinist by trade. His hobbies include kayaking, 3D printing, playing drums – drum kit and bagpipe band snare, and obviously, robotics.

Andrea Valenzuela

Years in FIRST12

Skill Set: Design, Machining, CAD, Electrical and Game Strategy.

When the opportunity for Andrea to join her school’s FIRST robotics team in grade 9 presented itself, she jumped at the opportunity. Her interests on the team began with purely manufacturing, but eventually the machinist became a designer too.  Andrea later used the communication skills learned from her robotics team when mentoring several FIRST robotics teams. Since graduating, she has been a FIRST robotics mentor every year, usually overseeing the manufacturing, design, and build aspect of every team she has worked with, as well as any administrative or organizational tasks that present themselves. By teaching CAD, aspects of mechanical design, and safe machine practices, she empowers her students to learn, solve problems, enjoy themselves, and engineer the most competitive robot possible.

David Battersby

Years in FIRST: 6
Skill Set: Electrical Engineering, Programming, Wiring, Manufacturing

Canadian Branch Manager of a major US Industrial Controls Company. Manage a staff of 15 Engineers and Electricians in the company’s Burlington, Ontario office. 35+ years working in Industries such as Power Generation and Distribution, Food and Beverage Automation, Automotive Assembly Automation, Robotics. Regularly act as a Judge for regional and Provincial FIRST LEGO league, Guest Judge at the 2014 International Invitational at U of T

Karen Kozma

Years in FIRST: 3
Skill Set: Programming, Electrical Engineering

Karen is a Professional Engineer and holds a Ph.D degree in Electrical and Computer Engineeringfrom the University of Toronto. Her Ph.D. thesis involved research in the design of microelectronic circuits for adaptive filtering and neural networks. She has been a lecturer at the University of Toronto for undergraduate and graduate courses in electronics and and has collaborated on leading university textbooks. Karen currently teaches physics, science and mathematics at Holy Name of Mary College School, Mississauga. She is passionate about encouraging young minds to confidently apply basic theoretical skills to real-life situations. Karen has been involved with FIRST for two years as a judge and  FLL coach. She is excited to be a part of the Oakville Community FIRST Robotics Team.

Jordan Earl

Years in FIRST: 12
Skill Set: Design, CAD, Mechanical, Electrical, Pneumatic

Jordan is a FIRST Alumi from now retired team 1565. He enjoys designing and developing strategies to be a strong competitive team. He is a International level athlete and Coach in Taekwondo and has been involved in FIRST since grade 9.

Diane Teare 

Years in FIRST: 1
Skill Set: Computer networks, Software, Project Management

Diane is a Professional Engineer, with a BASc (Electrical Engineering) and a MASc (Management Science), both from the University of Waterloo. She is currently a Content Engineer at Cisco Systems, developing courses related to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, and spent 20+ years teaching Cisco networking and project management courses.  Diane is a published author of eleven books with Cisco Press. Diane’s previous work experience included a few years on the International Space Station Project at an Engineering company in Toronto and Vancouver. Diane’s son is on the team and she is excited to be part of it too!

Brandon Jutras

Years in FIRST: 10
Skill Set: Electrical Design, Mechanical Design, Programming, CAD, Manufacturing

Studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and was part of the graduating class of 2016. Brandon is currently working for The Woodbridge Group in the Corporate Engineering department.

Allan Mertin

Years in FIRST: 1

 

Craig McMullin

Years in FIRST4
Skill Set: Program Management

Craig is a veteran of the Computer era, having worked (and continuing to work)  40+ years in the industry.  When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, he spends time working in the yard,  travelling when he can and is an avid reader of Tom Clancy style books.

Anthony Sulpizi

Years in FIRST: 8
Skill Set: Manufacturing Engineering

Professional Mechanical Engineer with many years experience as Plant Engineer in manufacturing plants. Worked with Duracell  Batteries, Dofasco , Stelco and Fisher & Ludlow.

Peter Lowes

Years in FIRST: 5
Skill Set: Fundraising, Team Organization, Leadership Development, Community Outreach

Peter Lowes is the retired Senior Vice President Bakery Division, Parmalat Canada. He regularly judges at both FRC regional and World Championship competitions. Peter is a guiding influence in developing team member’s leadership qualities including public speaking skills and sponsor presentations.

Pat George

Years in FIRST: 3
Skill Set: Fundraising, Grant Proposals, Administration and Organization

This is Mrs. George’s third year mentoring FIRST, although she have been volunteering in various capacities in the school system for 13 years. Having had two sons in the FIRST program for a number of years, she can attest to the positive influences it has had in shaping both their characters and futures. Mrs. George is enthusiastically looking forward to many more years of mentoring.

Deb Garland

Years in FIRST: 1
Skill Set: Organizational Development, Volunteer Management, Personal and Team Development

Mrs. Garland holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Development (University of Waterloo) and diplomas in Social Work (Waterloo), Volunteer Management (Humber College) and Ambulance and Emergency Care (Humber College). She is currently completing her studies toward her HR Leader certification (CHRL) through McMaster University.  Deb works at McMaster University, specializing in Organizational Development with the Human Resources team. She has a passion for travelling and learning about different cultures and lifestyles, enjoys nature and is a lifelong learner – always taking courses to learn new things. As a new mentor to the FIRST community, she is enjoying learning about the team’s work, the game, and the FIRST organization.

Dr. Amy Hamilton

Years in FIRST: 9
Skill Set: Documentation, FIRST Award Submissions, Grant Proposals, Outreach Organization

Amy Hamilton is a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and has mentored FRC in Oakville since 2008. She specialized in working with enthusiastic team members who wish to involve students of all ages in STEM activities through community outreach events, and works with students to prepare applications for FIRST awards.

Sandra Wilks

Years in FIRST: 4

I am the mother of 3 children, all  have an interest in technology.  My husband has been in FIRST for years, and now I’m part of that experience. I’ve been involved since 2014 and I am enjoying it. I’m primarily interested in the non-technical aspects of the team.

Pat Decker

Years in FIRST15
Skill Set: Outreach, FIRST Ambassador, Marketing, Herding Cats
Awards: Woodie Flowers Finalist Award – North Bay Regional 2014, Oakville Spirit Award Individual – 2014

After graduation from the University of Guelph, Mrs. Decker worked at a large engineering company for almost 20 years in all areas of Human Resources. One of her last portfolios was to bring greater awareness of and appreciation for careers in engineering, technology and trades to high school students. As a corporate sponsor, Mrs. Decker worked with two FIRST teams as a sponsor and parent. She was a founding mentor of the award winning FIRST Robotics Team at Oakville Trafalgar High School where she continued for 12 years.  Mrs. Decker enjoys working with a start-up operation and looks forward to bringing FIRST to a broader community.


Alumni

Andrew George

Years in FIRST9
Skill Set: CAD, SolidWorks
Program: Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University

Andrew is a FIRST Alumni now studying at McMaster University. He is a CAD specialist with experience in many different software packages. He is a member of the McMaster EcoCAR3 team and is planning on going into the automotive sector.

Rebecca Rayner

Years in FIRST: 6
Skill Set: Organization, Strategy, Media, Outreach and Awards submissions
Program: Management Engineering at the University of Waterloo

Rebecca is a Management Engineering student at the University of Waterloo, a program which focuses on optimizing and improving efficiency for engineering processes. She has had co-op experiences at Eventscape Inc, Manulife Financial and UPS Supply Chain Solutions. Rebecca joined FIRST as a student in grade 10 and is now an FRC mentor, FLL coach and a member of the University of Waterloo FIRST Planning Committee.

Cameron Swinoga

Years in FIRST8
Skill Set: Programming, Electrical, Pneumatics, CAD
Program: Mechatronics Engineering at McMaster University

Cameron is a FIRST Alumni studying mechatronics engineering at McMaster University.  He specializes in robotics, systems integration, and control theory.  He is a member of the McMaster EcoCAR3 team as part of the Controls and Simulation division and is planning to concentrate on using control theory in the workplace.

Stephen Atkinson