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Board of Directors

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John Pedicone

John serves as the President of GFS, since its pre-launch in 2018. John is the founder and developer of MathBee and has been the chief officer of the program since 2011.

 

John has been a Computer Engineer for Synopsys, Inc.  for the past 23 years in the consulting services division. His main expertise is in the design of computer chips for advanced technologies including ultrasound, cell phones, the internet, and computer graphics.  John has held both technical and leadership roles in the industry at Synopsys and also at General Electric and Lockheed Martin. He has extensive volunteer and organizational experience as a math tutor, a founder of the Math Bee and the Robotics program over the past 9 years. His passion for math drew him to found MathBee in order to create excitement for math among ALL students. With the goal to enhance math skills and student’s confidence, while at the same time providing opportunity for talented students to gain district wide recognition for their accomplishments.

   

Lawrence Johnson

Lawrence serves as GFS board member and Robotics area lead since November 2019.

 

Lawrence Johnson a Procurement Quality Engineer for Jet Propulsion Laboratory. As a Procurement Quality Engineer Lawrence works with JPL suppliers to ensure flight worthy hardware is delivered to JPL. Lawrence has over 20 years’ experience in the space industry and is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Lawrence is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Lawrence focuses on several core values learned from USMC leadership which he applies in the workplace; courage (having the ability to stand up for what is right and accept when accept faults), integrity (strive to do the right thing, even when you think no one is looking), and judgement (to think about things clearly, calmly, and in an orderly manner so that you can make good decisions). Growing up in underprivileged communities and having the opportunities to work on satellites, space probes, and other scientific equipment Lawrence believes in paying it forward and this is the reason he joined Go Full STEAM to inspire young children to get involved in robotics. 

Fred White

Fred serves as GFS board member, and HR area lead since March 2019.

 

Fred brings with him over forty years of executive work experience in a corporate environment. He had recently retired as Senior Director and Ombudsperson at Universal Orlando Resort. Fred Held numerous leadership positions specializing in Human Resources and Developed and designed strategic programs that supported and promoted a high performing and inclusive workforce. His extensive work experience, leadership and prior community service involvements provides tremendous positive contribution to GFS and added value both as a collaborator and as a role model.

Fred is committed to supporting under-resourced youth especially in providing opportunities to enhance their STEM related skills and knowledge. He sees the great opportunity in GFS to reach kids that may have no other avenue to enhance their knowledge of STEAM programs.

 

Renée Schneider

Renee has served as a board member of Go Full Steam since April 2020. Renée is the founder and developer of ArtWorks-Orlando and has been the chief officer and instructor of ArtWorks since 2003. Renée is a proud member of the Go Full Steam Founder’s Circle

 

Renee spent six years as a public-school teacher before leaving teaching to attend Virginia Commonwealth University and pursue a degree in Communication Arts and Design. Upon completion Renée was hired by the Walt Disney Company and spent over ten years working first as an Art Director then as a Design Manager. As Design Manager she hired, supervised and art directed a staff of ten designers and managed a million-dollar design budget. Renée and her team completed projects for the Disney Parks and Resorts, and Disney Cruise Line.

 

Since leaving Disney Renée has used her artistic talents and teaching skills to help children who are hurting, launching ArtWorks-Orlando in 2003. Since 2003 ArtWorks has brought the healing power of the arts to over 1,500 disadvantaged children. Renée also currently serves on the board for the Winter Garden Art Association and initiated, developed and leads their community outreach for disadvantaged children. Renée’s work has been recognized by a Jefferson Award for Outstanding Community Service, a Women of Distinction Award and a $23,000 grant from Dr. Phillips Charities.

David Russell

David joined GFS as a board member during the 4th quarter of 2022 and will be assuming financial/treasurer responsibilities early in 2023.

David brings with him o
ver 45 years of executive work experience primarily focused on international marketing and business development with GE and Lockheed Martin.  His last 24 years with Lockheed Martin focused on identifying and implementing creative economic solutions that would benefit and encourage foreign governments to purchase US defense products.  His work experience encompassed engagement and coordination across finance, legal, logistics, compliance, regulatory, engineering, and other internal disciplines that give him a broad perspective and better understanding of the importance of good communication working with a high-performance inclusive team.  David retired from Lockheed Martin in July 2021 and is focused on identifying various ways he can give back to his community. As a new volunteer of GFS, he became active supporting the 2022 Math Bee activities and looks forward to expanding his engagement with this and other GFS initiatives.

David currently serves as a reading tutor to second grade students and is a mentor to a fifth grader at Maxey Elementary School in Winter Garden. He is committed to working with disadvantaged youth and in any other ways that will benefit the Orlando/Winter Garden area.  In addition, he actively supports a variety of local and national charities through volunteering and financial support including 2nd Harvest Food Bank, National Cathedral, USO, Michael J Fox Foundation and others.

Mariam Mengistie

Mariam joined St. Luke’s in 2008 as a staff and congregation member. She now serves as Executive Director of Missions. Her primary responsibilities include: developing strategies for community-based food sovereignty initiatives, affordable housing and financial stability of families with low income; building networks with community partners and stakeholders for collective impact, training volunteers and community partners in fundamentals of cross-cultural partnership and effective poverty alleviation strategies. 

Originally from Ethiopia, Mariam has diverse work experience in the field of international development aid. She worked as Program and Communication manager for international and regional non-profit organizations in Ethiopia, mainly building networks of local, regional, international non-profit organizations, UN and government agencies working in relief, rehabilitation and development programs. After obtaining a Master of Arts degree in Alternative Development Strategies from the Institute of Social Studies in The Netherlands, she worked as an Advocate and Development Aid Policy Adviser to members of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

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