District Model: Coming in 2014
You may have heard the rumors about New England moving to a “District Model” for the FIRST Robotics Competition… Well, we are going to make it official: The six states of New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) have organized into the New England Region and will be implementing the District Model for this coming 2014 FRC season.
We are very excited about this transition and all the great things this brings to our New England FRC teams. We believe the District Model will deepen the experience of FRC with many benefits including:
- Same Registration Fee, more events – teams will be able to participate in at least two qualifying events for the same registration fee of one Regional
- Reduced event costs – event costs will be reduced, allowing more events to be implemented and offering teams the opportunity to play closer to home
- Improved development model – since event costs will be lower, our fundraising activities can be more focused on providing team funding, increasing the accessibility of FRC
A new 501(c)3 not-for-profit pubic charity, ingenuityNE™, has been formed to organize and implement the District Model and focus on operations and development in the six New England states.
To help promote FIRST, we will be operating FIRST programs in New England under the name “NE FIRST” or New England FIRST. This will allow us to use the wonderful exposure and brand recognition that FIRST has built throughout New England. Overtime, as ingenuityNE™ we expect to be able to grow and offer support services to our New England teams, including student scholarships, team support grants for struggling teams, internship opportunities for our students with our sponsors, and alumni programs for FIRST alumni in New England.
There are still many details to be worked out, and we will share more information as it becomes available. We are preparing a message that will be sent out to FRC Team Leaders in the next week. We will also post that message here on our webpage (nefirst.org).
In order to make sure this transition is successfully accomplished, we want to make sure we have a professional and dedicated team working to make this happen.
We are excited to announce the appointment of Bruce Linton as the Executive Director of ingenuityNE™.
Many of you may know Bruce from his previous role at FIRST Headquarters in New Hampshire. Bruce has been on loan from FIRST and working with us over the last two months focused on development activities. In this new role Bruce will serve as the focal point in overseeing ingenuityNE™ operations, coordinating the activities of the Board, Operations Committee, Regional Directors and countless volunteers. Bruce spent seven years with FIRST in a variety of roles as a member of the senior management team including Field Operations, Development, Volunteer Resources and IT. We feel that this experience will make him a great resource to the ingenuityNE™ team as we ramp up operations including fundraising, events and program growth. Prior to joining FIRST, Bruce spent 25 years in leadership positions in growth companies in the information technology and communications industry. During that time, he has held a variety of executive leadership positions in the fast changing of industries of wireless communications, the internet and technology-based corporate education and training.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the Q&A section here on the NE FIRST website (registration is required). We are constantly monitoring our site, and will answer your questions as best we can.
We are very excited to see the FIRST program grow and develop and believe that 2014 is going to be a fun and exciting year for all.
Board of Directors – Bob Sobolewski (Chairman & President), Marie O’Brien (Vice President), Michael Sperber (Vice President)
Roseann Stevens, Vice President – Field Operations