The people behind the 'bots. The people behind the ‘bots.

Meet the people behind the ‘bots.

We are a group of people with vastly different experience and expertise. When we’re not in awe of all that our students have created and accomplished, we’re busy doing one thing: fueling their love of robotics with the support of an entire community.

Our Team

Daryl Davidson
Daryl Davidson
Executive Director

The Head Human.

Having overseen RoboNation since the beginning, Daryl blends RoboNation’s history with new industry trends and a splash of fun. When he’s not throwing out his next big idea, he is sure to be spreading laughter with one of his legendary dad jokes.

Norma Floriza
Norma Floriza
Finance and Administration Director

The Master of Money Magician.

After a lifetime of vast experience in the nonprofit world, Norma has a keen eye for numbers, keeps the company afloat, all while having some fun along the way. When she’s not neck-deep in spreadsheets, she’s enjoying a nice lunch in the metropolitan area.

Janelle Curtis
Janelle Curtis
Strategy and Business Development Director

The Creator of Opportunities.

Whether it is pulling in sponsors or developing the next big project, Janelle is always up to something and aims to create the best opportunities for the RoboNation community. Catch Janelle starring in the upcoming, highly-anticipated sequel, “Sleepless in San Diego.”

Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel
University Programs Director

The….. We’re still figuring this one out.

Hitesh challenges himself to provide stellar support to the RoboNation community. Striving to bring real-world applications to the RoboNation competitions, Hitesh uses each day to improve and develop the challenges students face. Whether he is off traveling or in front of his computer, he always makes himself available to answer questions or provide support.

Lindsey Groark
Lindsey Groark
Pre-University Programs Director

The Mastermind of Initiative.

As one of RoboNation’s newest additions, Lindsey has developed an initiative to foster a strong STEM community, collaborate with education and research specialists, and bring advancements to the SeaPerch SeaGlide and SeaSense kits. To fuel her initiative, Lindsey enjoys a nice cup of iced coffee and a lot of teamwork.

Cheri Koch
Cheri Koch
Senior Events Manager

The Experience Orchestrator.

Dedicated to improving the experience at each event, Cheri has been organizing events for RoboNation for over 7 years. If you have been to any RoboNation event, you’ll know Cheri goes above and beyond to create extraordinary experiences. When she’s not answering to Cheri, she’ll also answer to RoboMom.

Lydia Bae
Lydia Bae
Administrative and Human Resources Manager

The Organization Oracle.

With a knack for order, Lydia spends her time organizing and handling administrative functions. Always up for efficiency, if Lydia doesn’t know how to do something she’ll come back the next day proficient and ready to tackle any problem. When Lydia is not redesigning her house, she’s enjoying friends and family.

David Young
David Young
Product Manager

The Master Tinkerer.

After completing a Naval engineering career, David has retired to a job of designing and tinkering products here at RoboNation. Always looking for ways to improve the SeaPerch and SeaGlide kits, David often works faster than we can keep up with. Between thinking up course designs for the SeaPerch Challenge, you can find him testing a modified SeaPerch in his pool or out taking a run.

Julianna Smith
Julianna Smith
Outreach Specialist

The Communications Ringleader.

Between posting online, creating materials, or providing answers and resources, Julianna works to provide a place for RoboNation’s community. When Julianna isn’t collecting new ideas, she enjoys traveling to meet all the people that make up the RoboNation community and capturing their stories.

Laverne Imori
Laverne Imori
Customer Service Coordinator

The Support Ninja.

Laverne provides the support each customer needs to put in their kit orders, handling each shipping hiccup with ease and providing a response with poise. You almost won’t notice she’s checking off each and every inquiry, all while improving processes and documenting it all. You’ll never be disappointed by the work or stealth Laverne brings to the table.

Cheryl Hedeen
Cheryl Hedeen
Community Engagement Coordinator

The Community Champion.

After being involved with the SeaPerch community for over 5 years, Cheryl has continued to build the STEM communities at RoboNation. Cheryl works on building regions, making connections and showcasing what our community is up to, all with a smile on her face. Growing up in the south, Cheryl has an unbeatable skill for having the best sayings.

Our Board of Directors

Gene Fraser
Gene Fraser
Chairman of the Board | Northrop Grumman Corporation
Robert Brown
Robert Brown
Treasurer of the Board | SAIC
Peter Bale
Peter Bale
Sentinel Robotic Solutions LLC
Kenneth Berry
Kenneth Berry
Southern Methodist University
John Waickwicz
John Waickwicz
Rite-Solutions
Suzy Young
Suzy Young
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Raashi Quattlebaum
Raashi Quattlebaum
Accenture
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Our History

RoboNation, Inc. (previously known as AUVSI Foundation) began operation in 2009 with generous support from AUVSI, the world’s largest industry organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics.

Today, RoboNation is an independent, tax exempt, 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to provide a pathway of hands-on educational experiences that empower students to find innovative solutions to global challenges. 

Although RoboNation is a separate organization, the partnership with AUVSI remains strong. AUVSI continues to encourage its members and chapters to invest in their own future by getting involved with RoboNation.  This unique relationship allows students at the earliest ages to understand that a career in robotics is a possibility, helping motivate them to pursue studies and hands-on experience with a career in STEM in mind.

RoboNation students of today are the future workforce for AUVSI’s member companies and the robotics industry overall.

Partners & Sponsors

Does all of this sound awesome? Find out more.

There is a spot for you at RoboNation. Before you start asking the big questions that will revolutionize the field of robotics, let’s start with some simple ones. Like your name, email and area of interest.

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