MANCHESTER, N.H.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international K-12 not-for-profit organization that inspires young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, today announced the election of three new members to the FIRST Board of Directors. With programs that serve students ages 6 to 18, FIRST has exposed millions of young people around the globe to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math.
The new board members, valued supporters of FIRST, include: Virginia Addicott, president and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, Inc., in Green, Ohio; David Siegel, co-chairman of Two Sigma Investments in New York City; and Dr. Vincent Wilczynski, deputy dean of the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
“We are thrilled to welcome three highly respected leaders to the FIRST Board of Directors,” said Bob Tuttle, co-chair of the FIRST Board and chair of the FIRST Governance Committee. “Virginia’s award-winning business leadership talent, built from her various roles at FedEx – a FIRST Strategic Partner – will be an invaluable resource for the Board. As both a prominent investment executive and a member of the FIRST NYC Board, David contributes to the success of FIRST programs in New York City in many ways, and he will undoubtedly bring that same commitment to the FIRST Board. And Vince’s STEM education experience and vast knowledge of FIRST – developed through more than twenty years of supporting our organization, most recently as co-chair of the FIRST Executive Advisory Board – have already made him a critical asset to FIRST. On the Board, their expertise will help FIRST broaden its reach and open new educational and career pathways to more students.”
The FIRST Board is comprised of a cross-section of leaders from business, government, education, and the sciences that have the fiduciary responsibility to provide strategic direction and organizational oversight for all the activities of FIRST. The Governance Committee of the FIRST Board of Directors periodically reviews candidates to nominate individuals who will bring the most to the organization and the Board in terms of experience and expertise to support the longer-term strategic objectives of FIRST.
New FIRST Board members appointed in 2017 are:
Virginia Addicott, President & CEO, FedEx Custom Critical, Inc.
Virginia Addicott is president and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, a leading North American expedited freight carrier based in Green, Ohio. The company provides 24/7 service throughout the United States, Canada, and internationally, delivering hundreds of thousands of critical shipments each year.
Virginia joined FedEx Custom Critical in 1986 and quickly worked her way up the ranks, holding director positions in various departments where she placed a strong focus on organizational culture, customer satisfaction, and developing people. In each role, Virginia used technology to improve productivity. By streamlining processes, she has improved efficiency and enhanced communication capabilities to move the company forward.
Virginia has been recognized for her leadership both at work and in the community. In recent years, she has been inducted into the Northeastern Ohio Business Hall of Fame (2013), received the Women of Power Award from the Akron Urban League (2013), and received the Leadership Excellence Award from the National Diversity Council (2014). She has also been named to the Inside Business Power 100 list for the past five years (2011-2015) and the Crain’s Cleveland Business Power 150 (2014). Virginia was also named honorary chair for the 2015 Bridgestone Invitational Tournament, the first-ever woman to be named honorary chairperson for the tournament.
Virginia earned a Bachelor of Science degree (‘85) and an EMBA (‘95) from Kent State University. In 2013 she was appointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich to the Kent State Board of Trustees. She also serves on several other boards to benefit the Northeast Ohio community, including Akron Children’s Hospital and Akron Community Foundation.
FedEx is a FIRST Strategic Partner and one if its generous supporters. Virginia was initially exposed to FIRST through her role at FedEx when she attended the FIRST Championship. Inspired by her FIRST experience, Virginia returned home and initiated robotics programs at her children’s school. She still supports the robotics programs, and both of her children have participated on FIRST® Tech Challenge teams.
David Siegel, Co-Chairman, Two Sigma Investments
David Siegel is a computer scientist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is co-founder and co-chair of Two Sigma Investments, LP.
Inspired by movies like “2001: A Space Odyssey,” David was drawn to the nascent field of computer science at a young age, quickly developing a deep interest in programming. By the mid-1970s, at age 12, he was building memory and logic boards and learning to program a supercomputer at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. As a freshman in high school, he also taught a programming course to high school students at an NYU summer program.
This early interest in computers sparked a life-long passion for building intelligent computational systems, reflecting a lasting belief in technology's potential to improve virtually every human endeavor.
After graduating from Princeton, David received a Ph.D. in computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he conducted research at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. David went on to co-found Two Sigma, an algorithmic investment manager that applies cutting-edge technology to the data-rich world of finance.
David's philanthropic efforts underscore his continuing belief in the power and promise of science and technology. Computational thinking, in David's view, is a powerful way of approaching complex problems and represents a new kind of literacy – a vibrant mode of expression that becomes more relevant with every passing year.
As such, David currently sits on the board of several leading organizations at the intersection of technology and creativity, including the MIT Corporation, Cornell Tech, Carnegie Hall, the Scratch Foundation (which he co-founded), and Stanford's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
David, Two Sigma, and Siegel Family Endowment have all supported FIRST in New York City in a variety of ways since 2008. David serves as co-chair of the NYC FIRST Board, and he served on the inaugural “FIRST, Inspire” Gala Committee in 2015, was an honoree in 2016, and is chairing the 2017 Gala Committee. David’s daughter participates on a FIRST® LEGO® League team.
Vincent Wilczynski, Deputy Dean, Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, Yale University
Dr. Vincent Wilczynski has served as the deputy dean of the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science since 2010. In this role, he is responsible for planning and implementing all academic initiatives and overseeing the engineering school’s teaching resources and faculties. Previously, Vince was the dean of Engineering at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He retired with the rank of captain and has also served as a vice president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). His teaching skills have been cited by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Vince has been an extraordinary volunteer for FIRST since 1994. He started and mentored a FIRST® Robotics Competition team in Groton, Connecticut, in 1994. Vince used his sabbatical leave from the Coast Guard Academy in early 1999 to serve as the FIRST Robotics Competition program director. In late 1999, he helped FIRST with exploration of a concept that turned into today’s FIRST LEGO League program. Then in 2004, he piloted a summer outreach program in Connecticut that trialed the initial version of the FIRST Tech Challenge kit. Vince served on the FIRST Robotics Competition Game Design Committee for 10 years and has been a critical part of creating the Showcase Presentation at the FIRST Championship since 2001. Dr. Wilczynski has also co-authored three books on innovative engineering in FIRST. Most recently, Vince served as co-chair of the FIRST Executive Advisory Board.
Vince holds a B.S. from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from The Catholic University of America.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.firstinspires.org