Meet the Planning Team
We’re immensely grateful to the amazing individuals who take time out of their busy work schedules to make ROBOTICON possible! Please join us in giving high fives and admiration to the fine folks highlighted here, who are pulling together a great ROBOTICON 2023 event!
Steve and Terri at ROBOTICON 2018
Steve and Terri Willingham
Steve and Terri started ROBOTICON in 2013 at the University of Tampa, when a previous Tampa off-season event was discontinued. With the help of amazing volunteers, sponsors and community partners, they’ve grown the event to one of the largest off-seasons and FIRST showcase events in the country, drawing over 4000 attendees over the last couple of seasons.
Together they have more than 30 years of experience working with FIRST programs, as volunteers, coaches, and mentors. Additionally, Terri served as Regional Director for FIRST in Central Florida for six years and Steve served as Florida FIRST Tech Challenge Judge Advisor for four years. They are also the founders of the nonprofit Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI), which organizes ROBOTICON.
Building off the success of ROBOTICON, in 2018 they founded the Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Center (AMRoC) Fab Lab, at University Mall in Tampa, near the University of South Florida. AMRoC Fab Lab is home to Florida’s only FIRST Robotics Center, with a full scale FIRST Robotics Competition field, FIRST Tech Challenge fields and FIRST LEGO League tables and resources. AMRoC Fab Lab also supports REC VEX programs and provides school to workforce training programs for all ages.
Scott with co-host and FIRST Alum Daniele Mendez, at ROBOTICON 2015
Scott Ertz is a FIRST Robotics Competition alumni from the early days of FRC, where he was a team member at Lakewood High School in Pinellas County, FL. Today, Scott is the founder and CEO of PLUGHITZ Corporation, a media company and technology consulting firm. PLUGHITZ has been ROBOTICON’s Media Partner since our inception in 2013.
Bryan at ROBOTICON 2019
Currently a student at Florida Atlantic University, Bryan Bautista is a FIRST alum from South Florida, and a long time ROBOTICON volunteer, serving as an game announcer and emcee, as well as supporting scoring and other field support during the off-season. This year, Bryan is organizing the ROBOTICON CAD Challenge and helping with overall event planning.
Eric at ROBOTICON 2019
Eric is a graduate of Kettering University and works as an Infrastructure Analyst at Beaumont Health. A FIRST alum, he has served as a FIRST Field Technical Advisor (FTA) since 2012. Last year he served as FTA at ROBOTICON and we’re grateful for his support again this year, as a member of the planning team.