Our Team

Because I said I would owes so much of our success to our full time, part time employees, and especially our volunteers. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this movement what it is and what it will become.

Full-Time

Alex1a

Alex Sheen

Founder & CEO

Alex Sheen is the Founder of because I said I would, the international social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. Sparked by the loss of his father, Alex began sending promise cards to anyone who requested them at no cost. Since his father’s passing on September 4th, 2012, because I said I would has sent over 12.8M Promise Cards to over 153 countries. Alex’s commitment to the betterment of humanity has inspired millions around the world. The story of his promises have been shared virally throughout social media and international news.

Before his life as nonprofit leader, Alex was a Corporate Strategy Lead at Hyland Software, an organization featured in Fortune’s 2014 Best Companies to Work in the United States. As the youngest manager in a global company with over 1,500 employees, he established and managed Hyland’s corporate-wide Innovation Program. Alex decided to leave this life and pursue a life of philanthropy and service after the loss of his father.


Kimchi1a

Kimchi Sheen

Chief Promise Dog

Our office dog, Kimchi, is the daughter of our Founder, Alex Sheen. Her black and white colors match our brand and the essence of a promise perfectly. Promises are either kept or broken, there is no grey area. She loves to visit our rooms throughout the day for progress updates and official petting time. Kimchi spends her afternoons snoring on the office couch and dreaming of a world where everyone loved their fellow humans as much as they loved their pets. Kimchi is 12 years old, diabetic and a cancer survivor.

In her spare time, Kimchi enjoys snoozing, giving kisses, bringing each of us toys and cuddling with her mom.


Amanda1a

Amanda Messer

Co-Founder

Amanda Messer is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at because I said I would. At a young age Amanda learned the effect that promises broken have on relationships. Her father struggled with addiction and was not good with keeping his commitments to his little girl. Amanda was drawn to helping start because I said I would knowing that there are other children whose lives are deeply affected by broken promises. In November of 2013, Amanda became our first full-time employee after over a year of volunteering her time to the cause.

As Co-Founder, Amanda’s main role is to fill the gaps. Taking over any open position or task that the organization needs of her. From sales, to bookkeeping, HR, legal, facilities, and any other way that she can be helpful. Amanda feels that she is best at technology though. She manages all of because I said I would‘s tech from our website, our Salesforce administration, G Suite, printers, cell phones – you name it, Amanda will take it on. 🙂

Amanda’s tech journey started in high school with CompTIA A+ training, Cisco CCNA courses and an internship at NASA working in space experiments. From there she studied Electronics and Computer Technology at DeVry University. She started her full-time career in network security for a consulting and management firm then moved to a help desk role at a bank. She eventually landed at Hyland Software where she worked in the technical support, quality assurance and development departments during her time there. She helped start their usability team and was their first full-time usability specialist on staff. Amanda has also served as the Vice President for the Cleveland User Experience Professionals Association.

On September 5th, 2012, Amanda saw a Facebook post from fellow co-worker Alex Sheen. In that instance, she knew that she needed to be a part of because I said I would. Amanda would leave her promising career to pursue a passion she didn’t even know she had. Helping the world understand the importance of a promise.

Amanda is the youngest of five children and grew up in Lorain, OH. She currently resides in Lakewood, OH with her son, Trent, and her dogs, Miska (pronounced Meesh-ka), Rocket and Nacho.


Kay Spatafore

Chief Operating Officer & VP of Character Education

Kay Spatafore joined because I said I would in July of 2018 as the VP of Character Education. Kay is a seasoned educator with experience in educational administration, curriculum development, management, coaching and mentoring, and classroom instruction. Most recently, Kay was the Director of Programming for an educational nonprofit in Cleveland, OH where she developed programs for Middle school, high school, and parent engagement including internship programs and summer camps.

Kay is a native of Ohio but spent much of her adult life in California, where she was the Director of Fine Arts at a large southern CA high school. In that role, she participated in the development of state curriculum, created a Mentor teacher program, and pioneered programs in the Arts and classroom education.

In her spare time, Kay connects with her adult children, Dylan, Taylor, Katherine and Rhys, reads, writes, builds things and spends time outdoors with her two furry kids, Leo and Tug.


Heidi Bermudez – Martin

Executive Assistant to the Founder

Heidi Bermudez – Martin joined because I said I would in September of 2019 as the Executive Assistant to the Founder. Heidi is a highly experienced executive assistant, project coordinator and corporate trainer.
Prior to coming to because I said I would, Heidi was an Inflight Trainer for a major airline. She also worked 14 years with NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio in various administrative, educational and public relation roles.
As a native of South Lorain, Ohio, Heidi knows the need to inspire others to make positive changes for the betterment of their future. When she learned about because I said I would’s mission to better humanity through promises made and kept she knew it was something she must become involved with.
In her spare time, Heidi loves spending time with her adult children, Sinead, Hector Jr. (Chino), granddaughter Olivia, and teacup Chihuahua Roxy.


Paul McKinney

Director of Content Development

Paul likes to think of himself as a storyteller, and it’s through that lens that he views his work developing and refining Character Education content for a global audience. With a degree in Visual Communication and 10 years under his belt in the design industry, Paul’s mission is to lend his broad experience toward communicating the message of because I said I would by any means necessary, including print materials, web development, video production and animation.

Paul lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio with his wife Mercedes and his best friend Rufus.
 


Cassie Perez

Senior Program Impact Manager

Cassie is a Senior Program Impact Manager at because I said I would. She manages special projects, assists with Chapters across the country, developing relationships, leading meetings and weekly calls, and streamlining processes. Cassie received a degree in Apparel Merchandising and Product Development with a minor in Marketing from Bowling Green State University in 2013. Having worked in sales and merchandising for some time, she greatly enjoys being able to use her knowledge to work for an organization that helps others and can truly make a difference.

As a native of Lakewood, OH, Cassie heard of the movement by chance, stumbling upon our previous location on Detroit Ave. Looking up the movement online led to many hours watching promise stories and she joined the because I said I would team in September of 2015.

In her spare time she enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.


Monyett Tanzillo

Fulfillment Manager

Monyett is the Fulfillment Manager at because I said I would. She helps execute functions related to order processing, order shipment, and product management.

Prior to joining the organization full time, she was a volunteer and is a former adult chapter member.


Abby Diamond

Program Impact Manager

Abby brings her experience working with high school students and developing curriculum to her role as Program Impact Manager at because I said I would. Her work involves developing relationships with student leaders and advisers, streamlining processes, and leading meetings and weekly calls. She was drawn to the movement because of her commitment to bringing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and leadership training to students at a critically formative time in their lives.

Abby received her Bachelor of Arts from Boston College, majoring in Secondary Education and English. Prior to joining the team at because I said I would, Abby taught English at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron where she also advised students in the Student Ambassadors Program and Competitive Creative Writing Team.

Abby lives in Ohio City with her fiancé, Keith, and cat, Frank. In her spare time, Abby enjoys adventuring outdoors, traveling to exciting places, cheering on the Cleveland Indians, and trying as many local restaurants as possible.


Interested in joining our staff?
Check out our open opportunities!

Part-Time

Meg Ostrowksi

Office Associate

Meg is an Office Associate supporting staff with data maintenance, order processing, speaking engagement logistics, inventory management, product forecasting, vendor research and office upkeep. Initially a volunteer, Meg was drawn to because I said I would with a deep belief that promises made and kept build stronger relationships and reduce suffering. Meg makes a meaningful impact by serving the organization with her years of work, volunteer and life experience.


Megan Franciscus

Bookkeeper

Born and raised in Cleveland (Lakewood to be more specific), Ohio, Megan Franciscus graduated Lakewood High School and went on to obtain her Bachelor of Arts from Kent State University in International Relations.

While at Kent, she studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland where she interned at the United Nations during the International Human Rights Commission and studied French.

After college, she married and had 3 daughters. Working part time, to be able to be home with her children, she began doing accounting for local small businesses. The years flew by and now Megan now has more time on her hands to work outside the home.

Megan joined Because i said i would in the late summer of 2019 as Bookkeeper.

She is thrilled to be a part of the Because i said i would team. As she put it, “Being here brings me back full circle to my fundamental roots in human rights and humanity. I couldn’t be happier!”


Sung Beats

Beatboxer

Sung is an award-winning beatbox artist who has been exploring music with the human voice for over 13 years. Equipped with nothing but a microphone and a loop pedal, he samples his voice to produce high energy live beatbox music without any pre-recorded background music.

A veteran performer and 2014 Apollo Night Champion at the world famous Apollo Theater, Sung joined the because I said I would team with the purpose of artistically conveying the importance of a promise through his music. Sung often joins Alex in speaking engagements, using his musical talent to entertain audiences and as tool to further spread our message.

Sung currently lives in NYC. He enjoys showcasing his craft on YouTube and works tirelessly to push the boundaries of what is possible with the human voice.


Interested in joining our staff?
Check out our open opportunities!

Volunteers and Interns

Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Since 2012 we have distributed more than 11.3 million Promise Cards to over 150 different countries. We have also started Chapters around the United States and have created 7 Character Education Lesson Plans which are free to download. This would not have been possible without our volunteers.

Pat Bakos

Chief Volunteer

In 2014, Pat saw a newspaper article stating that because I said I would needed volunteers to count 10 cards that were being mailed to people who requested them. She has been volunteering ever since. Now Pat guides 2 wonderful groups of developmentally disabled adults who prepare the mailings. Pat states this is her favorite part of the week.

When she is not volunteering at because I said I would, Pat enjoys volunteering at other nonprofits, reading, selling her gem trees at craft shows and gardening.


Susan Rudman

Office Volunteer

Susan retired after many successful years as a human resources professional and wanted to remain involved with people. She heard about because I said I would after hearing Alex Sheen speak at Hospice of Western Reserve. Because I said I would kept her connected and involved in the mission. Every week Susan arrives at the office with a smile and ready to help out with promise cards, enter data and lend a hand anywhere.


Interested in joining our staff?
Check out our open opportunities!