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 13.1M Promise Cards to 178 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.

Invite Alex to speak at your event


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.

Invite Kay to speak at your event


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.


Keith Schindler

Director of Speaking Engagements
Keith joined because I said I would in August of 2020 as the Director of Speaking Engagements. Keith is a highly experienced Account Executive and Manager. He comes from a background in software and technology sales focusing on building meaningful relationships, client engagement, and finding a solution that fits the need. His main focus is connecting with as many people and organizations as possible to spread the because I said I would message. As a native of Northeast OH, Keith is a huge Ohio State Buckeyes fan and avid outdoorsman.In his spare time you will find him doing just about anything to be outside enjoying nature. Keith lives in Columbia Station, OH with his girlfriend and two miniature dachshunds Hunter and Wyatt.

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.

 

 

 


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

Part-Time

Meg Ostrowksi

Office Associate

Meg is an Office Associate supporting staff with writing, editing, data maintenance, order processing, speaking engagement logistics, inventory management, product forecasting, vendor research and office maintenance. 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.

 

 

 

 

Aaron Botos

 Speaking Engagement Personnel Manager

Aaron is currently in his senior year of college studying psychology at Cleveland State University. He first learned heard about Alex Sheen and the because I said I would when he was in high school. After undergrad, Aaron plans on furthering his education by attending graduate school to study Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Aaron values great communication and organization in the workplace along with making the workday as positive as possible.

 

 


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.

 

 

 


Alyssa Bowen

Human Resources Intern

Alyssa is a junior at Michigan State University studying Sociology with minors in Spanish and Leadership of Organizations. She intends to pursue a career in Human Resources upon graduating and hopes to combine her knowledge of Sociology with her HR internship experiences to advocate for marginalized groups and promote a safe and inclusive work environment. Outside of her coursework, Alyssa interns as the Internal Affairs Director for DoneWaiting and is the President of the Undergraduate Sociological Association at Michigan state University. In her free time, she enjoys thrift shopping, playing piano, and spending time with friends!

 


Sarah Strom

Human Resources Intern

Sarah Strom is a junior at Southern New Hampshire University pursuing a major in psychology. In the future, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in
Industrial-Organizational Psychology. At Southern New Hampshire University, she is a part of the Mental Health Awareness Club and the Psychology Club. She was born and raised in Russia, prior to moving to the United States. Outside of work and school, Sarah enjoys playing video games, exercising, hiking, and reading. She was drawn to because I said I would because of their mission statement of promises made, promises kept. Sarah is passionate about giving back to communities and positively impacting humanity

 

 


Alex Hsu

Human Resources Intern

Alex Hsu is a second-year graduate student at Montclair State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in I-O Psychology. He prefers to stay at home but has spent many summers in locations outside of the U.S. including Shanghai, HongKong, and Tokyo. He often reads in his spare time and has a strong interest in zoological matters.

 

 

 


Jake Howard

Character Education Intern

Jake Howard is a senior Communications major with minors in Education and Writing at Wake Forest University. Jake hopes to further his degree with a master’s in Education with the goal of being an elementary school teacher following his time as a student. In addition to his coursework, Jake is a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, president of Plead the Fifth acapella group, and a writer for the Old Gold and Black.
Through his time as a Character Education Intern, Jake hopes to continue the work of education, promises, and the betterment of humans that is being done at because I said I would.

 

 


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

Alumni

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.