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.


Anne Madigan

Director of Speaking Engagements

Anne is the Director of Speaking Engagements/Senior Account Executive/Speaking Engagements at
because I said I would. Anne works with organizations and speaker bureaus who are searching for a
keynote speaker for their event. She facilitates all the details to ensure that the keynote is effective, and
that the presentation is flawless whether in person or virtual.
Anne earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in Marketing and
International Business from Bowling Green State University. Prior to joining because I said I would she
had experience working with companies in need of exhibits for tradeshows and conferences, as well as
experience planning and executing private events.
An Ohio native, Anne enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and letting off steam at Cedar Point. She
also enjoys traveling, exercise, and working on her golf game. She has a cat (Skye) who prefers that she
nap as often as possible.


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.

 

 

 


Samantha Blair

Corrections Program Manager

Samantha is the Corrections Program Manager at because I said I would. She assists with the
development and implementation of the organization’s programming in prison settings.
Samantha earned her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Michigan State University, her
Master’s degree in clinical psychology from the Michigan School of Psychology, and continued
her education to earn a graduate certificate in forensic criminology from the University of
Massachusetts Lowell. Prior to joining because I said I would, she had experience working as a
mental health professional in jails and detention centers providing crisis counseling, case
management, and forensic evaluations for inmates.
Samantha lives in Michigan and enjoys reading, baking, and training her two dogs (Zero and Tia)
in her free time.


Kenzie Zauner

Logistics and Administrative Assistant

Kenzie Zauner joined because I said I would In December 2021 as a logistics and administrative assistant. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cleveland State University in August of 2020. With a background in the music industry, Kenzie is excited to use her skills and knowledge at an organization that does so many incredible things.

Kenzie first discovered because I said I would when Alex did a speaking event at North Olmsted High School, where she graduated in 2016. She has been following the organization since. In her spare time, Kenzie loves to stay active. Everyone that knows Kenzie, knows that volleyball is a huge part of her life. She has been playing for sixteen years and still plays at a competitive level. She has also coached club volleyball at Northern Ohio Girls Volleyball Club (NOH) for five years and high school volleyball for four years. When not playing volleyball, Kenzie can be found reading on her Kindle or hanging out with friends. Kenzie lives in Rocky River with her parents and her dog, Bailey.

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.

 

 

 

 


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.

 

 

 


Autumn Griffie

 Intern

Autumn is a senior at Miami University majoring in Applied Social Research with a Workplace Writing thematic sequence. While at Miami,
she has completed research on the mental health of stroke survivor family caretakers in the southwestern Ohio area, written grant proposals, and assisted in other research groundwork for peers. She also works at the regional library on the Hamilton campus. After Miami, she plans to go to graduate school to get a Master’s degree in Library Science. In her free time, Autumn loves to read, watch reality tv, play with her cat (Loki), and spend time with her friends and family.

 

 


 

Shelbia Dixon

 Intern

Shelbia is currently a Junior at Miami University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Medical Humanities. Shelbia hopes to further her education by getting her master’s degree and certifications in marriage and family counseling. She hopes to pursue a career in Human Resources out of undergrad and she looks forward to applying the knowledge and skills from this internship along her career path. In her free time Shelbia enjoys baking, spending time with family and friends, and volunteering at her local shelter


 

 

 

Claire Geither

 Intern

Hi! I am Clare Geither! I am a senior in my final semester at Cleveland State University studying social work. I plan on trying many avenues in the field of study. I was lucky enough to get an internship in program outreach at Because I Said I Would. After this semester I will begin my Master of Social Work! I plan to focus on advanced generalist social work as I have been loving the Macro side. Fun fact: this past summer I spent a week driving across the US fromLakewood, Oh. to Denver, Co. I fell in love with Colorado and plan to move out that way post MSW. I am very excited to be a part of the BISIW team and cannot wait to learn all that they teach me! Everyone I have talked to has been wonderful and I feel extremely thankful to be a
part of such a supportive group!

 

 

 


Rachael Fox

Intern

Rachael is a senior at Kent State University studying Anthropology and Nonprofit Studies. She is currently the president of KSU Flashathon, Kent’s dance marathon organization. After graduation in May, Rachael plans to continue working in the nonprofit sector in the Cleveland/Akron area. In her free time, she enjoys reading and hiking.

 

 

 


Sarah Guarachi

Intern

My name is Sarah Guarachi and I am a junior at the University of Miami studying Mathematics with a minor in Sociology. I mainly grew up in Boston, MA, but have moved around nationally many times as a child which has formed my love for meeting and learning more about people from all over! Some of my other passions include music, volleyball, and community service. I look forward to using this experience with because I said I would to gain insight as to how small efforts and promises can lead to amazing personal and community growth.

 

 

 


Interested in joining our staff?
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.