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.



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.

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.

Bruce Duesterhoeft

Director of Marketing and Fundraising

Bruce Duesterhoeft joined because I said I would in February 2021 as the Director of Marketing and Fundraising. Bruce joins the team with experience in both the nonprofit and corporate worlds. He recently was the Director of Marketing at Endless Horizons in Harrisonburg, VA. Working at nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity International, Consumer Reports and Georgia Public Broadcasting, Bruce has helped raise millions of dollars throughout his career. He also has worked for several agencies that all helped nonprofits raise money. Fundraising and marketing are a passion of Bruce’s and looks forward to bringing this knowledge and experience to because I said I would.

In his spare time, Bruce loves to hike and camp with his girlfriend while also cooking, traveling and watching movies. He is a native of Reading, PA, but has lived in Atlanta, New York and New Jersey. Virginia is now home.

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


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


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!”

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.


Andrea Payne

Sales Intern

Andrea Payne is a current junior, studying Advertising Management at Michigan State University. She is a fun yet focused student, a lover of music and has a fascinated admiration of history & politics. From a small western Michigan town of
6,000 people, Andrea has dreams of building a life in the Nation’s capital, Washington, D.C or maybe the City of Angels (Los Angeles). The desire to see different faces everyday drives her to a city that is much more populated than her small hometown.
Andrea’s dream career is to become an event manager and create an events & a decorating business. She would also love to be involved in Crisis Management. Growing up in a big family has given her the skills to deal with many catastrophes, which generated her interest in managing crises. Andrea’s end goal is to assemble a life of giving, success, love, and happiness.

Andrea Shah 

HR Intern

Currently, Andrea is a full time online student, just one semester away from her bachelors degree in Human Resource Management. She previously graduated with her Associates Degree in general education, and began her education in HR shortly after. 

She also works as a bank teller, which has allowed her to grow as a young professional and build useful skills that will be beneficial in her career. In Andrea’s personal time she enjoys spending time with her son, husband, plus her two dogs. She enjoys being outside, reading and trying new things!

Andrew Horn

Sales Intern

Andrew Horn was born in Pulaski, Tennessee. He is currently a senior at Auburn University where he is studying Public Relations and Business. Shortly after he was born, his family moved to Alabama where he went to high school. 

After graduation, he attended Middle Tennessee State University for two years before he joined the Alabama National Guard. That was his full-time job for about four years, one of which included a deployment to the Middle East.

Brinley Smith

HR Intern

Brinley is currently a junior at Oklahoma State University and studying HR Management. She is wanting to learn more about Human Resources, and all the different roles and positions that are involved in this profession. Eager to learn, Brinley is looking forward to this opportunity! 

Briney grew up in the suburbs of Houston, Texas and her family now resides in the small town, Prosper, Texas, just north of Dallas. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family, friends, and dogs.

After graduation, he attended Middle Tennessee State University for two years before he joined the Alabama National Guard. That was his full-time job for about four years, one of which included a deployment to the Middle East.

Carl Torrence 

Character Education Intern

Carl is currently in his 3rd year as an undergraduate student at Ball State University, studying both Psychology and Spanish. He aspires to utilize his bilingual abilities to reach a broader audience in Spanish speaking communities while advocating for mental health awareness. Carl was raised in central Indianapolis, and was able to observe the obstacles people face when English is not their native language. He believes that it is crucial to recognize the frustration that comes from the obstacles of learning a new language in a new place. As an intern working with character education chapters, Carl aims to increase the reach of because I said I would, so that individuals from all backgrounds can have more access to the company’s services.


Carly Szenborn 

HR Intern

Carly heard about because I said I would when Alex Sheen spoke at Youngstown State University, where she graduated from in May 2020 with a Sociology degree. After hearing the company’s mission, Carly knew she wanted to be a part of this organization. 

She is currently a graduate student studying Nonprofit Management at Grace College and is interested in working in HR when she graduates. Carly enjoys playing with her cat, listening to music, and learning about sustainability. She is excited to be a part of the team and make connections with others!

Cassi Kuhns 

Program Impact Intern

Cassi Kuhns is a student-athlete out of Central PA joining the because I said I would team with a mission to help humanity. Majoring in Human Services and graduating in May, Cassi has educational and professional work experience that will greatly enhance the work she will be doing as part of the team.

She is a hard-working, natural leader with plenty of love and laughter to share. Gearing herself towards mental health, Cassi has expressed her hope to incorporate what she has learned and endured to guide others in a positive direction.

Kailee Seames

Special Events Intern

Born and raised in Ashtabula, Ohio, Kailee went on to recently complete her Bachelor of Science at Kent State University in Hospitality Management. As a Special Events Intern, she hopes to expand her knowledge and gain experience in the business world. 

In her free time she enjoys cooking, baking, crafting, and spending time with her fiancé and two fur babes, Wiley and Dexter.



Neha Dodeja 

HR Intern

Neha Dodeja is currently a senior at Rutgers University pursuing a degree in Business Administration. She was born and raised in New Jersey and the youngest of 3 in an Indian family. Religion and family is her topmost priority and she loves living in a country that’s full of diversity and new opportunities. 

Neha find’s it energizing to work, help, and be with other people.  She is extremely passionate about employee relations and talent development. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, playing tennis, traveling, and working out. Neha is confident in her journey at because I said I would teach her all that she needs to help benefit her professional future.

Rapahel Manalo

HR Intern

Raphael Manalo is a student at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He is currently majoring in Psychology. 

Some of his favorite TV shows are Parks & Rec and The Good Place. In his free time, he likes to do karaoke (even though he claims he can’t sing). Along with this, he also likes listening to music. 


Ty Moore 

Public Relations Intern

Tyanaese Moore (goes by Ty), is a 24-year-old Public Relations student at Southern University at Baton Rouge. She is a second semester junior, and will be graduating with an undergraduate degree next Spring. 

Outside of Public Relations she likes creating logos for advertising and writing for her school newspaper, the Southern Digest. After she graduates, Ty hopes to have acquired a position at a company or firm she previously interned at with an entry level position. Eventually she hopes to gain enough experience to become a creative director, or the owner of my her own public relations firm.


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



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.