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

Senior Manager of Events

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

Systems & Process Improvement Specialist

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.


Steve Brixie II

Fulfillment Manager

Steve is the Fulfillment Manager at because I said I would. He helps to execute functions related to order processing, order shipment, and product management. Steve also coordinates event volunteers.

Steve has three daughters, ages 6, 8, and 12. He has an extensive career in logistics and retail management with several big box stores. Steve has an associate degree in Business Administration, and a coaching and mentoring certificate.

Steve enjoys the outdoors, spending time with his children, and spouse of 13 years, and taking his family dog Odin for long hikes in the metro parks.

 

 

 


Kelly Frietsch

Executive Assistant

Kelly is the Executive Assistant to the Founder.  Kelly has an extensive background in Administration.  She came to because I said I would from NOAA, where she specialized in preparing government travel.  She spent a great deal of her career with the Tampa Bay Times as an Executive Assistant, where she focused on Special Projects and Public Relations.  Kelly has served on the Board of Directors for two local non-profit organizations dedicated to animal welfare.  She believes everyone should give back to their community in a meaningful way.

Kelly was born and raised near Pittsburgh, PA.  She has lived in the Tampa Bay, FL area for over 20 years.  Her favorite season of the year is now Winter.  Kelly enjoys reading, drag racing, and spending time with her husband & their fur babies (two dogs and a cat).  She also enjoys tending to her chickens and vegetable gardens.

 

 


Jeffery North

Camps and Retreat Director

Jeffery North earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Ohio University in Outdoor Education and Recreation management. Before that, he graduated from Hocking College in Recreation and Wildlife A.A.S. and held an Ohio Peace officers commission for 10 years as a park ranger on Kelley’s Island. Jeff’s career includes an extensive background in positions as Naturalist, ProgramDirector Center Director, Executive Director, and most recently as the camp Director of Camp Glen in Ohio. Jeff views the opportunity to build camp because I said I would as a great opportunity and feels that his career and life have brought him to this place perfectly prepared! Jeff has 2 children in their late teens, a cat, and a 22-year-old car that he is unwilling to part with. His personal mission statement: “When I die, I want few regrets, fewer transgressions, and a satisfied mind.”

 

 

 


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.

 

 

 

 


Grace Lovins

 Intern

Grace Lovins is a senior at Oakland University, double majoring in English and Journalism. While at OU, she worked as a reporter for the independent, student-run newspaper and served as V.P. of OU’s chapter of Tau Sigma National Honor Society. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in communications, be it journalism or public relations, and plan to further expand her education at graduate school at some point in the future. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and walking the trails around town.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Emma Ellis

 Intern

Emma is a Marketing Major at Ohio University with a Studio Art Minor and a focus in Graphic Design, and a prospective student of the Strategic Leadership Certificate. She has been a longstanding advocate for Social Justice and personal and professional development.

Emma has served as a freshman representative on First Year Council, and is a member of the Marketing Committee for Ohio Women in Business.

She is a creative thinker with a passion for the arts and public speaking.

 

 

 


Anna Connors

 Intern

Anna Connors is a Senior at The Ohio State University majoring in Public Affairs. She is a passionate advocate for marginalized communities and is active in promoting equitable public policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Emily Ford

Intern

Emily Ford is a rising Junior at Carnegie Mellon University majoring in Economics and Statistics. After attending a keynote speech by Alex Sheen, she was inspired by the philosophy of because I said I would and the way it works to help others develop and maintain their sense of personal responsibility. She hopes to discover a way to apply her economics perspective to character education and education in general in a unique way. In her free time, she likes to watch YouTube, listen to music, and think about interesting things.

 

 

 


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.