The efforts of FIRST Illinois Robotics are overseen by a nine-member Board of Directors. The members of the Board of Directors come from numerous diverse backgrounds and represent a wide range of skillsets. Together the Board works to ensure that all of FIRST Illinois Robotics’ programs are fully funded, impactful, and reach as many Illinois students as possible.

Rob Armstrong

Zebra Technologies - Chief Marketing Officer

Rob has nearly 20 years of experience in the B2B technology sector and has held a variety of go-to-market leadership roles throughout his career. Prior to joining Zebra, Rob held various global and regional roles across product development, business development, operations, and marketing at Motorola Solutions, including assignments in Asia-Pacific and Europe. He joined Zebra in 2014 and currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer. In addition to serving as a board member for FIRST Illinois Robotics, Rob serves as a board member for Bernie’s Book Bank and as the executive sponsor of ZEAL, the Zebra Equality Alliance Employee Resource Group.

Rob’s support for FIRST is fueled by his childhood experiences of incorporating science and technology into play, and he is passionate about ensuring the same opportunities are available to current and future generations.

Kelley Berlin

Grubhub - Chief People Officer

Kelley Berlin has served as the Chief People Officer at Grubhub since 2016. With more than 25 years of industry experience, she leads all aspects of Grubhub's people strategy. Prior to Grubhub, she was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for 14 years at Information Resources Inc. (IRI), the leading provider of big data, predictive analytics, and insights for consumer packaged goods companies. Kelley received a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from Keller Graduate School.

Kelley has been involved with FIRST since 2017, where she has served as a parent, mentor, coach, and volunteer in FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST LEGO League. Through this involvement she has personally seen how FIRST can change the lives of students and inspire the next generation of STEAM professionals.

Adam Bowen

Grant Thornton – Managing Director, Growth Advisory

Adam is a Managing Director in the Growth Advisory practice at Grant Thornton. He has over 20 years of experience in strategy and consulting with consumer and corporate brands.  He has a wide range of category and industry experience including, but not limited to: industrials & manufacturing, renewable energy & decarbonization, transaction services, healthcare, med tech & life sciences, private equity, and venture capital.  He’s led growth strategy, market studies, commercial diligence, sales enablement, brand revitalization, and employer brand strategies for a wide variety of global industry leaders. His work lives at the intersection of culture and brand, developing corporate growth strategies that unlocked new revenue streams from rapidly emerging customer segments in the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions and turned DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) laggards into global leaders.  In addition to his work at Grant Thronton, Adam teaches within the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive Education program.

Adam has been active in FIRST as a mentor in addition to his participation on the Board of Directors.

Mark Gaines

American Technion Society - President (Pro Bono)

In addition to his roles as Treasurer and Chair of the Investment Committee for the FIRST Illinois Robotics Board, Mark is also active as a judge at many FIRST Lego League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition tournaments. Prior to his retirement in 2019 as a Partner at RSM LLC, Mark’s 42-year career as a CPA included 29 years as an Audit Partner for RSM and predecessor firms. Mark has been an active board member and officer of various charities for over 33 years.

Mark became involved with FIRST as part of his retirement plan. He continues to be impressed by how participants in FIRST have so much enthusiasm and develop skills in so many areas that will serve them well in their future.

Barry Greenhouse

W.W. Grainger, Inc - Senior Vice President and President, Global Supply Chain and Customer

Since joining Grainger in 2004, Barry has held several roles of progressive responsibility in the supply chain organization. He was promoted to his current role in November 2019. The distribution network Barry manages is highly automated and geographically dispersed, providing next-day service to customers in 99 percent of U.S. postal codes and shipping around 145,000 orders a day. He started his Grainger career as an Operations Manager at the Los Angeles Distribution Center in Mira Loma, California. Prior to joining Grainger, Barry held roles in operations, sales, marketing, and project management at McMaster-Carr and Webvan. Barry holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and an MBA, both from the University of California, Los Angeles. Barry also serves on the board of Erika’s Lighthouse, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, early identification, and early intervention of youth mental health issues.

FIRST has been a great opportunity for Barry to align his personal interests and the interests of many of those he works with to an organization that provides a structured way to support STEM education and extracurricular activities to the next generation of engineers, scientists, and leaders.

Ravi Gundimeda

PwC - Director, Cloud & Digital

Ravi has over 30 years of substantial industry experience with a focus on IT Strategy, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Application Integration, IT Function Transformation, Application Development, and Information Management. Ravi was the Chief Enterprise Architect for over five years at Northern Trust Bank, the Global Chief Enterprise Architect at PwC for over five years, and had several senior level leadership roles at United Airlines playing the role of disrupter in chief. Ravi earned his master's degree in computer science from Oklahoma State University and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India.

Ravi likes the fact that FIRST gamifies and makes STEM learning fun for young adults and prepares them to be the next generation of tech savvy and empathetic leaders, visionaries, and innovators.

Bob Hubberts

Executive Service Corps. – Engagement Manager (Pro Bono)

Bob had a 36-year professional career in finance and operational roles. After starting with the Chicago Cubs baseball team, Bob joined Motorola and spent 32 years in various roles. Before retiring, Bob was Corporate Vice President and Director of Finance supporting Global Sales, Engineering, Product Management, IT, Services, and Supply Chain. Since his retirement, he has volunteered at Executive Service Corps of Chicago providing Pro Bono consulting to nonprofits. His involvement with FIRST started 23 years ago as a robotics team coach, and over that period he became involved in all the FIRST programs and has been on the FIRST Illinois Robotics Board of Directors since 2006.

FIRST programs are about “more than robots”; they teach 21st century life and work skills and FIRST’s focus on Gracious Professionalism teaches kids how to work together with their own teammates and other teams.

Deepak Kaul

Cirrus Logic - Chief Information Officer

Deepak is an accomplished and forward-thinking Chief Information Officer with a proven track record in technology leadership. At Cirrus Logic he drives innovation and efficiency by spearheading the strategy, transformation, and operation of Digital Platforms, IT Infrastructure, and cybersecurity. Before joining Cirrus Logic, Deepak served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Zebra Technologies, bringing his strategic vision to the forefront of the organization. His leadership journey includes influential roles at Brunswick Corporation and Oracle Corporation, where he honed his expertise in IT leadership. Deepak holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Dartmouth College.

Deepak believes FIRST inspires innovation, teamwork, and passion for science and technology among young people.

James Naughton

Combined Yield LLC – Founder and President

James Naughton is the founder and president of two companies: a private investment management partnership, and an e-commerce logistics firm.  He was previously a managing director and global business head for two investment banks.  He holds business degrees from Kellogg/Northwestern and Wharton/UPenn.

Supporting FIRST is important to him after seeing first-hand the positive impact it has had on a great number of children - including his own.