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Vixen was a rough tooth dolphin I helped rehabbed. This picture won a photo contest and was published by Sarasota Press as the cover photo of a coffee table book.
Ron Therrien

What is your current job title and what do you do? Interim Director of Programs for FIRST Chesapeake

What brought you to FIRST or FIRST Chesapeake? I started mentoring when my son was in high school and got hooked on FIRST after seeing what effect it can have on students and their futures.


What is your best memory of being a part of FIRST? So many great memories. My greatest inspiration is seeing what the students have done both during and after college. There's nothing better than when these students come back and thank you for all they learned from you when they were on a FIRST team. It makes me proud to be a part of their journey.


What was your favorite FIRST game challenge and why? Aerial Assist in 2014. It was a full field game shooting 2' diameter exercise balls and required great cooperation between alliance members. My favorite part was how much students utilized physics to calculate what it took to shoot goals with such a big and heavy ball. It's always fun to see skills put to practical use.


What was your most interesting or oddest job? I have had a lot of different jobs over the years. One of the more interesting jobs I've had was where I got to apply both my mechanical skills and my computer engineering skills to the biological side. I worked at a hospital that rehabbed dolphins, whales and sea turtles. I not only got to rehab the animals, but I built transmitters to track them when they were released so we could learn more about where they went as well as their foraging habits.


What do you wish you could tell your younger self? Never stop learning or trying new things. Change is a good thing so embrace it.


What are you doing with your spare time? Really anything outdoors, especially on the water. Ever been in thunder snow on the water? Plus I enjoying spending time with my 7 year old daughter.


What is one thing you'd like to see happen with FIRST Chesapeake that you haven't had time to do? I'd really like a system to match mentors with teams. It would be great to have a way to match available mentor skills with the needs of rookie teams or other teams lacking those skills.


What is one thing that most people don't know about you? I also like to do stained glass work. I enjoy taking some of my nature photos and turning them in glass.

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