Staff

Alex1aAlex Sheen

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 5.46M 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.


Kimchi1aKimchi Sheen

Our office dog, Kimchi, is the daughter of our Founder, Alex Sheen. She greets us every single morning in the office and visits 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 ten years old, diabetic and a cancer survivor.

In her spare time, Kimchi enjoys snoozing, giving kisses, bringing each of us toys and cuddling with her mom.


Amanda1aAmanda Messer

Amanda is the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of because I said I would. At a young age she learned the affect that promises broken have on a family. Due to his struggles with addiction, her father was not good with his promises. This often left her worried and confused. Amanda was drawn to helping start this movement because she knows that there are other kids out there going through what she went through. In November of 2013, Amanda became our first full-time employee after over a year of volunteering her time to the cause. Prior to joining us, she worked at Hyland Software with because I said I would‘s Founder, Alex Sheen.

Amanda is the youngest of five children and grew up in Lorain, OH. She graduated from DeVry University with a degree in Electronics and Computer Technology in 2006 and has worked in the technology field for all of her career. In 2013, Amanda served as the Vice President for the Cleveland User Experience Professionals Association – one of the most active chapters in the world. She currently resides in Lakewood, OH with her son, Trent, and her dog, Miska (pronounced Meesh-ka).


Laurie1aLaurie Wise-Maher

Laurie is the VP of Operations and Development at because I said I would. She works to identify and implement strategies for the long-term sustainability of the organization. Her alternate role is office “mom”, and Laurie enjoys helping to mentor and encourage her colleagues toward success. She believes that making and keeping commitments is the foundation for all healthy relationships and loves to imagine what the world would be like if everyone did what they said they were going to do.

An Ohio University grad and 20-year veteran of the nonprofit industry, Laurie came to because I said I would after a successful fundraising stint in land and water conservation and a 10-year wellness career in Executive Leadership with the YMCA.

An avid explorer and advocate of our national and local parks, in her spare time, Laurie enjoys sharing nature experiences with her family and friends while hiking, camping and kayaking. She serves as a board member for the Green Ribbon Coalition in Cleveland, Ohio.


Trisha1aDr. Trisha Hernandez

Trisha is the VP of Character Education and also strategically handles Alex’s speaking engagement requests while working from her stand up desk. She is not one that likes to sit still, let alone sit for an extended period of time. Trisha is a proud UW Badger alumni, completing her PhD in Communication from UW – Madison in 2012. Upon graduation she accepted her dream job: a tenured track faculty position in Southern California. She was the Director of the undergraduate degree in Communication and also developed an online master’s degree in Communication. Because of her love for teaching, Trisha also adjuncts communication courses.

Trisha has an irresistible desire to travel. She has participated in service projects in Uganda, Rwanda, Taiwan, Israel, and Malaysia.

It was a sunny morning sitting on the rooftop having breakfast at the W in Barcelona, where she first met Alex and heard his presentation. Through a series of unique circumstances, Trisha made a difficult decision. She packed up her California dream job to move to Cleveland, OH.

When Trisha is not working on helping advance the movement, you will find her running, paddle boarding, cooking, or sitting anywhere near water or a fire.


Amber1aAmber Shelton

Amber ​is the Director of Recruitment at because I said I would. She works to make sure we have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place to advance the mission of the movement.

A Butler University grad, Amber has worked to recruit volunteers, interns and paid employees for nonprofits of all shapes and sizes for over ten years. Having worked with nonprofits her entire professional career, Amber was inspired by the mission of because I said I would and knew she had be a part of the movement. Amber loves knowing that we empower individuals to make a difference in their own lives and their communities.

Amber has a slight obsession with NPR and is a lover of all things local, handmade and baked.


Carlton1aDr. Carlton Mathis

Carlton William Mathis, PhD, is the Senior Research Analyst at because I said I would. He conducts research and measures the social impact of the Character Education Program and charitable, unified promises.

His scholarship has focused on the intergenerational effects of having an incarcerated parent on their children’s life outcomes. He is the author of several journal articles and professional conference papers on mass incarceration in the United States of America. After Dr. Mathis became a tenure-track assistant professor, his focus shifted to community development and humanitarianism.

Carlton grew up in a military family and has lived all over the country, but recently he found a home in northeast Ohio. He has spent his entire adult life studying society and searching for ways to inspire social progress. Carlton discovered because I said I would late on a Friday night and fell in love with the movement literally overnight. He applied for a position on the staff the next day. Carlton interviewed for a position on the same day as the first Cleveland chapter meeting. He met Alex for the first time at that meeting and the rest is history. He has been committed to the movement ever since. In his spare time, Carlton enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.


Julie1bJulie LoPresti

Julie is the Executive Assistant to the Founder, Alex Sheen. She manages Alex’s extremely complex calendar and plans all of his travel. Julie is a crucial part of the because I said I would team because she keeps Alex organized and, more importantly, gets him where he needs to be and ON TIME for all of his speaking engagements. She has more than 15 years’ experience as an Executive Assistant and has extensive knowledge and skill in travel planning, event management and calendaring.

Since joining the team earlier this year, Julie has found that what she appreciates most about being part of the movement is the direct impact that because I said I would is making in the lives of others. She loves being part of a team of people that are doing something for the greater good.

Julie lives in Amherst, OH with her husband, step-son and three dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, riding on their motorcycle and spending time with family and friends.


Cassie1aCassie Perez

Cassie is the Fulfillment Manager with because I said I would, tackling all things related to merchandise, promise card fulfillment and volunteers. She has also expanded her role to include managing our new peer-to-peer fundraising platform. 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.


Katie1aKatie Spotz

A Cleveland native, Katie spent the last seven years supporting global water projects through endurance challenges including a solo row across the Atlantic. Traveling around the world has helped her see the real need to better humanity. After studying Social Entrepreneurship in London, and Environmental Science in Australia, Katie founded the nonprofit Row for Water to help schools get clean drinking water.

Katie joined the team in early 2016 and is a Chapter Impact Lead. She also speaks on behalf of because I said I would about the importance of a promise.

When not in the office, Katie can be found running, playing with her French bulldog or jumping on trampolines.


Therese1aTherese McDonnell

Therese joined because I said I would in March 2016 as our Bookkeeper and handles most aspects of the financial side of the organization. Her background includes working in the for-profit sector of manufacturing and construction fields. She enjoys the challenge and variety of the day to day financial transactions occurring with our nonprofit organization.

Therese heard of because I said I would through a friend who was looking to do volunteer work and passed on the information that we were looking for a Bookkeeper. Within a month of the first introduction, she was on board.

Therese likes to keep active playing tennis and stays busy with her growing family.