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Name: Dave Verbrugge
WFA Year: 2002
Years involved w/FIRST: 8
FIRST Team(s): General Motors Milford Proving Ground &, Huron Valley Schools (General Motors Milford Proving Ground &, Huron Valley Schools)
Role: Mentor/Team Leader
Quote: ‘Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.’ Dean Wormer, Faber College
Bio: Dave Verbrugge is an inspiring mentor with a contagious fervor for FIRST. Working with Team #67 for over seven years, Dave was awarded the Woodie Flowers Award in 2002 for his efforts.
What was it like to win the WFA?:
Surprising. I have tremendous respect for the other WFAW and feel very honored to be listed with them. To be chosen as a representative for the thousands of FIRST mentors is a humbling experience. I think it’s great that we will now be selecting WFA Finalists at each of the regionals.
Favorite FIRST Memory:
Team 67’s first regional victory is probably my favorite. The team had ridden a bus through the night to arrive first thing in the morning at Temple University. It was the inaugural Philadelphia Alliance Regional in 1999. The team seeded 6th and chose Team 121 the Naval Undersea Warfare Center & Middletown High School out of Rhode Island. We lost our first match in the tournament, then with a strategy adjustment – won 6 straight. The ‘Rhode Warrior’ and the ‘HOTBOT’, as well as, the entire teams had instantly become best friends. With 55 teams competing, at that point in time it was the larger of any FIRST regional ever contested.
All WFAW have come from great teams with the exception of Woodie who is simply great. So the accomplishments are the teams. Here is information on Team 67 from the FIRST website.
2003 GL Regional Champion
2003 CMP Finalist - Newton Division
2003 MI Judge's Award
2002 OH Finalist
2002 OH #1 Seed
2002 OH GM Industrial Design
2002 GL Regional Champion
2002 MI Leadership in Controls
2002 MI #1 Seed
2002 MI Incredible Play
2001 CT Finalist
2000 MI Motorola Quality Award
2000 IL Delphi "Driving Tomorrow's Technology" Award
2000 VA Motorola Quality Award
2000 VA Regional Champion
1999 MI DaimlerChrysler Team Spirit Award
1999 N1 Chairman's Award Finalist
1999 PA Honeywell Leadership in Control Award
1999 PA Regional Champion
1998 MI Honeywell Leadership in Control Award
1998 IL Motorola Quality Award
1998 TX Honeywell Leadership in Control Award
1998 N1 Chairman's Award Finalist
1998 N1 Honeywell Leadership in Control Award
1997 N1 Rookie All-Star
What are you up to these days?:
Serving as Team 67 leader. The team is a serious contender for the Chairman’s Award and the HOTBOT will be as strong – if not stronger – than ever. The team and our student alumni also have Team 406 Mumford High School at the GM Proving Ground and our helping them build their robot, do an animation and submit a Chairman’s Award entry. This Detroit team is making the 80 mile round trip out to Milford three times a week. We hooked up three weeks into the build period and went to work on a virgin kit. It’s been a great experience for both teams. I am currently scheduled to emcee the Buckeye, Great Lakes and West Michigan Regionals. I am currently taking my 7th of 10 courses in a MS of Management plan of study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute through the GM Technical Education Program. I have engineering degrees from Calvin College, the University of Michigan and Purdue University.
Advice to FIRST-ers:
Pace yourself. Also, in every action you take on behalf of the team, consider if you will make the team and FIRST stronger or weaker with that action. This may simply be another way of saying, ‘gracious professionalism’.
What does mentoring mean to you?:
Listen, help, guide, teach …show that you care.
Mr. Verbrugge is an incredible asset to the FIRST community, and continues to further this program with his enthusiastic spirit.