[FTC Blog] A Message from Ken Johnson to our FIRST Tech Challenge Community (Ken Johnson is retiring)

No, not a typo. This is an FTC Blog post, not FRC.

Posted on the FTC Blog, 4/11/23 by Ken Johnson

A Message from Ken Johnson to our FIRST Tech Challenge Community

Hello FIRST® Tech Challenge Teams, Coaches, Mentors, and Volunteers,

I’ve had a great journey here at FIRST®. In 2007, the FIRST board of directors approved FIRST Tech Challenge as the third official FIRST program. I came on board in November of 2007 as the Director of FIRST Tech Challenge. What a ride it has been.

Figure 1: Ken and Dr. Woodie Flowers, 2017

Over the last 16 seasons FIRST Tech Challenge has grown around the world, serving students in over 50 countries. We were able to achieve this growth through the amazing work of our small, but mighty FIRST Tech Challenge staff team, and incredible volunteers who develop the game, the software to manage events and score the game, and ensure our platform recognizes the new game each year.

Our Program Delivery Partners have been on the front lines, making our program available far and wide.

We could not have achieved our success without our sponsors who see the value of this program and believe in our mission, and how we are changing the world. Thank you all!

The POWERPLAYSM presented by Raytheon season will be my last with FIRST . I plan to step back and take some time with family and friends and chart out what’s next. I will stay connected with FIRST and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings! I know exciting things are coming for FIRST Tech Challenge, and I’m leaving the program in the best of hands.

Figure 2: Ken and his wife, Diana at FIRST HQ in 2009

Be well, keep up the great work, and thank you for making my time at FIRST so inspiring.


Ken Johnson

FIRST has retained an executive search firm for a new Senior Director, for more information please click here.


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