UFH: Mark Breadner

Thread created automatically to discuss UFH Honoree: Mark Breadner.


Name: Mark Breadner
Date Honored: 06-30-2004
Years involved w/FIRST: 8
FIRST Team(s): Scotiabank/Bell Canada/Toronto District School Board &, Woburn Collegiate Institute (0188)
Role: FIRST Regional Director, Teacher, Mentor, New Team Recruitment
Quote: “Drive it like you stole it.”
Bio: Mark Breadner is our first Canadian Unsung FIRST Hero, and well deserving of the honour. Starting out on Team 188, the original Canadian team, Mark has increased the number of Canadian teams and currently serves as the FIRST Regional Director for Canada. Canada will have two regionals in 2005 - Toronto and Waterloo. Mark’s contributions have helped put Canada in a prominent place on the FIRST map.

Mark lists his accomplishments modestly: “In 1998, along with 2 other teachers, (Roly Anderson [Regional WFA Winner] and Lloyd Burns) brought the first ever Canadian team into the FIRST family. Team 188 from Woburn Collegiate competed extremely well and made many friends along the way. Team 296 from Montreal joined in 1999. In the year 2001, I helped to recruit another Canadian team from Crescent School (team 610). At this time, I really wanted to have a regional event in Canada and FIRST agreed to this providing we could come up with the funding and more teams. I created a Board of Directors that essentially became the organizing committee for the FIRST Canadian Regional. This event took place for the first time in April 2002. In the year preceding this, the Board of Directors worked hard to raise the necessary funds and I was able to recruit 24 new Canadian teams. The inaugural event was a huge success. The Toronto District School Board (my employer) also came on as a major sponsor through team sponsorships and allowed me to take the next two years paid leave to work full time for FIRST in Canada.”

“In 2003, the Canadian Regional grew in size to 51 with 40 teams from Canada. This year we hosted the first ever double regional and hosted 75 teams which consisted of 67 Canadian teams and 8 from the United States. The growth rate of teams in Canada has been very strong.
Next year, I am very pleased to say that we will be having two events in Canada. The Canadian Regional will be renamed to the Greater Toronto Regional and we will be adding a new event hosted by the University of Waterloo at their campus in Waterloo Ontario.
It has been a pleasure to be immersed in FIRST and work with so many excellent people who genuinely care about students and their careers. We now have a wonderful base of dedicated volunteers, sponsors, mentors and students here in Canada and expect to continue growth of teams and regional events. If you haven’t attended a regional in Canada yet, please consider doing so as we would love to show you some of our great Canadian hospitality.” Mark also contributed to the Wonderland Canada off-season event in June 2004.

Mark also harbors some excellent FIRST memories. “Firstly, starting and running the first ever team from Canada was truly special. FIRST allowed my team to attend and compete at the championships in Epcot in April 1998. I remember walking into the FIRST village at EPCOT and being totally blown away with the sheer magnitude and excellence of the FIRST program. As we walked into the FIRST area I remember thinking that there must be some other function going on because this certainly could not be all for FIRST. In the pits it was so fun to meet and compete with so many other interesting students, teachers and mentors who were all so friendly and more than willing to welcome the first ever team from Canada. When they played the Canadian National anthem at the opening ceremonies it was very moving and I will never forget it. Having my parents, wife and kids (ages 2,3 and 4 at the time) with me also was very special.”

Lastly, our winner shares some words of wisdom: “My only advice would be to remain a part of FIRST even when your high school days are over. It is a great idea to go back and mentor teams when you are in college or university. FIRST is very receptive to comments and feedback and is constantly trying to improve the program. Please always forward your praise, ideas and constructive criticisms to FIRST for their consideration.”

Congratulations to Mark Breadner, our first Canadian honouree and fifteenth overall Unsung FIRST Hero.

Nominated By: rbgorbet

The UFH committee would like to recognize Mark Breadner as our first Canadian Unsung FIRST Hero on July 1st, 2004 (Canada Day).

Mark is our fifteenth overall UFH. Congratulations to Mark Breadner on his award.

I’ve known Mr. B. (or Mark Breadner as you all know him) since I was a spoiled brat in High School back in the pre-188 days. The impact he has had on FIRST in Canada has been nothing short of immense. His efforts and dedication have turned Canada into the fastest growing region in FIRST. Mr. B. has a true passion for all things FIRST related. His spirit is simply put inspiring.

On a personal note, FIRST has made a major positive impact in my life, all the way from high school to my time at GM. None of that would have been possible without you. Thank you.

Congratulations to my mentor and friend, Mark Breadner on a well deserved honour.

Even though I dont really know you, I read, and understand that you are a great person, Congractulations :slight_smile:

Mr. B is most definitely deserving. Quite simply, he’s done more for the expansion of FIRST than any mentor that I know of, and is responsible in some way for the creation of dozens of teams. Ever since he left 188 to head FIRST in Canada I’ve seen him maybe four times without a FIRST-related article of clothing on. Congratulations Breadnahhhhhhhhh!!

Edit: I would argue his signature quote should really be “ugly may win,” which refers to robot design.

Mark, thank you for setting up the most awesome regional in the world. Our team is humbled to go each year and compete. I hope you continue your work for FIRST. So far it’s been great. See you next year.

And don’t call me monsieurcoffee in real life again! :slight_smile:

I am amazed at what Mark Breadner has been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. He continues to excel at rallying human and financial support for FIRST in Canada. Their growth has been phenomenal, and I am lucky I was able to witness it firsthand the past three years. Team 48 has attended the Canadian (now the Greater Toronto) Regional since its beginning in 2002. It continues to be one of the best-run events we attend and certainly the most entertaining regional we’ve ever been to. Mark, the regional staff, and all the Canadian teams go out of their way to make American visitors feel welcome in their country. Thank you, Mark, for leading the way in creating such a vibrant, flourishing robotics community and also for providing one of the best FIRST experiences anywhere in the world. Congratulations on being honored as an Unsung FIRST Hero. You are truly deserving of this award. Good luck to you and both of the Canadian regional committees as you build upon the solid foundation you’ve created. I can’t wait to find out what you have in store for us next season!

Congratulations Mark and Hooray for the Canada Regional!!

At the rate the Canada Regional is going, it may soon become a Championship event with new local regional throughout Canada.

Finally you get some of the recognition that you deserve. FIRST in Canada is only here because of your hard work and dedication. I personally would like to thank you for all of the help and advice that you have given me. I would also like to put some blame onto you for bringing me into FIRST. There are many who will not forgive you for that. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for bringing first to Canada, simply from reading I can tell you were instrumental in that process. Congratulations!

I have got to give a lot of respect to mr breadner. Everything that has been mentioned about him has been as true as true can be. He knows the ins and outs of FIRST so well that invariably his predictions about occurences in season for robots and the results of those predictions are so true, and he doesnt let us forget about them ;). Everytime he comes into a 188 build session, we shudder and hope he hasnt had anything too upsetting to eat. And he pumps Shania really loudly in his minivan which he manages to squeeze into the oddest places in a parking lot, all in all, an average days work for a truly above average mentor and individual =).

Congratulations Mr B!

I second what Steve said …

Thanks so much for bringing FIRST to Canada … running such an awesome regional the two years I have been involved …

And on a more personal level, thank you very much for all the help you gave me this year with starting my team and helping me find sponsors. If it hadnt been for you, 1353 wouldn’t have made it to the kickoff.

Thanks again … Congratulations … and Very Well Deserved …

Can anyone else claim to have had a hand in starting as many teams in the past 2 years as this man? I doubt it.

Can anyone else claim they were more responsible for bringing FIRST to Canada? Despite having to butt-heads with an existing, although inferior for-profit robotics competition? No.

This is the man who all but ensured I could pay for university by helping me secure more than $50000 US in scholarships.

But you don’t need me to tell you any of this stuff. All you need to do is come to one of the Canadian Regionals next year, and see first hand what this man has achieved in such little time.

Congratulations Mr. B! and be proud of the legacy you’ve created…

P.S. Jon said: I would argue his signature quote should really be “ugly may win,” which refers to robot design.

I absolutely agree… and in this case, it goes to show “ugly may win” applies for UFH too! :smiley:


You are an inspiration to us all and you greatly deserve this recognition. Way to go!

Andy B.

I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to meet you, but from what I’ve read and heard from people who do know you … you truly deserve this. Congrats.

I don’t have any time right now to write much, but:

You really are a role model to look up to in all this. You certainly are right up there in the top percentage when it comes to gracious professionalism in the game; always willing to help teams out (783 in particular a lot it seems) when they get stuck between a rock and a hard place during the competition.

You truly are an inspiration to us all… and I’d also like to throw out high praises to your wife too. I know she’s been there to support us more just as much as you during the competitions. I should hope she gets featured here someday too; she deserves it.

Being involved in FIRST is a huge privilege. I know I’m not the only one who was so lucky to have their life changed by FIRST - but even before that, the people who my ambassadors of FIRST. Mark Breadner is definitely one of them.

Many awesome memories, Mr. B. Thanks so much for them all, and congratulations.

Congratulations Mark!
When looking back through the years at FIRST experience, familiar teams jump to mind. Woburn is one of those teams, top notch I might add. Great to see you receive the recognition and good luck in the future for Woburn.

Ok, this has been bugging me for the last 6 days. Which one of the people in the picture is Mark :wink:

2nd from the left, in the back row, I believe.