Board of Directors

Kenneth R. Hefner

President/CEO & Co-Founder

Mr. Hefner holds a bachelor’s degree from the California State University and is a Certified Six-Sigma Green Belt with over 20 years experience in the Banking and Finance industry. In addition to an extensive background in public speaking, he has been involved with many successful start-up operations for major financial institutions including Bank of America, Downey Savings, American Home Mortgage and IndyMac Bank. In his spare time, Mr. Hefner acts as a community service volunteer for the Southern California Greyhound Adoption League, the American Youth Soccer Organization, the Boy Scouts of America and the American Cancer Society. A long time triathlete and former lifeguard, Mr. Hefner has also completed numerous ½ Marathons and 10K races.

Andrea Kooiman

Chairman of the Board & Co-Founder

Andrea Kooiman “Coach K” is also the main program director and oversees the training calendar.  Within the program she trains the youth in Orange County valuable lessons about goal setting along with keeping them focused on a Marathon finish line.  She is an avid runner with over 100 Marathon and Ultra finishes under her belt.  She is a member of the Marathon Maniacs Club #981 and Run It Fast Club #404. Most recently she completed the prestigious Badwater 135 Ultra Marathon for the 2nd time.

Andrea has made her passion her career and is fortunate enough to utilize her sales and marketing skills while working for Renegade Racing and Road Runner Sports.  In addition she has a passion for the health and wellness industry.  It is her solid belief that each individual can and will achieve all of their wildest goals and aspirations if they can first visualize themselves in that position.  She is on a mission to HUG the world and assist others in becoming their own Super Heroes.

John Schlechter, D.O.

Vice President/Medical Director

A front-runner in the emerging discipline of Sports Medicine for Children and Adolescents, Dr. John Schlechter is a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and a member of both the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America and the Arthroscopy Association of North America. A noted educator, Dr. Schlechter is the Director of Orthopedic Education and Research at Riverside County Regional Medical Center and an active part of the Clinical Faculty for the Western University of Health Sciences. His clinical mission is to promote youth participation in sports while always focusing on safety and injury prevention. Dr. Schlechter serves as We ROCK’s Program Director and assists in the design and implementation of the organization’s training and schedules and race calendars.

Afshin Aminian, M.D.

Vice President/Program Director

An internationally renowned pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Aminian is the Medical Director of the CHOC Orthopaedic Institute and is affiliated with the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the Scoliosis Research Society. Belonging to an elite group of pediatric specialists, Dr. Aminian is highly regarded for his research on scoliosis and hip dysplasia, and was the first surgeon on the West Coast to perform Scoliosis Vertebral Body Stapling to prevent further curvature of the spine. With specific interest in Pediatric Hip Deformities, Scoliosis, and Sports Medicine, his philosophy of care is to promote better Orthopaedic health for children through exercise. Dr. Aminian serves as We ROCK’s chief medical expert, reviewing and approving all of the organizations training, exercise and nutrition programs.

Jonathan Minor, MD

Injury Prevention and Medical Director
Dr. Minor is not only as avid endurance runner, but also unique in his medical training as a non-surgical Pediatric Sports Medicine physician. He has completed 19 marathons (10 states and 3x Boston Marathon), multiple half marathons, 20+ half ironman triathlons, and three full-distance ironman triathlons. He has raced multiple times at the Long Course Triathlon World Championships, representing Team USA. He recently returned to California after completing his pediatric residency (Scott & White/Texas A&M), sports medicine fellowship (Boston Children’s Hospital), and an additional year of ultrasound medicine and procedural ultrasound medicine fellowship (Boston Children’s Hospital). During his medical training in Boston he has been involved with providing medical care to runners at the various Boston Athletic Association races, including the Boston Marathon, along with other high school, college and national events. He has medical privileges at CHOC and works with Orange County’s premier pediatric orthopaedic practice, Adult & Pediatric Orthopaedic Specialists (APOS). He has combined his interest in sports medicine with endurance training, completing USA Triathlon coaching certification. One of his medical research and professional interests is injury prevention in running athletes, focusing on not only a balanced training schedule, but also developing an efficient and injury-protective running gait.

Paul Parotti

Treasurer

Paul Parotti is a financial planner and 401(k) plan consultant.  He holds the professional designations of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner as well as Qualified Plan Financial Consultant.  Paul also holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations through LPL, and he is licensed as a California Life and Health Insurance agent and a California Real Estate Broker.

Paul graduated summa cum laude from Cal Poly Pomona in 1999.  Paul is a former executive in the real estate industry and he brings from his prior experiences a wealth of knowledge of the financial markets.

Paul has been involved with many community organizations.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Atascadero Rotary Club where he leads a financial literacy education program for students at Atascadero High School.  He has previously volunteered on the Board of The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Events and at Oak Park Public Housing in Paso Robles.

 

David Schlesinger

Secretary

With a successful career in public education spanning 40 years, Mr. Schlesinger holds a teaching credential and a Master’s Degree in Education from USC. He was a Teacher and Administrator in the Compton Unified School District for 25 years before spending 15 years working in the Capistrano Unified School District as an Assistant Principal at both Dana Hills High School and Newhart Middle School in Orange County, California. Relying on his extensive background in Public Secondary Education, Mr. Schlesinger provides considerable expertise and advice to the We ROCK Board of Directors. An avid cyclist, he logs nearly 1500 miles per year on his bike, year-round.

Elaine M. Rutkowski, PhD, RN, CNS

Director

Dr. Rutkowski is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Cal State University, Fullerton, a Registered Nurse and a Clinical Nurse Specialist.  She has completed extensive research on obesity risk knowledge, self-efficacy and activity levels in families of adolescents and has authored numerous articles in the field of nursing research.

Dr. Rutkowski works closely with her colleagues in CSUF’s Center for Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles and Childhood Obesity Prevention, as well as the Health Promotion Research Institute. A long-time, competitive age-group runner, she has completed over 40 Marathons including 6 Boston Marathons. Her personal record time for the marathon distance is 3 hours and 14-minutes.

Ryan Tye

Director

Ryan Tye has a long history with Newhart’s WeROCK team as he attended Newhart for middle school and was a member of the WeROCK team during his 7th and 8th grade years.  It had such a profound impact on his life that after graduating high school, he came back to coach during college.

His goal with every team is to change lives as WeROCK did for him as WeROCK gave him lessons that he continues to carry for the rest of his life.  WeROCK is not just a marathon training program, it is a life-changing program operating under the alias of a marathon team.

Susan Long Crockett

Legal Councel

Susan Long Crockett is an intellectual property attorney and principal in the firm of Crockett & Crockett. Working with high technology clients, Susan prosecutes patent applications in diverse areas of technology, and counsels on trademark and infringement issues. She has broad experience in international patent and trademark law. Susan has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Boston University, an MS in High Technology Management from National University, and a JD from Southwestern University School of Law. Susan has lived in Mission Viejo since 1998 and has been actively involved at her children’s schools, Castille Elementary, Newhart Middle School and CVHS. Susan is a CVHS Foundation Director and the CVHS Instrumental Musical Support Team Chair. Susan has run five marathons and credits WeROCK with helping her regain her passion for running.

from the blog

WeROCK: A program that trains kids for marathons, teaches life lessons

June 12, 2015

If you have seen our colorful shirts around the OC and wondered who we are and what we do? There is no better explanation than to hear it from a few We ROCK alumni interviewed …read more

OC Register Interviews Coach K about taking on Badwater for We ROCK

June 12, 2015

As the 2015 Badwater race approaches Check out Coach K’s Badwater OC Register Interview! “The power of continually putting one foot in front of the other is an exercise in discipline and courage, Kooiman said, a …read more

Peter’s Canyon Summer Trail Series 2/3

June 12, 2015

Don’t miss out on this amazingly fun trail race series with a post event BBQ! Register for race 2/3! Get out and hit those hills! Event hashtags: #SummerTrailRun #RenegadeRace #WeRock