Destination Imagination Alumini
I’ve been involved in Destination Imagination since 2001. Throughout my 13 years of competing, I have participated in almost every challenge DI has to offer! I have served on the Georgia Board of Directors for many years, first serving as the Student Representative and now as both the Secretary and the Co-Regional Director for Central Georgia. I act as an Affiliate Challenge Master each year, have appraised at Global Finals several times, and formerly served on the Alumni Ambassador Council. As you can see, DI is a huge part of my life, and I truly believe that this program has made me the person I am today.
When I am not doing DI, I work as an Academic Advisor at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA. I also am working on my M. Ed. In Higher Education Administration. Lastly, I love all things nerdy, but my biggest passion is board games!
I started my DI journey in 2013 as a new gifted facilitator at Blandy Hills Elementary in Milledgeville, Georgia. I now teach at Midway Hills Academy, also in Milledgeville. I have been teaching since 1996 and just recently finished my specialist degree. During the summer of 2013, after researching innovative programs to add to my gifted curriculum, I found Destination Imagination. I have been a Team Manager since that first year. I was all-in immediately when I saw how my students would benefit from D.I. My first year as a team manager, my team won first place at the affiliate tournament and we accepted our invitation to compete at the Global Tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee. That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us all. My teams were the first teams in my school district, and after school administrators, teachers, parents, and students witnessed how incredible the Destination Imagination program is, more teams were formed. My county now has multiple teams participating from each of the elementary schools as well as the middle school.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy going to music festivals and hanging out with my four-legged “daughter.” She is a rescue Pit-Bull Terrier named, Lucy. I also enjoy going home to Macon, Georgia, where I’m from, to visit friends and family.
Annette Rogers is the volunteer Affiliate Growth Director and Second Vice President where she oversees the growth and development of Teams in the Georgia Destination Imagination Program. Annette works closely with the Georgia Leadership Team, DI volunteers and Educators to provide every Georgia student the opportunity to participate in Destination Imagination. Annette’s own children Sam and Sara are Destination Imagination Alumni and are responsible for her first volunteer role 16 years ago as a DI mom. She has served faithfully in various roles ever since. Her DI Claim to Fame is being Team Manager for 17 Teams in a single program year. In May of 2016, Annette was presented the Spirit of Discovery and Imagination Award at Global finals by the DII Board of Trustees.
Annette is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems. For years Annette provided systems support and training in Florida and Georgia, but she is now enjoying almost full-time volunteering with DI and working on Wednesdays for Dr. David Whiteman at Gwinnett Medical Center, Duluth. Annette enjoys cats, singing in the church choir and a Christmas caroling group, and visiting her daughter in Saint Augustine, Florida.
I started my DI journey in 1999 as a team parent. After I saw the value of the DI program empowering our kids with the tenants of Creativity, Teamwork & Problem-Solving, and watching the outstanding creativity of the participants, I was truly bitten by the DI bug and started managing DI teams for my son Chris. I continued as team manager for both my son & then my daughter Liz’s team for the next 13 years. After moving to Georgia in 2001, I became part of the Georgia DI leadership team in the roles of Team Manager Liaison, Treasurer, and finally as Affiliate Director for the last 8 year. I’m blessed to be part of the DI family and have an outstanding group of individuals on the DI leadership team.
DI is truly a family affair in the Lohrmann household: my daughter Liz is a member of the GA DI leadership team, my son Chris was our Affiliate Score Room Master and is now Appraiser, my future daughter-in-law Diana is a multi-year Appraiser, and my wife Laura is a DI widow (and frequent Appraiser at our tournaments).
When I’m not doing DI, I lead of group of software engineers, managing a Data Center environment for online & mobile banking for financial institutions.
My introduction to DI came about when my son started Kindergarten in California. Excited by a DI presentation at his school, I decided to be the team manager for his Early Learners/Rising Stars team. Both he & I were taken in by the critical and creative thinking, problem solving and team work experience the team gained. The next year we moved to Georgia and my son convinced his school to start the DI program. I volunteered to be the school coordinator for the program and have been doing so for 5 years now. I have been Team Manager for my son’s and now my daughter’s teams. I have been an Instant Challenge Appraiser in the GA State Tournament as well. I enjoy watching the kids grow through the DI process and truly believe in “the journey is more important than the destination” with DI!
I have a technical background in data management. I enjoy volunteering in both of my children’s schools in various capacities!
Lauren Lewis is serving as a first time Board member as the Volunteer Director for Georgia Enriches Minds Destination Imagination. She embarked on her Destination Imagination journey about five (5) years ago as a Team Manager for her daughter’s team. She also served as an Instant Challenge Day (GA) appraiser. What makes DI special to her? She likes the fact that DI gives team members the opportunity to develop their own ideas and implement those ideas from inception to fruition in an innovative way. She also love the fact that there are few boundaries to the team members’ creativity and they are rewarded when they think outside the box; Not to mention the many skills that team members learn along their DI journey like leadership, time management and honing in on their strengths.
When she is not busy with DI, she is “hanging out” with her family. She is married to Frank who volunteers periodically as an Appraiser. She has 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl who keep them very active with sports, school activities, etc.
She is a Systems Engineer for an AT&T IT department, her responsibilities include defining systems architecture and solutions using wireline and wireless technologies.
Terri was told her children not only thought outside the box, they didn’t know there was a box! Destination Imagination was a natural fit when she went looking for an outlet for her son’s creativity and love of building. A team manager for 3 years, she assumes the tournament/events coordinator position, overseeing food/beverage and physical operations for Georgia DI. Terri has a Master’s of Education. Her professional day is spent teaching and supporting child of all abilities. Leisure time will find her reading for book club, quilting, haunting finds at thrift stores and writing to lift and inspire others.
Mary Ellen LaRochelle has served as Treasurer for the Georgia Affiliate since 2014. Prior to joining the Board, Mary Ellen was a Team Manager for eight years for her daughter’s teams in the Meadowcreek cluster of the Gwinnett County school system. She also currently serves as Treasurer for another volunteer organization and has held several Board positions with other small nonprofits.
Mary Ellen has been employed as a database analyst with an Atlanta direct marketing agency for 16 years, working closely with both corporate clients and well-known charitable organizations.
Kelsey is currently the First Vice President for Georgia DI. Over the years, she has participated in many capacities for the Georgia Affiliate, from Appraiser to Challenge Master to Tournament Director. But where did it all start? Back in 1997 when she began her DI career as a participant in Birmingham, AL. With a passion for creating a safe place where kids can imagine and dream, Kelsey is a positive product of the DI program and is personally aware of the benefits DI offers.
After graduating high school in Alabama, Kelsey moved to Athens where she studied Management Information Systems at the University of Georgia. She now lives in the greater Atlanta area and works as a software consultant.