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.
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 is head coach and works with the kids to instill valuable lessons about goal setting along with keeping them focused on a Marathon finish line. She is an avid runner with over 150 Marathon and Ultra finishes under her belt.
- Some of her running accomplishments include:
- Boston Marathon
- Grand Slam of Ultrarunning 2016 (this is the 4 oldest trail hundreds conquered in one summer) Badwater 135 Ultra Marathon – Three times
- Western States Endurance Run – Twice
- HURT 100 in Hawaii
- Mt. Gaoligong 100 in China
- UTMB in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps
- Vol State 500K – Taking 3rd place overall
She considers some of her greatest running accomplishments watching as the kids cross the marathon finish line year after year.
Andrea has made her passion her career and is fortunate enough to utilize her sales and marketing skills while working for Runner Sports. In addition, she has a passion for the health and wellness industry and continues to work as a race announcer all over California. It is her solid belief that everyone 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 Superheroes.
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
Paul is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant in Atascadero, California, specializing in comprehensive financial planning for individuals and families, investment management, and providing 401(k) co-fiduciary services to some of the largest employers on the Central Coast. Paul is also licensed as a California Life and Health Insurance agent and a California Real Estate Broker.
Paul lives in Atascadero with his wife Flavia, son Matteo, daughter Clarissa, and an assortment of cats, toucans and parrots. When not working, he can be found fishing in the Eastern Sierra, hiking the local trails of SLO County and playing basketball.
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
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 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
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.