FIRST Names JCPenney as a Strategic Partner;
FIRST News Release
MANCHESTER, N.H., June 10, 2010 - FIRST® (ForInspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profitorganization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interestand participation in science and technology, announced today that JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) has become aStrategic Partner and the company’s Chairman and CEO Myron E. (Mike) Ullman,III has been appointed to the FIRST Boardof Directors. A Strategic Partner represents the highest sponsorship level grantedby FIRST and recognizes anorganization’s comprehensive commitment through financial contributions, in-kinddonations, technology resources, training and volunteerism. JCPenney iscurrently one of 12 Strategic Partners that provide key support to keep FIRST robotics programs moving forward.
"Mike Ullman brings a wealth of business, strategic and retailexpertise to the FIRST Board of Directors," said Walt Havenstein,Chairman of the Board of FIRST and CEO at SAIC. "Mike joins a boardthat is truly representative of how FIRST is positioned for continuedgrowth and success. FIRST has the potential to be an integral part of anera for America to remain economically competitive through the next generationof leaders who are developing critical-reasoning and problem-solving skillsthat will help us remain productive. With Mike’s participation, FIRST can further the goalof inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders."
JCPenneyhas supported FIRST at a corporatelevel since 2008 and is the title sponsor for the FIRST Robotics Competition Dallas Regional as well as this pastseason’s sponsor of 60 FIRST RoboticsCompetition (FRC®) teams. Each sponsored team is linked to a localJCPenney store or distribution center that is directly involved in providingsupport and assistance while students prepare for regional competitions. JCPenney’ssponsorship marks the beginning of the company’s philanthropic goal to introduceFIRST to more schools and communitiesthroughout the U.S. and encourage greater participation among minority andfemale students. JCPenney’s legacy of working with youth organizations throughits signature charity, JCPenney Afterschool, helps make it possible for morestudents to become involved in life-enriching learning opportunities.
"JCPenney has been named a FIRST Strategic Partner for their commitment to advancing ourorganization’s mission to build science, engineering and technology skills amongall students," said Dean Kamen, FIRST founder."Through the resources of 1,100 JCPenney locations in small and large cities acrossAmerica, the academic sport of robotics competitions will grow and make alasting impression on students’ education and career choices."
"FIRST is an extracurricular activity that aligns with JCPenney’sphilanthropic mission of supporting youth development through positiveafterschool opportunities," said Ullman, chairman and chief executive officerof JCPenney. "We understand how important it is that we provide our nation’syouth with experiences that inspire innovation and cultivate a passion forscience and engineering. As a retailer whose operations rely on technologicaladvancements, JCPenney is committed to securing a future of highly skilledinnovators."
Mike Ullman has served as chairman and CEO of JCPenneysince 2004 and has considerable domestic and international retail management experience.Additionally, Ullman serves as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallasand is the presiding independent director of Starbucks Coffee Company. He serves on the Retail Industry LeadersAssociation Board of Directors. Ullman is also Chairman of the Board of MercyShips International, a global medical and human services charity.
JCPenney isone of America's leading retailers, operating 1,109 department storesthroughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largestapparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, jcp.com, and the nation'slargest general merchandise catalog business. Through these integratedchannels, JCPenney offers a wide array of national, private and exclusivebrands which reflect the Company's commitment to providing customers with styleand quality at a smart price. Traded as "JCP" on the New York StockExchange, the Company posted revenue of $17.6 billion in 2009 and is executingits strategic plan to be the growth leader in the retail industry. Key to thisstrategy is JCPenney's "Every Day Matters" brand positioning,intended to generate deeper, more emotionally driven relationships withcustomers by fully engaging the Company's approximately 150,000 Associates tooffer encouragement, provide ideas and inspire customers every time they shopwith JCPenney.
Accomplishedinventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration andRecognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation ofscience and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designsaccessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and lifeskills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science,technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune500 companies and more than $12 million in college scholarships, thenot-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® RoboticsCompetition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO®League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside theU.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League(Jr.FLLT) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious ProfessionalismT is a way ofdoing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others,and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, goto www.usfirst.org.