Board of Directors
We are all volunteers!
RJ Bergman has called Tucson his home since 2003 and has spent his entire career with the YMCA of Southern Arizona and at the Ott Family YMCA.
In 2004, he started working at the front desk and quickly moved into the position of Program Director. In 2019 he became the Executive Director of the Ott and loves the impact he and his staff have on the community every day. He and his wife, Taylor, met at the YMCA, and they have a son who loves to look up at the stars! RJ is also active in the community. He is a member of the Foothills Club of Tucson a group of local professionals that help raise funds and support local nonprofits all while having fun! As a non-profit professional, RJ has a passion for making the community a better place for the kids! In his free time, RJ enjoys playing basketball, golf, and poker with his friends! He joined the board in 2022.
Amanda, a Tucson native, has worked in the bookkeeping industry for multiple different sectors for 20 years. She obtained her associates degree in Accounting from Pima Community College. Her and Matt have been married for 5 years but have been together for 12. She is the proud mother of 2; Cadence (13), Mason ( and her step-son Dominik (20). Amanda started her own practice in 2021 as a way to be more available for her children. Her passions are working with small businesses owners and non-profits taking the financial stress off their hands while providing a comprehensive understanding of how their business is running, allowing them to focus on what they love to do while growing financially.
"I am invested in seeing all my clients succeed. When you become a client of mine, you become part of my family. I celebrate the highs and work through the lows right at your side."
Secretary & Events
Katie is a Southern California girl. She attended SDSU while working at an Aerospace Engineering firm. That is where she honed her eye for detail and her training in “Continuous Improvement”. She then became a military wife that took her across the US. Katie has 3 adult daughters and one granddaughter. She was always involved in her kids from making costumes, PTO activities, fundraisers galore to coaching cheer, and being a Girl Scout Leader. Katie was a AZCPC Girl Scout leader for 10 years with extensive training as the neighborhood leader, events coordinator and camp counselor. She has given countless volunteer hours to nonprofits to include Blue Star Moms CAZ, Catholic Daughters AZ, and the National Medical Center Hispanic Awareness Committee. Katie has worked as a Private investigator, Process Server, Drug testing technician and Nanny. Katie loves sports, beaches, dancing, crafts, organizing events, cooking and spending quality time with her family. Her reason for wanting to help Reach For The Stars mission comes from her own kids struggle with bullies and mental issues in school dealing with everyday battles with life.
Marketing & Events
Shauntel Pinnick is a native of Tucson Arizona. She is married to her best friend and share 7 wonderful kids together. Shauntel’s passion is to help people in need and use her history of trauma and experience to improve the quality of lives of those in-need. Shauntel was a single mom for 10 years with many life struggles herself and those experiences provide her many different aspects of life’s journey. She was a waitress for 15 years and loves to talk with people, while also lending a listening ear. She is a true believer in being non-judgmental, and instead having compassion and love for one another! Shauntel says, “I feel blessed to be a part of Reach For The Stars journey.” She joined the board in 2022. Her favorite quote:
“Let all that you do Be done in Love” 1 Corinthians 16:14
Networking, Marketing & Events
Jenn Hagar is an accomplished professional in the insurance industry with a passion for community engagement. She joined Sandbrook group in January of 2022 with the goal of supporting small businesses in protecting their most important assets; personal and financial health. Jenn is the highlight of any social gathering. She is a well-connected and influential women in the local community. She is a trusted connector.
Jenn has over twenty years in the insurance, training, and consulting fields and is dedicated to supporting local businesses. She lives in Vail with her husband Jason, son Aiden, and dog Tango. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, water sports, and camping. She joined the board in 2022.
Paul Wright (MSN, RN, CNOR) has lived in Rita Ranch since 2013. He has worked at the VA Hospital for eight and a half years, where he worked in the Operating Room and is now with Community Care. He has been married to his wife Katie for 28 years and has three adult daughters. He is a 30-year Veteran of the United States Navy Reserve, recently retired in July of 2021. During his time in the Navy, he was deployed to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba. He received his undergraduate degree in Nursing from the University of Texas in El Paso, and Graduate degree in Nursing from the University of Phoenix. He brings a lot of professional and leadership expertise having served on several committees and boards throughout his career in Nursing and as a Naval Officer. His hobbies are stargazing, attending sporting events like hockey and baseball, recreational shooting, spending time with his family and going on fun adventures. He also likes volunteering for events that serve our community, like Reach for the Stars. He joined the board in 2022.
Kim and her family live in Rita Ranch. She is hard working and has been serving others for many years. She has 2 wonderful kids who love to help our at our events! Kim has been one of our biggest volunteers and donors, bringing food and hygrine items every week immediately after transitioning from being a client during a difficult time. She founded and runs a pajama drive for the Diamond Children's Hospital. This amazing work stems from the love of her daughter who passed away at just 4 years old from leukemia. Her life has been focused on helping her family and other youth, which was a direct connection to our mission. Her drive is a powerful, wonderful addition to our Board of Directors and we are so greatful to have her on the team!
Marketing & Networking
Amanda Barras is an Arizona native, originally from Prescott. While still residing in her hometown, Amanda completed her Associate's Degree in Graphic Design, and met her Husband, Daniel. Since then she has spent the last 15 years following Daniel wherever the Army, or government contracts took him. Being a Freelance Graphic Designer allowed Amanda the flexibility to take her work with her wherever needed, while also opening up opportunities. She has worked as a designer and production assistant for print shops, done laser engraving, and vinyl-graphics. Working Freelance has allowed Amanda to remain a stay-at-home Mom for the last 10 years, taking care of their Son, Stone. In 2017, they were able to move back home to Arizona where they landed in Corona de Tucson. Stumbling across a Facebook post of Reach for the Stars, Amanda reached out and has participated in some of the organization's various programs over the last few years.
She is always happy and eager to volunteer for a good cause. Amanda has been lending her time since Middle School, as a member of NJHS, Kiwanis Key Club, then to a “Room-Parent” for her Son's classrooms (Pre-K - 2nd), and now RFTStars Networking and Marketing Committee!
Astronomy Outreach Team Lead
Zane Landers is an amateur astronomer and telescope maker from Connecticut. He loves observing deep-sky objects through his many telescopes, but the telescopes he uses aren't just any store-bought systems. Zane actually builds his own telescopes from scratch, including the pain-staking process of grinding his own mirrors! He specifically designs dobsonian telescopes, named after the simplistic yet effective design popularized by the late John Dobson. Zane is a bright young mind with a passion for sharing astronomy with the world. You can find Zane and his home-built advanced telescopes in the heart of Tucson where he sets-upon the sidewalks of populated areas on a daily/weekly bases to share the incredible views of the night sky with city-goers completely for free. Zane has been featured in Sky & Telescope (Sept 2018 and TBA 2019), TIME magazine (Labor Day 2018), National Geographic, La Vanguardia, and Clarin for his homemade telescopes. He has also written over 200 articles and reviews for CloudyNights.com, TelescopeWatch.com and other astronomy websites. Zane is a member of the international Dark Sky Association and promotes Nasa and other space agencies. He is a great addition to our team.
Kira Reid co-created Reach For The Stars with the vision and drive to empower the homeless and low income community through the inspiration of space and with kindness and love. Kira is a Decorated Combat Wounded Warrior Retired Veteran, a mother to 2 boys and lives with her husband and organization partner, Carlos in Vail, Arizona. Kira has gone to school for Military Intelligence Studies, Social Work and even has a CDA in Early Childhood. Starting RFTS was a simple decision after combating alcoholism, giving has always been a core value of hers. She has a love for learning, and signs up for as many courses as she can take on leadership, astronomy, organization, nonprofit structure, Board of Director structures and much more. Kira loves to read and get lost in mysteries. She gives her whole heart to her family and friends, and all of her time to the mission. She is transparent with her struggles and uses the experience gained from them to better herself. There is no-better person to direct the mission then her.
“Genuine Kindness is not just what we do, but how we do it and what we allow to shine from within our inner soul... if it is not pure, people will eventually know. Genuine Kindness is actually rare. It takes passion, love, and humility” -Kira Reid
"Exploring the universe to inspire those in it"
Carlos Aragon co-created Reach for The Stars with a vision to empower the low-income community, homeless and the public through the uplifting power of astronomy, space, and simple acts of kindness.
Carlos is a retired Air Force Veteran, a stepfather to 2 boys and lives with his girlfriend and nonprofit partner, Kira in Tucson, Arizona. Carlos was an MC-130H Combat Talon II and MC-130P Combat Shadow Aerospace Maintenance Journeyman (Crew Chief) in the Air Force allowing him to travel the world and visit many different countries during multiple missions and personal travel. He was selected out of his squadron to receive multiple awards including the BTZ (Below the Zone award), receiving an early rank increase. Carlos loved his job and took every certification he could towards his degree as well as others, allowing him to become a strong leader and mentor while in the 352 Special Operations Group in England, as well as the 79th Rescue squadron in Tucson AZ. Carlos also became an instructor, teaching thousands of airmen how to handle themselves and others in any traumatic medical situation.
One day while performing his duties, he suffered a severe injury, instantly becoming permanently disabled and placed on a high dose of pain killers. He was then medically and honorably retired out of Tucson AZ. Carlos instantly fell on hard times, unable to do the one thing he put his heart soul into. His troubles began to impact his family and friends, After years of spiraling and feeling lost, he found himself addicted to his prescribed pain killers and in the darkest moment in his life. This quickly led him to loose everything and become homeless. Luckily, Carlos made the decision to save his own life, and had his best friend drive him to the VA treatment facility.
Carlos has worked hard to grasp the positive changes his life had led him to and decided to follow in the footsteps of his partner, Kira by volunteering and giving back.
- "We have to try and help people going through a crisis, versus allow them to get to the point where they are sleeping behind Safeway like I did."
Still, he couldn't work and felt like he didn't have a full purpose, causing another low point in his mental health,
One day, Carlos bought a Walmart telescope and when he looked at Jupiter (the first object he found), he felt relief, joy, wonder, and that night, astronomy became his passion. It helped his mental health, PTSD symptoms, and he learned to use astronomy to cope. Carlos and Kira then made the decision to purchase a higher quality telescope and they thought they should share the views in the Safeway parking lot with the community, This was the beginning of the unique idea to use astronomy to help with peoples mental health! He is now happier then ever, and works with his wife Kira every day to help others reach for the stars and get help.