Board of Directors

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Carlos Aragon, 

CEO

"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 Combat Retired Veteran, a stepfather to 2 boys and lives with his girlfriend and nonprofit partner, Kira in Vail, Arizona. Carlos was a Combat Talon 2 and Combat Shadow C-130 aerospace maintenance Journeyman/Crew Chief in the Air Force allowing him to travel the world and visit 26 different countries during multiple missions. He obtained his Aerospace Maintenance degree and became a strong leader while in the 352 Special Operations Group in England. He became trained in various disciplines preparing him for any traumatic situation and became an instructor, teaching 2,961 airmen. While performing his duties, he suffered a severe injury and was medically and honorably retired in Tucson AZ. He has been the Program Coordinator and BOD at a Veterans Organization and is now the CEO of Reach for The Stars, Inc.

It was not always like that, however. Carlos fell on hard times soon after leaving the military as he could no longer work due to his injuries as a mechanic. After six years of feeling lost, he found himself addicted to his prescribed pain killers and in the darkest moment in his life. This quickly led him to become homeless. Luckily, Carlos found the VA treatment facility for veterans going through crisis, and he chose to turn his life around.

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. He was reminded of his LDS upbringing feeling as though he was back to a normalcy again. "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." This drives his love for charity work. 

One day, Carlos bought a Walmart telescope and just like that, astronomy became another passion. Carlos and Kira then made the decision to purchase a higher quality telescope and they began sharing their views in the Safeway parking lot. One day they both realized that the beauty of the night sky and its stunning objects took their attention away from any issues they were worrying about, and it all clicked! This was the beginning of the unique idea to combine charity work and astronomy into one entity.  

Kira Reid,

COO

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 boyfriend 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. 

 

“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

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RJ Bergman,

Board Chair

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. 

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Jennifer Hagar,

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. 

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Katie Wright,

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.

Mitchell
Paul
Wright,

Property Chair

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. 

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Shauntel Pinnick,

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 

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Racheal Eldridge, 

Treasurer

Racheal Eldridge has over 30 years of accounting experience both in the private and public sectors. She has been a bookkeeper for her parent's business and has A/P experience in the construction and software development industry.  Racheal has worked in a hospital setting, community college and for Pima County.  She is currently a logistics lead with Raytheon, where she was previously a financial analyst. Racheal has an adult daughter who works at TMC as a nurse. Racheal loves to hike the Arizona trails, help her daughter with her baking business and is currently working towards earning her scuba diving certification. Racheal has a passion for astronomy and the Tucson sky. She has taken astronomy classes which have peaked her interest in the exploration of space. Racheal is also a proud Tucson native who could give you tips about all the local hot spots. 

Mandy Reitzell

Bookkeeper

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."

Amanda Barras

Amanda Barras

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!