Before his life with because I said I would, Colonel Parker Schenecker was a Senior Leader and Strategist in the United States Intelligence Community, responsible for support to the US defense and counter-terrorism efforts in the Middle East. He finished his 27-year Army career at United States Central Command in Tampa, Florida with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and over 20 deployments to the Middle East.
He has had the great fortune to work with and lead the best people America has to offer; individuals who make a solemn promise to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and volunteer to put their lives on hold and put themselves at risk in defense of freedom and our way of life.
However, his greatest joy has always been his children and their friends. Calyx and Beau Schenecker were his greatest achievement; young adults who epitomized love, honor, friendship and citizenship. Calyx – the artist and runner. Beau – the soccer player and Future Business Leaders of America leader. Both – bright futures ahead. Wise beyond their years, Colonel Schenecker spent his personal time immersed in his children’s and their friends’ lives and various activities.
That all came crashing down in 2011. While on a quick deployment to Afghanistan, Calyx and Beau, his only children, were murdered by their mother. Immediately upon returning from deployment and after laying his children to rest, Parker made a promise - to remember how his children lived, not how they died – and began his philanthropic efforts in earnest. The Calyx & Beau Schenecker Memorial Fund focuses on Youth Development in the Tampa Bay area through scholarship for leaders, athletes and artists and through a Leadership & Ethics Speaker Series focused on Middle School students.
Toby Martini is the Marketing and Community Outreach Associate in Tampa, Florida. Creating awareness for the because I said I would mission is his way of giving back and volunteering on a larger scale than he had been able to previously. By helping others become aware of this mission, he gets to fulfill on his promise of leaving this world in a better place than it was before he arrived.
Toby was an only child and now loves to surround himself with great people. He is a speaker and a trainer and he's also spent the last 16 years performing Improv for the joy and wonder of it all. He's father of at least three wild boys and husband to an amazing woman. There are always various and sundry dogs, cats, fish, frogs, and butterflies in his house, too.