About The ESSK Squad

Our Team

The ESSK Squad

ESSK V-Camp was created by a leadership team with camp and educational backgrounds and the team from Wonder Workshop, the creator of the award-winning Dash & Cue robots, and now, Dash’s Neighborhood, their Dash simulator!

Bob Budah

CEO and Founder

Bob grew up at Park Shore as a camper then went on to work at the camp experiencing all jobs from maintenance to head lifeguard and then Director.  Bob then went to the University of Miami to study Marine Biology but realized that his true love was Park Shore.  He received his degree in Education from C.W. Post University and taught 3rd and 4th grade in the Half Hollow Hills School District. After many years of teaching and working summers at the camp, he became a full-time director and focused all his energy on creating new programs and facilities at Park Shore.  Bob was the first camp owner to train at Walt Disney World. That experience enabled him to create Disney Dynamics in camping and many of those innovations are still being used today at Park Shore.  His quest for keeping Park Shore on the cutting edge inspired him to start the only Extreme STEAM Science Kids Camp. Bob never rests on his past performances and he is always looking for something new and exciting to energize all the children at Park Shore. His newest creation is this website where education and recreation facilities can easily incorporate STEAM into their existing programs.

Working with STEAM educators has enabled him to create exciting relationships with leading instructors in the field of educational technology.  He presently is working with Mike Uretsky who helped create the Entrepreneurial Center at NYU and was a professor of advanced technology for over 45 years.  In addition, Bob works with Anurag Purwar who is a professor of mechanical engineering at Stonybrook University and is the inventor of the Snappy XO Robotics kit which is part of the Extreme Steam Science program. 

Trisha Schlackman

Marketing Director

Since 2011, Trisha has been an integral part of the development and success of ESSK. With creativity and innovation, Trisha has helped brand ESSK as the pioneer in robotics summer camp programs for camps and campers. Her innate ability to connect with others and her thirst for learning about the camp industry and STEAM education has led to her ability to help grow ESSK into the leader it is today. 

Trisha’s experience spans everything from traditional print marketing to social media and Google Ad as well as email marketing campaigns. Her versatility and knowledge in a variety of fields gives her the ability to create effective marketing strategies for a variety of different client needs. Trisha started her marketing career in publishing at Houghton Mifflin and has worked as a marketer at Madison Avenue agencies over the years. Her experience as an in-house Marketing Director for Long Island businesses has given her a unique perspective on what it takes for small to mid-size companies to get noticed in the digital space.

Jennifer Rodriguez

Education and Training Squad Leader

Jennifer is a certified teacher and currently teaching Middle School, Advanced English Language Arts. She is passionate about education on all levels and believes it to be the foundation of all successes in life. She grew up in the camping world and sequenced through the many different positions a person can have while working at a camp.  She remembers waiting all school year just to pass by so she could be back at camp enjoying the many fun and diverse things there was to do. She believes that being part of the ESSK team is combining the benefit of Robotics with the FUN of camp. She looks forward to working with this team in creating fun virtual robotic programs that will engage and enhance the lives of families around the world.

Rob Schlackman

CTO

Rob has 30 years of experience in software engineering and team management.  He worked for financial firms throughout his career, specializing in Data Analytics, Data Warehousing, and Web Frameworks.  Rob currently runs a marketplace for artists to showcase their work and talent called Artrepreneur.  
Rob has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, has expertise in many software development languages including Java, JavaScript, and Python.  After using his skills for many years to benefit the financial community, Rob looks forward to bringing his Computer Science knowledge to families and children through this new world of virtual learning.

Daniel Cava

Tech Squad Leader

Dan is a certified Technology Teacher and Educational Technology Specialist who teaches technology education at the middle and high school level including AP Computer Science and Robotics. He has been working at camps during the summer since he was 16 years old and truly believe that camps are an amazing opportunity to explore interests and have great experiences.  ESSK has provided him with the task of teaching campers how to problem solve, be critical thinkers, and "fail forward" which means to learn from failures in order to improve next time.  He believes that these skills are so important for campers to practice in this ever-changing world we live in, as well as during coding, computer science, and robotics.  His goal is to help campers hone these skills, while also doing something that is fun and exciting!  He looks forward to meeting this years' new campers!

Anurag Purwar

Inventor of SnappyXO

Dr. Anurag Purwar is an award-winning teacher, researcher, TEDx speaker, and inventor of several technologies, some of which are available as products in the market. He has received several best paper and outstanding research awards, excellence in teaching awards, and the top 100 design awards for his inventions. He received the SUNY FACT2 award, two SUNY Research Foundation Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF) awards, A.T. Yang award for Theoretical Kinematics, and Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Dr. Purwar has led more than 125 technical projects in mechanisms and robotics, wave-, and wind-energy harvesting, physical therapy and rehabilitation devices, aircraft components, and consumer products design, with a cumulative in-cash funding of $4.4M supported by National Science Foundation, industry, NY-state SPIR, NY-state Center for Biotechnology, Sensor-CAT, SUNY Research Foundation, and SUNY Office of Provost. More than 175 students have been supported on these projects.

Dr. Purwar is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stony Brook University. He is currently an Associate Editor of the American Society of Mechanical Engineer (ASME) Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering and of International Journal of Mechanics Based Design of Structures and Machines and has served as the Conference and Program chair for several ASME international conferences. He is an elected member of the ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Committee and of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) by Stony Brook University Chapter.