Get to Know Team GRIT!

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Tish Scolnik

Co-Founder & CEO

Age: 28


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT 

Hometown: Waccabuc, NY

Favorite Food:Fish Tacos

Fun Fact:

I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro

Best Part of Your Job:

Talking to people who are interested in the Freedom Chair.  I love learning about the activities they want to do [with the Freedom Chair] and the places they want to go.  The best part is actually hearing about their adventures once they join the Freedom Chair family - I get to live vicariously through them! 

One Thing You Want the World to Know about GRIT:

We really mean it when we say we're here to help.  We all answer the phones. We want to get to know you and answer all your questions, so don't be shy! 

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Mario Bollini

Co-Founder & CTO

Age: 29


Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT

Hometown: Sterling Heights: MI

Favorite Food: Pizza

Fun Fact:

I do improv comedy

Best Part of Your Job:

We get to solve hard engineering problems that tangibly help improve people's lives.

One thing you want everyone to know about GRIT:

We're a small team that started with an idea on a white board and grew that into the Freedom Chair.  Being small allows us to be really responsive to our customers.


Ben Judge

Product Development Engineer

Age: 27


Masters of Engineering in Manufacturing and Product Development from MIT 

Hometown: Tewksbury, MA

Favorite Food:

Scallops. Or cheese pizza, the cheaper the better 

Fun Fact:

I biked from Boston to Key West. I also have no cartilage in my nose - it's squishy-ness is a fun party trick. 

Best Part of Your Job:

Seeing someone tackle an obstacle off the pavement for the first time

One Thing You Want Everyone to Know about GRIT:

We love to hear from you! What you need, questions, and how the Freedom Chair can work better for you is what motivates us every day.

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Nerissa Cannon

Administrative assistant

Age: 27

Field of study:

Theater Design and Technology

Hometown: Earth

Favorite food: French Fries

Fun Fact:

I’ve trained dogs since I was 10 years old. This included training Toto for 2 separate productions of THE WIZARD OF OZ. Thanks to this experience, when I had need of a Service Dog, I was able to fully train him myself.

Best Part of Your Job:

I love giving test rides and demos to future Freedom Chair owners! It’s exciting to see their surprise at everything the GRIT Freedom Chair can accomplish.

One Thing You Want Everyone to Know About GRIT:  

We care about all of our customers no matter where you are on your GRIT journey!     


Mike Rappa

Assembly Technician

Age: 25

Fields of Study:

Theater Production, Business Management

Hometown: Stoughton, MA

Favorite food: Pizza

Fun Fact:

Earth without art is just eh. 

Best Part of Your Job:

Just started! Will update with more info once I get settled in.

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Cash the Service Dog

Service department

Age: 4.5

Fields of study:

Medical Response, Mobility Assistance, and Retrieving

Hometown: Basalt, CO

Favorite food: Bacon

Fun Fact:

I travel more than many humans, and I LOVE IT! Although I’m an American Pit Bull Terrier, and some places have banned my breed, because of my job helping Nerissa I’ve been able to go to these places and be an ambassador for my breed. 

Best Part of Your Job:

I love helping out in different ways around the GRIT office, but my favorite thing is bringing a smile to the face of our awesome UPS delivery guy! He works really hard to make sure GRIT keeps running smoothly so I like to make sure he feels appreciated!

One Thing You Want the World to Know about GRIT: GRIT makes it possible for otherwise limited people to see and explore more of our beautiful world! 


Jesse Caldwell

Mechanical Engineer

Age: 30


Bachelors of Science in Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering, Masters in Mechanical Engineering both from Georgia Tech

Hometown: Warner Robins, GA

Favorite Food: Sour Cream Peach Pie

Fun Fact:

I work for GRIT remotely from India!

Best Part of Your Job:

Hmm, my boss is on another continent? But seriously, I really enjoy how many hats I get to wear from designing to sourcing materials to implementing quality controls, I get to do - and learn - a great deal. 

One Thing You Want Everyone to Know About GRIT:

We really are in this business because we care about our customers. From designing a quality chair in order to provide exciting mobility opportunities to working to keep the price low and offering financing, grant, and fundraising options, we want for everyone who wants a Freedom Chair to be able to get one and to enjoy it!

Amos Winter

Co-Founder & Chief Technical Advisor

Age: 36


Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts, Masters of Science and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT

Hometown: Chesterfield, NH

Favorite Food: Thanksgiving Dinner

Fun Fact:

I rode a motorcycle solo across the Australian Outback

Best Part of Your Job:

At GRIT: Using engineering and technology to improve people's lives. At MIT: The students

One Thing You Want Everyone to Know About GRIT:

The Freedom Chair was designed by engineers at MIT in partnership with wheelchair riders from around the world. It was the riders' insights that made the Freedom Chair a versatile and high-performance product.

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The GRIT Freedom Chair is the most versatile chair on the market, designed from the ground up to handle any terrain. From trails to grass to snow, the Freedom Chair is built for you to push yourself. Born out of research at MIT, the Freedom Chair's patented easy-push levers reduce shoulder strain and put you in control of your mobility. Ready to hit the trails.  Learn more about the GRIT Freedom Chair at