Jonathan Otero

Executive Director

IMG_1194 (2)

Jonathan returns to Heat Wave for his 4th consecutive year. At the end of the 2016 season, Jonathan was appointed Executive Director and CEO of Heat Wave of Florida, Inc. Jonathan has been with the organization since its inception and has been instrumental in the development of the organization. Jonathan first started out with the organization on the Board of Directors as Business Manager. He was asked to take over as Corps Director during Heat Wave’s first season. For the past two seasons, Jonathan has run all day-to-day operations of the corps. During his tenure as Corps Director, the corps has seen steady growth year-over-year, on and off the field. Jonathan is excited to return for the 2017 season in his new role of Executive Director and CEO of Heat Wave. He comes to Heat Wave with over 15 years of management and leadership experience in the telecommunications industry in Retail Leadership & Account Management.

Jonathan’s also a percussionist with over 25 years of experience. He first started playing drumset at the age of 9 for his church. When he started middle school, he began his formal music training as a saxophone player. When Jonathan was introduced to marching band and marching drumline as a freshman in high school, he was hooked. During his junior year of high school (’98), he was also a member of the Perspective Indoor Percussion Ensemble out of Palm Harbor, FL.

After graduating high school, Jonathan was hired as a percussionist for the Walt Disney World Corporation from 1999-2001 in the “Tapestry of Nations” show at Epcot. He also became the Percussion Instructor and Arranger for The Haines City High School Emerald Brigade (’99-’00). After his first successful year of teaching at his Alma Mater, Jonathan was asked to come on staff with the Citrus High School Marching Canes for the 2000-2001 season. After that season, he wanted to work closer to his Kissimmee home and joined the Poinciana High School Marching Band as Percussion Instructor and Arranger.

In October 2011, Jonathan rejoined the Marching Canes as Percussion Caption Head and Arranger. During his time as Percussion Caption Head and Arranger with Citrus, the program has won many awards and has grown to be a respected percussion program in the state.

In 2012 Jonathan join RPT Percussion as a tenor technician for the 2013 season. During the 2014 indoor percussion season, Jonathan was the Ensemble Director/ Arranger for Citrus Indoor; Citrus High School Indoor Percussion. Jonathan has also been the Battery Arranger and Consultant for the Class D State Grand Champions, Star City Bulldog Regiment, in Star City, Arkansas since 2014. Most recently the Star City Bulldog Regiment won the National Chick-fil-A bowl for their respective class for marching field show and best percussion in their class.

Jonathan also serves as Percussion Arranger for Heat Wave.

Jonathan currently resides in Inverness, Florida with his wife Megan, of almost 13 years, his four children, and the family dog.  Jonathan is an Educational Artist for Vic Firth.

Pete Perrone

Assistant Director

Mr. Perrone began his teaching career in 2000 in South Carolina as Director at Central High School in Pageland. He then moved on to J.U. Blacksher in Uriah, AL. Tavers HS brought Mr. Perrone to Florida to be an Associate Director for 3 years, before landing at South Sumter where he is in his 6th year as the Band Director and music teacher.

Mr. Perrone’s drum corps career began in 1988 when he auditioned for Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps not knowing what he was getting into. That lead to five years with Southwind marching cymbals, front ensemble, and colorguard. During the 1991 and 1992 seasons Southwind won back to back Championships.

In 1994 he joined the Southwind staff teaching cymbals and visual. After a long hiatus from drum corps Pete joined the Heat Wave staff in the 2016 season as part of percussion staff working with bass drums and visual. During spring training of the 2017 season, Pete was appointed to the Assistant Director position.

Mr. Perrone is an avid motorcycle rider and lives in Lake Panasoffkee with his wife, 2 children, and dogs Harley and Sally.

Ed Wackerle

Tour Director


Ed, a native of Rochester, NY, is a retired Spanish teacher and school administrator.

Before moving to Florida in 2007, Ed was a member of the Rochester Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps from 1963-1982.  While with the Crusaders, he played baritone and contrabass.  Administratively, Ed was on their Board of Directors, Chairman of the Board, Assistant Director and Corps Director. In 1980, he became a member of their Hall of Fame.

Following the Crusaders, he was a marching tech for the Fairport Fireman’s Band and spent seventeen years as a marching tech with the Webster High School Marching Band from Webster, NY, -a Bands of America finalist band.

During the 2013 season, Ed was a visual instructor with Tampa Bay Thunder Drum and Bugle Corps and in 2015, Ed served as a charter member of staff as a visual technician and Camp Coordinator.

Since the 2016 season, Ed has served as the Tour Director for Heat Wave.

Here in Florida, Ed continues playing piano and playing tuba with the Bartow Adult Concert Band.  He lives in Lake Wales with his Karen, his wife of 47 years.  They have two adult children, son, Kristian, in Atlanta, GA and daughter, Jennifer, in Jersey City, NJ.

Jordon Pinchback

Assistant Tour Director/Operations Director


Jordon will be returning to the corps for his 4th consecutive season, but on the other side of things. For 3 seasons, Jordon has been the Drum Major, and after filling a contra hole with Pacific Crest for the last 3 weeks of the 2017 DCI tour, Jordon returns as our Assistant Tour Director/Operations Director.

Jordon is beyond excited to experience the next level of helping Heat Wave grow and reach new audiences. Currently, Jordon is a student of St.Petersburg College pursuing a degree in Legal Studies.

While at UCF, Jordon was a member of the Marching Knights as a baritone player and became a brother of the Eta Sigma chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi. Jordon is also on staff at Rockledge High, Largo High, and Countryside High marching programs working as a Drum Major tech, visual tech, and a low winds tech.

On his limited free time, Jordon enjoys long drives, coffee, and camping.

Megan Otero

Member Coordinator

Megan Otero is a former birth doula, midwife’s assistant, and lactation counselor. She and her husband, Jonathan, have been married since 2003 and have four children together (ages 15, 13, 8, & 6).

Megan looks forward to spending another year with the Heat Wave Family, serving on the admin team as the Member Coordinator.



Jeff Carstensen

Recruitment Coordinator

Jeff Carstensen was a member of the Dubuque Colts Drum & Bugle Corps and studied euphonium under Robert Yeats at the University of Iowa.  He is a former staff member with several midwestern corps including the Knights, Emerald Knights, Nite Express, and Green Bay Northmen holding positions ranging  from color guard/marching instructor to a DCM Show Sponsor and Corps Director.

In Florida and Iowa, Jeff served in various congregations of the United Methodist Church as Youth Minister and Pastor.  Mr. Carstensen holds degrees and certificates from the University of Iowa (Nonprofit Management) and American Intercontinental University (MBA – Leadership & Management)  He is former marching clinician and drill writer and has judged throughout the Midwest and Florida with both winter guard and marching band.

Jeff has three children- Matthew, Hannah, and Bryan. Mathew, a current french horn major at Valdosta State and is a former member of the Tarpon Springs High School Band. Hannah plays flute for Tarpons Springs and Bryan is very active in Civil Air Patrol.


Cameron Vining

Media Coordinator

Cameron will be joining the corps this season as he got a feel for what it is like to take photos a couple of times last year. He is 17 years young, from Lake City Florida,  and is attending Columbia High School in Lake City, FL. He has marched from 2015 to present with his high school. He marched bass drum his freshmen and sophomore year and marched snare this past Fall.

Cameron plans to attend Florida State University after he graduates high school in 2019. His goal is to major in Film Production, unsure of a minor, and graduate with the class of 2023, landing him in Atlanta or Los Angeles with a job filming for a studio. He has been into photography for 3 years-going on 4-and videography for 2 of those 3.

He is very excited to be with us this upcoming season and can’t wait to learn so much on the journey!

Debbie Rhoads

Food Services Coordinator

Debbie Rhoads is a Florida native who grew up in Naples. She is a graduate of Converse College where she obtained a Bachelors in Elementary Education.

Debbie is currently a kindergarten teacher for the School District of Lee County. Debbie has been married for 20 years and has three children. Her oldest, Abbey, is 18 years old and attends Florida Southern College. Owen is 16 years old, attends Estero High School, and is a returning member to Heat Wave. Wilson is 12 years old and hopes to become a percussionist one day.

Debbie is looking forward to joining the Admin & Ops team for Heat Wave as the Food Services Coordinator.

Kim Montalto

Volunteer Coordinator

Kim Montalto has been in training and development for 14 years and is currently a Senior Operations Instructor for a financial institution.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Florida Atlantic University.  Prior to her current occupation, Kim was an Assistant Branch Manager and Staffing Coordinator and was also a 6th-grade language arts/reading teacher.

Kim was active in the Cooper City High School “Sound of Pride” band programs, where she played trumpet, alto clarinet and participated in winter guard.  Currently, Kim sings with her church choir.

As the parent of a Heat Wave Charter Member, Kim has been involved with the corps for the past three seasons.  In addition to her involvement with Heat Wave, Kim has been an active volunteer with her son’s high school band program.

She will be using her experience to support the corps in 2018 as the Volunteer Coordinator.

Kim and her husband of 25 years, Charlie, have 2 sons.  Anthony, a freshman at the University of Florida, is returning to Heat Wave for his 4th season.  Their son, Matthew, plays drums in his middle school band program.

Amber Jakubowski

Merchandise Coordinator

Amber works as a production supervisor at a leading aerospace company. When not working she spends most of her time with her husband and their six children (17, 15, 14, 13, 10, & 6).

Amber has been a part of the Heat Wave family since 2016 when her son became a member playing the trumpet. She became a volunteer in the 2017 season and looks forward to her role as Merchandise Coordinator for the 2018 season!