NCCER Blog and Newsroom Authors

Enter Email Address...

Alyssa Kwasny

As the Wellness Program Administrator, Alyssa is responsible for administering wellness functions throughout Faith Technologies. In her role, she implements and coordinates health and wellness initiatives through employee programs, monthly and quarterly communications, and annual Health Risk Assessments; facilitates wellness committee meetings to aid in spreading the company’s wellness vision to the branch level; and tracks and measures the effectiveness of the company’s overall wellness offerings. Alyssa joined Faith Technologies in 2008 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She is one of WELCOA’s Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals, is a member of the WELCOA Faculty (which recognizes individual achievement in National Workplace Wellness), and in 2015, received her certification as a Corporate Wellness Specialist.

Amy King

Amy King has 10 years of marketing and public relations experience, including email, social media and grassroots marketing, promotions, event planning and writing press releases and feature articles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida.

Art Grant

Art Grant has over 30 years of work experience in the Air Conditioning and Heating field, including positions as Helper, Master HVAC Technician, Service Manager, Solar and Heat Pipe Development, Florida State Certified Class A Contractor (Expired). He received an Associates Degree in HVAC from Santa Fe College and a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix Online.

Grant has been an HVAC Instructor for Technical Training at Santa Fe College for 10 years (2007-2017). In 2014, he received the Provost Award as an Outstanding Instructor for Santa Fe College and also served as the Presiding Officer for Faculty Senate for Santa Fe College from 2015 to 2017.

Serving as a Subject Matter Expert for NCCER, Grant helped develop the NCCER HVAC curriculum. He is also an NCCER Master Trainer, Certified Craft Instructor and serves as an NCCER HVAC Evaluation Coordinator for University of Florida HVAC.

Among his other accomplishments, Grant is an Daikin Air Conditioning Factory Approved RLC and VRV Instructor, an OSHA 10 and 30 hour Construction Trainer, an Extra Class Ham Radio License holder (KM4YGH), 30-year fresh water bass fishing veteran and just a good guy.

Art Sanchez

Art Sanchez is the facility manager and lead plumbing instructor at Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern California (ABC SoCal­). He is a graduate of the ABC SoCal plumbing apprenticeship program, a licensed plumber and pipefitter and a certified pipe welder. Art has been a plumbing instructor since 2008 at ABC SoCal and recently became the lead plumbing instructor. The majority of his plumbing, pipefitting and welding experience have been on various U.S. military bases in Southern California. Art has also managed the construction of several facets of public works projects ranging from schools, libraries, court buildings, jails, prisons and police and fire stations.

Ashley Rooker

Ashley Rooker is an Electrical Apprentice at Gaylor Electric in Noblesville, Indiana. Her higher education and internship experience has led her to participate in the ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) Apprenticeship Program. Ashley received a bachelor’s degree in construction management with a minor in business administration from Ball State University. Prior to her college career, Ashley was an active member in the ACE (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) Mentor Program.

Ashton White

Ashton White enrolled in a masonry class her junior year of high school. She began competing that year at SkillsUSA and knew she had found her passion. Ashton is the first female to win the National SkillsUSA postsecondary masonry competition two years in a row. She is currently attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is majoring in Construction Management. She plans to start her own masonry company upon graduating.

Bob Fitzgerald

Bob Fitzgerald serves as the manager of project safety and health for Southern Company Services, a Southern Company subsidiary in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) area director for Alabama and Mississippi and was named ASSE Alabama Chapter Safety Professional of the Year in 2008. He also serves on numerous national safety committees and frequently presents about safety.

Bob Ford

Bob Ford is a Senior Instructor at Western Nevada College. He received a bachelor’s degree in construction science and a Master of Science in training and development from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Bob has taught at University of Arkansas-Little Rock and Western Carolina University where he conducted research with Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors and NCCER. He has published articles, presented conference papers and sat on several committees. Bob is currently in the process of rebuilding the construction management program at Western Nevada College, which is the only source for such a degree within 500 miles.

Boyd Worsham

Boyd Worsham is the president of NCCER, after working for The Haskell Company for 38 years. He began in the carpentry field progressing through the ranks of field project supervision to vice president. He has been involved with major construction projects throughout the United States during his tenure. Boyd received his MBA from Jacksonville University in 2006. He is a licensed general contractor in Florida and a LEED Accredited Professional. As a governor appointee of the Florida State Apprenticeship Advisory Council and technical committee chair of the SkillsUSA National Carpentry competition, Boyd strives to show the next generation of craft professionals the opportunities that exist in the industry.

Brian Sampson

As president of Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter, Brian is responsible for coordinating political and policy agenda, advocating for reform in state government and promoting the overall growth of the construction industry on behalf of ABC’s more than 400 construction and contracting firms across New York. Prior to joining ABC, Brian served as Unshackle Upstate’s executive director for five years where he pushed for policies to make New York more business friendly and advocated for less burdensome regulations and lower taxes. Brian is a graduate of Michigan State University and is married with two sons.

Bryan Collett

Bryan Collett is a general foreman for TIC – The Industrial Company. He started his career at TIC in 2008 as a laborer and was promoted to helper and later foreman. He has also been a craft safety adviser where he trained and coached employees in all areas of safety. Bryan is an NCCER Certified Plus pipefitter and the winner of Associated Builders and Contractors’ 2010 Safety Championship award in pipefitting.

Bryan McClure

Bryan McClure is a Senior Consultant for MSC Safety Solutions and has been a member of SEAA since 1992. Bryan has served as a SEAA Board Director since 2017 and has worked in the steel erection industry for more than twenty-five years. He is a second generation ironworker and owes his livelihood to his father teaching him a strong work ethic and introducing him to the trades at a young age. During his construction career, Bryan has worn many hats including: ironworker, foreman, crane operator, superintendent, craft instructor and training manager.

Buck Coatney

Buck Coatney has been the Work-Based Learning Coordinator for Knox County School District in Tennessee since 2010. Buck joined Knox County Schools in 1987 and was the head football coach for Fulton County High School for 19 years. He began his coaching career at Furman University as a graduate assistant and later as a defensive coordinator. In 2004, Buck was named state coach of the year by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association and the Tennessee Titans.

Butch Ford

Butch Ford began his career at Austin Industrial in 1976 as manager of human resources and customer service. He later went on to become a training facilitator, wage and salary administration manager, quality manager and director of training and development before retiring in 2010. Butch is a former NCCER Master Trainer and Construction Education Champion award winner. He served as chair of NCCER’s Workforce Development Committee for two years and as chair of the National Craft Assessment and Certification Council.

Byron Dunn

Byron Dunn is president of GSSC, director of ATN’s Brewton and Mobile centers and the southern region director for ATN. He has extensive background in lean manufacturing, training, telecommunications, data networking and data security. Under his leadership, GSSC has grown to become a leader in the issues surrounding shipbuilding and repair workforce development. He is a certified NCCER Master Trainer, a recipient of the Connecting Coastal Alabama Award and serves on the University of South Alabama Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation advisory board. He has a Bachelor of Science in organizational management from the University of Mobile.

Cameron Strother

Cameron Strother has served in many capacities at Southland Safety and is currently the operations support manager. He is a Certified Safety Professional and an NCCER Master Trainer with numerous years of experience in the construction, refining and pipeline industries. He holds a Master of Science in industrial management and a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology from the University of Texas at Tyler.

Carmela Walker

As a passionate client advocate, Carmela Walker earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications-Political Science from Howard University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Texas Southern. She formerly served as a Texas Legislative Policy Analyst under Senator Rodney Ellis and Representative Sylvester Turner during the 2013 Legislative Biennium to address challenging policy. Currently, as a United Way Financial Coach through the Houston Area Urban League, she lends assistance to clients by helping them identify financial barriers while supporting budgetary goals during their participation in the monthly NCCER training. As a former writer for Bahia Magazine on-line and contributor to TRE Magazine and D-Mars Business Journal, Ms. Walker’s love for writing shows in the stories she shares about clients who have surmounted a myriad of obstacles; it is a passion that she truly treasures.

Caroline Miller

Caroline Miller is the managing editor for Pearson’s thought leadership blog, Teaching & Learning. She cultivates articles and posts centered around the issues, topics, trends and research within the educational industry, focusing on the themes that are pertinent to the K-12, higher education and professional arenas. Caroline has worked for Pearson for more than six years and has worked in marketing and communications for most of her career. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she earned a master’s degree in communications management.

Carrington Fox

Longtime Nashville journalist Carrington Fox recently “retooled” her life by enrolling in construction school at Tennessee College of Applied Technology to pursue sustainable and affordable housing design. Carrington journals her experience as a middle-aged mom in construction school at Build Me Up, Buttercup Blog.

Cherie Foerster

As executive director of The Builders’ Exchange of Texas Education Council, Cherie Foerster oversees all operation of the organization and has written and copyrighted a curriculum that provides high school students with soft skills training and exploration of the construction industry. Cherie serves as a full-time instructor for the Pre-Employment Architectural and Construction Exploration Program (PACE) with the Builders’ Exchange of Texas, as well as provides OSHA training to both students and industry professionals. She is also a founding member of Texas Construction Career Initiative and serves as vice president and treasurer of the organization, which provides an annual construction career day.

Cheryl Stewart

Cheryl Stewart is the executive director of the Inland Northwest chapter of The Associated General Contractors. She has served in this position since 2015 after spending 12 years with the organization in various roles, including assistant executive director and managing director. At AGC, Cheryl led the association’s expansion to the Tri-Cities market and the development of a laborer apprenticeship program and workforce development campaign. As executive director, she manages AGC’s government affairs efforts, labor relations and serves as a community liaison for the industry. Cheryl holds a bachelor’s degree from EWU in communications with a minor in political science.

Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey is the Career and Technical Education Director for Craven County Schools in North Carolina and serves as the county lead for the Craven Work Ready Community initiative. Prior to this role, he was an assistant principal for Onslow County Schools for five years. Chris has also worked as an agricultural education teacher and a career development coordinator. He holds a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree from East Carolina University.

Chris Newton

Chris Newton is the workforce development coordinator for Cajun Industries, LLC. A retired Navy Senior Enlisted Leader, Chris is also an HR professional with more than 20 years of comprehensive human resource management experience including recruitment, employment, selection, retention, training and development. He is an NCCER Master Trainer as well as a special advisor to NCCER and its Build Your Future (BYF) initiative. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree in liberal arts from Tulane University.

Chris Stearns

Chris Stearns is a second-year welder apprentice at LPR Construction. He attended college in southern Maine, and shortly after learning to weld, he made it a goal to master the craft. Chris moved to Colorado and enrolled as an apprentice at LPR Construction. As a second-year welder apprentice, he focuses mostly on structural welding. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, mountain biking and fishing.

Christina Catron

Christina Catron is the senior manager of marketing and design at NCCER. Over the past five years, she has assisted in developing several national initiatives such as Construction Career Pathways and Build Your Future. She holds a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and cell science from the University of Florida and an associate degree in digital media technology from Santa Fe College.

Clemon Prevost

Clemon Prevost is a senior talent development specialist for Fluor’s U.S. Gulf Coast Craft Training Center in Pasadena, Texas. With an associate degree in electronics technology from the College of the Mainland, Prevost spent nearly 35 years as a craft professional before transitioning into his current role as an instructor. Since he joined Fluor in 2015, he has prepared nearly 170 students for careers in the electrical trades with a 78 percent job placement rate as of November 2018.

Cole Davis

Cole Davis studied at Central Washington University (CWU) earning his Bachelors of Science in Environmental, Safety, and Health Management in 2004. Since graduating college, he started his career working with Hensel Phelps Construction Company in Orange County, California as a Safety Engineer. He relocated back to Washington to work for Watts Constructors as a Site Safety and Health Officer (SSHO) managing safety on Government contracts until he was promoted to Corporate Safety Director working with NOVA Group, Inc. based out of Napa, California. He leads a team of 10 Site Safety and Health Officers (SSHO’s) while chairing the Safety Committee for Nova as well as NCCER. Davis has over 15 years’ experience in the construction safety industry and holds the CHST, SMS, and STS-C certification and was recently awarded both 1st Place in the AGC of America Construction Safety of Excellence Award as well as the Safety Professional of the Year award in California in 2015.

Courtney Mitchell

Courtney Mitchell has over 10 years’ HR experience in offshore and onshore construction and project delivery business at Wood. Based in Denver, Colorado, Courtney is managing the implementation of a program designed to positively impact Wood’s skilled trades and operators craft population, including the rollout of a workforce development plan, a new redeployment process and a refreshed approach to attraction and recruitment. Courtney has worked for Wood in Houston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana, driving people best practice to align operational goals and performance with employee and business growth. 

Craig Pendergraft

Craig Pendergraft, a native of Durham, North Carolina, is an education consultant for career and technical education at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and has spent the last 20 years in education. Pendergraft has taught engineering and architectural drafting, structural systems and industrial maintenance classes at various high schools in North Carolina. He also served as a SkillsUSA adviser and coached football, basketball, softball and swimming. Pendergraft earned a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Education in industrial technology with a concentration in drafting and design from East Carolina University. He is married and has three children.

Craig Yager

Craig Yager is the technical training manager for Komatsu America Corporation. He has 30 years of industry experience as a technician and technical trainer.

Dan Belcher

Dan Belcher is the Director of Workforce Development at NCCER. His role includes informing and updating government, workforce, industry and education sponsors about NCCER. Dan was previously the Career and Technical Education Consultant for the Education Service Center Region XI in Fort Worth, Texas. He also served as the Director for Career and Technical Education for the Fort Worth Independent School District. Dan has his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and his master’s degree in education from the University of Texas Arlington.

Daniel Groves

Daniel Groves is the Director of Operations and workforce consultant for the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) where he has served the CURT Workforce Committee, the CURT Tripartite Initiative and worked with the Business Roundtable on the Gulf Coast Workforce Development Initiative. These efforts include the development of the national craft labor supply and demand forecasting model, the Construction Labor Market Analyzer®. Daniel was previously the Chief of Staff to a United States Congressman and the Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to Governor Ernie Fletcher. Daniel is a graduate of Asbury University with a degree in accounting and business management. He resides in Lexington, Ky., with his wife and two young sons.

Daniele Dixon

During her 20-year tenure with NCCER, Daniele and her dedicated teams evolved curriculum offerings from 19 titles in the early 1990s to more than 70 today; as well as assessments, translations and other key derivative products. Daniele’s background includes experience in curriculum development, publishing, technical writing and instructional design. She holds dual Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Spanish and English from Christopher Newport University and is a certified DACUM facilitator and LEED Green Associate.

Danielle Higley

Danielle Higley is a copywriter for TSheets by QuickBooks, a time tracking and scheduling solution. She has a BA in English literature and has spent her career writing and editing marketing materials for small businesses. She recently started an editorial consulting company.

Darin Marsden

Director of Virtual Construction

As the Director of Virtual Construction at Faith Technologies, Darin is responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating technological tools, practices, and procedures across the organization. Examples include, but are not limited to, Robotic Total Stations, and building information modeling (BIM) technology including 3D/4D/5D/6D and 3D scanning. Darin joined Faith Technologies in 1993, and holds an associate degree in electrical design technology from the Wisconsin School of Electronics. In 2011, he became one of the first people in the nation to attain the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Certificate of Management - Building Information Modeling (CM-BIM), which denotes knowledge and understanding of BIM including BIM Technology, BIM Contract Negotiations and Risk Allocation, BIM Process, Adoption and Integration.

David Reeder

David Reeder is the director of environmental, health, safety and compliance at EMS USA Inc., and has been in the pipeline field for the last 13 years. He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers. He has been an NCCER Master Trainer since 2009 and is also an NCCER Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Pipeline Maintenance and Pipeline Corrosion Control.

David Roberson

David Roberson is the Building Division Safety Manager for Zachry Construction Corporation. He has more than 24 years of safety experience in heavy highway, civil, building, process, maintenance and power plant construction. He is an active member of NCCER’s Safety Committee, WSO Board of Directors and WSO Certification Board. He also has safety certifications with ISHM as a Certified Safety & Health Manager and WSO as a Certified Safety Manager.

David Starr

David Starr is a driver for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He began his career racing at local Houston dirt tracks and went on to join the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1998. After more than a decade of racing, David advanced to the NASCAR Xfinity Series. A former career and technical education student (CTE), David has been a strong ambassador for the Build your Future BYF initiative since 2011. During that time, he has spoken to thousands of students about the value of hands-on learning and how CTE led him to become a professional driver.

David Theriot

David Theriot runs the Military Workforce Development Department at Performance Contractors, Inc. His primary objectives are to recruit, train and retain veterans as well as current Guardsmen and Reserves. Born into a military family, David lived all over the country and the world before finally settling in Louisiana. He is a former Louisiana Army National Guardsman, an Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran and has a bachelor’s in marketing from Southeastern Louisiana University. 

Deanna Quintana

Deanna Quintana, originally from Las Vegas, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in public relations with a minor in business administration at the University of Florida. As a marketing intern at NCCER in Alachua, Florida, she devotes her time to writing, editing and updating content for the company website. In her role, she is learning about the construction industry and how to better recruit and educate new craft professionals.

Debbie Dickinson

Debbie Dickinson is the co-founder of Instructional Dimensions and CEO of Crane Industry Services, which provides training and certification for crane operators, riggers and crane and rigging inspections. She is also the CEO of the Centered on Safety Training Center at West Georgia Technical College where trainees gain job-relevant practice time with equipment and classroom training in multiple craft areas. Debbie is an expert at personnel qualification auditing and assessment. She has held leadership roles in the development of legally defensible employee selection systems and accredited certification programs recognized by OSHA, ANSI, NCCA and state and employer managed programs.

DeDe Darrow

As Productivity Specialist, DeDe is responsible for review and implementation of system and process improvements and continuous improvement principles to increase Faith Technologies’ productivity. She conducts job site coaching and mentoring, audits key project expectations, completes productivity time studies and trains employees to advance productive performance and support a culture of productivity throughout the organization. DeDe also verifies best job site practices, processes, and procedures on strategic projects, and ensures work is executed efficiently and safely. She also assists in leading Electrical Apprentice training programs focusing on productivity and site logistics.

Denise Norberg-Johnson

Denise Norberg-Johnson is an independent program auditor for NCCER. She has thirty years of experience in the construction industry, including managing a third-generation stair-building business, teaching in a construction-oriented charter high school and providing management training for an electrical contracting association. Denise is an award-winning writer and speaker, and she is publishing her second book in 2015. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and six rescued cats, where she tutors high school students and provides holistic and animal communication services through her company, Defyning Moments, LLC.

Diane Greene

Diane Greene retired from NCCER, where she was the executive director of the Build Your Future initiative. She managed the day-to-day operations for the initiative, which focuses on recruitment, training and placement of candidates into the construction industry. With more than 25 years of experience in human resources and training, almost exclusively in the education and construction industries, Diane’s work made an impact on countless individuals.

Don Whyte

Don Whyte is the CEO of NCCER and has been involved in the development of NCCER for over 20 years. Prior to taking the reins of NCCER, Don served for six years as vice president directing all training operations and program development. During his tenure, he assisted NCCER in achieving extraordinary growth and distinction as one of the premier workforce development organizations in the construction and maintenance industry. Don’s background includes experience as a vocational educator, corporate management trainer and operations manager in structural steel fabrication, erection and maintenance. Don holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Virginia Tech.

Dottie Chong

Prior to becoming a copywriter for TSheets by QuickBooks, a time tracking and scheduling solution for small businesses, Dottie Chong spent 15 years in marketing communications and content management focused on driving engagement and brand affinity.

Gravatar: dorothy_chong@intuit.com

Dustin Stelzer

Dustin Stelzer is a Master Electrician and owner of LiveWire Electrical Service, Inc., an electrical contracting business in Austin, TX. He opened his company in 2016 and has been documenting his startup on his Journey 2 Master podcast and vlog/YouTube Channel. His goal is to help other young electricians coming up in the trade figure out what to and what not to do when starting an electrical contracting company. Dustin enjoys studying electricity and teaching it to anyone who cares to listen. For Dustin, this is not simply a job to do every day, but a lifelong passion and a way for young men and women, no matter their background, to hone a craft and build a steady life for themselves.

Felicia Cullars

Felicia currently serves as the Georgia Department of Education STEM/STEAM Program Specialist and has also served on many panels advocating for STEM/STEAM education in Georgia schools. In addition to working with the Georgia STEM/STEAM programs, she also works with the Georgia Department of Education in the Career, Technical and Agriculture Education Division to promote students in nontraditional careers.  One area of focus in that role is promoting females in construction, welding, engineering and many other STEM fields. Felicia has been an educator for over 15 years, and her primary areas of educational leadership are in the disciplines of mathematics and STEM education. She holds a master’s degree in mathematics education from Walden University and a specialist degree in educational leadership from Georgia College and State University.

Garrett Thompson

Garrett is a 2017 graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor of science in construction systems management. He started as an assistant project manager-construction at The Haskell Company in Jacksonville, Florida.

Harper Reid

Harper is a Kiwi wordsmith based in Auckland, New Zealand. She regularly writes and edits articles for various blogs and sites. Discover more about Harper through her blog – Harper Reid.

Herbert “Bert” Johnston, Jr.

Bert Johnston is the education director for GCA Trades Academy, an organization that provides craft training in the construction industry. He is an NCCER Master Trainer, Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Educational Professional and faculty practitioner with the University of Phoenix College of Graduate Business and Management. Dr. Johnston has a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in public administration and a doctoral degree in business administration. His work experience spans across private, public and non-profit sectors, including fifteen years with Guam’s only public water and wastewater utility. Dr. Johnston currently serves on the board of two financial institutions and the Guam Girl Scouts Council.

Holly Cindell

Holly Cindell, Project Executive for Lendlease, is responsible for the overall management and direction of the pre-construction and construction efforts on Oceanwide Plaza, a “megaproject” consisting of three towers on a four-acre site in Los Angeles. As a construction industry veteran with 29 years of experience, Holly brings construction experience to her leadership role with Lendlease. Holly’s ability to orchestrate multi-dimensional projects is echoed in her involvement in WiOPS (Women in Construction Operations). Launched in 2013, the professional organization was founded by Holly and seven other women to provide support and mentorship to women working in or considering careers in construction operations.

Holly Welles

Holly Welles writes on real estate and construction across the web, covering the latest in innovation and industry growth. She also maintains her own blog, The Estate Update, and shares more of her work over on Twitter.

Jack Thresher

As the Director of Workforce Management, Jack is responsible for the development, management and strategic placement of a field workforce that can be used to capitalize on work opportunities throughout the organization. Jack joined Faith Technologies in 2017. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Geography. Prior to joining Faith, Jack served in the U.S. Army for 26 years and served in many leadership capacities. While not at work, he enjoys reading and spending time with his family and friends.

Jane Hanna

Jane Hanna is the president and executive director of the Construction Education Foundation (CEF). She is a graduate of Texas A&M University and an NCCER Master Trainer. Jane has been part of workforce development in the construction industry for nearly 40 years. As director of education for Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) North Texas, she organized the chapter’s first industry training council to formalize craft training. As vice president of education for ABC North Texas, she assisted in the development of CEF, which provides craft, apprenticeship and professional development training for the region.

Jason Biese

As Safety Director - Excellerate, Jason is responsible for formulating, developing, and coordinating safety and loss control initiatives for Faith Technologies. He allocates various resources (people, material, equipment) amongst areas to ensure strategic objectives are being met; designs and directs programs to reduce accidents, occupational illnesses and exposure to long term health hazards and develops curriculum; and trains new employees and customers in company and OSHA safety practices. 

Jason joined Faith Technologies in 2015, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He specializes in the safety functions of our manufacturing business, as well as the continuous progression of our safety culture.

Jason Herndon

Jason Herndon is an an Instrument and Electrical Training Specialist for DuPont Titanium Technologies and has worked in the construction electrical trade for 14 years. Prior to joining DuPont in 2012, he was an instructor at Nashville State Community College (NSCC) where he was involved in implementing the NCCER Curriculum and Sponsorship/Accreditation process.  Jason became an NCCER Master Trainer in 2013, and he currently serves as a member of the Humphreys County Industrial Board, which works closely with NSCC.

Jay Eichmann

Jay Eichmann is an NCCER certified instructor for Clovis High School in Clovis, California. He began his career in residential construction then joined the U.S. Navy as an avionic technician working on F/A 18 Hornets.  After five years and an honorable discharge, he continued doing electrical work for another 15 years before moving into career and technical education in 2008. Jay currently teaches electronic systems technician, project management and carpentry and was recently recognized as the 2015 Career Safe Safety Educator of the Year at the Association for Career and Technical Education’s national conference.

Jeff Hooper

Jeff Hooper is the vice president of workforce development for the Inland Pacific Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) in Spokane, Washington. In this role, he is responsible for leadership and supervision of all workforce, continuing education, apprenticeship and adult education programs. He provides leadership in responding to local workforce education needs and for developing and maintaining relationships with the external business and educational sectors.

Jeff Rodenberg

Jeff Rodenberg is the Director of TIC’s Craft Training Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. TIC’s Craft Training program is widely recognized as the leading apprentice-style, formalized training program in the construction industry. Jeff began his career with TIC in 2001 after graduating from Montana State University. For 10 years, he was a Field Engineer and a Project Engineer working on various projects, building such thing as Wind Turbines in Minnesota, Ethanol Plants in Iowa, Gas Fired Power Plants in Montana, Open Pit Coal Mines in Wyoming and Water Pipelines in Colorado.

Jen Schottke

Jen is the membership and marketing director for the Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter. She began her career as the marketing director for a general contractor and construction manager. She then worked for an association management company where she managed four trade associations, including the West Michigan Chapter of the US Green Building Council where she acted as executive director. Jen is grateful for the opportunity to combine her construction and association management backgrounds as she works to support the merit-shop, commercial construction industry in West Michigan.

Jennifer Poe

Jennifer Poe is the lead data manager for the Industrial Technical Learning Center in Fontana, California, through the TAACCCT grant that was awarded to Chaffey College and the Inland Empire Regional Consortium in 2014. Her role includes coordinating the college’s data collection and analysis while working in direct connection with third-party evaluators. Jennifer has over 10 years of experience in business administration and over five years of experience in education and grant administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management from California State University, San Bernardino and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Westwood College.

Jennifer Wilkerson

Jennifer is the Director of Marketing, PR and Build Your Future for NCCER. She has a background in both education and construction. Jennifer taught high school English for 13 years and is part owner in a small welding company where she was the acting business manager for six years. She began with NCCER as a project manager overseeing the development and revision of curricula and assessment. Jennifer now leads a successful marketing team that has enhanced NCCER’s presence in the construction marketplace and generated renewed interest in the Build Your Future initiative aimed at recruitment and image enhancement for the construction industry. She holds degrees in English education and business administration.

Jessica Gray

Jessica Gray is the Marketing Project Manager at NCCER. Since 2016, she has assisted with launching new NCCER programs such as the testing system, pipeline program and training workshop series. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the International Academy of Design & Technology, an Associate of Science in Graphic Design Technology and an Associate of Art in Business Administration from Santa Fe College.

Jim Hanna

Jim Hanna is the Executive Director for Construction, Fabrication and Craft Services for Fluor. In this role, he is accountable for the acquisition, retention and development of construction staff and craft resources. Jim has 32 years of management experience in industrial relations and human resources/workforce services. A graduate of Brigham Young University, he holds an associate degree in architectural drafting and a bachelor’s degree in construction management.

Jim Kasik

Jim Kasik is an NCCER-certified instructor and 27-year veteran skill and technical science teacher at Schuyler Central High School in Schuyler, Nebraska. He spent 21 years as the head wrestling coach at Schuyler Central High School and was recently inducted into the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame. Jim has a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from Kearney State College, a master’s degree in secondary education from Wayne State College and a K-12 administration endorsement from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Jon Graft

Jon Graft is the superintendent of Butler Tech, one of the largest Career Tech Centers in the state of Ohio. Graft received his bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in administration from the University of Dayton. He started his career in education as a junior high school teacher in 1993, growing to serve in roles including building principal and district leadership. Graft is active with the five local chambers of commerce in his area and is a member of the Executive Board of the West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance. He is also a member of the National and State Association of Career Technical Education, Ohio Association of Career Technical Superintendents, Buckeye Association of School Administrators and the Greater Cincinnati Public School Advocacy Network.

Jonathan Arnholz

Jonathan Arnholz is the social media specialist at NCCER. Overseeing the social media presence for both NCCER and the Build Your Future initiative, he develops and executes strategies for digital content creation and distribution via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from the University of Florida.

Jonathan Sacks

Jonathan Sacks is the transmission and distribution training manager for Cianbro Corporation in Maine. He is a licensed master electrician in three states, an OSHA outreach trainer and an NCCER Master Trainer and craft instructor. He remains active as an adjunct electrical instructor at two community colleges and is the 2015 Associated Builders and Contractors’ Craft Instructor of the Year.

Jordan McDowell

Jordan McDowell is a writer and content strategist. He specializes in manufacturing and often covers workplace safety, but also enjoys writing about the automotive industry and the great outdoors.

Josh Hunt

Josh Hunt is a lead journeyman electrician for ISC Constructors, LLC. Prior to joining ISC, Josh was a Construction Electrician Second Class, USN in the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion. He holds an associate degree in electrical technology from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and is an NCCER certified Industrial Electrician.

Katrina Kersch

Katrina Kersch is the Senior Director and Chief Operations Officer of NCCER and oversees product development, program services, credentialing and compliance services. She has a wealth of construction workforce development experience and was previously the director of workforce development as well as the NCCER Sponsor Representative for Marek Family of Companies, a large commercial subcontractor based out of Houston. Her background also includes serving as director of education for the Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation and executive director of the Construction Career Collaborative.

Kayleen McCabe

Kayleen McCabe was the host of Rescue Renovation on DIY Network, where she saved project-challenged homeowners who are in over their heads with their renovations. On the show, Kayleen pointed out exactly what went wrong and formulated a seven-day action plan to turn awful renovations into jaw-dropping rooms. Kayleen is a licensed contractor and the 2009 winner of DIY’s Stud Finder contest.

Kelsey Zibell

Kelsey Zibell is a marketing intern at NCCER in Alachua, Florida. Currently, she is a student at the University of Florida pursuing a bachelor of science degree in public relations. Working with NCCER and the Build Your Future initiative, she is learning and writing about the skilled labor gap and how to recruit the next generation of craft professionals.

Kevin Cannon

Kevin Cannon is the Senior Director of Safety and Health at the Associated General Contractors of America. Kevin is currently serving on the Federal Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) which advises the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA on regulations, standards and policies that impact the construction industry. Kevin received his B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health from Millersville University and holds the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP).

Kevin Oshinskie

Kevin Oshinskie facilitates ACTE’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month and CTE Support Fund Activities. He is a member of the Public Policy Department at ACTE, the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers.  Kevin is extremely interested in exploring the ways that education policy affects employment in the U.S.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Fordham University.

Kirstyn Quandt

Kirstyn is a guest contributor with three years of writing experience as a newspaper advice columnist and an extensive background in event planning. She holds a Bachelor of Science in public relations from Indiana State University and is excited to trade in the snow for Florida sunshine.

L.J. Zielke

Larry (L.J.) Zielke earned his B.A. from Centre College and Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at University of Louisville. After working in one of Louisville, Kentucky’s ten largest law firms in the construction litigation department, he partnered with Mike Howell, a successful domestic and international contractor, to start Allied Career Training in 2005.

Lance Simons

Lance Simons is the Corporate Safety Director for Haskell in Jacksonville, Florida. He has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry and is an active member of both NCCER and SCOAR Safety Committees. He is also an NCCER Certified Craft Instructor and Master Trainer.

Linda Young

Linda A. Young, CBT, CIT, is a 29-year member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). She is the current president of the NAWIC San Diego Future Construction Leaders Foundation and co-director of the San Diego chapter Camp NAWIC Committee. Linda has spent more than 30 years working in various positions in the construction industry, including executive director of the San Diego Chapter of the American Subcontractors Association and executive director of the Masonry Industry Training Association. She currently owns C-SOS Consulting Services with her husband, Frank, and they have 2 sons and 4 grandchildren.

Lindsay Derencius

As the Director of Apprenticeship, Lindsay is responsible for the development and execution of the company’s apprenticeship and technical training strategies to support business and employee growth and development. Lindsay joined Faith Technologies in 2011, and is a Certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where she obtained both her Bachelors of Business Administration in Human Resources and her Masters of Business Administration. Lindsay is active in local and regional apprenticeship and human resources associations. While not at work, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family, friends and Great Pyrenees, Ruby.

Lonny Wright

Dr. Lonny Wright, D.M., M.Ed., is the dean of education and training for PRIDE Industries’ PRIDE Ascend school and a doctoral graduate of Colorado Technical University’s Doctor of Management program. Dr. Wright is also a retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major, where he served for over 30 years. Dr. Wright currently works in the areas of industry and education partnerships, process improvement, change management and management consulting. He is a member and Registered Organization Development Professional with the International Society for Organization Development and Change as well as a member of the Association for Career and Technical Education with a concentration in disability technical training.

Lori Cowen

Lori Cowen is guest contributor and a retired senior product manager from educational publisher Pearson who now works as a freelance writer specializing in content marketing and social media. She served from 1997-2013 as the editorial liaison to NCCER and currently resides in New Jersey.

Louis Cotoia

Louis Cotoia has over 30 years of experience in the residential construction industry, including sales at Arnold Lumber Company and owning several businesses as a registered contractor. At the Rhode Island Builders Association, Lou is an executive board member, national director and sits on the membership, education and home show committees. Lou works closely with the state’s Department of Education and local career and technical schools on curriculum and advisory boards. He is also active with the National Association of Home Builders on the education committee and the conventions and meetings committee.

Madison E. Jackson

Madison Jackson, a full time college student at Louisiana State University, is gaining professional experience of comprehensive construction management including billings, estimations, execution plans, and etc. She currently serves as a Cajun Industries, LLC intern and has for the last eleven months. Madison assists Josh Zumo, a Project Manager, on multiple occasions, being highly involved with T&M billings for both Shell Norco and Shell Convent. She attends job site walks as well as meetings when the opportunity arises and also helps create smaller project schedules through Primavera. Madison assists estimators with take offs and pricing requests as needed. Madison is a member of the Construction Student Association (CSA) and held a position on the Banquet Committee in previous years. Madison volunteers for the Habitat for Humanity, a self-described “Christian housing ministry” through Delta Zeta Sorority.

Mandy Beaulieu

Mandy Beaulieu is the training director for Construction Education Foundation, Inc. Alaska/Associated General Contractors of Alaska. She works closely with school districts, construction academies and postsecondary training institutions throughout Alaska. Mandy moved to Alaska from Florida in 2005 and graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with her bachelor’s degree in English education in 2010. Mandy came to CEF/AGC in 2010 and has been the training director since 2013. She is also the treasurer for the Alaska Association for Career and Technical Education association.

Marlin Vaughn

Chair of Florida Energy Workforce Consortium

Marty Kunz

Marty Kunz joined Saulsbury Industries in 2017 as Vice President, Human Resources. Marty has over 24 years of human resources experience. Marty holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Organizational Behavior and Management from the University of Houston and Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in Human Resource Development Leadership.

Matthew Clark

Matthew Clark is the director of workforce development for Jacobs. He began his construction career as a helper and worked his way up to project superintendent before going on to become an instructor and later dean of a construction school. Matthew now oversees all workforce development efforts for Jacobs. He currently serves on the NCCER Workforce Development Committee, Construction Users Roundtable Workforce Development Committee, Associated Builders and Contractors Trimmer Education Foundation and the Central Gulf Industrial Alliance Workforce Development Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Adult Career/Technical Education with an educational leadership endorsement.

Megan Wild

Megan is a construction specialist who has written for sites like Engineering, Procore, and Construction Equipment Guide. She also authors and edits Your Wild Home. Megan enjoys researching and reading about sustainable design and advocating the benefits of the construction industry.

Melissa Hockstad

Melissa is the vice president of petrochemicals for American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). In this role, she is responsible for leading AFPM’s Petrochemicals Division. Her responsibilities include oversight of various petrochemical committees, organization of the International Petrochemical Conference and providing support for addressing legislative, regulatory and communications issues impacting the petrochemicals membership.

Michael Connet

Michael is the senior director of programs and communications for the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). In this role, he is responsible for promoting the impact of career and technical education and supporting the development and growth of the professionals engaged in preparing students. As senior director, he oversees the recruitment and support for ACTE’s membership, including managing communications, events, professional development and publications. Prior to joining ACTE, Michael coordinated educational technology programs at the community college level, managed public television’s education outreach initiatives and led the educational foundations for two Fortune 50 companies.

Michael Valdez

Michael Valdez is the vice principal for the Office of Correctional Education at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He has over 28 years of experience providing rehabilitative programing within a correctional facility, including employment and community transition, substance abuse education, religious programming and self-help programs. Michael currently oversees 292 career and technical education programs where he provides local, institutional leadership for growth, change and skill acquisition to the incarcerated population.

Michele Jones

Michele is the executive vice president and CEO of the National Insulation Association (NIA). She was previously the vice president of member services and director of meetings and program development at NIA. Michele represents the insulation industry by serving on the Commercial Workforce Credentialing Council’s board of advisors, a committee of the Department of Energy and with the National Institute of Building Sciences. She earned her Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) designation in 1996 and has won Best Membership Recruitment awards from the National Association of Membership Directors. Michele has two children and resides in northern Virginia with her husband, Mark.

Mike Rogers

Mike Rogers is an industrial maintenance instructor at the Career Academy of Siloam Springs in Northwest Arkansas, where has taught for 19 years. Prior to this, he worked in industrial maintenance and anhydrous ammonia at Frez-N-Stor. Mike holds six teaching licenses with the Arkansas Department of Education, including technical postsecondary instruction, HVAC, advanced manufacturing, industrial equipment maintenance, machine tool technology and welding. He has a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from the University of Arkansas and a master’s in education. Mike has been married for 21 years and has five children ages 11 to 18.

Mittie Cannon

Dr. Mittie Cannon is the Workforce Development Manager for Amec Foster Wheeler. She serves on the board of directors for SkillsAlabama and as chair of the Advisory Council for Career & Technical Education of the Alabama Department of Youth Services, chair of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) National Workforce Programs & Initiatives Committee and chair of the NCCER Workforce Development Committee and Assessment Advisory Council. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Cannon also recruited and mentored the first female welder in the history of the ABC National Craft Championships to take top honors in welding. Dr. Cannon received her doctorate in educational leadership from University of Phoenix.

Patrick Durkin

Patrick Durkin is a senior career and technical education instructor at Swenson Arts and Technology High School in Philadelphia. He has been an employee of the School District of Philadelphia for 20 years and a member of Carpenters Union Local 122 for nearly 40 years. Patrick is a graduate of the Philadelphia Carpenters JAC Apprenticeship Program and has his bachelor’s degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from Pennsylvania State University. He also has his master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction Technology Education from Temple University. Patrick is certified in Carpentry and Building Maintenance from the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute and is both an NCCER and OSHA instructor.

Patty Bird

Patty Bird is the senior workforce development manager at NCCER. Her role includes assisting organizations as they implement training and workforce development programs. During her tenure at NCCER, Patty has worked as an accounts payable/receivable coordinator, administrative assistant, project manager and senior projects manager. Patty has a bachelor’s degree in English with both a literature and writing emphasis from Northern State University.

Paul Goodrum

Paul Goodrum is the Nicholas R. Petry Professor in Construction Engineering and Management at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Colorado, he was a professor in Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Goodrum serves on the Transportation Research Board’s Construction Management Committee as well as the co-chair of the Board’s Information Technology in Construction Subcommittee. Dr. Goodrum is also active on the Construction Industry Institute’s Breakthrough Strategy Committee and currently serves as the Chair of the Institute’s Academic Committee. Dr. Goodrum is a Specialty Editor for Labor and Personnel Issues for the ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Washington and a master’s degree and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.

Perry Nations

Perry Nations is vice president of the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation, which he helped form over 20 years ago. He is a retired executive director with 35 years of service at The Associated General Contractors of Mississippi. Prior to that, he worked for 11 years as the state travel and tourism director for the Agricultural and Industrial Board. Perry has also worked as a reporter and photographer for a daily newspaper. He is a member of the board and past chairman of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Educational Association and Mississippi Association of Self Insured. He is also on boards for Mississippians for Economic Progress, Mississippi Construction Education Foundation, Business and Industry Political Education Committee and Mississippi Group Guaranty Association.

Philip C. Cleveland

Philip C. Cleveland, Ed.D., is the deputy superintendent for Alabama State Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education. In this role, he serves as a liaison between secondary and postsecondary education and works closely with Alabama’s workforce and economic development sectors. His experience includes serving as an agriscience teacher, career and technical education director, high school principal and vice president, dean and interim president at the postsecondary level. Dr. Cleveland holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Auburn University, as well as a doctor of education from Nova Southeastern University.

Rachel Burris

Rachel Burris is the communications manager at NCCER. She has over six years’ experience in communications and public relations, including writing and editing content for emails, social media, press releases, blogs and articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of South Florida and a Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University.

Richard Cerenzio

Richard Cerenzio is a director at ISN. He is a graduate of City University of New York and sits on the NORA Oil & Gas Council and NCCER Workforce Development Committee.

Robert P. Leiby

Robert P. Leiby is an instructor in the Construction Management Academy at Applications and Research Laboratory for the Howard County Public School System in Maryland. He is a National Board Certified Teacher with more than 35 years of experience in career and technical education. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University with dual certification in industrial technical education and cooperative education. Robert has an Advanced Professional Certificate from the University of Maryland and is trade certified through the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute and NCCER.

Russ Jackson

As Southern Air Inc.’s marketing communications specialist, Jackson writes, photographs, films and edits video and oversees the company website and social media platforms. He joined Southern Air in May of 2017, after a nine year career with the United States Air Force. While pursuing an English degree at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Jackson left school to serve in the military. After the Air Force trained him to be a multimedia journalist, he spent time as an aerial photographer and earned numerous Air Force photography and video awards. Jackson brings his passionate attitude and creative perspective to Southern Air’s marketing media, to include placing first (postsecondary) in the NCCER’s 2017 I Built This video competition.

Ryan Wilder

Ryan Wilder is the Director of International and Legal Services for NCCER. In this role, he works with educational and industry organizations around the world to implement workforce development programs using the NCCER model for training and certification. Prior to joining NCCER, Ryan worked as a land use, environmental and real estate attorney, and as a journalist for the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group. He studied at the law faculty at Universiteit Leiden in The Netherlands in addition to the University of Florida. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Florida and also participates in the Business Law and International Law sections of the Florida Bar.

Sam Burroughs

Media Edge Editor

Scottie Smith

Scottie Smith has 25 years of experience in the welding industry. He is an NCCER Master Trainer and an American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welding Instructor and Educator. He has been a postsecondary welding instructor since 2009 and a welding instructor at Northwest Florida State College since 2013. Scottie was the AWS Welding Instructor of the Year for District 9 in 2010, the AWS Certified Welding Inspector of the Year for District 9 in 2011 and the recipient of the 2015 Howard E. Adkins Memorial Instructor Award for National Welding Educator of the Year.

Sean Ray

Ray is an NCCER Master Trainer and is the NCCER Primary Administrator and ATS sponsor for Sundt Construction, where he currently works as the director of craft workforce development. He is a Master Certified Project Manager through Villanova University and recently became AGC CM-Lean certified. Ray has been instrumental in building connections between industry and education.

Stacey Holsinger

Stacey Holsinger is a marketing manager at Shapiro & Duncan, Inc., a third-generation family-owned mechanical contracting business serving customers in the Washington, D.C. area since 1976. For over 12 years, she has been part of the construction industry (home building, heavy civil and mechanical) promoting skilled craft opportunities to students, particularly before they reach college level. Stacey earned a bachelor of arts degree from Temple University in communications and a masters in marketing management from the University of Maryland University College.

Stacy Bell

Stacy Bell is the craft talent leader at TIC – The Industrial Company where she leads a team of craft recruiters, HR coordinators and support staff who are dedicated to securing and retaining highly talented craft employees. She is involved in many programs that increase awareness of construction careers, such as the Department of Corrections, military and secondary and postsecondary schools. Before joining TIC, she spent 12 years leading human resources teams in the areas of attracting, retaining and developing hourly workforces. Stacy is a proud mother of four young adults and attended Alaska Pacific University.

Stacy Gunderson

Stacy Gunderson has been a training coordinator in the Workforce Development Department for Marek Brothers Systems, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas since 2008 and has worked in the construction industry since 2005. She currently sits on an advisory council for the Pre-employment Architectural and Construction Exploration Program (P.A.C.E.) of the Builders Exchange Education Council and works with several schools in the San Antonio area to promote construction career opportunities and awareness.

Stephen Toups

Stephen Toups is Corporate Vice President of Turner Industries Group, a national industrial contractor. Toups currently serves on the national board of directors for Associated Builders and Contractors, as a trustee for the Louisiana Construction Education Foundation, as treasurer for the LCTCS Foundation and on the board of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce.  He has served as chairman of the Baton Rouge area Workforce Investment Board and as a chairman of the Louisiana Private Employer Council. Stephen is a graduate of Louisiana State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in finance and his MBA. He currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the LSU Business School.

Steve Hidden

Steve Hidden is the Miller Account Manager for Welding Education and Workforce Development. He has worked with Miller since 1997, serving in a variety of product development and business management roles in areas such as plasma cutting, engine driven welders, welding accessories and training products.  In his current role, Steve works closely with Education Facilities and Large Industrial Accounts to promote Miller collaboration in recruiting, educating, retaining and re-qualifying current employees and the next generation of welders.

Tami Gamble-Gurnell

When asked, "What don't you do?" Tami simply replies, "Nothing!"  Tami Gamble-Gurnell is in her fourth year of teaching Construction and Building Trades at Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas, on Dallas' southern border. She possesses an energetic comedic spirit with a never quit attitude. In the most intriguing way she manages to turn no’s into yes’s. 
Her first heartthrob moment in construction came when she was helping her dad set and pour cement steps at the age of six. This zany mother of three sons is a Howard University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Certified Texas Education Agency Teacher and OSHA certified.  She was awarded Duncanville Teacher of the Month in May 2016, led her SkillsUSA team to numerous blue ribbon victories and is on a crusade to ensure that laughter is injected into every lesson.

Ted Blanton Sr.

Ted Blanton Sr. is the president and CEO of North American Crane Bureau Group, Inc. Ted has over 40 years of experience with heavy equipment and crane management, including operator, maintenance and general manager. He sits on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and is currently vice chairman of the Main B30 Committee, as well as several B30 subcommittees. Ted is also a member of the ISO US Tag TC96 committee. His areas of expertise include crane operations, qualifications and certifications; safety and skills training for crane and lifting; rigger and rigging qualifications and certifications, rigging procedures and standards; inspection procedures; incident and accident investigation and crane and hoist inspection.

Tim Lawrence

Having been involved with SkillsUSA for most of his life, Timothy Lawrence firmly believes that getting involved in technical education and joining SkillsUSA in high school set his course for a successful future. He worked in both labor and management positions in the manufacturing industry for nine years while continuing his education, and received his teaching credentials from Virginia Tech and his degree in Administration and Training from James Madison University. In 1996, Mr. Lawrence joined the national SkillsUSA organization as Partnerships Director at their National Leadership Center in Leesburg, Virginia and currently serves as the Executive Director.

Tom Underhill

Tom Underhill is the executive director of the Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA). Before taking leadership of SEAA, Tom worked in construction, steel fabrication and steel erection for more than 35 years. He is a former member of the SEAA board of directors and served as president of the Association from 1997-1998. He is currently SEAA’s representative on the Steel Joist Institute board of directors and represents the Association on various AISC activities. Tom graduated from Virginia Military Institute with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and now resides in Fancy Gap, Virginia, with his wife, Travis.

Travis Weber

As a safety manager for Haselden Construction, Travis ensures that project staff and subcontractors comply with safety rules and regulations. Travis's responsibilities include auditing job sites for safety and environmental compliance, reviewing and updating safety policies, creating site-specific safety plans, training employees on safety, health and environmental topics, handling Workers' Compensation claims, conducting accident investigations, managing safety awards programs and developing technological solutions to meet safety and health training needs. With over 13 years of industry experience, Travis's extensive working knowledge of safety practices extends from standard commercial construction applications to complicated industrial sites.

Tyler Riddell

Tyler Riddell is the Vice President of Marketing of eSub Construction Software with over 15 years of experience in Marketing Automation, Product Management, Demand Gen and Public Relations. Mr. Riddell has a proven track record of building high-performing teams, and successful GTM and corporate communication programs in multiple vertical technology markets.