BOARD OF TRUSTEES
American Technical Education Association
Officers for 2023-2025
Dr. Betty Reynard, ATEA President
President of Lamar State College Port Arthur, Port Arthur, Texas
Dr. Ann Bolman, 1st Vice President
President of Western Dakota Technical College, Rapid City, South Dakota
Ryan Purdy, 2nd Vice President
President, Mid-Plains Community College, North Platte, Nebraska
Dr. Jon Connolly, Immediate Past President
President of Sussex County Community College, Newton, New Jersey
Bob Wallace, Treasurer
ATEA Trustee Emeritus
Retired Tennessee Board of Regents Finance Director
Memory of Trustee Dr. Harry Bowman
Sue Griffin Smith
ATEA President 2019-2021
Vice President for Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Applied Technologies, Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana
Dr. Bryan Albrecht
ATEA President 2017-2019
President Emeritus Gateway Technical College, Kenosha/Racine Wisconsin
Dr. Rich Wagner
ATEA President 2013-2015
President of Dunwoody College of Technology
Retired President Northeast Community College, Bountville, Tennessee
Vice Chancellor for the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, TBR
Dr. Sandra Gehlen Krebsbach
Board of Trustees
ATEA 1st VP
President of Western Dakota Technical College
Rapid City, South Dakota
Dr. Bolman has been the president of Western Dakota Technical College starting in 2017. Her administrative career starting in Texas, first at Grayson College, Dennison, Texas as academic dean, then at Lone Star Community College, University Park, Woodlands Texas as VP of Academic Services and Lone Star Community College, Montgomery, Texas as Vice President of Instruction. She was faculty at Grayson in Rhetoric and ESOL.
She holds a Doctorate of Education from Texas A & M, Commerce, Texas and
a MA and BA from Texas A & M Kingsville Texas.
Dr. Brian Bontempo
Superintendent Auburn Career Center and Ohio Technical Center
Dr. Bontempo joined the ATEA Board in 2021 because of his interest in ATEA's mission of technical education and his search for a group of leaders who were colleagues first and willing to share all they could to help fellow educators. His first ATEA experience was at a Region 5 conference hosted by Dunwoody College of Technology. With the 'light sharing' on pathways from K-12 to postsecondary, Dr. Bontempo, as an ATEA Board member, will contribute to the ecosystem of career development at the postsecondary level and K-12.
He holds a Ed.D. from Northcentral University, Prescott, AZ, M. Ed's from John Carroll University, Cleveland Ohio in School Leadership and Computer Education. His bachelor of science in Business Education is from Ashland College, Ashland, Ohio.
Retired--Manager of Education Training & Digital Tools for Mississippi State University Bagley College of Engineering CAVS Extension in Canton Mississippi. He is the facility administrator over mechanical, environmental and building maintenance. He is a Master Technical Trainer with over 25 years of experience that includes stand up (classroom), Synchronous (e-learning is a virtual classroom), Asynchronous (e-learning online) in private industry, automotive and state school system. He received his B.S. in Computer Science from University of Arkansas in 1976. His passion has been in Technical Education and Skills Training from high school to the manufacturing factory floor and executive management. He is certified as a Master Trainer on several software Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages such as CATIA, SolidWorks and AutoCAD. He has written grants totaling over $750K and developed a successful high school program (Student Technology Exchange Program – STEP) and working on a middle school program that identifies potential engineering students
Serving on ATEA's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. 2022
Mr. Albert Bunshaft
Retired--Senior Vice President, Dassault Systemes and President of DS Foundation
Al Bunshaft is the Senior Vice President of Global Affairs, North America, for Dassault Systemes Americas Corporation. From 2010 until 2013 Bunshaft was Managing Director of Dassault Systèmes Americas. From 2013 to 2016 he was President and CEO of DS Government Solutions, the US subsidiary he led the creation of, focused on serving the United States Government. Prior to this he had a 25-year career at IBM holding various executive roles in R&D, strategic initiatives, and general management.
In his role as SVP of Global Affairs Mr. Bunshaft is responsible leading and marshaling the company’s influence in the industrial, corporate, scientific, educational and cultural spheres.
A common thread in Mr. Bunshaft’s career has been his expertise in visualization, computer graphics and engineering-related software tools. Since doing his post-graduate work at the National Science Foundation’s Center for Interactive Computer Graphics he has led efforts to introduce new processes into far ranging industries.
Bunshaft is Dassault Systèmes’ leading voice in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and was named one of the 100 top CEO leaders in STEM. Bunshaft is the co-chair of the STEM Innovation Task Force and is a member of multiple university advisory boards and industry organizations. He regularly writes and speaks about STEM topics. He is a member of the Council on Competitiveness and was recently appointed to a National Academy of Engineering committee on the integration of STEM, humanities and arts. He also serves on the Massachusetts Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. He is a board member of the Mass High Tech Council and a Board of Trustees member at the New York Hall of Science.
He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from University at Albany, State University of New York and has a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was a researcher at RPI’s Center for Interactive Computer Graphics, a National Science Foundation-Industry Research.
Dr. Sandy Caldwell
Executive Director, Wyoming Community College Commission and State Higher Education Executive Officer
Dr. Caldwell brings significant knowledge of higher education in multiple states including the importance of post-secondary educational attainment and the role community colleges play in supporting economic vitality. Dr. Caldwell has a long history in higher education having served as president of a multi-campus, rural-based community college in California, community college administrator and ALO in Wyoming, community college academic leader and faculty in Texas, and university field researcher in Oklahoma.
She has a large breath of experience and is a champion for industry partnerships. She helped create the largest rural-based internship and degree completion program and successfully launched a new community college through the initial candidacy process in CA, partnered to build a campus-based industrial worksite for the extraction industry in WY, and create an initial institutional effectiveness assessment plan that incorporated the block transfer in TX. She served on the CA president’s CEO board and served on the funding formula workgroup, which developed an allocation model for the colleges incorporating metrics for completion inclusive of disproportionately impacted students. She is a graduate of Leadership Wyoming and served as the board president for the Wyoming Women’s Foundation.
Her experience with community colleges, overseeing colleges with multiple sites and centers, gives her the skills needed to represent the State of Wyoming’s interests with the state’s eight community college districts. A priority for her is working collaboratively to facilitate seamless transitions for Wyoming’s students and to increase overall college completion toward the state’s attainment goal in support of the state’s economy with the college presidents, trustees, commissioners, Superintendent of Public Instruction, president of the University of Wyoming and the Governor’s Office.
Dr. Caldwell grew up in rural Oklahoma and, after surviving as a homeless youth, found her success in life through attendance at a rural-based community college. She has bachelors and master’s degrees in mathematics and statistics from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She is married and has two adult sons who graduated from Wyoming K-12, community colleges, and universities in Wyoming and California.
Economic Development Advisor to the President of Trident Technical College, Charleston, South Carolina
NSF REEVD Project Manager
Ms. Colbert-Busch is the founder of Colbert Busch LLC, a firm specializing in building sustainable workforce development ecosystems through academic and industry partnerships. She serves as economic development advisor to the President of Trident Technical College, which operates the SC Aeronautical Training Center. She previously served as the Executive Director of Business Development and Community Engagement for the Clemson University Office of Academic Affairs in the Charleston area and from 2008-16 was Director of Business Development for the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI), also in Charleston. Before her tenure with Clemson University, Elizabeth spent a 20-year career with Orient Overseas Container Line (USA), rising from a customer service representative to North America Regional Sales Director. She has served in leadership capacities on more than a dozen boards and community organizations and has earned numerous awards and special recognitions throughout her career. Most recently, she received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from the College of Charleston.
Dr. David Dore
Chancellor the Virginia Commonwealth Community College System starting April 3, 2023.
David Doré’s community college career has been guided by a fundamental belief: every student can succeed if the conditions are right. He has focused his career on serving ethnically diverse and underrepresented student populations to foster culturally responsive and inclusive learning communities in support of open access, equity, and student success. David has served at Pima Community College since 2014 and currently serves as President of Campuses and Executive Vice Chancellor where he leads the College’s five campuses, Student Affairs and Workforce Development and Innovation areas including development of Centers of Excellence in Pima County’s key growth sectors.
Prior to coming to Pima, he served as Dean of Career and Technical Education with the Maricopa Community College District, Dean of the School of Business and Dean of the Downtown Campus at City College of San Francisco. David served as a full-time faculty member at the community college, university and secondary levels for twenty years. A proud graduate of one of the first classes of Head Start and a first-generation college student, David earned a doctorate from Pepperdine University, a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University, a Master of Education from Boston College, a Master of Theological Studies from Santa Clara University (JSTB), a Licentiate of Philosophy from Gonzaga University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Gannon University in Erie, PA.
David is active in community leadership and community college and workforce development advocacy and currently serves as a member of Pima County’s Workforce Investment Board; Board Chair, Northwest Medical Center; Advisory Board Member, University of Arizona Honors College; and previously as a commissioner of the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Economic and Workforce Development and Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He is a frequent presenter both locally and nationally on the development of successful workforce development programs and partnerships. David was a 2017-18 Presidential Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Community College Excellence Program.
Dr. Aaron Fichtner
President of the New Jersey County College Council
Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D. is the President of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, a nonprofit organization, enshrined in state law, that supports and strengthens the state’s 19 community colleges. The Council is currently working with stakeholders to develop a framework for the future, called Vision 2028, that will articulate a bold vision for New Jersey’s community colleges. Fichtner served as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development from September 2016 to January 2018. He joined the Department in 2010, serving as Assistant Commissioner for Labor Planning and Analysis and Deputy Commissioner.
Before joining state government, Fichtner was the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. Fichtner earned a Ph.D. in Planning and Public Policy from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in City Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in History from Vassar College.
Dr. Jimmy Hodges,President, Calhoun Community College, Decatur, Alabama with a campus in Huntsville
Dr. Jimmy Hodges was appointed the president of Calhoun Community College on July 13, 2022.. Prior to his appointment he served as interim president for 13 months. Dr. Hodges began his career as a machinist in 1981 in Cullman, Alabama at what was then known as the Speeding Ultra-Precision machine shop. He spent the next 19 years in a variety of manufacturing positions, primarily in the aero-space industry in the North Alabama region. In 2000, he moved his career and expertise to teaching Drafting and Design at the Earnest Pruett Center for Technology and working as an adjunct drafting instructor at Northeast Alabama Community College at night. He was hired at Wallace State Community College in June 2009 as the Drafting and Design department chair and accepted the position of Dean of Applied Technologies in November 2011. He was selected as the North Alabama Regional Workforce Director for The Alabama Community College System on March 16, 2020, before going to Calhoun as interim president on June 1, 2021. Jimmy and his wife, Lynn, have three children, Matthew, Laura, and Ginny. All three are educated and employed and have given Jimmy and Lynn seven wonderful grandchildren, four girls and three boys, which are the center of Jimmy and Lynn’s world. Dr. Hodges is very excited about the growth and future of Calhoun Community College and the North Alabama region.
President LAB MIDWEST Wisconsin and host of Tech Podcast.
Matt has served as ATS/LAB MIDWEST since 2015, a leading Midwest’s Distributor of Curriculum, eLearning and Training Systems for Education and Industry. He hosts THE TECHED PODCAST started in 2021. It is a national podcast featuring leaders that are shaping, influencing and disrupting Technical Education.
His industry career started in 1998 to 2008 as PRESIDENT & CEO, of America’s Best Quality Coatings. A Rockwell Automation spin-off, ABQC was the largest contract surface finisher in the United States. He next lead AMERICAN FINISHING RESOURCES –2008-2015, the nation’s largest provider of custom paint fixture engineering and coatings removal services, owned in partnership with Brass Ring Capital, later acquired by DuBois Chemicals.
Matt Kirchner has held multiple organization executive leadership positions. His leadership ranges from boards of private companies R &B Wagner Companies and Wisconsin River Partners to non-profits Gateway Education Foundation, Wow Workforce Board, and Building Project Chair for Fox Point Church. He has been the managing director of Profit-360, LLC.
Through guest speaking and writing, Matt is active in his range of technical interests which include advanced manufacturing; Industry 4.0, “Advanced Possibilities through Intelligent Technology” for Gamer, 2021; monthly columnist for Gardner Media; and contributor to Products Finishing Magazine 2005-present and Production Machining Magazine.
Mr. Kirchner holds a degree in Business Administration from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1991 and in 1994 became a Certified Public Accountant. He holds a Smart Automation Certification Alliance Basic and Advanced Industry 4.0 Operations.
Jobs for the Future working on equitable career pathways in CTE.
former Senior Director, College and Career Access & Success at the Ohio Department of Higher Education where he oversaw Ohio’s Postsecondary Career and Technical Education portfolio, which includes oversight of Ohio’s 52 Ohio Technical Centers, management of various initiatives for the state’s community colleges and universities, as well as leadership for the Carl D. Perkins federal grant program, career pathways development, and postsecondary access and success. He has been the state lead for various national and state initiatives like the Lumina Foundation’s Credit When It’s Due “reverse-transfer”, Institute of Higher Education Policy’s Win-Win Project, National Governors Association’s Academy for Career Technical Education, and Ohio’s One-Year Option’s 900 clock hours to 30 credit hours initiative. He has served on national education organization boards, provided thought leadership as an education expert to community and national organizations, and has been a highlighted presenter, keynote speaker, and panelist at local, state and national meetings and conferences.
He has over twenty-five years of experience in higher education administration and policy in the areas of workforce development, economic advancement, academic affairs, and student affairs. Previously, he held positions in student affairs at Central State University (Ohio) which is an Historically Black College and University, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Tony is also a published writer and holds a BA and MA in History from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
A native of Springfield, Illinois, he and his wife Kai have one son—Grant, and reside in the Columbus, Ohio area.
Brooks Jacobsen--ATEA Outstanding Board Member 2020
Supervisor Electrical Systems and Robotics Program
Lake Area Technical College,
Watertown, South Dakota
Brooks graduated from LATI’s robotics program in 2006 and has been instructor since March 2006. Prior to attending school at LATI, Brooks worked as a MLRS systems repairer, from 1999-present, in the military. Brooks has also worked with Dakota Automation, Daktronics, and Automation Technology. He is retired from the South Dakota Army National Guard, has an AAS in Robotic, AAS in Electronic Systems Technology, BS in Engineering, and is currently finishing a MS in Information Management-Project Management. He ,is the Chair of the ATEA National Awards Committee where presides at the awards ceremony and is secretary for the ATEA Region 5 board, and helps with many local and state committees.
Dr. Matt Janisin
Vice President for Business and Workforce Solutions, Gateway Technical College
Racine, Kenosha and Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Matthew E. Janisin has been the Vice President of the Business & Workforce Solutions (BWS) division at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wisconsin since 2017. His primary role is to oversee outreach to business and industry, apprenticeship, customized contract training, Fab Lab student support and community outreach, business partnerships, and specialized collaborative training initiatives working with organizations including the Department of Corrections, local workforce agencies, and private donors. The work done in BWS connects many aspects of the college and its mission to business and industry and facilitates deeper relationships. Businesses are served through short-term customized training to fill their immediate needs but then connected to the academic programs to ensure they have a pipeline of talent to grow and prosper. Through this customized training relationship with local employers, BWS also serves to connect them with current students and alumni using placement services at the college. Through the Fab Lab BWS connects our local K12 schools and academies with academic areas in the college and with employers. The open lines of communication between the college, K12 schools, and businesses forge a stronger community.
Initially, joining the college in 2011 as Gateway’s NC3 Instructor/Coordinator he was responsible for coordinating with local, state, and national industry partners to design, develop, and implement industry credentials to help students fill the skills gap found in many industry sectors including transportation, manufacturing, and construction. He delivered a number of the certification courses available through NC3 and its partners, including the Snap-on Diagnostics, Torque, Wheel Service, and Meter certifications, to current Gateway students, local incumbent workers, and fellow instructors from across the world whose colleges have joined the NC3 team. He was a lead instructor on a project in Oujda, Morocco to build a new college-level automotive technology program anchored by NC3 industry certifications. Dr. Janisin continues to support Snap-on and other NC3 partners with these initiatives, but now at an administrative level within Gateway.
Dr. Janisin holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Industrial & Technology Education and a doctorate in Career and Technical Education; all from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He taught CTE-related courses, including PLTW engineering, manufacturing, automotive, and power sports technologies at the high school level for almost nine years before joining Gateway full-time in 2011. His background was in automotive including being an ASE Certified Master Technician with a number of other ASE endorsements. He has also authored a textbook, Guide to Diagnostic Product Certification.
J P, Jean Phillippe Laguerre
Director, Education Dassault Systemes of America
Jean-Philippe (JP) Laguerre is a business executive leader with more than 25 years of international experience in Enterprise Level Digital Transformation, Innovation, Global Consulting and Emerging Technology across various Fortune 500 companies and in Education. He brings a cross-cultural work experience in North America, Europe and Asia.
In his current role, Jean-Philippe develops and manage strategic partnerships with academic institutions across North America to expand a network of Education Centers of Excellence focusing on innovative engineering curricula, groundbreaking and impactful research activities, continuing education programs, professional certifications and collaboration with industry leaders to produce positive and sustainable outcomes.
Formerly, JP Laguerre had management responsibilities at Dassault Systemes with Fortune 500 companies in various industries where he was in charge of customer relationships, customer experience and project execution. He joined Dassault Systemes in 1996 in Paris, France then moved to Tokyo, Japan as a manufacturing expert working with OEM and suppliers in the aerospace and automotive industries. He then transferred to California in the same capacity for North America and used his expertise to support commercial, space and defense programs
He holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from The Polytech Group in France. He is also a graduate from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
JP Laguerre is on multiple boards with a common goal to transform STEM/STEAM education to be accessible to all, exciting and effective at all levels. He has been serving as a judge for engineering competitions and undergraduate projects. In 2013, he facilitated the creation of a FIRST Robotics team in Boyle Heights, CA with the i.am.angel Foundation to TRANS4M Lives in underserved communities. Since 2016, he has been working with Base 11 (Costa Mesa, CA) to empower women and minorities with the Skills, Access, Awareness, and Belief needed to succeed in Next Frontier Industries of the 21st century.
JP has been active with the ATEA since 2017: (1) Panelist at Fall 2017 Conference with Truckee Meadows CC and TESLA, (2) Conference, Spring 2020, co-Chair of the "Technical Education in a Rapid Transforming World of Aerospace and Space Exploration, (3) Judge for the 3D Futures Competition.
President of Amatrol, Jeffersonville Indiana
Paul is currently president and co-founder of Amatrol and president of DACW Worldwide. Amatrol, Inc. is a Jeffersonville, Indiana-based manufacturer of technical learning systems and online interactive multimedia software. DAC Worldwide is a Swedesboro, NJ manufacturer of hands-on training workstations for industrial skills training. Both companies provide products to industry, colleges, and high schools to support training of individuals for area such as Industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing, power, renewable energy, logistics automation and transportation.
Personal accomplishments include: B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, author of over 20 books on industrial controls and automation, design of numerous training systems for teaching engineering and technical skills, and consulting on training program development for many Fortune 500 organizations and various foreign governments.
Current community service activities include: Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, Vice Chair of Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Manufacturer’s Association Board, Ivy Tech Community College Foundation Board, Chair of Ivy Tech Community College Regional Board-Sellersburg Campus, American Technical Education Association Board, Jefferson Community and Technical College Board, Coalition for Career Development Board, Conexus Board, and Southern Indiana Works Board.
Deputy Executive Director
I have worked in education for the past 20 years, which includes leadership in standards and assessment, curriculum development, project management, and the teaching of writing, literature, and film studies at the university level in the United States and in Shanghai, China. After serving as an instructional designer with the Career and Technical Education Consortium of States (CTECS) for 10 years, I became the Deputy Executive Director of CTECS in 2012. One key leadership skill I greatly value is building new partnerships that are mutually beneficial and that focus on program improvement in the ultimate interest of students and educators.
Since 1973, CTECS has had the pleasure of doing business with 45 states and other strategic partners. Our connections are expansive, ranging from large-scale postsecondary systems such as the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), to active new members, such as the State of California's Division of CTE, to vibrant business associations like the Florida Automotive Dealer's Association (FADA).
I whole-heartedly support the mission of ATEA and will do my best to enhance the mission of ATEA, ensuring that the "practical teaching ideas and best practices" of postsecondary education are upheld. ATEA's goals and values are shared and reflected by CTECS, which include the promise to "advocate the value of technical education to society."
ATEA 2nd VP
Mid Plains Community College
North Platte, McCook, Broken Bow, Imperial, Ogallala, and Valentine, Nebraska
Ryan Purdy was appointed President for the 18-county Mid-Plains Community College service area in May 2012 after serving the same position in the Interim Capacity since January 2012. Prior to this appointment, Ryan had served as the Associate Vice President of Administrative Services since May 2003 and the Director of Accounting from March 2002 unitl May 2003. The MPCC service area encompasses three major campuses, four community campuses, more than 30 learning sites and over 20,500 square miles of west-central and southwest Nebraska.
Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Chadron State College in Chadron, NE.
Betty Reynard Ed. D.
President Lamar State College Port Arthur
Port Arthur, Texas
Dr. Betty Reynard has over thirty years of experience in higher education. She began her career in 1979 as a faculty member at Lamar University and moved to Lamar Institute of Technology as a program director and assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 2007, she became Lamar Institute of Technology’s Vice President for Academic Affairs.
In September 2014 Dr. Reynard was selected to serve as President of Lamar State College Port Arthur. As president she is responsible for providing overall leadership to the college. The major areas of responsibility include academic programs, athletics, finance, library services, student services, physical plant, and workforce training.
Dr. Reynard earned an associate of applied science degree in dental hygiene, a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University. She earned her doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Houston. She has received numerous honors and awards during her tenure in education. She volunteers numerous organizations and is a member of several professional organizations. Dr. Reynard was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the American Technical Education Association in 2011.
Dr. Reynard was born in Thunder Bay, Canada. She completed the first 7 years of her education in Canada when her family moved to the United States. She has lived in California, however, most of her adult life was spent living in Texas.
Dr. Brad Tyndall
President, Central Wyoming College
Dr. Brad Tyndall has been the president of Central Wyoming College since July 2016. He has worked in the field of community economic development all of his adult career. Overseas, he worked 5 years in eastern Africa and the Middle East for the US Agency for International Development, Peace Corps, and CARE International. He was a Fulbright Fellow in economic development for a World Bank affiliate in Kenya. In 2016, he was asked by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to present at its World Environment Day conference in Jubail. After 9/11/2001, to promote peace and understanding, he began doing presentations on Islam and he has published a book recounting his personal perspective.
In the US, Brad has worked in economic development in the community college sector for over 20 years in Colorado (Front Range Community College), New Mexico (San Juan College), Missouri (Crowder College) and now Wyoming (CWC). His community college experience is extensive including: as adjunct faculty, full-time faculty, department chair, academic dean, vice president and now president.
Tyndall has a Ph.D. in Economics with specializations in Environmental Economics and International Finance. Brad’s Master’s Degree is in Ag & Natural Resource Economics from Colorado State University where his thesis was on the Colorado Corn Market. His Ph.D. in Economics, also from CSU, focused on the innovative solutions to economic development in Africa. Brad has a B.S. in Science Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has studied Arabic at the University of Strasbourg in France and at the Sudan Arabic Institute in Khartoum. He speaks English, French, Arabic and some Amharic.
Brad is originally from Littleton, CO, and has spent much time hiking and boating in Wyoming with his family. He is married to Audrey and they have three children, Sophia, Tedla, and Jalon.
Brad’s Master’s Degree is in Ag & Natural Resource Economics from Colorado State University where his thesis was on the Colorado Corn Market. His Ph.D. in Economics, also from CSU, focused on the innovative solutions to economic development in Africa.
Brad loves teaching and has managed to teach about one course per year as an administrator. He also enjoys dabbling in agriculture by way of growing grapes and making wine. He loves hiking, skiing, and fishing.
Brad is originally from Littleton, CO, and has spent much time hiking and boating in Wyoming with his family. He is married to Audrey and they have three children, Sophia, Tedla, and Jalon.
Executive Director, SkillsUSA
Chelle has been active with ATEA for 20 years, having lead two national conference for ATEA in Chattanooga in 2013and Nashville 2017. She was the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Services adn Student Affairs for the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology for the Tennessee Board of Regents. In that capacity she was the SkillsUSA state director for Tennessee Skills competitions. Chelle most recently was the Senior Director of Workforce and Economic Development for Tennessee Higher Education Commission leading two initiatives, the Governor's Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) and Supporting Postsecondary Access in Rural Communities (SPARC). GIVE provides community grants which aim to eliminate skills gaps across the state in a proactive, data-driven and coordinated manner by encouraging collaboration across education and industry. SPARC will offer micro grant opportunities for Career and Technical Education equipment. She holds a bachelors and a masters degree in business administration of Tennessee Middle States University.
Dr. Sheree Utash
President of Wichita State University campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU)
Sheree Utash has served as President of Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech) since 2015. Prior to that, she served eight years at Wichita Area Technical College as vice president of academic affairs. With over 7,500 students, WSU Tech is the largest technical college in Kansas and acts as managing partner for the National Center for Aviation Training. Utash offers a unique blend of teaching, administrative and leadership experience in both higher education and private industry. She has provided administrative oversight for the College's academic programs, with emphases in manufacturing, aviation, design, IT, specialized trades, healthcare and general education. She has overseen faculty, grants management, adult literacy, and academic planning and resource management. Her role involved the formation and leadership of the lead institution for the National Aviation Consortium, a $15 million grant project with direct working relationships with two-year colleges in five states. Additionally, Utash managed and facilitated the recent affiliation of WATC with Wichita State University to create WSU Tech.
Tennessee College of Applied Science
Wightman began his career at the Crossville campus and with the TBR system in 2007 as a machine tool technology instructor, following an 18-year career as a machinist and engineering technician in the private sector, including 12 years at Delbar Products Inc. in Crossville. He served as TCAT-Crossville’s marketing and industrial training coordinator from 2012 to 2015, when he was elevated to assistant director. He was appointed president in 2017.
Wightman's experience ranges from the teaching to the finances and building projects. He maintains relationships with industry and the community to promote continuing education and partnerships with our community colleges. "I firmly feel that my entire life has evolved into where I am today because of the education I received as a student here, and I can convey to area residents the need for skilled training to change their lives for the better.”
After his high school graduation, Wightman continued his studies at TCAT-Crossville and graduated from the machine tool technology program. He later earned an Associate of Applied Science in general technologies at Roane State Community College, a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies at Tennessee Technological University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Bethel University.
Wightman also attended the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology Leadership Training Academy and has been a presenter at the Tennessee Board of Regents’ New Faculty Institute. He has attended team member training at the Council on Occupational Education, the national accreditation agency for technical colleges. Wightman also serves on the National Education Team for Skills USA.
TCAT Crossville's nomination for the ATEA and National Technical Honor Society LDB Logistics won in 2018 and are features in the ATEA Journal spring/summer 2018.
Lin Zhou, Ph.D.
President, Bates Technical College
Dr. Zhou served as Bates Technical College vice president beginning in 2016. She was hired at Bates as the dean of continuing education, apprenticeship and child studies in 2013. Since then, she has served as dean of instruction and executive dean. Prior to Bates, she worked as associate dean of extended learning and director of branch campus and continuing education at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. She holds a Ph.D. in education from Oregon State University, a master’s in business administration from City University in Seattle and an associate degree in computer science and networking technology from Lake Washington Institute of Technology. In 2017, Zhou participated in the Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management, administered by the university’s Graduate School of Education.
Regional Past President
President of the Regions 2015-2023
Retired Financial Administer Program Instructor, Southeast Tech, Sioux Falls SD
Professional Engagement as the ATEA Journal Editor
American Technical Education Association Journal Editor
Dr. Nasser Razek, College Education and LeBron James Family Foundation
Student Association for Graduates In Education (SAGE)
University of Akron, Akron, Ohio