Instructors

Derek Arbogast
Quality Stamping & Machining

Derek began his machining career as the chip sweeper for Weldco Beales, a producer of logging and excavation equipment. There he was offered the opportunity to run large manual mills. This was the beginning.

After Weldco, on to Ideal Machine. Ideal’s speciality is large, 50,000 lbs, castings for the nuclear power industry.
After Ideal, it was Primus International. While there, he was involved with the first runs of several 787 part families. He developed processes for production that would succeed both at home and abroad.

Derek then took a position as a CNN Dept. Head, at Hill Aero systems. While there, he scheduled and planned the production of spares parts in aerospace industry. Often producing parts from PCM’s and drawings that were several years old.
He is now a Machinist for Quality Stamping. His role there is to help the company expand into the hard metals field.
He looks forward to sharing his experience and love for this trade with the next generation of machinists.

Tim Bacon
Tool Gauge & Machine Works, Inc.

Tim comes to AJAC with nearly 20 years of manufacturing experience and over a decade of teaching. He graduated Green River Community College in 1987 with a degree in Pre-Mechanical Engineering. After studying Industrial Technology at Western Washington University, Tim pas spent the last 15 years at Tool Gauge and Machine Works in Tacoma, Washington as the CNC Department Supervisor. In 2015, Tim graduated with a Bachelors of Applied Science in Technical Teaching Education from South Seattle College.

During AJAC’s 2018 Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony, Tim received the 2018 Instructor of the Year award. Connect with Tim on LinkedIn.

Tanya Big Mountain
Columbia Basin College

I started my career path in a small locksmith shop as the only non-family member to work there in three generations. With encouragement from my employer, I attended Columbia Basin College’s (CBC) 2-year machine technology program and graduated with my AAS degree. After returning to the lock shop and a brief employment at Ti Lite I returned to CBC as a shop assistant to the instructor. I have now been a Precision Machine Technology instructor at Columbia Basin College for about 6 years, focusing on CNC machine programming, set-up and operation. I have assisted with the Mill Wrights manual milling and lathe training, GLAM (girls learning about manufacturing) for several years and a few local high school introduction to manufacturing summer school classes. I am also an adviser for SkillsUSA and attend the national competition with our students from CBC and a number of Washington State area vocational colleges. I have also been teaching a few of the AJAC CNC introduction and programming classes for 2 years now.

Bill Collins
Bates Technical College

Bill Collins comes to AJAC with an extensive background in applied mathematics. He graduated from Bellevue Community College in 1997 with an Associate of Arts and Sciences in Mathematics. He then complete the University of Washington’s Bachelor of Science in Computing and Software Systems degree in 2003. Since 2005, Bill has been employed at Bates Technical College teaching a wide-variety of math-related subjects including Pre-Algebra, Elementary and Intermediate Algebra, Basic Skills Math with IBEST welding program.

Connect with Bill on LinkedIn.

Steve Fotou
Cadence Aerospace - PMW Operations

Steve has been working in the trades for 40+ years in the energy, manufacturing, Marine and Aerospace Industries. His career started with Mountain Fuel Supply Co. now Questar. He enrolled in Utah Technical College in Drafting and Machine Shop technique and started a side Tool & Die business at the same time.

After 27 years with Questar, Steve went to Rubber Maid/Levelor for 3.5 years as Senior Project Specialist. He then moved to the Pacific Northwest and worked for Markey Machinery as their Production Manager. For the past 7 years, Steve has worked at Cadence Aerospace – PMW Operations as one of their CNC Retrofit & Repair Techs. Steve has also worked extensively in the Firearms Industry and helped many people build their own airplanes through the EAA “Experimental Aircraft Association”.

Scott Gregory
Areva NP

Scott has worked for Areva NP  for 25 years working solely in manufacturing. He started working in the machining trade in 1995, and shortly thereafter, received his AAS in machine technology in 1998 while working full time at Areva. Scott currently supervises the Machining and Inspection in the Component Center.

Mary Hadley
Alaska Airlines

I have worked in the aircraft maintenance field for 42 years. My career started in the United States Air Force as a fighter aircraft mechanic and a Vietnam veteran.

When I got out of the service, I went to work as a civilian employee at the Depot maintenance, while I attended school at Utah State. I got my A & P license while in Utah. I was the first women in Utah to receive my A & P license and made the local newspaper. After my husband got out of the service, we moved back to Washington where I got a job at a local small aircraft repair shop in Vancouver. I was eventually recruited to work for Horizon Air which was later bought by Alaska Airlines. I have been a lead mechanic for C checks and a Line Maintenance Supervisor for the airline. I was a Supervisor for Bombardier and a Master Mechanic for Aviation Technical Services (ATS). While at ATS, I became a mentor for the young mechanics through structured on-the-job training.

Jeff Keller
AJAC

Jeff has been teaching for 27 years, with over 22 years with the Seattle Public Schools. He has taught math for AJAC for since 2013. Currently, Jeff teaches Shop Algebra, Geometry./Trigonometry, and basic math skills courses. During his time with AJAC, Jeff has taught at Everett Community College, Glacier Peak High School, Renton Technical College, Bates Technical College, and South Seattle College – Georgetown Campus.

Chris Kirsop
RTC Aerospace - Fife Division

Chris began his machining career in 1980 as an entry level machinist trainee after completing a one year community college machining program. He was given the opportunity to enroll in a machinist apprenticeship program with the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) by his first employer, who sponsored him through the four years of that program. Shortly after the completion of his apprenticeship, and in partnership with his first employer, Chris started a new business that developed into a successful manufacturing company supplying multi-axis machined parts to the aerospace industry. The company was closed in 2004 and Chris went to work for RTC Aerospace where he is currently employed as the General Manager of the Fife Division. Chris has extensive experience in every phrase of the manufacturing process and he has a passionate appreciation for the people that work in the manufacturing industry.

Jim Koger
Kaiser Aluminum

Jim has worked in the Industrial Maintenance field for 30 years in the Plastic Injection Molding, Packaging Equipment, Aluminum Rolling, and Foundry industries. After spending eight years in the Metal Fabrication trade, Jim attended Spokane Community College and obtained his AAS in Automated Equipment Technology in 1987. In 2010, Jim obtained a BS degree in Technology with Electronics emphasis from Eastern Washington University.

Having a passion for continuing education and the Industrial Maintenance trade, upon retirement in 2017, Jim joined the AJAC staff to mentor a new generation Maintenance Technicians.

Robert Mott
Verizon

Robert earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Seattle Pacific University, and then went to work for GTE, and later Verizon, in various capacities as Programmer, Systems Analyst and Systems Engineer. While working for GTE he went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering from Seattle University.

After retiring from Verizon, Robert began to develop a passion for teaching. He started tutoring high school and college students, and later worked as a Math Tutor at the Everett Community College Tutoring Center. In 2015, Robert was hired to be an AJAC instructor and currently teaches Shop Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry.

Frederick Reiss
US Navy

I worked in the manufacturing/ maintenance industry for 20 years. My employer was the US Navy. I am a retired Hull Technician First class. I have worked on everything the navy has, from what planes to subs.

I currently have an AA in general studies. I am currently working on my AAS in mechanical design through Lake Washington Tech.

Marty Uber
Fabtech

Marty has worked in the manufacturing industry as a machinist for over 30 years. He graduated from North Idaho College’s 2 year machining tech class in 1986. From then on, Marty has made parts for aerospace, medical, agriculture, mining and oil. Yes, his parts have been to outerspace and back!

Marty has been teaching with AJAC for approximately 6 years including classes such as Engineering Drawings and CNC Lathe Programming. He is also working on a new project with AJAC called MENTORING THE MENTOR.

Jason Vice
Kymeta Corporation

Jason comes to AJAC with over two decades of manufacturing experience primarily in machining. In 1996, he graduated with an Associate of Applied Sciences Degree in Precision Machining from Lake Washington Technical Institute. Jason currently works as the machine shop manager at Kymeta Corporation in addition to his work as an AJAC instructor and subject matter expert. He continues to serve as the chairman of the Lake Washington Technical Institute machining program advisory committee and works as a consultant at JasonVice.com.

Jason’s passion for teaching began in his first quarter at AJAC where he taught CNC mill programming. His students developed a deep understanding of his manufacturing techniques and continue to value his love for manufacturing.