Demetria “Lynn” Strickland
Executive Director

Demetria “Lynn” Strickland has over 22 years of management experience in the for-profit, military, non-profit, and state sectors. Lynn is a proud veteran of the U.S. Army where she served nine years domestically and abroad.Lynn earned several awards during her time in the military including the John L. Woodward Leadership Award and the 43rd Signal Battalion Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Award.

After receiving an honorable discharge from the service, Lynn started her career in apprenticeship and education in 2004 at Skookum Education Services where she worked as a Human Relations Generalist, Apprenticeship Coordinator and Operations Manager. In 2007, Strickland was hired by Bates Technical College to serve as Associate Dean of Apprenticeship, Continuing Education, and Boiler Certification. Strickland was promoted in 2011 to Dean of Instruction for the Construction and Manufacturing careers.

In February of 2012, Lynn joined AJAC’s team as Aviation Maintenance Program Manager to manage the Part147 Aviation Maintenance Technician schools Fighting 147 group, AJAC’s Advanced Inspection and Manufacturing Mobile Training Unit (AIM-MTU), and the Manufacturing Academy. Lynn was promoted to Deputy Director in July 2012 and Executive Director in August 2014.

Lynn’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management, a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, and a Graduate Human Relations Certificate.

Shannon Matson, MPA
Deputy Director

Shannon comes to AJAC with 15 years of project management experience spanning direct service educational programming, resource development, organizational management, business intelligence, internal/external program evaluation, and public policy research.  Shannon is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Washington and an Institute of Education Sciences Research Fellow through the US Department of Education.   She also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the University of Washington earned in 2002.  Prior to joining AJAC, Shannon notably served as Director of Evergreen Evaluation Services, Continuing Education Specialist at the University of Washington, Program Director at Washington Business Week, Evaluation Specialist at Solid Ground (Formerly the Fremont Public Association), and Research Assistant at the Washington State Institute for Public Policy.   Shannon’s professional and research interests include workforce development, higher education policy, labor economics, and regional economic development. Shannon was promoted from Business Planning and Learning Manager to Deputy Director in December 2014.

Elizabeth Slaughter, AJAC Office Manager
Elizabeth Slaughter
Director of Business Services

Elizabeth has over 30 years of experience in management and business administration relating to human resources, labor relations, organizational improvements, system upgrades and customer service. She has been a Trustee or Member of several Committees, Executive Boards and Apprenticeship Programs. She has been a member of the International Federation of Employee Benefits & Pension (IFEBP) organization for over 12 years and has a Wharton School, 2011 Executive Certificate in International Investing and Emerging Markets. Elizabeth was promoted from Business Services Manager to Director of Business Services in October 2017.

Stephanie Simmons | AJAC
Stephanie Simmons
Fiscal Specialist

Stephanie has over ten years of experience in administration, accounting, human resources, and fiscal compliance within the casino and hospitality management industries, as well as five years of advocacy work for disabled youth in foster care. She was born in southern California and has resided in western Washington all of her adult life, having lived in Mason, Kitsap, Snohomish and King Counties.

Stephanie joined AJAC in March 2021, starting as an intern for the Pre-Apprenticeship Manufacturing Academy program before being hired full time as a Fiscal Specialist.

Erin Williams
Regional Program Manager

Erin joins AJAC with ten years of non-profit experience including global healthcare and WA State policy. She earned her degree in Communications and Public Relations from the University of San Francisco. After teaching 4th grade in an orphanage in Ghana for a year, she returned to the workforce with a continued passion in helping others. Prior to AJAC Erin was Membership & Events Manager for Washington Business Alliance. During this time Erin focused on advocating for Career and Technical Education and promoting Career Pathways for WA State trades. She facilitated a number of panel discussions in 2016 to bring attention to this important topic. Erin currently serves on the WA State Rehabilitation Council, a Governor-appointed advisory board under the Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation. She is a Seattle native.

Jenna McDonald
Regional Program Manager

Jenna joined AJAC after working for State universities in a variety of positions which include department and program management. She worked closely with students along with promoting programs and helping prospective students apply for programs. She was involved in reviewing applications and evaluating student transcripts. Before this, Jenna was a City Manager where she was involved in all aspects of overseeing a local government. This includes helping residents with a variety of issues which was her favorite part of her responsibilities.

Jenna has volunteered for many years serving as the president for the high school booster club, president of the youth athletic program, and currently is the area Youth Basketball League Manager where she works with all the local coordinators to provide an opportunity for all the young athletes learn and play basketball while also learning valuable life skills.  She started a non-profit organization, Northwest Children’s Association where they support youth with special needs participate in various sports.

In her free time, she enjoys running, swimming, biking, playing golf and trapshooting.  Along with spending time with her family.

Amy Suter | AJAC
Amy Suter
Regional Program Manager

Amy joined AJAC after working with the Seattle Mariners as Manager, Security for nearly seven seasons. While at the Mariners, she oversaw all aspects of the Event Security team to ensure the safety and security for 81 baseball games a year and numerous other events held at T-Mobile Park. This role included the hiring, training, scheduling and development of over 250 Event Security staff every season. Her favorite part of the job was working all the wonderful staff that helped make incredible guest experiences at the stadium,

Prior to the Seattle Mariners Amy  spent over 15 years at Microsoft in the Windows and Xbox Gaming Divisions. Her time there brought lots of opportunity with different roles including Software Tester, Test Lead and finally Release Manger.

Amy is also involved with volunteer groups in her community, serving in leadership roles when needed. She is a Washington native having grown up in Puyallup and graduated from Western Washington University. In her free time she can be found playing her favorite video games, camping up at Lake Cushman or planning her next trip to Disneyland.

Chris Pierson
Director of Grants and Strategic Partnerships

Chris has over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including workforce development, philanthropy, youth development, and education. Chris holds a Master’s Degree of Public Administration from the University of Washington earned in 2008, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Ohio University earned in 2000. Prior to coming to AJAC, he was the Program Manager at SkillUp Washington, a workforce funder collaborative at the Seattle Foundation, where he led numerous strategic planning and partnership building efforts to expand economic opportunities in the Puget Sound region for low-income communities and opportunity youth in the manufacturing, aviation and retail industries. He was a Marano Fellow in the first Greater Seattle Sector Skills Academy in 2014 and ran the second Greater Seattle Sector Skills Academy in 2016 in partnership with the Aspen Institute. Chris entered the workforce development field managing youth employment programs at the YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish Counties, and a pre-employment internship program for homeless youth in the University District.

Leo Vogel
Financial Aid Manager

Leo comes to AJAC with over 12 years of experience in financial aid which spans career/adult education, private university education, and public/state university education. Prior to joining AJAC, Leo was the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at the University of California San Diego where he worked closely with many underrepresented student groups including student veterans, undocumented students, and first generation students to assist them with obtaining the funding needed to reach their goals.

Leo has led teams, overseen the implementation of large scale technological improvements, and managed awarding and policy for several state and federal grant funds. Leo has also been an active member in financial aid associations, including sitting on the executive council for WASFAA and serving as a trainer for the SDB Summer Institute.

Elly Henderson
Apprenticeship Program Manager

Elly comes to AJAC with over 10 years of nonprofit experience. Most recently, Elly was a program and account manager for the Quality Improvement Program–a department within the American Heart Association that works directly with hospitals to improve patient care with consistent adherence to current treatment guidelines. Elly’s favorite part of the job was building relationships with volunteers and hospital partners. Prior to working at AHA, Elly served two years in AmeriCorps working in early childhood education and community college student services.

Elly earned a bachelor’s of science in Community Health Education from Portland State University. In her free time, Elly enjoys spending time with friends, walking her dog Lola, and riding around town on her silver scooter she calls Sebastian.

Lan West
Apprenticeship Services Coordinator

Lan comes to AJAC with two years of coordinator and manager assistant experience in the non-profit industry after spending seven years in the telecommunication industry as a project coordinator. In 2011, Lan went back to school in Louisiana to earn her Masters in Business Administration.

Lan was hired by AJAC in April 2017 to coordinate and administer inquiries from apprentices and outside entities regarding enrollment of new apprentices, tracking of hours and organization of AJAC’s Apprentice Tracking System.

John Manning
Program Manager

John comes to AJAC with over 10 years vocational case management and other non- profit service experience.  John has sales, outreach, training, program management, and advocacy experience as well.  John earned his Master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University located in Cleveland Ohio and has lived in the Puget Sound region since 2010.

Bri Durham | AJAC On-the-Job Training Advisor
Bri Durham
Director of Program Development & Employer Engagement

Briana comes to AJAC with in-depth teaching experience in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industry. She started her journey as a site manager and manufacturing instructor on a federal grant teaching incarcerated juveniles aerospace manufacturing skills before they were released. During her time teaching, Briana discovered her passion for technical training and making curriculum fun, engaging, and relevant. Over the years, Briana has been certified to train DACUM, LEAN, OSHA, CPR, and Forklift Operation. She also facilitated numerous professional workshops including The Pacific Institutes: Thought Patterns for High Performance, resume and interviewing workshops, financial budgeting, and soft/hard skills training.

She also worked as an employment specialist, talking to employers about their needs and advocating second chances for individuals with criminal backgrounds. Briana has extensive experience managing crews and coordinating multi-million dollar projects. She has had professional involvement with The Pacific Institute, JRA, The If Project, Alaska Airlines and Vulcan Inc. Briana’s true passion resided in helping others grow and develop in their career and life journey. Bri was promoted from Director of Youth Apprenticeship to Director of Program Development & Employer Engagement in 2021.

Connect with Bri on LinkedIn

Heather Collins
Manager of Business Development & Regional Services

Heather comes to AJAC with three years of experience as a teacher at a private K-12 school, and almost three years of experience in workforce development.  At her last position, her experience was in business engagement, career connections, event planning, and social media management. She graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in English as well as training in Business Services from the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals and Lean Change Management. Heather has lived in different cities around South Central Washington for the last seven years and is looking forward to engaging with more communities in Central Washington.

In 2021, Heather was promoted to Manager of Business Development & Regional Services.

Deepti Dhir
Manager of Instruction

Prior to joining AJAC, Deepti was on the East Coast for many years. Most recently, she was a lecturer in Writing, Rhetoric and Professional Communication at MIT; there, she provided course embedded writing and communication instruction to undergraduates in a variety of disciplines both technical and in the humanities.

Deepti also served as Multilingual Writing Specialist and Associate Director of the Baruch College Writing Center at the City University of New York where she provided pedagogical leadership and training to a staff of professional writing consultants. She focused on the learning needs of multilingual students and English language learners in particular. Deepti holds a Master of Arts in Foreign Language Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from New York University.

Deepti has enjoyed creating and teaching a new communications course for AJAC at Lighthouse for the Blind. She now looks forward to continuing with the organization and supporting instructors in the classroom.

Lance Campbell
Curriculum Manager

Lance has over 25 years of experience writing curriculum for adults and children. Soon after receiving a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, he began working at Microsoft where he designed and wrote computer-based training materials to teach software. Following this, he went back to school and earned a Washing State teaching credential as well as a M. Ed.

He became interested in developing elementary school math and science curriculum, and began working with many organizations including Explorations in Math (now Zeno), Everyday Mathematics, California Education and Environment Initiative, and Science AZ. The bulk of his work during this time was with Science Companion, a curriculum company affiliated with the University of Chicago. He and several colleagues designed a K-6 science curriculum based on the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) national standards. Using this program, students engaged in a variety of hands-on activities in which they planned and conducted science and engineering investigations.

Lance was hired in 2019 to help develop curriculum for AJAC’s programs and was recently promoted to Curriculum Manager in 2020. He thoroughly enjoys working with AJAC and is looking forward to future curriculum projects.

Tracey Turcotte
Youth Apprenticeship Manager

Tracey comes to AJAC with over 15 years of K-12 and workforce development education experience. She has a robust background as an educator, recruiter, speaker and career counselor. For seven years, Tracey was the Program Director for Washington Business Week (WBW) programs. Through WBW, she ran high school leadership programs in communities around Washington State as well as major colleges. With her time at WBW, she also helped to start the inaugural Alaska Business Week Youth Program in conjunction with the Alaska State Chamber and The University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Tracey has been a featured speaker at high school conferences and classrooms on “How to Get Hired”. Tracey has past facilitating/professional involvement with Washington DECA, FBLA, The Pacific Institute, Cispus Learning Centers, Gene Juarez and Skills Inc. Tracey is very passionate in helping others succeed in career and life. When not at work, you can find her exploring the Pacific Northwest or catching up on movies.

Tracey was promoted to Youth Apprenticeship Manager in April, 2017. Connect with Tracey on LinkedIn

Aaron Ferrell, Marketing Communications Coordinator for AJAC
Aaron Ferrell
Director of Marketing Communications

Aaron has over 12 years of marketing communication experience in various industries including radio broadcasting, promotions, website development, blogging, advertising, social media, public relations and marketing. He has a diverse skill set in several key areas of communications including broadcasting, new communication technologies, organizational communications, English and digital marketing.  After graduating from Washington State University, Aaron completed a marketing internship at Nyhus Communications in May 2013 and a promotions internship at Sinclair Radio Seattle (formerly Fisher Communications).

In June 2013, Aaron was hired by AJAC has the Marketing Communications Intern. Since 2016, Aaron has overseen the organization’s marketing communications strategy and in 2021, was promoted to Director of Marketing Communications.

Connect with Aaron on LinkedIn

Alek Derlyuk
Technical Specialist

Alex comes to AJAC with nearly 10 years of manufacturing experience. His career started in a manual machine shop where he managed the shop floor and ran manual mills and lathes. The following years were spent in a highly competitive CNC shop, where he honed his skills in setup and operation across multiple machines, and specialized in difficult metals, troubleshooting, and program edits. While working as a machinist, Alex also completed the 4-year machinist apprenticeship through AJAC.

In 2018 Alex joined the AJAC team to teach evening classes for the Apprenticeship program. Later that year he was brought on as a full-time instructor for AJAC’s pre-apprenticeship program, the Manufacturing Academy. Alex is Certified as a Journeyman through the Washington State Apprenticeship Council (WSAC). He is also certified in CPR, First-Aid, AED, CPR, OSHA 10, and Manufacturing Skills Standard Council as an Instructor & Expert in Manufacturing Process & Production, Safety, Quality Practices & Measurement, & Maintenance Awareness.

In December 2019, Alex was promoted to AJAC’s Technical Specialist.

Derek Jones
Youth Pre-Apprenticeship Program Manager

Derek comes to AJAC with over five years of aerospace and advanced manufacturing experience – both at AIM Aerospace, Inc., and Boeing. After spending a couple of years at Microsoft as a Audio Visual Technician, Derek developed his passion for workforce development and worker retraining.

In February 2017, Derek was hired as an instructor for AJAC’s Manufacturing Academy pre-apprenticeship program at South Seattle College – Georgetown Campus. Through his leadership in the classroom, Derek was hired by AJAC to become the organization’s first Workforce Development Coordinator (WDC).

As the WDC, Derek is be responsible for coordinating and conducting focused advising and student support services to help students persist in AJAC programs. Derek works closely with AJAC’s Advanced Manufacturing Prep (AMP) Training Program and Manufacturing Academy in both Kent and Tacoma, Washington.

In 2020, Derek was promoted to Youth Pre-Apprenticeship Program Manager.

Connect with Derek on LinkedIn

Troy Ironmonger
Manufacturing Academy Instructor

Troy comes to AJAC with over 30 years of Journeyman Machinist experience.  His background includes using conventional lathes and mills, CNC lathes and mills, precision grinding equipment, welding, as well as precision inspection equipment, and many other general machine shop equipment.  Troy specializes in prototype parts, research and development, tooling, and numerous high tolerance repair situations, along with years of production experience.

Troy learned machining first-hand while working with his Dad and other peers at Precision Engineering Inc. for 7 years.  He then went to Flow International Inc. for 20 years and specialized in high-pressure waterjet systems and LEAN Manufacturing.  After that, Troy started a machine shop of his own making high quality, tight tolerance, precision parts for local companies which included Blue Origin, Flow International, Quest Integrated, and Glowforge, among many others.  He gained respect of many local companies and vendors, building solid relationships to exceed their expectations, delivering products on time, while learning to run his business successfully for over 7 years.

In January 2018, Troy was hired as an instructor for AJAC’s Manufacturing Academy Pre-Apprenticeship Program.  Troy simply has a passion to pass his knowledge on to others.  His experience by running his own business, working for others, and his ambitious drive, will make him successful in his endeavors to pass on all his skills.  Troy is also certified in CPR / First-Aid / AED, Community Emergency Response Team Training, and the Citizens Police Academy.

Stephen Metczak
Stephen Metczak
Manufacturing Academy Instructor (Yakima)

Stephen is a proud veteran of the submarine force and served in USS Pennsylvania (SSBN-735 B) and USS Parche (SSN-683) Ocean Engineering Augment. He was selected to the rank of E7 in 2000 and received his commission in 2001. His training while in the navy was in submarine electronics, SCUBA diving and he completed two tours as an instructor.

He chose to pursue a career as a machinist and in 2013 became one of the AJAC instructors for the Machining Apprenticeship at YVC. As the Maintenance Manager for JELD-WEN (Yakima) he found his passion for Industrial Maintenance and blended his love of teaching with his job and cross trained his team in machining and electronics troubleshooting.

Stephen completed his machinist training at Perry Technical Institute (2010) and earned his BS in Management at the University of Phoenix (2014).

Priscilla Johnson | AJAC
Priscilla Johnson
Manufacturing Academy Instructor

Priscilla is a proud veteran who served in the USCG as a Avionics Technician and Flight Navigator on Search & Rescue (SAR) missions in Alaska. With more than 4 years’ experience as an Avionics Technician in the military, she is adept in manufacturing, maintenance, electrical, soldering and technological applications and repair. Priscilla’s 2 years of on-the-job training as a Flight Navigation instructor in the military has afforded her a well-rounded skill set to apply to teaching advanced manufacturing.

After leaving the military in 2014, she choose to apply her Avionics Technician and Instruction skills to a career in teaching and contracted with leading aerospace companies in the greater Seattle area as an Aerospace Technical Instructor and Assessor.

In September, 2020, Priscilla was hired as an instructor for AJAC’s Manufacturing Academy Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Priscilla has a passion for teaching and ensures there will always be a safe non-judgmental space in the Manufacturing Academy to facilitate the learning process. Her aircrew and search and rescue experience provided the ideal platform to master working with others under pressure and stress, which will allow her to be successful in her new role with AJAC.  Priscilla also has a Bachelor’s in Health Science and certified in CPR, First-Aid, OSHA 10.