Lonnie Franklin | 5 Questions

What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?

Making the move back to Seattle was something that made me a stronger person.  Moving and going through a worldwide pandemic at the same time was hard. 2020 has taught me how to rely on those closest to me and find inner peace from within as well as learn how to master a few new meals.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

The person I would choose to mentor me would be Lebron James. The reason I am chose Lebron is because his overall growth over the past 17 years has been amazing. I would love to sit and ask questions about his inspirations and what motivates his drive and determination. Speaking to someone who has not had the father figure in his life yet silenced his doubters—I would love this conversation.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to spend time with my family and when I can, golf is a past-time of mine. I would have to admit anything dealing with the great outside is something I can handle. I have been called a party starter, so I guess I can be the life of the party as well!

How would your best friends describe you?

Now this is a good question. My friends would say I am the same person that they met 38 years ago. I love to have fun and play jokes on my friends. They would also let me know that we have not had a fallout in 30 years. So, bottom line is, they would say he must be cool, to have been my best friend for 38 years.

Which is your favorite four-legged creature and why?

His name is Blu and he is the best dog you can find for free. I love love love dogs. They can make you smile when humans fail to do so, and they wont even say a word. Having a dog is one of the best things a person can do for their lives. My dog gives me strength and comfort when I need it and he knows me better than most. I am one of those people who talk to their dogs and then answers as if he would be speaking. So yes, that is me.

Priscilla Johnson

What will your new role at AJAC include? 

My role here at AJAC will be teaching the Manufacturing Academy pre-apprenticeship program. I will be providing instructional training for individuals that are wanting to start their career in the manufacturing industry. This 10-week course covers all aspects that pertain to the development of skills required for an individual to be successful working within this trade. I’m an excited for this opportunity to provide the education needed to assist others in starting new careers that will pay a living wage and help improve their quality of life.

What is your favorite part about working in the non-profit industry? 

The non-profit industry has never failed to attract an energetic and passionate workforce. I love the fact that non-profit heroes (employees) put their heart and soul into their work even when the resources are spread quite thin compared to larger corporations.

Even on my most challenging days, when I’m swamped with deadlines to meet, it’s so easy to stay motivated when I know that I’m working to educate and empower people from all walks of life to take back control of their careers and better their quality of life. All of the hard work truly pays off when I read an article or watch a video about a student that went through the Manufacturing Academy program and went on to graduate from their apprenticeship. There’s a ripple effect to the work that we do here at AJAC, as we strive to help people better themselves, in turn, they become inspired to help make the world a better place.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love the outdoors…I lived in Alaska for 7 years when I was in the military and I fell in love with the minimalist survival hike/camp concept, never looking back! Within this concept lies the idea that intentional discomfort provides us with the opportunity for self-growth and reflection; as well as, confidence in self and metal clarity. I could honestly say I am an adept minimalist hiker/camper, which means that minimal food and supplies is backed for the trip and much of what is needed is source from the land or we do without. My husband and I hike in to remote camping locations all over Washington and Oregon. My one tip to anyone that wants to try this style of camping out would be to camp need a natural water source. 

I also like to snowboard, but my husband and friends question why I keep torqueing myself. HAHA. To say the least, I’m not a rockstar on the board, but I’ve got resolve because I keep trying.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise me? 

I play women’s Roller Derby. Oh, and I practice Brazilian Jujitsu.

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us? 

Alaskan Style Street Tacos..! Fresh wild caught lemon butter salmon or halibut with fresh pico de gallo, black beans, brown rice, guac, and a bit of garlic dill sauce. There is only 1 word…Amazing..!  

If You Could Travel Anywhere In The World, Where Would It Be? 

Blue Lagoon Hot Springs in Iceland. I love going to hot springs everywhere I travel, as I’m a huge believer in hydrotherapy and the concept of “Water is Life”. I want to go to the blue lagoon someday during the northern lights. 

Stephen Matcak

Please welcome our newest Manufacturing Academy instructor, Stephen Matczak! In 2010, Stephen completed his machining degree at Perry Technical Institute in Yakima, Washington and in 2013 became one of the AJAC instructors for the Machining Apprenticeship at Yakima Valley College.

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 currently instructs AJAC’s new Manufacturing Academy pre-apprenticeship program in Yakima. This new 11-week program will help job seekers in Yakima County develop skills and certifications for the region’s industrial maintenance and food processing industries.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

My parents divorced when I was 8 and my father moved back to Philadelphia. We would spend the summers there visiting family and going to a lot of Phillies games. My dad passed away in 2017 and he is certainly the reason I became a machinist however, I never had to opportunity to learn from him what he knew about machining. I would chose my father, Joe Matczak, as my mentor.

What is your favorite part about working in the non-profit industry?

What excites me most about being part of this organization is the ability to pass on the knowledge I have gained in the fields of electronics, maintenance and machining.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod/iTunes/Spotify?

I listen to three types of music: Bluegrass, Reggae and Punk. My go to song is The Exploited – Punk’s Not Dead.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise me?

I am a cake decorator. From birthdays to weddings and everything in between. I love baking too.

What was your dream job growing up?

I wanted to be an architect.

Please welcome our first intern since 2014, Eytan Raphaely! Eytan studied marketing communications at the University of Washington and recently graduated this past June. His role at AJAC will focus on helping the marketing department with a wide variety of projects including social media, newsletter, storytelling, outreach and website development. Eytan will also assist the Youth Apprenticeship department during their recruitment in the winter and spring.

What’s the best part of your job so far?

The best part of my new job has been meeting all the new people. I’ve only known the people around the office for a few days but I can honestly say these are some of the kindest and most knowledgeable people I know.

What is your favorite part about working in the non-profit industry?

My favorite part of working at a non-profit is knowing that my job directly influences changing people’s lives for the better.

 If you could live in a book, a TV show or movie, what would it be?

I would live in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. If you don’t know, it’s one of the best shows ever created and should be required viewing in all homes across the world.

What do you like to do outside of work?

 Most days I like to unwind from work by playing basketball, reading, playing video games or writing.

Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?

People tell me I look like a mix between Pete Davidson and Francisco Lachowoski.

Please welcome the newest addition to the AJAC family, John Manning. John has been hired as our new Apprenticeship Navigator serving primarily King and Pierce Counties. John will help navigate job seekers into AJAC’s portfolio of programs including our pre-apprenticeship program, Manufacturing Academy and one of nine adult apprenticeship programs. Get to know John below!

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

Barack Obama. The amazing impact he has made on our world has let us know that we must keep fighting the good fight.

What’s the best part of your job so far?

At AJAC I love that I have supportive coworkers that are available to inform, advise and work with me.

What’s the best joke you’ve ever heard?

My college roommates 7 year old sister told us a version of the below joke 30 years ago and I still tell it.
A duck walks into a store and says, “Give me some Chapstick.”
The clerk says, “How are you going to pay for that?”
“Oh, just put it on my bill.”

If you could bring one musician back from the dead, who would it be and why?

Bob Marley. His music is timeless. Just think what else he could have shared with us.

If you could live in a book, TV show or movie, what would it be?

Californication. Hank Moody seems like a blast.