Meet the Team
Tooling U-SME's leadership brings an unsurpassed level of knowledge, experience, and commitment to moving the industry forward through education. Together, we work to empower individuals and organizations to succeed.
CHIEF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OFFICERJeannine Kunz
Jeannine Kunz is the Chief Workforce Development Officer at SME and leader of Tooling U-SME. A recognized expert in learning and development, Jeannine is at the forefront of workforce management issues, providing forward-thinking solutions for companies, academia, and individuals. Deeply knowledgeable about manufacturing workforce challenges, she provides guidance on best practices for designing, developing, and implementing performance-based development strategies in today's advanced manufacturing environments. For more details on her background, including her industry accomplishments and awards, committee and board members, and her testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, read her full bio here.
SENIOR DIRECTORChad Schron
Chad Schron is the senior director for Tooling U-SME and the co-founder of the original Tooling U. Chad grew up in manufacturing, starting his career working in his grandfather’s machine shop, Cleveland-based Jergens Inc. Chad developed the idea for an online manufacturing training school while working at Jergens to combat the manufacturing skills shortage.
Today, Chad leads the talented Sales, Learning Services, Client Services, Technology, Content, and Operations teams for Tooling U– SME. He was named one of Cleveland’s “Top 40 under 40” by Crain’s Cleveland Business in 2008, and in 2003 and 2004 was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & SALESRob Coolidge
Business Development & Sales
Rob Coolidge is the director of business development and sales at Tooling U-SME and leads the Corporate Small Business sales teams and the Business Development team. These teams work with organizations to help increase existing employees' knowledge and onboard new employees up to speed quickly and efficiently.
Rob brings with him 15+ years of experience in training, sales, business development, and operations. Prior to joining Tooling U-SME, he worked for leading companies like GOJO Industries, Dun & Bradstreet, and New Horizons Computer Learning Centers.
CONTENT DEVELOPMENTDave Ewers
Dave Ewers is the director of content development for Tooling-U SME. Dave has more than 20 years of experience leading industrial and manufacturing training and extensive knowledge of running effective training programs in power, oil and gas, chemical manufacturing, electronics manufacturing, and industrial controls and equipment.
He earned a bachelor's degree in education in training development and design from Southern Illinois University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University. Dave's certifications include Six Sigma Green Belt, Human Capital Strategist, and Strategic Workforce Planning.
LEARNING SERVICESJohn Hindman
John Hindman is Tooling U-SME's director of learning services. John and his team work directly with manufacturers, championing the application of best practices and performance-based workforce development strategies. He partners with manufacturers to create tactics and business plans for the deployment of effective and efficient career pathway programs.
John advocates for learning and development strategies grounded in competency-based frameworks that produce measurable results. His strategies focus on human capital challenges in employee engagement, growth, and retention. John regularly leads webinars and workshops on best practices in workforce development.
CLIENT SERVICESBryan Knaack
Bryan Knaack is the director of client services at Tooling U-SME. He leads his team to provide ongoing support and implementation services to Tooling U-SME customers, enabling them to optimize their investment and maximize the overall success of their learning and development programs.
When Bryan began his career at the original Tooling U in 2003 as a regional sales manager, he already had an impressive track record in the training and e-learning industry as a sales executive. In 2008, Bryan helped develop the Government and Education Group for Tooling U-SME.
SALES OPERATIONSDenise Leipold
Denise Leipold is the director of sales operations and a senior business advisor at SME and Tooling U-SME. With over 25 years of service to SME, Denise has had roles in publications, marketing, as well as business intelligence where she led database research, analysis, and reporting initiatives.
Denise provides financial advising and forecasting for Tooling U-SME and her Ops team helps streamlines processes in order to improve sales productivity.
Beth Magewick is the marketing director for SME and Tooling U-SME. With over 30 years of service at SME, she leads an in-house marketing agency with expertise in the full portfolio of marketing and creative services.
Beth's focus is on leveraging multiple distribution channels to execute effective communications that connect with current customers, grow engagement, and reach new audiences in creative and innovative ways.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENTGretchen Schultz
Gretchen Schultz is the director of workforce development at Tooling U-SME. She focuses on building the capabilities of the manufacturing workforce through strategically leveraging education, industry, and government efforts. Together with industry leaders, she helps leverage funding opportunities for a robust pipeline of well-educated and highly skilled workers.
Through collaborations with stakeholders, she has led Tooling U-SME in developing innovative workforce solutions that help close the skills gap and meet the needs of the manufacturing community.
Director of Community Engagement & Workforce Innovation
Toni Neary is the Director of Community Engagement and Workforce Innovation, leading efforts to grow diversity, equity, inclusion and access as well as highlight successful programs throughout the United States. Passionate about career & technical education she has spent nearly 20 years engaging, developing and helping to grow advanced manufacturing programs through various role. In her current role Toni is working directly with communities to build, fill, and sustain viable manufacturing ecosystems. You will find Toni speaking on many platforms to help grow awareness and change perceptions of careers and pathways to manufacturing as well as making vital links between industry and educators to develop a strong, consistent workforce pipeline.
Dr. Debra Volzer
Governments and Workforce Partnerships
Deb leads the national and state strategies to increase the reach and impact of ongoing efforts as well as future aspirations in advancing SME’s workforce development goals. Deb has over 15 years of experience working with national, state, and local government agencies to align workforce needs, and over 25 years working with higher education in identifying, aligning, and developing relevant programming focused on serving historically resilient populations. Prior to joining SME, Volzer worked with global organizations including Wiley and Pearson and held administrative and teaching positions at the Ohio Board of Regents (OLN), the Ohio State University, Franklin University and Ohio Dominican University. Volzer holds degrees from the University of Kansas, The Ohio State University and Yale University.
Timothy J. Wilson, PhD
Director of Market and Product Development
Timothy Wilson leads the broader workforce development strategy of long-term talent pipeline and focuses on the skills and competencies necessary for emerging markets such as electrification and semiconductors. In addition to 20 years of higher education and workforce development experience, Dr. Wilson has extensive utilizing emerging technologies for training and development, capabilities in research design, labor, and skills modeling, and worked with non-profits to replicate and scale best practices.
Director of Industry and Workforce Partnerships
Dan Sloan brings 30 years’ experience forging strategic relationships between private industry, academia, technology, and service providers for solving manufacturing's most challenging workforce development requirements. Currently serving as Strategic Partnerships Director at Tooling U-SME, Dan’s priorities for accelerating the adoption of cyber physical systems and advances in Smart Manufacturing principles lead him to build and deploy collaborative and scalable solutions for elevating our industry’s labor pipeline, underserved communities, and incumbent workforce.In addition to working with Boeing, Caterpillar, Ford, General Motors, Harley Davidson, John Deere and other multinational enterprises and their supply chains, Dan currently supports close working partnerships with the US Department of Defense, Manufacturing USA, and dozens of industry associations tasked with realizing the full potential of Industry 4.0 to unleash the power of a smart, connected industrial manufacturing base.
CORPORATE SALESFrank Smith
Frank Smith is Tooling U-SME’s director of corporate sales. In that position, Frank champions the corporate and enterprise-level organizations and leads the national and regional sales teams. He and his team of sales professionals are dedicated to developing the current and future manufacturing workforce.
Frank has 30 years of experience in sales management, sales operations, direct sales, and channel management, both internationally and domestically. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Youngstown State University.