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Meet the Faculty

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Qualified Instructors with real world experience.

Our faculty doesn’t just understand welding – they have years of real-world experience in the trade. They understand the challenges you’ll face and can help you learn the skills you’ll need to succeed. Over the years, they’ve trained hundreds of students, from complete beginners to industry veterans looking to enhance their abilities.

Piedmont Corporate Office

Gene Crook, President, Founder, and CEO

Heidi Bray, Executive Vice President

Kyle Davidson, Chief Financial Officer

Amber Gibson, Compliance Officer

Emily Packard, Regional Director of Admissions

Sherrone McCord, Director of Financial Aid

Randy Helms, Master Trainer

Jamie Whims, Director of Operational Excellence

Piedmont Branch Campus

Jonathan Crompton

Jonathan Crompton is the Lead Welding Instructor at the Main Campus in Piedmont. Jonathan has more than 11 years of experience in the field. He got his start in welding at a local career center and continued to learn to weld and fabricate during his time in the Marine Corp. He has worked at Renfrow Brothers, Spirit Construction, New England Mechanical Overlay, and Ellcon National. He is heavily experienced in stainless steel. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, and fishing.

  • Certificate, Industrial Welding, Tri-County Technical College, 2014
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Pipe Fitting Instructor, NCCER, 2019

Billy Carter

Billy Carter is a part-time Welding Instructor at the Main Campus in Piedmont. Billy has more than 29 years of experience in the field. He served in the United States Army where he learned to weld. Billy has worked for B.F. Shaw, CB&I, and GE. In his free time, Billy enjoys hunting, fishing, carpentry, and home remodeling.

  • AIT (Army Individual Training) in Welding, US Army, 1989
  • Journeyman Pipefitter Certificate, United Association Local 421, 1997
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2018

Jon Metz

Jon Metz is a Welding Instructor at the Main Campus in Piedmont. Jon has been welding for eight years and started his career as a GMAW fabricator. He wanted to grow his welding ability and came to school at Arclabs in 2014 and took the 400 Hour Welding Course and the 120 Hour Pipe Welding Course. After graduation Jon went to work as a certified R-Stamp welder. Jon has a passion for teaching students how to weld and better themselves in a high paying career. In his free time, Jon likes to ride dirt bikes, go to the lake, and hike.

  • Welding Certificate, Arclabs Welding School, 2014
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2017

Mike McCall

Mike McCall is a part-time welding instructor at the Main Campus in Piedmont. Mike has been welding since 1975 and is an experienced pipe welder at General Electric. He started his welding career at BF Shaw and has worked in power plants. Mike trains the new welders at GE and really enjoys teaching students how to weld. Mike has worked at GE for 28 years and has taught welding at several South Carolina Technical Colleges. In his free time, Mike likes to fish and spend time with his family.

Josh Allen

Josh Allen is a part-time Welding Instructor at the Main Campus in Piedmont. Josh has been welding since 1995. Currently, he is the Welding Supervisor at Watson Engineering. Josh has experience in all types of welding processes and is an American Welding Society certified structural welder in aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon steel. In his free time, Josh enjoys hunting, fishing, and going to the lake.

  • Welding Certificate, Greenville Technical College, 1999
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2017

Nate Lackey

Nate Lackey is a part-time Welding Instructor at the Main Campus in Piedmont. Nate has over 8 years of experience as a pipe welder at GE. In his free time, Nate enjoys spending time with his family.

  • Certificate, Specialized Welding, Greenville Technical College, 2011
  • Certificate, Robotic Welding Fundamentals, Greenville Technical College, 2011
  • Certificate, Welding, Greenville Technical College

Bob Fellers

Bob was one of the original members of the Arclabs Team. He retired in 2017 and has returned to assist with the classroom training in Piedmont.  Bob Fellers is an adjunct Welding Instructor at the Piedmont Main Campus and is a Certified Welding Inspector who assists in our Accredited Test Facility as needed. Bob has been welding since 1981 and has a long history in the welding trade; he was president and primary owner of a steel erection company prior to joining Arclabs. Bob enjoys woodworking, playing guitar, and spending time with his grandchildren in his free time.

  • Diploma, Welding, Tri-County Technical College, 1981
  • Certificate, Certified Welding Inspector, American Welding Society, 2003
  • Certificate, Certified Welding Educator, American Welding Society, 2008
  • Certificate, Industrial Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2009
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2009
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2009

Chet Rowans

Chet Rowan is an adjunct Welding Instructor at the Main Campus in Piedmont. Chet has 43 years of experience in the welding field in oil and gas, nuclear, boilers, gas turbines, fabrication, and teaching. He has worked for General Electric, BF Shaw, PCI Energy Services, and Zurn. In his free time, Chet enjoys fishing, traveling, and hunting.

  • A.S., Business Administration, Southern Wesleyan, 2003
  • Certificate in Welding, Crawford County Vocational School, 1974

Luai Jridi

Luai Jridi is a Welding Instructor at the Main Campus in Piedmont. Luai has over 10 years of experience in the welding field in nuclear, papermills, and fabrication shops. He has worked for Duke Energy nuclear stations and Century 3, spending most of his time doing shutdowns. Luai enjoys spending time with his children, fishing, and racing in his free time.

  • Certificate, Industrial Technology, Greenville Technical College, 2007
  • Certificate, Industrial Technology – Specialized Welding, Greenville Technical College, 2006

Columbia Campus

Jerode Powell

Jerode Powell is the Lead Welding Instructor at the Columbia Branch Campus. Jerode has over 12 years of experience in structural and pipe welding of nuclear components to commercial welding. He learned welding at the Newport News Apprentice School, and he has worked for Huntington Ingalls Industries, CB&I, and Fluor. In his free time, Jerode enjoys taking his family on spontaneous getaways.

  • Journeyman Welders Certificate, Newport News Apprentice School, 2011
  • Certificate, Certified Associate Weld Inspector, American Welding Society, 2017
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2018

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is a Welding Instructor at the Columbia Branch Campus. Chris has over 12 years of welding experience and has certifications in carbon steel, stainless steel, chrome, and Inconel on pipe. He has worked for Keystone, Williams Fab, and Mid Carolina Pipe. In his free time, Chris enjoys going to the lake, riding ATVs and dirt bikes, and cheering on his three kids at the ballfield.

  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2018

Jamie Huggins

Jamie Huggins is a Welding Instructor at the Columbia Branch Campus. Jamie has over 25 years of experience in the field in various environments, including construction, plants, commercial sites, and residential sites, for Fluor, Avantech, and Hood Construction. He has experience with welding on pressure vessels and tanks. In his free time Jamie enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, and shooting pool.

  • Welding Certificate, Arclabs Welding School, 2016
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2018

Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd is a part-time Welding Instructor at the Columbia Branch Campus. Joe has over 40 years of experience in the welding field. He worked at International Paper for 27 years as their key welder/Maintenance Tech and Fluor Daniels for 15 years as a pipe welder prior to that. Joe has also had his own welding and fabrication business since 1989. In his free time, Joe enjoys playing golf and chess.

  • Certificate, Industrial Welding, Midlands Tech, 1976
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2019

Von Robinson

Von Robinson is a part-time Welding Instructor at the Columbia Branch Campus. Von rejoins the Arclabs family in Columbia after previously instructing at the Charleston Branch Campus for several years while also teaching at a local career center. He brings over 30 years of experience in the field, including over 17 years of experience in teaching. Von has a passion for teaching his occupation to others. In his free time, Von enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2010
  • Certificate, Industrial Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2010
  • Certificate, Certified Welding Instructor, South Carolina Department of Education, 2002

Tristan Price

Tristan Price is a part-time Welding Instructor in the Columbia Branch Campus. Tristan joined the US Army in 2005 and served his country for six years, doing two deployments to Iraq; he welded and fabricated various items while in the military. Before serving his country, Tristan was a welder/fabricator working on farm equipment with his uncle.

Tristan is also a certified gunsmith; during his gunsmithing education he learned how to oxy-acetylene weld, braze, and silver solder. He then attended Arclabs Welding School to broaden his knowledge and welding capabilities, earning four certifications using various filler metals and weld positions. Tristan has been the Welding Instructor at a local high school career center for the past five years. He is married and has four children. In his spare time he enjoys gunsmithing, hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, and fabricating/welding various projects.

  • Welding Certificate, Arclabs Welding School, 2014
  • A.S., Gunsmithing, Colorado School of Trades, 2011
  • Certificate, Industrial Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2015
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2015
  • Certificate, OSHA 10 Hour, American Welding Society, 2015

Charleston Branch Campus

Chuck Meek

Chuck Meek is the Lead Welding Instructor at the Charleston Branch Campus. He provides over 25 years of experience to the students of Arclabs. Chuck is a native of Rhode Island and moved to South Carolina in 1993. He has worked in a multitude of various welding environments, which has given him the stable platform for his welding expertise. His journey began in vocational classes offered in high school and mastered stick and flux core welding at Metal Trades in Charleston while building cranes for the State Ports Authority. From there he journeyed around to different companies and landed a major spot at Force Protection building Mine Resistant Ambush Protecting Vehicles for the military. Over the years he has obtained certifications in FCAW, GMAW, GTAW and SMAW in structural and pipe. In addition to basic metals, Chuck has certifications in Aluminum and Inconel as well as Nuclear Welding. When Chuck is not sharing his wisdom with others, he uses his talents to make useful things or metal art.

  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2017

Ian Barker

Ian Barker is a Welding Instructor at the Charleston Branch Campus. Ian has over 45 years of experience in the welding field, to include a variety of welding processes. He got his start in the welding field through on-the-job training at General Dynamics Electric Boat in 1974. He has worked at Triad Mechanical, Jacobs, Deyten’s Shipyard, and General Dynamics. In his free time, Ian enjoys golf, billiards, family time, and traveling.

  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2019

Pete Burgett

Pete Burgett is a Welding Instructor at the Charleston Branch Campus. Pete is a US Marine Veteran who has over 20 years of experience in the welding field, including over 14 years in education. He learned to weld in high school, and he continued his training during his time in the Marine Corps. His welding experience includes extensive industrial and government maintenance construction projects. Pete enjoys riding his motorcycle, kayaking, and being in the woods.

  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2019

Nicholas DiSalle

Nicholas DiSalle is a part-time Welding Instructor at the Charleston Branch Campus. Nicholas has over 12 years of experience in the welding field in fabrication, construction, oil and gas, and structural. He has worked for Zuuk, Detyens Shipyard, Pegasus Steel, and SAIC, and he’s an active member of the American Welding Society. In his free time, Nicholas likes to spend time with his family, fish, and perform mobile repair welds.

  • A.A.S., Occupational Technology, Williamsburg Technical College, 2012
  • A.A.S., Welding and Machine Tool, Trident Tech, 2007

Justin Alexander

Justin Alexander is a part-time Welding Instructor at the Charleston Branch Campus. Justin has 26 years of combined experience in a multitude of fields, including carpentry, masonry, electrical, welding, sales and more. He has traveled all over the US and overseas. Justin found a passion for sharing his welding knowledge with others as a student of Arclabs’ Advanced Welding program, which led to his decision to become an instructor at the Charleston campus. When he is not working at Arclabs, he enjoys building things with his hands from metal art to automobiles.

  • Welding Certificate, Arclabs Welding School, 2017 Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2017

Houston Branch Campus

Wyatt Nations

Wyatt Nations is the day Lead Welding Instructor at the Houston Branch Campus. Wyatt has worked in welding in a variety of environments, including construction, fabrication shops, and refineries and power plants. He has many years of experience in structural welding as well as combo pipe welding and has worked for several companies, including Zachry Industries. In his free time Wyatt enjoys singing and writing music, and he travels to perform his songs in prisons, homeless shelters, and churches.

  • Certificate, Certified Welding Inspector, American Welding Society, 2017
  • Certificate, Real Educational Services Inc., 2017
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2019

Michael Martinez

Michael Martinez is the night Lead Welding Instructor at the Houston Branch Campus. Michael graduated from the Advanced Welding course at Arclabs and worked for two fabricating companies prior to returning to Arclabs as an instructor. Prior to welding, Michael had worked on several Tunnel Boring Machines, including the world’s largest, Big Bertha, in Seattle. When not working, Michael enjoys watching sports, hiking, snowboarding and off-roading.

  • Welding Certificate, Arclabs Welding School, 2017 Certificate,
  • Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2018

Greg Hager

Greg Hager is a Welding Instructor at the Houston Branch Campus. Greg has eight years of experience in the welding industry, including TIG exotic metal welding and fabrication. He has worked for the Oxychem Plant for Chicago Bridge and Iron and has taught welding previously at a post-secondary institution. In his free time Greg enjoys spending time with his sons and duck hunting.

  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2018
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2018

David Quiroz

David Quiroz is a Welding Instructor at the Houston Branch Campus. David has over eight years of experience in the welding and pipefitting fields and has been in educational instruction for three years. He started a summer job at Powell Offshore Industries that made him realize he wanted an industrial construction career. David has since worked all over the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, and Canada doing shut-downs, turn-arounds, and start-ups. He has worked for Turner Industries, Repcon Inc., Gulfspan, TWS, H&H, Univer Plant Services, and more. David accomplished being a tube welder and received his NCCER Plus in Pipefitting while he worked in the field; more recently, he was an educator for a non-profit in the city of Houston and created a craft training program for welding. David truly enjoys being a welding instructor and loves to share his craft with students.

  • Welding Certificate, Arclabs Welding School, 2017
  • Certificate, Tulsa Welding School, 2014
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2017
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2017

Mallory Nunez

Mallory Nunez is a Welding Instructor at the Houston Branch Campus. Mallory has over five years of experience in the welding field in fabrication and the oil and gas industry. She has worked for B&B Welding (pipeline), Texas Original Pits, and Dragon Products. In her free time, Mallory enjoys fishing, BBQs, camping, photography, and spending time with family and friends.

  • Certificate, Welding Specialist, Tulsa Welding School, 2017
  • Certificate, Pipefitting, Tulsa Welding School, 2017
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2019

Juan Garcia

Juan Garcia is a Welding Instructor at the Houston Branch Campus. Juan has over six years of experience in the welding field as a combo welder and fabricator at companies such as Brask Incorporated, Ortegas Stainless Fabrications, and Park USA. He has welded on high pressure tanks, tubular metals, and pipe.

  • Certificate in Welding, Tulsa Welding School, 2014
  • Certificate in Welding, Champions Welding Academy, 2016

Silvestre Villazana

Silvestre Villazana is a Welding Instructor at the Houston Branch Campus. Silvestre has four years of experience in the welding industry as a pipe welder and fabricator at companies such as Turner Industries, Jacobs Industrial, and Flexsteel Pipeline Technologies.

Certificate in Welding, Premier Welding Academy, 2017

Heather Roussere

Heather Roussere is a Welding Instructor at the Houston Branch Campus. Heather has over 15 years of experience in the welding industry, ranging from oil rigs to vessel shops. She has held many leadership roles within the field, such as the Lead Pipe Welder at Surface Equipment Corporation and the Shop Supervisor at Tyler Fence. At a young age, Heather knew she wanted to be a teacher, and she has now been sharing her passion for teaching and welding for the last three years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her boys, hiking, and surfing.

  • Certificate, OSHA 30 Standards for Construction, 2014
  • Certificate, OSHA 30 Standards for General Industry, 2014
  • Certificate, Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2019
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2019

AWS Accredited Test Facility

Steve Wheat

Steve Wheat is the Director of Testing for the AWS Accredited Test Facility. Steve started in the welding industry in 1986 after he got out of the Army. Steve has worked for Thermo Kinetic, Sanders Brothers and Gloenco. He has trained and certified all types of welders and welding operators and has developed welding procedures and processes for companies. Steve enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren, working in his garden and riding his Harley.

  • Certificate, Certified Welding Inspector, American Welding Society, 2001
  • Certificate, Certified Welding Educator, American Welding Society, 2002
  • Certificate, Certified Welding Supervisor, American Welding Society, 2008
  • Certificate, Level II PT, American Society for Nondestructive Testing, 2009
  • Certificate, Industrial Welding Instructor, NCCER, 2010
  • Certificate, Pipefitting Instructor, NCCER, 2010
  • Certificate, Core Curricula Instructor, NCCER, 2010

Brandon Kelly

Brandon Kelly is a Materials Technician for the AWS Accredited Test Facility.

  • Welding Certificate, Arclabs Welding School, 2013

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