Experienced professionals. Dedicated to a strong manufacturing workforce.
At every level, the leadership of Tooling U-SME brings a level of knowledge, experience and commitment to manufacturing education unsurpassed in the industry. The development of a high-performance, manufacturing workforce – in all its facets – is our highest priority.
is the vice president of Tooling U-SME. Here, she leads a team dedicated to
the ongoing education of the manufacturing workforce. As a recognized
authority on workforce development and training for the manufacturing
community, Jeannine is focused on building the capabilities of today’s and
tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce. Her vision and passion have put her at
the forefront of workforce management issues — providing innovative
solutions for companies, academia, and individuals. She is frequently asked
to provide insights at conferences, events, and caucuses across the
country. Jeannine serves on several industry advisory boards and offers her
expertise on the manufacturing sector as a regular contributor, appearing
over the years in
IndustryWeek, Training Magazine, Chicago Tribune, NPR Marketplace, The
and many other media outlets. She is on the executive committee of America
Makes, a board member for the National Coalition of Career Development and
sits on the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing’s Education & Workforce
Advisory Committee. She is also a founding member of the Skilled Trades
Coalition. Jeannine earned a bachelor's degree in business and marketing
with a concentration in economics from Eastern Michigan University and has
served on EMU's Alumni Board.
Chad Schron is the senior director for Tooling U-SME and the Co-founder of Tooling U. Chad grew up in manufacturing. He started his career working in his grandfather’s machine shop, Jergens Inc ., and attended his first IMTS show before he graduated from high school. 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. Chad graduated in 1999 from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. He was named one of Cleveland’s “Top 40 under 40” by Crain’s Cleveland Business in 2008, and in 2003 & 2004 was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.
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. By the time Bryan began his career at Tooling University in 2003 as the regional sales manager for the southeastern U.S territory, he already had an impressive track record in the training and e-learning industry as a sales executive. Later, in 2008, Bryan helped develop the Government and Education Group for Tooling U-SME. Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in human ecology from The Ohio State University.
John Hindman is Tooling U-SME's Director of Learning Services. John acts as a champion for applying best practices to developing performance-based workforce development strategies in today's manufacturing environments. He partners with manufacturing learning champions to develop tactics and business plans for the deployment of effective and efficient career pathway programs from onboarding to high performance progression levels. Learning and development strategies are grounded through the development of competency-based frameworks which produce measurable results that meet human capital challenges in employee engagement, growth and retention. John has led many webinars and facilitated a number of workshops on best practices in workforce development, including Training 2013, FABTEC 2013-2014, The Big M 2013, tuX 2012-2014, Oil and Gas Summit 2014. Furthermore, John has been bylined in whitepapers discussing minimizing the manufacturing skills gap through instructionally sound learning and development programs. John continues to research and put into practice new techniques on adult learning and the development of a millennial workforce.
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 in power, oil and gas, chemical manufacturing, electronics manufacturing, and industrial controls and equipment. His background includes working for Honeywell International, Flowserve, Exelon Corporation, and Fuji America Corporation. He has expertise in the design, development, and successful execution of competency-based training functions. He earned a Bachelor of Education in Training Development and Design from Southern Illinois University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University. David’s certifications include Six Sigma Green Belt, Human Capital Strategist, and Strategic Workforce Planning.
Rob Coolidge is the director of business development and sales at Tooling U-SME and leads the Corporate Small Business and Government and Education sales teams and the Business Development team. The teams he leads work with companies and organizations to create a plan to increase existing employee’s knowledge as well as new employees get up to speed as quickly and efficiently as possible. 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. Rob earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Buffalo State College.
Kris Ward leads market intelligence and research efforts supporting Tooling U-SME sales, product, and marketing initiatives as Marketing and Business Development Director. She leads intelligence efforts to advance Tooling U-SME’s understanding of the manufacturing industry and its unmet workforce development needs. In this capacity, Kris helps shape business development opportunities and informs the development of strategy and direction for learning and development products, services, and markets served. Kris started her career with SME in 1996 holding various positions over the years in marketing and product management. She returns to Tooling U-SME after a brief hiatus to learn about the business of content aggregation for the library market. Kris received an MBA from Wayne State University and a Bachelor’s in Business from Eastern Michigan University.
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
is the director of workforce development at Tooling U-SME. In that role,
she is focused on building the capabilities of today’s and tomorrow’s
manufacturing workforce through strategically leveraging education,
industry and government efforts. Gretchen is specifically responsible for
leading the workforce development strategy as it relates to
Tooling U-SME’s learning and development products and services to help
build capacity within local communities, regions and statewide initiatives.
Through collaboration 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.