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METALfab 2018 Presenter Bios
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METALfab Presenter Bios


Brad Adsit

Cable Rail

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Brad works for Feeney Inc., a manufacturer of architectural cable systems, trellises and rigging. Jim Feeney opened the doors of Feeney Wire, Rope & Rigging in 1948. In 1979 the Ralston family purchased Feeney Wire, Rope & Rigging with an eye toward the future and an enthusiastic, open-minded approach to business, incorporating new ideas and new products into the mix. This allowed the company to expand into new markets beyond traditional industrial rigging. In 1988 they introduced the CableRail line of architectural cables and fittings.  



Terry Barrett

Theory of Constraints: PART 1, Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Theory of Constraints: PART 2, Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Terry Barrett, a NOMMA member for 16 years, began his career as a draftsman before joining a mid-sized industrial equipment manufacturer. Starting in quality control, he ultimately progressed from a machinist to Vice President of the manufacturing facility.


Terry received extensive training in many state-of-the-art processes and concepts, taking on responsibility for implementation as well. Terry’s expertise spans state-of-the-art processes and concepts such as the Toyota Production System, Theory of Constraints, Systems Thinking, Production Changeover improvement, and Cellular Manufacturing, along with inter-personal skills such as Situational Leadership, Team Dynamics, and Individual Coaching. Since leaving the corporate world, Terry has implemented many of these same concepts in small businesses, including his own – realizing that many of these same tools can be valuable no matter the size of the business, or the market served. He now consults with other small companies on improving their systems and processes. 



Doug Bracken

Human Resources Management

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM


Doug Bracken, the President of Wiemann Metalcraft and former President of NOMMA, holds a degree in Architecture from University of Southern California. In 2017, the Bracken Family reached their 20th year of owning and operating the firm, which was founded in 1940 by Mr. Ernest Wiemann (Top Job Namesake), in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wiemann Metalcraft serves an international market with fine quality, custom ornamental metalwork.



Greg Brockman

The Art and Business of Metal Sculpture

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Greg grew up in the Phoenix area and worked in various construction fields while attending Arizona State University. During school, his passions were design, art and architecture; but Greg graduated with a degree in Business Administration. Still, Greg’s passion never dissipated and he joined his father at Magnum Engineering. This full time position offered Greg a firsthand chance to begin designing products. Since being founded in 1979, Magnum Engineering has expanded services beyond manufacturing. Today, the company is a specialty contractor with a focus on architectural metalwork, responsible for the design, fabrication and installation of metal sculptures throughout the Southwest. Greg now oversees all aspects of the business with a special focus in art and architectural design.



Roger Carlsen

Peer-to-Peer Collaboration and Networking (ListServ Live)
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM


Roger Carlsen began his forging career as a blacksmith in 1974, following an extensive period of research. He furthered his craft by attending many conferences and workshops, and established Ephraim Forge in 1978. After attending schools in Tennessee, North Carolina and Connecticut, he worked under the tutelage of practicing smiths and began his business. Today, Roger also works with red metals and does some casting in white metal and bronze.


In addition to exhibiting iron pieces at arts and crafts fairs and in galleries, Roger has participated in historical demonstrations, period reenactments, and demonstrations of techniques for professional blacksmithing groups. He has also supplied historically accurate reproduction ironwork for the First Lincoln‑Berry store in New Salem, Illinois.


Roger has received numerous commissions for architectural restorations and period replications of ironwork for private residences, churches, restaurants and businesses. He has also worked extensively with interior architects, landscape architects and designers in the Chicago Metropolitan area, London, and the Virgin Islands.


Roger currently sits on the NOMMA board of directors, has won a number of Top Job awards, and has also served as an NEF Trustee and Chair. He is also a member of the Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America, and a long-time member and former board member of the Illinois Valley Blacksmiths Association.


Parallel to his career path in metalwork, Roger pursued mathematics instruction. He taught mathematics at a local high school, received a master’s degree in  mathematics instruction in 1971 from Cornell University, and taught mathematics at Moraine Valley Community College for over 30 years. Roger became Professor Emertis at Moraine Valley in 2000. 



Jonathan Falk
Human Resources Management
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Jonathan Falk is a partner and Director of Operations at Living Design Studios in Lafayette, Colorado. He has held this position for the last 14 years. In this role, Jonathan oversees HR and has helped grow the Living Design Studios team from 6 to over 30 members. Currently Johnathan sits on the NOMMA Board of Directors and is the facilitator for NOMMA Webinars.

Philippe Fiers
Human Resources Management
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Philippe Fiers has been in the metal trades for the last 39 years. He began his journey by erecting steel structures for industrial buildings, and this was followed by a 7-year apprenticeship to a metal fabricator with the French guild ”Les Compagnons du Devoir.” This painstaking training gave him the opportunity to touch all aspects of the trade and work on prestigious projects such as the restoration of the Stanislas Plaza ironwork in Nancy, France (a Unesco landmark). Phillippe also participating in the making of a new torch for the Statue of Liberty in 1985.

In 2005, Jesse Krzywon and Phillippe founded Armadillo Metalworks, Inc., which produces fine architectural metalwork for an exclusive clientele in New York City and beyond. The company has since expanded to an enterprise with more than 30 employees.

Dave Filippi
CAD Tips and Tricks
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 9:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Dave Fillippi is a 25-year veteran of the ornamental fabricating industry. Before he became a full time software developer and trainer, he was President and Owner of Colonial Iron Works in Petersburg, VA. 

FabCAD, which was the technology arm of the Iron Works, has been providing computer aided design (CAD) solutions, training and consulting to the Ornamental Iron and Fence Industry for the last 25 years. 

While he was in the fabricating business, Dave occupied a seat on NOMMA’s Board of Directors, with service as NOMMA President in 1995. In addition to presenting at NOMMA conventions and local chapter meetings, Dave has also presented at events for the American Fence Association (AFA) and Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America (ABANA).

Frank M. Finelli 
Gates 101
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM

Frank M. Finelli knew he wanted to run his father’s business from an early age. Frank’s father, Michael A. Finelli, Sr., emigrated from Italy at the age of 18 and founded Finelli Architectural Iron & Stairs when Frank was just a young boy. Frank remembers going to the factory on Saturday mornings to sweep the floors and helping his father install rails in the shop after school. It seemed to Frank that the iron business was as much in his DNA as it was in his father’s. 

After attending college and structural engineering school, Frank took the reins and purchased his father’s business along with his brother. Under Frank’s leadership, the family business has grown and now includes a carpentry shop to expand services to meet his client’s need for projects using iron and wood. Today Finelli Architectural Iron & Stairs employs 17 individuals and their customer base spans the Midwest and beyond. 

Carl Grainger
Peer-to-Peer Collaboration and Networking (ListServ Live)
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Carl is the owner and operator of Grainger Metal Works (GMW), which was started in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area in 1989. His company is known for creating finely crafted metalworks. Expanding beyond metalworks, Carl has created a powder coat division. This was done out of necessity, to ensure reliable quality control of GMW’s architectural products. 

Carl began his welding career learning fabrication at Grove Manufacturing, a company which produced hydraulic cranes. After leaving Grove Crane, he worked for a structural stair company and then a structural steel and erection company. This gave Carl a foundation in fabrication that supported the evolution of his interests. He began artistic work while studying under many master blacksmiths, including John F. Graney, Nol Putnam, Walt Scadden, Francis Whitaker and Uri Hofi.

Paul Hansen
Emerging Technologies
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM

Paul Hansen moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1992 with his family to start his business, ETemplate Systems. Since 1999, the primary mission of ETemplate Systems has been solving unique and difficult measuring tasks in the construction industry, and providing real world solutions for these tasks. 

Paul was raised in Connecticut and went to college in Boston before starting his professional career. In his early years, Paul worked in the machine tool industry, helping design ultra-precise measuring equipment for automotive, aerospace, defense, and other industries. A few years after moving to North Carolina, at the request of Dupont, Paul became involved with the development of 3D measuring systems and software for the construction industry. This foundation prepared him for his ownership of ETemplate systems today.

Mark Koenke
Taking on Structural Steel Projects
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 // 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Mark Koenke started in the industry as a steel detailer in 1989, while attending the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences degree from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Mark continued detailing structural steel, stairs and railings upon graduation. As his company grew, he became the Manufacturing Manager, overseeing a newly developed department of “Stairs and Rails” with more than 20 employees. 

In this role, he field measured all projects, managed detailing and fabrication, and managed installation crews. Since then, Mark’s role has evolved into estimating and quoting projects for returning customers. 

As Mark’s company began to do more work in ornamental and miscellaneous areas, both it and he also became more active in NOMMA. Mark’s involvement grew from attending a convention as a nonmember in 1998 to becoming the President of NOMMA in 2014. 

Today, Mark is committed to industry education with NOMMA and Germantown Iron and Steel. His current role at Germantown Iron and Steel includes: overseeing the structural and stairs and rails drafting departments, estimating, project management, working on improving process, communication, and efficiencies within the organization. 

Randy LeBlanc
Young Leader Forum
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Randy LeBlanc is a Metal Artist and Architectural Fabricator from Lafayette, Louisiana. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sculpture in 2000 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 

His company Metal Head Inc. will soon celebrate its 16th anniversary. Metal Head Inc. collaborates with creative professionals and contractors to successfully design, build, and install a wide variety of residential and commercial metal products, such as railings, gates, furniture, lighting, structures, signage, and sculptures.

Randy is a 12-year member of NOMMA and serves as current President of the Gulf Coast NOMMA Network. He has been presented with several Top Job Awards. 

Tony Leto
60-Minute Strategic Plan
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 // 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Tony Leto has been in in the metal railing business since 1984. He is Executive Vice President for Sales and Marketing (Emeritus) at The Wagner Companies and presents educational sessions to architects on building codes and standards. He became active within these areas in 1986. 

Tony was NOMMA’s Technical Affairs Committee Chair during the process of removing the “Ladder Effect” from the I-Codes and the updating of the ADA guidelines. In addition to his expertise in these areas, he is also well versed in business-to-business marketing and strategic planning.

Brian Pope
Cutting Technologies
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 // 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Brian Pope is owner of Colorado Waterjet. Since they opened their doors in 1997, his company has cut nearly every material imaginable, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, tungsten, glass, HDPE, UHMW, other plastics, foam, and wood. Every facet of Colorado Waterjet production is driven by these core values: best-in-class customer service, integrity and continuous improvement. These values drive everything, from ensuring quotes are accurate all the way through to the detailed attention given to packing and shipping of parts.

Justin Pigott
Young Leader Forum
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Justin Pigott grew up always knowing his father’s business, but never planning to be a part of it. But as he finished college, he was drawn to the notion of honest work and keeping the family business going.  Unfortunately for him, this decision coincided with the 2008 economic crash. He started in tough times, and at one point company staff shrank to Justin and two other people. Today Justin’s company has around 14 employees, and it has more than tripled revenue since 2008. Justin’s philosophy is to always put business first, and this top priority is followed closely by his passion for exceeding customer expectations. 

Lee Rodrique
Emerging Technologies
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM

Lee Rodrigue grew up in South Carolina playing in his dad’s shop on old rusted machinery, in lieu of the jungle gyms used in quality child care. He took his first AutoCAD class in 1986, when version 2.0 was in use. Once old enough to legally work on job sites, Lee fabricated and installed countertops, residential rails, helical stairs, and glass guards. He continued this work all the way through college and grad school, then devoted himself to detailing and management. He worked in this capacity across the nation, with time in: Athens, Georgia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Washington, D.C.; and Portland, Oregon. Lee now lives in Arlington, Virginia and is a designer at Big D Metalworks.

Bruce Witter
Sales and Marketing
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 // 9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

Bruce Witter graduated from Iowa State Univeristy in 1974 as an Eta Kappa Nu Engineering Honorary with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. His career started in 1973 when he interned with Factory Mutual Engraving. Bruce developed the first hydraulic gradient digital program, and founded C.T. and S. Metalworks in Irving, Texas  in 1996. He received the Frank A. Kozik Award in 2000, has also earned many Earnest Weiman Top Job awards, and is also the recipient of 10 State and National Awards on Quality, Uniqueness, and Complexity of Projects. Bruce served as the President of NOMMA in 1996 and continues to speak and present at many NOMMA educational events.

Curt Witter
2017 Mitch Heiter Award Winner: How They Did It!
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 // 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Curt Witter has been involved in construction and manufacturing, in some capacity, all his life. He has experience as home builder and a farmer, and also draws on his father’s influence as a tool and die maker. Over the years, he has applied that unique combination of knowledge to all aspects of his business. 

Curt started in the industry as the fence installer in a small, six-man shop, and is now the President of Big D, a multimillion dollar organization with a team of over 50 people working all across the country. Curt’s involvement with Big D started in 1981. His intention was for it to be just a summer job — but clearly, it’s been a long summer. 

Curt’s first METALfab convention was in 1984, and he has attended most years, missing just three times over last 34 years. He and his team share a commitment to active NOMMA membership. They’ve won numerous awards over the years, including many Top Job and Mitch Heitler awards. Big D’s involvement with NOMMA also includes offering their facilities for many NOMMA education events, as well as teaching numerous classes at METALfab. Big D’s members have taken positions on the NOMMA Board of Directors, and have served as NOMMA Presidents. Curt is currently serving as NEF Trustee on the NOMMA Board. 

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