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Matrix Trade Institute is licensed under the Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools Registration No. 2144, and Member of Beachwood Chamber of Commerce  Matrix Trade Institute, LLC BBB Business Review

Meet the Team

Dustin M. Peugeot

Co-Founder, CEO

Dustin has over 24 years’ experience working with some of the top automotive manufacturers and dealers in the industry in Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis and Cleveland. After rising to the level of Senior Partner with one of the world’s largest automotive marketing firms, he transitioned to the retail auto business and successfully operated dealerships and became a C-Level executive in charge of personnel and operations for over 500 employees and eight franchises for the Liberty Auto Group in Cleveland. He is recognized as a driven leader, specializing in recruiting, team building, organizational development and process efficiency with a proven ability to impact business in a positive way. He's served on the Board of Directors for the Northeast Ohio Ford Dealers Association, a member of the Greater Cleveland Automotive Dealers Association and is a current Board of Directors Member for the Cleveland Boys and Girls Club. Dustin's experience and network provide a unique advantage for MTI students by giving them opportunities to work for the industry's best employers upon graduation. 

Richard A. Blum

Co-Founder, COO

Rick’s resume is the model for opportunity and advancement achievable for an automotive technician, with over 25 years’ experience in automotive repair. As a product of a vocational trade school education himself, Rick has performed at the highest level for the industry’s top brands, including Firestone, Buick, GMC, Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford. His efficiency formula has made him a top producer as a Technician, Master Technician, GM Certified Technician, Service Manager and Service Director. Rick’s unique ability to identify efficiencies, passion for improving processes and training technicians catapulted him into management where he consistently improved the productivity of every entry-level and veteran technician under his supervision.  His trademarked M-TIME efficiency formula is proven to make technicians, both in the automotive field and beyond, more effective, which leads to earning more on an hourly, daily, annual and career basis. 

Tracy Macek

Director of Campus Operations

Tracy is a hands-on leader committed to developing, mentoring, and coaching students and staff in both personal and professional endeavors. She has 25 years of marketing and leadership practice with over 10 years in Higher Education. Her passion centers on a student first philosophy to ensure individuals can leverage education and training to enhance their lives. She understands the needs of students in both the online and classroom settings, having been both student and faculty. During her 7 years of college instruction, she was recognized for outstanding performance in the classroom based on Student End of Course Surveys. She brings this dedication to MTI as the Director of Campus Operations.

In today’s economy, 7 out of ten jobs are in the technical trades with the demand for entry level technicians exceeding current supply. Tracy understands this demand and has experience working in the trade school setting ensuring career development and placement opportunities. Her and her husband also own a local welding and fabrication shop and have done work for Ford and General Motors. This experience enhances her dedication to an industry with growing demand that can be met through education and training.   

Mark Stiwald

Business Development Manager

Mark brings 26 years of automotive experience, both in retail operations and advanced performance training, to the MTI team. Mark began his automotive career as a Service Advisor, and quickly rose through the ranks as a Finance and Insurance Manager and eventually a General Sales Manager. That success lead him to a position as a regional team leader for Market Source Inc., where he was recognized as one of the nation’s top performance trainers working to help maximize offerings for every Ford and Lincoln dealer in Ford Motor Company’s Pittsburgh Region.  He then excelled as a Northeast Regional Manager for Equity Program Services Inc., one of nation’s leading finance and insurance development companies. At every level of Mark’s career, he has been involved in training employees to perform at their highest level in order to assist businesses in their pursuit of premium customer satisfaction and retention. His transition to MTI is a natural fit, as employee development for the automotive industry is in high demand. At MTI, Mark expertise will be focused on helping students, automotive dealerships and repair shops to grow and succeed together by providing superior training and perspective. He leads MTI’s Service Advisor Training program with the goal of improving knowledge and communication for service personnel in order to increase customer service, communication and overall shop production and efficiency for every employer who uses MTI’s efficiency training services and/or hires MTI students.

Scott W. Clemson

Director of Collision Repair

With over 32 years of experience across the collision industry, Scott’s passion has allowed him to develop the necessary efficiency skills needed for career advancement. He got his start as an auto body and paint technician in a family-owned collision shop as a teenager before moving into management positions as a shop foreman and later as a territory and technical sales manager. He went on to become general manager and CEO of 14 paint and body parts supply shops in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Throughout his career, Scott developed a very successful shop performance management system that helped achieve industry-leading cycle times. He later developed an intelligent ordering barcode inventory management system which allowed him to further provide cutting-edge management tools to help shops improve their performance and profitability. Scott has built a vast network with collision shops and auto dealers during his tenure in the industry, which helps him place technicians in top shops in the area. At Matrix Trade Institute, Scott looks forward to bringing his vast knowledge to students studying under his auto collision curriculum.

William Whitman

Director of Admissions

For nearly 20 years, Bill Whitman has dedicated his life to helping others achieve their dreams by helping them pursue post-secondary education opportunities from small privately-owned schools to the largest institutions in the industry, including Baran Institute of Technology, Universal Technical Institute, and Ohio Technical College. Bill’s motto: “If you help enough people reach their goals, you’ll reach your own goals naturally.” This type of servant leadership is evident every day in the energy and enthusiasm he brings to everything he does and his total focus of always doing what is in the best interest of the student.  As the Director of Admissions, Bill cites Matrix Trade Institute’s “learn to earn”’ philosophy, employer partnerships, accelerated hands-on efficiency training with tools in a textbook-free environment as the disruption he knew the industry needed and is excited to be a part of.  Bill looks forward to many years of continued employment-based career outcomes for the students and families he represents daily.

Christina Lograsso

Marketing Manager

Christina Lograsso isn’t a fan of the mundane. So a career in the crazy marketing world is a natural fit. Christina’s marketing background started in real estate and then progressed to the engineering industry. Her role as an event marketing specialist at a Cleveland-based business-to-business media company required her to create and execute the marketing strategies of several large scale events and tradeshows across  the country catering to the engineering and high-tech industries, including medical technology and robotics. Lograsso, a native of the Cleveland area, is a graduate of Ohio State University. While in college, she interned for both Columbus Radio Group and the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. She serves as co-chair of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s City Advocates program, where she leads the group on fundraising projects and workforce engagement events. She also serves as co-chair of the marketing committee for the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. She is a recipient of the “Twenty in their 20’s” award from Crain’s Cleveland Business Magazine. She is excited to manage the marketing at MTI to help students realize a path to a successful and happy career.

Rick Datillo

Lead Instructor Supervisor 

Rick is no stranger to the automobile world. His passion started at the age of 10 building go-karts. By the time Rick was 14, he had moved on to fixing up cars. He graduated from Euclid High School and attended Willoughby-Eastlake Technical Center for the Electronics program. In 2010, Rick opened his own automotive repair shop while also performing as a service writer at a local dealership. After two years, Rick was promoted to Service Manager, where he remained until his transition to the MTI team as Lead Instructor Supervisor. When visiting MTI, you’ll find Rick helping students solve problems, tracking student progress, and connecting with the students as they work toward learning the skills and efficiencies needed to have a rewarding career.

Jim Azre

Instructor

Jim’s wealth of knowledge makes him an incredible addition to Matrix Trade Institute. A product of a trade school himself, his education began with the two-year Automotive Trade School Program from Willoughby-South High School. With 23 years of experience, Jim is certified as an ASE Master Level Automotive Technician and has continued to advance his at every interval of an outstanding career. In addition to his success as a master technician, Jim has excelled as  as a Service Advisor, Team Leader and trainer having trained and instructed with the industry's top brands including Audi, Porsche, Subaru, Ford and General Motors. He says the most rewarding aspect of his career is preparing technicians with efficiency skills required to advance and earn on flat-rate pay plans, so they can reach their full earning potential. At Matrix, you’ll find him working with the students hands-on in the shop educating them daily on how to perform with maximum efficiency.