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
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.
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.
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.
Bridget Y.T. Fuerst, MS
Director of Academics and Student Financial Services
Bridget first realized her love of the industry in high school through the automotive courses she completed at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School in Cleveland. She went on to graduate from Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, minoring in Criminal Justice, and later obtained a master’s degree in Psychology through Walden University. Bridget’s resume demonstrates her passion for helping people through her position as a researcher for Kent State University’s Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence and serving the families of Lake County as a child protective services social worker for nearly a decade. Never forgetting her love for automotive, Bridget brings enthusiasm when recruiting and working with prospective students and their families. She now heads the Academic and Student Financial Services Departments at MTI, where she enjoys helping students get their start in a career with endless job opportunities.
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.
Cultivating auto mechanics is what Jamie does best. Since 2004, Jamie has taught has an instructor of automotive and diesel technology. With his extensive background in auto mechanics, Jamie is an ASE Master Automotive Technician in Medium and Heavy-Duty Trucks and a Daimler Certified Trainer. At Matrix Trade Institute, Jamie brings a sense of humor to the classroom paired with a deep understanding of automotive technology and training that allows him to easily translate the information in a way that all students can understand. Through his hands-on approach to learning, a typical lesson starts with teaching students how to virtually perform repairs using game-style learning technology and then heading to the shop where students get to do the real thing.
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.