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Peter Barth

Chief Executive Officer

Peter went to Vanderbilt University and studied computer engineering, which naturally led to him becoming an options executive on Wall Street. After the financial markets had worn out their welcome, he packed his family up, moved to Indianapolis and returned to his hacker roots as a software developer and CTO for SinglePoint, Inc. After several other successful startup exits, he moved his family to Greenville, SC, where he helped start NEXT and build the NEXT Innovation Center and founded The Iron Yard. He currently serves as our CEO and is sometimes referred to as "The Iron Barth."

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Eric Dodds

Chief Marketing Officer

Eric was born and raised in Upstate SC, where he spent his early years hiking, mountain biking and dirt bike riding with his dad. Somehow he ended up at Clemson University, where he tutored calculus, studied marketing and matriculated summa cum laude. (We hear there was a lot of wake boarding, too.) After school Eric worked at a nationally renowned marketing shop, where he developed content, managed accounts and built strategies for companies like Best Buy and Doubleday. He crossed paths with Peter as The Iron Yard was being born and jumped ship to join as a partner and head of marketing.

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Mason Stewart

Chief Technology Officer

Mason was born and raised in Jackson, MS (better known as The Dirty South). He grew up in the woods and, as a result, likes animals, trees and beer. A hacker from the start, he began hacking on software in his early teens. Upon moving back to the USA after four years in Japan, at age 24 he ended a multi-year fast from programming and hit the ground running. Like any good college graduate with a degree in philosophy, he has worked for small, boutique web shops, startups in San Francisco and everywhere in between. Mason serves as our CTO and head of all things pedagogical.

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Jerrad Tausz

Chief Operating Officer

Jerrad joined The Iron Yard as COO in November 2015. He has more than 20 years of experience in education and is passionate about helping people change their lives. A majority of Jerrad’s experience is in expanding campus operations within higher education, and we are excited to have his expertise as part of the team.

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Christopher Bivona

Director of Talent, Engagement, & Culture

Chris joined our team in November 2015 as our HR Director. He comes to The Iron Yard with more than 20 years of experience ranging from service in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps to business development and human resources leadership. Chris has served at companies including the University of North Carolina, Sony Ericsson and Red Hat.

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Sam Kapila

Director of Instruction

Sam Kapila is a designer from the Dutch island of Curaçao, who lives in Austin, TX. For six years, Sam taught Communication Design at Texas State University, where she helped build web design curriculum, including developing an upper-level course on Responsive Web Design and web typography. Her previous design work is recognized by Good50x70, Poster4Tomorrow, CMYK Magazine, Art Director’s Club of Houston, and the American Advertising Federation. When she’s not designing and coding, she’s recording podcasts or chasing food trucks around Austin and eating.

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Jessica Mitsch

Executive Director of Code School

Jessica is a Raleigh native and a graduate of the College of Charleston where she majored in Religious Studies. She unexpectedly stumbled into a career in tech by working on the People Team at Red Hat, Inc. where she learned to love the exciting and innovative world of tech. She is extremely passionate about education and is excited to pair her passion for education with her experience in the tech space. She can be found moving in a studio somewhere - dancing or doing yoga. She loves to travel, just about anywhere she can go and is a bit of a health nut.

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Mike Rudinsky

Director of Corporate Training

Mike attended The University of Arizona and spent a couple of years in public accounting before founding a financial consulting firm. During his time at the firm, he helped found a few startups and then helped start a social enterprise incubator, developing the curriculums for its three education programs. He moved from Phoenix to South Carolina to combine his passion for education, startups and all things data-related, with his desire for (literal) greener pastures and barn wood. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids and can often be found outdoors swimming, riding and running.

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Aubrey Anderson

Chief of Staff

Aubrey was born in Houston, TX, and raised in the Upstate of South Carolina, meaning she’s a southern girl through and through. Before she was even halfway through with her degree at the University of South Carolina, she had already joined Peter to help run the first iteration of our Accelerator program when she wasn’t in class. On campus she served as Philanthropy Chair then Recruitment Vice President for Alpha Delta Pi (largest chapter in the nation). She keeps us straight with her perfect organizational skills, type-A project management skills and her always-wonderful way with people.

Corporate Team

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Natalie Bruce


Natalie joined The Iron Yard in November 2015 as one of our amazing recruiters. She comes to us from Vitamin T, where she served as Talent Expert/Recruiter.

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Amy Burka

Product Engineer

Amy Burka is a Greenville native and a graduate of Clemson University and The Iron Yard Greenville’s Front End Engineering course. Her roles in marketing and graphic design piqued her interest about doing more than just updating information on a website, so she found The Iron Yard, and the rest is history. Amy loves hiking, running and, most of all, dogs.

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Giovanni Difeterici

Director of Curriculum Design

Giovanni is an artist at heart, with extensive experience in UX design and front-end development. In 2011, Giovanni helped establish the Converge SE web conference. In 2012, he wrote The Web Designer's Road Map for SitePoint Publishing. In 2013, he cofounded SOCO, a cowork for creatives and developers in Columbia, SC. When Giovanni isn't designing curricula or developing the next experimental website for ConvergeSE, he's at home with his wife Amanda and their three small children.

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Brent Dillingham

Product Engineer

Brent has been obsessed with creating things using a computer since the early days of Macromedia Flash, when he discovered that the actual use of linear algebra is to simulate a 2D bouncing ball under gravity. (Why his math teachers never mentioned this remains a mystery.) Self-taught and always learning, Brent started his career in tech as an ISP repair technician, where he honed his programming skills during lunch breaks and over weekends. He went on to design and develop software at large organizations and startups alike, and never looked back. When he isn’t writing a MUD engine in some new programming language or paradigm, Brent spends his free time being quite bad at imitating Pink Floyd guitar solos, cooking and consuming delicious food with his wife, and hanging out with his dog in sunny Florida.

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Lauren Ellisberg

Director of Compliance and Government Relations

Lauren was born and raised in Raleigh, NC until she moved north for college and law school. She spent time living in and traveling around northern Virginia, DC, New York, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. After graduating from New York Law School she worked for a stint with the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office, and met Christopher Meloni from Law & Order on a street corner. Switching tempos, she moved back to Raleigh in 2012 and found a hub of awesome awaiting her. After working as a paralegal and attempting to win back some of her spirit with a non-profit job, she joined The Iron Yard team to combine all her random talents into a lean, mean, licensing machine.

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Victoria Hammond

Customer Acquisition and Analytics

A Michigan native and South Carolina transplant, Victoria has over a decade of marketing experience under her belt. Working from both the client and agency side of Fortune 500 brands, she understands the challenges of today’s marketplace and internal processes. She has driven results in innovation, new business development, product development, marketing, branding and community management. When not behind an excel spreadsheet, you can find her enjoying a nice craft brew and finding new ridiculous food to try to cook to varying degrees of success.

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Ashley Huston

Graphic Design Specialist

Ashley joined The Iron Yard in December 2015. She most recently served as an Assistant Graphic Designer with Southern Tide in Greenville, SC. Ashley has served as a freelance graphic designer for several years, and graduated from Auburn University with both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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Lelia King

Content and Communications

Lelia left her Birmingham, Al. hometown to attend The University of Georgia, where she fell in love with both Athens and with Matt, her now husband. She graduated from the Grady College of Journalism and began her career as a PR practitioner in Atlanta before branching out as a freelance writer and communications consultant. Following a move to Charlotte, N.C., Lelia shifted into the nonprofit world, took on social media and earned her MA in Communication from The Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. As a member of The Iron Yard team, she applies her passion for all things communications, writing and content strategy.

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Stacy Merrick

PR and Communications Specialist

A Tar Heel born and raised, Stacy attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in journalism and political science. Following her love of politics to DC, Stacy began her career on Burson Marsteller’s public affairs team working for a variety of government, corporate and non-profit clients. She then worked as a media coordinator at POLITICO, where she found her calling in media relations. After two years honing her media skills at a public relations firm in Miami, Stacy returned to DC to join The Iron Yard’s marketing and communications team. In her free time, Stacy enjoys traveling, and balances being a foodie with her love for running.

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Watson Mulkey

Student Success Lead

Originally from Newport News, Virginia, Watson attended college at Hampden-Sydney where he fell in love with conversation and decided to major in English. After graduation, an interesting set of circumstances led him to a series of misadventures; including working at a summer camp in North Carolina, building a hospital in Honduras, and working a Thai restaurant in Australia. It wasn’t too long before he ended up back at Hampden-Sydney, where he spent 5 years in working in the admissions office recruiting students as Assistant Dean of Admissions. When he’s not answering phones, manning the “chat with us” box, answering emails, or processing applications at The Iron Yard, you can find him talking about and or listening to music, asking people about their “Jeopardy story,” and losing at video games…though you’d probably do best to start your search at the dueling piano bar.

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Kimberly Saunders

Financial Services Representative

Kimberly grew up in RI and attended Providence College. When she is not helping our students get financially prepared for class you can find her in the kitchen cooking for her family, on the yoga mat or reading a good book.

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Nathan Spainhour

Brand and Advertising

Nathan is a native to Upstate SC. He spent his childhood summers climbing trees and playing King’s Quest while burning through VHS copies of The Neverending Story on rainier days. Skipping ahead so as not to bore the poor readers here, Nathan attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fl - bouncing between majors ranging from theatrical scene design to photography. Somehow in the end, he ended up with a degree in graphic design, a girlfriend that would become his wife, and (with her persuasion) an affinity for small dogs. After college, he returned to SC and began a career in design and advertising. The last 10 years Nathan has worked as a lead digital creative on brands like EDF, Intuit Turbo Tax and Ryobi Power Tools. Now he’s happily leading the branding and creative efforts at The Iron Yard.

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Lindsay Sutton

Student Success Coordinator

Lindsay lived in four different locations before high school, and after graduating from Bryan College in Dayton, TN, she taught English as a second language in Seoul, Korea for 16 months. Lindsay keeps the travel bug at bay by spending time with her husband and puppy and exploring the ethnic restaurants in Atlanta. Since laying down roots through community involvement and different dance classes, the city has become home. Discovering The Iron Yard’s Atlanta campus and becoming a part of the team in 2015 was a catalyst for Lindsay to invest even more in the community.

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Jason Strand

B2B Marketing Specialist

Jason studied English and French at Furman University and after graduating spent some time on the Marketing/PR team there writing stories for their admissions publications. He later joined Michelin where for nearly a decade worked on all kinds of cool brand things like The MICHELIN Guide, product licensing, and retail marketing. Specifically, he headed up the online education platform and learning strategy for B2B partners. He joins The Iron Yard marketing communications team, focusing his efforts on Corporate Education with a passion for helping companies hire, grow and retain the best tech talent in the world. In his spare time, Jason golfs, gardens, hunts, acts, sings, walks, paints, and smiles. He enjoys taking cool trips around South Carolina with his wife, hanging out with friends, and spending time with family.

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Brandon Walters

Regulatory Coordinator

Brandon joined The Iron Yard after several years as a jack of all trades staffer in state government. He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in political science and a minor in journalism and a master’s degree in political science from Auburn University at Montgomery. He is an avid follower of college sports, especially when Ole Miss is playing, and enjoys traveling with his wife and their two dogs. He also enjoys pancakes, most forms of classical music, and laser tag. He’s affectionately known as ‘Snakes’ throughout the seven kingdoms—err—vast regions served by The Iron Yard.

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Laura Wexler

Human Resource Generalist

Laura grew up in Augusta, GA and is a proud University of Georgia alumna (go dawgs!). Seeking adventure, she moved to Colorado within two weeks of graduating and never looked back. Laura has spent the past four years working in Human Resources for the largest ski company in the world, specializing in Benefits for over 26,000 employees. Ready for a new adventure closer to family, South Carolina will be the fifth state she will call home. You can find Laura outside of the office enjoying everything the outdoors has to offer.

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Tim Whitacre

Director of Front-End Engineering

Hailing from Scranton, PA., Tim has enjoyed the transition from behind a screen to in front of a classroom. While studying counseling in college, he began reading programming books and teaching himself to code. As a developer, he has supported both large companies and small businesses, owned his own company, and been a part of several startups. Tim joined The Iron Yard in 2014 as an instructor, and transitioned to his current role in 2016. Tim lives in Atlanta with his wife Steph and their dog Amelie. He gets a kick out of playing music, cooking for friends, and exploring the South one glass of whiskey at a time.

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Jesse Wolgamott

Director of Back-End Engineering

Jesse grew up internationally, living in Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Kenya, and Japan, before moving to Texas. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, has worked at startups and as a consultant, is an author, speaker, open-source contributor, and BBQ enthusiast. As a polyglot programmer, Jesse loved different programming languages, has shipped products in most languages, and has loved Ruby and Rails since 2007.