Power-Up Your Career with our YANMAR//Academy Instructors

Tim Miller Headshot

Tim Miller // Sr. Manager – Learning & Development and EVO//Center

Industry Experience: I have 32-years with a Komatsu dealer, Komatsu America, AGCO, Kubota, and YANMAR America. My roles ranged from warranty clerk, product manager (launching the M900 Challenger series), trainer, regional sales manager, overseeing L&D, to managing the most unique and exciting facility in the industry – The EVO//Center.

Message to YANMAR dealers: Running a profitable, growing dealership in today’s market is difficult considering market pressures, the many product lines, and information available to customers. YANMAR//Academy was established to provide the highest quality training for your staff, and to help ensure your team is knowledgeable about the products that we sell and service. Our goal is to partner with you to have the highest customer service satisfaction and repeat business in the industry.

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? ViO35 YANMAR excavators are rock solid. The 35 is a great size to have on the farm, easy to haul, and very versatile. There are many projects I could knock out with this great excavator!

Hobbies: Hanging with my kids and grandchildren, farming, hunting, fishing, and reading.

Bill Morgan

Bill Morgan // Learning Systems & Development Specialist | YANMAR//PowerTrain learning system

Industry Experience: I have over 35-years of industry experience working with engines, utility, construction and mining equipment. This includes working in a training capacity with engines producing from 25 to 4,000 horsepower. My training career has led me around the United States, and to over a dozen other countries. I have lived and worked abroad in Russia and Japan for several years.

Message to YANMAR dealers: The cost of training your employees is less than the cost of not training them.

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? I would own a standby YANMAR Diesel Generator to provide electrical backup during power outages.

Hobbies: My hobbies include continuing education and travel.

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David Long// Technical Training Instructor

Industry Experience: I have 33-years of military service, Active Duty Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard and Air Force Reserve. My active duty spanned 17-years between the Army and the Air Force. I also have 10-years of commercial experience as a field service representative for mobile water purification systems and 20+ years of instructional experience in that field.

Message to YANMAR dealers: I believe that a living curriculum that caters to the changing needs of our customers is necessary for all parties involved to be successful. Communication with dealers and service techs is vital to ensure that our curriculum remains dynamic.

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? SA 424 Tractor with loader, backhoe, bush hog, and stump grinder for hobby farming and small jobs after retirement.

Hobbies: Acoustic guitar, corvettes, fishing and trivia.

Eric Shaffer

Eric Shaffer // Technical Trainer for High Speed Commercial Marine

Industry Experience: I have been working with diesel engines since 1974 in many different industries, including owning my own diesel engine repair business for 16-years. I have been working with YANMAR engines since 1979, as a YANMAR dealer and even a YANMAR competitor. However, I have been a happy member of the YANMAR team for the past 16 years.

Message to YANMAR dealers: I enjoy working in a training capacity because learning goes both ways. I learn from my students, just as they learn from me. Training allows me to meet new diesel engine professionals and stay up-to-date about what is happening in industry.

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? I would like to own a pair of YANMAR 6AYE engines. Because, if I owned a set of these, I would also own a large vessel to put them in and could enjoy life on the water.

Hobbies: Since moving away from the ocean, my hobbies have moved away from the sea and into the air. I am a licensed pilot and enjoy flying full-sized and model aircraft.

Jim Fontana Headshot

Jim Fontana// TNV Engines Sr. Service Training Instructor

Industry Experience: 25 years in the automotive and equipment industries, including 13 years with YANMAR.

Message to YANMAR dealers: In this day and age of electronics on engines and equipment, its easy to get tunnel vision when trying to diagnose an issue. Don’t overlook the basics.

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? The YANMAR Remote Controlled Helicopter, just for fun.

Hobbies: Spending time with my family, watching sports

joe thomas

Joe Thomas// Energy Systems Instructor/ Curriculum Developer

Industry Experience: I have 20-years of experience as a civil engineer in the U.S Air Force specializing in electronics, electrical power systems, power generation, HVAC systems, diesel/gasoline/natural gas engines, hydraulics, PLC and electronic control systems, training and curriculum development.

I have been with YANMAR for 2-years in the Energy Systems division, focusing on VRF and CHP web-based training curriculum development, in-resident curriculum development, and curriculum instruction.

Message to YANMAR dealers: Regardless of your position, take every opportunity to learn, gain experience, and grow personally and professionally. Don’t sell yourself short, and you may surprise yourself. The day you stop learning is the day you die! When life gives you lemonade, make lemons…the world will be like, WHAT!!

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? CP5WN and NNCP096J. Reliable systems that can lower energy costs and is an environmentally cleaner alternative to standard power distribution and comfort heating and cooling systems.

Hobbies: Whatever I want to dabble in today!

John Boyd

John Boyd // Service Training Instructor for YANMAR construction equipment.

Industry Experience: I have 30 plus years of experience in equipment maintenance.

Message to YANMAR dealers: Send your technicians to our YANMAR training courses and we will improve their skill sets and increase their value to your team.

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? I would own a VIO 35 Excavator. There is so much that you can do with a machine like that, and I want to rule my backyard!
Hobbies: I love to long range shoot, and to garden.

Kathie Touton headshot

Kathie Touton // Technical Training Developer

Industry Experience: Mechanical engineer with 10 years’ experience teaching and designing online and ILT classes and 4 years’ experience as a sales engineer.

Message to YANMAR dealers: We are here to help everyone embrace today’s rapid pace economy. Learning new skills is no longer optional.

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? What isn’t to love about the YT3 series tractor. You operate it like a car with an automatic transmission. The cab is climate control. With all the attachments you can do just about anything you need to on your plot of land.

Hobbies: Travel, movies, reading, boating

Manfred Smith Photo

Manfred Smith // Technical Training Developer

Industry Experience: I have held numerous positions in both quality assurance and adult technical training. I have worked as a QC/QA Engineer on multiple commercial nuclear retrofit and steam generator replacement projects.

At the Savannah River Site, I worked as General Training Manager Tritium Facilities, Savannah Rover where I supervised eight Training Specialists and various support personnel. While there, I was part of a successful Operator Training Program Accreditation effort having revised and redefined the Training Program Accreditation plan. I also developed and revised both department and site training and implantation procedures.

Working as Director of Training Programs for a maintenance consulting firm, I managed numerous training projects involving multiple industrial clients. In this capacity, I prepared training contract proposals including scope, timelines, manpower estimates, and costing.

As Senior Instructional Consultant for Smith & Associates Inc. I managed numerous training projects involving multiple industrial clients. I designed, developed, and published web-based training and workshops for agri-industry plant maintenance and operation personnel. Additionally, I designed, developed, and implemented four state-registered apprenticeship programs for the positions of electrician, electronic control technician, and millwright.

I currently plan and develop e-Learning courses for YANMAR for agricultural and construction equipment training and provide technical support for Instructional Developers.

Message to YANMAR dealers: Get your a*# on the gas because alas, you’ll come in last.

If you could own any piece of  YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? Wood Mizer – provides smaller businesses the ability to salvage usable lumber from small tree felling projects.

Ray Rivera

Ray Rivera// Sales Training Instructor, CE

Industry Experience: I have experience in marine/government sales, international training and business development.

Message to YANMAR dealers: In order for your sales teams to confidently articulate YANMAR products and services to prospective customers, they need to be able to quantify our competitive advantage, provide clear product value proposition and interpret competitor trends. In upcoming sales courses we’ll dissect the CE market, products, competitors and provide you with the tools you need to improve performance and brand awareness in your market area. I look forward to meeting dealer sales professionals from across the nation at YANMAR//Academy.

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? I would own a couple 440HP 6LY2A-STP Marine Engines and install them on my boat to island hop the Caribbean. Those engines are virtually bullet proof and can run forever with minimal maintenance.

Hobbies: International travel, camping, entrepreneurship, and mentoring youth.

Ryan Greene headshot

Ryan Greene// Sales Training Instructor, AG

Industry Experience: Over 10 years of sales experience in a variety of areas of retail and service industries combined with 15 years of training and development experience in both college instruction and business consultation.

Message to YANMAR dealers: With the many options that the marketplace offers, it can be challenging to get the accurate information and the tools to make your business successful. The YANMAR//Academy purpose is to partner with you to grow your business through valuable training. Our trainers want to give you the knowledge and information to succeed.

If you could own any piece of YANMAR equipment what would it be and why? YT 359 Tractor for its versatility and advanced design. The quality of this tractor from the driver’s cabin to Integrated Hydrostatic Transmission makes the YT 347 a valuable tool for the farm I hope to one day own (if I can get my kids out of the house).

Hobbies: Woodworking, visiting wineries and breweries, watching my kid’s activities.

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