IAI Staff

Our welding instructors come from different industry backgrounds, providing expert support to produce workforce-ready employees with welding certifications and qualifications.

Tamara Ward

Executive Director

A native of Indian River, Tammi earned her bachelor’s degree in business and communications from Saginaw Valley State University in 1993. Tammi joined the Industrial Arts Institute team in May of 2014 as Business & Student Services Manager, then advanced her position to Operations Manager and is now our Executive Director.  She brings a variety of workforce development, management, and student services skills to her current role with her years at IAI and 15+ years of experience in economic and workforce development.  Tammi is proud to have been raised in Northern Michigan and understands the importance of developing a strong work ethic. She’s committed to being a part of creating a noble workforce of individuals who graduate from the Industrial Arts Institute.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling every chance she gets. 

Dorothy Rohde

Office Manager

Dorothy Rohde is the newest addition to our team. She will bring 15+ years of experience to her role as office manager. A very task-oriented individual, her attention to detail and organizational skills will be applied throughout her office responsibilities.  When Dorothy isn’t busy working, she enjoys spending time with her family and all things outdoors.

Eric Grissom

Welding Instructor

Eric was born and raised in Petoskey, Michigan, where he grew up learning different trades including carpentry, electrical, and mechanics. He is a 2016 alumni of the Industrial Arts Institute from Cohort Seven. Upon graduating from IAI, he worked in the welding and fabrication industry for Daifuku North America. He brings a strong work ethic with experience in welding, fabrication, assembling, brake press, and overhead crane operation. Additionally, Eric brings valuable experience mentoring students through the Petoskey Rotary Club STRIVE Program.  STRIVE is a scholarship and jobs mentorship program for area high school students who want to improve their educational status and life prospects. He enjoys spending time with his family in his spare time and likes golfing, fishing, and kayaking.

Joseph Kemper

Welding Instructor

Joe Kemper is from Wayland, Michigan, and started his career in Traverse City after attending Northwestern Michigan College for a degree in Manufacturing and Welding Technology. Joe has 8 years of professional welding experience, working at Industrial Magnetics Inc., LHM Tank, and Trimet Industries. Joe found his passion in teaching and preparing students for the workforce as an assistant welding instructor at Northwestern Michigan College. He now lives in Gaylord and enjoys hunting and fishing in his free time.

Ready to Enroll?

Welding is a diverse and rewarding career. Apply to IAI today to start your journey to a career in welding.
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