P.O. Box 241, 20902 Washington Avenue, Onaway MI 49765




Tammi Ward

Institute Operations Manager

A native of Indian River, Tammi earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business and Communications from Saginaw Valley State University in 1993. Tammi joined the Industrial Arts Institute team in May of 2014 and brings a variety of Management and Student Services skills to her current role with her 15+ years of experience in Economic and Workforce Development.

Thompson School Board

Cary Thompson

Development Director

Cary Thompson has played key fund development and board leadership roles in the community development sector throughout his career. He has fifteen years of experience in fundraising and grant writing. As the Detroit Public Safety Foundation’s grant consultant, he was instrumental in helping the City of Detroit’s Police and Fire Departments secure millions in government grants.

He has worked with government agencies and non-profits across the country to help them obtain the funding that they need. He also teaches organizational development and grant writing for government agencies. Cary is very passionate about raising funds for Industrial Arts Institute, as he feels that it is the premier comprehensive welding program in the country. He has been tied to welding throughout his life, as his family has generations of steel workers. In fact, his dad earned a living as a welder. If you or your company are interested in contributing to Industrial Arts Institute, he would love to talk to you. Please consider donating to Industrial Arts Institute today. Your contributions will help our students prepare for successful and rewarding careers in the professional trades industry. The State of Michigan has predicted a massive shortage of welders in the coming years, and Industrial Arts Institute stands ready to help fill the professional skills gap.

Brandon Belton

Welding Instructor / CWI

Brandon started his welding career in aircraft metals technology when he joined the U.S. Air Force shortly after high school.  After seven years as a certified GTAW, he completed his welding engineering technology degree from Ferris State University. In 2016, after working with companies like John Deere and Case New Holland, Brandon pursued his Certified Welding Inspector certification from AWS and stepped into a role supporting code book welding and qualifying welders for GE Aviation.  

Hunter Headshot

Hunter Stinger

Welding Instructor

Hunter is a graduate of Industrial Arts Institute’s comprehensive welding program and brings a variety of diverse experiences to our students.  Upon graduation, he took a role with Genzink Steel and, six months later, joined the Boilermakers 169 where he did a four-year apprenticeship, graduating in 2020.  He’s traveled all over the state – from Marquette to Detroit – welding in nuclear reactors and on diesel trucks at the iron ore mines.  “Northern Michigan is home,” he says, “and it’s time to give back to the community and career that has provided me with so much.”

Stephanie Gillett, Marketing and Office Support

Stephanie Gillett

Marketing Coordinator & Office Manager

Stephanie is a former Detroiter who only recently made northeast Michigan her home.  Now that she’s here, she’s tapping into her passion for education and the trades to help IAI build awareness and recruit students interested in building a better future for themselves.  

In her spare time, she likes to leverage her 30+ years of corporate and Fortune 500 experience to optimize the productivity of a husband and two dogs.


Ann Gildner

Assoc. Welding Instructor - CIW Program
Ornamental Welding Instructor & Metal Artist-in-Residence

Ann enjoys art as much as learning. She holds a BFA from Siena Heights University and Certificates in Iron One Welding from Alpena Community College, Master Floral Design, Michigan Floral Designer and University of Michigan Master Gardener.

Ann’s 35 plus years in the art world brought her to Onaway to learn welding to create her ideas in large scale metal art. Tom Moran became her metal art mentor. She now exhibits her metal art throughout Michigan and has received several awards for her metal art works. Her community involvement was recognized by the State of Michigan and the Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce with the Francis and Gordon Spies Award for her involvement and direction in public art in Cheboygan, MI. She was selected to be the Artist in Residence for the Iron One Studio and teaches Ornamental Welding Courses at the Industrial Arts Institute.

Michael Rocheleau

Assoc. Welding Instructor - CIW Program
Lab Assistant / Institute Maintenance

Michael began his machining career in 1988 when he enlisted in the United States Navy. He served for four years during the Persian Gulf War in Machine Repairing. Following completion of our Comprehensive Industrial Welding Program in August 2015, Michael has become IAI’s paraprofessional for all Youth Camps and High School Work Based Learning classes. In 2016 he became our Manual Machining Instructor and completed a NIMS workshop in Georgia and has since received 8 NIMS credentials.