Listed below is the senior management team at Universal Technical Institute, Inc. To view members of the Board of Directors and various committees, please visit our Corporate Governance section.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Kim McWaters is President and CEO of Universal Technical Institute Inc. (NYSE: UTI). Kim joined UTI in 1984, and has held several senior leadership positions with the company including Vice President of Marketing and Admissions. Kim was named President in 2000 and CEO in 2003. She is a director of Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: PAG) and of Mobile Mini, Inc.(NASDAQ: MINI), and serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and the Banner Health Foundation. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Chief Operating Officer
Jerome Grant joined UTI as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in November 2017. Jerome has more than two decades of executive leadership experience in post-secondary education, including digital strategy, strategic partnerships, marketing and technology. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Chief Services Officer with McGraw-Hill Education, Inc. and served in multiple executive roles with Pearson Education, Inc.
Jerome holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Labor Relations and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Interim Chief Financial Officer
Scott Yessner joined Universal Technical Institute, Inc. as Interim Chief Financial Officer in May 2018. He has a strong financial services background and brings nearly 20 years of financial experience. With Tatum, a Ranstad company, he currently leads a consulting practice that specializes in helping publicly traded companies generate earnings and value transformation through strategy, business re-engineering and corporate development. Previously, Yessner was group CFO, Wealth and Corporate Banking with MUFG Union Bank and had CFO executive responsibility for accounting, SEC and regulatory reporting, treasury, strategy/M&A, FP&A, capital/external stakeholder management and governance. In addition, he was group CFO for Wells Fargo Advisors / Wachovia Securities. He has also held financial leadership roles at Jackson National Life Insurance Company, The Balance Sheet Company and Countrywide Financial Corporation. He holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a certified public accountant.
General Counsel, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development
Chad A. Freed has served as our inside legal counsel since March 2004 and is also our Corporate Secretary. He was promoted to the position of General Counsel, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development in June 2015. Previous to that, Mr. Freed held the position of Senior Vice President, General Counsel since February 2005 and in March 2009, he assumed business development responsibilities as the General Counsel, Senior Vice President of Business Development. Prior to joining UTI, Mr. Freed was a Senior Associate in the Corporate Finance and Securities department at Bryan Cave LLP. Mr. Freed received his Juris Doctor from Tulane University, and holds a BS in International Business and French from Pennsylvania State University.
Executive Vice President of Campus Operations & Services
Sherrell E. Smith has served as our Executive Vice President of Campus Operations & Services since April 2018. Mr. Smith served as Executive Vice President of Admissions and Operations from June 2015 to April 2018, and as Senior Vice President, Operations from August 2012 to June 2015. During his previous tenure with UTI from 1986 to 2009, Mr. Smith held several positions with UTI including Campus President, Regional Vice President of Operations, Senior Vice President of Operations and Education and Executive Vice President of Operations. Prior to his return to UTI, Mr. Smith advised a private equity firm on acquisition opportunities in the education field and served as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Technology. Mr. Smith received a BS in Management from Arizona State University.
Piper Jameson joined UTI as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer in February 2017. Previously, she served as Chief Marketing Officer for Northern Arizona University (NAU) – Extended Campuses from 2015 to 2017. Piper was EVP and Chief Marketing Officer from 2006 to 2015 at Lincoln Educational Services where she provided leadership for Marketing, Admissions and the Career Services and Partnership division. Prior to joining Lincoln, Ms. Jameson served as the Financial Controller at Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, AZ. Ms. Jameson had previously worked at UTI/MMI from 1994-2005 in a variety of finance, operational and marketing roles, leaving UTI as our Senior Vice President of Marketing. Ms. Jameson holds a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication & Leadership from Seton Hall University and dual Bachelor of Science of degrees in Marketing and Business Administration from University of Phoenix. Ms. Jameson currently serves on the board of the Imagine America Foundation.
Senior Vice President, People Services
Rhonda R. Turner has served as our Senior Vice President of People Services (Human Resources) since June 2010. From January 2006 to December 2007, Ms. Turner served as Director, People Services Partnerships, from January 2008 to July 2009 she served as Vice President of People Services Partnerships & Training and from August 2009 to May 2010 she served as Vice President of People Services. Prior to joining UTI, Ms. Turner served in human resources leadership positions at ConocoPhillips, Circle K and Main Street Restaurant Group, Inc., a TGI Friday’s franchisee. Ms. Turner received her BS in Human Resources Management from Arizona State University.
Senior Vice President, Admissions
Eric Severson has served as our Senior Vice President of Admissions since July 2018. Prior to his current role, Mr. Severson spent more than 20 years with Pearson, the market leader in developing tools, content, technology products and services for the education industry, most recently as executive vice president, Higher Education Sales. In that role, he directed a sales force of more than 800 representatives, expanded Pearson's presence in key markets, and drove meaningful increases in revenue and market share. He has held a number of other senior leadership roles with Pearson and, prior to that, led sales teams with educational publisher, Prentice Hall. Mr. Severson received his Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.