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If you’ve ever taken an exam for an IT certification, you know that those tests are no joke. Each time you sit for the test, it’s a serious investment of both time and money. So, when you’re in the process of studying and training, it would make sense to learn from the best.

Enter the instructors at LeaderQuest. While they’re from all different backgrounds, they share one thing in common. They’re certified, expert professionals who work in the industry. Not only do they know the ins and outs of taking each exam, they know what you really need to succeed in IT.

That’s why today we’d like to highlight just a few of the great instructors at LeaderQuest and give them time to shine. Read on to learn the truth behind our awesome teachers.

James Gross – Veteran & Computer Repair Aficionado

Experience & Bio

James Gross spent 22 years serving our country in the USAF. During his time in the service, from Basic Training through 22 years of his active duty career, two major things have stood out. James has been repeatedly been handpicked to train others and have immersed himself in technology to the point of being considered the go-to person for nearly all things IT. Combining those two areas in one job is one of his several dreams come true.

In 1996, he was living in Germany and his first computer stopped working. He had no clue what was going on but remembered a few things he’d picked up in Computer Shopper magazine. Using that limited knowledge, he guessed that his Input/Output board must have failed. After a visit to the local German computer parts store, he replaced the I/O board, powered on the computer successfully, and has been hooked on computer troubleshooting and repair ever since.

Fast Facts

  • Education:
    • Western Governors University – Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology
    • Cisco Global Cybersecurity Scholarship
  • Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Server+, CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA CySA+, CompTIA Cloud+, ITIL Foundation, ITIL Intermediate CSI, ITIL Intermediate OSA, CIW Web Foundations Associate, CIW Web Design Specialist, MTA Windows Operating System Fundamentals, LPIC-1, Novell CLA, MCSA: Windows 7, and SUSE 11 Technical Specialist
  • Courses Taught at LQ: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, and ITIL Foundation
  • Career/Skill Focus: My passion is helping people connect with technology in meaningful ways. That passion drives me to learn technology deeply and well so that I can present that information to others.”

Want to learn more? Check out James Gross’ LinkedIn here.

Gary R. Bell – Dedicated to Placing Students in IT

Experience & Bio

Gary Bell IT instructor

Hailing from Billings, MT, Gary R. Bell is an alumnus of the University of Central Oklahoma with 25 years of experience in IT. That includes work in IT sales, CNE (Certified Novell Engineer) networking, MSCA, and even work as a certified C-Tech copper and fiber optic instructor. He’s also been very successful in the business world as the CEO and owner of his own marketing company.

During his time as a teacher, he’s spent 11 years training students in CompTIA courses, Microsoft, cabling, job skills, and soft skills. He’s also helped connect students with a number of job placements in IT with companies like Dell, Purina, and more.

Fast Facts

  • Education:
    • University of Central Oklahoma – Masters Adult Education (MEd)
    • Oklahoma City University – Bachelor of Science (BS) in Marketing
    • Other Colleges – University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Community College
  • Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, Microsoft MCSA (4 subjects), CNE, and C-Tech copper/fiber cabling courses.
  • Fun Fact: Gary R. Bell was a member of SkillsUSA and took IT students to local, state, and national (Kansas City) competitions. He also served as the past president of the Trade & Industrial Education Association of Oklahoma.

Want to learn more? Check out Gary Bell’s LinkedIn here.

Patrick Allen – Retired Master Chief of the U.S. Navy

Experience & Bio

patrick allen IT instructor

With 20+ years in IT implementation and project management and over nine years of IT field service, Patrick Allen is a retired Master Chief of the U.S. Navy. He’s worked for a range of companies including Haselden Construction, Chipotle, Lewan Technology, and even as an IT Project Manager for Northrop Grumman.

Patrick specializes in IT support and network installations. His duties have included installing and configuring Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISR), re-configuring point of sale terminals and security systems, providing hardware, network, and application support, and more.

Fast Facts

  • Education:
    • University of Maryland College Park – Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology
    • Arapahoe Community College- Associate of Science (AS) in Computer Network Technology
    • Tidewater Community College – Associate of Science (AS) in Electronic and Electronics Engineering
  • Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+
  • Courses Taught at LQ: CompTIA A+ 901/902, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+
  • Fun Fact: Patrick Allen is addicted to fly fishing.

Jim Grimes – Former Hot Air Balloon Pilot

Experience & Bio

James W. (Jim) Grimes has been with LeaderQuest since May of 2015. Immediately prior to working at LeaderQuest, he worked on a government contract as a Senior Network Administrator. His career focus includes network administration & security, mainframes & supercomputers, and providing deskside support for PCs.

Jim started his career in IT with the U.S. Army as a Computer/Mainframe Operator in 1986. Shortly after arriving at his first duty station at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, he was involved in helping the base convert to the use of PCs and teaching classes to train users on PCs.

In successive years, Jim held a number of varied positions in IT. They include working in call centers, both as a call agent and supervisor, network administration, critical incident coordination, supporting mainframes & supercomputers, and providing deskside support for PCs.

He has worked for FedEx as the Senior Customer Automation Consultation for Oregon. Also, he has worked at Walmart Home Office supporting the marketing division, and various other companies both public and private.

Fast Facts

Want to learn more? Check out Jim Grimes’ LinkedIn here

John Brown – Jack of All Trades in IT

Experience & Bio

In his 40+ years of experience, John has worked in almost every aspect of IT including operations, programming, database management, desktop support, server support, network design, network support, security, technical training, and management. His focuses include teaching, network security, Microsoft Windows, smartphones, and tablets.

He started with rack-mounted minicomputers while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and moved on to mainframes in college. This was followed by years of planning, installing, and supporting desktop computers, networks, and servers. He got started way back with the original IBM PC running DOS 1.0. Along the way, he’s worked with a number of companies including JEA and Geek Brigade.

For the last 10 years, he has applied this extensive experience to his true passion of teaching Microsoft and CompTIA subjects. This includes volunteer work as an instructor for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Fast Facts

Jacob Miller – Oklahoma Native & Air Force Vet

Experience & Bio

Originally from a small town in Oklahoma, Jacob served in the U.S. Air Force working on missile and space system maintenance. He moved to Denver when he got married and then attended LeaderQuest myself back in 2012. Since then, he’s been working hard in the IT field.

In the past, he worked for Comcast where his duties included the investigation, documentation, and resolution of fraud and security issues. He also worked as an On-Site Technician for SNI and as a Network /Systems Administrator for Colorado Consumer Support. His diverse experience in IT and customer service has provided me with a wide array of problem-solving skills.

Fast Facts

  • Education:
    • Western Governors University – Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology/Security
    • Thomas Edison State College – Associate of Science, Clinical Laboratory Science (ASAST) in Computer & Information Technology
    • East Central University – Classes in Computer Science
  • Certifications: ITIL Foundation V3, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Project+, CompTIA Linux+, CCNA, and IINS
  • Courses Taught at LQ: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+
  • Career/Skill Focus: Network administration and security

Kenneth Tanner – Over 20 Years in IT

Experience & Bio

With a focus on IT networking and cyber security, Kenneth Tanner is an IT professional with 20+ years of extensive hands-on experience in networking, telecommunications, systems administration, and the security thereof. Kenneth has provided training on systems he has deployed to audiences including both non-technical end users to highly technical support personnel.

He has worked for Hughes Training, a division of Hughes Electronics Ltd, the University of Alabama System, LSU Health Sciences Center, and various private companies as a consultant. Kenneth attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in Birmingham, Alabama, where he received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering. He’s also obtained a number of impressive certifications including the much sought-after CISSP.

Fast Facts

Want to learn more? Check out Kenneth Tanner’s LinkedIn here

Marcia L. Ingino – Master of All Things Project Management

Experience & Bio

Marcia has more than 16 years of training and development experience in both corporate and educational environments. Her consulting background in Fortune 500 companies includes technical engineering and IT experience, progressive management skills in multiple industries, and international training facilitation.

Over the years she’s worked for a number of big-name companies including Hewlett Packard, PM Solutions, ESI International, the Homeland Security Technologies division of the Danaher Company, and her own consulting business Entercepts Consulting, Inc.

Marcia is a dynamic, passionate, and dedicated instructor who enjoys contributing to the professional development and success of those who attend her courses.

Fast Facts

  • Education:
    • University of Colorado at Boulder – Masters of Engineering (MSE) in Engineering Management
    • PM College – Masters Certificate in Project Management
    • University of Illinois Urbana Champaign – Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Engineering
  • Certifications: PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA IIBA-CBAP
  • Career/Skill Focus: Project Management (PM), Business Analysis (BA), and Agile Instructor
  • Classes Taught: Senior Technology Project Management (PMP)

Want to learn more? Check out Marcia L. Ingino’s LinkedIn here.

Get Trained in IT with our Expert Instructors

When you’re looking to get certified in IT and get your career on the right track, only the best instruction will do. That’s why all of our classes, whether online, on campus, during the day, or at night, are delivered live by an instructor who’s an industry expert and is ready to respond to your questions.

They’re ready to help guide you through the exam process while giving you the training you need to perform well at your new position in IT.

Coupled with our career services team, who will help you find the job of your dreams, the LeaderQuest staff is here to give you every opportunity to succeed.

Invest in your future with a career that’s growing fast and practically future-proof. Reach out to us, today!

Start Your IT Career!