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Department of Education and Training
The staff in the UBC Department of Education and Training works primarily out of the International Training Center in Las Vegas, but hail from all across North America. Our instructors come from the trade and many have been with the UBC for decades. Our commitment to improving the lives of working people is a passion each member of the DET team shares and we consider it a privilege to work for the UBC and to carry out the vision and mission of our General President.
To reach out to the Department of Education and Training, please email DET_info@carpenters.org.
Randy Eppard has served as the Executive Director of the DET since 2011. Prior to joining the Department of Education and Training, Randy had an extensive professional career of more than fifteen years in the field of organizational development and training. He also previously served as the Director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council JATC program. Randy has earned a Ph.D. in adult learning/human resource development from Virginia Tech. He completed a Master of Science in human resource development from James Madison University, with a minor in higher education, and a Bachelor of Science in occupational education from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Randy has a family history including four generations of UBC membership. His father, Jim Eppard has been a UBC member for over fifty years, of which he served thirty years as a leader of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council. His brother, Rick Eppard was also a full-time member of the Department of Education and Training for six years and was formerly a leader at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council. Randy resides in Virginia with his wife and two sons.
Amy began her career with the DET in 2003 as a Program Coordinator. At the time, the Department offered just one training program to members (Delegate Training.) Since then, she has contributed to many facets of the department’s growth. She has been involved in all aspects of our programs, from development to delivery, and has a true passion for helping to improve the lives of working people. Amy is responsible for overseeing the development, coordination, and preparation of DET programs along with various tasks related to overall Department operations. Amy has managed the implementation of several essential systems within the department including the PMA (online registration system), the UBC Goal Setting platform, and the LMS system. She also manages the DET’s full-time office staff. Originally from Pennsylvania, Amy lived in Las Vegas for sixteen years before relocating to California where she resides with her husband and three daughters.
Brent Jenkins is a fourth generation Union carpenter. Brent joined the Department of Education and Training as a full-time Instructor in October of 2017. Prior to that, Brent worked as a part-time Instructor, primarily facilitating the Journeymen Leadership, Collaborative Leadership, and 3rd Year Apprentice programs. He also worked as a Special Representative for the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. Brent has worked as a Journeyman carpenter, spending most of his career in Commercial Concrete, working on many projects in Southern California (primarily in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.) Brent was a member of Local 1800 for over fifteen years during which he served in various positions, most recently as Financial Secretary from 2012 – 2017. Brent moved from Nipomo, CA to Henderson, NV with his family in 2019. He spends his time at home working on home renovation projects and spending quality time with his family.
Jim Leligdon joined the DET team in 2016. Since then, he has joined the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. He primarily works on the UBC Journeymen, UBC Excellence, and Communication Skills for Instructors programs as well as the instructor development process. In addition to classroom training, Jim assists with course development for and administration of the DET Learning Management System. With a background in performance improvement, Jim assists in seeking and implementing new activities to achieve maximized learning transfer within our programs. He has competencies in Coaching, Workshop Facilitation, Instructional Design, and Executive Coaching, all of which have been a great asset to the DET in building our instructor network. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, Jim has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bradley University, as well as numerous training industry certifications. He is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the Association for Talent Development (ATD), and the Learning Guild. Jim and his wife Barb have two adult children. When not working, Jim enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, writing music, and competing in poker tournaments.
In April 2016, the Department of Education and Training welcomed Lloyd “Chip” White to our team of full-time instructors. Prior to joining the DET, Brother White was on staff as a Council Representative for the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council for eleven years. Chip worked non-union until the age of 29 when he was organized into the Brotherhood. Chip became a member of Carpenters Local 175 in Louisville, Kentucky in 1999. He has held many local offices as well as Delegate positions. Brother White assists the department with multiple programs, including the 3rd Year Apprentice, Journeymen, Journeyman 212, Collaborative Leadership, and several other Leadership programs. He is the father of six children and has been a foster parent to over 21 children. He now enjoys being a grandparent to eight wonderful grandkids.
Jessie Patterson joined the DET as a full-time Instructor in 2023. After serving as a Military Army Veteran from 2009 through 2012, Sister Patterson became a UBC Millwright in 2016. Just two years after completing her apprenticeship, Jessie was hired as a Millwright Training Coordinator/Instructor at Local 1263 in Savannah, Georgia. During her time at Local 1263, Sister Patterson helped to form the Southern States Millwrights Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee in 2021 and in 2022, became Chair of the committee. In addition, Sister Patterson splits her time between helping UBC members and her local community, where she volunteers with a local animal rescue and at community events to help build awareness of fostering animals. An animal lover, she has rescued 7 dogs and 15 cats. She also enjoys spending time with her family painting, gardening, and building things around the house.
Aaron Contreras began his career in 2005. He joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America as an Interior Systems Carpenter doing metal stud framing and drywall. The first ten years of Brother Contreras’ career were spent working at some of Southern California’s most illustrious landmarks, including LAC+USC County Replacement Hospital, Cars Land at California Adventure, the Rose Bowl, and the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios, Hollywood. In 2015, Aaron got the opportunity to become a Representative with the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, where he spent eight years helping to improve the lives of working carpenters. In addition, Aaron was a trustee to his local and served as the contract enforcer on PLA jobs in the Los Angeles area. In 2023, Aaron became the newest addition to the Department of Education as a full-time instructor. In his free time, Aaron likes to spend his time camping, fishing, riding his bike and spending quality time with his family.
Tina Argenio has been with the DET since 2014. She began as a Program Assistant and was quickly promoted to Program Coordinator. Tina currently manages the majority of the DET’s programs, such as UBC Journeymen, 3rd Year Apprentice, 212 Journeymen, Collaborative Leadership, and Foreman Training, just to name a few. Tina is originally from Southern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 1996. Prior to working with the UBC, she spent fourteen years working for the Las Vegas Valley Water District in their Education and Training Department. Tina enjoys spending time outside and cooking with her family.
Alysia Ashley joined the Department of Education and Training as the Instructor Support Coordinator as well as the Assistant to the Senior Program Director in 2018. With a background in customer service and administrative support, Alysia works with both the DET Instructor Team and DET Office to ensure clear communication and streamlined operations. Originally from Pennsylvania, Alysia moved to Las Vegas in 2003. Alysia has a great deal of respect and excitement for the mission and vision of the UBC and DET and feels that joining our organization is one of the most impactful decisions of her professional career.
Michele Klimek joined the DET Team in 2013 and has worked both as an Executive Assistant to the Executive Director as well as a Program Coordinator, where she managed the UBC Journeymen, Special Sessions, Director/Coordinator Training, Customer Service and Tradeshow programs. As the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, Michele is integral in managing special projects for the department including the design and development of the new Goal Setting online platform. Prior to joining the DET Team, Michele worked in the industrial real estate development industry for over twenty years, spending fifteen with the same developer. Originally from Northern California, Michele now resides in Las Vegas. She is married with two children and enjoys traveling, hiking, and reading.
Sara joined the DET Team as a Program Assistant in 2023 after having a hospitality role at the ITC since 2016. Her 23-year background in customer service has served her well as she transitions to her new position. Sara is a Las Vegas native and loves her hometown! She is married with two children. Outside of work, you will find her making memories with her family – road trips and theme parks being her favorite adventures.