About Our Foundations™ Presenters

Jerad Heitzler

Jerad Heitzler

As program manager and lead instructor for Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ Training Workshops, Jerad Heitzler is a leader in helping the industry learn how to make the handling of bulk materials cleaner, safer, and more productive. 

Jerad started with Martin Engineering as a Customer Development Representative in 2006. He soon realized his love for presentations and for teaching about conveyor systems, and so in 2010 took over management and development of the company’s FOUNDATIONS™ Workshop program. Under his leadership the program has expanded to offer several levels of conveyor improvement workshops around the world.

Lee Mueller

Lee Mueller

A former native of Neponset, Lee Mueller has been instructing Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ Training Workshops since 2014. He brings perspective and personality to his workshops, while remaining focused on helping conveyor-users make their operations cleaner, safer, and more productive. After serving in the United States Air Force from 1973 until 1984, Lee had stints as a correctional officer for the California Department of Corrections. Eventually, he became a representative for a Martin Engineering distributorship, where he helped customers in central California improve their bulk materials handling.

In 2014, Lee brought his knowledge and experience to Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ program where he now offers conveyor improvement workshops across North America.

Richard Shields

Richard Shields

As a Conveyor Technology Manager and a FOUNDATIONS™ Workshop instructor for Martin Engineering, Richard Shields is focused on helping operations that use belt conveyors operate cleanly, safely, and productively. He began applying his extensive conveyor background and presentation skills to the FOUNDATIONS™ Training Program in 2016. 

Richard has 41 years of experience in the application of conveyors to bulk material handling. He has worked as a territory and regional manager for Martin Engineering. 

In the workshops he leads, Richard is focused on developing the ability to recognize existing or potential problems—-including safety—and initiate corrections that will improve bulk material handling. Those who attend his workshops will increase their knowledge of material handling problems and solutions, and have a stronger understanding of the dangers surrounding conveyors.

Todd Swinderman

Todd Swinderman

In his FOUNDATIONS™ Training Presentations, Todd Swinderman offers a world of experience in control of fugitive material and improved conveyor design. His interest has been the improvement of conveyors—and hence improving the operating company’s performance—through the elimination of dust, carryback, and spillage. Swinderman’s vision and leadership have focused on developing innovative solutions for bulk-materials handling and expanding Martin Engineering’s presence and capabilities around the world.

Born and raised in Kewanee, Illinois, Todd joined Martin Engineering in 1979, and over his 32+ year active career served as Product Engineer, General Manager, and President and CEO.

In his FOUNDATIONS™ Workshops, Todd’s mission is to improve bulk materials handling safety by promoting creative designs and enlightening managers to the relationships between safety, cleanliness and productivity. His practical experience in both design and management provide unmatched actionable content for attendees in his FOUNDATIONS™ Seminars.

For an expanded biography, click here.

Michael Brecht

Michael Brecht

Michael Brecht has been instructing Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ training Workshops since 2016. He brings perspective and personality to his presentations, while remaining focused on helping conveyor-users make their operations cleaner, safer, and more productive. 

While he came to Martin Engineering’s European Business Unit in 2015 as Sales Manager for Germany, Michael Brecht already had nearly 20 years of experience in the bulk materials handling industry. So it was a natural progression to take on the role of Foundations Training Specialist in 2016.

He offers the FOUNDATIONS™ Workshops in German or English, with a personal goal of making the FOUNDATIONS™
presentations the best training sessions attendees have ever had. In his presentations, Michael is dedicated to improving the efficiency and safety of bulk-handling belt conveyors and those who must work on and around them.

Michael Max Tenzer

Michael Max Tenzer

Michael Tenzer has been around the world, informing audiences of the problems caused by and the cures for fugitive material and is focused on helping bulk material handlers—both companies and their operating personnel—understand how conveyors work, and how to make them work better. 

Michael joined Martin Engineering in 1989 as a sales representative for the European Business Unit in Walluf, Germany. Here he focused on serving the massive conveying systems used in European lignite mines.

He began offering FOUNDATIONS™ workshops in 2005, and transitioned into the training program full time in 2014.   

Michael has now given hundreds of presentations around the world, training thousands of attendees in why and how to make conveyor systems and the plants which utilize them cleaner, safer, and more productive. Each presentation is tailored to meet the needs of the audience and the goals of those operations.

Ralf He

Ralf He

As the FOUNDATIONS™ Workshop instructor for Martin Engineering China, Ralf He is focused on presenting interesting and educational training programs that teach plants and personnel how to improve conveyor operations and safety.

Ralf joined Martin Engineering China in 2014 as the FOUNDATIONS™ Workshop Leader for that Business Unit. Before coming to Martin, Ralf had experience as a salesman and a technical trainer.

Workshop attendees can expect Ralf to discuss methods to solve problems in the handling of bulk materials to make plants cleaner, safer, and more productive. He is focused on helping conveyor users—both companies and their operating personnel—understand how conveyors work, and how to make them work better.

Fluent in Chinese (Mandarin) and English, Ralf holds a Master’s Degree in Mechatronics from Nanjing University of Science and Technology.

Robbie Walton

Robbie Walton

Passionate to ensure that his message about plant efficiency and safety leaves a lasting impression, South Africa’s Robbie Walton has been instructing Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ Training Workshop since 2014. Robbie has more than ten years’ experience in improving conditions and equipment performance in process plants and underground mines. Before becoming a FOUNDATIONS™ Trainer, he served Martin Engineering South Africa as a sales representative and service manager.

Robbie notes he has been fortunate enough to contribute positively through workshops to many plants in Africa, improving worker safety and morale and reducing operating costs while greatly improving plant efficiency and availability. His presentations bring information and understanding that helps conveyor-users make their operations cleaner, safer, and more productive.

Tom Stahura

Tom Stahura

Thomas Stahura uses more than 35 years of experience with belt conveyors in the high-volume mining and materials-handling operations of Australia to inform his presentation of Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ Workshops. He brings perspective and personality to his workshops, while remaining focused on helping conveyor-users make their operations cleaner, safer, and more productive.

Tom started working for Martin Engineering in Neponset as a teenager in 1977. Then he married into the family which operates the Martin Engineering distributorship serving Australia and the South Pacific, Engineering Services & Supplies (ESS). Now, as an Accounts Development Manager for ESS, Tom has been instructing Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ Training Workshops since 2010.

Uwe Schneider

Uwe Schneider

Uwe Schneider is a Business Development Manager and FOUNDATIONS™ Instructor for Martin Engineering Europe. Uwe brings perspective and personality to his workshops, while remaining focused on helping conveyor-users make their operations cleaner, safer, and more productive.

With 21 years of experience in the conveyor-related industries, Uwe has the background to explain bulk handling systems in clear, understandable manner, from both the theoretical and the practical sides. He raises audience consciousness on the need and ways to improve the performance and safety of bulk-handling belt conveyors, while keeping the audience interested and enthused.

Uwe joined Martin Engineering in 2002, as a Business Development Manager, and brought his knowledge and experience to Martin Engineering’s FOUNDATIONS™ program in January 2015.

Dionisio Gomez

Dionisio Gomez

A native of Chihuahua, Mexico, Dionisio Gomez provides FOUNDATIONS™ Workshops in Central and South America. His Spanish language presentation skills and 15 years experience with conveyors helps attendees learn to make their material handling systems cleaner, safer, and more productive. 

Dionisio stared with Martin Engineering’s Latin American business unit in 2004, as a sales manager for Central and Northern South American and the Caribbean, and later served as Latin America Business Support Manager for the company.

Dionisio is fluent in German and English, as well as his native language Spanish.

Gildas Robert

Gildas Robert

As an engineer with an MBA, Gildas Robert brings the perspectives of both an engineer and a business executive to the training of managers and staff in the importance of efficiency in bulk material handling, and the ways to achieve that efficiency. 
 
With 10 years of experience in the bulk material handling industries. Gildas is focused on offering effective training that helps conveyor systems and operators keep their plants cleaner, safer, and more productive.
 
Gildas joined Martin Engineering in 2007 as Sales Manager for Martin SARL, the company’s business unit in France. He has been serving as a FOUNDATIONS™ Training instructor since 2010.

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