Instructors

Pat Dorris, Dean of Machining

Pat Dorris has more than two decades of industry experience working in manufacturing shops serving the automotive industry. He was introduced to the industry through his family’s business, a machine shop called Turn-Matic, Inc. A graduate from Western Michigan University, Pat holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in German/Accounting. He attended Macomb Community College where he studied automotive/tool design. After moving to San Diego from the Detroit area, Pat continued to work in the manufacturing field as a mechanical designer and CNC programmer/machinist. Since 2006, he has owned and operated his own machine shop. Pat also teaches CNC programming at San Diego City College, a position he has held for 11 years.

Scott Leoncini, Machining Instructor

Scott served as a combat engineer in the United States Marine Corps and holds a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Realizing criminal justice wasn’t the right path for himself and his family, he enrolled in the Workshops for Warriors machining program and graduated with seven nationally recognized credentials in computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, CNC Milling and CNC Turning from Mastercam, National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), and SolidWorks. Upon graduation in Summer 2015, Scott was asked to be a Teaching Assistant for the machining programs. In 2017, he was promoted to full-time Machining Instructor. As a Veteran who dealt with the difficulties of transitioning out of the Military and finding a civilian job to support his family, Scott’s true passion is helping other Veterans have an easier transition than he did.

Chris Stine, Assistant Machining Instructor

Chris served in the United States Marine Corps for 11 years as a Mortorman. During his time at the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) he sustained a life altering injury. With his Military plans turned upside-down he enrolled in Workshops for Warriors’ machining program and gradated in August 2016, during his transition to the civilian world. He earned 10 nationally recognized credentials in machining including his SolidWorks Professional Advanced – Drawing Tools, CNC Milling Skills II, and Mastercam Lathe and Mill Design and Toolpaths X9. He realized that one skill that did translate from the infantry is teaching, and he was asked to be an Assistant Machining Instructor at Workshops for Warriors.

Lyle Palm, Dean of Welding

Lyle Palm retired a Senior Chief Petty Officer from the United States Navy with over 20 years’ experience as a Hull Maintenance Technician. He specialized in welding nuclear and non-nuclear piping systems and structural components onboard submarines and surface ships. In 2015, Lyle was awarded American Welding Society’s Excellence in Welding Award in the veteran category. His education background includes a Master of Science degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University, along with a wide variety of industry certifications including journeyman combination welder. Lyle owned his own welding and fabrication business with his brother Tim Palm for ten years. In addition to instructing welding classes at Workshops for Warriors, Lyle is an Instructor at Assault Craft Unit 5 for Marine Systems Corporation where he trains military and civilian welders.

Derek Beecher, Welding Instructor

Derek Beecher retired a Master Chief Petty Officer from the United States Navy with 30 years of experience. He specialized in welding nuclear and non-nuclear piping systems and structural components onboard submarines and surface ships. Also an expert in damage control practices for fighting shipboard fire, flooding and casualty damage repair, Derek was further trained in basic chemical, biological, and radiological warfare recovery practices. He is well versed in welding and silver brazing processes including sheet metal fabrication, pipefitting, structural fabrication and repair. A graduate from Three Rivers Community College, Derek holds dual Associates of Science degrees in Construction Management Technology with an emphasis in Computer Aided Drafting and Business Administration.

Tim Palm, Welding Instructor

Tim Palm served in the National Guard and then joined the United States Navy as a gas turbine systems technician, serving for a combined total of 10 years. After serving in the military, he held various positions ranging from package assembly mechanic at Solar Turbines to supervisor at Greenfield Environmental. Tim and his brother Lyle Palm owned their own business called Old Swede Repairs, a welding and fabrication business, for ten years. Tim is a licensed contractor in the state of California. He is also a licensed wastewater treatment plant operator. In addition to teaching at Workshops for Warriors, Tim is a wastewater treatment plant operator at Chicago Bridge and Iron, a company contracting for the military. Tim’s expertise in welding was founded on coursework at Dakota County AVTI and his experience in running his own company as a licensed contractor.

Alex Funk, Assistant Welding Instructor

Alex is a United States Marine Corps Veteran who heard about Workshops for Warriors from a fellow service member while deployed in Afghanistan. He enrolled as a student in the welding program during the last two months of his enlistment and eventually went on to take every welding course that Workshops for Warriors offers. In addition, Alex earned nationally recognized credentials in Workshops for Warriors’ machining courses, earning him 32 total credentials—more than any other graduate in the school’s history—accredited by the American Welding Society, Mastercam University, SolidWorks and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). Alex became an Assistant Welding Instructor at Workshops for Warriors in Summer 2016 and upon OSHA certification now teaches the Forklift Training Course.

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