Management : Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville
Steve Blackwell has served as President of Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville since 2011. He began his career with the company in 1984 as a structures analysis engineer, progressing through a number of cross-functional leadership positions on various development programs before advancing to Senior Manager of Business Engagement (development). From 2005 to 2011, he worked for the division in the Dallas area, serving in prominent project management, engineering and technical operations roles.
Mr. Blackwell earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Tennessee Technological University and has completed numerous professional development activities.
Melissa Holobach joined Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville in 2012 and is responsible for all aspects of factory operations, including production teams, technical operations, maintenance and industrial engineering. She brings a broad range of leadership experience and technical expertise to the company. Previous positions include Director of Manufacturing Operations at Piper Aircraft and Plant Manager for the Dodge Viper factory. Ms. Holobach held a number of other positions of increasing responsibilities within DaimlerChysler as well. Earlier in her career, she worked for General Motors as an industrial engineer.
Ms. Holobach holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in industrial engineering, earning her graduate degree from Northwestern University and her undergraduate degree from Kettering University. During her tenure with GM, she earned the prestigious “Boss” Kettering Award for developing the first industry production artificial intelligence system called “Charley,” which was patented and implemented in more than 20 GM factories.
Sales and Marketing
Joe Coleman has more than 30 years of experience with Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville and is responsible for directing the Business Jet and C-130 programs. He began his aerospace career with the Avco Corp., a predecessor company, in 1983 as an industrial engineer in the bonding operations. In 1985, he moved into a program control and integration position on the B-1B wing program and advanced through the ranks of the program management organization. Since 1990, he has served as a Program Manager for many of the Nashville programs, including the BAe RJ wing, Gulfstream G450 wing, Cessna Citation X panels and Columbus wing, C-130 empennage and several Airbus programs. In addition to his program office responsibilities, he has led integrated project team efforts centered around customer focus, quality improvement and business development.
Mr. Coleman attended Vanderbilt University’s engineering school before completing work toward a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Tennessee. He is a Six Sigma Green Belt and has participated in post-graduate research into TQM with the University of Memphis.
Sales and Marketing
Neil Peace is Director of Business Management for Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville, a position he has held since January 2014. He is responsible for contracts management, new business proposals and strategic planning. Mr. Peace has worked for the company for 30 years, serving in a number of executive positions in strategic marketing, program management and finance. From 1998 to 2012 he led the company’s program office, primarily responsible for the management of Airbus and business jet programs. His background also includes positions with Spirit AeroSystems, Aladdin Industries, and Third National Bank.
Mr. Peace earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Tennessee Technological University in 1979.
Janie Hatfield has more than 30 years of finance experience with Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville. She began her career with the Avco Corp., a predecessor company, in 1980 as a Pricing Analyst and has worked her way up in the organization throughout the years. Other positions include Financial Control Administrator, Senior Budget Analyst, Senior Financial Administrator, Financial Manager, and Manager of Business Management. Ms. Hatfield spent a year working for Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a Senior Accounting Manager before returning to the company as Site Controller in 2006, a position she continues in today.
Ms. Hatfield holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Middle Tennessee State University.
Duane Cates is responsible for engineering at Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville. He began working at the site in 1983 as an engineer and has held numerous leadership positions since then. Mr. Cates served as Lead Engineer on several programs, including the Airbus A330/A340 flap track fairings, V-22 empennage and BAe Airbus design assist. From 2000 to 2006, he was the Design and Tool Design Manager. Other assignments since then include Manager of Manufacturing Engineering, Project Manager for the Cessna Columbus wing program, and Manager of Quality Engineering. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Cates was a project engineer for the Tennessee Valley Authority. He also was previously employed as an N/C programmer, apprentice tool designer, and apprentice tool and die maker.
Mr. Cates earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Technological University.
Sales and Marketing
Matt Hansen joined Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville in 2013 and is responsible for directing Airbus programs, as well as all business management and spares functions for the company. Most recently, Mr. Hansen worked for United Technologies Aerospace Systems (formerly Goodrich Corp.) where he was Director of Program Management for its Sensors and Integrated Systems (SIS) business. He also was a Business Development Manager for SIS. Prior to Goodrich, he worked for MTS Systems in roles of increasing responsibility in engineering, program management, and product management focusing on custom, advanced-manufacturing systems.
Mr. Hansen earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University and his master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. He holds nine patents and founded the Minnesota chapter of Engineers Without Borders, which continues to provide technical assistance to developing communities in the United States and abroad.
Purchasing / Supply Chain
Brian Ammon joined Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville in 2013 and is responsible for developing and growing the company’s global supply chain, and negotiating long-term agreements with existing suppliers. Mr. Ammon is an accomplished leader with more than 12 years of comprehensive global sourcing, supply chain, and supply base experience. He joins Triumph from BE Aerospace, where he most recently served as Supply Chain Director for its Advanced Lavatories and Cabin Interiors business. From 1997 to 2006, Mr. Ammon worked for Lexmark International, starting out as a Purchasing Agent and quickly progressed through the procurement organization, holding a series of positions with increasing responsibility. He began his career as an Operations Manager with Environmental Designs in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Mr. Ammon holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kentucky State University. His professional memberships include the Institute of Supply Management and the CAPS Research Supply Chain Leadership group.
Purchasing / Supply Chain
Jack Lowry joined Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville in 2012 and is responsible for the internal supply chain including material requirement planning (MRP), shipping, and receiving. Mr. Lowry joins Triumph from GE Aviation (Smiths Aerospace), where he was Director of Supply Chain Management since 2006. He brings a wealth of experience in operations, materials, and information technology, having served in a variety of industrial companies: Johnson & Johnson (cardiac ultrasound equipment), Wheaton Industries (plastic packaging), U.S. Filter (water treatment solutions), Goldman Industrial Group (machine tool equipment), and PDS Partners (GPS devices). Earlier in his career, Mr. Lowry served in the U.S. Army.
Mr. Lowry earned a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from State University in New York. He has experience in Six Sigma and Lean processes and has been on SAP and ERP implementation teams.
Edward "Rick" Ullinger Jr.
Edward Ullinger Jr. (Rick) was hired by the company in 2006 to lead the Quality organization and upgrade the quality management system at Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division – Nashville. During his tenure, he has led NADCAP certifications, AS9100 and ISO 9001 certifications, and other initiatives that have resulted in significant improvements in all customer metrics. From 1999 to 2006, Mr. Ullinger worked for Smiths Aerospace, serving as Quality Director and Director of Sourcing Quality. He began his career as an engineer with NCR Corp. and went on to hold numerous leadership positions with the company; including Director of Quality Assurance and then Director of the Power Systems Business Unit in Lake Mary, Florida.
Mr. Ullinger holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He is Lean certified, a Six Sigma Green Belt and is a Certified Quality Engineer with the American Society for Quality.