Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Robert Baxter

Robert Baxter

Teaching Assistant

Jessa Challa

Jessa Challa

Workshop Instructor

BJ Clark

BJ Clark

Instructor

Jeff Cogswell

Jeff Cogswell

Instructor

Jeff is a seasoned software developer since landing his first job after college in the 90s. He has worked primarily for large phone companies and has programmed with almost every language imaginable. He’s excited to share everything he knows with Grand Circus students. Jeff has also written a dozen books, including C++ All in One for Dummies.

Laura Crouch

Laura Crouch (She/Her/Hers)

Career Services Specialist

Laura has 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting, and higher education. Laura was lucky enough to join the Grand Circus team in April 2021. It is so exciting for her to see students land their first job in tech. What could be more fulfilling than being able to support someone in such a huge transition in their life? Outside of her work, Laura spends most of her time with her husband and two young kids. They enjoy hiking and camping, especially at state and national parks. Being a North Carolina resident, the frequent the Blue Ridge Parkway and its surrounding areas often.

Mitchell Cuckovich

Mitchell Cuckovich (He/Him/His)

Instructor

Spencer Deering

Spencer Deering

Workshop Instructor

Reggie Dixon

Reggie Dixon

Teaching Assistant

Reggie is a TA for Montaz in their Fullstack JavaScript May 2021 after hours course. Reggie recently graduated from GC in May and subsequently joined the team there after. Before the tech industry Reggie was an avid industrial worker and also has spent over 20 years in the service. Looking for a career change he explored tech and fell in love. Some of his personal interests include creating things via graphic design methods and also has an endless love for basketball.

Charlene Donelson

Charlene Donelson

Program Manager

James Drain

James Drain

Workshop Instructor

Matt Fanto

Matt Fanto (He/Him/His)

Instructor

Matt is a Tech Lead at StockX, and a full stack developer at Grand Circus! He previously worked as a security engineer at Duo Security, as well as in the federal government at NIST.

Mariah Hall

Mariah Hall

Teaching Assistant

Elizabeth Heaton

Elizabeth Heaton (She/Her/Hers)

Sr. Manager, Career Services & Alumni Relations

Elizabeth is a Chicago native who relocated to Detroit to pursue her love of helping others reach their highest potential. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Counseling from Adler University. With 10 years experience in education, Elizabeth transitioned to Detroit to help adults achieve their career goals. Elizabeth brings a diverse background of experiences and insights to help individuals regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Elizabeth is a Mom of three, an avid Peloton rider, and an activist for the LGBT+ community.

Nick Hickman

Nick Hickman

Teaching Assistant

Shannon Hoey

Shannon Hoey (She/Her/Hers)

Teaching Assistant

Shannon works as a Solutions Delivery Analyst working on Internal Communications for a Fortune 500 company during the day. With a past background in Quality Assurance, she found a love for automation and coding. She took the Front End Javascript bootcamp last year and joined the GC team after completion to help spread her knowledge and love of coding!

Andrea Hoffman

Andrea Hoffman

Teaching Assistant

Sloth I

Sloth I (He/Him/His)

Workshop Instructor

Sloth graduated from a Grand Circus full-time front-end bootcamp in December 2017. After a series of contract gigs, he relaunched SlothWerks LLC as a custom web and mobile application company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sloth maintained a close relationship with Grand Circus after graduation, filling roles as a paid workshop instructor as well as a supporter and advocate for bootcamp alumni.

Justin Jones

Justin Jones

Instructor

Tila Kansa

Tila Kansa

Teaching Assistant

Brandon Klotz

Brandon Klotz

Workshop Instructor

Megan  Majewski

Megan Majewski (She/Her/Hers)

Instructor

Megan currently works at FordLabs, an incubation center at Ford Motor Company and has 6 years experience in web application development. Currently working in React and Node ecosystem, Megan has always enjoyed programming, even since she took her first Python class. The challenging problem solving and creative freedom granted when developing new applications were a perfect fit for her. She joined Grand Circus to share that passion, and inspire others to pursue a career in software themselves. When not at work Megan enjoys cycling, or watching any competition show available on Netflix.

Antonio Manzari

Antonio Manzari

Teaching Assistant

Antonio joined the Grand Circus team as a teaching assistant after graduating from the .NET bootcamp in early 2021. He is an aspiring educational game developer with a background in graphic design, web development, music, and animation. Antonio loves to travel, visit coffee shops and museums, explore new cities by bike or by foot, and bake his favorite southern Italian flat bread — focaccia barese!

Nick Maxwell

Nick Maxwell

Teaching Assistant

Nick was in the Air Force for 5 years as Security Forces, spending most of his time in nuclear security, running nuclear convoys. After being medically discharged from the military, he needed to find a new career path. Nick decided to turn his lifelong interest in computers into his new career. He enrolled in Grand Circus’ full stack Javascript bootcamp to get a jumpstart on becoming a Developer.

Montaz Meah

Montaz Meah (He/Him/His)

Instructor

After Hours Full Stack JavaScript instructor and Grand Circus graduate. Montaz joined Grand Circus because coders and hackers always impressed him and he wanted to be one. Works on General Motors websites by day and teaches by night. In his spare time, you can find him watching anime or lost in some YouTube black hole. Everything reminds him of a Mitch Hedberg joke.

Lauren Mooney

Lauren Mooney (She/Her/Hers)

Workshop Instructor

Lauren is the Content Owner and one of the lead instructors for Grand Circus’s Intro To Coding Workshop. She is also an Associate Software Engineer at Nexsys Technologies. As an alumnus of Grand Circus’s Front-End Bootcamp, Lauren wanted to give back and make a difference by helping potential future bootcamp students learn to code for the first time. In her spare time, she enjoys to watching anime, cooking, working out, and spending time with the people most important to her.

Megan Norton

Megan Norton (She/Her/Hers)

Program Manager

Megan (me – gan) is an alumna of Grand Circus C# .NET program who strongly believes that learning is lifelong and that Bootcamps are a great entry point to a career in Tech. In 2017, she came to us after a 22 year career in IT having built development teams for Big Box retailers’ eCommerce web and mobile apps, healthcare apps, law firms billing and insurance ETL. She came back to us in 2019 with a passion to bring the tips and tricks for being a good leaders, analyst, designer, and developer to students. @go2megan for her story on changing careers. You too can do this.

Rachel O'Sullivan

Rachel O'Sullivan (She/Her/Hers)

Admissions Manager

Rachel is a passionate student advocate that you’d find in our Admissions Dept. as our Admissions Manager! She joined GC in Sept ’21 & will tell you she’s in her dream job helping guide students through a career change or achieve a personal goal of theirs. Now, after finding her ‘career home’, her and her husband have just moved into their forever home with their 2 dogs – MJ (Bernese Mtn.) & S’More (Blue Healer). When she isn’t answering emails, or organizing something inside her home, you can find her on the golf course trying to shed strokes off her handicap!

Schuyler von Oeyen

Schuyler von Oeyen

Workshop Instructor

Henry Overholt

Henry Overholt

Teaching Assistant

Cana Owens

Cana Owens

Workshop Instructor

Jayashree Ravi

Jayashree Ravi

Instructor

Paul Riviera

Paul Riviera

Instructor

Paul began programming at a young age and quickly became passionate about solving complex puzzles through code. Paul’s career has taken him from small startups in healthcare to large technology companies, most recently Microsoft. Currently, Paul works as a Senior Consultant in Detroit specializing in Cloud, DevOps, and Security projects. He is an avid reader and enjoys learning new topics and skills. His passion for learning is what brought him to Grand Circus, where he is excited to provide guidance to others looking to join the ever-changing world of software engineering.

Damien Rocchi

Damien Rocchi

CEO & Founder

Damien is the CEO and Founder of Grand Circus. He started Grand Circus to close the technical skills gap and to create a path for people of all backgrounds into high-paying, high-growth technical careers. Damien is originally from Australia and has worked in leadership roles at some of Australia’s largest media and consumer companies. He is passionate about all things Australian, AFL, his family and calamari fishing

Carmen Scott

Carmen Scott (She/Her/Hers)

Program Manager

Carmen is an intercultural communication enthusiast working as a Daytime Program Manager at Grand Circus. While working several roles in academic research and student academic instruction/mentorship Carmen obtained her B.A. in Global Studies with Italian instruction from Wayne State University. She has also received formal training in American Sign Language. A self-declared nerd at heart, Carmen enjoys non-fiction audiobooks, podcasts, foreign TV, movies and music, as well as hiking, dancing, and crocheting.

Darion Thompson

Darion Thompson

Instructor

Scott Tremaine

Scott Tremaine

Instructor

Scott believes it is everyone’s responsibility to help as many individuals achieve their vision of success. This belief is why he is so dedicated to helping those trying to break into the tech industry. He admires the courage of anyone who decides to make a significant change in their career when pursuing software development.

Scott recalls the struggles and obstacles he faced twenty years ago as a self-taught developer. He hopes to play a small part in helping others navigate the intimidating world of technical interviews and junior developer careers so that their journey is not as rocky as his was.

Scott Tribble

Scott Tribble (He/Him/His)

Director of Marketing

Scott joined the Grand Circus team as Director of Marketing in 2021. He has worked in education for more than a decade and looks forward to supporting the next generation of developers at Grand Circus. Scott previously worked at Denison University, and, prior to that, worked for organizations in the travel, music, and health care industries. A Boston native, Scott lives in Columbus, Ohio, and enjoys photography, playing guitar, and traveling.

Aleena Tucker

Aleena Tucker

Workshop Instructor

Aleena is an Intro to Code and Intro to C# workshop Instructor who graduated bootcamp back in 2016. Before the bootcamp, she was working as a SharePoint Admin. Since then, she’s gone on to become a Full-stack Developer, and now works as a Product Manager. When she’s not working or teaching, you can usually find her practicing martial arts or learning something new herself. Or eating a muffin.

Anthony Tuttle

Anthony Tuttle (He/Him/His)

Associate Director of Workforce Development

At his core, Anthony is a learner and an educator who is passionate about building community, increasing diversity in the tech workforce, and equitably sharing resources to help individuals improve their lives and communities.

As a member of the Grand Circus Business Development team, he works with organizations across the Midwest to help identify and prepare individuals to launch their careers in tech. Anthony earned a BS in Technology, Engineering, and Design Education from North Carolina State University and a MA in Management from the Wake Forest University School of Business.

Frank  Urso

Frank Urso

Vice President of Business Development

Frank works with our enterprise partners in helping them grow and acquire the talent they need to tackle today’s IT challenges. He is passionate about Grand Circus’ mission to directly connect learning to careers, with a focus on creating talent that reflects the community we live in. Born and raised as a Detroit Tigers fan, a seismic shift has occurred as he supports his new hometown team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jeseeka Vaughn

Jeseeka Vaughn

Instructor

Tommy Waalkes

Tommy Waalkes

Instructor

Ian Washington

Ian Washington (He/Him/His)

Director of Admissions

Ian joined Grand Circus in December 2014 after a few years in the beverage industry where he was a partner with a local brewery. Why Grand Circus?  As a native Detroiter and lifelong learner, the idea of tech education was exciting and challenging. “Nothing like Grand Circus existed while I was growing up” – So with that said, Ian decided that he wanted to be a part of growing this business and industry in the Detroit area and beyond.  Ian is married with 2 kids and lives a quiet life in the woods with mediocre wifi access and deer that eat his prized hosta garden.

April Watkins

April Watkins (She/Her/Hers)

Director of Operations

April leads operations, managing processes, systems, and OKR development, and people operations & culture. She has held leadership roles at established companies and startups ranging from early-stage Internet companies to personal healthcare. At Dolby Laboratories, she worked in creative services, real estate, finance, and operations, oversaw expansion into over 30 countries, and served as integration lead for multiple acquisitions. After many years in San Francisco, April is now back in Northern Michigan, and is thrilled to have found a home with the Grand Circus family!

Heather Wenzel

Heather Wenzel

Workshop Instructor

William Westley

William Westley

Program Manager

Derek Wolters

Derek Wolters

Workshop Instructor

David Wolverton

David Wolverton

Instructor

David has been a bootcamp instructor at Grand Circus for over five years and oversees our Full Stack JavaScript curriculum. Before joining the staff, David worked as a software developer for many years. He loves working in IT and got into teaching because of a desire to help others get into the field.

Chelsea Wylie

Chelsea Wylie (She/Her/Hers)

Workshop Instructor

Chelsea is one of the instructors at Grand Circus. She is a Software Developer with a background in Music Performance. She joined Grand Circus in 2019 and graduated from the Front End Bootcamp in June of 2020. In between work and teaching, Chelsea likes to spend her time giving music lessons and cooking.

Want to join The Circus?

We're always looking for people who are passionate about tech to help us train the next generation of programmers and developers.

Grand Circus employees on Zoom