Industrial coatings application specialist and process engineer Phil Stevenson has been active in the coatings industry for over 30 years. Working with major manufacturers, he honed his skills in process training and new product development for the coatings industry.
As his career advanced, Phil became one of the country’s leading authorities on the research, development, and evaluation of cutting-edge coating application technologies for all types of substrate materials.
Over a period of twenty years, he has interacted with hundreds of managers and coatings professionals for America’s various manufacturing industries. In the process of providing solutions and meeting operational goals, he has identified opportunities for innovation and improvement to bottom line profitability.
Recognizing the opportunity to make an even greater impact on the careers of finishers and the businesses in which they work, Phil founded AWFI in 2000. The AWFI facility, located in Vineland, New Jersey in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic Region, was the first of its kind: a hands-on learning environment using new equipment and techniques. In 2011, AWFI expanded into automated equipment, opening a facility at the Riverstone Technology Park in South Boston, VA – this 12,000 square foot Lab at Riverstone facility will provide cutting edge technology and expert staff for research and development of new coatings and training for workers at all levels of experience.
Phil also serves as the lead coatings process instructor at AWFI and is in demand as a Consultant and Corporate Training Leader throughout the US and abroad. Mr. Stevenson has published coating related articles throughout the industry, along with acting as a keynote speaker for national and international organizations. Phil is currently serving on the C-CARE Board of Directors.
Partner/Director of Development – AWFI
C0-Founder – C-CARE Lab at Riverstone
Kenneth Stevenson joined the management team of the AWFI in 2004 as Director of Sales and Marketing. Under his guidance, AWFI has expanded its consulting services, serving clients all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. AWFI has seen significant growth over the last three years at the rate of about 60% each year. AWFI has been able to accomplish this growth due to his ability to develop business through state and federal grant contracts and by leveraging third party contracts.
Kenny began development of the C-CARE Lab at Riverstone in 2010. This state of the art coatings facility is located in South Boston, VA. First of its kind, the center is both an economic development tool for the region as well as a resource for industry to conduct research and development, training, and process engineering. The facility is operated by AWFI and serves industries including, aerospace, automotive, wood, and general industries in the coatings application field.
As Grants Manager at AWFI, Kenny has been instrumental in researching and writing both state and federal grant proposals. Along with his grant team, Kenny has been responsible for procuring state and federal grants for his clients. He is actively involved in finding new and creative ways to utilize grant funding for his industry.
Since the completion of the Lab at Riverstone, AWFI has broadened his roles and responsibilities to include management of R&D activities. This allows Kenny to interface between academic institutions and AWFI research personnel to bridge the gap between R&D and commercialization.
Prior to joining AWFI, Kenny owned and operated Skyway Enterprises, a high-end coatings application company that specialized in applying coatings to wood products.
Director of Office Operations/Grants Administrator
Gladdy Hampton has been with AWFI since 2007. Since joining the AWFI team, she has written and received grants that have brought in over $10 million for AWFI clients in over 19 states, including Indiana, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, and California. While working in the Office of Institutional Advancement at Southern New Hampshire University, she was responsible for developing fund raising strategies and databases for their Diamond Jubilee Campaign, which raised over $5 million dollars over the first two years.
Gladdy holds two Masters Degrees, one in American Studies from Columbia University and a second Masters in Secondary English Education. During the last twenty years she has taught both composition and literature in such diverse settings as Southern New Hampshire University, Bucks County Community College, Philadelphia University, and Rowan University in New Jersey.
Ms. Hampton has been involved in education on many different levels for the last 20 years. As Director of Office Operations and Grants Administrator for AWFI, she is looking forward to many more years helping America’s workforce develop the skills needed to compete in tomorrow’s global economy.
Ken Eyestone’s vast knowledge of many leading coating robots brings 19 years of automation experience to AWFI. Ken’s interaction with FANUC Robotics, ABB Robotics, and Dürr Application Paint Technology allows him to provide process engineering and training to the coatings industry.
His in depth comprehension of all types of spray applicator technologies allows him to be of value for many sectors of the coatings industry. Ken’s paint process abilities includes applicator selection, spray pattern analysis, finish appearance analysis, paint automation system design, paint automation system process tune-in, paint robotic system design, offline robotic programming, and robot path optimization. Mr. Eyestone has worked in the coatings arena for automotive, aerospace, and heavy manufacturing industries.
As a member of a team that developed a new method of painting pick up truck boxes to reduce contamination build up on the applicator and robot, his innovative process engineering talent has earned him many accolades and respect
in the coatings industry. He has been a presenter at the University of Kentucky’s annual Paint Technology Workshop for several years and also at the Society of Plastics Engineers Annual Technical Conference.
Senior Coatings Analyst
Bill Goughenour brings a unique perspective to AWFI in color design management and water-based coatings chemistry.
He has evaluated coating resin technologies and pioneered the innovative use of water-based coatings on developing processes that compete with solvent based coating technologies. His skills with color development in the coatings industry have earned him credibility in many sectors of the design industry.
Bill brings over 30 years experience of working in the coating manufacturing industry, and has proficiency in numerous coatings formulations and applications. Using his knowledge and passion, Bill has successfully implemented green technologies and UV coatings in manufacturer’s facilities throughout the US and overseas. Bill appreciates and understands the value of standardized processes and ultimate manufacturing profitability.
Director of Lab Operations
Mark Stevenson brings 13 years of operational skills and experience to AWFI’s Lab at Riverstone. As Director of Lab Operations, his background in large equipment operations serves him in his role to configure robotics, flat line, hang line, and all types of application technology.
Mark’s ability to interface with customers and to understand their application requirements allows him to meet the demands of projects going through the AWFI Lab at Riverstone.
Jared Hatcher is the newest addition to the AWFI Team. Hailing from South Boston, the local Virginian will be assisting the team with support in operational setup, maintenance, and general day to day lab procedures. Jared is also responsible for maintaining equipment, and is currently working on his certification in spray applications.
Director of Maintenance and Safety Compliance
Mr. Hampton brings forty years of experience as an industrial mechanical specialist at Dupont Corporation to AWFI and C-CARE. His working knowledge includes planning and scheduling, vibration analysis, contract administration, and various other support activities for industrial maintenance and construction activities. During his time at Dupont, he completed on the job training in skills such as 8-ton crane operation, OSHA mechanical skills training, and on-the-job fabrication and repair of complex industrial machinery.
Prior to joining Dupont, Walt served our country in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. In preparation for his new position in industrial coatings, he recently completed a two-year degree specializing in environmental science.
Beetoobi – IT Solutions
Jason Kirkhart serves as AWFI’s Information Technology Director. He has spent much of his career assembling and leading technology teams in start-up environments. Mr. Kirkhart has most recently been providing IT consulting services to business organizations to optimize their information management, through his company Beetoobi IT Solutions.
Previously, he served as Chief Technologist at Delivery Labs, LLC, a technology firm aimed at bringing same day shipping to the masses through online commerce systems such as BestBuy.com and Amazon.com. Prior to joining Delivery Labs, Jason served many roles over 8 years at Truist (formerly CreateHope) including the Chief Technology Officer in charge of designing, building and maintaining the company’s global donation tracking and processing systems. Jason also served on small teams that designed and built large-scale online systems at USAToday.com and zUniversity.com.
Documentation Design & Marketing
Jordan Needham serves as AWFI’s documentation, design, and marketing producer. In this role, Mr. Needham designed the new AWFI.org as well as promotional material for the recent rebranding effort. As liaison between media outlets, Jordan produces various brochures, flyers, graphics, banners, and logos for both print and online applications.
Mr. Needham started Izuno Studios in 2006, where he has brought numerous websites online along with related media creation. Today, still operating IzunoStudios.com, he acts as an online consultant to let businesses achieve maximum results paired with the lowest cost. He has written numerous articles for small-medium size businesses on this topic. As documentation design and marketing producer, one of the goals is to allow AWFI to offer media content creation and documentation.