The IWSI America team is highly experienced in all facets of skills development, having honed and developed their expertise across various industry sectors throughout the world.
Nicholas Wyman, Executive Director
Nicholas Wyman is a workforce development and apprenticeship expert, speaker, and author who has fostered a workforce development model that uses mentoring to shape the thinking, attitude, abilities, and skills of people as they make the transition from school to work. Nicholas applies real-world solutions to the challenges companies face in finding skilled employees. A Winston-Churchill Memorial Fellow, Nicholas has completed in-depth research into school-to-work transitions and skilled careers. Nicholas is on the Advisory Board of the American Institute of Innovative Apprenticeship.
Andrew Sezonov, Vice-President
Andrew is an education into employment specialist, with over two decades experience designing and implementing dynamic vocational training and workforce development programs for all ages – youth, young adults and transitioning mature workers. He has been an expert advisor and lead consultant on numerous projects involving leading Australian corporates, Fortune 500 companies, as well as Governments in the USA and Australia. Andrew has studied at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is a regular conference presenter. He was a keynote presenter at the International Network on Innovative Apprenticeship in the US. Andrew is passionate about skilling up the next generation of young people and promoting the value and viability of vocational training pathways.
Deborah Williamson, Vice-President – Special Projects and Operations
Deborah Williamson is Vice President of Special Projects and Operations at the Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation America. Prior to joining the Institute, Williamson served as Director of Labor Relations at the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, overseeing the Bureaus of Wage & Hour, Human Rights, Public Works, and Child Labor. She possesses a Ph.D. in sociology with an emphasis in crime and deviance, and a secondary area in education policy from the University of Kentucky. Author of numerous publications and grants, she is co-editor of Skilling Up: The Scope of Modern Apprenticeship released by the Urban Institute in November 2019 and co-author of Wage Theft in New Mexico released by the New Mexico Bar Association in July 2020. Recent grants authored and awarded include the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship USA Expansion Grants (2 cycles) and the National Apprenticeship Act Consolidated Appropriations Grant, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Pathways to STEM Apprenticeship for High School CTE Students, which was one of six proposals awarded nationally.
Cynthia Walker, Senior Consultant
Cynthia Walker joined the Missouri Apprenticeship Team in 2018 through the launching of the Missouri Registered Apprenticeship Program grant. Since then, she has coordinated Registered Youth Apprenticeship (RYA) start-up programs for Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), high school Career Technical Programs. DESE recently contracted with her as their first Apprenticeship Specialist, where she researches the RYA needs of high school programs through the Skilled Technical Sciences team. In 2021, Cynthia launched her company, Cynthia Walker Coaching, LLC, with the mission to “Equipping Tomorrow’s Workforce – Today”. She is the creator and host of “Ready. Aim. Launch” that highlights apprentice success stories and answers questions about apprenticeship programs in Missouri each month. Cynthia holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from William Jewell College and a Master of Business Administration from Trinity Theological Seminary.
Alexandra Mendoza, Workforce Industry Liaison
Alexandra Mendoza is the Workforce Industry Liaison for the Ready, Willing and ABLE Apprenticeship Program in Orange County. Prior to joining the Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation team, Ms. Mendoza worked in the Healthcare Industry as an Activities Director, providing care to children with TBI injuries, individuals with disabilities and or suffering from a chronic illness. From there she moved to the Business Sector Industry helping employers find qualified candidates for their company and assisting foster care youth students, disabled veterans, returning citizens and individuals with disabilities or experiencing homelessness, find long-term employment, providing case management, mentorship and job coaching. Some of her accomplishments are the success of The Home To Employment Program, a program meant to help individuals experiencing homelessness, provide housing and find long term employment. As the Business Engagement Specialist and Case Manager for this program she was able to succeed and meet the metric goals. Through all the combined efforts this program became a pilot, and it has been engrained all over L.A County. Throughout her career Ms. Mendoza’s goal has been to become an advocate for individuals facing different kind of barriers, she has a strong passion to provide equal opportunities and integration for everyone in this society.
Ruby McDowell, Business Development Manager
Ruby is an experienced teacher, Principal and educational professional, with broad-ranging curriculum development and administration experience. In addition to her experience planning and monitoring individual learning plans for high-needs, special education and at-risk student populations, Ruby has played a key role in the establishment of a number of dynamic school-to-work programs. She has implemented multiple career technical education pathway programs, establishing partnerships with businesses, trade education providers and higher education entities to facilitate opportunities for students to transition from school into accredited living-wage roles.
Simon Whatmore, Chief Strategy Officer
Simon Whatmore is an experienced policy and management consultant with broad project and functional management expertise. He has extensive experience consulting to government departments and agencies across strategic analysis, change management, organizational design, program management, and evaluation projects. Simon’s strong conceptual and analytical skills, public policy knowledge, understanding of governmental process, and ability to build rapport and collaborate with a diverse array of stakeholders enables him to bring the best out of private and public sector relationships.
Reuben Armstrong, Head of Content
With a degree in Fine Arts and Art History from the University of Canterbury, Reuben Armstrong is a generous contributor in the design and communications field, creating powerful and insightful content. As a qualified High School Art Teacher, Reuben empowers young people in bringing their ideas to life. He has enjoyed success throughout New Zealand, Australia, and the US, always striving to make a positive difference for future generations.
Reuben has a keen interest in audio production and live performance. He also likes to travel and explore new cultures.