Meet Our Team

Meet our amazing Peak Technical Institute Staff!  PTI takes great pride in its instructors and staff, all of whom bring valuable expertise, dedication, and a passion to educate.  PTI instructors view themselves as part of a learning community, and regularly share feedback, best practices, and teaching innovations.  We dedicate our educational instruction to giving you the best possible start to your future.

Eric Barton : President & CEO

Eric Barton

President & CEO

At the age of 17, Mr. Barton began serving his country by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps (USMC). As a Mustang officer, he was meritoriously promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant after being recognized for his outstanding leadership and devotion to the Corps. As a Captain, he served as the National Intelligence Center Senior Analyst for the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa National Intelligence Cell. In 2004, he was an Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Chaplain School. During his time as a military professional, Mr. Barton received numerous awards and commendations for professionalism, leadership and service above and beyond the call of duty.
Mr. Barton’s former corporate positions include serving as a Senior Operations Manager, responsible for directing and overseeing complex multifaceted programs specializing in intelligence, security services, staffing, training, K-9, life support, and operational requirements in the Middle East and Africa. He has managed over $400 million in contracts, successfully mobilized over 6,000 personnel around the world, and has established several companies throughout the U.S., Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
With a decade of international business experience behind him, Mr. Barton created and became President/CEO of Vanquish Worldwide LLC in 2007, a global provider in the government contracting, transportation and logistics industries.

Part of Mr. Barton’s ongoing commitment as a leader, entrepreneur and visionary is his focus on continuing education and professional certifications. He holds a Master of Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude, Master of Public Administration, Bachelor of Science in Electronics Management and a Master of Divinity. He recently completed his Ph.D. in Public Policy, with a concentration on International Business and Trade Relations.

Blake Bancroft : Institutional Director

Blake Bancroft

Institutional Director

New York native Blake Bancroft serves as Peak Technical Institute’s Institutional Director, where he is responsible for admissions processing for all Peak programs, maintaining higher education licenses and credentials in addition to managing day to day operations at Peak global headquarters in Maryville, TN.

Bancroft, who has worked in higher education for nine years, previously worked as an admissions representative at Lincoln College (Nashville Auto-Diesel) in Nashville. While Bancroft has an extensive background in institutional operations, he maintains an enthusiastic drive for higher education, stating that he hopes to improve others’ lives through his position at Peak Technical Institute.

Jenna Sams : Admissions Officer

Jenna Sams

Admissions Officer

Jenna Sams serves as Peak Technical Institute’s Admissions Officer, where she reviews all applications and handles all student paperwork, ensuring students have completed all the necessary steps to begin their new careers in technical, job-specific industries.

At Peak Technical Institute, Jenna appreciates the fact that Peak is committed to providing opportunities for education and achievement for students and staff through its many technical programs.

“I have a passion for working with students, providing them with the resources they need to succeed,” Jenna said. “I enjoy being a part of their success.”

She has 10+ years’ experience in the education and customer service industries.

Steve Minton : Programs Recruiter

Steve Minton

Programs Recruiter

Steve is a retired United States Army Sergeant First Class with 22 years of service to his country, working as a military police officer, recruiter and recruiting station commander. Steve was deployed to seven combat zones during his service. During his recruiting, he earned the coveted Glenn H. Morrell Award for recruiting excellence along with two meritorious service medals.
Steve earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Liberty University. He has attended Junior and Senior-level noncommissioned officer academies with the U.S. Army, and has received a commercial driver’s license endorsement from the State of Tennessee.
Steve said he wants to make an impact in someone’s life so that they can obtain their short-term and long-term goals for themselves and their families!

Jason King : Peak Hospitality Institute Program Director & Lead Instructor

Jason King

Peak Hospitality Institute Program Director & Lead Instructor

Jason King, better known as “The English Butler”, spent his child hood on sailing yachts. After becoming a captain, he studied at the Ivor Spencer International School of Butler and Estate Management in England, and found his calling. Over the next ten years he worked as a butler and estate manager using his combined talents on properties from Austria to the Hamptons. He brought his skills back to yachting with the intention of training others in the specialized fields of Silver Service, Etiquette, back of House and Management.

“Whether it’s in a hotel, on a mega yacht, or in residence, good service is the foundation to success.”

With the philosophy of you never stop learning, he recently took Sommelier courses, and received a “Train the Trainer” and Business Etiquette certifications. He now also trains in Management and leadership. Mr. King has trained the elite in residential, hospitality and the yachting industries and the British Embassy in DC. From private islands to estates, and on international yachts, Mr. King has training all over the world.

Michael Branch : Leading By The Reins Program Director

Michael Branch

Leading By The Reins Program Director

Internationally referred to as a "horse whisperer," Mr. Branch's qualifications in managing horses are only outmatched by his enthusiasm. He has spearheaded several organizations and educational programs for the preservation of wild horses including a youth program through the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Working in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management, Mr. Branch turned his passion into reality by establishing the Wild Mustang School in Tennessee where he not only trained the horses for adoption but also worked with horse owners to better understand and train their own animals. In addition, Mr. Branch regularly travels to mustang adoption sites where he demonstrates the gentling process of wild horses, often encouraging the horse to receive its first saddle within an hour. Mr. Branch has also traveled frequently to Europe demonstrating and teaching his techniques. He has worked extensively with Great Britain's wild ponies, was featured on a BBC television program and received a formal introduction to the royal family. It became clear to Mr. Branch, through his experiences, that many of the methods he used to guide his horses' behavior were very similar to the qualities of a good leader. This idea grew into Leading By The Reins. "My goal is to help you better understand that if we can apply solid leadership principles to an animal that is fearful by nature, but understands authority and leadership, we can lead people as well," he says of his premise. This unique and effective approach to leadership training is reinforced by Mr. Branch's own skills and experience to create a program that is truly one of a kind.

Gerald Wilson : Program Director, CDL Instructor

Gerald Wilson

Program Director, CDL Instructor

Mr. Wilson is a graduate of PTI’s CDL training program, and has logged more than 250,000 over-the-road miles in two years of truck driving experience. Prior to his career in trucking, he honed his skills as an instructor while training troops for the Army and Joint Special Operations Command as a military contractor for eight years. From these experiences, Mr. Wilson is adept at training students to remain calm and follow safety protocols even while under pressure.

Michael Brantley : UXO Lead Instructor

Michael Brantley

UXO Lead Instructor

Mr. Brantly is a retired Army Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician and EOD Officer. He was an Instructor at the U.S. Army Ordnance Munitions Center and School, where he taught munitions management and was EOD Branch Chief, Directorate of Combat Developments, Redstone Arsenal. He has worked as an UXO Ordnance Technician, UXO Safety Officer and Project Manager for UXO remediation projects throughout the U.S. Mike has also worked as an Associate Professor at Western Kentucky University. He has been teaching at UXO Global for more than three years and is a tremendous asset, respected Instructor and Subject Matter Expert (SME).

Phil Clark : UXO Instructor

Phil Clark

UXO Instructor

Mr. Clark is a retired U.S. Army Master Explosive Ordnance Technician (EOD). While on active duty, he was an Instructor and Curriculum Developer at NAVSCOL EOD. He has more than 20 years of combined experience in the EOD and UXO fields. He has worked as a UXO Tech I, UXO Tech II, UXO Quality Control Officer (QC), and UXO Site Safety Officer. He has been teaching at UXO Global for more than five years and is a tremendous asset, respected Instructor and Subject Matter Expert (SME).

Cliff Moore : CDL Examiner

Cliff Moore

CDL Examiner

Mr. Moore has worked as a commercial driving professional and CDL instructor in Tennessee for over a decade. Mr. Moore drove for Roehl transport before being selected to become a Roehl company trainer. His wealth of practical experience and the quality of his teaching were recognized by the Tennessee Truck Driving School, and he was hired as an Instructor/examiner in 2011. Mr. Moore brings extensive program management and curriculum development experience to Peak Technical Institute’s Commercial Driver’s (CDL) training program.

John Pettyjohn : CDL Instructor

John Pettyjohn

CDL Instructor

A dedicated and responsible Class A driver with an impeccable driving record, Mr. Pettyjohn has more than 10 years of experience driving commercial vehicles including 45’ dump trailers, 45’ logging trailers, 48’ flat bed and step deck trailers, 48’ and 53’ dry van trailers, 53’ RGN lowboy trailers, 53’ beam trailers and up to 100’ specialized heavy haul trailers utilizing jeeps and stingers. John also served several years in the United States Marine Corps and in the U.S. Army as a Black Hawk Crew Chief.

Marty Potter : CDL Instructor

Marty Potter

CDL Instructor

With over 20 year of extensive experience in the transportation industry as a driver and driver trainer, Mr. Marty Potter is a CDL instructor and examiner with Peak Truck Driving School. Mr. Potter has an extensive background in tractor trailer, flat bed and other equipment in both local and OTR long haul transportation. He served in the United States Marine Corps prior to entering the transportation industry.

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