Education /
November 13, 2018

MTTIA 2018

The 2018 MTTIA teacher’s summer professional development conference and meeting is in the rear view mirror. This year’s event saw some major changes, new leadership, new technical presenters, and a record attendance of over 100.

The first big change is in the name. The MTTIA conference has been attracting teachers from neighboring states for the past few years. Iowa, Wisconsin, South and North Dakota teachers have been increasing in attendance by significant numbers in the past few years. To reflect the expanding geography of teachers attending, and to attract additional professional trainers, it was voted on to change the name of the organization by changing the M to mean Midwest instead of Minnesota.

On the business and leadership side, Ray Johnson (Central Lakes College-Brainerd) served his last term as president. Ray served as president for the last 3 years and was president for 5 years during an earlier term. Being the closest person to the conference, Ray will continue to serve as the Conference Coordinator. Thanks Ray for your great leadership and years of service! Jon Friton (Ridgewater College-Wilmar) was voted on as the new president. This summer, MTTIA also created a very extensive board of directors and liaisons and many more people joined the leadership. Here is a list of those who are committed to serving the organization for the next year:

Jon Friton of Ridgewater College-Wilmar (President), Dan Boddy of South Central College-Mankato (Vice-President), Olle Gladso of Riverland Community College-Austin (Secretary), John Witthauer of ISD 916-NE Metro Consortium (Treasurer), Shannon Mohn of M-State Community and Technical College-Moorhead (Training Coordinator), Ray Johnson of Central Lakes College-Brainerd (Conference Coordinator), Scott Ripplinger of M-State Community and Technical College-Moorhead (Vendor Coordinator), Mike Lehn of ASE (Historian), Brian Rosenberger of Pine Technical and Community College-Pine City (Automotive Tech Liaison), Rick Zirbes of Smart Express and Ryan Maas of St. Cloud Community and Technical College (Collision Repair Liaisons), Pete Szybatka of Dakota County Technical College-Rosemount (Diesel/Truck Liaison), VACANT (Powersports/Small Engine Liaison), Dean Joslin (High School Liaison), and Chris Hadfield (State Liaison).

This past summer, we saw lots of new technical presenters as well. MTTIA is expanding its technical offerings and new additions this year were from the diesel, truck, welding, and small engine industries. The plans for next year include a continued expansion into these areas with even more industry presenters and teachers. The conference is placing a special emphasis on technical offerings that are designed for the high school teacher who has to teach multiple preps, in multiple transportation subjects, and does not have as much specific industry experience in all of those fields. The expanded offerings will help increase the technical knowledge, capability, and thus the teacher’s comfort level when they return to school.

The big announcement of this year’s MTTIA conference was that the North American teacher’s conference will be held in Brainerd in 2022. Wow! This will be a great conference. It’s a few years away, but make sure to put it on your calendar now. The national conference will replace the regular MTTIA conference that year. For more information about the national conference, please go to

The 2019 conference dates will be August 6, 7, 8 and will be located at Central Lakes College-Brainerd. If you want to know more about the organization, technical sessions, and more please go to