Featured speakers

Jim Williams
General Vice President at Large
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)
Presentation: The Value of Industry Partnerships and Certifications

Mr. Williams began his career with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in 1998 as a glazier with District Council 21 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was appointed as the Assistant to the General President in 2002 and served as the Regional Organizing Coordinator for the IUPAT Eastern Region. In 2011, he was appointed to the position of Organizing Director. In 2014, Mr. Williams was elected as the General Vice President at Large during the IUPAT’s 31st General Convention, and was re-elected at the 32nd General Convention in 2019.

Todd Hawkins
President & CEO, Tesla Nanocoatings
Presentation: Innovative Technology - Fitting a Square Peg in a Round Hole

As a petroleum engineer and geologist, Todd Hawkins was determined to find a solution. With an innovative vision and entrepreneurial spirit, he founded Tesla NanoCoatings. Along with the best scientific minds in nanotechnology, Hawkins has perfected the Teslan® Carbon NanoCoating formula. Under his leadership, the company has commercialized its technology and gained wide acceptance.

Prior to founding Tesla NanoCoatings, Hawkins was chief development officer at Midwest Industrial Supply and held senior-level positions at Lockheed Martin Tactical Defense Systems. Hawkins earned an M.B.A. from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University and a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and Geology from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio. A resident of Massillon, Ohio he is an active member of the Society of American Military Engineers, NACE International and SSPC.

Brooke Divan, M.Sc.
Director of Field Relations, USACE
Presentation: Use of MPI’s Standards in UFGS Documents by Tri-Service Organizations (Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA)

Brooke Divan is the Director of Field Relations for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), Paint Technology Center (PTC) located in Champaign, IL. Ms. Divan answers technical coatings questions from around the globe as the Center of Expertise for USACE for paints and coatings. Ms. Divan assists with research and development of coatings new technologies, manages a quality assurance paint testing program, serves on numerous SSPC/NACE/AMPP committees protecting government interests, reviews and edits all guidance criteria for coating infrastructure for the DoD, and teaches a few training courses each year.

Ms. Divan received her Bachelor’s from Indiana State University in 2011 and a Master’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. Since graduation, Ms. Divan has been working in the PTC where she started testing paint and has continued to grow her role as the lead coatings field consultant for USACE. Ms. Divan was the 2020 Women in Coatings Impact Award winner served a 6-month term on the AMPP Global Center Board of Directors in 2021.

Rick Watson
Director Product Information and Technical Services - Sherwin Williams
Presentation: Specifying Paint Using 3rd Party Certifications

Mr. Watson has been with Sherwin Williams for 33 years.  Rick began his career in 1988 in the Management Training Program. Shortly thereafter he became a Professional Coating Sales Representative in Ft Wayne Indiana.  Since then, Rick has progressed through a number of roles of greater responsibility including Store Manager, Product Information Team Leader, Product Information Manager and is the Director Product Information & Technical Services Cleveland Ohio.