Meet Our Staff
Business Unit Lead for MMRP & Educational Programs
Matt is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major with 23 years of active Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) background. He served in numerous EOD positions and concluded his career while leading the Army Training Detachment at the Joint Service EOD School at Elgin AFB, FL. Matt is a Master EOD Technician and certified Army Training Instructor with countless hours of additional instructor training and course development subjects. Retiring in 2006, Matt has worked in the UXO field as a Sr. Project Manager, Program Manager, and Director of Operations. Matt is currently the Business Unit Lead for MMRP and Educational Programs for RELYANT Global. Matt has directly influenced the growth of the program over the past three years as the primary instructor for the University of Tennessee/RELYANT Unexploded Ordnance Technician I course. His 30+ years of experience has directly impacted the UXO course; transitioning to digital media format, taught with Apple iPad’s, procurement of additional training aids, the establishment of the off-site Greenback training facility that represents a real-world UXO project site. His students have commended him each and every class, “as an instructor that goes above and beyond and ensures that his students are fully qualified and ready to enter the UXO industry".
Health/Safety Team Leader
UTK Center for Industrial Services
Walter Idol is the Program Manager for Health, Safety and Preparedness for the University of Tennessee, Center for Industrial Services. He has been with CIS since 2005, and with the University since 1984. He holds a BS and MS from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is a nationally registered paramedic. Mr. Idol has over 4 decades of emergency response experience, having served in a variety of educational and administrative roles throughout his career. He is an OSHA authorized outreach trainer for General Industry, Construction and Disaster Site Workers, and instructs a variety of emergency service, emergency preparedness, and technical rescue programs. He has been published in numerous emergency service publications and training texts.
UTK Center for Industrial Services
Chuck is a 37 year veteran of the fire service, attaining the rank of Battalion Chief. He obtained a degree in public safety and is a private business owner in California for 20 years. He was an instructor for the International Association for Firefighters (IAFF) for 20 years. He currently is an OSHA General Industry instructor. He was the training offcer for the San Jose Fire Department, an arson investigator, and their first HazMat inspector.
Barry Neal is one of the most experienced professional meeting planners in East Tennessee, managing events of all sizes in a 36-year career.
Neal, an East Tennessee native, has worked for University of Tennessee Conferences & Non-Credit Programs for the past 27 years. His current responsibilities at UT include strategic and logistical planning and implementation of some of Knoxville’s largest events as well as management of non-credit programs such as the UT-RELYANT Unexploded Ordnance Training Program and the Smoky Mountain Field School.
Neal was one of the early pioneers of the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program, obtaining his certification in 1987. He has mentored dozens of UT students who have interned with UT Conferences through the years.
He serves as 2017-18 vice president of the East Tennessee Meeting Professionals.
Neal earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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