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 2023 WCNY Coatings & Corrosion Forum Presenters:



Melanie Diaz
Senior Manager/Education Business Development

Results-driven, tenacious global business development and education/training leader, with an entrepreneurial spirit and ability to grow business internationally in oil and gas, pipelines, and corrosion industries. Over 25 years’ experience in training, project management, accounting and auditing. Built and/or managed five education teams from inception for various organizations.


Currently, Senior Manager, Global Business Development of AMPP, responsible for researching and pursuing new business development opportunities, creating and maintaining global corporate relationships, serving a multiple industries and market segments.

Previously worked for ASME as Sr. Education Manager for 7 years. Specific industry experience includes: corrosion, oil and gas, pipelines, ocean, offshore, automotive, waste management, information technology, and manufacturing.

Pete Mitchell
Vice President of New Market Development 
GMA Garnet

Pete Mitchell is the Vice President of New Market Development and Technical Management at GMA Americas. Pete’s industry experience spans over 25 years, is actively involved in several industry-related professional bodies such as ISO, WJTA, AMPP and is NACE CIP 1.


Justin Cigal

Coatings Consultant
The Righter Group

Experienced Coatings Consultant with over 22 years of experience in epoxy coating installation. Excellent reputation for resolving problems and improving customer satisfaction.


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Alexander Kaplun


N.A.C.E. Level III Certified Coatings Inspector # 37446 

American Welding Society Certified D.1.1 Welding Inspector #1505001

Alexander Kaplun currently serves as a Permit Compliance Coordinator for the City of Rochester within the Department of Environment Services Architectural and Engineering  group, in Office of Right-of-Way (ROW) Permits.  


Mr. Kaplun is a graduate of both the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and the University of Rochester Simon School of Business (MBA) and brings over 23 years of varied experience in Engineering, Coatings Application, Surface Preparation, Corrosion Control, and Coatings Quality Assurance/Control.  He is a part-time instructor for the Finishing Trades Institute of Western New York, and holds a wide variety of certifications including, but not limited to:  AWS D1.1 Certified Welding Inspector, Bridge Inspector, OSHA 500 Trainer, ICC Structural Steel/Concrete Inspection, Lead Abatement, and NICET Construction Inspection.  Mr. Kaplun has completed over 50+ successful coatings rehabilitation projects throughout the Alaska and New England, and also has extensive experience serving as a  Health and Safety Trainer officer for previous employers and providing continued safety and CPR/ first-aid training with respect to OSHA and the American Red Cross.   


In addition to supporting the enormous workload of overseeing approximately 1300 permits annually along 1000+ miles of City streets and areaways within the City of Rochester, Mr. Kaplun plays a key role in facilitating better coordination between the Permit Office and Construction/ Street Design divisions to mitigate the impact of private sector work on City of Rochester projects.



Robert Emmerson
Project Development Manger- Sherwin Williams Protective and Marine Coatings

Rob Emmerson has been involved in the coatings world for over 30 years.  

Starting in the field as an applicator, project manager, estimator, Rob moved into protective coating technical sales in 2006 with ICI, Akzo Nobel and PPG all through acquisition. Rob also served as a rep with Sprayroq covering the North East US and Canada. 


Rob is an AMPP Certified Inspector, active in AMPP, NYRWA, PWEA, NASSCO and WV-WEA


Presenting educational programs in W&WW, Intumescent fireproofing, tank linings and resinous flooring, throughout the US.


Rob is currently a Project Development Manager, working with the engineering and general contracting communities representing Construction Solutions from The Sherwin Williams Company, whose headquarters are in Cleveland, Ohio. Rob is located in Warrendale PA at Sherwin Williams district Headquarters and covers the states of Pennsylvania, New York & West Virginia.


Rob is married, raised a family and has 3 grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with family, golfing, sports, writing & representing Sherwin Williams.


Drayton Adkins

Market Manager

Drayton Adkins is a second-generation paint nerd who grew up stocking paint cans for snack money. He eventually found a home at Carboline where he works in Specifier Services assisting with material selection, technical assistance and of course, specifications. Drayton Adkins is an AMPP Protective Coatings Specialist and Senior Certified Coatings Inspector. He is also a Level 2 Bridge Coating Inspector, Level 2 Concrete Coatings Inspector, Quality Control Supervisor, Thermal Spray Inspector, Certified Underwater Diver, and an FAA Certified Commercial Drone Pilot and probably some other ones that he forgot about. He hopes to be an instructor at AMPP one day and to help invigorate the next generation to get involved in our amazing “big” little industry.
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Dave Evans

Director of QP and Coatings Credentialing | Business Development for AMPP

Dave Evans is the Director of QP and Coatings Credentialing and Business Development for The Association of Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP).   Dave’s career brings decades of technical expertise working in the protective coatings and corrosion industry using his in-depth knowledge of quality assurance and control processes where he specializes in coating recommendations, specification development, failure analysis, facility audits, and Sales and Marketing from holding senior positions with leading organizations in the coatings field.  He currently manages the QP Accreditation Program in addition to being heavily focused on Business Development and has been working collaboratively across AMPP to drive greater momentum to its core coatings certifications and educational programs.  AMPP and its members have been honored to have Dave which holds NACE CIP III and SSPC PCS credentials, as a NACE CIP instructor for 33 years.  For more information, contact him at
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Jerry Gooden

VP-Project Consulting

Jerry Gooden is a Project Consultant at BlastOne International.

He started at BlastOne Australia in 1996 and then moved to the USA in 2010 to start the BlastOne North American business.

Jerry visits hundreds of jobsites every year, assisting customers to be more efficient and profitable on projects

Chad M. Sellman
KTA Tator, Inc.

Chad Sellman is an Area Manager in the KTA Coatings Group. He is a NACE Certified Coatings Inspector Level 3 (#21050), an ODOT certified inspector in Work Types 26 and 57, and successfully completed the OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour Construction Safety & Health training courses. Mr. Sellman is an ASTM D4537 Level II inspector as well as an SSPC C-3 Supervisor/Competent Person for Deleading of Industrial Structures. He holds a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).

Midwest Area Manager. Responsible for technical and administrative oversight of personnel and projects in the Midwest area (PA, WV, OH, MI, WI, IN, IA, ND and IL) for various industrial structures including bridges, water and fuel tanks, pipelines, refineries, and commercial properties. Responsibilities also include financial accountability for the region as well as business development.

Continues to serve as Contract Project Leader for Marathon Petroleum Company by performing tank liner assessment services and managing QA coatings inspection work during maintenance painting operations. Mr. Sellman also conducts coating condition surveys and QA inspection work for nuclear power stations during refueling outages.

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