Trainers (All DrivingMBA trainers are MVD Certified)

Kathleen Ryan – Director of Curriculum & Instruction KathyR-e1300851313353 - Meet our Staff– Kathleen has 12 years of experience working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings including seven years in the public school system. She has experience in special education as well as working with cross categorical special needs students. Her goal is to individualize instruction to meet and support all students. She places a high emphasis on establishing rapport with students by creating a safe learning environment that facilitates the students’ learning process.  Kathleen has been with DrivingMBA since it’s inception.  She has been instrumental in developing programs and adaptations to programs to meet the needs of students and she is particularly adept at working with students with special needs.

Maggie Shelton – Gilbert Branch Manager, Beginner, On-Road & Defensive Driving Version-3-e1465499458334 - Meet our StaffPrograms Trainer – Maggie was born in California but spent her childhood and young adult years in Africa, South America and the Middle East.  After obtaining a degree in business she and her husband supported their family of six by running their own businesses. Sharing a taste for adventure, they took their family around the world to scuba dive, sail, and fly in one of the several small airplanes they owned while the children were growing up.  Maggie has received various licenses and certificates as an operator for various modes of transportation including powerboats, sailboats, airplanes and motorcycles.  She’s always enjoyed driving, starting with the Willy Jeep she learned in while living in Brazil, to the Land Rovers she drove on game reserves in Africa, the 2-cylinder Citroen Geon she owned in Iran, mopeds in Asia, and her dirt bike in Baja, Mexico.  Maggie is a published author, and her works have appeared in print and online magazines as well as in stand alone publications of both fiction and non-fiction.  She lives with her husband in Gilbert, AZ and enjoys the opportunity to work with young people at DrivingMBA teaching them to be capable and safe drivers.

Richard Starr – Lead Trainer – Beginner, Defensive Driving & On-Road Programs  Richard-e1418869249436 - Meet our StaffRichard has taught in the public school system since 1999, including 10 years teaching English in Gilbert and 5 years teaching computer skills in Escondido, CA, his home town. He is married and has three adult children, a son living in California and a son and daughter attending Northern Arizona University. He is a fan of the Diamondbacks and the Padres and enjoys camping and movies in his free time. He loves teaching and driving and is grateful for the opportunity to help his students develop skills to make them safer behind the wheel.

Zachery Green – Beginner & On-Road Programs Trainer – Zach-e1432860768913 - Meet our StaffZachery has been working as special needs provider for the past three years.  He also does a lot of work with charity groups, organizing and customizing events for kids and individuals in need.   Zach has begun a new chapter with DrivingMBA and is excited to work with teenagers to help them develop safe driving skills.



Devrae Rowan – Beginner, On-Road and Classroom Programs Trainer –  Dev1-e1432860724826 - Meet our StaffDev was born and raised here in Scottsdale, AZ, and absolutely loves it. She graduated from Saguaro high school in 2008. After high school, she went on to college for her degree in special education. In 2013, she graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Elementary and Special Education. Once out of college, she started working for a middle school in Scottsdale Unified School district, as a Special Education teacher for students with Autism. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with a non-profit charity group that promotes children’s literacy through cosplay. She really loves working with students and helping them develop skills that will ensure that they are safe and responsible people.


Annette Strmic – On-Road Program Trainer – Annette-e1417727420556 - Meet our StaffAnnette was born and raised in Chicago. While growing up she was involved in sports and developed a love for music and began playing piano. Annette was a chauffer for a professional limousine service in the late 1980’s. Annette has been happily married for 25 years. She, her husband and her son moved to sunny Arizona in 1996.   Annette owned and operated a Child Care Center for 10 years where she cared for children from newborn to 12 years of age. As an instructor at DrivingMBA she is utilizing the skills she has developed over the years to teach students how to be safe and responsible drivers.


Art Eckstat – Defensive Driving Program Trainer – AEckstatThumbnail-e1390260288174 - Meet our StaffArt is a retired automotive and aerospace engineer with multiple engineering and business degrees including an earned doctorate. Art has been teaching defensive driving classes for over 8 years in Arizona with the goal of making our roads safer for everyone. He joined DrivingMBA for the opportunity to further this goal by teaching and evaluating defensive driving techniques to both new and experienced drivers utilizing our state-of-the-art simulators. Art also serves as a consultant and expert witness in engineering, business, and product liability matters. He was honored as a Contributor to Aviation History at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in 1997.


Larry Urbanek – Defensive Driving Program Trainer- Larry-e1417727457696 - Meet our StaffLarry, is a retired police officer with 29 years of service in Illinois.  He moved to Arizona in 2004. He specialized in accident reconstruction and traffic safety. Having been a certified police motor officer/instructor and a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) instructor where he taught both Motorcycle and ATV training. Larry has helped many learn the safe and responsible way to ride. Larry also developed a 2 day driver awareness class which is still being taught to high school student in the south suburbs of Chicago. After seeing what DrivingMBA had to offer the students it was an easy transition and he has now refocused his training to helping our students here at DrivingMBA.


Ken Zwilling – Defensive Driving & On-Road Programs TrainerKen-e1417727547547 - Meet our StaffKen moved to Arizona from Minnesota in 1993 after selling his auto repair business of 18 years. He joined Universal Technical Institute as an automotive instructor in 1993 and became Campus Education Director in 1996. Ken moved to the UTI home office in 1999 as Director of Education and then as Curriculum Director 3 or 4 years later. He then moved to Regional Education Director until he retired from UTI in 2010.


Linda Hulverson – Classroom Trainer –  LindaH-e1301868630325 - Meet our StaffLinda was born in Wisconsin and moved to Arizona after graduating from the Univiersity of Wisconsin-Stout in 1985, with a Bachelor’s of Business Degree in Business Administration. While attending Arizona State University for her Post Baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education she worked in the pool industry.  In 1995, she received her Post Bac degree and has been teaching in the public school system in Arizona for 16 years.  She received her master’s degree in Elementary Education in 1999 from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. She is also a certified CPR and First Aid training instructor as well as a swimming instructor.   Linda has one son, Matthew, who has just entered the navy.


Founders and Staff

Maria Wojtczak, Co-founder, COO
Maria has over 20 years of organization development experience working with a wide range of organizations. In addition to the use of traditional organization development techniques, she is highly skilled in large systems change and organization learning, with formal training in both specialties. She has extensive experience in the field of adult learning concepts, and in the design and facilitation of adult learning experiences and interventions at all levels, and sizes of organizations. Maria coached senior leaders in a variety of companies and consulted in this capacity with senior executives of large automotive business units, high level education personnel, and senior personnel in other organizations. Maria is certified in the use of the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI) assessment. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Maria is responsible for the DrivingMBA operation as well as marketing for the organization.

Richard Wojtczak, Co-founder, CEO
Richard has over 30 years of diversified information systems experience and over 20 years of management experience within the automotive industry. His experience in Information Technology provides him with a solid appreciation of the possibilities for application of high technology tools. He brings a solid business background and possesses an MBA. Richard has training and practical experience in Organization Development and has consulted with diverse companies in the general area of organization development, including strategic planning, executive and team development, and skill building. Richard is highly skilled in problem analysis and change implementation.

Charles Sobczak, Partner Charlie has a diverse background ranging from a traffic agent responsible for weight and balance of aircraft to hazardous material coordinator, customer service supervisor as well as sales for Flying Tigers in Detroit Michigan.   From 1993 to 2003 Charles was in charge of certification and on-going training of sales personnel in automotive retail. Charles has significant experience in customer interaction, both from his time in automotive sales and from his efforts in conjunction with his wife in the restaurant business. He is particularly adept at developing strong working relationships with a wide variety of contacts. Charlie and his wife Laura came to DrivingMBA as an investor/partners in August 2005.

Laura Sobczak, Partner, Scottsdale Site Manager, Accounting & Administration LauraLaura's responsibilities include office management and book keeping for DrivingMBA. She also handles various administrative functions. Laura has a diverse background of experience ranging from being the first female traffic agent for Flying Tigers in Detroit Michigan to real estate and property management while living in Arizona. From 1992 until 2004 Laura managed the accounting and administrative aspects of her family's restaurants.


Sherri Katz - Enrollment CounselorSherriSherri is a credentialed Multiple Subject & Art Teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching.  She also works in the insurance industry selling Long Term Care Insurance and Annuities for Retirement Planning.  Sherri worked as a creative designer at Hallmark Cards.  Her favorite hobby is illustrating with acrylic paint and watercolor pencils.  She enjoys making a difference in people’s lives and has found that at DrivingMBA.  Working with Teens, families and novice drivers gives her a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.  Sherri lives in Scottsdale with husband David and dog Giles.  One daughter Dani, son in law Josh and two grandkids live in Scottsdale.  Her son Brandon attends Georgia Southern University.

Shane Willey - Enrollment CounselorShaneShane comes to DrivingMBA with fifteen years experience in sales.  His background and expertise is in consultative selling.  Shane has management experience in training as well as practical experience in customer service.  Shane owned his own business in Minnesota for 15 years with an objective to meet his customers needs and goals.  Helping people has always been and always will be his first goal.  Shane moved from Minnesota to Arizona in 2003.   When Shane saw the difference that DrivingMBA can make he felt he could make a difference for so many people by helping novice drivers become safe and responsible drivers.  Shane lives in Gilbert, AZ with his wife and two children.  You can always find him on the weekend riding his motorcycle or behind the BBQ grill!  


Joan Rothstein - Front Desk AdministratorJoanJoan's career included years as the personnel director of Abraham and Strauss, a major retail department chain on the east coast.  She has also worked in the travel business servicing the corporate travel needs of General Electric employees both domestic and international and most recently in leisure travel working with Norwegian Cruse Line.  Joan's personal journey began in Queens, New York then onto teen years in Massapequa Park, Long Island.  College days took her from New York to Fairbanks, Alaska....as did marriage. Her husband served on the Army base in Fairbanks and Joan worked in Administration with the Dean of Students at the University of Alaska, while finishing her degree in Business Administration.  Joan has 4 children.  She has lived in New York, North Carolina, Florida, California and Zurich, Switzerland. With grown children and young grandchildren her passion has taken a focus on writing and ballroom dancing, though not at the same time....but both of which she embraces wholeheartedly.  Dancing the Tango in competition at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas stands as a personal shining moment for Joan.  She brings this passionate spirit to the work and service of DrivingMBA and the commitment of safety and education to the community. 

Heather Penwell - Front Desk Administrator - mum (1)Heather moved to Arizona in 1996. She earned her bachelors in healthcare administration in 2015. She previously pursued a career in security for 20 years. She took a break from security in order to pursue her desire in healthcare as well as to take care of her 4 children. She spends her free time at home with her children and her many pets. She is also CPR certified.


 Lynette Graves - Front Desk Administrator - Lynn has lived in AZ for 4 years.  She moved here from the east coast (Brooklyn NYC & Maryland).   Lynn has worked as a Quality Assurance Tech and  an Event and Fashion Coordinator.  She spent 6 years in the US Army as a 95B-Military Police.  Lynn will be attending Phoenix College in the spring of 2017.   She will be working towards her BA in Business Marketing and Psychology and minoring in Legal studies.  Lynn is a single mom with a 16 year old boy who is a junior at Saguaro High School