Universal Technical Institute names 2 new executives to leadership team


One of the largest trainers of automotive service technicians reinforced its senior leadership on Tuesday.

Universal Technical Institute announced two additions to its leadership team in support of the company’s work to accelerate its growth initiatives, while continuing to deliver strong student outcomes and service to industry customers. 

Bart Fesperman has joined the company in the newly created role of senior vice president and chief commercial officer, while Sonia Mason has been named senior vice president and chief human resources officer.

Both executives will report to UTI chief executive officer Jerome Grant.

“These exceptional additions to our team reflect our focus on building a body of strong, dynamic leaders who can take this organization to the future and help us deliver on UTI’s significant potential,” Grant said in a news release.

“In the past year, we have bolstered our executive team with new leaders heading up corporate strategy, IT, finance and legal. Bart and Sonia complement and help round out this powerful group,” Grant continued.

In his new role, Fesperman is accountable for UTI’s marketing and student recruitment functions and leads the company’s integrated approach to student engagement with a focus on optimizing interactions with students from lead generation though graduation.

“Bart is a strategic, data-driven leader with a long track record of delivering ROI and exceptional service to customers, while also generating substantial long-term growth,” Grant said. “He is known for developing and guiding successful teams and building strong and enduring partnerships.

“As we continue to transform our business and deliver enduring opportunities for our students — now and post-pandemic — Bart will play a vital role,” Grant added.

Fesperman brings to the role more than 20 years of experience in marketing and sales leadership. Most recently, he served as chief commercial officer for I.C.E. Enterprises, a provider of sales and service functions for brands such as American Express, USAA and Marriott Vacations. There, he was responsible for the leading and executing key growth strategies, as well as the company’s marketing and sales programs.

Prior to that post, Fesperman was executive vice president of sales and marketing for DirectBuy.

As senior vice president and chief human recourses officer, Mason will lead UTI’s human resource function supporting all aspects of the business as the company continues to execute on its growth and diversification strategy. She will be responsible for talent acquisition and management, succession planning, performance management, training and development and compensation and benefits.

“Sonia brings to the table a wealth and breadth of experience and is a sharp strategist and exceptional leader,” Grant said. “She’s a courageous and collaborative executive who is known for delivering results, building high-performing teams and creating an environment where people can thrive.”

Mason has more than 20 years of experience in human resources leadership across multiple industries. For more than five years, she led human resources for Mesa Air Group, a regional air carrier with more than 3,500 employees. There, Mason was responsible for a transformation initiative that delivered substantial improvement in the company’s results.

Masson has also held HR leadership roles with Celerion, a pharmaceutical research company, Special Devices, Safeway and MCI WorldCom.

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