COVID Update: All STRAC locations are open for in-person classes in a safe, controlled environment. Learn about our online/in-person hybrid program here.

STRAC Institute
Formerly known as VAe
Call Us! 888-754-1383

Meet our Team

John Shepard


John Shepard started his career in sales with IBM and has over 35 years of executive management experience in the technology industry. Prior to starting VAe/STRAC Institute in 2009, Mr. Shepard co-founded a network firewall company and founded an early biometric authentication company that pioneered a new form factor and price point to replace traditional passwords. Mr. Shepard served with the 101st Airborne Division, is a Vietnam combat veteran, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island. 

Michael Videira


Michael Videira works as the President for STRAC Institute. He drives the vision for the company to create energy within the organization, engage talent, create results. He joined STRAC Institute as the Chief Financial Officer in 2017. He has an Accounting degree from the University of Rhode Island and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith is the Human Resources Manager for STRAC Institute. She is responsible for performing all human resources related responsibilities and provides guidance for the executive team. In addition, she also works directly with the teams at each STRAC Institute location to identify and fill hiring needs, advise managers, and support all other HR functions as needed.

Zachary Barrett


Along with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Rhode Island, Zach Barrett has a background in several electromechanical fields. Mr. Barrett served as the lead engineer and subject matter expert for the modernization of weapon subassemblies under STRAC Institute’s contract with the U.S. DoD. In addition, Zach designed, manufactured, and validated multiple test sets for this contract.

Following completion of the contract, Zach began work as the Director of Curriculum Development for STRAC Institute, which remains his primary focus today. Mr. Barrett coordinates with numerous employers in the electronics field to determine, evaluate, and incorporate into the curriculum changes that represent the evolving demands of today’s high-tech industries; during this process, Zach expands the scope of training by adding new industry certifications and hands-on skills to our training program.

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