The TechStar Team
Hop Howlett - Founder
Implementing Operational Success...
1972 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Hop Howlett has been developing and presenting special-skills training programs in a variety of technical arenas for nearly thirty years. His military service began as an infantry officer with the Berlin Brigade in West Berlin, Germany. He was later trained and certified as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and served as unit commander of an Army bomb squad in the Washington, D.C., area.
Following military service, Hop was certified by Westinghouse Electric Corporation as a nuclear plant engineer and shift supervisor for reactor plant operations at the Department of Energy's Naval Reactors Facility, part of the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Propulsion Program. As an operator, shift supervisor, and training manager, he acquired nearly a decade of hands-on experience in naval nuclear plant operations, maintenance, training, and emergency preparedness.
In June of 1988, Hop founded TechStar, a multi-service training and publishing firm whose mission is to develop practical training programs and materials for improving the performance of industrial teams. Under his leadership, TechStar, has acquired a superior reputation for effective, interesting training in the areas of leadership and human performance.
1983 graduate of the United States Navy’s Enlisted Nuclear Power Training Program, Tony Wiseman has been developing and presenting on staffing, technical training, and organizational effectiveness, with a focus on safe and reliable operations, for over thirty- five years. His military service includes one tour at the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training Command, and service on five nuclear powered submarines. He retired in 2002 as a Chief Electrician. Tony holds a BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology, a BS in Liberal Studies, and an MBA.
Following military service, Tony worked in technical training in the electric power generation industry, where he developed staffing programs that have become industry benchmarks.
Progress Energy, Tony was introduced to Hop Howlett, working closely with him to develop human performance programs to support fleet-wide Conduct of Operations and Operations Excellence programs. At Calpine, he led the Operations Excellence program, incorporating principles of Highly Reliable Organizations and Resilience Engineering into a disciplined operational environment based on Hop Howlett’s principles of systematic industrial operations.
Tony served on the Board of Directors of the ASME Combined-Cycle Users Group (CCUG), chairing the board while assisting the US Chemical Safety Board in the investigation of the 2010 natural gas explosion at the Kleen Energy combined-cycle plant in Connecticut. Active in various industry groups, he has presented at various conferences and industry events, including two ground-breaking sessions on Operational Excellence at the NERC Human Performance Conference.
Tony is currently the principal at Wiseman Consulting, specializing in Operation Excellence programs to improve organization safety, quality, and reliability.
1985 graduate of the United States Navy’s Enlisted Nuclear Power School, Al Meadows has been developing and presenting special skills training programs in a variety of technical arenas for nearly thirty-five years. He was trained and certified as a Master Training Specialist and served three Instructor Tours at the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training Command. Al retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) in 2007. He holds a BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology and an MA in Organizational Security Management from Webster University.
Following military service, Al was recruited by Siemens Energy Inc., to work in the O&M Training group. During his five years with Siemens he worked with multiple Combined Cycle Power Plants around the globe and served as a Maintenance Manager at a 2x1 50 Hz Dual Fuel Plant in Argentina. Al has worked with multiple plants to enhance liquid fuel reliability. He also worked in a successful pilot program to run liquid fuel GTs on biodiesel. Al has written multiple sets of operating and maintenance procedures for various plants in the U.S. and South America.
In August of 2012, Al left Siemens to work with Hop Howlett and TechStar, a multi-service training and publishing firm whose mission is to develop practical training programs and materials for improving the performance of industrial teams. During the following years Al worked with TechStar and Flowserve’s Nuclear division as a turnkey project manager for large scale projects in commercial nuclear plants. Al was handpicked and certified by Hop to independently conduct all of the TechStar training topics.
In December of 2017, Al went to work at Powerhouse Resources where he is currently the president and runs the day-to-day operations. He also still does all the curriculum development and teaches the TechStar heritage training.