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NTI Staff Profiles

Jim Liponis
President & CEO

Jim joined his father in the family business after earning his BS in business and communication from UNH in 1990. He started in admissions at Northeast Career Schools and worked for 6 years in admissions, marketing, student services, and eventually assistant to the general manager. In 1996, Jim moved to Portland Maine to open Northeast Technical Institute and has worked gradually to grow NTI’s presence and sterling reputation over the past 21 years. Since its establishment in 1996, NTI has enjoyed steady growth to include the achievement of National Accreditation and the addition of campuses in Bangor and Auburn. When he’s away from the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife Lisa and 2 sons.


Kristy Lank
Vice President of Operations

Kristy Lank joined Northeast Technical Institute after 6 years in a leadership role at The Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design, a two-year degree-granting college. Throughout her career, Kristy has held positions of increasing responsibility within a variety of leadership, finance, and accounting roles in the fields of manufacturing, service, healthcare, defense contracting, and education. At NTI, Kristy is directly involved with all aspects of financial activities as they relate to long and short-term planning, financial systems and controls, compliance and institutional policies, and processes and procedures. In a leadership role, she assists in the development of the organization’s strategic goals and works with the leadership team to position the company for continued growth. Kristy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Husson University and is a Notary Public.


Nicole Kelley
Director of Campus Operations

Nicole Kelley is the Director of Campus Operations for Auburn, Bangor, and Scarborough. Joining Northeast Technical Institute in 2017 she brought more than a decade of recruiting and talent acquisition experience in the healthcare and technology industries. Previously at PCHC, St. Joseph Healthcare, and The Jackson Laboratory, Nicole has been successful in leading effective strategies to improve recruitment and retention, foster relationships with educational partners and employers, and create new recruitment pipelines. At NTI, she is responsible for planning, directing, and organizing school operations on all three campuses. Nicole earned her Bachelor of Science in Business – Human Resource Management from Western Governors University and is a 2012 graduate of Bangor Region Leadership Institute (BRLI). She is an active RSU 64 School Board Member and BRLI Steering Committee Member and Curriculum Co-Chair. Nicole lives in Bradford with her husband, two sons, and their dog, Milo.


Ashley Barnett
Director Of Financial Aid

Ashley received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Southern Maine while working as a work-study student in the Student Accounts Office for 4 years. Once she graduated, she was hired as a full-time employee and continued working in the Student Accounts Office for an additional 5 years. Prior to coming to NTI, Ashley also worked at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts as the Assistant Director of Financial Aid for 3 years. Ashley has been with NTI since December of 2013. Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband Court, and two children Brook and River. Ashley is extremely excited to bring her knowledge and education to NTI, and help assist students in following their career paths.


David Theberge
Compliance Manager

David Theberge joined Northeast Technical Institute in mid-2020 in the role of Compliance Coordinator, and within six months he was promoted to Compliance Manager for the School. Previously, David worked in Compliance and Operations for four years at a leading organization in the State of Maine focused on alternative medicine. His experience also includes 10 years of retail management and training. David is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine, where he received a BA in Communication. A Maine native, he loves spending time outdoors kayaking and hiking with his partner and two dogs.