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Exact Macola and Marion Technical College Alumni

Do you know what we love? Our students. Do you know what we love even more than our students? Our successful alumni. And even more than both of those things, we love it when our students become successful alumni, with great employers, that respect their hard earned Marion Technical College credits.

Exact Macola is that company hiring seven Marion Technical College graduates and one of our part-time faculty members. We love partnerships like this where employers find a good thing and streamline our graduates from our doors directly into theirs. We sat down with these graduates to explore the path they have taken to get to where they are today. Each story is unique (which is something else we love about our students and alumni), but at the end of the day, they have all enjoyed their time at Marion Technical College and Exact Macola.

Let’s meet them!

Jim ClingerJim Clinger
Software Engineering Manager
MTC Information Technologies
Degree, 1974
20 years with Exact Macola

Jim was part of the second graduating class at Marion Technical College and took the traditional route. He started college right out of high school, went full time and earned his degree in 2 years. He was led to MTC because he wanted to stay local and a high school teacher knew of our program and thought Jim would be a good fit – he was. Jim recalls being at the college when we received our very first computer and said that when he first started programming, it was on a “punch card” system. “We would hand write code on punch cards and send them out to be graded for errors. That is how we learned,” he said. Jim was hired by Fairfield Engineering with the help of one of his instructors at MTC and worked there for 20 years before leaving for Exact Macola (then Macola). He’s been with Exact Macola ever since and is now the manager of Software Engineering. Not bad! He still calls Morrow County home and commutes to Columbus. Jim has done constant self-study in the field to keep current because things in this field change so rapidly.


Joe SchmelzerJoe Schmelzer, Software Engineer
MTC Computer Information
Technology Degree, 2006
15 years with Exact Macola

Joe joined the Navy and left for boot-camp just a little over a month after he graduated high school, so college wasn’t really on his radar until 4 years later. His main Navy job was computer operations with some data entry and large scale printing operations, but he knew that he wanted to be a software developer and decided to pursue that career after the Navy. With hopes of getting his foot in the door and working his way up to his goal, Joe was hired in to a “mail clerk” type of position at a local Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software company. This company was Exact Macola (then Macola). “At the time I had absolutely no clue what ERP software was, but it was one step closer to getting into software development,” he recalls.

Macola had a tuition assistance program with MTC that allowed Joe to take some classes. “This was what prompted me to start taking classes at MTC the following fall quarter. I started with some basic computer classes like Excel, computer repair, software development, java scripting, etc. and eventually graduated with my degree. During that time-frame, Macola was purchased by Exact and in August 2004, Exact hired me into the development department,” he said.

Dream Job Achieved!


Brenda SmithBrenda Smith
Transfer from MTC to
Ashland University, 1992
Sales Support Specialist
8 years with Exact Macola

We pride ourselves at MTC on our transfer opportunities, and Brenda is an early example of a student who took full advantage of the concept. Knowing that a 4-year degree was her goal, MTC provided her a great way to get there. “MTC made sense and saved me a ton of money. I worked while I went to college and found that I could apply my learning to my job at the time,” she says of the experience. “MTC was always ahead of my employer with technology which really impressed me, too.”

After transferring her credits and earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in accounting, she was hired at Exact Macola (then Macola) and worked there for 5 years before taking time off to raise her family. She has since been back and has added another 3 years to that interrupted total. She said that coming back to work at Exact Macola was like a homecoming and she really loves the people that she works with and the problem solving part of her job.


Keshia McCoyKeshia McCoy
MTC Software Development
Degree, 2009
Web Developer
17 years with Exact Macola

Keshia’s story is the kind that we love. Her parents didn’t go to college so she never really thought about going herself until she got hired at Exact Macola (then Macola) and met the software developers. From that moment forward, she knew that is what she wanted to do. She worked very hard to earn her degree – plugging away, slow and steady, taking 2 classes per term while she worked full time and raised her family. While she was working her way through her degree program, she was also working her way up at Exact Macola, going from a support customer service representative to a quality
engineer, and now a web developer.

Keshia couldn’t have asked for a better support team both at home and at work, she said. “My managers believed in me. I had the freedom to thrive, and for that, I am thankful.” She even had a coworker who tutored her in algebra when she struggled with that course at MTC.


Dale BakerDale Baker
Associates in Accounting, 1996
Quality Engineer
18 years with Exact Macola

Dale became a “displaced worker” after the company that he worked for folded. This misfortune led him to a grant opportunity which would pay for his education for a new career. Dale chose accounting as the degree to get. “All my schooling was paid for in full, I just had to work to keep food on the table and lights on. I worked as a general contractor for the 2 years I was at MTC and completed my degree in 2 years.”

Right before Dale graduated, he took advantage of MTC’s job placement assistance which put him in touch with Exact Macola (then Macola) about a job as a payroll
coordinator. That position had already been filled, but they wanted to talk to him about another opportunity. He was then hired in the accounting support department. He credits MTC for this match.

“Most of my life I have worked with my hands as well as my head and that is what I have liked. Working with the software, I still get to get my hands dirty without getting my hands dirty by making sure what was corrected by the developers actually works properly,” he said of his job. He adds that he also enjoys the freedom to work somewhat independently. “I know what needs to be done and am given the freedom to do so.”

A little side note about our alum, Dale. Not only did he graduate from MTC, he was chosen as the graduation speaker that year and received several honors. We are happy to see him thriving in a career that he really enjoys.


David LongDavid Long
Data Processing, 1997
Quality Engineer
16 years with Exact Macola

David started out in the workforce with a tree service company and was ready for a career change. He chose Marion Technical College to achieve that goal. He worked his way through college and graduated with a degree in data processing. He chose Exact Macola as an employer because he wanted to stay in the area and work in the field that he had studied.

“Marion Technical College gave me a great basic foundation to move me forward,” he said of his educational experience. All of our alum stressed the challenges and excitement with continued education in their field. “Learning new things and solving new problems is constant in this job. Working with new and updated applications and helping with the development of those is probably the thing that
I like the most.”

If you are reading this and think you may be interested in the IT field, David said you must possess these qualities, the ability to adapt, communicate, investigate, learn, and work with others. We think those are great traits to have – for IT and in life.

You can learn these skills and more at Marion Technical College. What are you waiting on?


David HastingsDavid Hastings
Quality Engineer
Dual Degrees in Accounting
and Computer Information
Technology, 1999
19 years with Exact Macola

David Hastings decided to come to MTC because he was looking for a new, higher paying career opportunity that would allow him to stay close to the family farm which he still manages
today. Exact Macola hired him in as a Software Developer and he has enjoyed 19 years of diagnostics and quality assurance. “The thing that I like most about my job is the problem solving aspect and knowing that your efforts make a real difference in the quality of the products we release,” he says of his job. He adds that those interested in software development & engineering need to possess the skills to focus on a task for long periods of time with the ability to block out distractions.

When asked what he liked about his time at Marion Technical College, Hasting said this, “What I liked the most was that MTC was close to home allowing me to work full-time and attend class part-time, winter, spring, summer and fall. It was a real game changer for me and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

That’s a game changer for most. The flexible class schedule and the low tuition cost close to home are a big draw for many of our students!


Carol PahlCarol Pahl
Senior Project Manager
Marion Technical College
Adjunct Instructor, 1990-1994
20 years with Exact Macola

Carol, an educator by trade, worked part-time at Marion Technical College years ago. When Exact Macola sought out alumni for this article, Carol wanted to be included because she really enjoyed her time at the college. We do consider her an employee alumni and appreciate her time of service to MTC. While she was at the college, she taught mostly at the prison. She said, “It was very rewarding because I really felt like I was changing lives and their attitudes about their futures.”

Carol has loved her time at Exact Macola as well, saying that she is always amazed by what software can do. She’s also amazed by what the MTC graduates, who are now at Exact Macola, can do.


Employers, do you want a constant stream of qualified alumni filling your open positions? We have them! Learn more about partnership opportunities at

About Exact Macola

Exact Macola is a leading supplier of business software that provides a more natural ERP experience. Founded in Marion, Ohio and continuously serving its customers with reliable and innovative solutions since 1971, the company continues to strengthen its brand and champions a vision to become the #1 market leader in the ERP software space serving manufacturing and distribution customers in the SMB and mid-market with industry leading solutions. Exact Macola has one of the most loyal customer bases and partner communities in the industry and is based in Columbus, Ohio.


Mia McPhersonMia McPherson
Senior Marketing Manager,
Exact Macola

Special Thanks to Mia for helping us find our graduates at Exact Macola and allowing us to interview them.


Contact us

Marion Technical College
1467 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Marion, Oh. 43302


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