In no particular order. Members added as they come aboard.

2015 Annual Graduation Ceremony & Exhibition

Mr. Stephen Kirby
Penn Academies Founder



Mr. Kirby was born on a US Military Base in Michigan during the first few years of the Vietnam War... his father spent his career in the US Airforce. Mr. Kirby himself has a career spanning 35 years. He is sworn law enforcement, a licensed Private Investigator in the State of Pennsylvania and is the Director of a PA State Police Certified Lethal Weapons academy. Mr Kirby is also a State Police Certified Law Enforcement Instructor for firearms and skills. He is an NRA Training Counselor (certifies NRA Firearms Instructors) & Certified Civilian Firearms Instructor in 6 disciplines and a NRA Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor & Range Safety Officer, International Association of Law Enforcement Instructors-Certified Firearms Master Instructor, HR218 / LEOSA Certifier for Retired Law Enforcement National Concealed Carry Permit. He holds a 7th Degree Black Belt and an 8th Degree Black Belt and is a 3-time Florida State Champion.. Mr. Kirby is the CEO of TaekwondoNetwork.com with 18 PA locations with more than 900 students. He is CEO of  a national non-profit security & investigations company and a Project Leader for GINNS Executive Protection Agency. He also holds 6 fitness instructor credentials and firearms armorer certifications. He also holds several less-than-lethal instructor credentials including Civilian and Law Enforcement TASER Instructor. 


With 32 years in Publishing (now retired from it), Mr. Kirby has held positions such as Director of Print Operations NY & MO Facilities (40 million annual sales) eventually moving up to Corporate Vice President of Strategics and Best Practices for one of the largests Direct Mail Marketing firms in the country (500 million in annual sales) in the 1990s (approx 3K employees). He has held the position of General Manager/CEO Commercial Printing Firm (100+ Employees) MD & PA Facilities, CEO of his own consulting firm working with printers for the State Lottery (3 States), Director of Operations Commercial Printing Co. Miami Fl. He has negotiated/authored two GCIU Union (Div. Teamsters) Contracts. His publishing career began in 1976 to include Manager of Printing Operations for Warner Bros Publishing in Miami Florida.

He has published 12 instructional videos (originally commissioned by Video Professor Co.) now sold through one of the largest martial arts suppliers in the country- Asian World of Martial Arts in Philadelphia. His programs have been published in several news articles and featured on FOX 43 News.
He has memberships in half a dozen industry associations. He is a husband and a father. 


Capt. Robert Bennethum
American Airlines

Captain Robert Bennethum is a pilot with American Airlines and a certified elementary and middle school Math Teacher.  He started flying at the age of 15 in gliders and worked up to flying commercially in the late 1990's.  Aviation, teaching, and sharing his passion with others has always been a favorite pastime of his. He is a husband and a father.

Mr. Joel Keels
USN (Retired)
Vice President, KCI Technologies

Senior Director, Penn Academies

Mr. Keels received a Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, in 1986.  He received a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering (Construction Management) from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, in 2005.  He achieved professional designation as an Engineer in Training in 1986 (Maryland), and certification as a Certified Construction Manager (CCM) in 2005.

Johns Hopkins Project / $1.3B


















Mr. Keels served in the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) of the U.S. Navy.  Duty Stations included the Naval Weapons Station (NWS), Yorktown VA, as the Assistant Resident Officer in Charge of Construction supporting construction projects at NWS Yorktown as well as other military bases on the Virginia Peninsula; and U.S. Navy Cargo Handling and Port Group (NAVCHAPGRU) at Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg VA, as Engineering Officer for the Seabee component within NAVCHAPGRU.  Deployments included Honduras, and Thailand, as well as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Mr. Keels has been with KCI Technologies Inc. (Sparks, MD) since 1999 – KCI is a 100% employee-owned, multi-disciplined engineering firm employing more than 1100 in offices throughout the eastern and central U.S.  He has held positions with KCI beginning as a field Construction Manager, and progressing to Vice President – Construction Management.  He is actively involved at both the local (Baltimore – Chapter President 2014) and national level with the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), and has been directly involved in 7 CMAA Chapter award-winning projects (St. Mary’s County Courthouse, Lexington Park Library, McKinley Technical High School, Delaware Solid Waste Authority Demolition and Electrical Renovations, Lancaster County Administration Building, Robinson Nature Center, and West Nursery Road Bridge).  He was also selected for the Leadership Maryland program, an independent statewide program created to cultivate the interest/statewide knowledge/leadership capabilities of 50 of Maryland’s accomplished leaders.

Mr. Keels lettered in football, tennis, and track in High School; competed in squash, and soccer intramural athletics at the Naval Academy; and competed in racquetball tournament competitions during active duty in the Navy (placing as high as 2nd in tournaments).  He was proud to serve as an Adult Leader alongside his son throughout his son’s Boy Scout journey to earning the Eagle Scout rank.  He is a 2nd Dan (WTF) Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, is a UNTN Certified Instructor, and actively continues his TKD journey with Tae Kwon Do Network.

Mr. Hal S. Gindrow
Philadelphia Police (Retired)
CEO, LEASOT Academy, Philadelphia
John Deitch, MD
Sports Medicine, Orthopedics
Victor K. Butanis
District Court of Maryland



Mr. Gindrow has a resume that spans nearly 5 decades. Vietnam multiple tours, Army National Guard, Philladelphia Police and SWAT, Police / Military Firearms Instructor,  Fire Academy Graduate, FBI Coursework, EMT and Tactical Medic, Licensed Private Investigator, Act 235 Instructor Academic, Skills and Firearms, NRA / LE Firearms Instructor, Pennsylvania State Police Certified Firearms Instructor, International Association of Law Enforcement Instructors-Certified Master Instructor, HR218 / LEOSA Certifier for Retired Law Enforcement National Concealed Carry Permit, Several LTL Instructor Certifications, Police Unit Air National Guard, Too Many credentials and certifications to list, Security Command for several companies with hundreds of Guards and Supervisors reporting throughout an amazing and rewarding career and one that continues as
President and CEO of Ginns Executive Protection Agency.


Mr. Gindrow is also CEO of a Pennsylvania State Police Certified Lethal Weapons Training Academy. When he is not in the field with his teams, he also consults for numerous State and Local Agencies and conducts training and seminars keeping him busy nearly seven days a week 52 weeks a year. As many may know, Mr. Gindrow has appeard on several radio and talk shows speaking on the security and law enforcement profession. He is a husband and a father. He is a memebr of countless industry associations and foundations and his network of supporters is simply powerful. Mr. Gindrow is also the President/CEO of Ginns Executive Protection Agency.

Mr Butanis is an Associate Judge in the District Court of Maryland for Harford County. His career spans more than 35 years. Educated in Maryland, including Juris Doctor in 1980 from the University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland and Master of Arts from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. Later he went on to attend the prestigious U.S. Army War College -Commandant's National Security Program in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, which required a nomination and special invite to attend...only a handful of civilians were invited.


With Bar Admissions in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, Maryland, Colorado and the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals...Judge Butanis stays busy.

Mr. Butanis began as a law clerk in 1980 moving up quickly to Associate Attorney in 1981 for a Maryland firm. By 1983 he was an Assistant County Attorney serving as Chief of Litigation for Harford County, Maryland, Bel Air, Maryland. By 1986 he had advance to Deputy County Attorney and in 1988 Judge Butanis became County Attorney serving as Chief Legal Officer for the county's executive branch and supervising the Harford County Office of Law. In 1991 Mr. Butanis had moved on to hold the position of Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland, Annapolis and Baltimore, Maryland. In 1991 Judge Butanis opened a private practice. After some years he decided to continue his public service career and in 1999 became the Administrative Judge for the District Court of Maryland, Harford County, Maryland, Bel Air, Maryland. Currently Judge Butanis serves as Associate Judge for the District Court of Maryland, Harford County, Maryland, Bel Air, Maryland.


Professional Activities and Associations:
1984-Present: Harford County Bar Association
1996-Present: Maryland Judicial Conference
2008-Present: Harford County Adult Drug Court, Presiding Judge and Supervisor
2000-2003: Harford County Adult Drug Court, Presiding Judge and Supervisor
2003-2007: District Court of Maryland, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
2002-2007: Maryland State Drug Treatment Court Commission
1999-2010: District Court of Maryland Administrative Judges' Committee Harford County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

1998-2001: Harford County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council

1998-2000: Harford County Bar Foundation

1995-1996: Charter Review Commission, Harford County, Maryland

1987-1991: Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas Commission


Judge Butanis is also a mentor with Penn Academies and holds a 3rd Degree Black Belt. Mr. Butanis continues to train and has additional goals related to his Martial Arts training. He is a husband and a father as well.

Mr. Scott McQuaid
Owner / Jeweler

Mr. McQuaid is a co-owner and founder of In House Jewelers a custom jewelry and repair shop. Trained to be a goldsmith and stone setter he set out to start his own business in the field of custom jewelry. He specializes in taken older out dated jewelry and converting them into modern pieces of art made out of gold, platinum, palladium or silver. Mr. McQuaid has been a gold smith for over 25 years and In House jewelers was established in the year 2000.









Mr. McQuaid also sits on the Board of Directors for Jewelers for Children, a national charity that supports St. Jude Children’s Hospital; Make a wish Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and CASA. 

Mr. McQuaid along with his wife Tara, son’s Mason and Shane and daughter Samantha have all receiver their 2nd Degree Black belts with the Taekwondo Network and He along with his wife and 2 sons are preparing for their 3rd degrees this year.


Dr. John Deitch is a fellowship trained, Board Certified, orthopaedic surgeon with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine. He currently serves as the Director of Sports Medicine for WellSpan Health and is the WellSpan Orthopedics- York Site Director.

Dr. Deitch grew up in Harrisburg, PA. He graduated from Susquehanna Township High School, where he earned varsity letters in 3 sports, was inducted into the National Honor Society and served in student government. He earned his B.S. Degree in Biology from Elizabethtown College. While at Elizabethtown, Dr. Deitch excelled in the classroom and on the baseball diamond. He was named a GTE Academic All-American -Third Team 3rd baseman in 1991. He was the Blue jay Baseball team captain his junior and senior seasons and helped his team earn 2 NCAA tournament appearances and the 1993 Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship.

 Dr. Deitch, went on to earn his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his residency training in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Cincinnati and his fellowship in orthopedic sports medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. 

Prior to joining WellSpan Health, Dr. Deitch was an Associate Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Penn State University. He served as team physician for Penn State's baseball, swimming, diving, and rugby teams from 2003 to 2009. He also served as team physician for the Pittsburgh Pirates short-season class A minor league affiliate, the State College Spikes, from 2006 to 2009.


In his current role with WellSpan, Dr. Deitch leads a multidisciplinary team of physicians, advanced practitioners, therapists, athletic trainers and nutritionists committed to providing comprehensive sports medicine care to individual athletes, local teams and anyone else who engages in a physically active lifestyle. His team participated in 111 community outreach events in FY15. WellSpan Sports Medicine provides contracted sports medicine services to 7 school districts in York Adams and Lancaster Counties. The WellSpan Sports Medicine Team supports numerous teams and community organizations, including Gettysburg College, the York Revolution, Hanover YMCA, York Young Revolution, Greater York Dance, Heritage Hills Athletic Club & Ballyhoo Club Sports, Cross Fit Hanover/Gettysburg and Taekwondo Network.


Dr. Deitch is a devoted husband and the father of 3 children. He has served as a youth soccer coach, tee ball coach and is a member of the security team at his church.

                                                   Meet Dr. Deitch

Mr. James Oplinger
Engineering & Architectual Design
Educator and Teacher

Mr. Oplinger graduated from Wallenpaupack Area High School in Hawley, Pennsylvania in 1986. During his 4 years there he competed in many athletic programs.  His success there eventually earned him 12 varsity letters for his accomplishments in football basketball, and baseball.  He was named numerous times to All League Teams for all three sports.  Upon graduation Mr. Oplinger played baseball for Millersville University earning a Varsity Letter in his freshmen year.  Mr. Oplinger was inducted into the Wayne County Area Hall of Fame in October 2015 for his many athletic accomplishments
throughout this high
school athletic career.













                                                               Mr. Oplinger attended Millersville University from 1986 to 1990 where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology Education.  He taught Mechanical Drafting and Architectural Design from 1990 to 1991 at Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster County.  He then spent 2 years in Maryland teaching at several high Schools in the Frederick County School System from 1993 to 1995.  In 1995 he returned home to the Lancaster County area to Lititz where he currently lives.  Mr. Oplinger teaches Engineering and Architectural Design classes at Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, PA.  He has over 23 years of teaching experience in the classroom.  Mr. Oplinger began his journey towards his Master’s Degree in Technology Education in 1996 and in 2000 he completed it.

In 2001, Mr. Oplinger became an adjunct teacher for Millersville University where he taught courses in Technology and Web Design during the summers of 2001 and 2002. In 2005 Mr. Oplinger received his 1st Degree Blackbelt rank at America’s Best Karate East Coast.  His martial arts journey eventually lead him to meet Master Stephen Kirby where he has been training underneath him since 2007. Mr. Oplinger currently holds a 4th Dan Kukkiwon Black Belt rank and is a Master Instructor at Universal Athletic Club in Lancaster, PA.  Mr. Oplinger also has a 4th Dan Black Belt with the UNTN in Pennsylvania.  Mr. Oplinger was appointed to the UNTN Board of Commissioners in 2013 where he stays active within the organization helping people achieve their martial arts goals.

Mr. Oplinger is also a PA State Police Certified Act 235 Lethal Weapons Instructor for Protect International under the direction of Mr. Stephen Kirby.  Mr. Oplinger also holds many NRA certificates in fire arms training as well as his Taser Certification.

Commander Jeff Woods (BIO on Right)
    shared this Inspiring VIDEO

CDR Jeff "Rev"Woods USN (ret.)

CDR Jeff “Rev” Woods was born in Baltimore, MD, grew up in Glen Rock, PA, and graduated in 1984 from South Western High School.  Jeff was a member of the varsity swim team and a 1st chair trumpet player for the Marching, Jazz, and Symphonic Bands.  Following
high school, he attended Virginia
Tech on a Naval ROTC scholarship. 
While at Virginia Tech, he was a
member of the Corps of Cadets and
Regimental Band, and served as a
sailing instructor.  In 1989, he received
a BS in Marketing Management and
was commissioned an Ensign in the
U.S. Navy.  Following flight training at
NAS Pensacola, FL, he received his
Wings of Gold as a Naval Flight Officer in 1991.  He was chosen to fly the greatest naval strike aircraft of all time, the A-6E Intruder and was assigned to Attack Squadron 35.  While he was with the Rayguns, he completed 2 combat deployments on the USS Saratoga.  After the Intruder was retired, CDR Woods transitioned to the ES-3A Shadow electronic intelligence aircraft and was stationed with the VQ-6 Black Ravens in Jacksonville, FL.  He completed 3 more combat deployments on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Eisenhower, and USS Enterprise.  Following the retirement of the ES-3, CDR Woods left active duty and affiliated with the Naval Reserve as a member of the VAQ-209 Starwarriors, flying the EA-6B Prowler out of Andrews AFB, MD.  CDR Woods completed 8 more deployments over the next 13 years, including 5 combat deployments to Al Asad AB, Iraq and Bagram AB, Afghanistan.  He served in multiple leadership roles in the squadron, including Maintenance Officer.  In 2005, Jeff received a Masters degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI.  When the Starwarriors retired their EA-6Bs in 2013, CDR Woods chose to retire as well.  He completed his 24 ½ year Navy career with over 3000 flight hours, 400 carrier arrested landings, 140 combat missions, and 13 overseas deployments.  He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, 7 Strike Flight Air Medals, 2 Navy Commendation Medals, 3 Navy Achievement Medals, Pistol Expert Medal, and numerous unit and campaign medals and ribbons. 


CDR Woods began his civilian career in 2001 with the Titan Corporation in California, MD.  He served as support contractor to the Naval Air Systems Command and provided engineering and subject matter expertise support to multiple programs.  His focus area was Command, Control, Communications, and Computers and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR).  In 2005, Jeff joined Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore, MD.  He was responsible for business development for Advanced ISR and Strike systems and participated in or led the capture of over $500M in new business.  He transitioned to program management in 2013 where he led a series of highly successful programs.  In 2014, he and his team were awarded a Northrop Grumman Presidential Leadership Award for program excellence.  Currently, Jeff is managing several advanced concept and technology efforts while transitioning back to program development in Navy electronic warfare systems and advanced machine cognition.


Jeff volunteers at his church in various capacities and, in the past, has been a Cub Scout assistant Den Leader, Sunday school teacher, and youth group leader.  He is incredibly blessed with a wonderful wife, three incredible children, great parents, and awesome sister.  Jeff and two of his children are also studying Tai Kwon Do under Master Kirby.  His son, Connor is a first degree black belt. He is extremely honored to be a part of the Penn Academies Leader Board.

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