Instructor Bios

Meet Your Build Smart Institute Instructors

Charles Logan standing in front of the Build Smart Institute Logo

Charles Logan

Charles brings more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry. A native of Salem, he lived in California for over 20 years where he built houses that addressed seismic standards, fire concerns, and other sustainability practices associated with the building sciences. In 2010, Charles co-managed the highest-rated LEED Platinum new home build in the USA. A graduate of Virginia Tech's College of Forestry and Wildlife, his time spent with architecture students sparked his interest in construction. Charles has worked with start-up companies, bringing new building products to the marketplace and establishing benchmark projects. When he's not teaching, Charles enjoys playing his guitar and getting outdoors.
Headshot of Charlie in front of the Build Smart Institute Logo

Charlie Smith

Charlie has over forty years of experience in construction, design, electrical engineering, and project management. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, he advanced from an electrical apprenticeship (gaining his Master Electrician license) to senior level facility management, primarily in hospital systems. In addition to design and oversight of large-scale construction projects, his responsibilities in hospital facility management included daily supervision, management, and training of employees. While working full-time, he also started and managed a successful electrical company. Prior to coming to Build Smart Institute, his teaching experience included professional development courses, crisis intervention, safety management, and emergency management for hospital employees at all levels. Charlie has always enjoyed sharing his skills and life experiences with others, especially being a mentor for those interested in electrical and construction project management. His trainees appreciate his emphasis on positive reinforcement and his mentoring approach in teaching them new skills and building their confidence.
Curtis West standing in front of the Build Smart Institute Logo

Curtis West

Curtis brings over three decades of diverse experience in the construction industry to the classroom. As a Lead Foreman, he honed his skills in estimating materials, supervising crews, and performing hands-on work with shingle, metal, and built-up roofing installations. During his career, Curtis specialized in metal framing, acoustical ceilings, insulation, drywall, and flooring installation, later becoming a supervisor overseeing these trades. His tenure at F&S Building Innovations from 2003 to 2017 as a Working Superintendent saw him manage remodels and new builds over $5 million, encompassing all construction phases including demolition, concrete work, framing, and finishing tasks such as installing windows, doors, cabinetry, flooring, roofing, insulation, and landscaping. As the Owner/Installer at W&S Contractors Inc., he specialized in Division 8 (doors and hardware) and Division 10 (toilet partitions, accessories, lockers, and wall protection). Returning to F&S Building Innovations from 2021 to 2023 as a Superintendent, he supervised residential and commercial remodeling projects. His comprehensive expertise in estimating, crew supervision, hands-on construction, and project management makes him a highly knowledgeable and practical instructor.
Jim Wissler standing in front of the Build Smart Institute Logo

Jim Wissler

Jim’s introduction to construction began as a teenager assisting his father remodel their basement; completing framing, electrical, plumbing, painting, and concrete work. His summers included auto repair work, rebuilding brakes, engines, and transmissions, and working for the local power utility maintaining and testing high-voltage distribution equipment. While serving in the Navy, Jim was a Construction Electrician assigned to the Plumbing shop. He worked on oil-fired boilers and space heaters completing both electrical and plumbing work. After completing college and getting a job; he volunteered to complete home repairs for several nonprofits. There he worked alongside both volunteers and skilled workers doing framing, electrical, plumbing, painting, roofing, drywall installation, and masonry work. After moving to South Carolina in 2010, Jim volunteered for an organization that installed roofs and accessible ramps for people with limited financial resources and continues to volunteer with nonprofit organizations doing repairs on residential property today. Jim holds a Journeyman’s Card and Electrician License in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Shawn Giese standing in front of the Build Smart Institute Logo

Shawn Giese

Shawn has 10 years of experience in the construction industry and 20-plus years teaching. One of his favorite teaching assignments was at an alternative education school. Shawn loves to work with youth who are growing up and facing challenges. Shawn has overcome tremendous obstacles such as ADHD and dyslexia to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. He has 30+ years of experience as a youth pastor and currently works with youth at Hoop Don’t Shoot in Danville, VA.
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