Jeff Pedro – Founder

Jeff Pedro

Jeff sadly passed away in 2021. Our entire staff was mentored by Jeff, and we proudly carry on his legacy of teaching and training all skill levels at Sim Trainer.

He retired after serving 25 years as a Kettering Police Officer which included twelve years in Patrol, ten years in Training and Personnel, three years as a Detective, twelve years as a part-time SWAT team member, and seven years as a Field Training Officer. He also served four years on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Tactical Officers Association. Throughout his police career, Jeff was involved in the development and delivery of high quality training in the areas of firearms, defensive tactics, and officer safety training. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of rapid response tactics to active shooter incidents for police departments at the local and regional levels. His training is still frequently rated as some of the best training officers have attended. Jeff completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at Southern Illinois University in 1985, and he completed 36 hours of graduate coursework in Junior and Community College Teaching while serving as a campus police officer before joining the Kettering PD. Jeff served as a police academy instructor at Sinclair Community College from 1992 to 2004, and he served as a part-time academy commander from 2000 to 2004. He also delivered training presentations at three American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers annual conferences and one presentation at the National Association of Field Training Officers annual meeting. He has also delivered Instructor-level training at OPOTA and at various locations around the country. Jeff is also an OPOTA-certified Police and Private Security firearms requalification instructor for handgun, shotgun, and rifle. He is also an NRA-certified Basic Pistol instructor. He has attended advanced firearms training courses at IALEFI, TDI, and the Mid South Institute for Self Defense Shooting.

Jeff was certified in the following areas:

  • OPOTA Basic Academy Unit Instructor
  • OPOTA Basic Academy Commander
  • OPOTA Pistol Instructor
  • OPOTA Shotgun Instructor
  • OPOTA Patrol Rifle Instructor
  • OPOTA Defensive Tactics Instructor
  • OPOTA Instructional Skills Trainer
  • TASER Master Instructor Trainer
  • NTOA Simulation Instructor
  • NTOA Less Lethal Munitions Instructor
  • NHTSA SFST Instructor
  • R.A.D. Instructor
  • Ethics Train-the-Trainer
  • Certified Field Training Officer
  • Mark Avery – Instructor – Co Owner

    Mark Avery is the senior staff NRA-certified instructor at SimTrainer. A shooter for over 40 years, he received his first NRA course as a Boy Scout. He has an undergraduate degree in Education from Northern Arizona University and Masters from The George Washington University. After serving 20 years as an officer in the United States Air Force, Mark began advanced tactical handgun training at SimTrainer with the Carrying Concealed Weapons course. He completed all the advanced courses offered, then began to assist with range safety and course instruction. Mark received his NRA Instructor certification in 2007 and began serving as principal instructor for several SimTrainer classes.

    In addition to serving as course instructor, Mark also maintains the SimTrainer web site, introduced the First Shots program to SimTrainer as the first program Great Lakes region, and helps run shooters through the Tuesday Tactical Training League as range officer.

    David Barton – Lead Instructor – Owner

    A shooter for over 40 years, David is the lead instructor at SimTrainer, with help from his wife, Julie. He enjoyed fourteen years working alongside Jeff, where he spent five years as safety officer in his classes and assisted as a coach for the youth teams. He has trained and lead his church safety team for 12 years, served on the Beavercreek police citizen patrol program for three years, and was certified as part of the armed response team for his local private school safety program.

    Throughout his personal defense and competitive training career, David was involved in the development and delivery of high quality training and safety team response protocol in the areas of firearms, defensive tactics, trauma response, and safe scene management.

    David is an NRA-certified instructor. He has attended advanced firearms training courses at Sim Trainer, Tactical Defense Institute (TDI), and Buckeye Firearms Association.

    David is a certified instructor in the following areas:
    • Basic Pistol
    • Personal Defense Pistol
    • Rifle
    • Shotgun
    • Range Safety Officer
    • Personal Defense Inside the Home
    • Personal Defense Outside the Home
    • Ohio Concealed Handgun License CHL/CCW
    David has these additional certifications:
    • Chief Range Safety Officer
    • Faculty and Administrator Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) Level I and II with perfect qualification score
    • Tied for first place finish for the instructor qualification shoot in all three firearm platforms
    • Yearly OPOTA pistol qualification right and left handed
    • Masters class pistol tactical league
    • Active killer response
    • TC3 Trauma Medicine
    • Personal Defense Knife Fighting
    • CPR/First Aid
    • Stop the Bleed
    • AED
    David competes in tactical scenario shooting, force on force drills, three gun, and steel challenge. In addition to serving as course instructor, he sometimes sets up and supervises shooters at the Tuesday Tactical Training League as chief range safety officer.

    In the memory of Jeff, and following in Jeff’s methodology, David hopes you’ll find these techniques innovative, progressive, and a challenging training method to improve your performance.

    Wayne Simpson – Instructor

Wayne began his training at Sim Trainer in 2008 with a CCW class and continued on with the Advanced Handgun Series. He began assisting with classes, as a volunteer in 2009, and received his NRA Certificaton in 2010.
Wayne joined the staff as an instructor and range operator in 2011 and is lead instructor for several classes and private lessons.