Staff

NIDC Org Chart

Mitch Ferren head shot

Mitch Ferren

Associate Director of Business Operations

Mitch Ferren has served in this role since 2011. He brings 40+ years of experience to the NIDC in business management, radioisotope production and processing, radioactive waste management, and hazardous material packaging and transportation. Mitch leads the day-to-day activities of the NIDC, managing the interface with the isotope user community and facilitating the DOE IP mission. Mitch holds a BS in nuclear engineering technology.

Kevin Felker HS

Kevin Felker

Associate Director for Logistics

Kevin, who joined the NIDC in March 2015 is responsible for various radioisotope products as well as radioactive material transportation. He also serves as the product line manager for stable isotopes available through the DOE IP.

Kevin came to ORNL in 1977 as a chemical engineering assistant and has held numerous positions at ORNL, including with the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, Fuel Cycle Research and Development (FCRD) Separations area, as the deputy to the national technical director for the FCRD Separations and Waste Forms area; and with the Pu-238 Production Program. Kevin has several years of experience in hot cell and glove box operations and handling of high-specific-activity actinides. He has authored and coauthored several scientific papers, including some published in refereed journals, and has made numerous presentations at national and special topic meetings. He graduated with high honors with a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

Karen Sikes HS

Karen Sikes

Associate Director for Production Planning and Market Research

Karen Sikes has served in this role since November 2018. She manages production planning of critical isotopes across the DOE IP’s facility network, including national laboratories and partner universities, to ensure reliable and efficient distribution. She is also responsible for monitoring and analyzing key isotope market segments and supply chains to aid the DOE IP in strategic program decisions.

Before joining the NIDC, Karen managed a team of research analysts, communications specialists, and engineers in support of numerous clean energy initiatives for DOE and other government agencies. She holds a BS in biomedical engineering and an MS in industrial engineering (concentration in product development and manufacturing), in addition to an MBA (concentration in operations management), all from the University of Tennessee.

Jennifer Cross Headshot

Jennifer Cross

Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs Manager

Jennifer joined the NIDC in October 2020 and has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. In her role, Jennifer works directly with the NIDC, DOE, and the Isotope Program Managers to develop, implement, and maintain quality systems to meet regulatory, operational, and customer specifications for stable and radioisotope products produced by the Isotope Program. 

Before joining the NIDC, Jennifer worked for both traditional pharmaceutical and radiopharmaceutical companies in the areas of quality assurance, quality systems, and regulatory affairs. Jennifer holds a MS in chemistry from Seton Hall University and a BS in chemistry from Wheaton College.

Sheasa S. Headshot

Sheasa Szallar

Communications and Outreach Manager

Sheasa Szallar joined the NIDC in January 2019 and has over a decade of successful experience in internal and external communications and outreach. Sheasa is responsible for planning and managing communications and outreach strategies that help advance the NIDC and DOE IP’s efforts to produce and distribute isotopes that are in short supply. These strategies include customer communications, web marketing and communications, outreach events, conferences, and more.

Before joining the NIDC, she provided communications coordination and management in the oil and gas and construction industries. Sheasa has a BS in business administration and marketing from the University of Northern Colorado.

Renae Humphrey HS

Renae Humphrey

Senior Office Administrator

C. Renae Humphrey has served since October 2011 and has over 30 years of experience in office management. Renae is responsible for helping the NIDC office run smoothly by coordinating administrative activities, collecting and entering data, developing and distributing reports, and performing other administrative functions in support of the NIDC director and the NIDC office. Renae is the point of contact for the NIDC and is responsible for handling requests and queries from NIDC management and staff, DOE IP personnel, internal and external customers, ORNL personnel, and NIDC guests and visitors.

Renae previously performed data entry and website development for ORNL’s Laboratory Research and Development Program. Renae has a BS in business administration from Knoxville College.

Donna Ault Headshot

Donna Ault

Finance Officer

Serving the financial needs of the Isotope Program since 1987, Donna brings over 30 years of financial experience unique to the isotope industry. She has been affiliated with the NIDC since its inception and is responsible for the management of accounting and financial activities. Donna is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and has previously held designations as a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.

Betty Lane HS

Betty Lane

Project Management Assistant

Betty Lane has worked for the NIDC since June 2016 and has served in her current role since June 2017. She has more than 25 years of experience in administration management as well as experience in property management and the health care insurance industry.

Betty is responsible for customer support, radioactive and stable isotope quotations, management support, data collection for research and development approvals, data collection for product orders and shipments, conference planning, and various other functions.

Eva Hickman HS

Eva Hickman

Product Distribution Specialist

Eva joined the NIDC in September 2019 and brings 24 years of experience from the ORNL Isotope Program. As a product distribution specialist, she coordinates customer orders and contracts for both stable and radioactive isotope products.

Eva previously worked as a process engineer in the Stable Isotope Group where she performed target fabrications, custom conversions of isotopes to alternate chemical forms, isotope dispensing, and quotations for technical services. She also worked with calutron operations at Y-12, enriching stable isotopes for several years. Eva holds a BS in biochemistry from the University of Tennessee.

Jack McCollister HS

Jack McCollister

Product Distribution Specialist

Jack joined the NIDC in October 2019 and brings 28 years of experience from ORNL and Y-12. As a product distribution specialist, he coordinates customer orders and contracts for both stable and radioactive isotope products.

Jack previously worked as a chemist and provided technical support for development activities to reestablish stable isotope enrichment technologies in the Stable Isotope Group. Prior to that he was the team lead for the ORNL Hazardous Waste Facility and HAZMAT team. Jack is a military retiree veteran, having served 23 years with the U.S. Marine Corps and Tennessee Air National Guard. He holds a BS and MA from Tusculum University.

Patty Winter

Patty Winter

SAP Administrator

Patty joined the NIDC in December 2020. She is responsible for expanding and enhancing information systems to help meet DOE IP objectives. The focus of her position is on designing, implementing, and maintaining system functionality to support effective and efficient operations.

Patty brings experience as a programmer and systems analyst from previous employment at ORNL and in the consumer products industry. She has held functional and technical positions on various process improvement initiatives including application correction, data conversion, process standardization, task automation, system replacement, and report development. Patty received a BS and an MS from Elmira College in Elmira, New York.