Joe Winkles

Joe Winkles Distinguished Young Alumnus Homecoming 2016

Joe Winkles
Distinguished Young Alumnus
Homecoming 2016

Joe Winkles is the president and CEO of MindShare, Inc., a technology training company that is a global leader in the industry.

Winkles graduated summa cum laude in 2001 with his B.S. in engineering.

Since Winkles, 38, started working as a technology trainer at MindShare in 2003, he has trained thousands of engineers in the U.S. and worldwide for companies such as Intel, Apple and Samsung. He rose to president and CEO in 2011.

“In the 15 years since he graduated from Highlands, Joe has been astoundingly successful,” said Doyle Daves, the Highlands Foundation member who nominated Winkles.

Winkles continues to conduct technical training while leading a team of engineers that delivers training on every continent except Antarctica.

“We teach engineers how computer chips work, and how to design new technologies for devices like phones, tablets, laptops and servers,” Winkles said. “It’s very exciting to be on the leading edge of new technologies for these devices.”

Winkles said he enjoys teaching and sharing knowledge.

“It gives me great pleasure when I’m teaching a complex concept to engineers and see the ‘aha’ moment when they understand,” Winkles said.

He said MindShare has been blessed and was looking for ways to give back, forming a partnership in 2015 with the nonprofit Field of Dreams Uganda to provide free computers and technical training for teachers of orphans and other vulnerable Ugandan children.

“There is so much knowledge at our fingertips that we take for granted that other people don’t have. Most of these Ugandan classrooms have no computers and inadequate textbooks. Access to information on the Internet alone is extremely powerful for a student’s education,” Winkles said.

After graduating from Highlands, Winkles’ first engineering position was with AMD, a high-tech company in Austin, Texas. He worked as a verification engineer testing the functionality of new processors and later joined the processor design team.

While at AMD, Winkles took a technical training course the MindShare founder taught. Within weeks, he was working evenings as a technical editor for MindShare. He was hired full-time as a technical trainer in 2003.

The Texico, New Mexico, native came to Highlands on a full academic scholarship. He said engineering professor Djuro Zrilic inspired and mentored him.

“Dr. Zrilic took a few of us engineering freshman under his wing and taught us about concepts you don’t usually learn as a freshman, like digital design. He obtained research grants from NASA and involved us in research,” Winkles said.

Under Zrilic’s guidance, Winkles and other engineering students published their NASA research and presented at national conferences.

“The goal of a university education is to teach a person how to learn and problem solve. Highlands is very good at both,” Winkles said.

He said he was well prepared for his first engineering job, working alongside graduates from nationally known schools like Stanford and Purdue.

Winkles married his high school sweetheart Robin 19 years ago when they were both students at Highlands. Robin earned her B.A. in health education. They have two daughters, Kylie and Alyssa.