Meet Jeri Spangler, Quality Assurance Technician and Triathlete

Merriam-Webster defines a go-getter as a person who works very hard and who wants very much to succeed. At Precision Plus, we define it in two words: Jeri Spangler. Jeri is a Quality Assurance Technician who started with Precision Plus in 2007, and she has made it a point to continue her training and education. She learned to program OASIS (Optical Inspection System), received an Associate Degree in Mechanical Design Engineering Technology from Gateway Technical College in 2011, and has now completed the BYU Pathway Program, allowing her to receive another online degree from BYU-Idaho. Jeri has always enjoyed working with numbers and subjects like algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. She says that working with blueprints and Swiss Machine components “is geometry in the real world.”

Dale Wittlieff, Director of Quality & Continuous Improvements and Jeri’s supervisor, says if Jeri does not understand something, she always asks questions and always strives to enhance her skill set. Dale adds, “Jeri’s attention to detail is prodigious when she balloon prints for first articles or PPAPs, creating programs for our four Oasis Vision Systems and when inspecting complex parts.” She is the go-to person on second shift for quality questions and a key asset to the quality team.

In November of 2015, Jeri was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo surgery the following month. It didn’t stop her for long. The surgeon and therapist she worked with during her recovery had started Team Phoenix 5 years ago, and they encouraged her to join. The program consists of female cancer survivors and trains them for 14 weeks to complete a sprint distance triathlon. Jeri’s surgeon, Dr. Judy Tjoe, and physical therapist, Dr. Leslie Waltke, created Team Phoenix as a way to empower the women and improve their quality of life. Team Phoenix’s motto is “Survivorship Redefined.”

When first approached by Team Phoenix, Jeri didn’t think it was something she wanted to do. She was already staying active, regularly playing tennis twice a week. After learning more about the program, she changed her mind. She felt this was something she now had to do. Her motto became: “A triathlon was not on my bucket list, but neither was breast cancer.”

Jeri felt confident in being able to complete the biking and running portions of the race, but there was one obstacle she faced – she didn’t know how to swim. Once again, that didn’t stop Jeri. After all, she was a woman that decided to learn to play bagpipes in her 40’s and viola just nine years ago. She loves the challenge of learning something new at any age. Swimming was no different. She took private lessons and practiced a few times a week, and she was ready for the ¼ mile swim.

On July 31st of this year, just eight months after her diagnosis, Jeri and Team Phoenix completed the Tri-ing for Children’s Triathlon, a charity race that supports children’s hospitals. All 33 team members, ranging in age from 36 to 67, completed the race. The back of their t-shirts read, “Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation – Not by Choice. Swim, Bike, Run – By Choice.” This is a support group like no other. Rather than feeling competitive with one another, they encourage each other, and the women from Team Phoenix have become some of Jeri’s best friends.

Jeri enjoys working with all of her co-workers at Precision Plus, and when she was off work for eight weeks following surgery, she truly appreciated the support from the team. The Precision Plus team definitely appreciates Jeri. She inspires us every day with her energy, her tenacity, and her courage.

To learn more about Team Phoenix, please visit


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