Get to Know the Team at Poway Weapons & Gear Range

Take a moment to get to know the people here at Poway Weapons & Gear Range. We only hire the most qualified and friendly staff to assist you. We take training, safety, and customer service very seriously and go above and beyond to make sure you have an enjoyable and safe experience whenever visiting us.

Our Dedicated Team is Excited to Work with You!

John Phillips
John Phillips Founder

John Phillips

John’s background has been built around law enforcement.  After college where John focused on his Finance Degree, John became a part of the federal drug enforcement efforts conducting drug interdiction efforts around the world as a member of the U.S. Government’s Specialized Operations Group.  John has continued to build on his law enforcement career with over 24 years of federal instruction, consulting and providing specialized training to various law enforcement and military units across the U.S. under the Poway Weapons & Gear Range umbrella.

After retiring from law enforcement John founded and continues to pilot, ArchAngel Inc., a private security firm focused on security consultation and executive protection for A-list celebrities and some of the Forbes list “Richest People in the World”.

In 2002, while at the helm of ArchAngel, John also founded and ultimately sold Satellite Security Systems, a GPS technology solutions company that directly supported law enforcement and Homeland Security efforts.  His efforts were well received and he was ultimately fortunate enough to grow and sell the company in 2006 to a public technology firm.

John holds various law enforcement, instructor, security and regulatory certifications. He is a member of the FBI’s Infraguard.org, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Tactical Officers Association, and a National Rifle Association Law Enforcement Instructor.  John also serves as a AcuSport Retail Advisory Board member and as a National Shooting Sport Foundation Range Advisory Council Member.
Robert Soldenski
Robert Soldenski Master Gunsmith

Robert Soldenski

Robert Soldenski originally hails from the upper peninsula of Michigan, but has lived in California for the past 16 years. He is a life-long hunter and outdoorsman. Robert says he’s fortunate enough to be living out his childhood dream of being a gunsmith, because “those computer things just weren’t going to go anywhere.”

He has studied the art of custom gunsmithing in Russia, Italy, and served an apprenticeship at a prestigious gunmaker in England, where he studied the art of wing shooting and shotgun fitting. Robert also wrote his doctoral thesis on the history of firearms and brings with him an encyclopedic knowledge of firearms history.

Now in his 36th year in the firearms industry, he has assisted both the novice and serious collector with curating and enhancing their collections.
Danielle Rudolph
Danielle Rudolph Retail Manager

Danielle Rudolph

Danielle was born and raised in Murrieta and has lived in Southern California her entire life. An avid runner, Danielle competed in cross-country and track all four years of high school, and in college when she attended California State University, Fresno. A Public Health major, she began working at Sports Authority during college, and continued her seven year stunt there after school, eventually working her way up as management. Danielle enjoys utilizing her managing and retail merchandising experience at PWG, something she never pictured herself doing in her younger years.

"Growing up, I was told guns were dangerous and wasn't allowed to be around them,” Danielle explained. Somehow, it sparked an interest for her, and Danielle’s perspective on the industry completely changed at PWG.

"After working there for a short time, I was finally able to get my family to come in and see the place, and they were even more amazed than I was,” Danielle smiled. "They were so in awe that I got them to sign up for a class and even shoot a few guns. This is why I love working here. I believe this is a place that can change the way people think about guns and the gun industry. I saw that change in my parents and it was pretty spectacular to see that change in them."

Danielle enjoys running marathons, taking her dog on hikes, fishing, taking her boat out, cooking, and even baking.
Omarie Dukie
Omarie Dukie Training Coordinator

Omarie Dukie

Omarie comes with several years of experience of combat logistics, planning and training structure from the United States Marine Corps.  He earned his BA in Communications and then transferred to the United States Marine Corps Reserve where he managed the Government Defense Training Program for Predator Defense in Vista, CA.  After spending a year as a Range Safety Officer, Omarie’s background lead him to managing the training department operations for Poway Weapons & Gear Range.
Monique Hawk
Monique Hawk Director of Client Development

Monique Hawk

Monique was born and raised in San Diego and was introduced to firearms at a young age by her father and brothers. Her passions include fitness, cooking, motorcycles, snowboarding, and various art mediums. She has won regional fitness competitions and has placed at a National level for bikini bodybuilding. Monique is also a professional pumpkin carver and has filmed for local news stations and for the Food Network. Her love for motorcycles began as a child and she recently transformed her bike strictly for the track. She is currently studying for a BA in Nutrition and enjoys socializing with others and thrives in a customer service environment. Monique desires to take her firearm training to the next level with PWG instructors and encourages others to do the same. By exercising our 2nd Amendment right and educating those about firearms, she believes we can ramify negative thoughts from those who deem this industry as "evil."
Jun Molina
Jun Molina IT/Operations Support

Jun Molina

Jun comes from a family with strong ties to all the branches of the military. He has over 12 years of experience in mobile electronics. His knowledge consist of installing and fabricating sound systems for vehicles. Jun also has extensive experience in retail and customer service. Jun started out as Range Associate and has worked his way up at Poway Weapons & Gear Range from a Range Operations role to overseeing IT and Operation Support.

"This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
― Alan W. Watts
Mark Smith
Mark Smith Certified Armorer / Gunsmith Apprentice / Senior Associate

Mark Smith


Mark became fixated on mechanics and craftsmanship at an early age that later merged with his passion for firearms. He began working on cars with his father at the age of 16 and understood very quickly that perfection wasn’t a goal, but a requirement. After spending time in the United States Navy as a Construction Mechanic in the Seabees, a stroke of fate brought him to Poway Weapons & Gear. Working from the original store front, he spent his summer building the range during the construction phase.

Specializing in semi-automatic firearms, he is expanding his genre out to weaponsmithing, revolvers, bolt-action and lever actions with the guidance of Robert Soldenski, his instructor. Marks is trained and certified in diverse brands like Glock, Sig Sauer and Zev framework. In 2015, he ventured out to Rifle Dynamics and received thorough training on building AK 47/74 rifles from founder and AK mentor, Jim Fuller. With much respect to Law Enforcement, Mark has worked on many duty firearms as a top priority for the fighting professionals.

Cultivating in the art of Duracoat firearm finishing since 2012, he has painted designs in U.S. Armed Forces camo, distressed, foreign military camo, nature camo, rust/pitting cover up, personalizing signature, color matching two-toned colors, and now Durablu for that classic bluing look!

Mark also takes a secondary role of maintaining the Meggitt targeting equipment, facility maintenance and retail support.

"The majority of my customers use their firearms for duty, personal protection, hunting and sport shooting." Mark stated, "It's a personal thing to me; I treat all firearms as my own and will maintain, repair, upgrade and/or modify with finesse to deliver a functioning firearm that my customers can have confidence in operating."
Steffanie Gross
Steffanie Gross Range Operations Manager

Steffanie Gross

Steffanie R Gross is an Escondido, California native and is a strong advocate for responsible gun ownership.

You can catch Steffanie hosting Ladies Night the second Wednesday of every month. She enjoys getting to know our Members and guests, while empowering them to become confident gun owners. She says it’s a rewarding experience teaching people about their rights as gun owners and American citizens.
One of her favorite quotes explains it all:

"An Armed society is a polite society," -Robert A. Heinlein

Steffanie is also an avid Patriots fan, enjoys reading, and catching Pokémon with her niece in her spare time. This year, she transferred to Cal State University of San Marcos after receiving two AA's degrees at Palomar College, and is now working on her BA in History. She plans to complete the teaching program at CSUSM.

Before she became a full-time PWG employee, Steffanie worked at Applebee's for almost four years, working her way up from Host to Server.
Adam Bendas
Adam Bendas Range Safety Manager

Adam Bendas

Born and raised in San Diego, Adam graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Before joining PWG, Adam worked in the security field, Emergency Medical Services, and also received reserve law enforcement training.

While not at the Range, Adam is a huge sports fan, stemming from his athletic participation in sports at a young age. However, he doesn’t just sit on the sidelines and cheer, as he's active in mixed martial arts and resistance training.

Adam supports PWG’s clients at all levels, and believes people should be able to defend themselves and not be victims.
Shane Alfer
Shane Alfer Assistant Manager

Shane Alfer

Shane started as a mechanic in the natural gas industry, but escaped the daily grind through a part-time position at a small firearms retailer where his passion for the industry grew.  This lead him to return to school to pursue his BA in Business Management and grow his role to a managerial position within the Poway Weapons & Gear Range sales force.  He takes great pride in being able to share his expertise with our customers while educating the public about firearms and safety.