IMAGIN Board of Directors Election

The Board of Directors for IMAGIN serve two (2) year terms and are elected by ballot prior to the IMAGIN Annual Conference, with the results of the election announced as part of the Annual Membership Meeting.  The Executive Officers of IMAGIN are elected by the Board of Directors annually.

For the 2018 Election, eleven (11) candidates are vying for eight (8) board seats.  Four (4) of the seats are being vacated by board members stepping down, while four (4) seats being contested are held by an incumbent candidate. 

IMAGIN would like to extend a special thanks to Andrew Giguere, Brodey Hill, Diane O'Connell and Bill Rowe for their dedicated years of service on the IMAGIN Board of Directors

The 2018 IMAGIN Board of Directors Candidates are:
Candidates listed in alphabetical order by last name, with incumbents listed first.  
You will vote for no more than 8 candidates total

Jonathan Merrick (I) - Eaton County
My name is Jon Merrick and I am a native Michigander from the small city of Hastings located in beautiful Barry County in Southwest Michigan. 
I received my bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University with majors in GISci and Meteorology and minors in Geography and Mathematics in 2006.  While at CMU, I was President and Treasurer of the CMU chapter of the American Meteorological Society and was an active member of the CMU Judo Club.  I started my professional career as an Environmental Meteorologist where I conducted air dispersion modeling analyses for clients that ran the gamut in size from small Michigan based startups to Fortune 500 companies with offices around the world.  These analyses were used to demonstrate compliance with State and Federal Air Quality Standards.  GIS was used as the connection point between my specialized analyses and the presentation of results to my clients.  After validating the power of GIS on the air side of environmental consulting, my GIS skills were extended to soil, water, and environmental engineering based projects.
In 2010, I moved out of environmental consulting and started as a GIS Specialist with the City of Battle Creek.  The six years I spent with the City of Battle Creek I worked on a multitude of GIS projects for various departments, neighboring municipalities, local private companies, citizens, and non-profit organizations.  The project that publically defined my work at Battle Creek was my Street Light Inventory project which I presented on at the 2011 IMAGIN Conference and again in 2012 at the ESRI User Conference in San Diego.
In early 2016 I left the City of Battle Creek and accepted a GIS Administrator position with Eaton County Technology Services.  My work now is focused on leveraging modern GIS technology in the way of, ArcGIS Online, Collector, and ArcGIS for Server to make our organizational work more efficient, accurate, and valuable.
I have served on the IMAGIN board for two years and in that time I have helped create the IMAGIN Meetups event and co-presented the ArcGIS Online Introductory Workshop with fellow board member Keri Blough.  During the second year of my term I volunteered to be Professional Development Committee chair.
My interest in being a continued part of IMAGIN is simple. I believe that there is wealth of valuable professional GIS experience across all sectors of our region’s economy. By engaging regular discussion, maintaining a community of professionals, and creating a center point for networking and professional socialization, we can each better attain the objectives of the organizations in which we serve as well as realize our own personal career goals.  It is through a community of professionals in which experience economies of scale is realized.  IMAGIN is that venue for discussion, the community, and the network center point and I would be honored to serve another term.

Sarah Merz (I) - Wexford County
My name is Sarah Merz.  I currently am the GIS Analyst for Wexford County and the Vice-President of IMAGIN.  I have been a member of IMAGIN since 2004 and a Board Member since 2008.  I also have a Master’s Degree in GIS from Penn State.  I am also studying to earn my Part 107 certification from the FAA through the Northwestern Michigan College’s UAV program.  As drones are now becoming vital to the GIS industry, I feel it is necessary to have more certified commercial drone pilots.

I enjoy working with GIS and am intrigued with the endless possibilities it offers for doing geospatial analyses.  I have had many wonderful and different opportunities to work with and be part of the GIS/Geospatial Technologies community.  I have worked with GIS in a variety of fields and look forward to the changes and new technologies that GIS/Geospatial Technologies will provide in the future.
I would very much like to continue to serve on the IMAGIN Board of Directors, as Vice-President, and as Team Lead on IMAGIN’s Communications Team.  I find IMAGIN to be a worthwhile organization that provides great educational and networking opportunities to geospatial professionals in the state.  I would like to see IMAGIN be the driving force that leads our community and the state into new realms and a sustainable future for all GIS professionals.

Pete Schneider, GISP (I) - Ottawa County
Pete Schneider, GIS System Analyst for Ottawa County and IMAGIN Treasurer.  I have been on the IMAGIN Board of Directors for six years and have spent the past four years on the Executive Team.  First as Secretary and now serving as Treasurer.  In the past six years, I have spent considerable time as chair of the Student Poster & Paper Competition, chair of the Membership Team, or this year, co-chair of the Conference Team.  In the past six years I have witnessed IMAGIN solidify their finances while still being able to provide a quality educational experience. I have 13 years of GIS experience and was certified as a GISP in 2011.  This year will be my tenth IMAGIN conference.
Scott Swan, GISP (I) - Northwestern Michigan College

Scott has served on the IMAGIN Board of Directors since 2008. An IMAGIN member since the 1990's.  Scott has been an IMAGIN volunteer since 2003, when he began serving on the Professional Recognition Committee.  Scott is on the faculty of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, where he teaches GIS and Marine Technology courses at the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute. He also provides independent GIS consulting and server administration support to clients in Michigan and Tennessee.  Scott has been a Certified GIS Professional (GISP) since 2006. In 2010 he became one of the first professionals ever to achieve the ESRI Certified ArcGIS Desktop Associate credential. Scott holds a Masters degree in Applied Remote Sensing and GIS from the University of Michigan and he participates in the ESRI Northern Michigan User Group.

Michael Cousins, GISP - OHM Advisors
My name is Michael Cousins and I’m the GIS Manager for OHM Advisors. I have been with OHM for over 4 years now. At OHM, I provide GIS support to various municipalities throughout the state, both locally and regionally. Previous to OHM, I had worked for several years down in FL for another large engineering firm as well as the Department of Defense on a GIS contract with the US Army. I graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Geography with a Specialization in Spatial Information Processing.

I am currently a Certified GIS Professional (GISP) and have been heavily involved in the GIS community. While living in FL, I was a regional director of FLURISA (FL Chapter of URISA). Since moving back to MI, I have attended and spoke at all of the major conferences and several user group meetings throughout the state. Currently, I am also the MI coordinator for the OH-MI GIS user group.
I have a passion for the GIS field & promoting GIS… I would love to be on the IMAGIN board to help further GIS growth throughout the state. I have developed a close relationship with several members of IMAGIN and think that I would be a great fit for the team.

Brett Heist - Moore & Bruggink, Inc. 
Education: B.A. in Environmental Geography, December 2008 Millersville University, Millersville, PA Minor: Anthropology Field Studies in China, Summer 2008 Shanghai, Beijing, and Hangzhou China
I would love to be more involved with the GIS community both locally and statewide. This would be a great opportunity to not only be more involved in that community but also to help serve that community. I know it takes an amazing amount of effort to run an organization like IMAGIN and it would be an honor to contribute that effort and to the continued success of the organization.
Ken Kaiser, GISP - Trimedia Environmental & Engineering
I currently serve as the GIS Manager for Trimedia Environmental & Engineering in Marquette Michigan.  After graduating from Northern Michigan University in 1996, I expanded my GIS education at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota.  I have worked in the GIS field since 1997, having worked in both the public sector, at Marquette County, the City of Marquette, and Ottawa County, and in private sector at STS Consultants, AECOM, and Trimedia Environmental & Engineering.  While first joining IMAGIN in 1999, I also served as the chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee from 1999- 2005.
It would be an honor to serve on the IMAGIN Board of Directors again.  Through my 20+ years in the GIS field, I have always found the IMAGIN organization to be an innovator in providing educational opportunities, networking, and excellent conference opportunities for its members.  I would welcome the opportunity to once again, work with the Board of Directors.
Eric Kerney - Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi 
Eric has worked for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi since 2010, currently as Senior Environmental Specialist.  Primarily he manages the Tribal Water Resources and Geospatial Programs, and sits on the Tribal Environmental Advisory Committee.  As the Tribe has undergone rapid growth and development, he has had the opportunity to be involved with many aspects of government operations.  At NHBP, Eric may fly a drone to map a restoration project, collect water samples for lab analysis, and pull weeds in the community garden on the same day.  The experience has been truly immersive, being closely involved in the reinvigoration of community lifeways programs of maple syrup, and mnomen (wild rice).  Though his colleagues would probably tell you he spends most of his time staring into screens and clicking endlessly on a mouse…
Eric has developed a yearly water monitoring program, and incorporated continuous monitoring stations connected online via cellular telemetry.  The program is expanding in 2019 through securing additional funding for addressing polluted runoff into waterways.  Eric works to incorporate geospatial information in all aspects of environmental programs, advancing a Tribal Water Story Map that incorporates live weather and water readings, current water sample records, and UAS videos of the Reservation. 
Previously Eric was a transplant from the metro Detroit area, having lived in Kalamazoo since 1996.  In 2008 he completed his MA in Geography and Environmental Resources from WMU, and served as a Teaching Assistant for Physical Geography labs.  He also starting working in 2009 at the WMU Facilities Department, first as an Eco Stewardship Crew Supervisor, and then a GIS Technician.  Eric first became engaged with river protection working at the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council, and later on in the Kalamazoo County Environmental Health Program.
Eric serves on the Board of the Friends of the St. Joseph River organization, regularly attends the MiCAMP conference, and attends the Michigan Tribal Environmental Advisory Group.  He has presented at the American Association of Geographers Conference in Boston, and other conferences in Chicago, Lansing, Battle Creek, and other locations. 
His love of the outdoors and water was cultivated by family travel throughout both peninsulas, with ample time at state parks and along the Lake Michigan shoreline.  He has been interested in organic gardening and permaculture for many years, is obsessed with public transit, would rather be on his bicycle…and is currently a very mediocre jazz guitarist.
Larry LaCross, GISP - OHM Advisors
Education: B.S. in Science (Physical Geography) Northern Michigan University
In my career, I have specialized in GIS, utilities, and Asset Management (AM). I also have experience in Work Order Management Systems and GIS integration.  This is a potential arena that IMAGIN should emphasize more.
Previously, I was the GIS Coordinator for the City of Traverse City and I currently have over 15 years of Municipal experience.  As a Project Manager for the City of Traverse City’s SAW Grant, we created an Asset Management Plan for the Sewer and Stormwater system. Also in that role, I was able to modernize workflows for the Water Department, the electric utility, and the Department of Public Services.  While at the City, I also worked with other Departments including Planning, Zoning, Engineering, Equalization, and Emergency Services.  Recently, I started working for OHM Advisors, which focuses on advancing communities with GIS, AM, and Work Order Management projects.
I would like to be involved in advancing GIS throughout Michigan and be a part of the IMAGIN Team. One of my main goals would be to bring AM to the forefront by educating GIS Users and Communities on the power of the union of GIS and AM.
As a Director, IMAGIN will gain knowledge of my experience with the public sector and private sector. I am hoping to be a useful resource for IMAGIN members along with being part of the Team of Directors to help guide IMAGIN.

Keith Rikli - DroneView Technologies

Keith Rikli is a Production Coordinator at DroneView Technologies.  Keith received his Bachelor's of Science (Summa Cum Laude) from Western Michigan University in 2012, majoring in Geographic Information Science with a minor in Earth Science.  
I want to be a part of the board, because since my first Conference with IMAGIN I have been energized about its mission. I also want to help bring GIS tools more to the forefront as avenues of communication about What IMAGIN's mission and operations to the Public, the Membership, and to the Board with GIS applications, Story Maps, GeoForms, and Web maps.
I attended and presented at the 2017 IMAGIN Conference in Traverse City, will be presenting at the 2018 Conference and have been a regular participant of the Meetups since their inception (SE Michigan Meetups). This year I have had the pleasure of working on the Map Gallery team for the 2018 IMAGIN Conference, and updating a few of the forms located on the IMAGIN website to ArcGIS Geoforms.

Ariana Toth - Giffels Webster
I have recently been promoted to the role of GIS Manager at Giffels Webster.  Prior to that I had been a GIS Specialist since 2014.  I have had a great time getting to know everyone involved in IMAGIN and would like to give back to the geospatial community and help others build the type of meaningful relationships that I have gained through this organization. 
Over the past few years I have been becoming more active in IMAGIN as a conference presenter, map gallery planning team member and regular attendee at the IMAGIN meetups.
My previous career was in political campaigns and I have experience planning, organizing, and executing events of all sizes.  I earned a BA in Political Science from Oakland University and a MA in Geography from Western Michigan University. 

IMAGIN: Improving Michigan's Access to Geographic Information Networks

IMAGIN is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with offices at 416 S. Cedar Street, Suite C, Lansing, MI 48912

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