IMAGIN Board of Directors Election & Candidate Info

IMAGIN is led by a fifteen (15) member Board of Directors that oversee all aspects of the organization.  Board members are elected for a two (2) year term, with alternating year of election where seven (7) members are elected one year and eight (8) the next year.  Election ballots are being e-mailed to members in active status on Thursday, July 16, 2020 and the election will remain open until Monday, August 3, 2020 at 9:00 am EST.  Results of the election will be announced at the General Membership meeting to be held online in August of 2020 (more details will be coming soon on the meeting). 

Once the election is closed and the new IMAGIN board members are seated, the Board of Directors elects the Executive Officers of IMAGIN at the IMAGIN General Membership Meeting.

For the 2020 Election, eight (8) directors seats are open for election.  Directors elected in 2020 will serve a two (2) year term from July 2020 until June 2022 and additional details about the Board of Directors requirements can be found in the IMAGIN Bylaws, Article IV: Board of Directors.   

The 2020 IMAGIN Board of Directors Candidates:
Candidates listed in alphabetical order by last name, with incumbents listed first and designated with the symbol (I) following their name.  During the election, members will vote for no more than 8 candidates total:

Eric Kerney (I)
Senior Environmental Specialist
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi

Education: B.A. - WMU - 2001 M.A. - WMU - 2008 - Geography and Environmental Analysis

Lifetime Michigan resident. Lover of lakes, snow, bikes, gardening, hiking, playing jazz, and anything that can be mapped! Transplanted east-sider, been stuck over in Kalamazoo now for upwards of 20 years. Spent summers travelling around the state as a kid, which cultivated my love of ecology, geography, and the diversity of habitats throughout both peninsulas. Discovering GIS in Grad school really brought together an interest in mapping and revived my waning enthusiasm for computer science. I have worked as a Geospatial professional for over 10 years, with the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi as Senior Environmental Specialist since 2010. I have served on the IMAGIN board since 2018, and also on the Friends of the St. Joe River, NHBP Tribal Environmental Committee, and the City of Kalamazoo Complete Streets Committee. I have presented at both IMAGIN and MiCAMP, the Stewardship Network Conference, and at conferences in Chicago, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
As the primary administrator for the NHBP Geospatial Program I regularly coordinate with Tribal, Local, State, and Federal agencies. Our Department has also organized some larger conferences. Additionally we have added a UAS program to our department, and I am a certified Part 107 Pilot and execute the data analysis and imagery processing for our drones.
Currently I have become obsessed with any type of real-time environmental data that I can get my hands on via IoT sensors. This has led to an obsession with JavaScript, coding, automation, open source web GIS, and the challenge of converting any data into geographic data.
As the Geospatial world moves away from the desktop and into the cloud, I think that GIS professionals have an opportunity to lead the way with strong skills in data visualization, analysis, and engineering. Additionally, emerging technology fields such as autonomous vehicle navigation, drone mapping and web development can provide new avenues for employment and research.

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director: 
I hope to bring a different perspective coming from a Tribal Government background. I was pleasantly surprised to be nominated and elected at the 2018 annual conference in Traverse City. Since then I have tried my best to contribute to the organization and profession, and presented at the 2018 conference and also at the IMAGIN Drone Day in October of 2019. I look forward to continuing work with this great group of folks from contrasting backgrounds and locations throughout the state. My intention was to make a strong contribution to the IMAGIN 2020 KZOO Conference in my hometown… Well, let’s make 2021 the best year yet!

Past IMAGIN Involvement: Director since 2018, presented at 2018 conference, presenter at IMAGIN Drone Day in October 2019

Jonathon Merrick (I)
GIS Administrator
Eaton County, Michigan

Education: B.S. Central Michigan University, Majors: Geographic Information Sciences/Meteorology Minors: Geography/Mathematics

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 where I live with my girlfriend and two children.
I received my bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University with majors in Geographic Information Sciences 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 publicly 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 terms and in that time I have helped create IMAGIN Meetups, helped plan and implement IMAGIN Workshops as well as presenting in two, and assisting in conference social planning and silent auction donations. I have also presented at the annual conference a few times. I am currently on the Conference and Communications committees as well as co-chairing the professional Development committee.
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, professional development, and 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 be elected to serve another term.

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director: 
I serve because I believe volunteering in professional organizations and in your own community is important. If you are able to serve and bring something valuable to the table I believe that it is an individual's responsibility to do so. The work you put in is valuable to the volunteer as well as the organization and community.

Past IMAGIN Involvement: Professional Development Committee Chair/Co-Chair, Conference Committee, Communications Committee

Sarah Merz (I)
GIS Analyst
Wexford County, Michigan

Education: 2019 Aviation - Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Certificate of Achievement (Level I), Northwestern Michigan College, 2009 Masters of GIS, Pennsylvania State University, 2000 Bachelor's of Science with an Emphasis on GIS, University of Nevada, Reno

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.

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director: 
I would very much like to continue to serve on the IMAGIN Board of Directors, on the executive Team as Treasurer, or in whatever capacity the Board needs. 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.

Past IMAGIN Involvement: I have been an IMAGIN member since 2004 and on the Board Director's since 2008.  I've served as the Vice President and currently serve as the IMAGIN Treasurer.

Pete Schneider, GISP (I)
GIS System Analyst
Ottawa County, Michigan

Education: Bachelor of Science, Geographic Methods, Grand Valley State University 2002-2006

Biography: Pete Schneider, GIS System Analyst for Ottawa County and current IMAGIN Vice-President. I have been on the IMAGIN Board of Directors for eight years and have spent the past six years on the Executive Team. I have served as Secretary, Treasurer, and now, Vice-President. In the past eight years, I have spent considerable time as chair of the Student Poster & Paper Competition, chair of the Membership Team, and co-chair of the Conference Team. I have been a part of IMAGIN By-Law review and helped modernize the organization. In the past eight years I have witnessed IMAGIN solidify their finances while still being able to provide a quality educational experience. I have 15 years of GIS experience and was certified as a GISP in 2011. The 2021 conference would have been my twelfth IMAGIN conference.

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director: 
After attending one of the conferences in Bay City, it was easy to notice the lack of interest that surrounded IMAGIN. Membership wasn't engaged and the conference reflected that. I saw several areas where I could help. Ultimately, I ran for the IMAGIN Board because I wanted to build a conference atmosphere that I (and others) would want to attend.

Past IMAGIN Involvement: Served as conference chair, serves on conference committee, past IMAGIN Treasurer and current IMAGIN Vice President. 

Scott Swan, GISP (I)
GIS Coordinator and Instructor
Northwestern Michigan College

Education: Master of Engineering in Applied Remote Sensing and GIS, University of Michigan

Biography: 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.  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.

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director: 
GIS evolves rapidly. Serving as an IMAGIN Director allows me to help facilitate the sharing of ideas between those who are innovating solutions with geospatial technologies. I can share this information with my students as they prepare for careers in industry.

Past IMAGIN Involvement: 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.

Ariana Toth, GISP (I)
GIS Manager
Giffels Webster

Education: MA, Geography, Western Michigan University; BA, Political Science, Oakland University

Biography: I grew up in semi-rural Oakland County with horses, chickens, and huskies (we even had a dog sled for a couple of years.) My previous career was in organizing political campaigns and I got to travel the country interacting with voters and learning about how different environments shapes people’s political views. When I was ready to settle down with a permanent address and stable benefits, I decided to go back to school for GIS. My studies focused on economic geography and equality. I was fortunate to earn a FLAS scholarship which helped fund my ten weeks of field research in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua.
I am currently the GIS Manager at Giffels Webster and have worked there since 2014 when I started my career in GIS. My primary experience is working with sewer & water utilities and municipal planning projects but I have also worked with fire, assessing, and building departments as well as some private development projects. (This has all been new to me since I grew up with wells and septic!) I don’t mind what sort of data I’m working with when I get to play with databases and experiment with cartographic presentations.

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director: 
I have had a great time getting to know everyone involved in IMAGIN and enjoy giving back to the geospatial community and helping others build the type of meaningful relationships that I have gained through this organization. I wish that being smart and talented was all you needed to succeed but it really does matter who you know. I enjoy fostering relationships and building connections to help people reach their potential. 

Past IMAGIN Involvement: Ariana has served one two-year term as a director and is currently serving as Secretary. She has been the primary editor of the quarterly newsletter for the past 2 years and has presented at two annual conferences.

Jeff Boudrie
GIS Specialist
Monroe County, Michigan

Education: Monroe High School, Various Short courses, Seminars, and MOOCs on Remote Sensing and Geospatial Technology.

I have worked for Monroe County for 33 years. I started out in the Equalization Department as a Tax Description Processor. After 8 years, I transferred to the Planning Department where I was introduced to CADD and GIS. At that time, the department was using Generic CADD, CMAP and ArcView 3.2.
Currently, I support Central Dispatch/911, Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, Economic Development, Equalization Department, Health Department, Clerk, Treasurer, and Local Municipalities with GIS technology.

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director: 
When I began in the Planning Department, the Director at the time encouraged participation in professional development organizations such as IMAGIN. I became a member at his request. Since then, I have benefitted greatly from my membership in the IMAGIN organization. The personal connections that I have developed as well as the education that I have received from presentations and seminars has helped me to support my family with a job that I’ve really enjoyed. It is time for me to give something back before I retire.

Past IMAGIN Involvement: Member of IMAGIN for more than 20 years.

Brodey Hill, GISP
GIS Analyst
Kent County, Michigan

Education: B.S. in Geography (GIS Emphasis) from Grand Valley State University - 2000

Biography: I grew up in central Indiana, and relocated to Grand Rapids in 1996 after working a summer as a trail guide in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. I have been involved in private and public sector GIS since 1998 in West Michigan. I attended five different colleges before graduating from Grand Valley State University in 2000. I interned then worked at the GVMC-REGIS Agency, helped establish the GIS program at the City of Grand Rapids, and have been working for Kent County GIS since 2006. I currently support GIS technologies throughout the entire County organization. I received my GISP certification in 2005. I have attended and presented at numerous IMAGIN conferences over the past two decades. I also previously served on the IMAGIN board for two terms (I took a break from the IMAGIN board to assist with my son’s high school rowing team for the past 3 years, which was a very big year round commitment. He’s headed to MSU in August!). I had the opportunity to be a presenter at the ESRI International User Conference in 2015, and have received two ESRI SAG awards (City of Grand Rapids @ 2002 and again with Kent County in 2015). I also had the really entertaining opportunity to have some of my GIS work written about in the ESRI’s State and Local Government national Fall publication in 2013 (Look it up! The article is titled ‘DNA Not Required’).I live in Cascade Township with my wife, two kids (soon to be 1 kid) and a dog named Bernie. I enjoy golfing, running, camping, annoying my family during the COVID crisis, and mowing my yard. I’m also known to attend a Grateful Dead show at least once every summer.

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director:  Having professionally 'grown up' in the area's GIS world, and previously being involved heavily in IMAGIN, I'm excited to hopefully get back to it after a 4 year hiatus from the Board of Directors. Believe it or not, I actually missed you guys! (But for the record, I missed Janet more than Tom or Pete) I feel like I have the IMAGIN relationships and organizational IMAGIN experience to be able to hop into the position and contribute immediately in a positive way.

Past IMAGIN Involvement: Served on IMAGIN's Board of Directors for 2 terms, past Conference Co-Chair, past Conference Social Team Lead multiple years, Continue to help maintain IMAGIN's social media accounts, Co-Founder of IMAGIN's Michigan ESRI UC MeetUp event

Karl Linderoth
CNSS and GIS Instructor
Bay College

Education: 2014 Post Graduate Professional Certificate in Geographic Information Systems, George Mason University.  2004 Master of Career Technical Education, specialization in Information Systems and Security, Ferris State University.  1987 B.A. in History and French, Lake Superior State University

Biography: I grew up in the north country of Michigan and enjoy the out of doors. In my younger years I earned my Eagle Scout, found those lost in the woods and on the water in Explorer Search and Rescue, drove the pumper to dozens of fires as a Volunteer Firefighter, and ran scores of orienteering national matches. In each case being highly skilled with the local area, maps, and compass was critical to the job at hand.Today as the GIS instructor at Bay College in Escanaba, I help students learn the importance of “location” and how critical it is to understand concepts of “spatial data” of items in that location. It is my goal to help as many people as I can to understand GIS concepts.

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director: In 2012 I was asked by our Water Technology department to develop a course in GIS. I quickly realized that I needed significantly more exposure to GIS and attended coursework and received a Professional Certificate in Geographic Information Systems from George Mason University (GMU) in Virginia. Instruction was heavily ArcGIS desktop oriented but was presented by full time faculty from the Geography Department at GMU who provided invaluable depth and understanding of the labs.
After completing my GIS certificate I worked for a summer at CUPPAD regional planning commission as a GIS mapping technician. In 2016 I instructed 100 K12 math and science teachers across the UP in GIS skills and how to use ArcGIS Online to bring those skills back to their classrooms. I am responsible for the GIS degree and curriculum at Bay College, and as part of that have worked to develop a transfer guide for a 2 + 2 transfer to Northern Michigan University. This provides students both an economical way to learn GIS that also seamlessly articulates to a 4 year degree. Students from outside the area are now transferring to Bay College to pursue this transfer.
I am especially interested in expanding IMAGIN membership in the Upper Peninsula in order to increase IMAGIN’s influence. I have enjoyed the experiences and training that I have received through IMAGIN, including serving on the IMAGIN Board of Directors from 2017 to 2019. If elected again to the IMAGIN Board of Directors I will work to provide great GIS experiences for members statewide.

Past IMAGIN Involvement: Member since 2014. Served on IMAGIN Board of Directors from 2017 to 2019 as a director from the Upper Peninsula.

Jerry Swanson
GIS Coordinator
City of Traverse City, Michigan

Education: Bachelor of Science - Natural Resource Management, emphasis in GIS

Biography: Geography has shaped my professional and personal life. Born in Western New York, quick stops in Illinois and Iowa and then growing up in the Cherry Capital of the World in Northern Michigan. From there, community college in Southern California, summers spent in Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, and finishing college in Northern California, all shaped my personal life and values. From a professional perspective, starting my career in North Carolina, spending a year teaching abroad in Micronesia and now to have come full circle back to Traverse City, I like to say it would be handy to have a good map when people ask me about myself.
My interest in GIS begin during a Cultural Geography class in college, where we learned about Dr. John Snow and his Cholera dot map. The correlation of location and information further spurred my interest in spatial analysis. While in college in Northern California, I was able to take numerous GIS elective courses including my Senior Practicum working with the Humboldt County Planning Department in finding suitable park land. This experience garnered me to the private sector in GIS consulting, specifically working with local governments.
My first job landed me 3,043 miles across the country in Eastern North Carolina at a national GIS consulting company, Geographic Technologies Group (GTG) where I was exposed to everything from field collection, database management, enterprise GIS, online mapping, and strategic planning. These experiences moved me to an award winning Engineering firm WithersRavenel in Raleigh, NC. My tasks included intensive QA/QC on utility networks, upgrading software and hardware for field collection (Collector for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Server) implementing Portal for ArcGIS and expanding my skills and knowledge of municipal utility data.
An opportunity arose to become a Project Manager at my previous firm GTG and with the ability to work remotely, my wife and I moved back to our hometown of Traverse City, MI. Operating from my spare bedroom, I was fortunate to work on a large and complex project for CAL FIRE on updating and improving the California statewide centerlines for emergency services. In time, the position opened for the GIS Coordinator for my hometown city and it was impossible to not pass up on the opportunity.
I have been working for the City of Traverse City for the past two years in an exciting role working with various city departments, upgrading technology and work flows and moving the city into next generation GIS tools and applications.
My personal interests include cooking, enjoying our 1968 Slickcraft boat on Grand Traverse Bay, hitting the links, and hanging with my wife Ashley and our Basset Hound Gertie. 

Why would you like to serve / continue to serve as an IMAGIN Director: 
I believe I would be a valuable asset as an IMAGIN Director. For sake of space, I will focus on three reasons why I would be a great team member within IMAGIN.
My work experience in the geospatial field have exposed me to the challenges and rewards of working with spatial data in tangible ways. One common issue GIS Processionals come across when working with various stakeholders is what actually is GIS? Can it help make smarter decisions? Will it improve efficiency and productivity? Can it save time and money? Answering these questions and providing results make the job 100% worth it. With IMAGIN being the premier GIS organization in the state of Michigan, I would be honored to serve with like minded individuals on addressing these challenges and coming up with innovative solutions.
One stated goal of IMAGIN is "Engaging IMAGIN members to participate in teams promoting outreach, education, events and information resources." I never turn down a chance to discuss GIS with laymen, laywomen or peers to elevate the status of GIS in day to day tasks. Whether this be a meet up at a local brewery or hosting workshops on new technologies, I am willing to engage and help assist IMAGIN achieve this goal.
As an added bonus, while working in North Carolina, the state user group NCAUG is a premier GIS organization nationwide. The state and local levels within NC have been a pioneer in GIS since it's inception. The experiences gathered from working and collaborating in a different organization brings a fresh perspective to the table.
In conclusion, I believe I can bring knowledge, energy and creative ideas to the IMAGIN Board of Directors table. 

Past IMAGIN Involvement: 2019 IMAGIN Conference, 6 IMAGIN Meet ups in Northern Michigan, submitted presentation for 2020 IMAGIN Conference

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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