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2017 MN GIS/LIS Board of Directors Election
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The MN GIS/LIS Consortium Board of Directors is made up of volunteers from the GIS community.  The Board consists of eleven elected positions, selected by our members, and four ex-officio positions.  Each elected member serves a two year term.  As we approach 2017, it is time to elect our incoming board members.

This year we will be voting to fill the following positions; Board Chair-Elect, Conference Chair-Elect, Treasurer, State Government Representative, and Private Sector Representative.  The elections for each Board position are staggered, so that only half of the board is replaced every year.  Thank you to each outgoing Board volunteer for all their efforts.

Please read the bios for each of the nominations and cast your vote for the 2017/2018 MN GIS/LIS Consortium Board of Directors.

Rebecca Foster, City of Edina

Rebecca is a GIS Administrator with the City of Edina since 2002. Her duties include project management, database administration and asset management of the City's infrastructure.  Her passion for the technology has taken her beyond work, in particular to seven years of involvement with the GIS/LIS Consortium Board including 2007 first successful Conference as Chair in Rochester and 2009 Board Chair. She has also served on the Governor’s Council on Geographic Information and the Statewide Geospatial Advisory Council as well as the Emergency Preparedness Committee. She made her mark nationally by incorporating a mapping system called the “National Grid” into local maps.  Rebecca won the Polaris Award in 2010, because she strives to be involved, contribute to greater efforts, and share her talents with colleagues and coworkers and work in a cooperative manner to advance GIS to benefit the state and its citizens.  Rebecca looks forward to being a part of the Board when it moves its conference to Bemidji.





Tim Loesch, MN.IT Services @ DNR

A geographer by training, I received dual BS degrees in Geography and Geology from Bemidji State University in 1985 and a MA degree in Geography from the University of Oklahoma in 1988 with an emphasis in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information systems. At the University of Oklahoma I worked on a NASA grant and conducted my thesis research on the use of Remotely Sensed data in a Geographic Information Systems database for hydrologic modeling. I started working for the Land Management Information Center in 1988 and worked with a variety of projects and software and hardware platforms and was a time during which I gained a lot of experience working on projects and with people. During 1993-94 I worked with the for a private Municipal Engineering firm and in 1994 I was hired at the Minnesota DNR to be a GIS Applications programmer. I was the GIS Section Manager at the DNR from 2004 to 2014 and provided data, custom software, training and assistance to over 1000 DNR Staff. More recently I have been the IT Business Services Manager with MN.IT @ DNR and currently manage a staff of 50 with a budget of $6,000,000.
 During this time I have also worked as an instructor in the University of St. Thomas Geography Department, the University of St. Mary Geography Department and the University of Minnesota MGIS program. I have conducted numerous workshops at GIS/LIS functions throughout the state and have also been involved for many years with the GIS/LIS Consortium having served as the treasurer from 2004 to 2008.


Conference Chair-Elect


Jared Hovi, Carlton County

Jared is the GIS Coordinator for Carlton County, a position he's held since 2008. As GIS Coordinator he's developed and optimized the county’s GIS system.  One of the most rewarding aspects of his position is bringing new technology and concepts to light for employees, the public, and other local government by working across multiple departments. Jared earned a B.S. in Geography with emphasis in GIS and Regional & Land Use Planning from Bemidji State University.  With over 11 years of GIS experience, he's had the opportunity to work for multiple government agencies as well as the private sector. Jared is interested in becoming Conference Chair-Elect for 2017.  As a highly organized individual, serving on the conference committee, and striving to expand GIS he's committed to providing his utmost services to GIS/LIS Consortium.

Brandon Keinath, Minnesota Power

Brandon is GIS Supervisor at Minnesota Power in Duluth. He has been chair of the Northern Minnesota GIS User Group since 2013. After graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2009 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Geography, he received his GIS Certificate from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and started working as a GIS Specialist for Superior Water, Light and Power. He became a GIS Programmer Analyst for Minnesota Power in 2013, and was promoted to GIS Supervisor in 2015. When not working on GIS, Brandon and his wife, Molly, enjoy sea kayaking on Lake Superior, hiking, and operating their 10-acre hobby farm near Duluth.


State Government Representative

Darin Mertig, MN-DOT

Darin grew up on a small beef cattle farm in Northern Wisconsin, after high school he attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He graduated with a B.S. in Geography, specifically Resource Management with an emphasis in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS). While attending the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Darin was able to do a research project on the NFL Draft, which was presented at the AAG Conference in Washington D.C. in 2010 and the Wisconsin Land Information Association Conference in 2012, where it placed first in the map poster competition.

After graduating Darin went to work for a small GIS firm in the Eau Claire area, where he spent 4 years working his way through the ranks from GIS Analyst to Project Manager. Darin worked on creating plat books, mapping crop irrigation pivots, industrial site selection, cell phone based app creation and phone book delivery maps. Darin then moved on to the Department of Transportation, where he now works as a Research Analyst within the Traffic Volume section. 

 Darin is an avid outdoorsman. He enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking and camping. He is also a bit of a history buff, whether it be sports history or military history, he can sit and talk about them for hours. Darin now resides in the Shoreview area of the Metro, with his Girlfriend Sarah, their Golden Retriever Boone and orange tabby cat Cheeto.

Zeb Thomas, MN.IT Services @ DNR

Zeb is currently the GIS Data Systems Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, where he has worked since 2011. As part of that role, he is a key contributor to the Minnesota Geospatial Commons team. He has served on the GIS/LIS Consortium Board for the past two years as the state government representative and the last year as the chair of the Networking Committee. Zeb has a Masters in GIS from the University of Minnesota where he was president of the GIS Student Organization and a BA from Stanford University where he studied economics, math, and computer science.


Tim Tabor, MN-DOT

Tim is currently a GIS Research Analyst Specialist at Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). He provides support and promotes GIS throughout the Department. Prior to working at MnDOT, he worked as a Deployment Specialist at ikeGPS and as a Distribution Assets Coordinator at Minnesota Power. Since 2004 he has been enlisted in the United States Air Force Reserve. He currently holds the rank of Master Sergeant (E-7) and is Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of a team of Imagery Analysts.

 Tim holds a BS in Geography with Minors in GIS and History from the University of Minnesota. He is currently attending Penn State in their MGIS program. He also holds multiple AAS degrees through the Community college of the Air Force. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and collecting maps.


Private Sector Representative

Peter Smith, Tiller Corporation, Maple Grove

Peter Smith is a Land Use and GIS Analyst at Tiller Corporation based in Maple Grove. For the past three years Peter has been instrumental in expanding the use of GIS within the company by promoting database design and management, promoting new technologies and delivering a broadened expanse of mapping applications. His knowledge on a variety of software systems and technologies brings added value through perspective and measures of compatibility. Peter enjoys contributing to the GIS community in a multitude of ways. He recently presented at the ESRI UC in 2016 and has served as a geo-mentor by helping an area teacher to develop projects that promote the use of GIS in a classroom. Peter holds a BS in Geology from Winona State and a Master of Science degree in GIS from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He recently became a UAV Remote Pilot. He also is enjoying his new puppy and recent engagement.





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