Leadership

The Marine Technology Society is governed by the Board of Directors, which receives strategic guidance from the Council. The Council comprises the Board of Directors, and chairs of Sections and Professional Committees. (For further information on the organizational structure, visit the Organization page.)

Note: Because society directors are volunteers, they quite properly have no interest in exposing their personal or company assets as a consequence of their activities on behalf of the association. Directors have no personal liability in connection with their board service, provided they act in good faith. Even if they exercise poor judgment, directors are not at risk as long as they do not act recklessly. The federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 limits the personal liability of nonprofit directors, provided they are not compensated for their board service, acting within the scope of their board responsibilities, and not engaging in criminal or reckless misconduct.

Board of Directors Biographies

President: Drew Michel

Drew Michel has 44 years of experience in technical and executive positions in the marine technology industry. He is an MTS Fellow, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and for 18 consecutive years chair of the MTS ROV Committee and co-chair of the annual Underwater Intervention Conference. He is on the National Visiting committee (board) of the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center, served on National Academy of Sciences and various other committees. He is the recipient of the Lockheed-Martin Award for Ocean Science and Engineering, was selected by Engineering News Record as an honoree for Outstanding Engineering Achievement and was inducted in October 2009 into the Offshore Energy Center Hall of Fame. Michel retired from his last full-time executive position in early 2001 and now uses his homes in Houston, Texas, and Belle River, La., as bases from which he consults on projects worldwide.

President-Elect: Rick Spinrad

Rick Spinrad has over 35 years of experience in marine science, policy and operations and has worked as a senior executive in several sectors.  A graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and Oregon State University, he has led the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education where he helped develop the National Ocean Partnership Act and the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.  Spinrad headed NOAA's National Ocean Service and Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research where his service was recognized by the Secretary of Navy and President's Bush and Obama.  In 2010, Spinrad was selected as Vice President for Research at Oregon State University.  He is a Fellow of the Marine Technology Society, the American Meteorological Society and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and a Past-President of The Oceanography Society. 

Immediate Past President: Jerry Boatman

Jerry BoatmanJerry Boatman is the director of Ocean Science and Technology for QinetiQ North America. He is a retired senior manager of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography command, and was awarded the secretary of the Navy’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award for his marine initiatives.  He has served on studies by the Marine Board and a National Science Foundation Board, and was a member of the Mississippi governor’s technology-based economic development planning team.  He is an MTS Fellow and former MTS vice president of budget and finance. Boatman is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a B.A. in mathematics followed by a Master of Science in computer science from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Vice President of Industry and Technology: Ray Toll

Ray Toll

Ray Toll has worked in marine technology since the 1970s, including 26 years in Naval Oceanography in technical/leadership positions such as commanding officer of the Navy’s Center in San Diego. He currently works for SAIC as NOAA account manager for the earth science thrust in air, water and climate. He works with NOAA, 17 federal partners and industry to advance the Ocean Commission’s thrust for a national integrated ocean observing system at federal and regional levels. He currently serves on the Gulf of Mexico Regional Association board and as an SAIC rep to the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. He has been a member of the Ocean Resources and Research Advisory Panel, and the Interagency Working Group for Ocean Observations. In 2006 he formed Hampton Roads’ first MTS section and is leading OCEANS’12.

Vice President of Education and Research: Liesl Hotaling

Liesl Hotaling

Liesl Hotaling has spent the past 20 years creating hands-on marine science and technology educational projects for primary through college students and educators. A former K-12 science teacher and adjunct community college instructor, she specializes in real time data education projects and hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational projects supporting environmental observing networks. She is currently a Senior Research Engineer with the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida; a partner in Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence - Networked Ocean World (COSEE-NOW) and the Collaborations; and Partnerships Coordinator for the National COSEE Network. She has served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE), Stevens Institute of Technology, and as a Station Biologist and Education Specialist for the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. She holds a B.A. in Marine Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a M.A.T. in Science Teaching from Monmouth University, and a M.S. in Maritime Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Vice President of Government and Public Affairs: Justin Manley

Justin Manley has worked with marine technology since 1990: for his family marine salvage business, as a principal in the development of autonomous marine robots at MIT and as a marine technology consultant to the federal government, notably NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. He founded the NOAA-wide AUV Working Group, aiming to increase awareness and application of AUVs in the agency. He was also a member of the team that converted and outfitted the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. In July 2009 he joined Liquid Robotics as Director of Scientific and Commercial Business where he is responsible for developing new commercial and scientific programs based around the company's energy-harvesting unmanned surface vehicles (USV). He has developed and deployed marine technology in academic, public and private sectors and published widely on marine technology topics, especially those that cross technology/policy lines. He earned degrees (S.M. and S.B. Ocean Engineering, S.B. History) at MIT.

Vice President of Publications: Donna Kocak

Donna Kocak

Donna Kocak has over 22 years’ experience in the ocean engineering field and serves as an advanced program engineer in HARRIS CapRock Communications, Maritime Solutions division. She earned an MBA from UF, both an M.S. and B.S. in computer science from UCF, and in December she will graduate with an M.S. in professional engineering management from UCF. From 2004–2008, Kocak served as chair of the Underwater Imaging Committee, and in 2008 she founded and now serves as chair of the Society’s Committee on Ocean Observing Systems (OOS). In 2009, the OOS Committee was bestowed the MTS Outstanding Committee Award for its ambition and early success in advancing the awareness, understanding and application of ocean observing systems. Kocak has been a frequent contributor to Currents and a member of the Journal’s Editorial Board since 2008. In 2010 she was elected senior member of IEEE’s Oceanic Engineering Society.

Vice President of Section Affairs: Lisa Medeiros

Lisa MedeirosLisa Medeiros has worked in the offshore and marine industry for over 15 years and is currently the Director of Operations for Geospace Offshore in Houston. She graduated from the University of Florida with an M.B.A. in marketing, with a minor in journalism. While currently involved in the offshore sector, Medeiros has always had a love for marine biology and science and has previously worked across the marine technology sector in Florida for Ocean News and Technology and Perry Slingsby.

Treasurer and Vice President of Budget and Finance: Debra Kill

Debra Kill

Debra Kill is a certified management accountant with 30+ years financial management experience in consulting engineering services, shipping terminal and chemicals manufacturing industries.  Her strengths in the areas of financial management, analysis, planning and reporting are combined with a solid background in computerized information systems and general accounting management. Her marine technology experience began in 2001 when she accepted the position of controller for International Submarine Engineering, Ltd. As controller, Kill provides financial leadership in the day-to-day operations of the design and build of unmanned submersible technologies to all members of the organization.  She has served as finance chair for OCEANS’07 MTS/IEEE Vancouver and for the MTS Washington, D.C., Section’s bid to host OCEANS’15.  She also provides guidance to future OCEANS conference finance chairs as a member of the MTS/IEEE Recon and JOAB committees.

Board of Directors Position Descriptions

All of the positions are nationally elected Board of Director positions of an incorporated entity. As such, each position has the following general requirements:

  1. Duty of care. Every state imposes upon corporate directors, by statute and by court-created legal precedents, fiduciary duties to the association. The first of these duties is a duty of care with respect to association matters. This duty (the level of competence expected of a board member) is often defined as the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position under similar circumstances. Board service carries with it an obligation to take association matters seriously and to devote time to consideration of issues facing the association. Directors may not rubber stamp the proposals of the association’s officers or staff without running the risk of breaching their fiduciary duty of care to the organization.
  2. Duty of loyalty. The second fiduciary duty imposed on directors is one of loyalty to the Association. Directors are required to make decisions based on what is best for the association, not what may be advantageous to their company or even to their constituency within the association--in other words, retailers as opposed to manufacturers or distributors.
  3. Duty to preserve confidential information. Directors must not disclose to others information that a board has determined to be confidential, such as communication between the association board or senior staff and legal counsel, information specific to individual member companies, and minutes of executive sessions of the board.
  4. Attend all board and committee meetings and functions, such as special events; Review agenda and supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings.
  5. Be informed about the organization’s mission, services, policies, and programs.
  6. Serve on committees or task forces and offer to take on special assignments.

President
Position dates: January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014.

  1. Serve as the chief volunteer of the organization; serve as the principal Society spokesperson, as required, with the media, governmental agencies and Congress.
  2. Is a partner with the executive director in achieving the organization’s mission
  3. Provide leadership to the Board of Directors
  4. Chair meetings of the board after developing the agenda with the executive director
  5. Encourage board’s role in strategic planning
  6. Appoint the chairs of committees, in consultation with other board members
  7. Discuss issues confronting the organization with the executive director
  8. Help guide and mediate board actions with respect to organizational priorities and governance concerns
  9. Review with the executive director any issues of concern to the board
  10. Monitor financial planning and financial reports
  11. Play a leading role in fundraising activities (nonprofit only)
  12. Formally evaluate the performance of the executive director and informally evaluates the effectiveness of the board members
  13. Evaluate annually the performance of the organization in achieving its mission
  14. Perform other responsibilities assigned by the board or bylaws

President-Elect
Position dates: January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014.

  1. Chair of the Membership and Sections Committee, which is made up of the vice-president of section affairs, the vice president of government and public affairs and the section chairs.
  2. Chair, Nominating Committee
  3. Serves on the Budget and Finance Committee 

Vice President, Industry and Technology
Position dates: January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014.

  1. Co-chair the Professional Committee Board. The Society is known and regarded for the technical expertise of our members. This expertise gets disseminated through the auspices of the Professional Committees, via conferences, workshops, networking, programs and publications. The VP oversees the policy for our professional committee work: to ensure that all members have access to information and that projects and programs are viable and relevant.
  2. Serve on the Publications Committee
  3. Serve on the Budget and Finance Committee
  4. Have direct responsibility for designated Professional Committees.
  5. Pursue opportunities for the Society to develop and maintain positive and productive relationships with businesses, companies, corporations, trade associations and other industry organizations with an interest in marine affairs and technology.
  6. Enhance communications and membership within the business and for-profit sector
  7. Oversee issues as they relate to marine technology and industry affairs

Vice President, Education and Research
Position dates: January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016.

  1. Co-chair the Professional Committee Board. The Society is known and regarded for the technical expertise of our members. This expertise gets disseminated through the auspices of the Professional Committees, via conferences, workshops, networking, programs, and publications. The VP oversees the policy for our professional committee work: to ensure that all members have access to information and that projects and programs are viable and relevant.
  2. Serve on the Publications Committee
  3. Serve on the Budget and Finance Committee
  4. Have direct responsibility for designated Professional Committees.
  5. Ensure that the Society develops and maintains positive and productive relationships with academic institutions, laboratories—both public and private—and research institutes. Enhance communications and membership with universities and university-affiliated professionals, and with national and privately funded laboratories and institutes; seek out opportunities to excite the next generation with regard to ocean science and technology through outreach with K through 12 educators and the general public.
  6. Participate in the development of student sections and develop policy as it relates to MTS student programs and scholarships
  7. Oversee issues as they relate to marine technology research
  8. Provide timely and appropriate reporting of board decisions and actions to the membership as they relate to the education and research.

Vice President, Government and Public Affairs
Position dates: January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016.

  1. Co-chair the Professional Committee Board. The Society is known and regarded for the technical expertise of our members. This expertise gets disseminated through the auspices of the Professional Committees, via conferences, workshops, networking, programs, and publications. The VP oversees the policy for our professional committee work: to ensure that all members have access to information and that projects and programs are viable and relevant.
  2. Serve on the Publications Committee
  3. Serve on the Budget and Finance Committee
  4. Have direct responsibility for designated Professional Committees.
  5. Pursue opportunities for the Society to develop and maintain positive and productive relationships with news media, governmental entities, the military services, and other relevant organizations with an interest in marine affairs and technology.
  6. Oversee policy and review public releases by Society officers and spokespersons on behalf of MTS as related to government and public affairs.
  7. Enhance communications and membership within the government sector and the military; oversee issues as they relate to marine technology and government/public affairs
  8. With the president, represent the organization to the media, on governmental or nongovernmental organizations and committees
  9. Provide timely and appropriate reporting of board decisions and actions to members regarding government and public affairs

Vice President, Publications
Position dates: January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014.

  1. Responsible for ensuring that Society publications meet the highest professional standards
  2. Develop and promulgate policy regarding advertising for the journal and newsletter
  3. Oversee marketing plans for publications
  4. Oversee development, policy and direction of new publication venues—online Journals, other newsletters, student publications, website(s)
  5. Chair Publications Committee
  6. Participate in all Editorial Board functions
  7. Chair ad-hoc committees as they relate to publications: website development, student/children publications
  8. Serve on the Budget and Finance Committee
  9. Oversee issues as they relate to publications
  10. Provide timely and appropriate reporting of Board decisions and actions to the membership publications

Vice President, Section Affairs
Position dates: January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2015.

  1. Responsible to the president for the activities of all Society sections
  2. Serve on the Membership and Sections Committee described in Article IV Section 5 of the bylaws.
  3. Chair three yearly section chair teleconferences
  4. Facilitate dialogue and interaction among sections, and assist in finding speakers and topics to energize local section meetings.
  5. Advocate on behalf of the sections for programs and support
  6. Perform other responsibilities assigned by the board
  7. With the VP, Education and Research, oversees the development of the student sections and student section issues

Treasurer and Vice President of Budget and Finance
Position dates: January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2015.

  1. Responsible for the supervision of Society funds
  2. Supervise and oversee Society investments
  3. Have custodial authority of all Society funds on deposit in banks or trust companies designated by the Board
  4. Responsible for financial reporting to the Board at such frequency and in such format as the Board shall demand
  5. Serve on the Publications Committee
  6. Serve as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee
  7. Have direct responsibility for developing, in concert with the Executive Director, the annual national budget
  8. Oversee issues as they relate to financial decision-making, including proposals for funding, scholarships and other programs
  9. Interact with MTS conferences and act as financial liaison to those conferences

 


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