At the MTS State of Society and Awards Ceremony held during OCEANS 2021 San Diego, the results of MTS Board of Directors Election were announced. Congratulations to Debbie Kill, MTS VP of Budget & Finance and Dick Crout, VP of Sections.

Debbi Kill is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with over three decades of financial management experience. Her strengths in the areas of financial management, analysis, strategic planning and reporting are combined with a solid background in computerized information systems and general accounting management. Her marine technology sector experience began in 2001 when she accepted the position of Financial Controller at International Submarine Engineering Ltd. As Controller, Debbi provided financial leadership in the design and build of unmanned submersible technologies. Debbi has now turned her sights to the MATE ROV competition as Chief Financial Officer and as Treasurer on the inaugural board of MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II); a newly formed non-profit spun off from Monterey Peninsula College’s MATE Centre. She has also served for the last seven years as the Official Scorekeeper at the Regional MATE ROV competition in Seattle and the annual World competition held in various locations throughout North America.


She is a life member of the Marine Technology Society, a member in good standing of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society and the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia. As well as her CPA designation, she holds a business certificate in Computer Systems Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She is a long time resident of the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada.


In her new role her goal is to "free up cash for the development of programs and initiatives that promote and strengthen the society and its strategic partnerships while maintaining a very necessary rainy day fund at an optimum level," she said. "I would also welcome the opportunity my experience to contribute to the financial and technical success of future conferences, workshops and symposiums, particularly where we can enhance youth engagement and the blue economy."


Dick Crout will start his second three year term as Vice President of Section Affairs and he will be responsible for the activities of all Society sections and serves on the Membership and Sections Committee. Dick is currently a Supervisory Oceanographer and Head of the Ocean Sciences Branch within the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Oceanography Division at Stennis Space Center. His research interests include satellite, physical, and coastal oceanography; specifically the application of satellite remote sensed data (visible, infrared, and microwave altimetry) to ocean phenomena and test and evaluation of uncrewed vehicles. Previously he was the Head of the Mission Control Center at the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), and a Principal Scientist at Planning Systems Incorporated, where he supported Navy Satellite programs. Dick has also been active in MTS as Chair of both the Remote Sensing and Physical Oceanography and Meteorology Committees, as a Gulf Coast Section Officer, and as a member of the Local Organizing Committee for OCEANS’02 Biloxi, OCEANS’09 Biloxi, and the Global OCEANS 2020 Singapore and Gulf Coast. He also currently serve as the At-Large Councilor for The Oceanography Society.

"We must continue to involve young professionals and students in MTS. The Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) Section was established this year. Working with the VPs for ECOPs and Education (who oversees the Student Sections) and with the ECOP and Student Sections, we should formulate pathways to keep students and ECOPs involved in MTS. We must also use their means of communicating and solicit and use their input. I will advocate for more events for them at OCEANS Conferences such as mixers, job boards, resume preparation, and meetings with funding agency contacts and potential employers," he said of his goals in the position.

"The past year has been difficult for most Sections due to COVID-19. In the short term, we need to continue to take advantage of virtual tools to communicate within and across Sections. In Sections with large geographies, these tools should continue to be used to communicate with Section members. Communication is the foundation of every good Society. The Sections will need to prepare to return to a form of normalcy and begin meeting in-person, when the time comes. Section Leaders should be assisted, encouraged, and groomed to be future Board members," Dick said.

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