MTS Board of Directors Election

There are two positions open for the 2021 MTS Board Elections:

Treasurer and Vice President of Budget and Finance

Vice President of Section Affairs

MTS members may vote through 5:00 p.m. EST on September 20, 2021. 

Vote Now!

Candidates

Treasurer and Vice President of Budget and Finance

Term: Three (3) years and not to exceed two (2) consecutive terms
Description: The Treasurer and Vice President of Budget and Finance is responsible for the oversight of Society funds and serves as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.

Fernando C. Hernandez

Debbi Kill

Fernando Hernandez Photo

Fernando C. Hernandez

Biography:
Fernando C. Hernandez is an experienced commercial and offshore technology specialist, and is highly versed in the finance sector. His international achievements are recognized by Nicola Sturgeon—the First Minister of the Scottish Government—who personally sanctioned his appointment as a Business Ambassador to Scotland (GlobalScot) in the Energy Sector (Americas). Fernando is also a Selected Forbes Contributor. Importantly, his tri-lingual fluency and subsea experience has enabled the execution of challenging offshore projects. Fernando’s involvement in developing new technologies and methods has led to industry firsts. He is an inventor and patent holder and counts with over 15 years of experience.

Fernando was appointed as the Vice-Chair for the Marine Technology Society’s (MTS) Houston Section during the Pandemic. Notwithstanding, he eagerly organized and moderated webinars with the offshore industry, as reflected in the webinar section of MTS’s website. Additionally, Fernando is also an appointed Technology Mentor on renewable energy for the OGTC in Aberdeen, Scotland—focusing on a patented technology that produces green hydrogen in offshore environments. The American Petroleum Institute designated Fernando as a Group Lead, to finalize specifications for API-17g2 (Well Intervention Systems), due to his field experience in deploying subsea equipment.

As the Principal at Hernandez Analytica, Fernando centralizes his appointments—and provides international industry contribution, via his professional association with the likes of: Mexican Institute of Petroleum; U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; Scottish Development International (the international arm of the Scottish Government); Scottish Enterprise; and Pipeline Research Council International.

Nominee's List of Prior MTS Activity/Service:
Previous Member of the MTS Young Professional Section in Houston. Served as the Vice-Chair for the Houston Section, and Fernando is now the Chair for this section.

Nominee's Experience in Society/Association Volunteer Positions:
Fernando provides international industry contribution, which includes volunteering, via his professional association with the likes of: Mexican Institute of Petroleum; Marine Technology Society; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; Scottish Development International (the international arm of the Scottish Government); Scottish Enterprise; Scotland's OGTC, and Pipeline Research Council International.

Indicate one or two key goals that you hope to accomplish in this position over the next 3 years:
One of Fernando’s key objectives is to apply a multicultural approach in the role he is running for. This is due to the fact that Fernando understands and values the significance of the human element of any enterprise, whether it be for profit, nonprofit, or otherwise. Importantly, said element is a paramount pillar, as it pertains to an enterprise’s success. He empirically gained this understanding as a function of working in multiple continents, which, in turn, made him an advocate of inclusion, diversity, and interactions that promote collective growth (within and outside of MTS). It is vital to note that he has visited over 50 countries (for business, and cultural purposes), evidencing his inclination to be a global citizen, and his proclivity to understand people from different backgrounds. Moreover, and as a proponent of MTS’ initiative, pertaining to ‘‘Women in Ocean Science,’’ this led to Fernando securing a speaker from the U.S.’ Department of the Interior, by way of Annette Moore. He moderated the MTS webinar in which Annette presented, which showcased how women can play a pivotal role in the maritime and offshore realm. In a separate webinar focused on “Offshore Diversity and Technology,” moderated by MTS’ president Zdenka Willis, he doubled down on his support for diversity. These webinars are archived on MTS’ website, and they illustrate Fernando’s respect for measurable actions.

Discuss the qualities and experience you possess that make you a strong candidate for the position for which you are running:
Fernando is keen to leverage his international business experience to optimally benefit MTS, should he be elected as the Treasurer and Vice President of Budget and Finance. Fernando has a proven track- record of ethically leading mercantile initiatives in Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, U.K., and the U.S. He also counts with a reputation of delivering on challenging-mercantile objectives on time and in a budgetarily impactful manner. He has volunteered and applied his financial and commercial expertise without any recompense, which has contributed to Scotland’s economic growth in the Americas: the international arm of the Scottish Government recognizes him for this altruistic achievement. As such, Fernando has a holistic view, in terms of successfully operating in a profit and nonprofit manner, with an emphasis on delivering meaningful results.

Importantly, he is versed in an enterprise’s growth and increasing market share: this applies to startups and companies that are publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Additionally, he is experienced in effectively navigating complex business flows and brokering international business agreements—at the highest levels of integrity—in the government, private, and military sector. This cumulative experience, bolsters Fernando’s dedication to be judicious and prudent when it comes to the finances of the initiatives he is spearheading: this too would unwaveringly apply to MTS.

Debbi Kill Photo

Debbi Kill

Biography:
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.

Nominee's List of Prior MTS Activity/Service and Nominee's Experience in Society/Association Volunteer Positions:
Debbi has made important contributions in the following volunteer positions:

  • Treasurer and VP Budget and Finance, Marine Technology Society (2009-2015)
  • Member, Local Organizing Committee, OCEANS 2019 Seattle, WA
  • Financial Liaison, Joint OCEANS Administrative Board
  • MTS Liaison, OCEANS 2016 Monterey CA
  • Finance Chair, OCEANS 2015 Washington DC
  • Finance Chair, OCEANS 2007 Vancouver BC
  • Chief Financial Officer, MATE Inspiration for Innovation (2017-present)
  • Treasurer and Founding Board Member, MATE Inspiration for Innovation (2017-present)
  • Official Scorekeeper, MATE World ROV Competition (2014-present)
  • Official Scorekeeper, MATE Pacific Northwest Regional Competition (2014-present)

Please indicate one or two key goals that you hope to accomplish in this position over the next three years:
I would welcome the opportunity to bring my financial skills and experience to analyze the very healthy cash reserves the society enjoys. My goal would be 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.

My past experience serving as VP Finance for MTS and on various boards and organizing committees for OCEANS conferences has been very rewarding. I would also welcome the opportunity to use that 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.

Please discuss the qualities and experience you possess that make you a strong candidate for the position for which you are running:
The vision of MTS is to be the leading authority and advocate for marine technology and resources while promoting member success and public understanding. These objectives cannot be met without sound financial practices to fund society activities that are necessary to achieve them. I have gained invaluable experience from previously serving as Treasurer and VP of Budget and Finance and on various boards and organizing committees for OCEANS conferences. This experience, combined with my formal training in financial and business management has culminated into a unique skill set necessary to bring solid financial expertise to MTS. Expertise that is essential to the society in meeting its long range goals and objectives.

My entire 30+ year career has been spent successfully managing the finances, risk and human resources for small to medium sized enterprises including non-profits. I have achieved this success through the application of best practices in financial management, analysis and strategic planning as well as the development of practical and effective policy.


Vice President of Section Affairs

Term: Three (3) years and not to exceed two (2) consecutive terms
Description: The Vice President of Sections Affairs is responsible for the activities of all Society sections and serves on the Membership and Sections Committee.

Richard Crout Photo

Richard Crout

Biography:
I am currently a Supervisory Oceanographer and Head of the Ocean Sciences Branch within the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Oceanography Division at Stennis Space Center. My 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. I currently lead a team of 25 scientists as the Head of the Ocean Sensing and Processes Branch at the Naval Research Laboratory. Previously, I was the Head of the Mission Control Center at the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), and a Principal Scientist at Planning Systems Incorporated, where I supported Navy Satellite programs. I also developed and taught Data Assimilation and Remote Sensing for Hydrographers classes at the University of Mississippi. I have worked successfully with a wide variety of scientists, engineers, technicians, and administrative staff from private industry, academia, and the federal government during my career.

I am currently the Vice-President for Section Affairs for the Marine Technology Society (MTS). I have 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. I also currently serve as the At-Large Councilor for The Oceanography Society.

Nominee's List of Prior MTS Activity/Service:
I joined the Marine Technology Society (MTS) in 1998 and was on the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) as the Student Poster Competition Chair for the OCEANS’02 Biloxi Conference. I have served as Chair of the Remote Sensing and Physical Oceanography and Meteorology Committees. I was Vice-Chair, Chair, and am currently Treasurer of the Gulf Coast MTS Chapter. I was the Technical Program Co-Chair for OCEANS’09 Biloxi. I volunteered to be the MTS Liaison to LOCs for the Norfolk 2012, Newfoundland 2014, and Charleston 2018 OCEANS Conferences. I helped to organize the first Gulf Coast Oceans-in- Action Workshop in 2011 and continue to serve on the Planning Committee for that annual event. I have served on the MTS Board of Directors as the VP for Section Affairs since 2019 and chaired the MTS Exploratory Committee. I sit on the Joint OCEANS Administrative Board. As Finance Chair for Global OCEANS 2020 Singapore-Gulf Coast I contributed to the first global virtual OCEANS conference. In support of all OCEANS Conferences, I review abstracts in my field of expertise. I believe very strongly in volunteering to establish relationships with others in the profession and to move MTS forward. I believe that I have the background, experience, organizational skills, and leadership abilities required to continue to be the VP of Section Affairs.

Nominee's Experience in Society/Association Volunteer Positions:
My volunteer efforts include serving as The Oceanography Society (TOS) Vice-Chair for OSM16 New Orleans and OSM 22 Honolulu and as TOS Co-Chair for OSM18 Portland and OSM24 New Orleans. I currently serve as TOS At-Large Councilor and led the effort to establish a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. I served as the Marine Technology Society (MTS) Liaison to the OCEANS’12 Norfolk and OCEANS’14 Newfoundland and OCEANS’18 Charleston MTS/IEEE OES Conferences.

While at the National Data Buoy Center, I volunteered for the Subsurface Monitoring Unit (SMU) at the United Area Command in New Orleans following the Deepwater Horizon incident. The SMU successfully tracked deep (below 1000 m) DWH oil from the accident site for hundreds of kilometers using temperature, dissolved oxygen, and fluorometer data during an aggressive adaptive sampling effort. I also represented NOAA on the Data Buoy Coordination Panel (DBCP) and various JCOMM committees and as a National Representative to JCOMM 4 in Yeosu, South Korea.

In addition to leadership positions in the Gulf Coast MTS Chapter, I chaired the MTS Physical Oceanography and Meteorology and Remote Sensing Committees. I am the current Vice-President for Sections. I am also a member of the Buoy Technology and Oceanographic Instrumentation Committees and participate in the Ocean Observing Systems and Unmanned Untethered Vehicle Committees. I review abstracts for the North American and international OCEANS Conferences and chair sessions related to my areas of expertise. I also review several papers per year for various scientific journals.

Indicate one or two key goals that you hope to accomplish in this position over the next 3 years:
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.
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.

Recorded presentations from OCEANS Conferences and other related events should be used as Seminars, with follow-on discussions. 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.

Discuss the qualities and experience you possess that make you a strong candidate for the position for which you are running:
I joined Marine Technology Society (MTS) in 1998 and have served as Chair of the Remote Sensing and Physical Oceanography and Meteorology Committees. I have served as Vice-Chair, Chair, and Treasurer of the Gulf Coast Chapter, and as a member of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for MTS/IEEE Conferences as Student Poster Competition Chair for OCEANS’02 Biloxi, Technical Program Co-Chair for OCEANS’09 Biloxi, and as Finance Chair for Global OCEANS 2020 Singapore and Gulf Coast. I was an MTS Liaison to LOCs for the Norfolk 2012, Newfoundland 2014, and Charleston 2018 OCEANS conferences. I have been on the Gulf Coast Oceans-in-Action Workshop Planning Committee since its inception. I review abstracts for OCEANS conferences. My current position is the Vice President for Section Affairs.

During my professional career, I have led groups within several organizations. I developed a remote sensing cadre at Planning Systems Incorporated consisting of scientists, engineers, and software engineers. While at the National Data Buoy Center, I helped to establish the Mission Control Center (MCC) that quality controls incoming data from buoys and coastal stations from around the world. As head of the MCC, I provided advice to those quality control analysts. During that tenure, I also served on committees within the Joint Committee on Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) and was a member of the US Delegation to JCOMM-4 in South Korea. As an IPA to the Satellite Programs Officer at the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, I participated in high-level meetings and helped to formulate plans to expand receipt of satellite data at the Naval Ice Center and at remote locations around the world. My current position as Supervisory Oceanographer and Head of the Naval Research Laboratory’s Ocean Sensing and Processes Branch within the Ocean Sciences Division provides me the opportunity to lead 25 scientists, engineers, and programmers doing basic and applied research and transitioning worthwhile products to the US Navy.

I have also been active in other organizations, most notably, The Oceanography Society (TOS), where I have served on the Planning Committee for Ocean Science Meetings in 2016 New Orleans, 2018 Portland, 2020 San Diego, and 2022 Honolulu. I was one of the Co-Chairs for 2018 Portland and will be a Co-Chair again for 2024 New Orleans. I was elected as the TOS At-Large Councilor in 2019 and serve on the TOS Council. My term there expires in December 2021. I review papers in my field of expertise for Journals.

I believe very strongly in volunteering to establish relationships with others in the profession and to give back. I have gained much from my volunteer efforts and want others to have that opportunity, also. I have experience working within MTS, in the federal government, universities, private industry, and other volunteer organizations. I believe that I have the background, experience, organizational skills, and leadership abilities required to continue to serve as the VP of Section Affairs.

Questions?

Please contact Monica Ostrander at [email protected]