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2014 Merit Awards Recipients Honored at Merit Member Conference

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Merit is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Merit Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that have provided leadership in technology and assisted the Merit Community. Award recipients were honored Thursday at the conclusion of the 2014 Merit Member Conference.

“In our role of promoting the advancement of networking in Michigan, Merit seeks to identify and support organizations and individuals that help enhance networking, technology and collaboration,” said Don Welch, president and CEO of Merit Network. “Our awards program brings recognition to organizations and individuals that are particularly accomplished in this way, both to honor their achievements and to serve as an example and inspiration for others.”

The following recipients were selected for their outstanding contributions to the Merit Community:

Award for Innovation in Networking and Information Technology – The award recognizes organizations and individuals that enhance their work by using networking and related technologies in novel ways.

Brigadier General Michael A. Stone, Michigan Army National Guard
Brigadier General Michael A. Stone
Brigadier General Stone was recognized for his vision of establishing the Michigan National Guard as a training center for cyber security. He worked closely with Merit to establish connectivity at three National Guard locations, with plans for future locations. His work laid the foundation for cyber security training centers at National Guard bases throughout Michigan.

Award for Community Building – The award recognizes organizations and individuals that build communities to help enhance networking, technology and collaboration.

Randall Melton, Lake Michigan College
Randall Melton
Randall has worked over the past several years to promote Merit’s services and the shared services concept among higher education institutions. He has been an asset to the higher education community by helping his colleagues, such as assisting with a load-balancing configuration for a firewall. He participated in an ad hoc group of higher education institutions to discuss ways to reduce costs. Randall also assisted with discussions regarding high-capacity connectivity in Berrien County.

Meritorious Service Award – The award recognizes individuals who have shown long-term dedication to Merit’s mission through their support and involvement.

Jim Rarus, Wayne RESA
Jim Rarus
Jim was recognized for his enthusiastic involvement in the Merit community. He has continuously worked to promote the benefits and advantages of Merit Network, including his substantial efforts to help grow the membership among K-12 organizations in Southeast Michigan. As a long-time Member, his commitment to Merit and the educational community is unparalleled.

Jamie Huber, Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle ESD

Jamie has worked to connect each of his schools to the Merit backbone via fiber-optic facilities, including most recently the main ESD office in Indian River. He was part of a panel discussion at the upcoming SHLB Conference in Washington, D.C. to discuss the benefits that fiber-optic connectivity has had on his districts and the students he serves. He has also worked with others in the Merit Community, including recent collaborations with REMC1.

Fred Trimble, Mancelona Public Schools

Fred has been selected for his efforts to bring an awareness and understanding of the value of Merit Network to Mancelona Public Schools and Kalkaska Public Schools. His willingness to work with Merit and other members of the community, especially through the fiber-optic construction process in recent years, and advocate for Merit in Northwest Michigan, has been a great benefit to everyone involved.

Merit is extremely grateful for the efforts of these individuals to advance technology, enhance collaboration and add value to the Merit Community.