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2015 Merit Awards Recipients Honored at MMC

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Merit is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 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 2015 Merit Member Conference.

“It is great to honor these individuals that have contributed to the growth of their organization and the Merit Community.” said Elwood Downing, vice president of membership outreach and engagement for Merit Network. “Merit seeks to identify and support organizations and individuals that help enhance networking, technology and collaboration. The 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 nominated by their peers and 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.

  • Wayne Snyder, IT and Program Manager, Next Energy

    Wayne Snyder was selected for this award to recognize his innovative leadership in the area of energy delivery, monitoring, and utilization reading. Under Wayne’s leadership, Next Energy is pro-actively developing innovative Internet of Things (IoT) energy services for the home. Next Energy is working with Wayne State University to explore the capabilities and benefits of hybrid AC and DC-powered environments for the most efficient living spaces possible. Next Energy is also collaborating with Merit’s research staff in a National Science Foundation research grant in smart grid analytics and home-area network monitoring. The Next Energy smart home has been made available as a means for research testing and validation.
    Wayne Snyder

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

  • Mike Rohwer, Information Technology Director, Ottawa Area ISD

    Mike Rohwer was selected for this award to recognize his work in collaborating other Ottawa County organizations to better leverage fiber connections, to share resources, save money, and provide redundancy between County users. He also helped establish FOG-Net and is leading the effort to build a network to achieve the community’s goals. FOG-Net is a high-speed, fiber-optic network to interconnect governmental agencies, schools, and libraries for the purpose of sharing services, expanding capacities, and gaining efficiencies of operation. It is being designed to accommodate voice over IP (VoIP) telephone services, business continuity/disaster recovery solutions, shared technical support, and much more. Mike has also joined the West Michigan Cyber Security Consortia to bring back cutting-edge information for his networks and users.
    Mike Rohwer

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

  • Matt Riley, Chief Information Officer, University of Montana

    Matt Riley was selected for this award to recognize his work at The University of Montana. He was an early-adopter of Merit Secure Sandbox and provided valuable feedback to Merit about the service, which Montana used to better protect their network while equipping their staff with a safe and secure means to experiment in the area of cybersecurity.
    Matt Riley

  • Madonna University

    Madonna University was selected for this award to recognize their efforts within the Merit Membership to maximize the potential of the Merit Cloud Media service. Madonna has been strong supporters of the service, expressing their satisfaction through testimonials and being a resource to the Merit community through their presentations on Cloud Media at Merit events. Madonna’s use of the Cloud Media service to aid in the delivery of sign language courses is a great example of the benefits of video in online and distance learning. Carol Hall, chief information technology officer, accepted this award on behalf of Madonna University.
    Madonna University's Carol Hall

  • Dennis Buckmaster, Chief Operation Officer of Information Technology, St. Clair County RESA
    Tim Chavis, Executive Director of IT Service Delivery, Lawrence Technological University
    Dave Zenz, Executive Director of Information Technology Services, Hillsdale College
    Mike Zimmerman, Chief Information Technology Officer, Macomb Community College

    Dennis Buckmaster, Tim Chavis, Dave Zenz, and Mike Zimmerman were selected for this award to recognize their participation in Merit’s Bandwidth Working Group, which has advised Merit and provided critical input throughout the analysis of new bandwidth rates. Their effort and input to Merit were invaluable in determining core services and desired price points for Merit’s Internet Service.
    Mike Zimmerman, Dave Zenz, Elwood Downing, Tim Chavis and Dennis Buckmaster at Merit Awards Ceremony

Merit is extremely grateful for the efforts of all of the award winners to advance technology, enhance collaboration and add value to the Merit Community.

About Merit Network

Merit Network Inc., is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained at the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.

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