Assisting the Merit Community

Merit’s Member Engagement area is responsible for the Member experience, helping Members achieve their strategic goals and supporting their organizational needs.
Member Engagement is responsible for the relationship with all of our Members and ensuring the best Member Experience. We are responsible for actively engaging our Members to make sure that all of their needs are taken care of in order to best help them achieve their strategic mission.
Member Engagement Support provides administrative and technical support for Merit’s Sales and Member Relations teams. We assist Members with service quotes, service delivery, E-rate support, and other needs.
Our teams strive to provide Merit’s Members with great service and a positive experience. If your organization is not currently part of the Merit Community, we encourage you to become a Merit Member.

Member Engagement Staff

 

Charlotte Bewersdorff
Charlotte Bewersdorff
Executive Director of Member
Engagement & Marketing

Charlotte Bewersdorff is the Executive Director of Member Engagement and Marketing. She provides executive leadership for the Member Relations, Sales, Member Engagement Support and Marketing teams. Previously, Charlotte served as Merit's Director of Sales and oversaw the sales and services managers staff.

Charlotte joined Merit from M&O Marketing, where she served in the role as Vice President of the Annuity Sales Team. She established the Annuity sales team and through her leadership and professional development efforts the team grew to one of the leading annuity wholesaling teams in the country. Her major accomplishments in that position were implementing a sound sales training and development platform, managing rapid growth, and collaborating with other executive and management team members to identify opportunities that enhance offerings or systems and working closely on continuous improvement for the organization and the Sales Team.

Charlotte graduated from Detroit Mercy with her BA in Business Management and Finance. Charlotte brings over nine years of extensive sales and marketing experience to Merit. On a more personal note, she enjoys athletics, traveling, and spending time with her family.

 

 

 

 

Jameka Williams
Jameka Williams
Member Engagement Senior Manager
 

Jameka Williams is the Member Engagement Senior Manager for Merit Network. She provides leadership to both the Sales Team and Member Relations Team.

Jameka joined the team at Merit in May of 2014 as the Non Member Sales Manager dedicated to Fiber Asset Sales and Cyber Range Sales with a focus on commercial organizations. Jameka excelled in her previous role, evident by Merit's expanded market positioning within the commercial sector.

During her tenure at Merit, Jameka has played an integral role in establishing Merit as a trusted partner in the Cybersecurity Training space for both non-member and member organizations as well as expansion of the Michigan Cyber Range product line.

Jameka's previous sales experience stems from serving in the hospitality industry for nearly 10 years as a Director of Sales for Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton. Her hospitality background includes opening new hotels, rebranding existing hotel properties, and improving market share of her properties to leaders among their competition. Jameka, a native of Birmingham, AL, holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and enjoys spending time with her family.

 

Jim Moran
Jim Moran
Sales Engineer
 

Jim Moran started at Merit Network in 1999 as an Internet consultant. Since that time he has also served as a sales engineer, sales manager, sales consultant, outreach coordinator and leader in the Member Relations group. He began his career as a high school English teacher, initially motivated to acquire information technology skills in order to improve his students' writing and researching skills. He gradually became the de facto technology support department at University of Detroit High School. Jim has a BA in English and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction.

Mary Shindell
Mary Shindell
Member Engagement Manager
 

South Central Michigan Region

Assisting Members in These Michigan Counties:
Clinton
Hillsdale
Ionia
Ingham
Jackson
Lenawee
Livingston
Monroe
Washtenaw
Mary Shindell started her sales career in the early 1980's at Tymnet, a data communications network. She joined Merit Network in 2010 as a Services Associate. Mary is now a Sales Manager and Merit VMware licensing program manager. She has an MA from the University of Michigan School of Education and recently completed a graduate certificate in Organizational Development at Eastern Michigan University's College of Business.

Jim Lundberg
Jim Lundberg
Member Engagement Manager
 

 Upper Peninsula Region

Assisting Members in These Michigan Counties:
Alger
Baraga
Chippewa
Delta
Dickinson
Gogebic
Houghton
Iron
Keweenaw
Luce
Mackinac
Marquette
Menominee
Ontonagon
Schoolcraft

Jim Lundberg is the Upper Peninsula Member Engagement Manager. Prior to joining Merit, he was the Director of Technical Services, in the ITS area at Bay de Noc Community College. With 30 plus years of IT experience at Bay, he is one of the founding members of the Merit Advisory Council. Jim started at Bay in 1980 with just 4 Radio Shack Model One personal computers and upon his retirement from Bay had grown the number of workstations to over 800 between two campuses and 30 plus Windows and Linux servers in the data center.

Jim first brought networking to Bay College's campus in 1989 and grew it from an all copper backbone using 10base5 on the main campus only, to a full 1 Gb fiber backbone to all the buildings on both campuses. He first connected the main campus to the Merit network in 1994 with a 56 Kbps data circuit, which has now grown to the current 1Gbps Fiber connections at both the Escanaba and Iron Mountain Campuses with the assistance of Merit and the REACH 3MC project awards for the 1 Gbps connections.

In 2008 Jim began the work to establish the geographical community group in the Escanaba area. In 2007, he worked on planning and bringing up the new Iron Mountain West campus for Bay and had worked to begin the geographical community process in the Iron Mountain area. Over the years, Jim has also taught numerous programming language classes to include, Fortran, Basic, RPG II, Cobol, Perl scripting and numerous assembly languages for different processor families. Jim has also taught the Intro to Linux and Advance Linux classes for Bay College on a part-time basis in the evenings. Jim holds a B.S. degree from NMU and a MBA from LSSU.

Scott Watkins
Scott Watkins
Member Engagement Manager
 

Northern Michigan Region

Assisting Members in These Michigan Counties:
Alcona
Alpena
Antrim
Benzie
Charlevoix
Cheboygan
Crawford
Emmet
Grand Traverse
Kalkaska
Leelanau
Montmorency
Ostego
Presque Isle
Scott Watkins is Merit's Northwest Michigan Member Relations Manager. Scott joined the Member Relations team in February 2015. Prior to joining Merit, Scott was a Vice President and branch manager for JPMorgan Chase in Harbor Springs and Boyne City. Before starting at Chase, Scott worked as the Chief Operating Officer for Tec-Ed, Inc. in Ann Arbor, an IT consulting firm specializing in user interface design, testing and evaluation for web sites and application software.

Scott has an extensive track record of working in information technology. He has held consulting and leadership positions at various organizations throughout the Midwest. Scott has over 20 years of experience in sales, operations, finance, and software development, consistently delivering quality customer service. His experience includes large scale systems integration and implementation for major corporate and governmental organizations throughout the US. He is highly skilled in helping our current and prospective Members identify solutions that work for their organizations.

Scott holds an M.B.A. in marketing and finance from the University of Michigan. He earned a B.B.A. from the University of Miami. Scott served as Director of the Foundation Board of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Circuit IT Association, part of the state funded Ohio IT Alliance.

A native of the Detroit area, Scott has lived in Northern Michigan for the past 10 years.

Scott works with Member organizations in the northwest Lower Peninsula. He is based out of Boyne City.

Rob McSwain
Rob McSwain
Member Engagement Manager
 

Southeast Michigan Region

Assisting Members in These Michigan Counties:
Bay
Genesee
Huron
Lapeer
Livingston
Macomb
Midland
Oakland
Saginaw
Sanilac
Shiawassee
St. Clair
Tuscola
Wayne
Rob McSwain is the Northeast Michigan Member Relations Manager. He is originally from Tennessee, but has had family in Northeast Michigan for 25 years or more. Rob moved to Alpena in 2000 to raise his family and to enjoy all that this region has to offer. His wife Kristal and their 3 children enjoy camping, sporting events, and volunteering in the community. Rob is a graduate of Northwood University and for the last 10 years was the Assistant Vice President of Information Technology at a local community bank. In this role, he worked with all bank staff to implement, maintain and design their technology and data communication systems. In addition to leading the IT department, he also interfaced with both for-profit and non-profit customers, to implement, train and support electronic banking platforms.

Rob joined Merit in June of 2011 because he saw the positive affect that Merit has had on his community. Merit's work with the Alpena Regional Fiber Consortium has jump-started educational opportunities in Alpena county and beyond. The opportunity to connect the Northeast Region to the rest of the world with a high speed Fiber Optic network has been, and continues to be a rewarding initiative. The northeast Michigan region has long been looked over for new technologies and economic development. "I look forward to collaborating with the communities in the Northeast Region to improve upon our quality of life and provide new opportunities for our children."

Robin Reed
Robin Reed
Member Engagement Manager
 

Southwest Michigan Region

Assisting Members in These Michigan Counties:
Allegan
Barry
Berrien
Branch
Calhoun
Cass
Eaton
Ionia
Kalamazoo
Kent
Muskegon
Ottawa
St. Joseph
Van Buren
Robin Reed is the Southwest Michigan Member Relations Manager. The southwest Michigan region spans Merit Members from Muskegon down to New Buffalo, east to Albion and north to Alma. The Southwest Michigan area also includes the greater Lansing and Grand Rapids areas. Following Merit’s primary mission, Robin coordinates and facilitates all Merit Member and non-member outreach activities as well as external meeting engagements.

Robin’s educational and professional experience spans more than 20 years working with Michigan’s local government and technology experts. Before coming to Merit she worked on several local government programs with Merit and the State of Michigan to assist Michigan communities with getting online and building a web presence. Her previous experience also includes being the Michigan representative for General Code (Rochester, New York) and for 11 years was the Member Information Specialist for the Michigan Townships Association (MTA) where she was also a Member of Merit Network.

Robin has been at Merit since March 2011. She studied Urban and Regional Planning at Michigan State University and was a photojournalist for the Michigan Army National Guard. Robin lives in the greater Grand Rapids area and works from her home office in Leighton Township. She enjoys being outdoors doing photography, fishing, and Morel mushrooming hunting in the spring.

Terry Carew
Terry Carew
Member Engagement Manager
 

Southeast Michigan Region

Assisting Members in These Michigan Counties:
Bay
Genesee
Huron
Lapeer
Livingston
Macomb
Midland
Oakland
Saginaw
Sanilac
Shiawassee
St. Clair
Tuscola
Wayne
Terry Carew is the Southeast Michigan Member Relations Manager. A lifelong resident of Southeast Michigan, Terry has a diverse career background working with and for Non-Profits, Academia, Automotive OEM's and Suppliers. Terry moves to this new regional position with more than three and a half years as Merit's Higher Education Member Relations Manager working with Michigan's Community College and Private Universities and Colleges. Over the past three years Terry has also been actively involved in working on the REACH 3MC project for Merit as a Community Coordinator presenting and facilitating Community Meetings around the state and sharing the great benefits this exciting project brings to Michigan and Merit Members.

"My goal in this Regional position is simple, to provide Southeast Michigan Merit Members with excellent service. It is important that we are always learning, understanding and sharing what Merit can offer to assist with their unique challenges, making the best use of both Merit Network's expertise and our strong Portfolio of Network Services to enhance their Membership and provide solutions for their organizational needs."

Terry's successful work forming relationships for Merit working throughout Michigan with our Members - each with their own unique identity - brings a breadth of expertise to the position of Southeast Michigan Member Relations Manager. Merit Membership in the Southeast Michigan region is diverse with Members from K-12, Libraries, Higher Ed, Health Care and Government organizations and each of them help make Merit a stronger organization. "At Merit we encourage the collaboration with and between our Members. The opportunity to work together and share in this knowledge and experience of our existing Merit Members in Southeast Michigan is an outstanding opportunity for me".

A proud graduate of Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Terry has more than 20 years experience in Information Technology, working in as a project manager and business analyst in Infrastructure and Resource Planning, Asset Management, Strategic Planning, Business Operations and Quality, as well as being Six Sigma Greenbelt Certified. Terry and her daughters reside in the Metro-Detroit area.

Heather Todorov
Heather Todorov
Member Engagement Manager
 

South Central Michigan Region

Assisting Members in These Michigan Counties:
Clinton
Hillsdale
Ionia
Ingham
Jackson
Lenawee
Livingston
Monroe
Washtenaw
Heather Todorov is the South Central Michigan and National Member Engagement Manager. Heather joined Merit Network in March 2014, with over fifteen years of experience in program and project management, as well as considerable experience in network services, member outreach, and contract/proposal writing, primarily gained through work in higher education and research-related endeavors.

Prior to Merit, Heather was Director of Administration and New Program Development at Enterprise for a Sustainable World (ESW) - a start-up consulting firm working directly with companies to develop the capabilities necessary for sustainable enterprise, particularly focused on reaching unserved or underserved populations in countries such as Brazil, China, and India.

From 2001-2013, Heather served as Sr. Program Manager at Internet2. In this role, she served as project liaison to representatives of more than 250 universities and corporate partners, as well as U.S. government agencies and international peer networks. Heather also managed business operations across a range of programs that comprise Internet2 Network Services. She was responsible for all programmatic activities of the Network Services area, with particular emphasis on management of the Sponsored Education Group Participation (SEGP) program, which provides Internet2 network access to aggregations of educational organizations brought together in statewide networks, including Merit Network.

Prior to joining Internet2 in 2001, Heather was a project manager at an Internet development firm, Argus Associates, Inc., specializing in information architecture for the Web. She has also served as Assistant Director at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Education Center, Associate Director of The Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business and Center for International Business Education (CIBE) at Columbia Business School, and Research Coordinator for The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Heather lives in Northville with her husband and two children. She is a native of Crystal Falls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Heather holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Member Engagement Regions
Member Relations Region Map

Regions:

Color for Upper Peninsula Member Engagement region in Michigan Upper Peninsula
Color for Northern Member Engagement region in Michigan Northern Michigan
Color for Central Member Engagement region in Michigan Central Michigan
Color for Southwest Member Engagement region in Michigan Southwest Michigan
Color for South Central Member Engagement region in Michigan Map South Central Michigan
Color for Southeast Member Engagement region in Michigan Southeast Michigan

Member Engagement Support Staff

 

Jason Russell
Jason Russell
Director of Member Engagement Support
 

Jason Russell is the Director of Member Engagement Support and is responsible for the first level support and quoting for Merit's Member Relations Managers, Sales Managers, E-Rate Coordination, and Merit's Members.

In addition to daily responsibilities within the Member Engagement Support department, Jason is the primary liaison to the Merit Advisory Council and is a member of the Internet2 U.S. UCAN Advisory Committee. Jason also sits on many of Merit's event program committees and is a member of Merit's security cabinet.

Jason oversaw Merit's efforts to engage with and connect 141 grant-funded fiber attachments to community anchor institutions as part of Merit's ARRA NTIA/BTOP-funded REACH-3MC project, as well as another 80+ fiber connections to other organizations along Merit's statewide fiber routes.

Since joining Merit in 1997, Jason has held several positions in the Member Relations department, including most recently Director of Member Relations; Outreach Coordinator/Member Relations Manager for Merit's Non-Profit, Government, Health Care, and Commercial Members; Streaming Media production for Merit events and NANOG meetings; videoconferencing support; and document creation and maintenance.

Jason has a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science, Honors Program from the University of Michigan-Flint, and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Michigan-Flint.

 

Geoff Cost
Geoff Cost
Member Engagement Support
 

Geoff Cost joined Merit in 2005 as a Network Consultant. A few years later he moved to New Orleans and expanded his skills set as the IT Manager of the Sheraton New Orleans. He rejoined Merit in 2013 as an MSC-Associate and within a year took on his current role as Associate Project Manager. Geoff began his career in Systems Administration and Web Design and had a brief stint as a Junior High history teacher. He currently telecommutes to Merit from Toronto and visits the office monthly.

Geoff received his CCNA in 2007 from WCC and continues to acquire both Information Technology and Project Management skills. His personal interests include breaking and fixing electronics, board games, travel overseas, hippos and most of all - spending serious amounts of time with his daughter.

Ryan Fuller
Ryan Fuller
Member Engagement Support
 

Ryan's professional background lies in extensive customer service support. Before joining Merit, he was Team Lead within a worldwide corporation focused on improving cost effectiveness, daily operations, project management, and customer service interaction for large corporations. He also has experience within the banking industry as a service representative of a local financial institution. He is Google Adwords Certified in Google Search, Display, and Analytics, and currently resides in Ann Arbor.

Tracy Hamill
Tracy Hamill
Project & E-Rate Coordinator

Tracy Hamill joined Merit in November 2015 as the Member Relations Project and E-Rate Coordinator. In this role, Tracy is responsible for coordinating the E-rate cycle for Merit, serving as an E-rate resource for Merit's Members, and working on various projects related to Merit's services and initiatives.

Tracy's background is in systems development, systems support and project management. Before joining Merit, she was involved with a large scale systems consolidation and implementation for a large automotive corporation. Tracy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kettering University, where she majored in Industrial Administration with a concentration in Finance. She also holds a certification in project management. Tracy has lived in southeast Michigan for most of her life; she currently resides in Ann Arbor.

Deanna Jones
Deanna Jones
Member Engagement Support
 

Deanna joined Merit Network in February 2016 as a Merit Support Center Associate and as of April 2016, has become a part of the Member Engagement Support Team. In this roll Deanna will provide support to our Member Relations Managers, Sales Managers as well as our Members.

Deanna currently resides in Ypsilanti and comes to Merit, after 10 years with U of M's Student Financial Services department. With her years of dedicated customer service experience as well as strong oral and written skills, she will to put those skills to use as part of our continued customer service efforts at Merit Network.

Angela May
Angela May
Member Engagement Support
 

Angela May joined Merit Network in February 2012 as a Merit Support Center Associate. Angela is primarily responsible for providing internal support to the Member Relations Managers as well as the Sales Managers. She moved into a leadership role where she manages the day-to-day operation of the team.

Prior to Merit Network, Angela managed a call center where she provided a fair market value for all kinds of vehicles for clients in the US and Canada. She has over 20 years of customer service experience.

Angela earned her BAA in Business Administration from Cleary University.

Karen Michon
Karen Michon
Inside Sales Associate
 

Karen Michon joined Merit in 2011 as an Administrative Support Representative and has moved into the role of Inside Sales Associate. As an Inside Sales Associate she has participated in sales planning and strategic outreach activities for our Members. Karen started her sales career as a Service Coordinator for Kelly Services in the Automotive Division, working with top OEM's. She has an AAB in Transportation and Traffic Management from Macomb Community College, and an AAS in Culinary Arts from Oakland Community College.