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Merit Awards Recipients Honored at Annual Merit Member Conference

ANN ARBOR – Merit Network is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2010 Merit Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that have provided leadership in technology and assisted the Merit community. Award recipients were honored today at the conclusion of the 2010 Annual 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 significant accomplishments:

Merit Network’s Award for Innovation in Networking and Information Technology recognizes organizations and individuals that enhance their work by using networking and related technologies in novel ways.

This year’s recipient is Dave Maki, Chief Technology Officer, Northern Michigan University (NMU). Dave was selected for his efforts to launch a WiMax system at NMU. Dave spearheaded the efforts that led to NMU becoming one of the first campuses to offer campus-wide WiFi to its students and now has established the first campus-wide WiMAX network in the United States. In designing the network Dave made sure that the surrounding cities and townships could utilize the network, enhancing online capabilities not only for NMU but the community at large.

Merit Network’s Award for Community Building recognizes organizations and individuals that build communities to help enhance networking, technology and collaboration. This year two recipients were selected:

Ken Chinavare, Director of Technology, Clare-Gladwin RESD. Ken was selected for this award because of his ongoing commitment and leadership in the Clare/Gladwin areas for many years as well as his efforts to promote high-speed connectivity throughout the area. Ken’s efforts have resulted in many local government and non-profit organizations connecting to the existing Clare-Gladwin RESD fiber. Organizations now have the opportunity to collaborate and their enhanced connectivity have paved the way to provide additional online services to the community.

Matthew McMahon, Coordinator of Technology Resources, Gratiot-Isabella RESD. Matthew is being recognized for his efforts as Chair of the Merit Advisory Council, and for being instrumental in getting fiber built to a multi-county area in the Clare-Gladwin community. Matt has worked hard to connect many in his community and has been a staunch advocate for improving connectivity in the region.

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

Dennis Buckmaster, Chief Operating Officer, Information Technology, St. Clair County RESA. Dennis is being honored with this award for his strong advocacy for fiber connectivity to his community. Dennis has participated in many fiber initiatives including the multi-county consortium and assisted with establishing Merits’ newest consortium the St. Clair County Educational Technology Consortium. He provides connectivity and services to many Merit Members in the St. Clair and Thumb area. Merit is pleased to acknowledge Dennis for all that he has provided to his community and the Merit community at large.

Travis Bussler, Network Administrator, Chippewa River District Library. Merit has selected Travis Bussler for this award to recognize his ongoing commitment to Merit’s success and his engagement with the Merit community. Travis has been actively involved with Merit and Merits’ community since 2000 and currently serves as a Merit Advisory Council representative for the library community. Travis regularly assists libraries throughout the area and has provided advice and resources to representatives of other institutions to help meet their needs for network and service connectivity. These significant contributions have enhanced Merit’s effectiveness and improved the ability to provide valuable services.

Mike Zimmerman, CIO & Executive Director of Communications & Information Technology, Macomb Community College. Mike Zimmerman has been an advocate for Merit in many ways. Through communication about Merit to others in the Higher Education circles Merit has received requests to learn more about Merit services and events. Mike’s efforts have resulted in interest and engagement by several new members. Additionally, Mike has started work on a grass roots geographic community forum in Macomb that will provide benefits to many in the area. Mike has always shown his support for Merit and provides valuable feedback to assist us in our efforts to constantly improve services to our Members.

Merit is extremely grateful for the efforts of these individuals 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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