Board of Directors
Blair Kent, President (2013-2014)
As a child growing up Blair was nicknamed "Static King" by his aunt as he was always listening to Aircraft and Public Safety calls and spent countless hours DX'ing the HF band. Blair is currently the Wireless Operations Manager for E-Comm in Vancouver, BC which utilizes a Wide Area Harris EDACS Simulcast 800MHz system serving Police, Fire, and Ambulance. After graduating from high school Blair followed two careers. First, flying commercially for a small Floatplane charter company in Northern Manitoba for three years and second, obtaining an Honours Diploma in Avionics Technology from SAIT in Calgary. During the recession of 1983 when the economy and aviation in particular took a nose dive Blair decided to pursue electronics and worked for CP Rail Communications for two years (tubes were being phased out and VHF crystals were the rage). When the economy rebounded in 1986 Blair was hired by CP Air in Avionics (later to be known as Canadian Airlines) and continued to teach flying part time in Vancouver for 8 years. For the first 6 years at Canadian Airlines, Blair worked on a variety of Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Airbus Aircraft in Avionics until he moved into an area that supported ground based communications which included 2 trunking radio systems, one in Vancouver and one in Toronto. This job also involved the building and maintenance of dispatch centers throughout North America and VHF air band communications. In 1994 Blair hung-up his flying hat in order to focus on family life as he has two daughters 17 and 19 and a wife Lucy. In 2000 Air Canada merged with Canadian Airlines and the writing was on the wall, move to Montreal and stay with the airlines or move on. Two days after Y2K Blair moved to E-Comm where he currently resides. Favorite sports include Windsurfing, swimming, skiing, Rollerblading and hiking. His passions in life include watching airplanes pass by and naming them, Photography and Radios!
Justin Evans, Vice President Elect (2013-2014)
Justin is the Radio System Manager for the Montgomery County (Texas) Hospital District. In this position he is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a Harris EDACS Simulcast 800MHz system and a VHF Simulcast system. Justin also oversees the District's other communication networks including: an extensive microwave network used for point-to-point communications between the various radio system components; the security system for the District's far flung facilities; the telephone and VOIP systems for all of the District's facilities, and the mobile data systems for all of the first responders. Montgomery County is the northern suburb of Houston, Texas and covers over 1,100 square miles including two major north/south highways, several major railroad lines, a major recreational lake and a national forest. Within that geographical area, the radio systems also provide communication support for law enforcement, fire and other public service entities.
Justin is involved with, and has served on, multiple committees, taskforces, coalitions, and panels to help improve public safety communications. He has been involved in the Harris Users Group since 2000 and has previously served on the board. Justin firmly believes that building relationships and sharing information and best practices is what this group is all about.
Justin and his wife, Christi, have a three year-old son. Justin and Christi have a passion for mission work and are widely known for their interest in helping others (ranging from local residents to those in far off lands). The couple recently returned from their tenth trip to a third-world country, where they were involved with drilling water well for a community that did not have water. A few of their prior projects include: installing backup generators for one community, setting up computers for a remotely located school, and designing and constructing a microwave hop across a five-mile valley so that missionaries could have internet connections to the outside world.
Justin and his wife are now hard at work finding ways to assist third-world country fire departments with their communications needs. Justin hopes that with the December 31, 2012 narrow-banding mandate, there will be a surplus of wideband (VHF and UHF) equipment that will be looking for a new home. He is currently working on a plan to repurpose this equipment for use in other countries where the technology can be used to increase the efficiency of emergency responders. Justin often thinks of the fire department he recently visited that covered a town of 35,000 with one fire truck, two-radios and four fire fighters (each paid less than $300 per month). Justin truly feels that perfectly useful equipment whose technology has been deemed outmoded by the federal government could, in third-world countries, make the difference between life and death for people in their moment of need.
Scott Hancock, Vice President (2013-2014)
Scotty Hancock is currently the Emergency Management Director of Floyd County Georgia. Scotty is a native and lifelong public servant. He served seven years in the Army's 25th Infantry Division and later with the Department of Defense. After returning home to Rome, he became training coordinator for the Floyd County Sheriff's Office and instructor at the regional police academy. Scotty has an Associates Degree from Floyd College (Georgia Highlands College), Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Masters Degree in Leadership from Shorter University. He is credentialed as a Master Certified Emergency Manager through the State of Georgia and was appointed, Emergency Manager Director of Floyd County in 2004.
As the EMA Director he is responsible for training and coordination of volunteer's services including an award winning rescue squad, CERT team and Critical Incident Stress Management Team. Through his work on the Floyd County's Local Emergency Planning Committee he has improved coordination, resource sharing, and planning. Under his leadership Floyd County Emergency Management Agency was selected as the 2010 agency of the year by the Emergency Managers Association of Georgia and in 2011 he was selected by his peers as the Emergency Director of the year for the State of Georgia.
Current projects include managing a $26.7 million dollar SPLOST project to install a Harris P25 800 MHz Trunking Simulcast public safety communication system, as well as, overseeing the construction of a $1.6 million dollar Emergency Operations Center, which will be the first in Floyd County's history. He lives in Floyd County, Georgia with his wife Ronda and two children Bethany and Gatlin.
Eric Linsley, Past President (2013-2014)
Eric Linsley is the Director of Public Safety Communications for Mobile County Commission. Eric has 20 plus years in Public Safety Radio Communications. Eric started out installing public safety two-way radios for a local Kenwood dealer for the City of Daphne, Alabama Police Department. Eric continued to work at other dealers installing radios, responding to dispatch centers and radio repeater towers for service calls. In 1991, Eric worked for a local GE dealer who had the contract to install Mobile County's 800 MHz EDACS Trunking System. In 1994, Eric started working for Mobile County Commission as an Electronic Systems Analyst maintaining Mobile County's EDACS System. In 1999, Eric was promoted to Department Head in charge of all Mobile County Commission Electronic Systems.
Mobile County's EDACS system currently has 4,500 units with over 120 agencies including local, state, and federal users, and generates over 170,000 calls a day. Current configuration is 6 sites, Multi-site with twelve C3 Maestro Consoles. Mobile County recently added a three site, twenty four channel Simul-cast system to support the City of Mobile users. The City of Mobile will add an additional twelve C3 Maestro Consoles and 1,700 handhelds/mobile radios. Mobile County has just completed installing a four channel, 6 site, 700 MHz P25 system overlay. Options included High Availability Network Switching Center, 12-port EDACS IP Gateway, 12-Port Interoperability Gateway, 8-port VIDA Telephone Interconnect, P25 Phase 2 Software Upgrade for Sites and Switch.
Eric has been active with APCO for eighteen years now in public safety frequency coordination and training. Eric's various activities include: Chairman of the Region 1 Alabama 700 MHz Planning Committee, APCO Primary Alabama Frequency Advisor, Alternate Mississippi Frequency Advisor, Alabama State Homeland Security Technical Member, and Alabama Mutual Aid System Advisor Council Member.
Eric's Professional Licenses include; Associates Degree of Electronics Technology, FCC General Radio Telephone Operator License #PG-GB-01552, APCO Institute, Inc. Certificate of Competency, NICET I Fire Alarm Systems Certificate #111545.
Eric's Professional Achievements include: Past recipient of APCO International RF Technician of the Year 2008 "The Best of the Best", and recently commended by the Senate of Alabama 2008 by Senator Rusty Glover.
Eric has had two publications: APCO Public Safety Communications - October 1996 - Vol. 62 - No. 10 "Technology Today, Radio Compatibility: A Technician's View", Ericsson OpenMic - Spring 1999 "Mobile County's Radio Communications Withstand Nature's Toughest Blows".
Eric is married and has a daughter Eryka 23 and son Brad 18.
John Dirk Young, Secretary (Elected 2011)
Dirk Young is the Chief Operating Officer for Hurricane Electronics, Inc. (HEI) in Mobile Alabama and is responsible for the company's day-to-day operating activities, including revenue and sales growth; expense, cost and margin control; monthly, quarterly and annual financial goal management.
Prior to his current position with HEI Dirk was the Manager of National Public Safety Markets at Harris Corporation's RF Public Safety and Professional Communications Division. He joined the company is March of 2007. In this capacity he is involved in sales support and Harris' marketing efforts. He also serves as the company's consultant liaison and fire industry advisor for the company.
Dirk has over 20 years of public safety experience. He served 11 years as a fire chief and has a total of 10 years' experience as a paramedic and flight paramedic. From 1992 to 1997 Dirk was Executive Director of Mobile County EMS. During that period he implemented the first EMS system for rural Mobile County serving 1200 square miles and a population of 225,000. It was also the first dispatch center to implement a priority dispatch solution in the SW region of Alabama.
From 1997 to 2006, Dirk worked in the public safety software market for several CAD/RMS/Mobile Data vendors, including Intergraph, Tiburon and SunGard OSSI. During this time he held many positions with increasing responsibility. Dirk holds an Associate's Degree in Safety Engineering.
Dirk and his wife Amanda have four children and two grandchildren. Dirk is also the Worship Leader for The First Church of the Nazarene in Mobile Alabama where they reside.
Mary Wertzberger, Treasurer (Elected 2011)
Mary Wertzberger is Controller at RACOM Corporation. RACOM operates the country's largest privately owned wireless voice and data communications network serving the Public Safety/Law Enforcement market. Mary has worked at RACOM for 14 years.
Prior to joining RACOM, Mary was the Assistant Controller for Mesquaki Bingo and Casino, in Iowa. Providing account analysis, reconciliation, payroll, AR/AP. She hired and developed the entire account staff and set up internal controls. She graduated from Iowa State University in 1991 where she majored in Management.
Mary is very active in the community, having served as the President of the Community Y Board of Directors, President of the YWCA Marshalltown, IA and she serves as one of 22 women on the National YWCA Board of Directors. Mary co-Chairs the Imagine2011 Biking and Pedestrian committee. A grass roots effort promoting an improved life style in Marshalltown. Mary is active on several committees at her church, St. Henry's Catholic Church.
Mary is married to Tom, who is an Architect, President and CEO of his firm, Wertzberger Architects, in Marshalltown. Mary and Tom have three children, Benjamin, Christopher, and Brittany. They have two grandchildren Ethan and Paige.
Sheri Bell, International Director (2016)
Sheri Bell is a Civilian Member (CM) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Saskatchewan, Canada. Sheri has been a CM in the RCMP since 1999, with all of her time served in the Province of Saskatchewan. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1993. After working several years in the Photographic industry, she returned to school and earned her Electronics Technologist diploma from the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology in 1999.
Sheri is currently the manager of the Provincial Public Safety Telecommunication Network's (PPSTN) Radio System Infrastructure unit. This unit is responsible for the maintenance and repair of all radio system equipment at the 250, HARRIS P25 Trunking radio sites in Saskatchewan. This includes all HARRIS radio, CISCO network, GE and 4RF RF linking, and satellite and fiber backhaul equipment.
The PPSTN system is a partnership between the RCMP, Saskatchewan Power Corporation and the Government of Saskatchewan. Between the three system partners there are approximately 10,000 public safety users on the system. Each partner manages its own user equipment and dispatch centers.
One of the major challenges in Sheri's unit is to keep all system equipment up-to-date with the latest software code releases. The Province of Saskatchewan is approximately 250,000 square miles with some areas accessible only by air. This has resulted in the need to perform code upgrades over the network. Limited bandwidth at some locations has made this challenging but the unit continues to find ways to make upgrades as painless as possible both for users and system technicians.
In the next year the PPSTN system will expand further, crossing the 255 site limit, creating the need for a second High Availability Network Switching Center. As well, plans are in the works for an ISSI installation and LTE integration project in 2013.
Sheri is a crazy football fan (Saskatchewan Roughriders and Arizona Cardinals) and attends as many games as possible each year. She is also a dedicated NASCAR fan and hopes to attend her first live race in 2012.
Raymond Ryan, Director at Large (2014)
Ray Ryan is the Radio Maintenance Supervisor for the City of Lincoln Nebraska. Ray graduated from Northeast Technical Community College in 1978 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electronics. After graduating, Ray worked for two years at the Nebraska State Patrol in their Radio Department on VHF Low Band radios and MPH handheld radar equipment.
In 1980, Ray went to work for Lincoln Electric System, where he worked for ten years in their two-way radio department. While at LES, Ray performed maintenance and repair of their VHF radio system and assisted in substation transformer testing and underground cable fault locating. From 1986 to 1988, Ray took night classes at Doane College to complete his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Industrial Management.
In 1990, Ray was hired to start up a radio shop for the City of Lincoln, Nebraska. When he started, the City was using a General Electric, ten channel, single site, EDACS Plus trunked radio system. Since then, the City has upgraded its EDACS radio system to a twenty channel, two site, GPS simulcast system that provides coverage for the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County.
James Andre, Utilities Director (2017)
Jim, is based in Houston, and currently works for CenterPoint Energy as a Telecom Analyst. CenterPoint Energy (CNP), is a Fortune 500 electric and natural gas utility. Jim and CNP are in the late stages of deploying a 24 site OpenSky System.
Jim began working on radios in 1984 at Bell Labs on a team developing one of the first transportable cell telephones. Since then Jim has worked in a variety of radio applications, but mostly LMR. Jim spent many years working in Asia, including living on Victoria Harbor during the Hong Kong British handover.
Jim hobbies include duplicate bridge and his wife, Lily, is his favorite bridge partner. Jim also thinks he is connoisseur of Chinese food and red wine. Jim is an expert skier and is saving his money to return to ski bumming in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.
Jim has BSEE and MSEE degrees from the University of Minnesota.
Jim is a rabid Minnesota Vikings fan, and the reason he joined the Board of Directors is to get the inside scoop from Greg Coleman.
Dennis Fodi, Southeast Director (2017)
Dennis Fodi is the Radio Maintenance Supervisor for Pasco County, Florida. In this position, Dennis oversees the county's eight-channel Simulcast EDACS system which serves 2,400 users in all Public Safety and Public Service agencies in Pasco County. A native of New Jersey, Dennis first worked within the computer industry before relocating to Florida and joining Pasco County's Information Technology Department, Communications Division. He is an active member of the Region 4 Domestic Security Task Force. He holds an Associations Degree in Electronics from Middlesex County College, New Jersey.
Greg Coleman, Harris
Greg Coleman is Manager of National Public Safety Markets for Harris Corporation. As such, Greg is responsible for the coordination and oversight of Harris' outreach and marketing programs that serve its varied customer base across North America, including users of Harris' land mobile radio solutions to meet their critical communications requirements.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Greg spent twelve years in the National Football League as a punter, ten of those years were with the Minnesota Vikings, one with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins.
He was selected by the fans to be a member of the Vikings 40th anniversary team. Greg now serves as the Sideline Analyst for the Minnesota Vikings Radio Network on KFAN 1130 AM during the NFL Season. Currently, he is a
Greg is the co-founder of The Pepsi Minority Golf Tournament that provides college scholarships for students. He is also the founder of The Greg Coleman Celebrity Golf Tournament. This event benefits students in the Twin Cities area with after-school tutoring, mentoring and life skills programs. Greg graduated from Florida A&M University.
Victoria (Tory) Dillon, Harris
Victoria Dillon is Director of Communications and Government Relations for the Public Safety and Professional Communications (PSPC) business of Harris Corporation where she leads marketing communications, branding and advertising, internal communications, government relations and public relations plans and programs. Ms. Dillon joined Harris Corporation in 2009 with the acquisition of the Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems business for which she was Director of Communications and Government Relations. Before joining Tyco Electronics, she was President of Dillon Strategic Communications, a consulting firm specializing in corporate communications and investor relations. Prior to that, she was Vice President-Corporate Communications for Lahey Health Services, Vice President-Corporate Communications for M/A-COM Inc., Director of Industry Communications for Computervision Corporation and on the faculty of Boston University's College of Communication. Ms. Dillon holds a B.A from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst and an M.S. in Communications from Boston University.
Jackie Horsley, Harris