2015-16 GANS Board of Directors & Working Group Chairs

Ted MacKinnon, President & Chair of Communications Working Group

Ted MacKinnon - GANS Board Director

Ted works with Natural Resources Canada as the Senior Geomatics Technologist for the Survey General Branch's Atlantic Regional Office in Amherst. He has been working in the geomatics industry for over 18 years and has a diverse background in various disciplines including GIS, Cartography, LIDAR, Remote Sensing and GPS Surveying. 

Ted graduated from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) with advanced diplomas in both Remote Sensing and Applied Geomatics Research and with a B.Sc. in Geology from Acadia University. Ted has been accredited with GISP status from the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) as well as Geomatics Specialist in Remote Sensing certification from the Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG), and is a Fellow with the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

In 2004 he created GISjobs.ca to help make it easier for the geospatial community to find jobs in the Canadian gematics sector and shortly later started CanadianGIS.com; an online geographic resource site that provides people with information about various aspects of the Canadian Geomatics industry. The success of the sites has been contributed to being well connected with the Canadian Geomatics community through social networking and various memberships with other professional organizations. Ted first became a member of GANS in 2004 after receiving one of the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia Awards at COGS and has been working with the GANS Board for five years.

John Trites - GANS Board Director

John Trites, Vice President  & Chair of Education Working Group

John has recently retired from 33 years of teaching high school geography. While working as a teacher he worked on numerous curriculum development initiatives of the N.S. Department of Education and with The College Board on the development of the Advanced Placement Human Geography course.

He presently teaches geography part-time for the Acadia University School of Education and works part-time with The College Board in the U.S. and Canada, as a consultant for the AP Human Geography course. John is also serving his second term as the Atlantic representative on the executive of Canadian Geographic Education.

John's geography background is from Mount Allison University and University of Waterloo. His education background is from Acadia and Mount St. Vincent Universities.

Eric Melanson - GANS Board Director

Eric Melanson, Treasurer

Eric is the Regional Director for ESRI Canada Limited, with responsibility for leading the sale and support of ESRI based technology solutions in the Atlantic region.  A graduate of Acadia with a B.Sc. majoring in Biology and Geology, he also holds a Diploma from the Centre of Geographic Sciences & a Certificate in Management from the Canadian Institute of Management. He has been working as a professional in the geomatics industry for over 20 years & has been proudly helping to build and support the geomatics industry in Atlantic Canada for most of it.


Dennis KingstonBoard Director

Dennis W. Kingston joined the NSCC in 1995 as Faculty member in the Geomatics Department.  

Currently, Dennis is the Academic Chair at the Centre of Geographic Sciences.  Programs under his management include Geomatics related disciplines, Information Technology and Energy Sustainability. 

Dennis graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Science in Surveying Engineering. Before joining the college, he worked in various locations around the world supporting energy exploration for various companies.

Dennis worked for Chevron Corporation of San Francisco, California. Based in Houston, his position as a Navigation and Surveying Specialist required him to travel worldwide in support of various projects for Chevron. 

Dennis’ background in energy exploration and development along with ongoing developmental work at COGS provides a unique perspective on the work that GANS does to sustain and enhance the geospatial sector in Atlantic Canada. 

Simeon Roberts, Board Director

Simeon grew up in England and studied geography at Middlesex University in London. He moved to Canada in 1981 and attended McMaster University in Hamilton where he continued his graduate studies researching agricultural land use change and industrial restructuring. He landed in Nova Scotia in 1986 and took up a position lecturing Canadian geography, marketing, regional economic analysis and GIS at Saint Mary’s University. 

Since then he has co-authored the first digital atlas produced in North America, been Academic Chair at COGS in Lawrencetown and held senior positions in the private sector with engineering and IT companies. He recently led a Business Retention and Expansion – BRE program in Hants County and was Project Coordinator for the Employer of Choice Pilot Initiative (EOCPI). He also coaches CEO’s and has been an export mentor. 

Simeon has worked extensively in the international market, has published widely and presented at many conferences. He has worked with a number of non-profit groups and recently completed studies on the life sciences, IT and geomatics sectors in our region. All of these focused on human resource and skills challenges. Simeon currently provides management consulting services to clients throughout Nova Scotia.

Jackie WoodruffBoard Director

In 2008 Jackie Woodruff completed her Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Geography at the University of Victoria. Jackie worked in the outdoor recreation industry as a Boat Operator and Ski Instructor for several years before deciding to pursue Geographic Information Systems at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), earning an Advanced Diploma in this field. Since graduating in 2011 from BCIT, Jackie has worked as a contract GIS Technician for Chartwell Consultants Ltd, Stantec Consulting Ltd. and the Community Mapping Network where she maintains and updates geographic data for clients and creates mapping products.

Jackie is actively involved in the Geomatics Industry. She has contributed to the GoGeomatics website and attended their networking events in Halifax and Vancouver. Jackie participated in the Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table Team Canada event in Ottawa in June 2014 and followed up as a member of the Education and Capacity Building Working Group. Jackie often attends the Vancouver GIS User's Group presentations and presented to this group in 2013 about the Yukon Watershed Atlas project for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Jackie is currently working with Parks Canada as the Geomatics Technician for the Mainland Nova Scotia Parks and Historic Sites.. 

David Keefe, GANS Executive Director

David Keefe,GANS Executive Director 

David has been the Executive Director of GANS since December 2010 and manages the day to day operations of the association.

Prior to his appointment, David worked in the private sector for 1.5 years and prior to that was employed for 40+ years in the public sector which included program coordinator with the GeoNova Secretariat. In 2000 David was awarded an Honorary Diploma from the Board of Governors of the Nova Scotia Community College.


Alexandra Baird Allen Chair of Events Working Group

Alex is a graduate of the GIS for Business Advanced Diploma programme at COGS, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Brunswick and a Diploma in Urban Land Economics from the University of British Columbia.  She was admitted into the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in 2015 and is a Candidate Member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada.  

Since 2006, Alex has worked at Turner Drake & Partners Ltd., a multi-disciplinary real estate consulting company.  In her role as the Senior Manager of the Economic Intelligence Unit, Alex has implemented GIS and data mining as an extension of the company's skills base, and was responsible for utilising GIS to marry demographic, psychographic, income and expenditure data with Turner Drake’s proprietary real estate databases to provide clients with answers to their real estate questions.








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