Text reads 2022 elections

2022 is an election year for NWSEO Regional Officers! As a dues-paying member, this is your chance to vote for who you would like to see represent you.


Regional Officers consist of a Regional Chairperson and a Regional Vice Chairperson. The Chairperson of a Region shall be the Chief Executive Officer of that Region and is a member of the National Council. The Vice Chairperson assists the Regional Chairperson and act as Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson, or in the event of the Chairperson's incapacitation.

Regional Chairpersons and Regional Vice Chairpersons are elected every two years. Any active member in good standing for one year immediately prior to the election is eligible for office.


Scroll to learn read about all Regional Officer nominees, or click on the region name below to go directly to that region's nominees.

Alaska Region

Head shot of Kimberly Vaughan wearing a red shirtName: Kimberly Vaughan
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: Service: Alaska Regional Vice Chair, 2018-2020; Juneau Steward, 2012-2018 and WSO Yakutat Steward, 2017-2021;
WFO Juneau, 2002-Present; WSO Yakutat, 2000-2002; WSO Cold Bay, 1998-2000; US Navy, 1989-1998.

I moved to Alaska in 1998 after serving nearly 10 years as an Aerographer’s Mate in the Navy. Going from Corpus Christi Texas to Cold Bay Alaska was a challenge and a privilege. My family embraced Alaska and we moved to Yakutat before finally settling in Juneau to finish raising our family. My husband and I have one daughter and her family has blessed us with a son in law and 3 grandchildren. For fun I love to volunteer with the Girl Scouts and local car club. I am restoring a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria, it has been a learning process from the beginning. I also have been working on learning to play the mountain dulcimer and kalimba. We just added the hammer dulcimer that both my husband and I are looking forward to learning to play. I also enjoy being outdoors and gardening. I consider myself an optimistic-realist. Life has so much to offer, we just have to be deliberate and diligent to get the most out of it.


Head shot of John Cowen with blue sky and white clouds in backgroundName: John Cowen
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: My career began in 2012 as a graduate of the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs with a B.S. in Meteorology. In the years since then, my career path has swerved across several lanes, including graduating from UPT (pilot training), to private sector aviation forecasting, and ultimately to joining the NWS as a General Forecaster at WFO Fairbanks in 2017. I am currently a lead forecaster at the AAWU in Anchorage. I have been an NWSEO member since being hired in Fairbanks, and served there as Vice Steward. I am a strength sports enthusiast and a gym rat, and enjoy competing in powerlifting and strongman. My wife, Jasmin and I have two kids, both born here in Alaska, and love the Alaska lifestyle and culture. 

Central Region

Photo of Jim Lee wearing a black suit, white shirt and red tie, with the American flag standing behind himName: Jim Lee
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: Jim has been an active NWSEO member since joining in 2004. He is originally from Iowa and began his NWS career at WFO Key West, FL in 2002. He was able to transfer back to his home state and has spent most of his career at WFO Des Moines, where he is a General Forecaster and the local branch Steward. Jim serves on numerous local and regional teams and has received many awards and commendations for his work. His areas of professional interest include severe weather, climate, aviation, diversity and leadership. Jim lives in Des Moines with his wife Sao and their son Poom. He enjoys sports, history, travel, and many outdoor activities.


Head shot of Andy Boxwell wearing a short sleeved checkered shirtName: Andy Boxell
Position Nominated: Vice Chair
Bio: Andy Boxell is a Lead Forecaster at WFO Milwaukee/Sullivan, WI, and has been the Central Region Vice Chairperson since 2016. Prior to working in Milwaukee, he worked at WFOs Springfield, Missouri, Chicago, Northern Indiana, and Louisville. Andy is a graduate of Valparaiso University, and resides in Watertown, WI with his wife Elizabeth and their children.

Eastern Region

Head shot of Brandon Dunstan wearing light purple shirt with blue backgroundName: Brandon Dunstan
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: Brandon is the Eastern Region Chairperson of the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) as well as a Meteorologist at the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Raleigh, NC. He is a longtime NWSEO member and has served as the Local Steward at WFO Raleigh, NC from 2017-2020 and was Vice Steward for multiple years prior. Brandon serves on multiple national teams, co-chairs multiple regional teams, and serves on numerous local teams. He has received a regional Cline Award, multiple local Cline Awards, and numerous Special Act or Service Awards. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Kansas – 2004. He and his wife, Tamra, live in Holly Springs, NC and have three girls: Ellie Kate (11), Annabelle (8), and Hattie (3). He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, watching sports and is an avid Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Hurricanes fan.


Head shot of Alicia Miller on a black backgroundName: Alicia Miller
Position Nominated: Vice Chair
Bio: Alicia Miller is the Senior Service Hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh. She’s been a NWSEO member for 9 years and the office steward for 8. In her time as steward she has worked hard to maintain a good relationship with the MIC and provide a strong voice for the bargaining unit. Originally from upstate NY, she grew up fascinated with winter storms (’93 Snowstorm) and lake effect but has
really come to enjoy the water side of the career in the ‘City of Bridges’. In addition to her love for weather, she enjoys traveling, music, and all things Disney, where she travels to regularly with her husband and 2 children.


Head shot of Barry LambertName: Barry Lambert
Position Nominated: Vice Chair
Bio: Barry is a 24 year member of the NWSEO. He has served as the ER NWSEO Vice Chair for five years, and is beginning his 20th year as steward of WFO State College, PA and his third year as acting steward for WFO Upton, NY and the Ohio River Forecast Center. He is also the Vice Steward for ERH after serving one year as their acting steward. Barry’s passion for negotiation and his colleague’s confidence in his ability to create a positive work environment is reflected in WFO CTP’s membership total of 18, which includes: all 13 forecasters, the SSH, ITO, OPL, ASA and a growing number of El Techs. Barry served as NWSEO’s National Rep on the NBM Demonstration Team and fought vehemently to have the EC model and its ensemble members as an integral part of the NBM. Barry holds a MS in Atmospheric Science from Texas Tech University and a BS in Earth and Environmental Science from Wilkes University. His interest in the weather began at an early age with East Coast Winter Storms and Severe Convective Weather. Outside of work, you’ll find Barry in the weight room, on the golf course and ski slopes; spending time with his wife of 26 years, Christina; his recent PSU grad daughter, Madison; and State College High senior son, Zach. 

Headquarters Region

Head shot of Mike Dion with a red backgroundName: Mike Dion
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: Bachelor of Science in Meteorology - Lyndon State College (aka Northern Vermont University)

Mike is a meteorologist in the Analyze, Forecast and Support Office, Digital and Graphical Information Support Branch, of NWS Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. He began his NWS career with WFO Boston/Taunton, MA as a Meteorologist Intern in 1993, and moved on to a journeyman forecaster position at WFO Raleigh, NC in 1998. In 1999, he was hired by the Science and Training Core in the Office of Meteorology at NWS Headquarters. Mike has served in a variety of roles within NWS Headquarters in the last 23 years, including working in Training, Fire and Public Weather Services, Observations, and as the NWS national tropical program leader. A NWSEO member since 1995, Mike has served as a Branch Steward within Headquarters for several years, and also served as the HQ Vice-Regional Chair prior to becoming Headquarters Regional Chair. Mike and his wife, Loretta, reside in West Virginia.


Name: Ashley Kells
Position Nominated: Vice Chair

NCEP Region

Head shot of Erik Blake wearing a red shirt with the NOAA logo in the backgroundName: Eric Blake
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: Eric is a hurricane specialist at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. Blake received his Bachelor's Degree in Atmospheric Science from the  University of Louisiana at Monroe  (1998) and his Master's Degree in Atmospheric Sciences from Colorado State University (2001). His graduate studies were under the tutelage of Dr. William Gray, a renowned expert on tropical meteorology and hurricanes. Blake began his career with the National Hurricane Center in 2000 as a student intern. He advanced to a full-time position at NHC in 2002 and became a hurricane specialist in 2006. The specialist position involves the issuance of track, intensity and wind radii forecasts as well as associated watches and warnings for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans. Blake serves on the Tropical Cyclone Best Track Change Committee, which considers proposals to change the hurricane record, important for long-term studies of climate. He has authored numerous scientific articles on hurricanes, serves as a reviewer for scientific journals, and is also the lead author for book Eastern North Pacific Tropical Cyclones, 1949-2006.


Head shot of Rob Handel with large body of water and cloudy sky in backgroundName: Rob Handel
Position Nominated: Vice Chair
Bio: Rob is the Senior Duty Meteorologist team lead at NCEP Central Operations in College Park, Maryland. Rob earned his Bachelor's Degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of North Dakota, and completed further graduate studies and research at UND, looking particularly into winter storms forecast technique development to enhance transportation sector decision support. He has a range of NWS experience from directly serving our communities at local offices, to science and technology at our national centers, including stops at Great Falls, Greenville/Spartanburg, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, NCEP Central Operations, and the Weather Prediction Center. In his current role, you may know Rob and the SDM team for declaring Critical Weather Days, making sure rapid-scan satellite sectors are monitoring critical hazards, tasking winter storm reconnaissance flights, and ensuring the 24x7 availability of the NCEP model suite, services, applications, data, and technology that supports much of the NWS and the weather enterprise. Rob has also served NWSEO as either vice-steward or steward at 3 offices, and as the NCEP regional vice-chair since 2020.


Head shot of Hugh Sharkey wearing white shirt with black tie

Name: Hugh Sharkey
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: Hugh Sharkey served five years in the U. S. Air Force and 16 years in the Air Force Reserve. After his service in the U.S Air Force Hugh was subsequently hired by the Air Force Reserve, full time. In 2004, he was hired as an electronic technician in support of the GOES satellite system for NESDIS. He has served as a Steward, Vice Chairperson and Regional Chairperson for the NESDIS Region.Hugh was previously involved in helping Animal Rescue Groups with a focus of Trap Neuter and Return of Feral cats.



Name: Arla Tillman
Position Nominated: Vice Chair

NOAA Attorneys Guild

Head shot of Mitch Macdonald with a brown and white wall in the backgroundName: Mitch MacDonald
Position Nominated
: Chair
Bio: Mitch MacDonald has been a member of NWSEO for 24 of his 26 year employment with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of General Counsel. He is a strong supporter of our professional organization because of the great support he's received from the NWSEO and the service and benefits NWSEO provides. In his free time, Mitch hikes local mountains with his wife and plays soccer with his Over-the-Hill Soccer League team the Manchester-Essex Hurricanes, a great team in many ways.  He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Partners In Development, Inc., a non-profit organization that partners with local communities of Glendora, MS, and impoverished areas of Haiti, Guatemala, and Peru. They provide wholistic life-transforming services to individuals and families that revitalize them and their communities.

Pacific Region

Head shot of Nathan Becker wearing a blue shirt on a light blue background

Name: Nathan Becker
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: Nathan is a Senior Physical Scientist (shift lead) at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC, Br. 7 09), where along with his colleagues he monitors the world 24/7 for the earthquakes that generate tsunamis and when necessary generate forecasts and alerts for any tsunami hazard in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Between tsunamis he conducts applied research towards improving the tsunami warning system and generates outreach materials including much of PTWC's social media content, especially simulations of numerous historic tsunamis. Before joining the NWS and NWSEO he pursued his graduate studies at the University of Hawaii. His research focused on phenomena associated with the Juan de Fuca Ridge, the Mariana Trench, and Lōʻihi Seamount, work that required him to become adept with sea-floor mapping sonars and dive in deep-sea submersibles. Nathan joined NWSEO in 2008 and prior to becoming Pacific Region Chair he has served as the Steward for PTWC (2008-2014, 2017-present) and Pacific Region Vice Chair ( 2009-2010, 2014-2018). He is also part of NWSEO's CBA negotiation team, represents NWSEO on NWS Tsunami Program teams, and has participated in two NLC meetings that dealt with NWS Tsunami Program issues.


Head shot of Ken Kleeschulte with a light gray backgroundName: Ken Kleeschulte
Position Nominated: Vice Chair
Bio: I am a Lead Meteorologist at WFO Guam. I started my weather career in the United States Air Force, where I graduated the Weather Observer and Weather Forecaster courses as an Honor Graduate. I then went on to be selected as Air Weather Service Forecaster of the Year in 1987. Later in my career, I became a Master Instructor, teaching meteorology to all military branches and many foreign military students. I was the Subject Matter Expert for Severe Weather and Tropical Meteorology. I retired from the Air Force in 1997. I began my NWS career at WFO Eureka, CA in 2003, transferred to LMRFC in 2006, then to WFO Guam in 2012. In Guam, I am also the U.S. representative for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific's (UN ESCAP) Typhoon Committee Working Group for Hydrology, which has included writing one of the committee's strategic plans and training international weather and hydrology offices in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Philippines, and China. I have been a member of NWSEO since 2006, joining at LMRFC, where I immediately became the steward. Other than my first 2 years at Guam, I have remained a steward since 2006. I am dedicated to the union and all my members and ensure that they are all treated fairly. I became the Pacific Region Vice Chair in 2018 and am proud to represent our Pacific Island family!

Southern Region

Head shot of Chris Jacobson wearing a maroon patterned shirt with a cream and brown background

Name: Chris Jacobson
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: Chris currently serves as a lead forecaster at WFO Key West, Florida. Chris began his NWS career in July 1995 as a meteorologist/programmer at the Olympic Weather Support Office in Peachtree City, Georgia. This was followed by service as an intern and general forecaster at WFO Corpus Christi; as a general forecaster and information technology officer at WFO Oxnard; and as a lead forecaster at WFO Upton, WFO Honolulu and WFO Key West. Chris joined NWSEO in 1999. Chris’s union leadership experience includes serving as Vice Steward at WFO Oxnard (2001-2005), Steward at WFO Key West (2009-2013, 2018-present), Pacific Region Chair (2014-2018), Southern Region Chair (2019-present) and Secretary-Treasurer (2020-present). In these roles, he has gained extensive experience in the Local Office Team (LOT), Regional Labor Council (RLC) and National Labor Council (NLC) processes. Chris has been the primary NWSEO representative on the NWS Mission Delivery Council since 2015 and served as a member of the NWSEO CBA Negotiating Team (2017-2021). Chris has also served as the Chair of the Constitution Committee since 2015 and served as the Chair of the Credentials Committee in 2019. Chris received the NWSEO Kip Robinson Award in 2014.

Name: Rob Niemeyer
Position Nominated: Vice Chair

Western Region

Head shot of Jon Fox wearing an orange shirt with black and white background

Name: Jon Fox
Position Nominated: Chair
Bio: Jon began his career in the National Weather Service in Rochester, Minnesota in 1990 as a Met Intern. In 1994 he was promoted to Journey Forecaster at the National Weather Service Office in Eureka, California, during the Modernization and Restructuring effort (MAR). In 1998, he was promoted to lead forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Spokane, WA, and has been there ever since. Additionally, he has been an Incident Meteorologist since 2012 which has taken him across the country (and out of the country) to support firefighter safety and firefighting operations. Jon joined the NWSEO in 1990 and has served as a Steward since 1998. Additionally, he has served as the NWSEO representative for the fire weather program since 2014 and was the at-large member of the Western Region Regional Labor Council meetings since 2015. He was also a part of the NWSEO CBA team from 2017-2019 and the Constitution Committee since 2019.


Name: Brooke Bingaman
Position Nominated: Vice Chair