NWSEO National Officers / Regional Chairs
NWSEO National President John Werner
United States Air Force
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics – University of Great Falls Master of Science in Atmospheric Science
– Colorado State University
John Werner is a Senior Meteorologist at the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Mobile, Alabama. He started his NWS career as a General Forecaster at WFO Spokane, Washington in 2003, where he was active in the Fire Weather and Incident Meteorologist programs. Prior to joining the NWS, John served 20+ years as a meteorologist in the United States Air Force, where he served in numerous positions, including Chief of Weather Operations; Flight Commander of a 17-person Weather Flight, and Chief of Aerospace Science and Technical Services, Air Force Special Operations Command. His passion for the science coupled with his drive to provide customers' the best in weather and hydrological support motivates him.
Prior to becoming the NWSEO National President, he served as the NWSEO steward for WFO Mobile, and as the NWSEO Southern Region Vice Chairperson and Chairperson. He has served on the NWSEO National Council for the last nine years. The NWSEO National Council has been the key to protecting our rights, growing our membership to record levels and ensuring that we remain fiscally strong and are capable of weathering unfortunate events, such as government shutdowns. John has served the NWSEO on numerous local, regional and national teams including initially serving as Co-Chair of the Pilot Project Program, Operational Workload Analysis (OWA) Impact Based Decision Support workstream, NWSEO Finance Committee, and as a key member of the NWSEO Collective Bargaining Agreement Negotiations Team.
John currently resides in Gulf Breeze, Florida with his bride Connie. They love the outdoors and traveling around the world and meeting people with different backgrounds and making new friends. They are both involved in animal rescue and John assists Connie with community foster care events for children. John is a member of the American Meteorological Society, National Weather Association, American Legion and the Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge. He also enjoys fishing, outdoor photography, golfing, camping, hiking, football and, of course, hanging out at the beach.
NWSEO Executive Vice President JoAnn Becker
Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Sciences – University of California, Davis
Master of Business Administration – Baker College
Prior to becoming NWSEO Excecutive Vice President, JoAnn Becker was the first official Regional Chairperson for the new the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Region, created in 2012. She is a Senior Aviation Meteorologist at the NCEP Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, Missouri. JoAnn began her career at the National Weather Service in 1995 in the Weather Forecast Office in Guam where she became a Lead Forecaster in 1998.
While at the NWS Guam Forecast Office, JoAnn served as local union steward. In late nineties, Ms. Becker was the Pacific Region NWSEO Chairperson until her transfer to the Aviation Weather Center in 2001. JoAnn also served as branch steward and vice steward at the Aviation Weather Center.
JoAnn has been a member of NWSEO for many years. She has chaired both the Credentials and Constitution Committees. She has served as NWSEO representative on various teams. JoAnn has also received local and regional Cline Awards in addition to Special Act Awards. In 2016, she received the NWSEO Kip Robinson Award.
Southern Region Chair
Chris Jacobson currently serves as a lead forecaster at WFO Key West, Florida. Chris began his career as a meteorologist/programmer in July 1995 at the Olympic Weather Support Office in Peachtree City (1995-96). This was followed by service as an intern and general forecaster at NWSO Corpus Christi (1996-99); general forecaster and information technology officer at WFO Oxnard (1999- 2005); lead forecaster at WFO Upton (2005-07), WFO Key West (2007-13), WFO Honolulu (2013-2018), and WFO Key West (2018-present). Chris joined NWSEO in 1999.
Chris’s past union leadership experience includes serving as Vice Steward at WFO Oxnard (2001-2005), Steward at WFO Key West (2009-2013, 2018-present), and Pacific Region Chair (2014-2018). In these roles, he gained extensive experience in the Local Office Team (LOT) and Regional Labor Council (RLC) processes. Chris has been the primary NWSEO representative on the NWS Mission Delivery Council since 2015 and has served as a member of the NWSEO CBA Team since March 2017. He has participated in numerous negotiations dealing with various aspects of operations, including workload redistribution, tropical cyclone contingency planning, marine program improvements, and shift schedules.
Chris has also served as the Chair of the Credential Committee this past year and as the Chair of the Constitution Committee since 2015. Chris is one of a few who have received the NWSEO Kip Robinson Award. This award is given out annually to recognize an individual who provides outstanding support to NWSEO and its members. Chris received the award in 2014.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Florida State University and currently lives on Sugarloaf Key, Florida. Chris enjoys traveling (47 states, Guam and American Samoa, so far), hiking, fishing, bowling, golf, and his cats.
Central Region Chair Jim Lee
Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in Meteorology, University of Oklahoma
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.
Eastern Region Chair Brandon Dunstan
Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science at the University of Kansas – 2004.
Brandon is a Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Raleigh, NC and has been a long-time member of the NWSEO. He has served as the Local Steward at WFO Raleigh, NC for the last 3 years (2017-2020) and was Vice Steward for multiple years prior. Brandon serves on numerous local teams and several national teams. He has received a regional Cline Award, multiple local Cline Awards, and numerous Special Act or Service Awards.
He and his wife Tamra live in Holly Springs, NC and have three children. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, watching sports and is an avid Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Hurricanes fan.
Western Region Chair Jonathan Fox
Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin - 1990
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.
He is married to Robin, who is a service hydrologist in the Spokane office, and they are parents to two college attending children. During his free time, Jon enjoys golfing, hiking, biking, making his dogs happy with daily walks, and is an avid Minnesota Vikings fan.
Alaska Region Chair Michael Ottenweller
Bachelor of Science in Meteorology 2004, Valparaiso University
Mike has a passion for leadership and communication. After graduating from Valparaiso, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. His first assignment took him to Alaska, where he fell in love with mountains, fishing, running, and his wife, Karen. After 6 years in the military, Mike started his NWS career as an Intern in Medford, OR. In 2013, he and Karen moved back to Anchorage, AK to start as a General Forecaster at the Anchorage WFO. Mike has served as the Union Steward there since 2015. He loves the challenge of forecasting weather in the expansive and complex terrain of Alaska.
Mike spends his (limited) free time running really really far, fishing for salmon, hunting for moose, gardening, and spending time with Karen and their 3 boys.
Pacific Region Chair
Bachelor of Science in Geology, University of Texas at Arlington Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii
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.
Headquarters Chair Mike Dion
NWS Headquarters Chair Mike Dion
Bachelor of Science in Meteorology - Lyndon State College
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, 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.
Mike and his wife Loretta, have two autistic teenage sons. He enjoys golfing, helping with his local Little League, and following Boston sports.
NCEP Regional Chair Eric Blake
Eric Blake 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.
NESDIS Vice President Hugh Sharkey
Military Service: Air Force, and Air Force Reserve
Associates Degree Avionic Systems Technology
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.
Vice President for NOAA Attorneys’ Guild
Northeastern University School of Law, J.D.
Mitch MacDonald, NWSEO Vice President of the NOAA'S Attorneys' Guild, 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.