IECA welcomes back Rafael (Nicky) Araujo, Jonathan Kopeke, CPESC, LEEd-AP and Jerry Sanders, CPESC to the IECA Region One Board of Directors.  Thank you to everyone who voted.  Please find a bio of each board member below and reasons to why they ran again to serve IECA. 

Rafael (Nicky) Araujo, born in Panama, Republic of Panama, holds a BSc. in Biology, majoring in Zoology and Ecology from the University of Panama and a Certificate in Geotechnical Engineering from University of Delaware.  With 30 years in the business of geosynthetics and erosion control, he is the current C.E.O. of Servicios de Ingenieria Geosintetica, S.A. (S.I.G.S.A.), a company with offices in Panama and Costa Rica, that services Latin America and the Caribbean. Araujo has served as R1 Director, President of the Ibero American Chapter of IECA (2010-2012), Vice-President of the IA Chapter (2012-2016), a Board Member of the IRC, past Co-Chair of the Erosion and Sediment Control Track of the Educational Track Committee as well as a member the Professional Development Committee and of the Chapter Advisory Committee of IECA.  He is also the Vice President of the International Association of Geosynthetics Installers (I.A.G.I.) and a member of N.A.G.S and I.G.S.  He is distinguished with several awards, including Best Scientific Research from the University of Panama (1976) and being the first recipient of the Most Innovative Geosynthetics Application Award presented by I.A.G.I. (2011). He has been a member of IECA since 1996.

“In these days of severe climate change, with thousands of hectares being lost to desertification, thousands of hectares of forest being cut every day, soil erosion and loss of quality freshwater becoming a real threat to mankind’s future, a strong effort must be promoted, to bring these adverse conditions under control. Being the educational powerhouse that IECA has become, it should be our duty to raise consciousness among the inhabitants of the world and specially, of the countries that comprise our Region I of IECA. We must educate the professionals, regulators, students and general public on the best management practices that may lead to reverting the damage that is being done to our world. Having strong Chapters across the entire RI will certainly help in these efforts, so we need to attend the needs and interests of those Chapters, considering their different laws, environments, technological levels and skills and promote their events. During the years that I had the honor of serving as a Director of the R1, I tried to encourage the participation of all members, local and international, allow for the exchange of experiences and ideas, in order to strengthen our Chapters, our Region 1 and IECA overall.  I would like to be able to continue and complete this task, but also realize the need to increase membership, increase the awareness of the IECA brand, what it represents and what it’s goals are, so that our association may become the reference for anyone needing to solve erosion and sediment control, as well as in the other tracks that we cover.  We should not forget to listen to the opinions, wishes and expectations of our members, encouraging them to take an active roll in the various committees and task force groups in our organization. I believe, that the active participation of our members, lead by a well balanced and goal driven BOD, is what will make our organization become the key source of education and solutions to the problems of erosion and sediment control worldwide.”

Jonathan Koepke, CPESC, LEED-AP is the Vice President and General Manager for ENCAP, Inc. in DeKalb, IL. Koepke is a graduate of Northern Illinois University where he completed both his Bachelors and Masters degrees and also holds a Masters in Business Administration. His areas of expertise include streambank stabilization and restoration techniques, Polyacrylamide use for erosion and sediment control, and revegetative techniques on construction sites. His current duties at ENCAP, Inc. include overall business management and business development as well as technical direction and employee development for the company. His duties at ENCAP are vertically and horizontally integrated, and include project estimation and bidding, project management, and from time to time, equipment operation and crew leadership.

“As a member of IECA and as a current director on the Region 1 Board and in the Great Lakes Chapter, I believe in the mission of IECA as being a resource and connection point for professionals in the erosion and sediment control and water quality industries. With a strong foundation and base in traditional erosion and sediment control technologies, the IECA now stands poised to bring its strong organization and professionals into new and developing areas in the industry, and to engage new and developing professionals in the industry. My professional career has included significant experience in both the public and private sectors of the industry. With this variety and balanced perspective, I believe my experience, expertise, and vision can serve to help advance the mission of the IECA. In my current position as a contractor, my experience can help to spread IECA’s initiatives to new members and new parts of the industry who can benefit from the organization. As a member of the board of directors I would put my full efforts toward working to improve outreach and education opportunities to members and to help grow the organization in an effort to advance the industry.”

Jerry Sanders, CPESC is Construction Services Manager of Cardinal Strategies a general contracting and engineering firm specializing in flood management, creek channel and slope stabilization, and storm water management that specializes in storm water pollution plans, audits, inspections and training.  Since 1995, Sanders has been an active member of the International Erosion Control Association, serving on numerous committees as a committee member and as chairman of the Educational Tracks Committee and Professional Development Committees.  Presently Sanders is serving on the Board of Directors for the IECA. Sanders received his B.S.E. degree in Biology and Earth Science from Henderson State University in 1973.  Sanders is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sedimentary Control, with 40 years of hands-on- experience in soil remediation and stabilization.  As a professional educator and instructor, Sanders has developed and taught training sessions in the area of Site Analysis, Channel Development and Soil Stabilization for the International Erosion Control Association, The North Texas Council of Governments, and The State of Texas Chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers.

“I desire to serve on the Board of the IECA to help bring the IECA back into the prominence and leadership position it once held in the Industry.  This will require bold changes, impacting the structure and message delivered to the industry by the IECA.  Over the last three years the Board has made numerous hard decisions, positioning the IECA for this resurgence in the industry.  The management and organizational skills that I have developed through serving on numerous committees in the IECA and in leading my company, will give me the ability to make the bold decisions that lay ahead.”