Faces of HOT: Two New Board Members, Pierre Beland and Joseph Reeves
Pierre Béland and Joseph Reeves were voted onto the HOT board last week. Their nominations put the board to a total of seven for this year (with continuing five other members being Nicolas Chavent, Schuyler Erle, Mikel Maron, John Crowley and Harry Wood). They join the board after multiple years of active volunteering and coordinating of HOT projects.
Pierre Beland comes from Monteal, Canada. An economist/programmer in his previous life, He has set up many remote projects, most currently in the DRC with Claire Halleux. You can read about that active project here.
Joseph Reeves is a native of UK and currently resides in Oxford. Feel free to learn more about him in his HOT video interview.
I asked them a few questions in anticipation of the upcoming year with HOT:
1. What are your first acts as board members?
Joseph: I look forward to getting started properly as a board member and working with my new colleagues. Hopefully, we'll soon be able to work on membership definitions and the procedures of nomination and approval. I am looking forward to improving communications both within the organization and the wider world. We also need to get some stickers and T-shirts!
Pierre: The fact that the first congratulations came from Nepal touched my hearth and I already answered them and others that do a fantastic work in their country.
HOT is both a technical and humanitarian NGO who had a tremendous progression in the last three years. The role of the Board is more of strategies, contacts with our partners, etc. I have to be modest and first listen to those who founded this organization. Thanks to Kate, Mikel and Nicolas and all the board members who from the Haiti earthquake to now have contributed to the success of HOT.
2. Are you comfortable with the other board members? Do you know them well?
Joseph: I've met a couple of the current board before, and have communicated with all the others before. Am looking forward to communicating more regularly with all.
Pierre:I know that Harry loves organizing parties in London. I met Kate in Cape Town, discussed often with Nicolas about activation, worked with Mikel for Libya. Other then that, No, not really. Can you give me some clues about them? (feel free to email Pierre if you have the inside scoop on some of the board members... ;) )
3. What do you envision as being roadblocks for the coming year?
Joseph: I can't envision any particular roadblocks - it's all going to be a positive year!
Pierre: With humanitarian organizations, I think that roadblocks are everywhere. Being involved in Activations, I see these everywhere. We are like these humanitarian on the road trying constantly to join those they want to help. We have to adapt constantly.
I will speak for Activations were I am deeply involved. To avoid roadblocks, we have to continue to work more closely with our partners and UN organizations both at high levels and on the field. We are very good at mapping remotely and excellent tools are developed. The various projects in Indonesia, Africa and Haiti are places of synergy. For Activations, we should try to be as efficient working with NGO's in the humanitarian field, provide tools and technical support to them, coordinate to identify priorities and obtain imagery. And the proposed Advisory committee could be very useful to help us in this area.
5. What is your favorite activity to do with HOT? Do you enjoy setting up tasks? Mapping/Editing?
Joseph: Currently, I am enjoying the mapping & editing process, but am looking forward to getting involved in wider, more strategic, activities.
Pierre: I like to communicate and exchange about various aspects of HOT. While I am not a GIS specialist, I have a good computer background and like to contribute in various ways. I have contributed to many Activations both technically and as coordinator. In a context of emergency, I like to find solutions that are effective and help us to give a rapid answer.
I followed the Task Manager development since the beginning-- discussing ways to develop it. I prepare tasks for various activations. When I have time, I always try to Edit, to have the feeling of how this is going. To this regard, I was very pleased that all of us succeeded in mapping Minova in Congo in a few days using the Task Manager and showed our capacity to answer rapidly to humanitarian emergency.
With the Internet era, groups like OSM and HOT are fantastic multicultural, social and technical laboratories. To me, these are real, concrete social networks that make the difference. Thanks to all those who contribute remotely and on the field notably in various preparedness projects, thanks to our partners that make this possible.
We look forward to their involvement on the board. Good luck!