2017 Elections

We have just over a third of our board positions opening this year. With this many positions available, this is your opportunity to mold the board into your vision by voting for the people who would best serve your vision of the TCMA.

Elections for the TCMA Board of Directors will be held by e-vote. All active TCMA members should receive a link for online voting no later than November 10, 2017.

Voting closes on November 30, 2017.

Candidates

Ken Demarest

Ken Demarest has a passion for caving. Since January of 2016, Mr. Demarest has worked hard to become proficient in vertical and sketching, taken NCRC to level 2, joined the NSS and CRF, taken the position of TSA Safety Chair and spoken on Safety and Rescue. His trips include Coahuila, Muzquiz, Fisher Ridge and his most memorable trip a CM Shovel tank haul.

Mr. Demarest won the 2016 Chuck Stuehm award for Outstanding New Caver. He tries to emulate Chuck’s open, welcoming approach with new cavers, hosting ropes nights, and teaching new cavers vertical techniques. Mr. Demarest helped renovate the Deep and Punkin cabin, and recently hosted the DFW Grotto for Austin caving trips.

In a prior life, Mr. Demarest gained experience with real estate, management, budgeting and investment. His hope is to serve Texas cavers and give back a little to the great community that has given him so much.

Andy Edwards

Andy Edwards started caving in 2011 after visiting Airman's repeatedly with friends. He got involved in Fisher Ridge later year and has gone on dozens of survey trips ever since, as well as various long-term dig projects in Austin, Kentucky, and elsewhere. In 2014, he became the treasurer for Detroit Urban Grotto (the Fisher Ridge Grotto) and has served as treasurer ever since.

Being a programmer, he made a Google Sheet for keeping track of DUG's members and finances, and shared it with other members of the project so that cash flows would be as transparent as possible. He's also the author of Breakout, a 3D cave survey visualizer, has contributed features like Walls import to Cavewhere, and at some point hopes to decipher enough of Walls' source code to contribute some improvements to it.

MJ Gibbs

MJ Gibbs is the third child, second son of four siblings born to William and Diane Gibbons, an Air Force fighter pilot and his wife who provided for the home, raised the children and supported Col. William J. Gibbons stellar military career.

MJ is the quintessential example of a military upbringing. The combination the “brat” life with the effects of a father serving as a prosecutor were instrumental in forming MJ’s value system and ideology. MJ values include a strong dedication to honesty and integrity, which is evident in every undertaking and relationship in which Mr. Gibbs participates.

The excellent work ethic displayed by example, is one that is evident to anyone who has watched MJ in the performance of his duties. He simply puts 100% effort into anything and everything he does whether it be work, play or relationships.

MJ Gibbs began caving about 2 yrs ago. He rode his bicycle 8 plus miles each way to the Bexar Grotto meetings for the first 10 months of his membership. He was very excited to have met this group of folks and remains quite enamored with caving as a whole. He participates in the activities which support the caving community as often and readily as is able. Being retired MJ has time to invest in caving and associated works.

Mr. Gibbs volunteered heavily and secured materials for the Deep and Punkin shower project. Mj used his knowledge of the trades and persuasiveness to convince Elliot Electric Supply to allow all materials to be acquired at Elliot Electrics cost. The project very well might have drug on many months longer had these parts not been discounted so severely.

MJ is quick to volunteer for any activity the Grotto members need assistance. He participates in the planning and production of The Bexar Grotto's Hydro-Geo Workshop annually. He takes part in nearly every clean-up project that he encounters. MJ is currently involved with finding solutions for the issues that have plagued Robber Baron in this passed year. Recently with the help of Steve Gutting, MJ was able to secure donated materials for the fabrication of a new gate at Robber Baron Preserve. Volunteering each year for the Robber Baron Open House is one of MJ’s favorite duties.

These and other investments of his time are what earned MJ the esteemed Chuck Stuehm award for 2016. An award Mr. Gibbs has attempted to be worthy of every time he is asked to participate. It was a great honor and opened many doors as well as made possible some close friendships.

This community of people have given so much to MJ in a very short time, he is compelled to insure that a piece of himself stay with the lifestyle and the best way to achieve that is to invest of oneself.

It will be time well invested to serve the board of TCMA. It is MJ's sincere hope to be allowed an opportunity to serve with the outstanding members and caretakers of cave and karst in Texas.

Greg Mosier

Greg Mosier has been an avid lover of the outdoors and nature as far back as he has memories. His interest in caves begin at about the age of 12 when he entered his first wild cave which happened to be Wurzbach Bat Cave. That began a never ending love of the adventure of exploring underground which ultimately led to a Degree in Geology and then to joining the Bexar Grotto in the early 90s. Subsequently the responsibilities of life caused Greg to drift away from the caving scene.

Greg reconnect with the caving community by rejoining the Bexar Grotto in 2013, and more recently the TCMA and the TSA, participating in many volunteer efforts such as taking new people into caves such as Robber Baron Cave, and several project and survey trips to Deep Cave. Greg was elected the Chairman of Trips and Quarter Master for the Bexar Grotto in 2017 and has organized and led trips for Bexar Grotto members to Cave Without a Name, Snookie's Cave, and Deep and Punkin Preserve. Greg also has led the effort to organize a project with Comal County to allow for cave exploration at Kleck County Park and is the trip leader for this endeavor.

Greg's principle desire is to continue to expand upon his project oriented caving efforts to gain knowledge to use as a tool for raising the awareness of the general public about the importance of caves, their sensitivity, and to eventually tie this into a wider conservation effort.

Linda Palit

I started caving in the 1980s, and gradually it turned from an interest to a passion. As with most passions, caving has led to my participation in different caving groups, and my functioning in different roles. I have held grotto offices, held state offices, helped organize national and international conventions. Just as importantly, I have done some wonderful caving.

One of the biggest changes in caving since I began has been the relentless restriction of access to caves. I believe TCMA can impact this, and that contributes to my interest and work with TCMA.  Protecting caves and providing access to caves is one reason TCMA exists; I believe in that mission.

Several things I would like to work on with TCMA are the acquisition of more caves, the improvement of communication with members, and the incorporation of more people into the day to day activities of the organization. I am asking for your vote to elect me as a TCMA board member. 

Juliana Rincón

Juliana Rincón went into her first cave in her teens, discovering that she actually enjoyed crawling in water passage with low air space and bats flying in her face. In 2011 she joined Anthros Grotto in Costa Rica, where for a few months she learned about caves and caving. After a bit of a hiatus, she eventually made it into Dallas Fort Worth. In 2016, she won the Chuck Stuehm Award for Outstanding New Caver and in 2017 she was elected as the DFW Grotto Chair.

Mrs. Rincón is a member of the National Speleological Society (NSS), the Texas Speleological Association (TSA) and is an active cave cartographer, both assisting in the digitalizing of cave maps and as a surveyor and sketcher. For the past couple of years she's been working with the Colorado Bend State Park Project, doing inventory and surveying of caves. She has taught digital cartography courses at the Spring Convention in 2017 and taught a group of Colombian cavers how to survey during an expedition to Colombia she organized for Labor Day weekend in 2017.

She would be an asset to the TCMA Board of Directors, with her writing and public speaking skills both in English and Spanish and interest in working to further the TCMA's objectives and mission.