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2021 keynote speakerS 


Annita Lucchesi (Cheyenne) serves as Executive Director of Sovereign Bodies Institute, and in that role, continues her work as founder and caretaker of the MMIW Database. She brings years of experience in grassroots research and organizing to end violence against indigenous women and girls, and has served as an advocate and expert in work with tribal, federal, and state efforts to better address the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. Annita is a survivor of domestic and sexual violence, as well as trafficking. Her research specialties include indigenous methodologies, arts-based methods, critical cartography, and data sovereignty. She holds a BA in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley and a MA in American Studies from Washington State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Geography with a minor in Gender & Women's Studies from the University of Arizona. 


Nicole is a transformative and strategic Pro-Equity and Anti-Racism leader.  As a technologist, she champions the non-binary realities of technology as a human right.  Nicole advocates for integrating technology tools as a critical resource in race and social justice strategic planning as upstream investments, where the needs are greatest.  She leverages and innovates technology to advance Equity and Social Justice to design, define and drive sustainable cross-sectional applications respected on local, regional, and national levels. 

Nicole is a results-focused manager with 20 years of experience, increasing levels of responsibility and leadership in the areas of information technology, strategic planning, program management, project management, performance management, public policy analysis and key stakeholder relationship management.  She develops workable, pragmatic solutions to problems faced by the unserved and underserved communities.  Nicole utilizes her education and unique experience to enable organizations to advance Pro-Equity and Anti-Racism organizational development. As an Executive and Life Coach, she enjoys helping other professionals, especially those who desire to develop their Anti-Racism leadership. 


  • M.A, Demography, University of Pennsylvania

  • B.A. Sociology (urban studies) with Distinction, University of Washington 

  • B.S. Applied Computational Math & Science (ACMS), University of Washington

  • B.S. Statistics, Minor in Pure Math, University of Washington

  • Professional Scrum Master,

  • ITIL Foundation, EXIN

  • Virtues Project Facilitator

  • First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor, American Red Cross

GIS for Equity & Social Justice: Equity is Spatial Analysis

Join us to hear how Equity is GIS in Action! Equity and Social Justice is how professionals are being asked to do their work.   Increasingly  professionals in every field from environmental science, transportation to health and beyond are being asked to deliver services equitably. How do we ensure equitable outcomes? How do we understand where the needs are greatest and implement plans of equity and social justice to close the gap so everyone thrives?  Equity is a spatial analysis, GIS is key in Equity Action.


Karsten Vennemann is a GIS professional with more than 20 years of expertise in GIS and project management. His background is in Geography and Soil Science and he holds a Diploma (Master of Sc.) from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and a Master's Degree from UC Berkeley. The majority of his work focuses on GIS in the context of natural resources, sustainable development, and social justice. Over the course of his career, his work included positions as Environmental Scientist, GIS Analyst & Programmer, and Project Coordinator. Work tasks included GIS project management, GIS analysis, and cartography, remote sensing, development of web-based information systems, and implementation of spatial databases. He has experience in leading and managing GIS projects (in the academic, business, and non-profit sectors). In 2007 he started his own company, Terra GIS based in Seattle, and in 2017 opened a branch near Heidelberg, Germany. Karsten has worked on a wide variety of international projects in Europe, Africa, and South America, as well as projects in the Pacific Northwest (US). He teaches classes in Open Source GIS and a good portion of this consulting work involves creating and supporting Open Source based Web GIS solutions. Over the last 15 years, Karsten has been a frequent speaker at GIS conferences and has been an active member of the OSGeo Foundation and the Open Source Geospatial community. Link to CV.


Steven Hoffert is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Oregon Youth Authority and the current Chair of the Oregon Geographic Information Council.  He has worked in State and local government for over 25 years including the Oregon Judicial Department where he worked as the IT technical lead and Oregon Department of Forestry as CIO and spent summers supporting fires on the Incident Management Team.


Jeff Frkonja is Metro's Research Center Director, a former Oregon Geographic Information Council chair, and the current OGIC regional government representative.  He has spent more than two decades working in and for the public sector on data development, GIS systems, decision-support analytics, and information ​governance.  In his spare time he enjoys using his spatial senses to navigate the awesome outdoor opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.


Colleen Miller is the City of Bend’s GIS Manager and serves on the Oregon Geographic Information Council as the local government representative. Colleen has an extensive background in both GIS and information technology in the public sector, both at the state and local level.  When she isn’t working to enable data-informed decision making, you’ll find Colleen exploring Oregon’s outdoors on skis, by bike, or by foot.

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