Meet the Experts!

The Snow and Ice Leadership Seminar is packed with expert industry speakers, and we'd like you to meet them!  View their bios below, and make sure to introduce yourself at the seminar.


R. Mark DeVries Lead Consultant, Vaisala Inc.

Mark serves as a Lead Consultant and winter maintenance expert for Vaisala Inc. In his new role he serves as a resource that is helping clients/agencies/etc. to improve their operations and works with them to solve problems, offers training opportunities and serves as customer support. Previously, Mark was with McHenry County Division of Transportation (retired,) for 30 years. Chairman of the National APWA Winter Maintenance Sub-Committee. Member of the Winter Maintenance Technical Service Program. A member of the of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Winter Maintenance Committee and the  TRB Surface Transportation Weather Committee. Member of the APWA Chicago Metro Chapter. Former Trainer for the Illinois Department of Transportation. Mark has presented at Snow and Ice seminars all across North American and abroad, many environmental seminars and various Municipalities across North America. Mark has also traveled several times to Europe, South America, Scandinavia and China. Mark has been published in every major industry magazine. Mark is the
Bret Hodne Director of Public Works, City of West Des Moines

Bret has been with the City of West Des Moines Public Works Department since 1989. He started his career as an equipment operator for before moving into various managerial roles. He was promoted into the Superintendent of Public Works position in 1994 and into his current position as the Director of Public Works in 2008.

For several years Bret chaired the National APWA Winter Maintenance Sub-Committee. He currently serves as a Past Chair with this group and is still actively involved. Bret currently is serving as Chair of the National APWA Leadership and Management Committee and a member of the Institute Committee.

During the past few years, Bret has conducted several presentations in both the United States and internationally on

Bryan Beitzel Maintenance Superintendent, Village of Buffalo Grove Public Works Department

Bryan has worked for the Village of Buffalo Grove Public Works Department for over 23 years.  Working his way from an entry level water customer service employee to the position of Maintenance Superintendent with several stops along the way as the Utilities Crew Leader, Utilities Supervisor and Public Works Operations Manager.  Since assuming the position of Operations Manager in 2007 Bryan has had both hands on and supervisory control and responsibility for the winter maintenance program at the Village of Buffalo Grove.  Prior to the winter season of 2014 – 2015 Bryan led a team of Buffalo Grove Management and staff to rewrite their winter maintenance plan, and retrain all staff in policy and procedure for the new program.  Following two successful winter seasons under the new maintenance plan, the Village of Buffalo Grove Public Works Department was honored by the APWA as one of three communities to receive the 2016 APWA Excellence in Snow & Ice Control Award. 

Wilf Nixon Vice President for Science & the Environment, Salt Institute

Dr. Wilfrid Nixon is the Vice President for Science and the Environment at the Salt Institute, a North American based non-profit trade association dedicated to advocating the many benefits of salt, particularly to ensure winter roadway safety, quality water and healthy nutrition. Wilf is also President and co-owner of Asset Insight Technologies, LLC, a consulting company in the field of winter maintenance.

Dr. Nixon received his Bachelor’s and Doctorate degrees in engineering from Cambridge University, England, in 1981 and 1985 respectively. Wilf moved to the United States in 1984, working first as a visiting professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. In 1987, Wilf moved to the University of Iowa, and became a faculty member in the College of Engineering, rising to the rank of Professor in 1998. Wilf worked at the University until June 2015, and is now Emeritus Professor there.
Larry Schneider Streets Superintendent, City of Fort Collins

Larry Schneider is the Streets Superintendent for the City of Fort Collins. He decided to become a Public Works Professional over 30 years ago so that he could inspire, coach employees and make a difference to the Fort Collins community, following his mentor’s lead of fostering his love and knowledge of great customer service.

Larry Schneider is a past president of the APWA Colorado Chapter, and teaches classes for the APWA Public Works Institute.  He is a past recipient of the William J. Korbitz Colorado Public Works Leader of the Year award. The board of the Colorado APWA chapter nominates their favorite leader for the award, and, of all of Larry’s 20 different awards, this one is kept in a very special place…his heart. Larry also started the APWA Western Snow & Ice Conference, which he currently chairs as the conference enters its 36th year.

Jon Tarleton Head of Transportation Marketing, Vaisala Inc.

Jon Tarleton is the Head of Transportation Marketing for Vaisala, and has spent 20 years in the transportation industry.  Jon is a meteorologist and spent the first seven years of his career forecasting for Surface Systems’ Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) clients across North America.  Jon then spent 5 years as the trainer, providing road weather user training to road maintenance agencies.  Jon is currently responsible for all marketing activities related to Vaisala’s Roads, Airport, and Maritime products and services worldwide.  Jon serves on the American Public Works Association Winter Maintenance Sub-committee, and has been active in ITS America.  Jon obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
Curt Pape Minnesota DOT

Curt Pape is the former manager of the Road Weather Technology Section (RWT) for the Minnesota Department of Transportation where he worked for a total of 28 years.  This position included MnDOT’s Road Weather Information System (RWIS) with 99 sites; Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) including 810 plow routes; Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) in 600 of 810 Snowplows; and all research, training, and support associated with these systems.  Curt began his career with MnDOT in 1987 and spent his first 9 years as a Highway Maintenance Worker plowing snow and working
Wilf started his research in winter highway maintenance in the late 1980s working initially on ways of improving snow plow performance. He has conducted research for a number of federal and state agencies, and has covered topics relating to plow and cutting edge performance, optimal chemical usage, snow fence design, plow and truck instrumentation, optimal uses of novel technologies in winter maintenance, and information management and decision making in winter maintenance. He has written over 100 papers and reports on his research, and has made numerous presentations around the world.
Wilf has worked on numerous committees and panels relating to winter maintenance at both the National and International level. He chaired the TRB committee on winter maintenance from 1998 to 2004, and has been a member of that committee from 1995 to 2008. He has also chaired the TRB Task Force on surface weather and transportation (from 2005 to 2008) and is chair of the committee that was formed as a result of the task force (AH010: Surface Transportation and Weather). Wilf is currently President of SIRWEC, the Standing International Road Weather Conference. Wilf was a member of the AASHTO Lead State Team on RWIS/Anti-Icing Technology from 1997 to 2001. In 2000, he was one of a two person team sent by the FHWA to Argentina for three weeks to provide assistance and guidance on their winter maintenance practices. This work continues through today. In 2002 he served on the AASHTO/FHWA scan team to Japan for a three week visit to explore the role of ITS on winter maintenance.

Wilf has provided expert witness assistance to a number of highway agencies on matters relating to winter maintenance. He has also provided training to more than 1,000 winter maintenance personnel through training workshops offered by his company, AIT, in states and provinces in North America, and also around the world.
maintenance related issues. He has also written several articles that have been featured in various national publications. Most recently Bret presented at the World Snow Forum in Novosibirsk Siberia and traveled to China to promote sustainable winter maintenance practices. 
Bryan is a graduate of the Northern Illinois University Civic Leadership Academy in 2008, and a graduate of the Illinois Public Service Institute in 2010.
recipient of many awards including, the 2014 APWA Distinguished Service Award, the 2012 APWA Presidential Leadership Award, the 2010 APWA Top Ten Public Works Leader of the year, the 2007 APWA Donald C. Stone Award and the 2006 award of achievement from the APWA Chicago Metro Chapter. Mark and crew were the recipients of the 2006 APWA Technical innovation award and the National Association of Counties Achievement award for the County’s Liquid De-icier Blending System.
summers in surveys and construction.  After 3 years as a project manager in the Maintenance Research department he accepted a job as RWIS coordinator and, as technology advanced, took on the responsibility for MDSS and AVL.

Other activities included serving as MnDOT’s representative on the Aurora Group, MDSS pooled fund study, and several FHWA, NCHRP, and National Academy of Science projects for research and development of Road Weather Technology.