NER Candidate Biographies

Welcome to the election page of the Northeastern Region of the NMRA. If you have any questions please contact the Election Committee or the NER Webmaster.

Thank you,

David Abrames

NER Webmaster


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NER President

John Doehring


Like many of you, I’ve been crazy about trains for most of my life. About ten years ago I decided to make some real progress with model railroading, and this led me first to NTRAK and then to the NMRA. I didn’t join at first for social connectivity – my goal was simply to learn more about how to model. Still, the friendships I’ve made in the NMRA are the best part of membership. I began volunteering in my division (membership and admissions tables), and later became editor of the NER Coupler.

In 2014 I ran for Region Vice President, and then moved into the President’s role three years ago when Scooter stepped down. I’ve also served concurrently as a BoD member for the HUB Division. I’m participating in the Achievement Program as well, have earned the Volunteer and Official certificates, and am working today on Author, Chief Dispatcher, and Golden Spike. I’m currently building new N-scale modules, with a home layout on the planning boards for a couple of years out. We have worked in the Region over the last three years to further improve the Coupler, the annual convention, our longer term strategic direction, and our own regional governance model. Ahead we’d like to focus on overhauling the website, increasing membership, and enhancing support to our divisions.

I’d appreciate your vote for President, and (even more importantly) your participation in the Northeastern Region as we move forward.


NER Vice President

Bob Dennis


I have been a Model Railroader for most of my 74 years. In 2009, I received the best Christmas gift ever – a full membership in the National Model Railroad Association. I had dabbled in train collection but never set up an operating layout. Well now was the time, especially since my new membership led me to a group of fellow modelers where I live, on Staten Island. While not finished, my layout received a Golden Spike Award and is functioning with some areas still under reconstruction. This layout has also helped me attain my Certificates of Achievement for Model Railroad - Civil and Model Railroad – Electrical.

Never being one to shy away from a request for help, I answered the call of my home Division and took on the responsibility of a Director of my Division. This led me to become the Treasurer and then the representative from the Division to the Board of Directors on the Region. After a few years I was asked if I’d like to serve as the Region VP. Well I accepted the appointment and have enjoyed representing the Region at numerous local conventions. My volunteerism has rewarded me with two additional Certificates of Achievement one for Volunteer and one for Association Official.

I am now looking to be elected to the position of Vice President so that I can continue to serve.


NER Northern Director

Larry Cannon, MMR


I have been a model railroader since at age five my parents bought me a wind up Marx set that my father mounted on a small sheet of plywood so I would leave my older brother's American Flyer alone.

I worked and lived in Vermont from 1969 to 1983 and have served as a Seacoast Division Director for almost twenty years. I have been a member of the Maritime Federation of Model Railroaders for almost that long, have traveled in the Maritimes and Quebec since 1971. I have made a number of NMRA, MFMR and other model railroading friends in my travels and offered AP assistance to the new Eastern Canada Division.

I model primarily in HO Scale, but also dabble in about anything that fits on G Scale track. I was the NER Secretary for two years, Treasurer for thirteen years and served on the NMRA National Contest Committee for six years. I have been active in the AP program and contest judging since rejoining the NMRA in 1994.


NER Southern Director

Kevin Katta


Kevin Katta, is a long time member of the Sunrise Trail Division on Long Island and a member of the NMRA since 1999; has served as Division Secretary, Vice President, President and Director; is now in his fourth year as the Sunrise Trail and Metro North Div representative as a Northeastern Region (NER) Board of Director (BOD).

He models in HO; is a member of the modular group HOTrack and the Sunrise Trail Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.


NER Eastern Director

Barbara Hoblit


I am Barbara Hoblit and I’ve been a member of the NMRA for a little over four years.

In that time I have served as HUB Secretary and am currently the MA representative to the NER. My interest in the hobby and in railroads goes way back. I’ve been railfanning since before I knew it was a thing.

I’ve taken Amtrak from Philadelphia to Oregon ( and back ), taken a ride on the Copper Canyon Railroad in Mexico, done the Eurrail backpack thing, and last year, experienced the auto-train on Amtrak from Virginia to Florida where I attended the National Train Show. I’m a fan of the WW2 era and early 1950’s Southern Pacific and Santa Fe.

I give clinics and presentations on modeling with cosmetics and discount store items and love participating in local and national model RR events.

I’d like to continue to serve your interests as an NER board member. I’m interested in continuing to promote the hobby by staying active online, as a moderator of the NMRA Facebook and HUB Facebook groups.

I thank you for your consideration and for one of your votes.


Mike Dolan


I became involved in the NMRA in August of 2016 after leaving the South Shore Model Railway Club. I had served the club as Vice-President, Chief Engineer and Director at the club for the previous 8 years.

I was a member of the club Budget Committee for all the years there and worked with all involved to balance a Budget and construct a major Model Railroad. I was Head of the Scenery committee and actively involved in the Trackwork/Design Committee. On that committee we successfully implemented Fast Tracks Fixture usage for all Turnout construction. This included hundreds of Turnouts.

Becoming active in the NMRA was easy. I began by attending the regular Railfun nights hosted by the HUB Division and then volunteered to take on the open Recording Secretary function. I have been in that position for the past year and a half.

I worked with Pete Watson assembling the Spring Training Program last year and will work with him again for the 2019 Program.

I am an Active modeler and have taken part in the New England Free-Mo Modular group in recent years. My home layout, The Whitman Southern, is an off shot of that group. Owning a number of modules helped me decide; rather than build a new layout around the wall of a basement; to link them together and construct new modules to fill the spaces and gaps. I currently have approximately 35-40 of operating modules. I recently completed the qualifications to earn my Golden Spike and am looking forward to pursuing additional AP Certificates.

I feel I can add to the already strong Leadership group we have at the NER and would appreciate your vote for NER Eastern Director.

Thank you

Mike Dolan

HUB Division Secretary


Peter Higgins


I joined the HUB Division as a HUB Life Member 32 years ago for $30. What a bargain! In 2011, I became the Division’s Membership Chairman and thoroughly enjoyed meeting and recruiting new members, sharing this fabulous hobby of ours.

I have served as a member of the Division’s BOD since 2013. I served as the Seven Diamonds Convention Volunteer Chairman and LRD’s Newport Convention Committee. I have attended every NER Convention since Laconia. It was after Laconia I decided to organize a raffle (Started by Chip Faulter), for the succeeding Conventions. These raffle funds are used by the host divisions to help offset the costs they incur. I feel that if every division pitched-in, in a similar fashion, it would immensely lighten the load for hosting Conventions. This would make it possible for any of the North East Region’s Divisions to host.

As the North Area Director, along with the other Directors, I plan to seek out talent pools and develop them into our strengths and grow the NER to be the best region. I truly appreciate your support and assistance for this endeavor. I believe it’s what we have in common that unites us and our differences that strengthen us. All aboard for the Erie Limited!


NER Western Director

Edward J. O'Rourke


Ed O’Rourke’s career as a model railroader began when his father brought a set of Marklin HO trains home from his service in Germany during the Korean War. Ed still models in HO scale, depicting the New Haven Railroad in the late 1940’s - early 1950’s. He has also dabbled in G scale, although his present home does not have room for a garden layout.

He rejoined the NMRA, following a 20-year hiatus, after meeting a group from the CNY Division at a train show, and has found it a source of friendship, inspiration, and information. Ed is currently Division Clerk, co-editor of the division newsletter, and Chair of the 2019 NER Convention committee. He currently serves as NER New York State Director.

Ed holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from Syracuse University and is retired after 42 years as a public school band director. He served for 13 years as Treasurer of the Syracuse Teachers Association, and is currently Treasurer of the NYS Band Directors Association. He performs regularly with several bands and small ensembles and is a NYSSMA Woodwind Adjudicator. He and his wife live in Syracuse.



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