T: 705.942.7927 E:
Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre


Acorn Information Solutions’ dedicated team of subject matter experts specialize in municipal, utility, healthcare, social service and economic development sectors. Here are some of our senior staff and experts:


Paul has over 30 years of experience in the GIS and Information Technology fields. He began his career with the Ontario provincial government researching and implementing new technologies including GIS and GPS within the natural resource sectors. During the 1990’s, Paul was Vice President of ELIRIS Inc., which specialized in designing and implementing integrated GIS GPS solutions.

Since 2000, Paul has been General Manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre’s Acorn Information Solutions division (formerly known as Community Geomatics Centre), which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and establishing the means to share data, knowledge and tools among community organizations to create healthier, safer and more prosperous communities. The centre has been declared to be most comprehensive GIS solution in the world, the first true information utility and the best example of leveraging public data for public good in North America.

In 2015, AIS became the only five-time winner of URISA’s Best Municipal GIS in Ontario award. In 2010, Paul was also recognized by the Provincial Government for his contribution to the field of GIS in Ontario.


Possessing diplomas in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and natural resource management, Craig has accumulated over 25 years of combined experience in a variety of municipal/utilities GIS data warehousing and natural resources management. Craig played a key role in developing a shared corporate GIS data warehouse between the City of Sault Ste Marie and PUC Services Inc. Craig has also been responsible for administering comprehensive enterprise GIS as well as developing/implementing GIS for other municipalities and utilities across Ontario. Craig’s regular activities include database design/administration, software development supervision, complex data editing scenarios, data architecture customization, raster processing, data analysis, security administration, project management and client liaison.

Craig has worked with numerous Ontario municipalities, government departments, electric/water utilities, private engineering firms and foreign companies or agencies. Craig’s range of experience creates the niche ability to work with professionals in the fields of natural resources, multiple engineering disciplines and/or information technology.

Craig's key qualifications include, but are not limited to: participating in GIS data warehouse application design and development, complex data analysis and acquisition, database maintenance and project management. Craig is fluent with a variety of GIS software packages (ESRI ArcGIS, etc) and relational database software (Oracle, SQL server, Access, etc).


Gerry Belanger is the Manager of Information Technology and Company Security Officer for the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. Gerry holds diplomas in Computer Networking and Computer Network Security. Gerry specializes in System Architecture design, implementation and management of Enterprise GIS solutions using ESRI’s ArcSDE, ArcIMS and ArcGIS server and web technologies.

Gerry has over 20 years of Information Technology experience and over 14 years of that in the field of GIS. His GIS professional certification and Information Technology Project Management training and experience make him a valuable asset to have. His wide variety of experience and exposure to software, hardware and technologies allows the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre to develop and offer GIS solutions through a variety methods and technologies.


Possessing both Computer Programmer and Analyst Diplomas combined with accumulated experience, Marie can offer support in Analysis and Software Development.

During the last 16 years, she has gained experience in Java Programming and components such as Applets, Servlets, JSP and JavaBeans. Marie also has valuable skills in UML modeling for system development and utility models, developing new components in XML and administering Oracle and SQL Server databases. Marie has gained vast experience creating and maintaining extensions using ArcObjects for ArcGIS versions 8-10.3, as well as stand-alone program creation using ArcObjects and ArcMap Add-Ins.

Marie has gained experience developing a new ArcGIS Server web application using VB.NET, and upgrading existing applications from VB6 to VB.NET and ArcGIS ArcObjects 9.3.1 to ArcGIS ArcObjects 10 and 10.3. Marie has worked on converting older ArcIMS sites to use ArcGIS Flex API and ArcGIS Server map services. She has vast experience using the ArcGIS Javascript API creating new sites for customers as well as in-house applications. As well as creating the applications, Marie is experienced in maintaining and performing additions and upgrades to existing Javascript applications.

Marie has earned her Microsoft Certified Professional Developer certification, as well as her GISP, or Geographic Information Systems Professional designation. She has learned Sharepoint fundamentals and has built several web parts for a client for use with Sharepoint both externally and internally for the organization.

For the past few years, Marie has overseen four other developers; assigning tasks and ensuring projects move along smoothly and on-time and within scope.

Currently Marie has been migrating various sites to a new version of IIS with a heavy concentration on documentation.  Also, most recently she has been putting her focus on MVC technology with C#.NET as the organization focuses on keeping current with industry standards in development.


Chuck holds a Bachelor degree in Computer and Mathematical Sciences from Lake Superior State University and a 3-year Computer Programmer/Analyst Diploma from Sault College along with 20 years of work related experience in the field of Information Technology.  

During the past years, he has gained experience in the design and development of applications in-group environments for various agencies. Most recently, Chuck has applied his proven technical and specialized ability to AIS Manager of Operations/Database Administrator position with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. 

Skills include, but are not limited to:  project management, application design and development in C/C++, Visual Basic 6, VB.Net, and C#; GIS application design and development in ArcObjects and Python; Web site design and development in ASP, ASP.Net, VBscript, and Javascript; Database design and administration with Microsoft Access, SQL Server, and Oracle.  Chuck also possesses skills in Business Report development using Cognos, Microsoft Reporting Studio, and Brio.

His key qualifications include, but are not limited to: Project Management; Database Administration; System/Application Detail Design; System/Application Coding; System/Application Testing; System/Application Installation; and familiar with the delivery of Applications Training to new users.


Kristen is a GIS Analyst who has been with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre since 2007. She has a BA in Geography and a post-graduate certificate in GIS, as well as her GIS Professional certification.  She specializes in health and human services GIS, working with organizations such as the local health unit and social service organizations. 

A variety of projects has contributed to Kristen’s experience with data management, data editing, spatial analysis, online mapping, quality control and report generation.  Kristen has completed training in Spatial Analysis, 3D Analysis, Spatial Statistics, ArcGIS Online, GeoApps, and Project Management, as well as courses in Epidemiology to enhance her work with the health sector.


Steve has been with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre as a GIS Analyst since 2009. He holds an honours degree in History with a minor in Geography from the University of Guelph and a post-graduate certificate in GIS from Niagara College along with over 13 years of work experience in the fields of GIS and Data Analysis.

Prior to joining the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, Steve held GIS related positions at Optech Inc. in Toronto and the University of Western Ontario in London. His practical experiences and areas of expertise include data capture; the creation, editing, maintenance and organization of geospatial datasets; cartographic map design; spatial analysis; and remote sensing; with a special emphasis placed on socioeconomic, community development and health related themes. Steve routinely leads a team of analysts and technicians on a variety of short and long-term projects and has completed courses in Project Management and Epidemiology.