President’s Message 2011

Bruce Oswald

Bruce Oswald

Welcome to the NYS GIS Association, New York’s statewide professional geospatial organization representing the interests of its geospatial community. The Association provides advocacy of the geospatial profession through scholarships, certification, continuing education, GISP and other professional development opportunities.  It also provides forums to meet and network on a regular basis, provides guidance to the NYS Geospatial community on selected topics and provides a voice to the NYS elected officials and leadership on key statewide GIS issues and topics.  It is truly an honor for me to serve as the president of the Association for the coming year.

The Board of Directors, the Committee Chairs and I began our new terms by engaging in a strategic planning process one Saturday in Utica in November.  We reviewed the results of the annual survey, comments made at the annual meeting and input provided by Board and Committee Chairs on items that we needed to accomplish in 2011.  The themes coming from each of these areas included:

  1. Providing professional development opportunities
  2. Tracking and engaging in discussions on the survey legislation
  3. Providing additional networking opportunities
  4. Continuing to co-sponsor the Geospatial Summit and the State Conference
  5. Participating in the education of children on GIS
  6. Increasing support to regional GIS organizations
  7. Providing a conduit on communication for the NYS GIS Community
  8. Increasing membership as well as member involvement in Association activities

We looked at the structure of the organization and decided to make some changes to best accomplish these themes and assigned tasks to each committee or officer. These changes included establishing new Communications, GISP, and By-Laws Committees.  We have asked each Committee to develop a work plan and budget to accomplish these tasks and we want to encourage each Association member to join a committee to assist us in completing these tasks.  In order to insure that we accomplish these tasks, the Board will monitor them on a regular basis.

The Board also agreed to start meeting twice a month to assist in accommodating this ambitious program.  Early each the month the Board will hold regular “Board” meetings which will handle the “official” Association business items.  In the middle of the month, the Board will meet in a more informal setting to discuss policy issues or conduct training as required.  This second meeting will have a very limited schedule and be designed to allow Board members to discuss issues in depth.  Committee chairs, who are Board members, have also been asked to participate in these meetings to encourage a broad discussion of the issues.  In order to assist us in running our meetings better, Rich Quodomine has agreed to serve as our “parliamentarian” at each meeting and to chair a new committee to revise the Association’s by-laws.

2010 was a difficult economic year for all of us in New York.  The Association and our partners, the NYS Office of Cyber Security (Summit) and SUNY ESF (Conference), worked hard to make the GeoSpatial Summit and the NYS GIS Conference successes.  While there are signs that the economy is improving, 2011 may prove even more difficult and neither event can be guaranteed for this coming year.

We have already begun to engage the NYS Association of Professional Land Surveyors (NYSAPLS) and the NYS Society of Professional Engineers to work on modifications to the surveying legislation.  We met in November with NYSAPLS and have been encouraged by their willingness to work with us.  A meeting is being scheduled to meet with the NYS Society of Professional Engineers in early 2011 to discuss their perspectives as well. As you can see, we have begun to rapidly move forward on several fronts and are excited by the progress to date!  However, there is much more to do and we need the assistance of Association members to make this happen.  Please consider helping out where possible and feel free to contact the Committee Chairs to learn more about their activities and membership on their committees:

Marketing – Ben Houston
Regional Coordination – Elisabetta DeGironimo
Education – Ann Deakin
Communications – Carol Zollweg
Membership – Sheri Norton
Legislation – Joe Jones
GISP – Dennis Wischman
Conference – Jeff Volpe
By-Law Changes – Rich Quodomine

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Association, we want to wish you all a wonderful 2011!

Bruce Oswald
NYS GIS Association President