President’s Message 2014

tolarDecember, 2013

Dear Colleagues:

It is my honor and pleasure to serve as your president this year.

As I step into the shoes so ably occupied by Al Leidner this previous year, I am mindful of the quote by Max De Pree, former CEO of Fortune 500 company Herman Miller: “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” It is my intention to serve the needs of the Association membership to the best of my ability in the coming year.

A little about me

I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Natural Resource Management and a minor in GIS. While in Ithaca, I worked for the Tompkins County Planning Department and thus began my GIS career. After graduation, I returned to Rochester and worked as a GIS Intern for the Monroe County Department of Planning and Development. In this position I gained valuable GIS skills and worked for some outstanding GIS professionals (you know who you are!). A year later I became the GIS Analyst for the Town of Penfield, a position I held for almost 14 years.

In November of 2013, I transitioned to my current job, Transportation Planner for the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA). I enjoy the challenges provided by my current position immensely and look forward to what the future at RGRTA will bring.

I presently live just west of Rochester, between Brockport and Bergen, NY, with my husband and two children, ages 4 and 7.

 The Association Board of Directors

I’d like to start by thanking Bruce Oswald, Dale Morris, Verne LaClair and Amy Work who “retired” from the Board this year after providing the Association with significant contributions over the past few years. Their contributions are greatly appreciated by everyone in the Association. I would especially like to recognize Bruce’s many years of service and tireless dedication to the advancement of the organization.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to welcome our new Board Members:

  • Susan Nixson (President Elect), City of Ithaca
  • Mickey Dietrich, Tug Hill Commission
  • Julia O’Brien, DHS/FEMA Region II
  • Rich Quodomine, NYSDOT

I am very excited to have them join us and I’m looking forward to working with each of them in 2014!

The Association Committees

I would thank all the Committee Chairs and Committee Members that helped us accomplish so much in 2013. There is still a lot to do, however, and we need the assistance of Association members to make this happen. Please consider helping out where possible and feel free to contact the current Committee Chairs to learn more about their activities and membership on their committees:

  • Communications – Carol Zollweg
  • Education – Ann Deakin, Andy Mendola
  • Geospatial Summit 2014 – Bill Johnson, Co-Chair TBD
  • Government/Civil Service – Julia O’Brien, Mike Ross
  • Legislative – Joe Jones
  • Outreach – Rich Quodomine
  • Membership – Razy Kased
  • Professional Development – Mickey Dietrich
  • Regional Coordination – Alan Leidner

Plans for the coming year

This is a very exciting time for the Association. We have a lot in the works and have made significant progress over the past few years. This coming year you can expect to see:

  • Continued support for legislative issues impacting GIS in the State of NY
  • Exciting and informative webinar opportunities
  • An exceptional lineup of speakers at the Geospatial Summit in the fall
  • New work in the area of local government and civil service issues
  • Outreach to public and private sector partners and regional groups to strengthen their relationships with the Association

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Association, I want to wish you all a wonderful 2014!

With appreciation,

Julie L. Tolar, GISP
President, NYS GIS Association, 2013-2014
Transportation Planner II
Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, Rochester, NY