Downstate GIS Leaders,
Hello and Happy New Year. Some of you may not know that I was recently elected President of the NYS GIS Association. This email is to simply say hi and to encourage you to consider becoming more active in your State’s organization. I would also very much like it if you could encourage your GIS colleagues in your county, city and regional organizations to also become State Association members. You can read about my approach on the NYS GIS Website at:
I’d also like to mention some new and ongoing activities that might be of interest to you:
1) Dale Morris of Erie and Niagara County is Chair of the Regional Committee. With the support of Julie Tolar, Association President elect, Dale is pushing to better identify GIS organizations of all kinds across the state with the intention of more closely working with and supporting them.
2) Professional Development: Rich Quodomine, PD Chair, is organizing technical training sessions and a series of information exchanges, all free to members. Rich is looking to partner with local GIS groups. For example, working with Steve Pollackov, we will be making the January 18 th NYC ArcUsers meeting and Census presentation by Steve Romalewski, available to State Association members via webinar.
3) Conferences: The Association recently held a spectacular GeoSpatial Summit in Skaneateles, N.Y. which featured Dr. Roger Tomlinson, the “Father of GIS” helping us celebrate the 50 th anniversary of our profession. http://www.nysgis.net/activities/geospatial-summit/ Past President Bruce Oswald, Verne LeClair, and Conference Committee, are now working on our next conference scheduled for Fall, 2013, to be held in the Albany area. It promises to be the best one yet. We will be looking to make it as easy as possible for Downstate GIS’ers to attend.
4) Website: Our web presence continues to grow and Communications Chair Carol Zollweg and her team are doing a great job making the site more feature rich and interactive. You should visit regularly. http://www.nysgis.net/ In time I’m hoping you will become regular website contributors.
5) Our Education Chairs Ann Deakin and Amy Work are developing an inventory of all GIS academics in the State. They are also developing a program to make ESRI software available at no cost to K-12 teachers.
I am defining the Downstate Area as comprised of Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties and New York City. I have pledged to work towards making sure this, the most populous part of NYS, is fully engaged in the Association. I encourage you to distribute this email through your networks and to urge the people you know to become Association members. All it takes is a quick visit to the website and a brief transaction with PayPal to pay the $10 dues. A ROI analysis, developed by Mike Zoltek, Marketing Chair, shows that members are likely to realize benefits more than 40x the cost of their dues. -http://www.nysgis.net/member-area/value-of-membership/
Please let me know if I have missed any key Downstate GIS leaders or organizations. Also tell me whether someone else in your County is more appropriate to contact than yourself. (I am a little unsure of the GIS leadership structure in Suffolk County.) And please send me any thoughts you have about how the NYS GIS Association can be a better friend, ally, and collaborator. As Superstorm Sandy taught us: GIS works best when we are networked together and supporting each other. I’m hoping you agree that being part of the State GIS Association can help make that possible.
My best regards, Alan
President, NYS GIS Association