Women in GIS: Lisa A.Desautels, President, Graphic Imaging Services, Inc.

By Joe Francica

This month, our Women in GIS series continues with an interview with Lisa Desautels, president of Graphic Image Services, Inc.Ms.Desautels, after being a "road warrior" for several years with ESRI, Autodesk, and Hitachi, decided to put her experience to work in helping clients implement GIS.We asked her to reflect on her experience with customers and her successes with implementing GIS projects.

What is your position in your company?
President and Sales/Marketing Manager

What is your background?
15 years Autodesk Sales, 9 years ESRI Sales, 5 years Imaging and Doc.Mgmt Sales and Services

How did you get involved with your current job or employer?
Actually, I saw the need for a GIS and Imaging Provider in 1995 for Nevada. After a year of planning, I started Graphic Imaging Services, Inc. In 1998, I took a position with Hitachi Software Global Technologies (www.hsgt.com) for a year as the Western Region Manager. This was a great experience! I got to see how others in the GIS and Imaging Industry did things. I was offered a position by Earth Resource Mapping (http://www.ermapper.com) because of by knowledge of imaging. This was a different type of imaging and played into GIS in a different way. I had a great experience and learned much more about the tools and technology.

After being a Road Warrior for software companies and decided it was time to bring the knowledge I had learned home to Nevada. Now, I actively show these technologies and how the play into GIS and Imaging.

What does your typical day or week look like?
I start the week of with a Staff Meetings. We plan quarterly marketing efforts, and communicate with our client base making them aware of the technology and events that effect them but this tends to turn into a weekly task: We try in every way to get the attention of the customer who is unaware of our services and how GIS applies to them. I hate to see organizations realize what we can do for them AFTER a disaster occurs. It's like backing up your data after you loose it.

I talk to customers who need everything from a scanned drawings to a document management system that integrates with GIS.Sometimes it's just educating the client on what a TIF file is.

What involvement to you have with GIS professional groups or organizations?
I just accepted a two year position as the Nevada GIS Board's Secretary for Southern Nevada. I have been always involved in the traditional CAD and GIS Users Groups within Nevada. I am also a member of AIIM (Association of Information and Image Management). We participate in various event in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. From the APWA to annual GIS conferences.

What is the most important "next thing" that will happen in GIS?
Seeing GIS in non-traditional markets like Hotels, Gaming, and Facility Management, etc. People need and use GIS, they just don't always know it.

What is the accomplishment of which you are most proud?
Assisting Clark County in establishing large format scanning systems for the fastest growing city in the nation. We taught them how they could scan their drawings, which varied from the early 1900's to present. They purchased 7 more scanners and led the way to others government agencies in the region accepting the technology

Before you came to GIS, what did you think your career would be?
I thought I would be CAD industry in some capacity. I did not see how much impact GIS would have. My supervisor (in 1992) told me to FOCUS on two markets. I chose GIS and Imaging because there was a lot to be done with the Yucca Mtn.Project being studied. I didn't realize how much GIS would continue to play on this subject of nuclear waste storage.

Would you recommend GIS to other women?
Absolutely. It is such an open market. All you have to do is think about how mapping affects our world (and we have worlds within our worlds). GIS is everywhere. Think about how you using mapping and you will see the need for GIS. From street signs to the direction you are going to the number of traffic accidents to the business location to the selection of real estate. It's everywhere!

Why is GIS an exciting industry in which to participate?
It affects our world in so many ways. GIS is from the Tax Assessor to the Planner to the selection of Real Estate to Crime tracking, to cellular phone service to snow removal to the location of a slot machine and so on .

Here is a great definition of GIS I received from a User Group about a year ago....
" A GIS is a high-resolution, large-scale, richly detailed "intelligent map" that allows users to input, update, query, analyze and display detailed information about a geographic area.Geographic information systems are widely used by utilities, state and local governments, federal agencies and commercial businesses to manage massive infrastructures effectively, to improve operating efficiencies and to analyze future demand for facilities."

Who wouldn't want to be involved?

For more information, Contact Ms.Desautels at:
Lisa A.Desautels
Graphic Imaging Services, Inc.
1601 S.Rainbow Blvd. #110
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 222-3590 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Published Wednesday, July 24th, 2002

Written by Joe Francica

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