URISA Announces Newest Members of the Vanguard Cabinet of Young GIS Professionals


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Des Plaines, IL (September 23, 2021) URISA is pleased to announce the newest members of its Vanguard Cabinet. The Vanguard Cabinet (VC) is a URISA initiative (which debuted in 2011) to engage young GIS practitioners, increase their numbers in the organization, and better understand the concerns facing these future leaders of the GIS community. The VC is an advisory board who represent the young membership of the organization. The Cabinet’s mission is to collaborate with URISA’s Board of Directors and Committees in creating and promoting programs and policies of benefit to young professionals.

Comprised entirely of passionate young members selected from different geospatial disciplines, the Cabinet aims to position URISA as the center of opportunities for ambitious young professionals who are committed to improving URISA and the geospatial profession via innovation, collaboration, networking, and professional development. Each will serve a three-year term.

2022-2024 URISA Vanguard Cabinet Members:

Jordan Abbott – GIS Analyst, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Ohio I’m excited and honored to be selected for the Vanguard Cabinet! I look forward to learning from and working with like-minded peers to move the GIS profession forward. I’m passionate about growing URISA’s footprint (and geospatial awareness) on college campuses, developing school age programming, and increasing diversity within the profession. I love all things GIS and am really looking forward to hitting the ground running!

Jordan Carmona – Senior GIS Analyst, Town of Prosper, Texas Spatial technology is a constantly evolving field, capable of being utilized by every industry on the planet. As individuals, we all benefit from participation in a community of our peers where we learn from the experiences of others. I’m so happy for the opportunity to foster and enable those connections as part of the Vanguard Cabinet.

Janelle Innes - GIS/CMMS Technician, City of Delaware Department of Public Utilities, Delaware, Ohio I am so grateful to be a part of URISA’s 2021-2024 Vanguard Cabinet cohort. Sharing the interdisciplinary nature of GIS with students, at all stages of their academic career, has been a passion of mine for quite a while. I am so excited to be surrounded by other geo-centric professionals who are passionate about finding new and innovative ways to reach students. As a true believer in lifetime learning, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to network with and learn from fellow young professionals and the GIS community as a whole!

Matthew Paivinen - Business Solutions Analyst (Geomatics), City of Abbotsford, British Columbia Canada I'm looking forward to being a part of URISA's Vanguard Cabinet and to contributing to the growth of the GIS profession. As part of my term with the VC, I hope to network with other members, support the existing VC programs created for young GIS professionals, and to further URISA's body of authority. I am excited to see how the GIS profession evolves within an ever advancing technological world!

Kendal Price – GIS Analyst, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Reno, Nevada I am really excited to serve as a part of URISA's Vanguard Cabinet! I am passionate about mentoring and educating others about opportunities in the geospatial industry because of how transformative my career as a GIS professional has been. It's an honor to be a part of VC, where members desire to learn from one another for the sake of developing and empowering the next generation of young geospatial professionals.

Becky Schneider – GIS Solutions Engineer, INCATech – Innovative Computing & Applied Technology, Fairfax, Virginia I am thrilled to be joining the Vanguard Cabinet’s 2022-2024 cohort alongside some of the most enthusiastic and creative young professionals in the geospatial field! Promoting inclusion within the industry is one of my greatest passions, and one of my main priorities will be to empower diversity amongst our young professionals. I look forward to collaborating with the other cabinet members, URISA at large, and (especially) all the young GIS professionals looking for a place to call home!

Jason Shapiro – Senior Geospatial Training Manager, Integrity Management Consulting, Washington, D.C. I look forward to being part of the URISA Vanguard Cabinet and having the opportunity to support young URISA scientists and practitioners. Young professionals bring energy, innovation, and new ideas to the geospatial and urban and regional sciences and the Vanguard Cabinet facilitates bringing this contribution to URISA. I look forward to getting to know many more of my URISA colleagues and to facilitate connecting contributions from young professionals with URISA management. Our work is critically important to informing decisions relating to many societal challenges, and it will be rewarding to help in this endeavor.

Sara Thompson - GIS Manager at IMS Infrastructure Management Services, Tempe, Arizona I am looking forward to meeting all of my fellow VC members and making a difference in the GIS profession over the next three years! I am excited to join this group of motivated and passionate people and can't wait to begin connecting with other young professionals about URISA and increasing their engagement in the GIS profession.

Cabinet members are selected through an application process, with interviews by the URISA Leadership Development Committee. The application process for the next class of Vanguard Cabinet members will open during the Summer of 2022.

Learn more about VC activities here: https://www.urisa.org/vanguardcabinet

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