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October 14th, 2021
URISA Leaders Recognized at GIS-Pro 2021

Thrilled to be meeting safely and in-person again, 200 GIS professionals recently convened* in Baltimore, Maryland for GIS-Pro 2021.

“Thanks URISA, for putting on the 2021 GIS-Pro conference. I did not realize how disconnected I felt from our community, profession and technology until this week attending GIS-Pro in Baltimore. It was so great seeing my fellow GIS professionals; learning about what they have accomplished during the trying times; and hearing about the new technologies that have impacted how we do things. I feel so reinvigorated and reconnected! I did not realize how much I missed this until I got it back this week!” – Tripp Corbin, MCP, GISP, GIS Implementation Manager, Davey Resource Group, Inc.

(GIS-Pro 2020 took place virtually, along with virtual GIS Leadership Academies, webinars, workshops, and countless meetings.)

During the Awards Luncheon in Baltimore, we recognized the 2021 Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Award winners who were announced in August. Be sure to take some time to review the videos submitted by the winning systems since that announcement. The videos were debuted during the celebration and have since been posted online.

A number of URISA leaders were recognized for their volunteer service during the conference in Baltimore. We congratulate and thank all honorees for their amazing contributions to the community!

Leadership Award: Presented to members who have demonstrated exemplary leadership to URISA, creativity, innovation, and dedicated support of URISA programs. The recipient should be a member of URISA for enough years to show a pattern of leadership. Typically the recipient will have been responsible for new programs or activities, or significantly enhanced an existing activity or program, so that it takes URISA in a new direction and/or enhances our standing in the professional community.

2021 Recipient: Glenn O’Grady, GISP (Retired – Encinitas, California)

Service Award: Presented to members who have demonstrated faithful service to URISA and participation in its program over a period of several years. This award is for specific service to URISA. It should require a significant number of years of (not necessarily consecutive) service in a number of programs or committees, and a willingness to take on challenges without regard to the potential for recognition.

2021 Recipients: 

Alex Lopez Rogina, GISP (Avineon, Inc. – Huntsville, Alabama)

Rachel Rodriguez Marquez, GISP (Los Angeles County – Whittier, California)

Barbara Hirsch Special Service Award: Presented to members or staff who have made special contributions to URISA. This award was created (in 2004) to honor URISA’s former Chief Financial Officer, Barbara Hirsch. Barb made her mark at URISA by being an exceptional professional who would always step forward when a point needed to be made, but never stepped to the front for recognition. It is in the spirit of this dedication that the Board of Directors has created an award for special service to URISA. This award will be given to individuals or committees who have shown a similar consummate level of service to URISA through an ongoing commitment to our success as an organization.

  • 2021 Recipients: 

URISA & GIS-Pro 2020 LeadershipKeri Brennan, GISP (GeoComm – Indianapolis, Indiana), Ashley Hitt, GISP (Connected Nation – Louisville, Kentucky), Judy Colby-George, GISP (Spatial Alternatives – Yarmouth, Maine), and Randal Krejcarek, GISP (Wilsey Ham – San Francisco, California)

URISA Mentoring Program: Rachel Layko (Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona) and Frank Romo (RomoGIS – Detroit, Michigan)

OneURISA Committee: Tom Fisher, GISP AICP (Cuyahoga County – Cleveland, Ohio), Kim McDonough, GISP (Tennessee Department of Transportation – Nashville, Tennessee), Glenn O’Grady, GISP (Retired – Encinitas, California), Stephen Berry, GISP (Clark County – Winchester, Kentucky), Ryan Norton (Town of Foxborough, Massachusetts), Sara Taylor, GISP (Texas 811 – Richardson, Texas) and Marcus Harner, GISP (County of Shasta, Redding, California).

Chapter of the Year:  

The URISA Texas Chapter was the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Chapter Award. The chapter  produced 12 new GIS focused podcast episodes, came together with other state GIS organizations to create a virtual GIS Day event, hosted a speaker series that attracted 350 attendees from around the world, and gave $3,500 in donations to help support the Texas GIS community.  For their many successes, URISA Texas was named Outstanding Chapter.

Young Professional of the Year:

  URISA was also pleased to recognize Haley Zehentbauer (Stark County – Canton, Ohio) as URISA’s 2021 Young Professional of the Year in recognition of outstanding contributions as part of URISA’s Vanguard Cabinet.

Review the distinguished history of URISA Award winners here:

* All participants were either fully vaccinated or had recently tested negative for COVID-19.