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From The President: GITA Is Your Opportunity To Give Back

From The President: GITA Is Your Opportunity To Give Back

By Drew Fioranelli

Recently, I was asked “how does someone from the Mississippi Delta become president of GITA?” Mostly the question was asked out of curiosity, but this person was really looking to try and make the connection between GITA and Mississippi as there really isn’t a blunt one. My response is very simple.... “GITA is an opportunity for me to give back to a community that has provided me so much over the years.”

While in college at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, one of my instructors happened to sit on the board of directors and would go on to become the GITA president. Talbot Brooks was fantastic at making sure students were engaged and plugged in with GITA and all of the opportunities a professional organization can provide. As a student, I was given the opportunity to travel across the country to attend conferences, to volunteer and to meet some the industry leaders. Through these connections, I would eventually land a summer gig working in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for a summer before my senior year.

Growing up in a small town, though you’re told you can be anything you want to be and do anything you want to do, I’m not sure you ever really think that is a possibility, because those words are not reinforced with action. Everyone that was around while you’re growing up is still there. I get why we are told at a young age we can be anything we want to be. It’s encouragement that's supposed to help you strive to be greater. 

I did not realize I could be greater or that I could be a part of something bigger until I spent a good bit of time reflection on everywhere GIS had taken me during my young career and it was this self realization that lead me to jump at the opportunity to join GITA’s board when the opportunity arose. For years GITA and GIS had provided me opportunity I’d never dreamed possible as a young child. I had traveled to states I only saw on maps and worked in a country to which I had never considered traveling.

Joining GITA as a member, then as a director and now as president is my way of giving back to the industry that has given me so much. This is my opportunity be part of something that is bigger than me and to have the ability to impact my community in a way only belonging to an organization can. That is the true value of belonging to a professional organization. Not only am I able to connect with some of the most giving people in our community, but together we are able to help shape the community for those that are to follow.

So, if your New Year's resolution is to have an impact on the geospatial community, I want to strongly encourage you to consider joining GITA. Joining GITA is a great way to give back, to shape the community and to mentor tomorrow's professionals, I promise, there is a student or young professional that is going to think you’re a superstar and look up to you for years to come.

2019 GITA Is On Stronger, More Stable Footing

2019 GITA Is On Stronger, More Stable Footing

Dear members and colleagues:

As I close out my fourth (and final) year of leading GITA, I wanted to drop you a note expressing my gratitude for your support of GITA and its mission.

2018 has been extremely challenging for the the association, but I believe that as we roll into 2019 GITA is on a stronger and more stable footing than it has been in years.

Notable achievements for 2018 include;

  • Returned to Phoenix for the first time in many years by hosting a GITA event in conjunction with the Common Ground Alliance’s Excavation Safety Conference & Expo  Currently we are making plans to collaborate on the 2019 Tampa event!
  • The 6th Annual EnerGIS Conference was held in suburban Pittsburgh focusing on geospatial issues within the energy industry.
  • GITA contracted with Gulf Energy Information to produce the 27th edition of the GITA Oil Gas & Pipeline Conference, the conference would be rebranded the “Pipeline Technology Forum”
  • The board of directors contracted with Civica Associations Conferences & Exhibitions to manage the association, replacing SharedGeo of St. Paul Minnesota.
  • GITA assisted in producing the second edition of UMGEOCON; focusing on geospatial issues of concern to the Upper Midwest geospatial community.
  • The Pipeline Technology Forum, held in Houston in October, was a great success.  The directors received many thanks for carrying on with the conference in spite of the short lead time.  Many Thanks to Gulf Energy Information for their efforts to keep this conference an ongoing success!
  • Recruited several high quality candidates for an expanded board of directors; we received many great nominations and the ballots are currently in the hands of our membership.  I am looking forward to serving with those elected!  Winning candidates will be announced in the very near future.

With that I’ll close out my last message as president, again it has been honor to serve the association and the geospatial community.  Best wishes to my successor Drew Fioranelli, who I know will bring great passion and enthusiasm to the association.

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2019!


Mark E. Limbruner, GISP