2016 URISA Vanguard Cabinet Announced

Des Plaines, IL (February 8, 2016) URISA is pleased to announce the 2016 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. 

2016-2017 URISA Vanguard Cabinet Members:

  • Amy Barker, Geospatial Analyst / Officer, Location Analysis, Canada Post, Ottawa, Ontario: "As a member of the 2016-17 VC, I'm looking forward to connecting with like-minded individuals in the field of GIS. I'm very eager to spread the work about URISA and broaden membership among students and those who are new to the field. It is truly exciting to be a part of this organization and to influence the direction that URISA will be heading in the near future."
  • Kara Collier, Seasonal Lead Fish Biologist Technician, US Forest Service, McCall, Idaho: "I feel grateful to have been chosen for the Vanguard Cabinet. What I look forward to most is working with the Cabinet and others who, like me, are at the start of their careers. I am excited to take what I experience and learn to help lift up others in the GIS community who share my passion, level of experience and struggles in establishing a foothold in this ever-evolving field."
  • Alison (Aly) DeGraff, GISP, Cartographer, BirdsCaribbean, Middlebury, Vermont:  "I’m excited to encourage a focus on women and other minorities in GIS and assist in the development of a forum that better connects GIS professionals, particularly those that lack the funding/flexibility to attend valuable regional/international networking conferences (e.g. in the Caribbean)."
  • Jen Dvorsky, GIS Analyst, El Paso Teller 911 Authority, Colorado Springs, Colorado: "I'm looking forward to collaborating with other passionate young professionals to engage and promote leadership opportunities within URISA and in our own GIS communities. I'm excited become part of a working group interacting with current and previous URISA members while growing my own involvement within the organization."
  • Luke Kaim, Application Software Specialist, Cherokee Nation Technologies, Fort Collins, Colorado: “I am excited to serve on the Vanguard Cabinet and am looking forward to helping with outreach and engaging young members.”
  • Tricia Melville, GISP, Senior Land Information Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Trinidad: "I look forward to being a part of a team that will be focused on developing the geospatial professional as future leaders of their respective fields. Working with exemplary and passionate geospatial professionals on the URISA VC will be an invaluable experience."
  • Susie Saliola, GIS/Planning Technician, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto, Ontario: "I'm honored to be one of the latest inductees to the Vanguard Cabinet! I'm looking forward to making connections and collaborating with the other (highly talented and motivated!) members on all of the amazing projects we have lined up."
  • Chris Schultz, GIS Analyst, City of Bakersfield , California: "In my upcoming URISA VC experience, I am most looking forward to mentoring young GIS professionals and helping facilitate a more connected GIS community. Additionally, being part of an organization that helps recognize achievements of young professionals in GIS is really exciting!"
  • Ryan Taylor, GISP, GIS Administrator, Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd., Burnaby, British Columbia: “I'd like to meet and interact with other young GIS professionals that are not local to my area. I’m looking to become a GIS mentor to help guide new professionals down the right path and to build/expand the K-12 movement in our area by hearing some ideas and stories to help ensure success.”

Each member serves a two-year term. Meet each member and learn more about VC activities here:  http://www.urisa.org/about-us/vanguard-cabinet/

Cabinet members are selected through an application process, with a review by the Vanguard Steering Committee. The application process for 2017 Vanguard Cabinet members will open in September 2016.


Wendy Nelson 
Executive Director
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