URISA Recognizes Members During GIS-Pro 2013

Des Plaines, IL (October 22, 2013) – During GIS-Pro 2013, URISA’s 51stAnnual Conference in Providence, Rhode Island last month, a number of deserving individuals were recognized with association awards.

The  URISA Leadership Award is presented to members who have demonstrated exemplary leadership to URISA, creativity, innovation, and dedicated support of URISA programs. This year’s Leadership Award recipients were Barry Wellar and Cy Smith. Dr. Wellar is the only repeat recipient of the Award, having been honored with the very first URISA Leadership Award in 1978. He was recognized again this year, primarily for his efforts leading the publication of Foundations of Urban and Regional Information Systems and Geographic Information Systems and Science, a significant book assembled to celebrate URISA’s 50th anniversary conference in 2012. Cy Smith was honored for serving URISA in numerous leadership capacities (Board of Directors and URISA President) and has led URISA advocacy and marketing initiatives for a number of years. He was instrumental in the founding of the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations and has supported various partnership and collaboration activities.  

URISA’s Service Award is presented to members who have demonstrated faithful service to URISA and participation in its programs over a period of several years. Al Little, long-time conference committee member and chair of GIS-Pro 2013, and the original members of the URISA Vanguard Cabinet Steering Committee (Clare Brown, Amy Esnard and Hilary Perkins) were the deserving recipients of 2013 URISA Service Awards.

The  Barbara Hirsch Special Service Award is 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. This award is given to individuals or committees who have shown a consummate level of service to URISA through an ongoing commitment to our success as an organization. The 2013 Barbara Hirsch Special Service Award was awarded to URISA’s recently-retired Accounting Manager, Ann Bishopp and also to the URISA Chapter Affiliation Negotiating Committee (Cy Smith, Al Butler, Carl Anderson, Tripp Corbin, Teresa Townsend, Amy Esnard, Paul Caris, Colin Gowens, Luke Boggess, and Sandra Crutcher).

Each year, URISA recognizes an outstanding Chapter that has sponsored particularly effective activities or has otherwise excelled in serving its membership.  Outstanding Chapter Award criteria include:

  • Innovation
  • Outreach
  • Education
  • Community Impact

The winner of the 2013 Outstanding Chapter Award was the URISA New England Chapter ( www.neurisa.org).  

NEURISA, co-host of GIS-Pro 2013, also recognized some  special award recipients during the conference.  NEURISA’s Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals who, through the use of geospatial or other information technologies, have made a significant contribution that greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization, realizes a significant return on investment, or greatly improves the quality of services. Michael Howser, UCONN - University Libraries - Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC), was the recipient of the 2013 NEURISA Special Achievement Award.  NEURISA’s Superior and Dedicated Service Award recognizes NEURISA members or a member of the NEURISA Board of Directors who has made a significant contribution to the organization and its activities. Neil MacGaffey, past NEURISA President and Assistant Director at MassGIS, was the honored recipient of this year’s award.

The Awards Ceremony was videotaped and is available for  online viewing. URISA’s Exemplary Systems in Government and the tenth anniversary of URISA’s GISCorps were also celebrated during the session.  

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