By Sally Wakefield
Ah sweet summer, how quickly it fades. As summer is winding down, the Consortium is gearing up for our annual conference. This year’s event marks the 18th Annual Mn GIS/LIS Consortium Conference and Workshops and again, is being held in Rochester. As you likely know, the Conference is our large annual event and a great opportunity to take in quality training, learn about topics of interest, visit vendors and of course, network with your colleagues. Workshops fill fast so register now!
As members I want to remind you of a couple important events that take place during the conference:
Board Elections: Each year the Consortium recruits members to fill board positions that will become vacant at the end of the calendar year. This year, nominations will be sought for two-year positions as Board Chair Elect, Conference Chair Elect, Treasurer, State and Private sector representatives. I know there is tons of talent in our membership and hope to see some new faces step up to help guide the future of the organization.
Awards: Recognizing excellence among us continues to be a focus of the conference. The Polaris Awards will again recognize three "rising stars in GIS" and we are proud of their success and grateful for their contributions. Students will take center stage on both days as part of the student scholarship program. The Consortium is pleased to be able to honor students as they prepare for professional careers within our industry. The conference is where we do most of our fundraising to support the scholarship endowment, so please contribute if you can by purchasing Consortium items, attending the beer tasting and taking part in the silent auction.
Annual Meeting: Our bylaws call for the Consortium to gather our membership each year to report on the state of the organization – the annual meeting. This too happens at the conference and I am pleased to be able to represent this organization this year, and I invite you, as members, to contribute to that meeting by bringing ideas or requests forward that you would like the board to pursue in coming years.
I would like to thank Jane Mueller and her dedicated committee for organizing a successful slate of workshops this past spring. This year the Consortium was able to put together a robust slate of workshops and offer more than 200 seats for a variety of low-cost, high-quality training opportunities – all in one location on one day. A herculean all-volunteer effort! Thanks to everyone who helped by planning, executing and attending those workshops.
Finally, a reminder about who the Consortium is and why it exists: This is for YOU. By definition Consortium means an "association, partnership or union." This organization is a partnership of members with an all-volunteer board of directors working together toward our shared mission: "To develop and support the GIS professional in Minnesota for the benefit of our state and its citizens." Active member or not, each of you has a role in this organization and your involvement is welcomed and appreciated. Please think about what you can contribute in the coming year toward this shared vision.