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MN GIS/LIS Lifetime Achievement Award Winner - Ron Wencl
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MN GIS/LIS Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Ron Wencl (2017)

As Minnesota’s USGS Liaison, Ron has left his imprint on virtually every Minnesota GIS regional and statewide project undertaken during the past twenty years.  He helped to secure federal funds, promoted partnerships among federal, regional and state organizations, advocated for data standards, and tirelessly contributed to work groups, committees, and advisory boards.  Even after his remarkable voice is no longer heard at every meeting, Ron’s legacy will endure because of his gently persistent commitment that helped shape the successful collaborative geospatial community in Minnesota.

Born and educated in Minnesota, Ron began work for the federal government in 1982 and started working at USGS in 1986.  Following President Clinton’s Executive Order 12906 in 1994, establishing the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, Ron was inspired to work in that area and moved back to Minnesota to become our USGS Liaison in 1995.  He is the longest serving USGS Liaison in the nation.

Ron says he has been driven by 3 C’s: Cooperation, Collaboration, and Community.  Cooperation with the federal government is best appreciated as cash provided in cooperative agreements.  Ron has worked to provide over $5 million in direct and matching funds to support development of elevation, LIDAR, orthophotography, and hydrographic data in Minnesota.

He has collaborated by fully engaging as a member of state and regional GIS bodies in Minnesota, often as the only federal member.  He has been an active member of the Governor’s Council on Geographic Information, the MN GIS/LIS Consortium, and MetroGIS.  He has served as chair of the Elevation Committee and as a valued member of the Hydrography, Standards, and Emergency Preparedness Committees.  Ron continues to attend and provide significant value to the state Geospatial Advisory Council and other committees.

Ron is a contributing member of our community.  He has presented at nearly every GIS/LIS conference since he arrived, has exhibited at many of them, and has served on the planning committee.  He has been available to the local community as a valued resource.  He has written critical letters of support for grant funding for digitizing original PLSS surveyor notes and for various emergency preparedness projects.

Ron Wencl is a loud and clear voice for GIS in Minnesota. He has provided both professional expertise and institutional funding. Ron is a connector who helps us know our own community better and work for the common good. That voice has been valued for nearly a quarter of a century.  We recognize that value with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Ron Wencl.
Short Statement on Plaque
A loud and clear voice for GIS in Minnesota, helping us connect, collaborate and work for the common good

2017 Lifetime Award Recipient Ron Wencl with Dan Ross at the
Annual Conference in Bemidji, Minnesota.

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