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Polaris Leadership Award
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List of current Polaris winners



Polaris is the proper name for the North Star, for centuries a beacon used by navigators to help keep their bearings and find their way. Minnesota has a special connection with Polaris: our state motto, L'Etoile du Nord, means "Star of the North." Our state song, Hail Minnesota, also focuses on our Northern Star, a "beacon bright and clear."


The Polaris Leadership Award recognizes active, established leaders in the geospatial community who demonstrate a beacon of energy and creativity that inspires and guides the rest of us.


Up to three Polaris Leadership awards will be given each year. Candidates will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Significant contributions that have benefited our state and its citizens for at least five years. Contributions may be in almost any area: software design, data distribution, education, policy development, etc.
  • Demonstrated leadership, energy, and creativity within and beyond one's normal job environment for the benefit of the greater GIS community.
  • Involvement with the MN GIS/LIS Consortium, such as a conference presenter or a committee or board member.

The Award

Each winner will be honored in the following manner:

  • Plaque will be presented at the annual Consortium conference
  • Summary of the justification for the winner’s award will be published in the Consortium newsletter and preserved on the Consortium website.
  • Name will be added to a master plaque of all Polaris winners.
  • Employer is sent a letter of appreciation and an invitation to attend the Awards Luncheon.
  • Free registration to this year’s conference for the winner.


Letters of nomination can be emailed to and must be received on or before June 30. Nominations should be no longer than 3 pages total (including supporting testimonials) and must include:

  • An explanation of why the person should be honored with this award
  • Details describing how the nominee meets each of the three award criteria listed above
  • At least two short testimonials from colleagues or other stakeholders corroborating the nomination

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