Point of Beginning

GIAA Senior Executives Vote to Join AEM, Realign Focus

June 21, 2010
GIAA plans to disassociate itself from SAMA and become part of AEM, which has "an association environment more closely matched to collaborators and users of geomatics services and products."

At a meeting on June 10, the senior executives of the three member companies of the Geomatics Industry Association of America (GIAA)-Topcon Positioning Systems/Sokkia Corp., Trimble Navigation Ltd. and Leica Geosystems-passed a resolution calling for GIAA to disassociate itself from its current umbrella organization, SAMA Group of Associations, and become part of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) as soon as possible after the end of the current budget year, which ends on June 30, 2010. The association will likely be renamed and is calling itself the Geomatics Industry Group (GIG) in the interim.

Under the AEM, the group will move forward with new elements of focus such as safety; technical issues facing manufacturers and customers; expanding statistical reporting to product groups not currently reported; expanding services to the customer chain and/or members of the group; and expanding, invigorating and improving on current activities. The group will be led by a steering committee composed of the senior executives of the full member companies (as defined under the group’s current bylaws). This committee will form broad policy and governance decisions, especially providing guidance in areas of strategy, funding and commitment requirements of the member companies.

According to geomatics consultant Joseph V.R. Paiva, PhD, PS, PE, who is facilitating the transition, the move will allow the group to more fully address the needs of the geomatics industry. "The principal reason for this action is to create an organization that is in an association environment more closely matched to collaborators and users of geomatics services and products," he said.

No formal organizational actions by either SAMA’s or AEM’s board have yet occurred.