As this issue is going to press, our nation has chosen its new president for the next term. It's an important element of our country's health to vote for a leader, and it's seen as a privilege to many in this country and other countries.

In addition to our country's president, many professions in the States have leaders as well-leaders or models who represent the professions' purposes, its sights for the future and its lessons of the past. Professional leaders come in different "breeds" with various educational and personal backgrounds, nationalities, genders and experience levels. They have unique personalities, and have varying strategies and visions for the future. This individual strength leads professions to strive in different ways, and makes our great country the Melting Pot.

My personal icons include eccentric personalities, reserved experts, and even "rough and tumble" sorts. In my personal and professional paths, I've learned from those who take action on paper, with voice, with fist and in silence. I've learned from those who've been through hell, those who've had it easy and many whose stories fall in between. They are all icons to me. They are all representatives.

What about your representative, icon or leader for the surveying profession? What traits does he or she have? In June 2003, I launched a 12-month-long campaign of sorts to seek out a representative for the surveying profession; candidate applications for "Sam the Surveyor" were published beginning in January 2004. Fewer submittals were received than I expected, but I credit the modesty of you fine individuals on this point. It takes a strong, confident but not egotistical individual to say, "Hey, I'm your man (or woman)! Look at me!" From the few submittals received, however, I think we gathered a good pool of candidates. So, now I turn it over to you. Who do you believe deserves the label for "Sam the Surveyor"?

The candidates are:

Jan Van Sickle, PLS (January 2004)
Jesse Hummel, PSM (February 2004)
Jeffrey Scott Barnes (March 2004)
Mathew J. Barr, LSIT (May 2004)
David A. King, PE, LS (June 2004)
Ray C. Carlson, PLS (September 2004)
Barry E. Savage, PLS (October 2004)
Larry Phipps, PLS (November 2004),

And in this issue: Jim Fisher.

If you aren't familiar with the specifics of these individuals, please consult the month listed in parentheses for his "application" details. We will take your votes during the months of December 2004 and January 2005, and release the selection in our April 2005 issue. Votes can be submitted on our home page online at www.pobonline.com or sent to brownl@bnpmedia.com. (Please do not vote using both avenues.) Take some time to evaluate each candidate; he will be your representative! And if I may be so bold to say, he will be your leader for the next term! Vote!