The principals, owners, and partners of the leading geospatial firms will gather at the Hawk's Cay Resort in Duck Key, Florida.

The principals, owners, and partners of the leading geospatial firms in the community will gather beginning on Saturday, January 18 for the MAPPS Winter Meeting at the Hawk's Cay Resort in Duck, Key, Florida, through Wednesday, January 22.

Nearly 100 firms will be represented at the senior executives' conference, making this the largest MAPPS winter gathering in the association's 21 year history.

A program of policy, market and management issues is scheduled. Presentations include --

"TEA-21 Reauthorization: The Geospatial Role" - David S. Ekern, P.E., Associate Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and a senior official with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, discusses reauthorization of the Federal highway and transportation bill by Congress and the key issues affecting the use and application of geospatial data and services.

A series of "Grass Roots Games" - Julie Casso of the MAPPS Staff, leads a daily, interactive exercise in politics and legislation to train MAPPS members for the Federal Programs Conference in Washington, DC in March and help make geospatial firm executives more politically savvy and legislatively astute.

"Ownership Transition" - Lowell Getz, CPA, a nationally recognized expert on ownership transition strategies, teaches how to plan for and implement the sale of a professional services firm in the architecture, engineering, surveying and mapping field. Whether you are selling your firm to your employees or new outside owners, or buying from the current owners, you will benefit for this expert's advice.

"Operating the Geospatial Division of an A/E Firm" - A panel of MAPPS members discuss the advantages, disadvantages and unique management challenges of operating a geospatial component in a large A/E firm. Panelists include Fred Halfen of Ayres Associates, Dick McDonald of Michael Baker, Kurt Allen of Greenhorne & O'Mara and Silas Suazo of Bohannan-Huston.

"Small Firms, Big Opportunities" - How do small firms utilize their membership in an association, particularly MAPPS, to create big opportunities for themselves. Principals of small firms discuss how they have leveraged their MAPPS membership for government contractors, subcontractor relationships, advise and counsel from peers, and growth and expansion of their own firms. Panelists include Joan Curtis of I.K. Curtis, Ken Fleming of Coleman Aerial Imaging, Bobby Tuck of Tuck Engineering and Scott Perkins of Western Air Maps.

"Project Management Fundamentals in a Profit-Making Business: the Project Manager-General Manager Interface" - The discipline of project management will be presented by John Voycik of Greenhorne & O'Mara as structured and formulated by the Project Management Institute with particular emphasis on the core functions of scope, quality, schedule and budget and the interface between the Project Manager and the General Manager in a profit-making enterprise.

"NOAA's Contract Mapping Initiatives" - NOAA's Coastal Services Center has become a leader in the use of private geospatial products and services for critical coastal zone management, coral reef protection and other environmentally sensitive programs. Learn about new programs and opportunities from Anne Miglarese, Deputy Director of the Coastal Services Center.

"NIMA Global Geospatial Intelligence Contract Award" - NIMA is moving forward with its second round of geospatial contracts, the Global Geospatial Intelligence (GGI) contracts, to succeed the Omnibus program. NIMA's Jim Sippel, Associate Director of the production support office in NIMA's commercial partnership division reports on contract awards and program implementation.

"The Geospatial Legislative Agenda" - Pro-business Republicans now control both houses of Congress, and the White House. What legislation will Congress consider? What issues will impact geospatial firms? What legislation will MAPPS try to get passed? MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello gives a Washington preview.

"Licensing of Photogrammetrists & Other Geospatial Professionals" - How is licensing working in Florida? What states are next? How did licensing come about? What is the status of current law? Where is the issue going next? Presentations are by Lou Bush, the photogrammetrist member of the Florida Licensing Board, Mike Ritchie, MAPPS President and a member of the NCEES Task Force and Tim Lowe of Lowe Engineers.

MAPPS is known as the private geospatial community's leading association for its work as a forum for networking with peers, a place to meet other firm principals to develop strategic partnerships, its lobbying advocate for private geospatial firms in Washington, DC and the States, an opportunity to engage in continuing education and professional development and a source of information on the geospatial market and community.

Future 2003 MAPPS activities include the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference, March 18-20, 2003, JW Marriott Hotel, Washington, DC (members only); Summer Meeting, July 27-31, 2003, Fairmont Southampton Princess Hotel, Bermuda; and the MAPPS - ASPRS Digital Terrain & Visualization Conference, October 25-30, 2003, Embassy Suites Hotel & Convention Center, North Charleston, SC.