New chairman of COFPAES; GeoShack partnerships announced; and more.

G. Michael ("Mike") Ritchie, PE, PLS, PSM, CP, was elected chairman of the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services (COFPAES) for 2005. Ritchie is president and CEO of Photo Science Inc., a full-service geospatial solutions firm headquartered in Lexington, Ky. Ritchie graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1972 with a B.S. in civil engineering. He has more than 25 years of experience in his field and currently holds professional engineering registrations in 15 states, is a licensed professional land surveyor in six states, and is a nationally certified photogrammetrist.

Photo Science Inc. (PSI), Lexington, Ky., and GIS Solutions Inc. (GSI), a provider of GIS products and services, jointly announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership agreement. Included in the agreement was PSI's purchase of the assets of GSI's Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. business unit.

In an effort to expand its service and product offering to customers, GeoShack North America, Dayton, Ohio, added four partner companies: C.R.S. Survey Equipment & Supplies Ltd., Ontario, Canada; Independent Technical Equipment Distribution Ltd., Ontario, Canada; Spectra Products Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Southwest Laser Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas.

Also, GeoShack was appointed a Leica Geosystems distributor in Ohio and Michigan. In Ohio, GeoShack represents Leica Geosystems in construction lasers, surveying, engineering and construction machine automation systems. In Michigan, GeoShack distributes Leica construction lasers and machine automation systems.

The Surveying and Engineering Division of Leica Geosystems, Heerbrugg, Switzerland, announced the establishment of its new Singapore subsidiary, Leica Geosystems Technologies Pte Ltd. In addition to being the competence center for development and engineering of digital and optical leveling technologies, Leica Geosystems Technologies in Singapore is the global headquarters for leveling products, including manufacturing and assembly operations.

Also, Leica Geosystems announced Pete Tuftee, CAD technician and crew chief with Welch Hanson Associates of Delafield, Wis., as the winner of the 2004 System 1200 Sweepstakes. The grand prize, a 2004 Ford F-150 SuperCrew pick-up truck, was presented to Tuftee in an award ceremony at the company's North American headquarters in Norcross, Ga.

Woolpert LLP, Dayton, Ohio, became incorporated on Jan. 1, 2005. Due to sustained growth over the past decade, the privately held partnership transitioned to a privately held corporation under the name Woolpert Inc. All Woolpert Inc. shareholders are current employees of the firm. New officers for Woolpert Inc. include Rex Cowden, CEO; Paul Grodecki, PE, COO; Mark Haberstroh, CFO; and Leo Flischel, chair of the board.

AERO-METRIC Inc., Sheboygan, Wis., named Roger E. Crystal, CP, as contracts manager for federal programs. Working from his Portland, Ore. office, Crystal interacts with leaders of geospatial programs within the federal government to ensure that AERO-METRIC meets the needs of U.S. government organizations. Crystal has more than 35 years of experience in the geospatial profession.

The North Carolina Geographic Information Coordinating Council (NCGICC) and the Oregon Geographic Information Council (OGIC) became the first state associations to endorse the certification program for GIS professionals offered by the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI).

BAE Systems, San Diego, Calif., named Mark E. Sarojak as sales director for the Americas, representing the company's Geospatial eXploitation Products (GXP) line of business, which consists of the VITec, SOCET SET and SOCET GXP products. Sarojak focuses on expanding the U.S. sales force and building an extensive distributor network in Latin America.

Clary & Associates Professional Surveyors and Mappers, Jacksonville, Fla., added three new members to its team of survey technicians: Tyreese Lee, Stephen Speaks, SIT, and Michael Brent. Lee's duties include data collection and map preparation, computer-aided drafting, and producing boundary and right of way surveys. Speaks' primary responsibility is to ensure the reliability of survey and mapping measurements. Brent's duties include data collection and map preparation, production of boundary and right of way surveys, computer-aided drafting and more.

Clary also welcomed John Thomas to its team of project managers. Thomas is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Clary survey crews in the company's government and private sector divisions. In addition, he prepares survey crews for assignments by providing them with scope-of-work outlines and relevant data collected from a wide variety of sources, including previous maps and monumentation.

GeoDecisions, Harrisburg, Pa., acquired the St. Louis-based Kinetic Solutions, a full-service application development and data integration company specializing in GIS. Kinetic Solutions delivers a broad spectrum of services including requirements analyses, application development, data conversion and migration, data integration, data hosting and Web-based mapping solutions.