When the opportunity to join thePOB team came up, I immediately recognized it would be a distinctly different cast of characters I would be working with. Surveyors, in particular, seem to spend much of their lives walking a fine line between staunch independence and professional camaraderie. The combination of these two worlds results in a rich, informed pride that is not exactly replicated in many other professions … or, rather when referring to the great unwashed, many other industries.

We’ve written before about the admiration we have for veteran surveyor Milton Denny, who authors “The Business Side” column in our pages every second month. With a deep understanding and appreciation of the past, Milton continually makes us think about the future. It’s a gift we are honored to share with our readers again in 2015. Just up the highway from where Milton rests his busy mind in Alabama is the home of one of our other great columnists. Full disclosure here: I knew nothing of Jeffery Lucas when I was tossed the POB ball. I have since become a huge fan; I can’t wait to read Jeff’s thoughts and drop whatever else I am doing as soon as his latest blast arrives. And a blast it usually is!

Maybe it’s the combination of surveyor and lawyer. Whatever it is, Jeff never fails to tell it like it is … or, at an educated minimum, how he sees it. “Given all of the problems facing the land surveying profession we could discuss, in my estimation the one that exceeds all of the others is our perpetration of consumer fraud,” he wrote in his “Traversing The Law” column in our December issue. Wow! That was the very first time I processed one of Jeff’s submissions and was immediately overjoyed. This gent brings it every second month in our pages. “Yes,” as he wrote in his June column, “it is perfectly OK to amputate the wrong leg in the surveying profession as long as you do it with precision.” Ouch! Best part, though, is that Jeff is hardly a cantankerous sort; he is the pure southern genteel personified. For me, it’s absolutely wonderful. As a northern guy who spent some wonderful years in Alabama himself, I know first-hand how good southern folks can work their kind spirit and pull in even the most wayward and embittered among us; Jeff, indeed, has the professional equivalent of “why, bless your little heart” down pat.

With his wonderful combination of research and perspective, Kris Kline is another regular contributor who continually makes us think deeply with his “Unmistakable Marks” column. Then there’s our veteran surveyor Jeffrey Turner, author of “Surveyor’s Footsteps” and the epitome of professional pride, commitment and, above all, wit. He cares deeply about his profession, but never forgets that it’s still all about people. “At lunch, we would walk into a local diner and everyone turned to look at us. Although we were all hippies, that was not it,” he wrote in his column on Page 38 of this issue. Nice.

You may have noticed we have also been welcoming guest columns by various professional stakeholders, including MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello and veteran surveyors Patrick Naville, Chris Ogier and Harold Baldwin. Do you have something to tell your fellow professionals? We’d be honored to share your thoughts and words. As always, please don’t hesitate to drop me a note at andersonmd@bnpmedia.com.

Share your thoughts on this column at pobonline.com or rpls.com. To contact POB editors, send an email to andersonmd@bnpmedia.com.