Nearly 450 GIS professionals from 37 states, three Canadian provinces, and eight countries recently convened in Spokane, Wash. for GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015. One of the highlights of the conference was the Awards Breakfast, during which a number of Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) leaders were recognized for their volunteer service to the organization.

Horwood Distinguished Service Award

The Horwood Distinguished Service Award is an occasional award given for long-term service to URISA and the profession. This award is URISA’s ultimate award for service and leadership to URISA and within the geospatial industry. Awardees have demonstrated significant contributions to both URISA and the geospatial technologies industry.

The Horwood Distinguished Service Award is named after founding member and first URISA President Edgar Horwood. Horwood was an early pioneer in the field of information systems for local government and widely admired for his intellectual and organizational contributions to URISA. Horwood was the chair of the constitutional drafting committee, giving URISA the "open membership" model that has led to our inter-disciplinary organization. The 2015 recipient is Hilary Perkins, GISP, AICP, comprehensive planner, Maryland Heights, Mo. The 2015 recipient is Hilary Perkins, GISP, AICP, comprehensive planner, Maryland Heights, Mo.

Leadership Award

The Leadership Award is presented to members who have demonstrated exemplary leadership to URISA, creativity, innovation and dedicated support of URISA programs. The recipient should be a member of URISA for enough years to show a pattern of leadership. Typically, the recipient will have been responsible for new programs or activities, or significantly enhanced an existing activity or program, so that it takes URISA in a new direction and/or enhances standing in the professional community. The 2015 recipients are:

  • Bruce Joffe, GISP, principal, GIS Consultants, Piedmont, Calif.
  • Kim McDonough, GISP, GIS coordinator, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Nashville, Tenn.

Service Award

The Service Award is presented to members who have demonstrated faithful service to URISA and participation in its program over a period of several years. This award is for specific service to URISA. It requires a significant number of years of service in a number of programs or committees, and a willingness to take on challenges without regard to the potential for recognition. The 2015 recipient is Keri Brennan, GISP, senior GIS consultant, The Schneider Corporation, Indianapolis, Ind.

Barbara Hirsch Special Service Award

The Barbara Hirsch Special Service Award is presented to members or staff who have made special contributions to URISA. This award was created in 2004 to honor URISA’s former CEO, Barbara Hirsch. Hirsch made her mark at URISA by being an exceptional professional who would always step forward when a point needed to be made, but never stepped to the front for recognition. It is in the spirit of this dedication that the board of directors has created an award for special service to URISA. This award is given to individuals or committees who have shown a similar consummate level of service to URISA through an ongoing commitment to our success as an organization. The 2015 recipients are:

  • Kevin Mickey, GISP, director, Geospatial Technologies Education, The Polis Center at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Dianne Haley, BSc, MScGIS, GISP, DMH GIS Consulting, Alberta, Canada
  • Glenn O'Grady, GISP, Encinitas, Calif.
  • Ed Wells, GISP, GIS manager, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, D.C.

The distinguished history of URISA Award winners can be reviewed here.