President's Message: December 2020

Let’s face it, 2020 is a year that started with great promise and threw us one roadblock after another. We have all suffered at some point and have had to deal with pain in ways we never thought possible. Many have been unable to hold and console loved ones.  Others alone with nothing more than an internet connection and ZOOM to maintain connection with the world.  This will be a year we soon won’t forget, no matter how hard we try.

As of writing this, the year will be over in 24 days.  While that doesn’t mean the switch will be flipped and this will all be a recent memory, it does provide hope for a better year-an opportunity to reflect on the previous year and a moment to breathe and prepare for the year ahead. Next year may prove to be just as turbulent as 2020, but now we are equipped and prepared to tackle the year headstrong. 

For the members and supporters of GITA, THANK YOU!  Without your support, this organization would not exist. We will continue to provide industry leading education and resources for GIS professionals at any stage of their career.  For 2021, the organization is looking to expand on our current offerings to ensure that GITA supports every need for the GIS professional.

The core mission of our organization is to educate, advocate, and connect GIS professionals all over the world. This is a challenge that is not easily met in an industry that continues to diversify and expand rapidly. It’s a challenge we’ve accepted head-on. The pandemic does not give us permission to forget our mission or forget who we support. It does mean we have to be more creative with how we accomplish our mission. 

For the first time in over 30 years, GITA produced its first ever completely virtual conference - a task that was nearly impossible if not for the dedication of the GITA Board of Directors and Conference Committee. I can’t express the amount of appreciation I have to the Board and Committee for putting together a great agenda with industry leaders as presenters. GITA is expanding on the pipeline conference in 2021 and continuing to offer virtual webinars. All GITA educational content will be achieved in the Learning Management System (LMS) that was debuted during the pipeline conference.

Along with welcoming a new year, in January GITA will welcome five (5) new board members to the Board of Directors, and we say goodbye to two longer time supporters of the organization. The Board was extended by three (3) board members for 2021 to help us bring more leadership and diversity to the board.  I couldn’t be more excited at the direction of the board, our plans for 2021, and ushering a new wave of leadership to the organization.

Thank you to all that support the organization and have provided feedback and leadership of this past year.  I am excited for the year ahead and encouraged by the resilience and ingenuity of the GIS community.

Drew Fioranelli, GISP
President, GITA