Spatial Clarity - Presidential Blog

TNGIC is nearing its 30th year and this is entire due to the passion of the leaders that have come before us and the strength and camaraderie shared by our membership. Our membership is now roughly 450 members strong!

So how do we sustain this success moving forward?

We presented on our priorities and actions for the next year, with an opportunity for the membership to react and provide feedback with the panel discussion. That proved fruitful and we received some excellent suggestions that we plan to evaluate and carry forward.

  • Expand Our Membership Base

While we have strength in numbers, most of our membership work in government or private consulting. This will likely always be the case, but as GIS technology has become more ubiquitous, we need to begin reaching out to industries where GIS professionals may be embedded. Healthcare, Airports, and the Entertainment industry all come to mind. The benefit will be that we begin creating a community that can look at how GIS technology is applied in vastly different ways and inspire one another with new ideas and applications.

  • Expand Membership & Board Opportunity

In addition to expanding our membership, we want to ensure that members are benefiting from their dues throughout the year. We have received fantastic feedback from our professional development survey and plan to use that as a baseline for determining what opportunities we can facilitate for our membership such as professional and technical training. Additionally, the TNGIC board will be reviewing and reforming our Committees. As part of this, we plan to reach out to the membership and open up these leadership opportunities in the form of Committee Chairs who will oversee a small group of volunteers that carry out specific, tactical tasks that collectively make up the operations of TNGIC. These leadership opportunities will boost your resume, as well as provide a successional pipeline to the TNGIC board and provide the organization with more agility to act on opportunities that further our membership benefits.

Additionally, we will explore options for board members. We want to ensure they benefit from their volunteer efforts and are considering opportunities for these leaders to expand their leadership at the national level perhaps through URISA, NSGIC, AAG or other kinds of assistance for conference participation.

  • Outreach

We are the Tennessee Geographic Information Council, and we’ve done a fantastic job of fostering a great community of GIS professionals. However, the pandemic has transformed the profile of GIS and the value that this technology – and the professionals who use it – bring to organizations. As part of our existing outreach initiatives (regional conferences and webinars), we will be looking at opportunities to outreach to non-GIS users at the executive and C-suite levels and communicate with them the opportunities that they have for leveraging this technology inside their organizations and the role that TNGIC can play in facilitating closer partnerships between leaders and GIS professionals.

  • Fiscal

The goals we have outlined are lofty and ambitious and in order to make progress on these priorities in the coming years, we need to be able to support these in new ways. The board simply cannot do it all. As we establish more leadership opportunities through Committees to help the board implement these tasks, we also need to ensure that our fiscal structure allows for the agility necessary for Committees to carry out these tasks.

Thanks to our leadership and conservative financial management, TNGIC is strong! We intend to move forward with a fiscally conservative philosophy. Despite our financial strength, we are not in a position to make risky financial investments and evaluating our existing fiscal structure will allow us to identify ways to implement more autonomy amongst the Committees while maintaining our fiscal strengths. In turn, this will provide us with the clarity necessary to evaluate what kinds of strategic investments we need to consider, such as in more marketing and outreach, to create an ROI that benefits of our organization as a whole.

As we move to build upon the strong foundation established by leaders of the past 30 years of this organization, we are going to need YOU, members, to be part of this!

In the coming months, we will be establishing a framework and structure that will open up additional leadership opportunities within our organization. This will be communicated to our membership and our hope is that you are as inspired and as passionate as we are to be part of this momentum that we continue to carry forward.

We’re honored to be elected as your leaders during this exciting time in TNGIC’s history, and in return we hope that these initiatives honor YOU!

Sunny Fleming - TNGIC President