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The NSPS 100% program has created a great opportunity for our national organization and for the surveying profession.  However, great opportunities seldom present themselves without obstacles to be overcome.  For many of our state organizations and their representatives, the obstacles have become a series of questions: “What will our national organization look like?”, “How will it operate from an organizational point of view?”, “Will NSPS be able to follow through with the promises and stated goals made to our members through the state societies?” etc.  We have not cleared all the obstacles, but I think we could say we made good progress at the conclusion of our meeting last week.

Before I list the progress that has been made, I would like to acknowledge that I’m not sure that anyone came to the meeting with a master plan in hand to address all the issues that have been identified.  Much like every other meeting I’ve been to, a group of dedicated individuals come together with some general ideas, debate the causes and effects, and come to some consensus that allows the organization to move forward.  It doesn’t matter whether these individuals come from a small state, large state, affiliated organization, or if they’ve been president of their state organization. Great work gets done – that helps the profession protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public.  All surveyors across the county owe them a debt of gratitude.

I would also point out that our ability to progress without a written master plan is largely due to the success of the system that has been in place for quite some time; with a board of governors and board of directors, area directors, executive committee, etc.  I commend our previous leaders who crafted an organization that has been successful for over 25 years.  Given its success and our own familiarity with the organization’s roles and processes, it was only natural that we consider and craft changes to it that are more aligned with our current membership.

Here then is a short list of progress that has been made over the last 6 months and our last meeting, to meet the needs of our re-configured organization; with 46 states having signed an MOU and projected membership of somewhere between 14,000-15,000 members by the end of 2014:

  • Modified the by-laws to accommodate the new 100% program
  • Voted to eliminate the Board of Governors in the spring of 2015
  • We’ve added directors to our Executive Committee (which handles organization operations between meetings) to better reflect the makeup of our current board of directors
  • Created a means for our affiliate members to attend, comment and participate in our business meetings, albeit without a vote on motions and policies
  • We acknowledged the benefits of a 3 day meeting format that allows the sharing of ideas and consensus building that has helped make our organization successful in the past.
  • We intend to create a committee of NSPS ambassadors (Perhaps past presidents) who would be willing to represent NSPS in their region.  We hope to increase or maintain our presence at state meetings while minimizing costs and executive committee travel
  • We have a budget for 2014 that is projected to have a positive balance at the end of the year.


In addition to the organizational changes made or proposed above, we had some other notable events during our meeting:

  • The State Society Executive Director forum was the strongest its ever been with 15 attending and 6 participating by conference call
  • The young surveyors conference was held simultaneously with CLSA, NALS and NSPS – an inspiring group of individuals
  • NSPS Joint Government Affairs continues to be a main stay for the organization – please see their extensive report online
  • We have 3000 certified CST’s, 50% of whom maintain their certification with NSPS on an annual basis – we’re trying to find ways to make them members of NSPS
  • NSPS is looking to hold a spring conference near Washington DC that includes and promotes the participation of federal agencies – a nice compliment to the educational and professional development meetings now held by the state societies
  • We’re looking for a final draft of our strategic plan at the fall business meeting.  We currently have a draft based on our SWAT(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)  analysis meeting in the spring of 2013, as conducted by our lobbyist Palatiello and Associates.
  • We’re going to change our scholarships from $1000 to $2000 and award them every other year to make them more appealing to the applicants
  • The Board of Governors allocated their individual scholarship contributions to the creation of a Charles A. Tapley Memorial Fund – a dedicated member and past president of NSPS who made significant contributions to NSPS
  • Continue to investigate the term “Engineering Surveys” in the current Model Law and Modern Rules language
  • We have a draft program description for our proposed Geodetic Surveyor Certification – as proposed at our last meeting in the fall of 2013 (Collaboration with AAGS)
  • We seek to develop a database of continuing education speakers and topics


I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last 6 months.  I’m proud of our state societies who have cast their support to help us become “One Unified Voice for the Surveying Profession”.

Stay thirsty my friends.

–Rick Howard

NSPS Director – Connecticut


Installation of officers: Curt Sumner (Excutive Director of NSPS); left to right; Tim Burch, Illionois - Secretary Board of Governors; Mark Sargent, New Hampshire - Chair Board of Governors; Kim Levitt, Idaho - Area 7 Director; Anothony Cavel - Lousiana, NSPS Vice President; Jon Warren, Washington - NSPS President Elect, Path Smith, Texas - NSPS President; Lamar Evers, Florida - NSPS Immediate Past President.













Young Surveyors Presentation







State Executives Forum