Don Dittmar, Manager of Land Information Systems Division/LIO, Waukesha County
“[I] originally joined WLIA in 1996, when [I] became the manager of the Waukesha County Land Information System Division. [My] boss at that time, Register of Deeds Mike Hasslinger, was a member of the State Land Information Board and a strong supporter of the state program and valued the activities of WLIA.
WLIA members receive four main benefits including:
- Learning: I always learn something new when I attend WLIA functions. Sometimes it may not be earth shattering, but there is always something. I am always struck at how many times a WLIA presentation may re-frame some issue I am dealing with and add a new perspective that allows me to resolve the problem in a way I had not previously considered.
- Testing: I appreciate using WLIA as a testing ground and sounding board. I have done presentations or had discussions with other members where the feedback was very valuable. Being able to get feedback, both positive and negative, about an idea has led to some significant successes and more importantly has probably allowed us to dodge some major failures.
- Networking: Having a diverse group like WLIA to query has been very important. If I have a question on surveying, document recording, taxation, imaging, etc., there is always someone knowledgeable in the group who has been willing to assist. Having a common Land Records interest helps target the responses.
- Support: In 2007, the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) created the National Geographic Advisory Committee (NGAC). The makeup of the Committee was to include three county representatives. At the urging of, and with the support of WLIA, I was selected to be one of the county representatives which insured that a Wisconsin voice was present at the Federal policy level.
I believe that anyone in the Land Information field should join WLIA. It is important to understand that I am using an extremely broad definition of Land Information here. Beyond the people who work directly on mapping systems, I believe WLIA offers benefits to those working in related fields with a spatial foundation such as real estate, marketing trend analysis, and emergency response. The networking and knowledge exchange that occurs with a truly diverse group is extremely valuable to everyone.”
Michael Lefebvre, Vice President/Regional Office Manager, Graef-USA Inc.
“[I] originally joined the WLIA because of [my] interest in GIS, and have since benefited by the WLIA by having the opportunity to associate with knowledgeable and interesting GIS professionals; ability to stay current on GIS technology; and opportunity to help influence Land Record legislation. [I] urge others to join for the opportunity to work with and to serve the Land Records Community in Wisconsin.”
Barb Gibson, GIS Administrator/Land Information Officer, Vilas County
“[I] encourage others to join the WLIA because I felt a sense of belonging to something bigger than my job and really valuable to many people. I have built relationships with many people I would not have had an opportunity to meet during my usual work interactions. This is a way to learn through experience, and then give back to a broad group of people. [I] originally joined for networking opportunities to find employment and have since received numerous benefits such as:
- Building relationships with colleagues and vendors
- Having fun while accomplishing the above”