The Vanguard Cabinet (VC) is a URISA initiative to engage young GIS practitioners, increase their numbers in the organization, and better understand the concerns facing these future leaders of the GIS community. The VC is an advisory board made up of URISA young professionals who represent the young membership of the organization. The Cabinet’s mission is to collaborate with URISA’s Board of Directors and Committees in creating and promoting programs and policies of benefit to young professionals. Comprised entirely of passionate young members selected from different geospatial disciplines, the Cabinet aims to position URISA as the center of opportunities for creative young professionals who are committed to improving URISA and the geospatial profession via innovation, collaboration, networking, and professional development.
URISA members who are 35 and under are encouraged to apply for membership to the Cabinet. Each year, five young professionals will be selected by the Vanguard Steering Committee, and each will serve a two year appointment on the Cabinet. In addition, each Cabinet member will participate on a URISA Committee to bring their unique perspective to the activities of that Committee. In recognition of their service, each Cabinet member will be offered a free GIS-Pro conference registration while serving on the Cabinet. In addition, one Cabinet member will be chosen as GIS Young Professional of the Year and will be awarded free tuition to the URISA Leadership Academy (www.urisa.org/ULA).
If you want to connect and network with young, ambitious GIS practitioners who are committed to improving their profession and their communities, then the Vanguard Cabinet is the organization for you. If you think you have what it takes to be in the URISA Vanguard Cabinet, please complete the application form. Contact Wendy Nelson, URISA International Executive Director, if you have any questions about the application or your prospective appointment. Thank you for your interest in the Vanguard Cabinet and good luck!
The Vanguard Steering Committee:
The following are guidelines to help URISA’s Young Professionals govern themselves as they develop into future leaders of the organization.
The Vanguard Cabinet provides students and young professionals within the geospatial profession with opportunities to further professional development and represent their interests within the URISA organization.
The role of the Vanguard Cabinet is to:
As a representative board within URISA, the Vanguard Cabinet will follow URISA’s standing Bylaws in addition to the policies offered here to help better govern the internal operations of the Vanguard Cabinet.
A. Membership - Nominations & Appointments
The URISA Board initiates a call for applications in early November, with a deadline of early December. Five members are appointed each year by the application review board composed of the Vanguard Committee Steering Committee. Applicants must be under the age 35 and be URISA members in good standing. Successful applicants are notified by the beginning of January. Vanguard Cabinet members serve a two years term, January to January, with one overlapping conference call with “retiring” and “new” members.
B. Steering Committee
The Vanguard Cabinet Steering Committee is composed of three or more URISA members with significant experience within the Organization, as well as one “retiring” Vanguard Cabinet member. The retiring Vanguard Cabinet member is selected from the five members of the Vanguard Cabinet whose term is ending. Interested volunteers must be selected by a majority vote from members of the current Steering Committee and Vanguard Cabinet. The selected person will serve a one year term on the Steering Committee. If a Steering Committee member is unable to meet their commitment to the Vanguard Cabinet, retired Vanguard Cabinet members may volunteer to fill the vacancy.
C. Service Requirements & Benefits
The success of the Vanguard Cabinet relies on active participation of each of its members. If a Vanguard Cabinet member does not feel that they are able to serve out their full term, they must write a letter of resignation to the Steering Committee; however, they are advised to first discuss options with either one or more members of the Vanguard Cabinet or Steering Committee to determine if alternatives exist.
The Steering Committee has the right to terminate an individual’s position on the Vanguard Cabinet if they miss three consecutive scheduled conference calls or otherwise demonstrate a neglect of their commitment and responsibility to Vanguard Cabinet without providing a reasonable explanation. To avoid such situations, when an individual’s status indicates a consistent unwillingness or inability to be active within the Vanguard Cabinet, members of the Vanguard Cabinet must contact the individual directly to work out a resolution or contact the Steering Committee for guidance on seeking resolution. If a resolution cannot be found, it is the responsibility of the Vanguard Cabinet to recommend to the Steering Committee that the individual tender his or her resignation. In these cases, the vacancy will not be filled until the next open application period.
Each active Vanguard Cabinet member is entitled to one waived registration fee for the annual conference, GIS-Pro. In addition, one member each year will be rewarded for their outstanding service by being offered free tuition to the URISA Leadership Academy, to be taken within two years of the award date.
In order to set priorities and review progress on Vanguard Cabinet initiatives, members are required to regularly attend and participate in scheduled meetings. Monthly calls are tentatively scheduled for the second Thursday of every month along with Steering Committee calls for every other month on the third Wednesday of every other month. If a new time needs to be selected, members will be polled and an alternative meeting time will be proposed to accommodate the majority of members.
Ad-hoc meetings may be called as needed in order to cover specific initiatives. These meetings may require the participation of all Vanguard Cabinet members, or only a subset of members involved with a particular working group.
Vanguard Cabinet members are encouraged to take advantage of the waiver of the attendance fee and attend the annual conference (GIS-Pro). During the conference, a Cabinet/Steering Committee meeting will be scheduled to go over initiatives and provide an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting.
A Vanguard Cabinet member will fill the secretarial role, with responsibilities including: polling for meeting times, developing agendas, take meeting minutes, create board reports for review of the rest of the Vanguard Cabinet, and organize the Yahoo Group’s website. They will also train a new member to take their place when they retire.
E. Working Groups
Working Groups will be developed to focus activities around specific initiatives or problems. Working groups may be composed of former and current Vanguard Cabinet members, as well as members from the general public. Working groups will report to the Vanguard Cabinet and support the Vanguard Cabinet as necessary. Vanguard Cabinet members must participate on one or more working groups.
F. Vanguard Cabinet Contacts, Social Media, & Online Administration
Details for Vanguard Cabinet specific email addresses, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and all other accounts will be shared with incoming members, and one member will be responsible for being the primary owner of the account(s). An effort to keep a social media presence will be made by all members.
URISA International will maintain the Yahoo Group although general housekeeping and organization will be the responsibility of the Vanguard Cabinet.
G. Vanguard Cabinet Reports & Annual Summary
Board Reports will be sent to the URISA Executive Director each quarter and also posted to the Yahoo Group’s website. These reports will contain updates on Vanguard Cabinet activities, planning, and other items relevant to the mission of the VC to keep the Board of Directors notified of important actions and events.