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Vanguard Cabinet of Young GIS Professionals

URISA's young professional members have taken the association by storm!

From managing a mentoring program and supporting student competitions to serving as committee leaders and conference chairs, and even being elected to the URISA Board of Directors, these professionals  are the NextGen GIS leaders, providing valuable direction and enthusiasm to the community.

The Vanguard Cabinet (VC), a URISA initiative, is an advisory board made up of passionate, young* geospatial professionals who strive to engage young practitioners, increase their numbers in the organization, and better understand the concerns facing these future leaders of the geospatial community. The VC's mission is to collaborate with URISA’s Board of Directors and URISA committees in creating and promoting programs and policies of benefit to young professionals and to enhance overall innovation, collaboration, networking, and professional development opportunities.

* 35 years of age or younger

Meet the newest members of the URISA Vanguard Cabinet

Just Announced: Alex Lopez-Rogina and Christina Brunsvold Named 2020 YPs of the Year

Announcing the Coalition of Young Professionals

Announcing the URISA Mentor Program

The URISA Mentor Program seeks to foster mutually beneficial relationships between Young Professionals (YPs) and seasoned veterans in the field.  Learn more and sign up today!


  • an experienced and trusted adviser:synonyms adviser, guide, confidant, confidantecounselor, ...


  • advise or train (someone, especially a younger colleague):"both trainees were expertly mentored by a site supervisor"

Meet the 2021 Vanguard Cabinet 

Click below to launch the Vanguard Cabinet Story Map:

  • 2020 Vanguard Cabinet Chair: Haley Zehentbauer
  • 2020 Vanguard Cabinet Secretary: Meredith DiMattina



Podcasts: DirectionsMag has partnered with URISA's Vanguard Cabinet to bring you a collection of podcasts and resources to enhance your professional development.  Check out the ever-expanding list of podcasts here

Alex Lopez-Rogina and Christina Brunsvold Named 2020 Young Professionals of the Year

Rachel Rodriguez Announced as 2019 Young Professional of the Year

Meet the 2019-2020 URISA Vanguard Cabinet

Announcing the 2018 Young Professional of the Year, Tory Elmore

Meet the 2018-2019 URISA Vanguard Cabinet

Meet the 2017-2018 Vanguard Cabinet

Join URISA as a Young Professional - discounted membership dues rate!

“As a young professional, URISA's GIS-Pro allowed me to network with a variety of professionals in my field as well as creating opportunities for me to volunteer, present, and get involved in ways I couldn't have imagined. I would not be where I'm at, in my career, without GIS-Pro and the URISA community!”

- Kari Leer, Valparaiso, Indiana (Vanguard Cabinet, 2014-15)

URISA Young Professional of the Year:

  • 2018: Tory Elmore
  • 2017: Kara Utter
  • 2016: Daniel Behnke, GISP
  • 2015: Kari Chael
  • 2014: Wendy Peloquin, GISP
  • 2013: Ryan Bowe, GISP
  • 2012: Diana Rodriguez
  • 2011: Ashley Hitt, GISP

Contact: urisa.vc@gmail.com   Follow us: @URISAVC

Current Initiatives:


"The expertise my mentor shared with me through the URISA mentoring program played a significant role in my career path. I gained beneficial information about the field I was entering into and because of the support from my mentor, I was exceptionally prepared for an interview. I would recommend this program, without a doubt, to anyone looking to gain some insight into a new industry or for help just out of college." - Sarah Love-Martin, Geospatial Analyst, Spatial Data Integrations, Inc., St Louis, Missouri


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