+ (847) 824-6300

Vanguard Cabinet of Young GIS Professionals




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


Meet the 2018-2019 URISA Vanguard Cabinet Members!

Sign up to be a Mentor or Mentee Here

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.

Click below to launch the Vanguard Cabinet Story Map:

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.

  • 2018 Vanguard Cabinet Chair: Tory Elmore
  • 2018 Vanguard Cabinet Co-Secretaries: Natalie Dobbs and Alyssa Randall

Application: URISA members who are 35 years old or younger are encouraged to apply for membership to the VC. Each year, 5-6 young professionals will be selected by the Steering Committee and each will serve a 2-year term (the application process begins each fall). In recognition of their service, each VC member will be offered a free GIS-Pro conference registration during their term. Additionally, one VC member will be chosen as the URISA Young Professional of the Year and will be awarded free tuition to the URISA GIS Leadership Academy.

Submit an application to be considered a member of the next class of amazing young professionals in URISA's Vanguard Cabinet! The application period usually opens in September/October. 

      High School Poster Contest Participants in JAX - #FutureGISP

University Student Competition Finalists in JAX

Young GIS Professionals' Perspectives on Professional Organizations: Have you listed to the Directions podcast with URISA Vanguard Cabinet members and URISA president-elect, Kim McDonough?  

Meet the 2017-2018 Vanguard Cabinet

Announcing the 2017 Young Professional of the Year, Kara Utter

Announcing the 2016 Young Professional of the Year, Daniel Behnke

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:

  • 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:

Student Competition & GIS-Pro Student Volunteer Opportunities - get involved!


"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


Geospatial Institutions

Twitter (@URISAVC)


URISA ©2017. Website by Accrisoft