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7/19/2018 » 7/21/2018

1/17/2019 » 1/18/2019
2019 Technical Seminar

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President’s Report


Dear SAMSOG Member,


My year as your president is drawing to a close.  As I reflect on our accomplishments, I hope this year will prove to be at least a small footnote in the history of this great Society.  Although I have not succeeded in achieving all my goals, we have made some headway in several areas.


Legislation has and will continue to be an important function of this body as stated in our by-laws. I must extend a special thanks to Trent Turk, the Legislative Committee, Freddi Hagin and her staff for all their hard work monitoring last year’s legislative session and introducing our proposed bill.  We were successful in passing our bill requiring a four-year degree to take the Land Surveyors exam only to have it plucked away by the Governor.  I understand that his veto was because of another item on the bill and we have no major opposition from the Governor or the legislators for our proposal.  I support pushing hard next year to get this needed legislation approved.  Unfortunately, in order to do this we must be closely connected to the movers and shakers at the capitol.  The primary way to achieve this is to donate strategically to the legislators that can help the most.  Our donations will place us into a position so that they will listen to us.  This takes money!  This year we had a successful SAMPAC fundraiser.  For those of you that did not attend the Technical Seminar banquet you missed an outstanding performance by Josh Lewis promoting our computer raffle.  Josh single-handedly challenged the audience to purchase all the remaining tickets.  With the touch of a South Georgia preacher he sold and collected for every last one.  You should have been there to see it.  SAMPAC funds are low now and we need your support.  Next year we need to develop new ways to raise money for the PAC.  I have heard several good ideas such as Ben DeVane’s idea of the PAC selling SAMSOG flags to its members for display.  We need all the help we can get so please come forward with your ideas and donations.


Education is another important area and is also outlined in our by-laws as one of the duties of our Society.  The Technical Seminar this year was a huge success both in the information it provided, as well as the money it made for our Society ($47,916 profit).  My hat is off to Greg Johnson and the Education Committee for a job well done.  It would not be proper if I didn’t thank Freddi and her staff for the professional way they handled this event.  Several of the 22 vendors that participated praised our seminar and pointed out that it is recognized as the major show for the southeast United States.  “Where else could I have access to 500 surveyors, in one place, for a couple of days” one said to me.  The upcoming Annual Convention has an excellent program in a relaxed atmosphere and I look forward to seeing you there.  Providing education to registered land surveyors is only a part of our responsibility.  Over 80% of the people in our industry are not and probably will never obtain their license.  Our Society must do more to provide quality training for this important group.  Let’s face it, this is our bread and butter.  Who wouldn’t want a more knowledgeable staff?  This can only be achieved with a dedicated focus from our members.  Al Venable has replaced words with action and I would like to thank him for proctoring an ASCM Certified Survey Technician test this spring.  It is my wish that this will be the first of many for this needed program.  Please help me, as well as yourself, in supporting this and similar programs next year.


We supported education in other ways this year.  Our $2,000.00 donations to both Southern Tech and Middle Georgia College showed the Society’s desire to further education.  I am putting together a committee to submit to SAMSOG a proposal to create an “EDUCATION FOUNDATION”.  This will be a new way to raise money to support our learning institutions.  I credit Trent Turk with this idea and am excited about how we can solicit donations from additional sources such as our vendors.  Our scholarship program had a good year.  We had several discussions at Board meetings this year on how to improve on the administration of this program.  I encourage this dialogue and hope we can promote new ways to provide better support for the students.


Dean Olsen and the Membership Committee did a great job and because of their strong performance we realized 66 new members (21 Full, 15 Associate, 17 Affiliate, 10 Student and 3 Sustaining Members).  Great work!  Should we be satisfied?  I don’t think so.  Our current membership has grown to 664 with over 500 being Registered Land Surveyors.  This is fantastic, however we can do better.  With less than half of all the Register Land Surveyors in our State a member of our Society, I challenge each of you to reach out in your area and persuade a non-member to join.  The strength in our Society is in the voiced opinion of its members.  The more members we have the stronger our Society will become.  With your help SAMSOG will continue to grow and advance the profession of Land Surveying.


Although these three items were of special interest to me, together we achieved several other objectives:


·  Donated surveying equipment for the rebuilding of Iraq.  Thanks to everyone who

    gave to this worthy cause and Tommie Donaldson for putting this together.


·  TRIG-STAR, Jim Anderson deserves credit for registering the entire State and because

     of his forethought we had our largest participation ever.


·  John Hogan developed Chapter web-sites as a part of and would like to

    see more Chapter involvement.  Our web-site continues to be a storehouse of

    information and an excellent resource tool for everyday surveying needs.


·  Dealt with and are still dealing with several requirements by local and state

    governments that affect our profession.


·  Appointed two members to the State Board Task Force to review and recommend to

    the State Board of Registration for Engineers and Land Surveyors ways to improve

    their policies and procedures.  (the new Land Surveyor members are Mark Chastain

    and Ted Waddle, Sr.)


·  Thanks to Josh Stice we will have several new Certified Base Lines in the near future.

    Josh and Greenhone & O’Mara, Inc. have donated time and money to make this



·  Filed a complaint with the State Board against a surveyor registered in Alabama that

    signed a survey plat for property in Macon, Georgia.


My time as your president has been both interesting and exciting.  I thank you for the opportunity to serve you in this capacity.  Also, I would like to thank the Executive Committee, Directors, Chapter Representatives, Executive Director and staff, as well as the entire membership of the Society for their support.  Without YOUR efforts we could not have succeeded.  As I leave, I charge each of you with the title of Ambassador for the Surveying and Mapping Society of Georgia for the furtherance of the surveying profession.  Together, we can accomplish anything!


With kindest regards, I remain





Robert N. Shupe, LS


Surveying and Mapping Society of Georgia

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