President's Message

March 2019

    Happy March everyone! I hope you all are having a prosperous beginning to 2019.

    In February, I attended FES Legislative Days in Tallahassee along with Bob Strayer, Lou Campanile, and John Clyatt. Prior to heading to the Capitol, we attended the FES Breakfast where we heard speakers Don Polmann, the Public Services Commissioner in Tallahassee, and Rep. Mike La Rosa from the Orlando area. Mr. Polmann spoke about utilities regulation and Rep. La Rosa spoke about the importance of meeting your local legislators in your own local districts. Establishing those relationships is crucial to fighting off challenges to our profession and being able to get necessary changes made to current statutes.

     We then went to the Capitol with the engineers and met with several of our district legislators. Of course, this day was mainly for the engineers and their legislative concerns, but as many of you know, many of their concerns are also ours. It was well worth our time to talk directly to the legislators or their staff and get our business cards into their hands.

     During this trip, John Clyatt and I were also able to meet our new regulator, Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, at the office of our lobbying firm, Smith, Bryan and Myers. She admitted she knew very little about our profession but seemed genuinely interested in what we do and how we can assist with her agenda. She asked meaningful questions and I was impressed with her authenticity and the ease with which she conducted herself.

     John explained a bit of our history, explaining our move from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), as well as providing information about what we do as a profession. We took the opportunity to express our gratitude for the staff of FDACS and how much we appreciate our working relationship with Jenna Harper and the Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers. It was also an opportunity to stress the importance of funding the UF Geomatics program. All in all, it was a very good meeting for us, and it was important for us to meet with her early on in her first term as Commissioner of Agriculture.

     Our networking efforts will continue in March, when President-Elect Don Elder and I will attend the Puerto Rican Professional Surveyors Conference in San Juan. We are looking forward to establishing a working relationship with their association and working directly with their Florida Chapter in Orlando.

     March 18th-24th is National Surveyors Week, and I encourage you to participate on your local level. There are numerous opportunities to get proclamations from your City and County Commissions, as well as participate in presentation programs at your local schools. On March 12th, I will be attending the Florida Cabinet meeting with Don and Executive Director Tom Steckler to receive the surveying proclamation for the State of Florida. Surveyors Week is an excellent time we have each year to focus on getting the word out about our great profession. But remember - educating the public and enticing new recruits to join our profession should be a full time job for all of us.

     I'll keep talking every month about our 64th Annual Conference in Orlando. Vice President Matt LaLuzerne, along with Broward Chapter President Earl Soeder and several others, are working hard to make this another great conference. The Caribe Royale is a beautiful venue, and we have some excellent educational opportunities, which again will feature nationally recognized speakers. In addition, we plan to make a couple of changes to marquee events that should prove to be exciting. I encourage you to support our conference both by becoming a sponsor and attending this year's events in July in Orlando.

“Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success.” 
-Henry Ford

Dianne Collins