Ryan R. P. Maloney
SLS, P. Surv., B. Tech.
President’s Message to the Membership
Merry Christmas and Happy New year to the members of the association and your families. Winter is here in full force with frigid temperatures and blowing snow I often wonder how our Arizona Chapter Members are doing in the sun?
This winter started out as a very busy one between the association’s operation, presidential travel, personal practice, coaching hockey, farming, etc. Now, I know we all find ourselves at some time worrying or complaining about how much we have to do and how little time we have to do it. Well it could always be worse and this year we may have to be prepared for some of the worse… The recent decline in oil price has definitely put the brakes on exploration and production work in the province as well as the rest of Canada and the world. Now most of the members have been through these lows in the oil and gas markets; others have not and by some experts’ opinions this one could be further complicated by OPEC positioning and geo-political conflict. The industry’s reaction as well as the government’s budgetary reductions will no doubt slow our province’s economy. This presents challenges to those who provide services to the energy industry as well as those who service the land development markets but to a lesser degree. However when faced with challenges we can run from them, avoid them or face them head on. The latter being the toughest path to take but in the long term will make you a better person, company and association as the old saying goes “What doesn’t kill you only make you stronger.”
Presidential travel has taken me to Quebec City for the International GeoCongress, Sydney, Nova Scotia for the ANSLS AGM and most recently to Saint John, New Brunswick for the ANBLS AGM. Every meeting I attend opens my eyes and my mind to what other groups face in their associations. Most associations face many of the same primary challenges including association demographics, recruiting, discipline and unlicensed practice. I feel very proud and fortunate that our association is in the situation we are in; strong membership numbers, robust financials, limited complaints and discipline cases and a hard working dedicated volunteer base. Thank you all for this and I believe we can carry on this strength for years to come.
In Quebec City we experience the deep history of downtown Old Quebec through the hotels, restaurants and Congress venues. I was extremely impressed by the international attendance and the stimulating seminars especially in the area of Land Ownership/Cadastral Reform in developing regions of the world. The importance of quality, guaranteed land ownership is the basis of economic viability and the stability of personal wealth. The topics that were of most interest to me were crowd-sourced geospatial/cadastral data and open source web based cadastral tools. These tools may lack the high end accuracy we are used to but their ability to provide low cost, high speed data acquisition and agreeable property boundaries in regions where this would otherwise not be feasible is amazing.
At Nova Scotia’s AGM we were privileged to tour the historic Fortress of Louisburg National Historic Site and enjoy an informative guided tour as well as period correct food and drink. The history of this site and the region in general is awe inspiring and I would recommend visiting the fort if you are in the area. Cyril Leblanc and his wife Pat were gracious hosts and I look forward to the rest of the tour with the new president Jody Isenor.
In Saint John our hosts, Walter and Shelagh Rayworth, put on a great event even with a very limited budget. The ANBLS is dealing with reduced income, declining membership and is working on renewing the association. The severity of their situation was evident during the business meeting when a motion was brought forward to investigate the merging of the ANBLS with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick (APEGNB). This motion was thankfully defeated as the majority of members present, as well as the visiting delegates, felt that this was a step in the wrong direction. On the theme of rejuvenating and improving the association, Merv Symes from Symplicity Designs gave an excellent full day workshop on continuous improvement (CI), Organizational Development and Performance Excellence. He forced the members to take a deep and honest look into not only the association’s workings but also that of their own practices.
I am off to Deerhurst Lodge near Huntsville Ontario for the AOLS AGM February 24th through 27th and look forward to observing the workings of such a large and widespread membership as well as the president’s forum discussion of CBEPS examinations and the continuing poor pass results in several core examinations including C! Mathematics, C3 Advanced Surveying, C8 Cadastral Studies and C12 Hydrography.
Thanks to council and Carla for their continued support and the work that goes in to the efficient operation of our great association.
As always if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please let me or the association office know.
Once again please remember to save June 10th to 12th for the 2015 SLSA AGM at the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa in Moose Jaw.
Thank you again for the opportunity to represent this vibrant association.