2013 NEURISA Awards - Press Release

23 Sep 2013 12:08 PM | Stephen Sharp

NEURISA 2013 Awards

Press Release

9/23/2013


The New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 NEURISA Awards.  The awards were presented at GIS-Pro 2013 (URISA's Annual Conference) in Providence, RI on September 18, 2013.


NEURISA Special Achievement Award


Criterion: Through the use of geospatial or other information technologies, the individual has made a significant contribution that greatly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization; or realizes a significant return on investment; or greatly improves the quality of services. This contribution may be a single act or a cumulative performance.


2013 Recipient - Michael Howser

Congratulations to Michael Howser, UCONN - University Libraries - Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC), for receiving the 2013 NEURISA Special Achievement Award!  Michael has transformed the way GIS data is organized and made available in CT.  He has facilitated the growth and innovation that has transformed CT’s Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC) over the past five years.  He has had a role in creating a seamless statewide 1934 aerial data set of CT.  He helped to establish the CT State Data Center, a collaboration of academic and state organizations that serve as a liaison to the US Census.  He has helped to digitized a wealth of historical information through a massive scanning and metadata project of over 200,000 documents.  The comprehensive collection of digital GIS datasets available through MAGIC has exploded in the past five years, yet still remains easy to navigate and simple to use.


NEURISA Superior & Dedicated Service Award


Criterion: A NEURISA member or a member of the NEURISA Board of Directors who has made a significant contribution to the organization and its activities.


2013 Recipient - Neil MacGaffey

Congratulations to Neil MacGaffey, past NEURISA President and Assistant Director at MassGIS, for receiving NEURISA’s Superior and Dedicated Service Award for 2013.


Mr. MacGaffey exemplifies the meaning of superior and dedicated.  He was a key player helping to sustain NEURISA when it was struggling to survive.  He understood the importance of establishing and documenting procedures and protocols necessary to mature and sustain the organization.  He realized that leadership starts with a “vision”, but is nothing without hard work, team building, speed and authenticity.  He understood the importance of recruiting good people to the Board.


  • Feng Yang (NEURISA Past-President): “He dedicated a great deal of his time to running this organization for many years. He was instrumental in laying down the foundation for this organization to grow to where it is now.  NEURISA benefited from his vision, excellent communication and outreach skills, his ability to identify talented people, his management skills and his solid technical understanding of the profession.”

  • Paul Samara (NEURISA Past-President): “He is the consummate collaborator and defender of both needed and defined processes. He has been unwavering with his commitment to this organization and his efforts have been nothing short of stellar.  He exemplifies this award and I cannot think of any person more deserving!”


More than anyone else he brought discipline, focus, and dedication to NEURISA.  He was (and still is) committed to making NEURISA a great organization!

The New England Chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (NEURISA) is the professional association of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) practitioners in New England. NEURISA is a nonprofit 501(c)6 organization whose mission is to advance the effective and appropriate use of GIS and related information technologies to solve challenges throughout the region.
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