ROI Song of NSGIC meetings

Too rarely in our lives do we get opportunities where our professional and personal lives intersect.  As bizarre as it sounds to some, I am privileged to say I have had that opportunity with my experiences with NSGIC.  I have never known another group of people so closely bound by a shared common goal who can enjoy the silly pleasures of an evening of folk songs and sing-alongs after a hard day of collaborating on ideas to bring people together and to get outsiders to understand the importance of what we do.  On paper, is that an ROI on attendance?  Probably not.  But in a world where a difference can be made by the right person having the right contact at the right time, does that or should that really matter?  To me, it doesn’t.  I, for one, know I can count on any of the members of NSGIC to come through on a trivial question or even response to a major disaster.  I don’t know of a similar organization that avails itself to furthering education, pushing legislation, increasing communication and fostering collaboration like NSGIC does.  And it is not to the benefit of its members, as is proven by the fact that many members come to the meetings at their own expense.  It is to the benefit of the citizens that we all serve.  Whom we, as civil servants, have pledged our careers and ourselves to help.  I, for one, know who I can call upon for help with geospatial challenges, do you?  I learned by attending NSGIC meetings.  Not by reading contact lists or directories, but by meeting the people in person.  That’s an ROI song that I think I can sing.

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