Staff Members Recognized for Achievements in the Workplace  

LIS Staff Members Recognized for Achievements in the Workplace 

PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Ben Driver, LaCole Webster, Blake Alexander, Will Clark, Mike Ilko, and Drew Smith (NOT PICTURED: Trevor Teague)

Several LIS staff members were recognized on November 2 at LIS’ first annual staff training day. The awards recognized staff members who exceeded expectations and displayed extraordinary integrity in their roles throughout the year.   

“Congratulations to our well-deserving staff members! We appreciate all of their hard work in the past year and are so glad to have them as part of the LIS team,” stated Ashley Horn, Marketing Coordinator at LIS. “Without their dedication and ingenuity, LIS would not be where it is today.”  

Seven awards, ranging in criteria, were presented. The awards were the Leadership Award, Standout Performer Award, Exceeds Expectations Award, Best Team Player Award, and Culture Award. Recipients were selected by LIS leadership staff members Patrick Smith, Chris Conrad, and Ashley Horn, after the review of recommendations made by fellow staff members.

leadership award: Blake Alexander

 The Leadership Award recognizes an individual, at any level of management, who exhibits exemplary leadership qualities. This individual leads by example and focuses on team successes while inspiring those around them.   

Alexander is known for his mentorship in the field. New hires are regularly placed on Alexander’s crew as he exhibits a great work ethic and trains others to do the same. He is thorough in his work, constantly keeping the team updated as to the progress and/or any problems that may occur. Alexander leads by example and is known for going above and beyond to help his teammates.

standout performer (Office): will clark

This award goes to a person working in the office, who has set goals, continually presses forward, and, ultimately, achieves even more than they set out to do. The recipient has continuously gone above and beyond their job responsibilities and made great strides toward innovation. 

Clark is new to the LIS team. Hired as an Engineer in February of 2022, he has learned a great deal in a short amount of time. After only a few short months, Clark is now maintaining client relationships and completing projects on his own. His work ethic and perseverance continually impress his peers.

standout performer (field): ben driver

This award goes to a person working in the field, who has set goals, continually presses forward, and, ultimately, achieves even more than they set out to do. The recipient has continuously gone above and beyond their job responsibilities and made great strides toward innovation. 

Hired in 2019, Driver has worked his way from his hired position of Rodman to his current role of Party Chief. He specializes in construction and has been working in the construction field since he started his first job at his family’s business at just 12 years old. With many years of experience, Driver has a knack for remaining cool under pressure. Driver’s positive attitude, willingness to put his team first, and cool demeaner make him a standout performer in the field each and every day.


A Standout Performer is someone with an outstanding performance on the job, who develops innovative ideas and remains sound under pressure. This award reflects the dedication of an employee toward his or her work at LIS. The Standout Performer Award was given to both a member of the office staff and a member of the field staff. 

When describing Teague, dependable is the first word that comes to mind. Teague is a Registered Land Surveyor and an Engineer in Training. As such, he is involved in a large volume of work in an array of genres at LIS. Although his workload can be heavy, he is never one to complain. Teague is helpful, maintains a positive attitude, and always come through for his team.


The Best Team Player is someone who displays extraordinary integrity and generosity towards their coworkers. To be selected, an individual must demonstrate servant leadership and a desire to help their teammates achieve their goals. 

Ilko, a 10 year veteran of the company, is known for his selflessness and willingness to help others. Recently promoted to the role of Survey Coordinator, Ilko leads the field crews by example. He repeatedly goes the extra mile to ensure that tasks are completed in a timely and appropriate manner, while always taking the time to ensure that his team members are prepared for the task at hand. Mike is also tremendously helpful in the office where he assists the administrative team whenever he can.

CULTURE AWARD: Lacole Webster

Company culture is the foundation of any business. It plays a key role in productivity, innovation, and growth. The Culture Award recognizes someone who continuously works towards the betterment of the LIS company culture.   

As a Senior CAD Technician, Webster regularly works with staff members across LIS’ three office locations on a wide range of projects. When interacting with her, staff members can always count on Webster to encourage them when they need it, no matter if the amount of stress she might be under. She has the heart of a teacher and truly cares about her fellow staff members. She is known as a constant ally to the field and office personnel alike.


This year, staff members were challenged to share the interesting, behind the scenes aspects of their role at LIS through photographs! The challenge ran from May through October. To be selected for the grand prize, a team member had to be the winner of at least one month. This has been a fun competition for our team and we have enjoyed seeing everyone’s submissions this year.

The winning photo, submitted by Drew Smith, shows Smith going to check control on a barge where they were putting in a new outfall line in Kentucky Lake.  

Special RECOGNITION: Ashley Horn

PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Chris Conrad, Ashley Horn, Patrick Smith

Marketing Coordinator Ashley Horn was recognized at the end of the day by Vice President Chris Conrad and President Patrick Smith. Horn received a wooden plaque to commemorate her work in planning the training day, as well as her efforts to build staff engagement. In her time with LIS, she has implemented a company swag program, a staff photo competition, and an internship program.

The staff awards were introduced as part of LIS’ staff relations and benefits rollout, launched at the staff training day. The rollout included several new initiatives including a childcare stipend, employee referral program, emergency care fund, and employee engagement program, among numerous other programs.

For more information about employment opportunities at LIS, please email

First Annual Company-Wide Training Day Brings Staff Together 

First Annual ComPAny-Wide Training Day BRINGS STAFF TOGETHER

Staff members from each of L.I. Smith & Associates’ (LIS) three office locations, Paris, Nashville, and Portland, Tenn., came together yesterday for a staff-wide training day held at the Paris Landing Lodge, located near LIS’ main office in Paris, Tenn.  

LIS President Patrick Smith said, “We are a dynamic workforce stretched between three offices, so it’s important to meet as a whole group. Training days are wildly important. I emphasize often that if we want to go fast, sometimes we must slow down. That is exactly what we did during this training day, slowed work to a stop so that we can pick a few areas to improve.”  

Throughout the day, staff members had the opportunity to sharpen their skill sets, learn from seasoned experts, and network with one another. Guest speakers covered a wide range of subject matter including human resources topics, financial planning, and snake identification. Speakers were strategically chosen to lecture on topics that would best benefit the unique staff at LIS. 

“We have such a diverse staff, varying in age, background, education, and geographic location. It is imperative that we stay up to date with human resource topics as we continue to grow both in numbers and diversity,” commented Human Resources Officer Debbie Kinsland.  

Human resources topics including diversity, inclusion, and sexual harassment, were discussed by Dr. Sean Walker. Dr. Walker is a professor in the College of Business and Global Affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He is also a licensed minister and mediator, both of which provide him with the training needed to educate students, colleagues, and external agents on how to reach a peaceful consensus when faced with conflict in an organization.  

In addition to learning about diversity and inclusion as well as sexual harassment, the LIS team had the opportunity to learn directly from the Tennessee Park Ranger Association (TPRA). A ranger, representing the TPRA, educated staff on the identification of poisonous snakes found in Tennessee. This topic was especially useful for the LIS staff, as field personnel come into contact with snakes on a regular basis. 

While a large portion of the day was spent learning, LIS’ new employee benefits package was also unveiled. The benefits rollout included several new initiatives including a childcare stipend, an employee referral program, an emergency care fund, a financial advisor, employee engagement program, and staff awards, among numerous other programs. The new benefits package will be available to all full-time staff members in the upcoming year. 

“We are proud to be able to offer new benefits and awards to the LIS staff. Our staff is our most important asset, and it is our responsibility to recognize their accomplishments, provide them with competitive benefits, and create a culture in which they feel valued,” commented Ashley Horn, Marketing Coordinator at LIS.  

Awards recognizing staff members who exceeded expectations and displayed extraordinary integrity in their roles throughout the 2022 year were also presented. The awards presented were the Leadership Award, Standout Performer Award, Exceeds Expectations Award, Best Team Player Award, and Culture Award.  

LIS’ new financial advisor, Jamie Orr, provided staff with a financial planning session. Orr is the founder of Orr Investment Management, an LPL registered Financial Advisor and holds the Series 7 License, Series 24 General Principal License, Series 66 License, and is AAMS Certified. In the upcoming year, Orr will act as a financial advisor for all LIS staff members.  

Horn commented, “It’s important for our staff members to have the opportunity to meet face to face and spend time with one another outside of the office setting. The training day allows us to do that, while also learning important topics related to human resources, leadership, and professional development. We look forward to offering this event each year.”  

While this was LIS’ first staff-wide training day, the event will become an annual occurrence, as staff members will continue to come together to learn and network together each fall.  

For more information about employment opportunities at LIS, please email 

LIS Monthly Staff Photo Competition – October 2022

Staff Photo Competition - October 2022

 The L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) Staff Photo Competition is a unique opportunity for staff members to share the interesting, behind the scenes aspects of their roles, while also getting creative! Our workforce is comprised of professional surveyors, field crews, professional engineers, and administrative personnel. Our field personnel travel throughout the Central and Southeast regions of the country, while our office staff commute to three separate office locations. Each staff member’s role is different. No two workdays are alike. 

In order to showcase the unique experiences of our staff, we challenged them to submit images that reflect their day in the workplace- wherever that may be. 

Each month, one photo is chosen as the winner. Additional photo(s) are also highlighted as honorable mentions. A grand prize winner will be selected at the end of the year. This month’s winning image and honorable mentions are featured below along with submission descriptions and the photographer’s name. Congratulations to all of our staff members for their incredible, creative images.

Submission Winner: Debbie Kinsland

Pictured above is Debbie Kinsland with Caleb Grissom, Lucile Smith, and Larry Smith at the Blues, Brews, and BBQ event in Paris. The event was hosted by the Downtown Paris Association on October 24. 

Debbie is the Human Resources Manager at LIS and has been a part of our team for 14 years.

honorable Mention: Reaumel Washington

Reaumel Washington captured this picture at the Oxford Properties project in Antioch, Tenn. LIS is assisting Oxford Properties by doing layout work for the multi-level complexes.

Reaumel has been working for LIS since February and currently serves as a CAD Technician at the Nashville office.

Honorable Mention: Tami Winston

Tami Winston (not pictured) snapped an image of a few members of our administrative team dressed up for Halloween. It is always fun to see LIS team members participating in holiday events.

Tami is the Receptionist for LIS and started working at LIS in June.


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