Young, LaPointe Recognized at TAPS Conference  

Young, LaPointe Recognized at TAPS Conference

At the 2024 Tennessee Association of Professional Surveyors (TAPS) conference held on March 7-9, Thomas Young and Tyler LaPointe were each recognized for their distinguished experience and exceptional leadership within the surveying profession.

John J. Harris Surveyor of the Year Award: Thomas Young

PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Charles Whittenburg and Thomas Young

Thomas Young, Vice President of Surveying at L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS), received the John J. Harris Surveyor of the Year. In order to qualify for the award, professionals must display an attitude of cooperation and dedication, show responsibility in the survey profession, as well as possess a strong character of dependability, loyalty, enthusiasm, and morality. In addition, they must be an active member of TAPS and fulfill their civic responsibility as a survey professional.

“If anyone is deserving of recognition for service and achievements in the surveying profession it is Tommy Young,” LIS President Patrick Smith remarked. “Tommy has never stopped being a student of boundary surveying and I consider him to be one of the most knowledgeable surveyors in our profession.”

Young is an experienced leader in the surveying industry with more than 27 years of experience, 23 of which have been spent with LIS. He holds surveying licenses in 10 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in survey and mapping from East Tennessee State University and a second bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Tennessee Technological University.

“It’s been a long journey to get to this point, and I could not have done it without a long list of great mentors, including Ron Ashe, Moses Mitchell, Larry Click, Peter Messier, Larry Smith, Lucile Smith, and Patrick Smith,” Young reflected.

Student of the Year Award: Tyler LaPointe

PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Tyler LaPointe and TAPS President Andrew Stokes

The Student of the Year Award was given to Tyler LaPointe, a survey technician and professional land surveyor in training (LSIT) at LIS. The award is presented to a student who has exceptional leadership roles and involvement in their land surveying programs at their university, local chapter, and state organization. To qualify for nomination, a student must be a current member of TAPS, dedicated to becoming a licensed surveyor, and hold the following positive traits and attributes: attitude, cooperation and dedication, projecting a professional image, self-improvement, and enthusiasm.

“Tyler has impressed me with his zeal for surveying from the first time that I met him,” stated Smith. “He is exactly the type of young surveyor that the profession desperately needs. His contributions to his community and profession are early indicators of more accolades to come.”

LaPointe holds a bachelor’s degree in surveying from East Tennessee State University, having completed the program in 2023. Additionally, he graduated from Warrant Officer Candidate School in the spring of 2024 and now plans to attend the Warrant Officer Basic Course (WOBC) to become a 120A Construction Engineering Technician. Throughout his military career, LaPointe has had the opportunity to survey in six countries which include Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Jordan, Kuwait, and Iraq throughout his time in the military.

“I am very honored to have been nominated and have won this award. It means a lot to me to be recognized by the state organization,” LaPointe commented.

Both the John J. Harris Surveyor of the Year and Student of the Year Award are voted on by the Board of Directors in the fall meeting. Once the votes are in, the Executive Secretary will count them. The awards are presented at the TAPS annual luncheon. Austin (AJ) Maxwell, a Survey Technician at LIS, also received the Student of the Year Award back in 2022.

Women’s History Month Shines Light on Accomplishments of Lucile D. Smith

Women's History Month shines light on accomplishments of lucile d. smith

As the month of March continues, so does the opportunity to celebrate Women’s History Month—a time dedicated to recognizing the contributions and achievements of women throughout history. Women’s History Month serves as an important reminder of the valuable impact women have made and continue to make in shaping our world.

In honor of this holiday, L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) would like to recognize the woman who played an integral role in shaping the foundation of our company as well as leaving a lasting impact on the surveying industry as a whole, Lucile D. Smith.

In 1975, Lucile, along with her husband Larry Isham Smith, founded a small surveying company that would later become a multidisciplinary corporation. She was active in the field, introducing many of the procedures used in boundary surveys still used at LIS today. Her dedication and expertise were further demonstrated when she assumed the role of President of the company in 1996, leading a male-dominated team in a male-dominated industry.

“Lucile was able to motivate a work force like no one else I have seen. She met the challenges of a male dominated workplace and society head on. Her leadership shaped LIS,” LIS President Patrick Smith stated.

Her influence extended beyond shaping the company’s operations, however, as she also left an unforgettable mark on both the state of Tennessee and the surveying profession. Lucile made history in 1987 when she became the first woman in Tennessee to pass the state exam and obtain her surveyor’s license, pushing the boundaries of the profession at the time.

Vice President Larry Smith commented, “Lucile went from chainman to instrument man, to draftsmen, to RLS, to owner. LIS would not have succeeded without Lucile’s involvement and financial management.”

Lucile retired in 2017, but her enduring legacy continues to shape the future of LIS, ensuring her influence will be felt for generations to come. In the fall of 2023, LIS dedicated the conference room in Lucile’s honor. This Lucile D. Smith conference room now serves as a reminder of what she created and accomplished, while also serving as a reminder of the impact that women can have in the industry and in our world.

Surveyors Week Showcases Profession’s Impact on Society 

Surveyors Week Showcases Profession's Impact on Society

National Surveyors Week, celebrated annually from March 17-23, marks a time to honor the contributions of the surveying profession. It is also a week that showcases the importance of this industry and all that surveyors do in shaping the world around us.

Land surveying is a valuable industry and practice that helps determine the precise locations of points, distances, angles, and elevations on land. These measurements form the basis for creating maps, defining property boundaries, planning construction projects, and much more.

A few roles that land surveyors play involve establishing and defining property boundaries, communities, and infrastructures, the foundation of our everyday lives. They provide precise data to urban planners, architects, and engineers, to assist in the design of roads, bridges, utilities, and buildings. Surveyors analyze land conditions, identify potential obstacles, and determine routes for infrastructure designs. Their insight ensures that projects are performed safely, efficiently, and align with state and local requirements.

“Surveying is where history meets modern day mapping precision. Surveyors are required to understand how history impacts property lines while also leading the charge in precision mapping, drone technology, LiDAR processing, and so much more. The surveying industry is constantly changing and adapting and looks more prosperous than ever for people interested in making it a profession,” stated Trevor Teague.

While this profession can assist in building projects, it also plays an important role in environmental conservation efforts. By mapping out terrains and existing structures, along with natural features such as wetlands, forests, and wildlife habitats, surveyors help utilize land use while minimizing the environmental impact for sustainable growth and development.

As a surveying and engineering firm, L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) is significantly aware of the importance of spreading awareness regarding the surveying industry and the many career paths available within it. Throughout the year, LIS actively engages with schools, colleges, and communities, imparting knowledge about the vital role surveyors play in shaping our world. We also offer summer internships designed to provide students with hands-on experience and valuable insights into surveying.

As we celebrate National Surveyors Week, let us honor the importance of this profession and spread awareness of this industry. Through education, outreach, and a shared dedication to excellence, we can inspire the next generation of surveyors and continue to shape a world built on precision, accuracy, and foresight.

Tyler LaPointe Graduates Warrant Officer Candidate School in Top 20%

LaPointe after pinning

Tyler Lapointe Graduates warrant officer candidate school in top 20%

Tyler LaPointe, LSIT, survey technician, recently transitioned from Staff Sergeant (SSG) to Warrant Officer (WO1) with the Army National Guard. This transition occurred after LaPointe attended and completed the Warrant Officer Candidate School for five weeks in early 2024, having met numerous requirements including various physical challenges, as well as several academic assessments and interviews. His graduation ceremony was on February 14 at the Army Aviation Museum on the base of Fort Novosel in Alabama.  
“Attending the Warrant Officer Candidate School is an experience that I will not forget. This has set the foundation for the rest of my military career, and I look forward to where this development takes me in the future,” shared LaPointe.  
Now that LaPointe has graduated from the Warrant Officer Candidate School, he is eligible and plans to attend the Warrant Officer Basic Course (WOBC) for six months to become a 120A Construction Engineering Technician. LaPointe’s responsibilities of a Construction Engineering Technician (120A) will then include serving as the subject matter expert (SME) on construction operations, facilities management, and project management in a multifunctional capacity across various engineering operations from an Engineer Company through Army Service Component Command (ASCC) units. Along with this, Construction Engineering Technician provide commanders and staff with expert technical advice on the maintenance and repair of various infrastructures. 
“We are proud of Tyler’s hard work and dedication to his military obligations, career at our company, and industry as a whole,” commented LIS President Patrick Smith. “There is no doubt the leadership experience and hands on skills he has gained in this time with the Army National Guard has allowed him to grow tremendously.” 
This past January, LaPointe celebrated his 5-year employment anniversary at LIS. During this time, he has worked on a wide range of projects and acted as a mentor for new staff and interns. Additionally, LaPointe graduated in December of 2023 from East Tennessee State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Surveying and Mapping. 

Inspiring Inclusion for International Women’s Day 

Inspiring Inclusion for International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8 to recognize the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is to Inspire Inclusion and aims to forge a more inclusive world for women by bringing a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment to the workforce.  

The first IWD was held in March 1911 and, over a century later, has become a collective global day of activism and celebration that belongs to all those committed to shaping women’s equality. 

As we mark this significant occasion, L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) would like to recognize the women of our office and all their accomplishments. The LIS team is comprised of several impactful women, all of whom come from a unique background. Each of the women brings different talents to the table and play a key role helping our business run successfully.

Amanda Perry 

Amanda Perry, serving as the Billing Controller at LIS, is a proud two-time alum of the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM). Holding a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration, Perry’s educational journey has been marked by excellence. During her college years, she took on the role of treasurer for Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, showcasing her leadership and financial skills. Perry has a passion for numbers and plans to further enhance her credentials by pursuing a certified managerial accountant certification in the future. With her extensive background in accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation, Perry thrives in the dynamic environment of the accounting field, enjoying the unique challenges and opportunities that each day brings. 

Angela Dortch 

As one of the Project Administrators for our survey department, Angela Dortch brings a wealth of expertise. With two degrees from Murray State University, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and a master’s in human development and leadership, Dortch is well-equipped to handle various responsibilities. Her tasks include facilitating communication between clients and the surveying team, ensuring project adherence to timelines and budgets, and compiling client information for the preparation of proposals and contracts. 

Having over 30 years of professional experience, Dortch has served the public in both medical capacities and as a customer service representative. Her extensive background proves invaluable in ensuring the effective communication of demographic information with clients, facilitating seamless interactions, and ensuring timely payment for services provided. Dortch’s diverse skill set and commitment contribute significantly to the success of our survey department. 

Ashley Horn 

Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Ashley Horn, has played a significant role in the organization’s development. Horn helped establish the marketing department, achieving remarkable outcomes in our community outreach and employee relations programs. With a diverse background in communications, emphasizing higher education and nonprofit fields, Horn’s expertise greatly contributed to the creation of the LIS internship program. 

Currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Regent University, Horn holds a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication from UTM. Beyond LIS, she is actively a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) and Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), serves as a board member for the American Advertising Federation (AAF), is a distinguished graduate of Leadership Henry County (LHC), and current pupil in Leadership Carroll County. Horn’s contributions at LIS and within the community showcase her commitment to the professional and community environments. 

Carolyn Dotson 

Carolyn Dotson assumes the role of the Human Resources Officer, bringing over 15 years of invaluable experience in the human resources realm. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a marketing concentration from UTM and a Master of Business Administration from Bethel University. Additionally, Dotson holds valuable certifications as a Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) and a Society for Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). 

Over the years, Dotson has demonstrated her expertise in various areas of human resources, including benefits and compensation, talent management, training and development, compliance in human resources, and safety. On top of her work experience, she has also been actively involved in facilitating classes related to human resources, management, and marketing, showcasing her commitment to professional development and knowledge sharing within the field. 

Madison Bickerstaff 

Madison Bickerstaff serves as the Communications Specialist at LIS and holds a pivotal role in overseeing our internal and external communications. With a Bachelor of Arts in English for Corporate Communications and a Professional Writing Certificate from Christian Brothers University, along with a Master of Science in Leadership and Policy Studies with a concentration in Student Affairs from the University of Memphis, Bickerstaff brings a diverse educational background to her position. 

Drawing from her experience in higher education, Bickerstaff understands the significance of education, both in promoting staff relations and driving community outreach efforts. Leveraging her expertise in corporate communications and professional writing, she ensures the effective distribution of important information in her role, playing a vital part in planning and executing staff relations events at LIS. Bickerstaff utilizes her diverse skills to contribute significantly to our communication strategies and overall organizational success. 

Martha Jane (MJ) Hooper 

Martha Jane (MJ) Hooper, currently serving as the Marketing and Communications Intern at LIS, has been part of our team for nearly three years. Throughout her internship, Hooper has actively contributed to various responsibilities, including the administration of the staff photo content, oversight of LIS’ social media presence, and collaboration on administrative tasks with Horn and Bickerstaff. Graduating from UTM in December 2023 with a Bachelor of Mass Media and Strategic Communication, emphasizing public relations, Hooper is furthering her education by pursuing a Master of Science in Education.

Tami Winston 

As the primary point of contact for LIS, Tami Winston excels in delivering a positive and welcoming experience for clients, whether in-person or over the phone. Known for her team-oriented approach, Winston actively supports multiple departments by contacting clients, conveying project updates, and maintaining meticulous records. Her passion for fitness has played a vital role in initiating LIS’ wellness program, where she serves as the program coordinator. Winston is committed to our staff’s well-being and by enhancing productivity, boosting morale, alleviating stress, and promoting teamwork through wellness initiatives at LIS. 

Terri Hendrix 

Terri Hendrix, who is also a Project Administrator in the survey department, brings valuable experience from 22 years in customer service, which has allowed her to refine her communication and problem-solving skills throughout the years. Her educational background involves studying business management at Bethel University, and she holds a certification from Kaplan University in commerce and insurance. With a prior role as an insurance producer specializing in property and casualty, Hendrix’s understanding of insurance processes has offered invaluable insights into related legal matters. 

Lucile D. Smith

Lucile D. Smith has played an influential role for the women at LIS by shaping the foundation of our company as well as leaving a lasting impact on the surveying industry. Not only was she co-founder and President of LIS, but Lucile also became the first woman in Tennessee to pass the state exam and obtain her surveyor’s license. Throughout her career, Lucile led a male-dominated team in a male-dominated industry and introduced many of the procedures used in boundary surveys today.

As we commemorate International Women’s Day in 2024, please join LIS in celebrating the progress that has been made over the past century. By continuing to create a culture of inclusivity, breaking down barriers, and empowering women, we can help inspire inclusion for everyone. Our goal is to make every day an opportunity to celebrate and uplift the women who influence us and those who continue to shape the future.

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