Women’s History Month: Celebrating the Remarkable Women of LIS 

Women’s History Month: Celebrating the Remarkable Women of LIS

Women’s History Month is celebrated annually in the month of March and highlights the many accomplishments and contributions of trailblazing women throughout history. Women play a crucial role in culture and society, but their contributions are sometimes overlooked. Through the celebration of Women’s History Month, we hope to take inspiration from both those who came before and those working among us today.   

In the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, specifically, women have been underrepresented for decades. Because innovation can only be attained when people of diverse backgrounds and unique prospectives work together, the industry has truly suffered. In order to build a better, more diverse workforce in the future, it is essential that women feel empowered to enter and succeed in this industry.  

Lucile Smith, LIS Co-Founder and former President, is a true trailblazer in the world of STEM and land surveying. She made waves in the industry when she became the first woman in the state of Tennessee to become a licensed surveyor by passing the state-specific examinations. With Smith as its leader, LIS was a certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE) in the state of Tenn. for nearly 10 years, meaning 51% of the company was owned and controlled by a woman. Through innovative thinking and determination, Smith opened the door for women to enter the surveying industry and earn a professional licensure.  

“Our profession is white, male dominated, and can be tough for women to excel, unless you are Lucile Smith, my mom. Working under a strong woman, like my mom, provided me with the insight to recruit and hire females in STEM and leadership roles throughout my career,” remarked LIS President Patrick Smith.  

LIS is proud to recognize the remarkable women on our team. Each one brings a strong work ethic and unique perspectives to the business, and LIS would not be where it is today without them. Learn more about each staff member below! 

Our Co-founder

Lucile Smith, Co-Founder 

While no longer actively employed with LIS, Smith is by far the most influential woman in LIS’ near five decades of history. Smith co-founded the business in 1975 along with spouse, Larry Smith. She later became President of the company in 1996, with L. Smith serving as Vice President. During this time, Smith made history in the surveying industry when she became the first woman in the state of Tennessee to become a licensed surveyor by passing the state-specific examinations. After a prominent and influential career, she retired in 2017.  

Current staff

Kathryn (Katie) Bullion, Administrative Intern 

Henry County High School (HCHS) senior, Kathryn (Katie) Bullion, holds a great number of responsibilities for the Administrative and Marketing Departments as the Administrative Intern. She works with a diverse staff on various projects, including reporting, data entry, developing marketing communications, and acting as a brand ambassador at external events. Bullion has continuously proven that she can excel, both in academics and in the professional realm. She holds numerous leadership positions, including the President of DECA and the President of the 4-H Honor Club, and has won multiple awards for impromptu speaking on the HCHS Speech and Debate team, including one first place win. In addition, Bullion has been ranked at the top of her class all four years of high school. After graduating, she plans to attend a four year university and major in marketing.  

Martha (MJ) Hooper, Marketing and Communications Intern 

Martha (MJ) Hooper is a rising senior at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) and an active member of Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA), the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and Women in Communication. As the Marketing and Communications Intern, she works to enhance the LIS brand through the development of innovative concepts and promotional writing. Hooper was hired in 2021 as one of LIS’ first collegiate interns, and she helped spearhead the internship program. In her role, she continuously exceeds expectations and sets new benchmarks for future hires with her great work ethic and attitude.  

Ashley Horn, Marketing Coordinator 

As Marketing Coordinator, Ashley Horn heads all of LIS’ marketing, business development, recruitment, and community relations efforts. In her role, Horn is responsible for managing the company’s overall marketing strategy, brand development, outreach, and oversight of LIS’ interns and internship program. Horn is education-minded, and she enjoys learning and developing new skills. She is currently a doctoral student at Regent University. Horn holds a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Horn is a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), serves as a board member for the American Advertising Federation (AAF), a volunteer for the Paris-Henry County Arts Council (PHCAC), and is a graduate of Leadership Henry County (LHC).  

Debbie Kinsland, Human Resource Officer 

Hired by Lucile Smith in 2008, Debbie Kinsland has worked alongside three generations of the Smith family. She began her career with LIS as a Payroll Clerk. As LIS grew over the years, her role within the company grew alongside it. While working in that role, she helped to build LIS’ Human Resource Department, creating new policies and procedures as needed.  Kinsland was promoted to her current position as Human Resource Officer in 2022. As Human Resource Officer, Kinsland is responsible for onboarding new hires, maintaining employee files, processing payroll, and offboarding staff members, among other responsibilities.  

Ashleigh Trevino, Technology Integrator  

As Technology Integrator, Ashleigh Trevino is responsible for implementing new software and technology, as well as improving our existing programs. She works closely with the external Information technology (IT) company to ensure our technology stays up to date and works properly and efficiently. Trevino holds an associate degree in interior design and business marketing from Western Kentucky University. Upon graduation, she entered the workforce focusing on interior design but quickly realized that she was more interested in 2D & 3D CAD modeling. Trevino is an essential part of the LIS team and is constantly looking for new ways to improve our company’s use of technology. 

LaCole Webster, Senior CAD Technician 

As a Senior CAD Technician, LaCole Webster coordinates with and coaches fellow staff members across each of 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 the amount of stress she might be under. She is knowledgeable in the field, holding more than 15 years of industry experience and a bachelor’s degree in drafting and design technology from Missouri State University. Webster 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. 

Tami Winston, Receptionist 

Tami Winston is the initial point of contact for our company. She provides a positive initial meeting and greeting of clients, both in-person and by phone. Tami is a true team player, as she supports various departments by calling clients, relaying project updates, and record keeping. Her empathetic personality and enthusiasm for her work make her a great teammate. In her spare time, Tami has raced various marathons and triathlons, including the Little Rock Half Marathon, Disney Marathon in Orlando, and the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, only to name a few. Her enthusiasm for fitness has led to the launch of LIS’ wellness program, in which she serves as program coordinator. Tami works diligently to promote wellness among the staff in hopes of increasing productivity, improving morale, reducing stress levels, and improving teamwork. 


Frank Burch Begins 35th Year with LIS 

frank burch begins 35th year with lis

Frank Burch began his 35th year with L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS) in February of 2023, making him the longest employed staff member outside of the Smith family. Having worked alongside three generations of the Smiths, he has established himself as a well trusted member of the LIS team and is largely relied on by his colleagues. 

Patrick Smith, LIS President, stated, “Frank has been surveying at LIS since I got my driver’s license.  If I have a question about surveying, I ask Frank.”

In 1988, Burch earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Murray State University. While Burch was attending school, Andrew Kelly, one of his professors, referred him to LIS. Kelly had taught numerous LIS staff members throughout the years, including company founder, Larry Smith.

Burch began this career with LIS as a Rodman in 1989. At the time, he was one of only eight staff members. Within one year of employment, he was promoted to Party Chief. At the time, the company focused exclusively on land surveying and had not yet introduced full-service civil engineering work.

Burch said, “I started out doing boundary surveys because that’s primarily all they (LIS) did at the time… I was happy doing what I was doing, so I’ve accumulated a little bit of experience.”

Due to his love for the outdoors, Burch prefers to work in the field instead of the office. He has remained in his role as Party Chief since his promotion in 1990. However, after more than three decades in the industry, his role has shifted to that of a mentor to his team members. 

“It seems like I teach and train new people all the time. I’ve trained a lot of people, some of whom have licenses now. It’s an ongoing process, especially during the summer. There are always new people coming in and I get to teach them. I’m proud of that,” stated Burch.  

Outside of acting as a mentor to less experienced staff, Burch is responsible for survey crews, deed research, and calculating any necessary fieldwork. He has surveyed lots, large acreage, as-builts, topographic surveys, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) wetlands, route surveys, and subdivision layouts. 

Throughout his career with LIS, Burch has completed more than 6,000 jobs in the survey industry. His vital role as Party Chief has allowed him the opportunity to travel across the region and work on numerous unique and interesting projects.  

Burch said, “One of the coolest jobs I have done is when they were putting up 5G towers in downtown Nashville. I got to survey on top of the Omni Hotel, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and the Nashville Music City Center.” 

Another unique job Burch has worked on is a topographic survey of the floor of the Tennessee River at Pickwick Landing State Park Marina. In order to have new boat slips designed, a topographic survey of the floor of the marina was required, along with the location of all underwater objects in the vicinity of the existing marina. Mainstream Commercial Divers located these underwater objects and then tied a buoy to each one. Burch, along with other LIS staff members, then surveyed each buoy while in a boat. Some of the objects discovered were cable anchors, bicycles and tires.  

Larry Smith, LIS Vice President, said, “Frank is one of the most knowledgeable and hardest workers I have ever known. He has been an outstanding asset to LIS throughout the years.” 

Waverly Utilizes Local Companies for Temporary School


On August 21, 2021, the City of Waverly, Tenn. faced a devastating flood. Now, with the help of L. I. Smith & Associates (LIS) and other companies, the students of Waverly Schools will be able to attend class in their temporary school beginning in the spring semester.

Waverly Elementary and Waverly Junior High School were destroyed in the flood. Until the new schools are built, the students will be placed at a 73,000 square-foot temporary school.

Nathan Grasfeder, a LIS Civil Engineer working on the project, said, “LIS takes pride in working with local communities. We were up to the task of delivering a quality plan in a very short period of time to help the community get back on its feet.”

The former Dan Post boot factory will be repurposed and fitted with classrooms and a cafeteria. At one end of the building, a new gymnasium will be built, and the other side will have a playground and parking lot for staff and visitors. The school district chose to utilize this site because it sits up on a hill and would be safe from any future flooding events in the area.

LIS met on site with Meridian Architecture, the prime contractor on the project, in January of 2022. The companies also coordinated with the Director of Schools, Richard Rye, to ensure that their vision would ultimately be constructed.

Rye stated, “LIS has been very accommodating in helping us with our temporary school and understands our small-town needs and timelines…. I like local companies and supporting the economy around us.”

The surveying and designing portion of the project took five weeks to complete. Now that the site plan has been finalized, LIS is continuing its involvement by performing civil engineering oversight and construction layout.

Grasfeder said, “The construction is ongoing, the goal is to have the facility open in time for the spring semester classes.”

The temporary school was previously set to open for the fall 2022 semester, however, due to numerous roadblocks including supply chain issues and scheduling conflicts, the school is not projected to open until spring 2023.

Larry Smith Retires from Tennessee State Guard

Larry Smith Retires from tennessee state guard After 18 Years of Continuous Service

24-year veteran, Larry Smith, has announced his retirement from the Tennessee State Guard, effective January 31, 2022. At the time of his retirement, Smith served as the Regimental Commander for the First Tennessee Regiment located in Henderson, Tenn. He held this position for the last three years.

Smith led a highly decorated career, having received numerous awards and decorations throughout his near two decades of service. These honors include Commanding General Letter of Commendation, Meritorious Service Ribbon, Commendation Ribbon, Aid to Civil Authority with one Oak Leaf, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Task Force Volunteer, Community Volunteer Service with two silver and three Oak leaf, Recruiting Achievement Ribbon, to name a few.

“I would never have realized that my time in the State Guard would have had such a rewarding and fulfilling experience in my life,” Smith said. “Obtaining the grade of Colonel and becoming a Regimental Commander has been a reward for me that is hard to put in words. The overall experience definitely fulfilled the greatest aspiration of my life.”

During his extensive military career, Smith paved the way for the implementation of numerous initiatives that benefited both his fellow guardsmen and the community.

In wake of the flood that devastated Waverly and Humphreys County in August of 2021, Smith served as the Ground Commander for the First Tennessee Regiment as they were deployed to assist victims in the flood’s aftermath. Smith assumed responsibility for the overall supervision of the state guard soldiers on the ground in Humphreys County. 

Another such initiative was the development of the Military Funeral Honor Detail for the First Tennessee Regiment. This detail has the duty of performing “Taps” and presenting the American flag to the deceased’s nearest relative. Due to a lack of training, there was a shortage of soldiers helping with the detail. Smith, along with a local Corporal, begin training with the National Guard to fill this void. The program evolved over time and as of the end of 2021, there were 18 soldiers qualified with 40 hours of training and current uniforms, all of whom assist with upwards of 30 funerals per month.

In 2005 Smith, then a Lieutenant, assisted with the refugees in the wake of Hurricane Katrina at the Milan National Guard Training Center.

Smith’s son and current president of L.I. Smith & Associates (LIS), Patrick Smith stated, “We are extremely proud of the service and leadership that Larry has given to the Tennessee State Guard. Through his leadership at LIS, we have promoted the hiring of veterans and active service members in all phases of the company.”

Larry Smith is the founder and Vice President of L.I. Smith & Associates, a civil engineering and surveying company headquartered in Paris, Tenn. He holds more than 45 years of industry experience, having started the company and earning his first professional licensure in 1975. He is a well-established civil engineer and land surveyor, holding Registered Land Surveyor licensures in seven states and Professional Engineer licensures in six states. Smith credits his immense career in the engineering and surveying industries as a key component to his military success.

“My experience as an engineer and managing an engineer and surveying company helped to prepare me to lead soldiers. Leadership in the private sector has many of the same attributes as leadership in the military,” stated Smith.

Smith is a member of several professional and military organizations including the National Guard Association, State Guard Association, American Legion, Veteran of Foreign Wars, Society of the American Military Engineers, Tennessee Association of Professional Surveyors, and the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers.

LIS Monthly Staff Photo Competition – May 2022

Staff Photo Competition - May 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.

Winner: John snow

John Snow was standing behind the terminal parking locations at the Nashville International Airport in February of 2021. He was marking locations for the drilling spots to erect steel for the new construction. The crane behind Snow was being assembled for steel erectors. 

John is a Party Chief for LIS at the Paris office. He has been working at LIS for 27 years. 

Honorable Mention: Austin (aj) Maxwell

At the University of Tennessee at Martin ROTC Battalion’s Spring 2022 Commission Ceremony, Austin (AJ) Maxwell, took his oath as a commissioned officer and became a 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) for the Tennessee Army National Guard. The portion of the ceremony pictured above is called the First Salute. It is a courtesy and tradition of lower enlisted and noncommissioned officers to salute those of higher ranking. Tyler LaPointe, a LIS Survey Technician, is shown saluting AJ for the first time.

AJ (left) has been working at LIS for six years, currently in the role of a Survey Technician. Tyler (right) has been a member of the LIS team for three years.

Honorable Mention: Mason peale

Mason Peale conducted a 50-acre ALTA Survey on the grounds surrounding the Coca-Cola plant located in Truesdale, Mo. last June. The field work was conducted in three days by using drone, robotic, and GPS equipment. There were 22 property corner monuments found on this job.

Peale is a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) and he has been working at L.I. Smith & Associates for almost six years. He is located at the Paris office.

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