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.