2017 President Update

Michelle Ellington, GISP
GIS Coordinator | Esri Site License Administrator
University of Kentucky
Facilities Information Services

August 27, 2017

With the 2017 conference now behind us and a new year ahead, I want to take a few moments to reflect on the past year's accomplishments and acknowledge the achievements of our hard work.  Thank you to all of our ongoing supporting members and any new additions to our CFTA family.  It is only through your involvement that CFTA has become and will continue to be the open and sharing community that it is. 

Conference Summary

Immediately following the conference, Bob Stephen with RSC wrote a wonderful article on the 5 Reasons Why the CFTA Conference is Not to Be Missed.  He really did an excellent job capturing the conference with words (thanks Bob!).  Here are some of my personal highlights:

  • We received an astounding 30% increase in presentation submissions this year that were rich in content, directly applicable to our work, and unified people together to better tackle the common work obstacles we all share.  

  • We increased our pre-conference session offerings this year to four sessions, which offered technical guidance and in-depth understanding across many disciplines.  


  • The business partner Spark Sessions afforded all partners a short, 6 minute presentation in front of all attendees on their solutions, followed by extended networking breaks between sessions to promote these relationships.  This was both entertaining and highly valuable for all involved. 


  • The social events did a great a job of nourishing relationships.  From the dancing at Capital Brewery to the great giveaways during the super silly "Breakfast Blind Bidding Bonanza!" raffle, attendees got to enjoy each other on a personal level and further strengthen relationships.


  • And finally, the Unconference was a HIT!  For almost three hours on Friday, attendees were given structured free time to enjoy round table discussions on hot topics of interest and then share their collective summaries with all attendees.  Special thanks to the subject matter experts that volunteered to facilitate these sessions.


Overall, the feedback on the new conference structure has been overwhelmingly positive and we will repeat this structure next year for future attendees to experience.  Check out the 2017 Conference Photo Album for more conference photos.  You can also view the presentation slides here.  For future reference, these items are also located on the 2017 conference attendee resources page.


CFTA Leadership

The results are in from the 2017 Election!  CFTA is excited to welcome Jessical Valenti as a new CFTA Director.  Jessica brings the needed energy and professionalism that will help CFTA continue to grow in a positive direction.  We are also pleased to welcome back Ray Garrett to CFTA Leadership.  Ray completed his 3-year term in August 2017 and his commitment to continue in this role is appreciated and commendable. Ray brings to CFTA a wealth of business knowledge and expertise and has been instrumental in many of our biggest achievements the past several years.  In addition to winning the election, he also received an award of recognition "for your tireless support and endless wisdom that has helped in leading our path to success."  Congratulations Ray and Jessica!

CFTA Leadership would also like to recognize two additional new members that were appointed this past year.  For those interested in knowing how CFTA works, new Director terms must be voted on by our membership, whereas Officer positions and mid-term Director positions (where refilling a position is necessary due to resignation or other reason) may be appointed by the Board of Directors.  Lorena Griffin is a new CFTA Director refilling an existing term and Monty Combs joins us in the challenging role of Treasurer.  Monty brings a deep knowledge of finance and budgeting to CFTA and we are very fortunate for his leadership in this area.  Lorena brings the skillful eye of detail and thoroughness and never says no to a challenge. Both Lorena and Monty, each in their own unique way, are valuable additions to CFTA leadership and their contributions are strengthening CFTA as a whole.  

-  2017 - 2018 CFTA Leadership Team -

Note: Director Susan Saurwein not shown 


Both the 2016 Campus Professionals' Salary Survey Report and the Whitepaper on Geospatial Technologies for Campus Safety are now available for free, public download.  Many thanks to the volunteers that helped to make these contributions possible.  

CFTA is currently working on a report from the Campus Foundation Systems Survey and will publish this to members when available.  As a reminder, CFTA reports are available to members at no cost for one year ($25 for non-members) and then released to the public following the annual conference.


Other News

- CFTA Conference Planner, Janice Field, did an excellent job managing the 2017 conference.  CFTA is renewing her contract and she is currently working on both the 2018 conference planning and the 2019 conference RFP.

- The 2018 Conference will be hosted by The Ohio State University in the lovely city of Columbus, Ohio.

- CFTA Leadership is accepting nominations for two Director positions for the 2018 - 2021 term.  If you are interested in running, or would like to nominate someone for this position, please let us know by using this form.


Special Thanks

CFTA wishes to extend our appreciation to the University of Wisconsin - Madison for serving as the 2017 local host.  Without their extensive help and involvement, the 2017 conference would not have been possible.  


To the many volunteers that serve on our task forces, moderate conference sessions, present at the conference, facilitate the Unconference discussions as subject matter experts, and help in any way with all the many needs and aspects necessary of running a nonprofit organization, thank you for your contributions past and future.  To our members, conference attendees, and business partners, your continued support and funding is the foundation of our association and we are extremely grateful for you investment in us.  

Special thanks goes to our sponsor level business partners for your above and beyond support:

Diamond - Autodesk, Esri, FM:Systems, and Planon

Gold - ACAD-Plus, ASSA ABLOY, Campus Bird, and IMAGINiT

Bronze - CADD Microsystems, OpenSpatial, SpaceIQ, and tsaADVET