PLSO The Oregon Surveyor January/February 2022

26 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 1 Featured Article The board of directors of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) announced the appointment of TimothyW. Burch, PLS, as its new executive director. Burch is a second-generation professional land surveyor licensed in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin. He has been involved with the organization for more than 20 years as secretary of the board of governors as well as the board of directors, NSPS vice president, a member of the Certified Survey Technician Board, Joint Government Affairs, and ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey committees. At the time of our call inmid-January, Burch was in Frederick, Maryland, where he is planning to relocate from Chicago after taking the NSPS job. Burch says surveying today is not the same as his father’s surveying from 30 or 40 years ago. “It’s so muchmore technologically based, and so it has to be approached and looked at in a much different way than we used to do it,” Burch says. “I’m old enough that I did do some conventional surveying in my early days, but the bottom line is that it’s an exciting profession and it’s always given me opportunities to learn and to grow. It’s not old guys cutting through the woods withmachetes anymore. It’s very high tech and it’s very exciting to be in the surveying profession right now.” Along with being a content contributor for NSPS social media, he is creator and producer of the NSPS podcast “Surveyor Says!” and a contributing writer to the NSPS newsletter “News and Views.” He is currently the chair of the FIG Working Group 1.1 (Professional Ethics) and is chairelect for FIG Commission 1 (Professional Standards). He is also a contributing editor for the GPS World Magazine “Survey Scene” column. Burch succeeded Curt Sumner, who was the executive director for the past 23 years, on January 3, 2022. Joining NSPS after so much involvement is yet another way for Burch to give back to the profession and promote and be an advocate for something he holds so dear. Starting out in high school, Burch worked on a crew under his father, John, and progressed through licensure to bigger projects, bigger companies, and more opportunities. About 10 or 15 years ago, Burch said he really started volunteering more because he could see “the writing on the wall” of the aging of the profession. “There’s just somanymore other opportunities and other interests for the Millennials and Gen Zs that we have to compete with to get those young people into surveying,” Introducing NSPS Executive Director Tim Burch By Vanessa Salvia Burch says. “It capturedmy interest when I was young and I think that’s possible with today’s younger generation, too.” The younger Burch had helped his father on jobs a few times, but he really got into surveying when his father’s rodman quit unexpectedly. Burch was 16 when the home’s phone rang. It was the first day of summer vacation. “My dad’s on the phone saying his rodman had quit over the weekend and moved away so he told me to get out of bed and meet him at this particular job site,” Burch recalls. “From that day, I was hooked on surveying. I worked with him summers through high school.” Burchwas planning on architecture school, but those experiences changed his mind. Burch has been a member of the Illinois land surveyor’s society since shortly after high school, and that was something he says was ingrained in him through his father’s dedication to the profession. Later, he joined the national society and then became good friends with theNSPS governor, Mike Filipski, who encouraged Burch to become more involved at a national level. Burch became NSPS governor in 2007. “Sometimes, youmake your own luck,” says Burch, “but there have been opportunities along the way. We’re always trying to encourage people to join their chapters and get more involved because it really can enhance your career.” Sometimes, you make your own luck, but there have been opportunities along the way. We’re always trying to encourage people to join their chapters and get more involved because it really can enhance your career.