Employee Spotlight Series: Dru Sexton
In our 2019 Employee Spotlight Series, we are creating space to highlight the nearly 65 employees of Buckeye Hills Regional Council. Every year, we celebrate as a region the tremendous impact of our programs and services - an investment of nearly $1.2 billion into southeast Ohio since our inception in 1968 - but it’s our employees who work hard every day to breathe life into our mission and pour out into the eight-county region we serve.
Follow along as we feature three different employees every month!
Dru is a GIS Specialist for Buckeye Hills Regional Council and has been in his current position since May 2014.
What led you to your current position at Buckeye Hills?
Dru: I have a Bachelor’s of Arts in Geography from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s of Science in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) from The Johns Hopkins University. After working many years for a defense contractor, performing GIS duties, I was fortunate enough to join the Buckeye Hills development staff.
How would you describe your job to someone who is completely unfamiliar?
D: As a GIS Specialist, I provide support for geographic information systems relating to the planning, development, and aging & disability services of Buckeye Hills. This includes conveying critical information related to the aforementioned services using various visual aids such as maps, web/mobile applications, tables, charts, graphs, and reports.
What do you find most rewarding about your position?
D: Probably the most rewarding thing about my job is bringing state-of-the-art information and technologies to communities that may not have had them otherwise. GIS helps provide a visualization which gives an otherwise unique perspective of space and how we interact with it. Traditionally this technology is expensive, and therefore unrealistic. However, Buckeye Hills makes these opportunities both affordable and attainable for our communities.
Why do you think the mission of Buckeye Hills is important to our region?
D: Our mission Buckeye Hills is to improve the social and economic climate for our communities in southeastern Ohio. This is very important to our region because this is home; not just for us but for our families and friends. Each day we are not just going to work for ourselves, but to work towards the common goal of making our region the very best place to call home.
What is one thing you wish more people realized about Buckeye Hills?
D: If you are interested in or need GIS services within southeastern Ohio, contact Buckeye Hills. With our collective expertise and knowledge of GIS in the region, we can help you solve the geospatial needs of your community and/or connect you with the necessary resources.
If you had to choose a favorite program, service, or initiative of Buckeye Hills, which would that be and why?
D: One of my favorite services we provide is our Infrastructure Data Collection. This entails using surveying instruments to geolocate the critical water sewer infrastructure features within communities. Often the knowledge of a community’s water system infrastructure is stored in the memory of a lone system operator. Helping communities to digitize that information and create physical maps of this information is vital to the continued operations of our communities.
What are you looking forward to most in your position this year?
D: There are two things I look forward to most in my position for this coming year. First, partnering with more communities to provide GIS services and support. Second, sharing knowledge and expertise of GIS technology with our communities in a way that helps them to become more informed, inspired, and savvy with the potential for their communities to benefit from GIS.