Bill Preston, PLS, GISP Named Vice President of Geomatics at R&M
March 10, 2016
Effective February 18, 2016 Bill Cohen, PLS retired from R&M CONSULTANTS, INC. (R&M), where he served as Senior Vice President of Geomatics since 2008. Bill Preston, PLS, GISP has been named as the firm’s new Vice President of Geomatics.
As R&M’s new Vice President of Geomatics, Preston will be responsible for management of the R&M’s Geomatics Department, which includes land surveying, right of way (ROW) services and geographic information systems (GIS).
“Our Senior Land Surveyors, ROW Professionals, and GIS Professionals at R&M have an unbelievable amount of experience and are extremely well respected in Alaska,” said Preston. “As Vice President of Geomatics, I am following in the footsteps of two great professionals that I have learned, and continue to learn a great deal from. I’m not sure I can articulate exactly what it means to me to have the faith and confidence of my co-workers to perform in this new position. I plan on coming to work every day and doing my best to help us all be successful.” Preston has been with R&M since 2000 and offers more than 15 years of experience in field and office work. He has worked on many significant projects involving aeronautical, engineering design, planimetric, topographic and route surveys, and detailed utility as-built surveys. He is an excellent surveyor with good leadership abilities and skills in providing highly accurate surveys and deliverables. Preston’s primary focus is on the integration of differing client standards and new technology into efficient everyday use for data collection and production of mapping products and the integration of that data into a GIS compatible format. His experience performing aeronautical surveys and creating survey accurate GIS databases in Alaska is unequaled.
“I get to use incredible equipment and computer systems to make maps,” said Preston regarding his profession as a surveyor. “I like being part of a profession where I get do the right thing no matter what. As a surveyor, I am finding facts and evidence. My conclusions must be supported by evidence. It’s much different from what people do on the internet and on television.”
Preston holds a B.S. in Geomatics from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). He is a professional land surveyor licensed in Alaska and a certified GIS professional. Preston is a lifelong Alaskan, growing up in Homer and moving to Anchorage when he was 11. He spends his free time with his wife and two fairly wild kids or outside in the mountains. Right now he’s into seeing his kids learn new things; just the other day his son made his first map in pre-school.
Cohen joined R&M in 2008. OVer his 40-year surveying career, he participated in hundreds of surveys for Municipal agencies and performed surveying and mapping on many large projects throughout Alaska, including projects for Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utilities, Municipality of Anchorage, Parks and Recreation, Heritage Land Bank, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska Railroad Corporation, UAA and Anchorage School District.
Cohen’s addition to R&M’s Geomatics Department was very important to the firm’s succession plan. Not only did his assumption of management of R&M’s Geomatics Department allow former manager Len Story to move into the COO role, but he brought other talented staff with him, facilitating the continued growth of the Department. Bill’s commitment to client service and innovations to improve efficiency helped him continue R&M’s proud history and reputation for quality and cement the firm’s position as the Alaskan leader in surveying and mapping services. His dedication to staff training ensures R&M’s clients will receive the same level of responsiveness and quality services moving forward, even after Bill’s retirement.
“R&M is the best place I ever worked,” said Cohen. “It’s a company that has great people and cares about its employees. I wish I had worked there sooner in my career.”
Cohen is looking forward to his retirement. He’s taking a few years to ride his bicycle, see the country and explore places he’s never been. He plans to start his adventure in Tucson, but has no idea where he will end up. He may even end up back in Alaska.