In 1968, the Kentucky Association of Professional Surveyors (KAPS) had its beginnings as the Kentucky Section of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) with Don Fuller as its first president. The first years were strongly supported by the College of Engineering’s Office of Continuing Education under the guidance of Dean David Blythe and Liz Hayden, his very capable assistant. Early annual meetings were conducted at the Carnahan House located on the University’s Coldstream Farm. As the numbers steadily grew, the annual meetings moved to larger facilities at the local hotels, most often at the Holiday Inn North on Newtown Pike.
The organization continued to operate and present annual educational programs under the Kentucky Section of ACSM title until 1980 when a reorganization of ACSM required state groups to affiliate with the surveying section of ACSM, the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS). With respect to the state organization, this transition was largely a change in name only as KAPS continued to provide the same forum and educational opportunities for professional surveyors.
As the membership grew, KAPS began to enjoy the formation of local chapters in the early 1980’s. This has allowed more grassroots participation by the practicing professionals who were not attending the annual meetings. The state is now served by ten (10) local chapters each of which is represented on the KAPS Board of Directors in addition to four (4) at-large directors elected by the statewide membership.
In the early years, the organization was managed by its Board of Directors largely without any support organization. In 1993, KAPS had progressed to a point where the annual rite of “passing the box” of files was no longer a practical means of running a growing statewide organization and its first office was established. This transitioned very quickly from a home office situation to its current location at 124 Walnut Street in Frankfort.
A further example of the growth of the organization has been its legislative approach. For years, KAPS had identified legislative needs and then attempted its own lobbying efforts aimed at improving the profession and its service to the public. KAPS is now able to retain a well respected lobbying firm to monitor legislative issues and to assist in the passage of statutes and regulations important to the surveying profession. These efforts have led to numerous statutory changes to enhance the profession such as the addition of two (2) surveying positions to the Kentucky State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. The added board seats brought about the formation of a Survey Committee, thus allowing a more in-depth discussion of issues important to the surveying community.