top of page
  • Frank Romo

2023 GIS-Pro Experience

Updated: Feb 2

GIS-Pro Preparation

This trip was a new experience for us both. We were able to travel to Columbus, Ohio with the  RomoGIS  team to present at the  2023 GIS Pro Conference . We first settled into our rooms then walked around the city and took in the scenery of it all. It was a really beautiful city! While we walked around the city, we looked for food and decided to eat at Buccas, a really great restaurant in downtown Columbus. We ordered chicken alfredo and other good food with a nice ice cream sundae to wrap up the outing.

After eating that delicious food, we went back to the hotel to prepare ourselves for the next day. Later that night we came together as a team to discuss, perfect, and practice a bit of what we would say and how we would present ourselves during the presentation. We practiced a few elevator pitches of what we would say and planned on what time we would be ready to start presenting.

During our preparation, we met amazing people that work in the GIS field, who were also attending the conference, and they gave us some great advice. They told us they love what we do, encouraged us to keep going, and wished us good luck on our presentation. We also connected with multiple people on LinkedIn and showed them a little bit of the work we do at  Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men in Detroit, Michigan. 

DeAnthony and Xylon feeling confident after completing their slides and practice run of their presentation.

Opening Presentation

DeAnthony and Xylon opening up the URISA 2023 GIS-Pro Conference.

Xylon's Perspective

When I first approached the stage, my stomach was full of butterflies because of how nervous I was and how anxious I was, but as I started to present I felt a lot of those butterflies disappear. The feeling of nervousness lifted as I felt the crowd really listening and engaging in the things I had to say. I was proud of the delivery and the impact I left on my audience.

DeAnthony and Xylon showcasing their "Speaker" badges for their contributions at the conference.

DeAnthony's Perspective

We helped open up the conference with our presentation. I was so nervous to present, but when we got up there seeing all the smiles on everyone's faces was encouraging and made me feel so welcomed. All of that support took all the nervousness out of me and we just let everything flow from there. Our presentation was about 6 minutes long and I think it went very smoothly.

DeAnthony and Xylon thanking URISA Board members for their support after the presentation.

GIS Networking

During the conference, many people came up to us saying they enjoyed our presentation and wanted to learn more about the work that we do. We showcased more of what we do at our school through the  GIS and Drone Pathways program . A lot of people mentioned that they love how we're doing GIS work at such young ages. They kept reminding us how we're ahead of the game for our age, and that really touched our hearts and made us feel good. Most importantly, we connected with people on LinkedIn and exchanged business cards to keep in contact with everyone because we want to connect with more mentors in the GIS industry.

We were also very happy to meet  Nicole Franklin  and the team from  Enhanced Interactions , who allowed us to showcase our work with them in the Exhibitor hall. It was great speaking to everyone in the Exhibitor Hall and meeting more professionals in the industry. We are so thankful to all the people we met who were so kind and continue to be supportive of us!

DeAnthony and Xylon networking and showcasing their web application at GIS-Pro.

DeAnthony and Xylon presenting in the Exhibit Hall to other GIS Professionals.

Thank You

We wanted to shout out our Pathway Director  Chad Segrist  for introducing us to GIS, teaching us leadership, and getting us  NAF certified , GIS certified, and our part 107 drone license and being like a dad in our lives.

Shout out to  Frank Romo  for hiring us into  RomoGIS  and giving us that out of town business trip experience and playing that big brother role.

And, finally this trip would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity from people on the URISA Board and all the GIS Professionals who supported us - Thank You.

Closing Thoughts

DeAnthony's Closing Thoughts


This trip was my very first overnight business trip. This experience helped me feel more like an adult. I have problems realizing how awesome I am and the people at the URISA GIS Conference empowered me so much and I loved that. This is the most networking I've ever done with people in the GIS field, and it was so awesome that people actually knew what I was talking about when I presented and it was a great experience not having to go into too much detail. Overall, it was a great experience meeting wonderful people in the same field as me. I definitely would do something like this again and would love to speak at a conference again.

DeAnthony and Xylon sharing a congratulatory handshake after an amazing presentation.

Xylon's Closing Thoughts

The trip was overall amazing and after the presentation I felt really accomplished with the way I presented myself and the way I was interacting with professionals and developing my GIS network. Another great thing I liked about this trip is that it gave me a great sense of my social skills and more insight into how impactful the field of GIS really is. I was also really glad to discover HBCU's that offer GIS through my networking. Overall, it really was a great networking and showcasing experience.

Connect with Us on LinkedIn!

DeAnthony Neal and Xylon Holmes after a successful presentation.

RomoGIS is proud to have  DeAnthony Neal  and  Xylon Holmes  as interns and continue to promote them in their educational and professional development. We are also very grateful for the collaboration with all the staff at the Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men and OHM-Advisors who help support these young men. These young men's journey showcases the outcome of collective power and shared leadership.

RomoGIS is committed to supporting initiatives that empower communities of color with technical skills to advance themselves and their communities. Our work with these young men is one example of the impact we make in communities all across the country. If you are interested in getting involved or making an impact with us please do not hesitate to reach out at or visit  for more information.

Content & Design By:

DeAnthony Neal & Xylon Holmes

Project Management:

Frank Romo of RomoGIS

3 views0 comments


bottom of page