Director, Surveying & Mapping, WHPacific, Inc.
As a disabled veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Rick Coffman seems only energized by obstacles. His upbeat personality combined with a passion for measuring and numbers led him to surveying, where he is now described as the tip of the spear in a successful survey operation at WHPacific, Inc.
Coffman’s passion for the profession is his company’s greatest recruiting tool; people want to work with him. Creating jobs for other geospatial professionals is one of his greatest contributions to the community.
Innovation is a cornerstone of Coffman’s advancement of the profession. He often uses his entrepreneurial mindset to improve service, safety, and schedule. A great example is how he has integrated UAV technology into utility location survey and other base mapping requirements. He strives to keep crews out of dangerous areas and use other tools to safely collect data. This innovation is also an important element to attract that next generation of talent to fill the shoes of a shrinking profession.
Coffman is also an active board member for the San Diego chapter of the California Land Surveyors Association. He spearheads the education and scholarship committee and has made it his personal mission to advocate for local and state training programs. He’s aligned city, public utility, education, and other commercial leaders to join his efforts by writing persuasive letters to stakeholders. His most recent effort convinced the Cuyamaca College board of trustees to halt the planned cancellation of their surveying curriculum.