(May 1, 2012) —John K. Schneider, a Middlesboro native, recently was named Surveyor of the Year at the Kentucky Association of Professional Surveyors’ annual conference banquet.
Schneider has been a KAPS member for more than 20 years, joining immediately after receiving his Kentucky professional surveying license in 1990. He became more involved in the association in 1999, when he began the first of three separate terms as the Southeast Chapter Chair. Since then, he also has served as director and conference committee chair. He is serving now as vice president of internal affairs.
“Early in my career, I did not understand why I was being asked to give up an occasional Saturday or an evening to attend a KAPS meeting. Fortunately I was being mentored by some of the best professionals in the industry and they understood that professions change, industries change and these changes are being guided by those willing to participate,” he said. “With time, I understood that the issues addressed by KAPS impact my livelihood and touch the lives of everyone who carries the surveyor title. We can choose to be a part of the conversation or be left to live with the decisions.”
Schneider began his surveying career in 1979 at age 17 with a summer job at Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers Inc. Like most surveyors, his early years were spent either in the field, the drafting room or the courthouse gaining the required experience for licensure.
Thirty-three years later, John is serving as the vice-president of Vaughn & Melton’s Kentucky region and as the office leader of the Middlesboro office. He coordinates the daily efforts of the Kentucky region and utilizes his 30-plus years of experience as Principle-In-Charge on a wide range of surveying projects.
Although Schneider doesn’t get out as much in the field as he used to, John still appreciates that one of the most unique aspects of surveying compared to many other jobs is the ability to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. During the span of his career, he has been fortunate to be a part of surveying some of the most unique and beautiful land in Kentucky. He has worked on projects such as the 120-mile “Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail,” Kentucky’s first linear state park, or the roughly 4,000-acre Wheeler Boone WMA and a 36-mile section of abandoned railroad right-of-way, which will soon be Kentucky’s longest rails to trails project.
Schneider has been married for 33 years to Sheree. They have two daughters, Andrea nad Deborah. He is an active volunteer in his church and other community service projects. As a juried member of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild, he also enjoys spending time in his woodworking shop.