Jesse is standing in his doorway holding a bunch of white flowers he picked from his garden. He is wearing a gray shirt and black gloves.

Jesse Eckenrode

Jesse Eckenrode


Jesse Eckenrode


“When I was in college, I discovered that I love geography and the natural world. At GeoDecisions, I get to work with the latest technology while also working on projects related to my passions.”

As a senior GIS analyst with GeoDecisions – our geographic information systems (GIS), geospatial, data management, and technology division – Jesse Eckenrode enjoys helping clients automate business processes to increase efficiency and developing innovative geospatial solutions.

We asked Jesse a few questions to get to know him better.

Tell us about your experience in the industry.

After graduating from Minnesota State University in 2010 with a degree in geography, I worked as a paraprofessional for one year. I talked with a relative during that time about an open GIS role in his company. Since I had already completed my GIS certificate and understood GIS programming, I applied for the position at GeoDecisions and have been here for the past 12 years. I get to work with the latest technology, leverage my understanding of geospatial information, and work with my passion for geography and the natural world.

Why GeoDecisions?

I originally applied to GeoDecisions because of a conversation with a relative. I stay for the continued opportunities to develop and gain a skill set tailored to geospatial solutions. We have a great culture, and I enjoy working with all my wonderful coworkers and other geospatial professionals. Everyone is so willing to collaborate with me.

Tell us about your current role and responsibilities.

Currently, I wear a few different hats. My primary responsibilities include providing technical understanding, complex solution design, and GIS process orientation on our geospatial projects.

I also supervise a GIS team with various skill levels. I oversee their tasks, answer questions, and guide innovative solutions development. More importantly, I mentor them in their careers and help them grow their skill sets as they discover the specialties they find most rewarding.

What do you enjoy most about working in GIS?

When I was in college, I discovered a love for how the world works from metaphysical and social perspectives. GIS merges those two ideas into one space. I also like to build strong client relationships and develop tools and processes using geospatial technology that give them insights and help them make better decisions. I couldn’t ask for a better option than a GIS career.

How does GeoDecisions support your professional development and career growth?

Gannett Fleming and GeoDecisions have always provided regular GIS skills training for my professional development in the field of GIS. I have participated in Connected Relationships, our internal mentor program led by Connected Women at Gannett FlemingTM. Finally, the natural mentor mindset of my GeoDecisions coworkers and GIS professionals has given me room and support to grow.

As a division of Gannett Fleming, GeoDecisions employees receive Gannett Fleming benefits and are a part of the firm’s inclusive culture. Have you participated in any of the employee resource groups (ERGs)?

I participate in ERG events, especially the Rainbow Connection events that LGBTQ+ of Gannett Fleming sponsors. I love how the company embraces diversity, plays to the strengths of the many different types of people we work with, and creates these specialized groups.

I was recently asked to assist with launching our partnership with Women in GIS, one of the professional organizations we support. Several women on our team have already joined. Our work with Women in GIS will give even more support to help everyone thrive in our company and work groups.

What impactful and innovative projects are you working on?

One of the most interesting projects I have been working on for the past couple of years is with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). We are supporting them with many initiatives that overlap with different state departments. When I think about impactful and innovative, I think of automating NCDOT’s emergency pipe recommendation efforts.

After a severe weather event, the State Maintenance Office installed ArcGIS Survey123, an Esri® application and smart form, to collect storm damage data. The hydraulics unit evaluates collected pipe/culvert/bridge damage data and recommends corrections and mitigation strategies for future storm events. The tools we are developing provide stronger resource management access and allow design recommendations, updates, and final design documentation.

Teaming with the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, we have automated systems to provide field assessments in the unit workspace. These automations allow the unit to easily send recommendations to other state departments without bogging down email systems.

How does your work contribute to GeoDecisions’ mission to create innovative solutions using data, technology, and geospatial tools?

Many of my projects are related to process improvements, environmental compliance, and data and spatial analysis. The results give our clients better tools and access to data analytics that provide insights and identify trends. Our innovative solutions also improve processes and increase analytical power to make their data work for them while introducing new data sources and analytical techniques that enhance data-driven decision-making.

What can AEC firms do to celebrate diversity and create a stronger sense of belonging across diverse groups?

Every individual brings complex and different perspectives to anything they are working on. To find the best solution to any challenge, you need to view it from all perspectives. This diversity allows us to elevate ideas and mitigate risks that a different perspective identifies.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

My first supervisor loved to talk about innovation and how to always keep it in mind. He felt it is paramount to keep an open mind to any idea someone brings to the team.

Let’s talk family!

My wife and I have been together for 17 years. One of our Christmas traditions is to create a list of questions the other has to answer with a small gift. The questions usually include how we would describe the additional or specific criteria, i.e., size, color, use, etc. We exchange the gifts and hopefully give the other fun and meaningful gifts.

What are your favorite hobbies?

When I am not working, you can find me either gaming with friends and my wife or working on a yard or home improvement project. My wife and I bought a house built in 1906 and have been renovating it room by room for the last two years. I always love working with my hands, completing new projects, and seeing what I can learn to do for myself.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

I am very interested in woodworking, especially highly detailed items such as Kumiko-style wooden lattices. The intricate designs you can create allow you to bring so much character to an item.

What's your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?

I love working in the yard. I enjoy working with flowers and assisting the local ecosystem. Right now, I’m working to create a yard that is a mix of grasses, clovers, and other native plants that allow us to maintain a trimmed yard while keeping large swaths of short, attractive flowers for pollinators. This also gives me many opportunities to take photos and videos of the creatures who come to visit.


Ready to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our communities? Join the team that’s leading the charge.

Featured News & INSIGHTS

635 635 Linda Smith
What are you looking for?
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Our website uses cookies, mainly from third-party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.