Pro-West's Kyle Wikstrom Recognized with Polaris Leadership Award

Kyle Wikstrom, Solutions Architect at Pro-West & Associates, has been recognized by the MN GIS/LIS Consortium as a recipient of its 2022 Polaris Leadership Award.

The Polaris Leadership Award recognizes active, established leaders in the geospatial community who are inspiring and leading us through their contributions, energy, and creativity. Up to three awards are made each year.

Serving Communities Through GIS

Kyle Wikstrom
Kyle Wikstrom, Solutions Architect at Pro-West and MN GIS/LIS Consortium Polaris Leadership Award Winner

Kyle is a true servant leader. He has demonstrated this through his unwavering commitment to improving his community through extensive volunteer work and approaching everyday challenges through a spatial lens. Whether it’s making interactive maps for the local marathon or helping preschoolers understand location, he leads with unparalleled enthusiasm and passion for the GIS industry.

He not only serves the community, but organizations and colleagues across the state. He participates regularly at MN GIS/LIS workshops and conferences, sharing how GIS technology is used to share information, transform operations and engage the public. Furthermore, his service on the MN GIS/LIS Board has resulted in developing a foundation using ArcGIS Hub for sharing GIS success stories and information across the state. Kyle loves to share and collaborate and this is seen in all of his community and professional work.

Through his commitment to location technology, Kyle demonstrates that when we work together, share knowledge and mentor others, we not only grow ourselves, but we grow an industry.

Minnesota is lucky to have such a strong and thoughtful leader that strives to make the world better with location technology.

Contributing to Minnesota and Its Citizens

Much of Kyle’s work is focused on creating GIS solutions that foster citizen engagement and inter-agency collaboration, promote open data, drive transparency and offer greater understanding of a real world situation. This applies not just in his “day job” as a solutions architect at Pro-West & Associates where he is dedicated to delivering GIS-based solutions that solve real challenges for local and state government organizations, but the wider GIS community and the public.

Kyle’s career in GIS was born out of a desire to work in public service. He continues to be passionate about the power of GIS to positively impact communities, and in his spare time uses his GIS expertise in a voluntary capacity to serve local organizations and events.

At work, Kyle exemplifies Pro-West’s core value of relentless excellence. He cares about each one of his clients and projects, making sure the solutions he recommends and deploys align with those organizations’ needs and will positively impact the citizens they serve by providing better qualify information to make more informed decisions. He places importance on recognizing the areas where GIS can deliver greatest value to communities, particularly for small rural governments, such as a recently implemented Solid Waste Services solution for Grant County, MN, that makes it easy for citizens to understand the services available to them. His work with local and state governments is making a real impact in their communities and organizations.

Kyle holds himself to the highest of standards whether serving an organization through his job at Pro-West & Associates or a non-profit group within his community.

Leadership, Energy & Creativity At Work and Beyond

Kyle is relentless in his leadership of GIS initiatives that drive better citizen services, inspire action and digitally transform how agencies share information and engage with their communities. He brings energy through new ideas, the introduction of newly available technologies, finding efficient and long-lasting solutions for government agencies. In his job Kyle primarily serves local and state agencies in MN but his leadership, energy and creativity go far beyond these organizations and contribute to the advancement of GIS in Minnesota.

In 2021-2021 Kyle served the GIS community in Minnesota as At-Large Representative on the MN GIS/LIS Board. He stood for election because of a belief in the consortium’s mission of promoting awareness of location technology and advocating for its use, and the provision of networking and educations opportunities offered to the GIS community.

Kyle has also been a presenter at every GIS/LIS Annual Conference – and many Spring Workshops – since he began his career as a GIS professional, as well as many, many other conferences at home in Minnesota and across the country. Kyle is a true leader; he is driven to empower others with knowledge that may help them advance in the GIS field and is relentless in his search for ways to help people and organizations do what they do better using GIS.


Two of Kyle's clients had this to say about him:

Kyle has many strengths that set him apart from the rest of the crowd. His leadership, energy, persistence, ambition, and follow-through on projects and tasks never ceases to impress me. He solves complex problems and invents unique solutions to issues that have helped Pope County improves its processes and provide better services to its staff and citizens.

Kyle’s work for Pope County has really changed how we can get data out to our staff and the citizens of Pope County. From creating apps like Address Outreach, Land Use Outreach, Equitable Property Value, and many more, we have better and more accurate data at our fingertips than ever before. I feel honored to have worked with Kyle and I look forward to many more years of problem-solving and pushing the limits of the technology with the amazing ideas and energy that he has.

Bryan Gates, Pope County

Quite simply, Polk County's GIS program would not be what it is today without Kyle. That includes receiving an Esri SAG Award - I do not believe we would be receiving this award wtihout his input. I rely on his technical expertise to bring our ideas to life but also on his ability to see the bigger picture and ensure our organization is providing the best when it comes to citizen engagement and government transparency. He understands our organization and community and combines that with his technical leadership to take us further than we could ever get by ourselves and, ultimately, to make our community better for those who live and work here.

Kyle genuinely cares about understanding the need, solving our challenges and making sure the solution we get is the right one. He brings great integrity to his work and relationships and earns respect by doing the right thing, always. He goes beyond what is expected of any vendor to make sure we are successful. Kyle is an exceptional member of our team.

Rick Thompson, Polk County

CONGRATULATIONS to Kyle and all 2022 MN GIS/LIS Consortium award winners!