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Daniel T. Morris

NEW POSITION: President, Geonex Martel Inc., Clearwater

PREVIOUS POSITION: Program manager and director of Tampa operations, RPI

Geonex Martel Inc., which makes defense-oriented maps for the U.S. government, has appointed Daniel T. Morris as its president.

Morris, a retired Army colonel, began his new job at Geonex on Aug. 14 after a year-long stint directing Tampa operations at defense contractor RPI. A career military officer, Morris retired from the service early when offered an opportunity to work with a good friend who was a vice president at RPI.

Though Morris has spent nearly 30 years in the military and defense industry, it was a career path he hadn't planned to take.

"I never had any intentions for a career in the military," Morris said. "I was teaching school in Virginia and got drafted in 1970."

Morris was encouraged by his superiors in the Army to continue his military career. "I was told that I should go to officer candidate school, and eventually I became a lieutenant in the infantry."

Morris served in Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm. He did a tour of duty at U.S. Central Command in Tampa from 1993 to 1996, and returned to Tampa in 1998 for a special operations assignment.

Morris is a native of Charlottesville, Va. He earned an associate's degree in marketing, then studied education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Geonex of Clearwater was acquired this year by its primary competitor, AGRA Baymont Inc. It produces maps gleaned from satellite, infrared and aerial source material supplied by the Defense Department. The company's primary customer is the National Imagery and Mapping Agency. It also has subcontractor relationships with Environmental Science and Research Institute, Harris Corp. and Space Imaging.

_ TIM ANNETT, Times staff writer