Presidents Viewpoint – My New Year’s Resolution

Presidents Viewpoint - My New Year's ResolutionOriginally published in the 2006 newsletter of the American Institute of Architects, Westchester Mid-Hudson Chapter.

By Michael Shilale, AIA, LEED - January, 2006

It is with great pride and humility that I begin my year as President of the Westchester Mid/Hudson Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.   All AIA/WMH members owe a debt of gratitude to our outgoing President Adolph Orlando, AIA, and our outgoing directors Jeff Hinskmon, AIA and Jack Watson, AIA.

I cannot remember a recent New Year’s resolution I have been able to keep.  Exercise more, eat less, run a marathon – most of my resolutions do not make it till February.  This year will be different.  I resolve to give my all to help our chapter continue to grow, support members, offer programs and events, inform, and perhaps even inspire.

Our national chapter tells us “For almost 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA members have access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better design, and through such resources and access, they help clients and communities make their visions real.”  That’s our tag line and it’s a mission we carry through our state and local AIA chapters.

It truly is a great time to be an AIA architect.  This years AIANYS celebrates its 75th birthday with a series of events.   Our national chapter has already started planning for a significant and lasting celebration of AIA’s mission to acknowledge the 150th   anniversary of our distinctive organization.

Locally your board of directors has been working hard on a series of programs and events for the upcoming year.  Once again Wood Designe has agreed to host and sponsor our January chapter meeting where our local Code Czar, Erika Krieger, will offer an update of NYS codes.  February is our national lobbying effort called ‘grassroots’.  Your president, president-elect and executive director head to Washington to advocate for AIA’s initiatives with our Senators and Representatives.  We also share information and ideas with our component chapters nationwide to help each other improve what we do for our members.  An ADA update is scheduled for our February Chapter Meeting that Kohler has offered to sponsor.  Our always popular Trade Expo in March as well as our spring educational seminars,  USG plant tour and revisit to a Frank Lloyd Wright House under construction, cantilevered over Lake Mahopac, will make for an exciting beginning to the year.

Knowledge, Advocacy and Community are the categories the AIA uses to organize it’s many programs, services and benefits to our profession and to communities.  A licensed architect for almost 20 years I thought I knew a lot about AIA and the profession. After serving on the board of directors for the last four years combined with my attendance at grassroots last February I learned how much I didn’t know.  To help our members, I thought I would offer the enclosed chart that organizes our many member services and benefits in a visual way.   If you see something missing -  please let me know.  If you see something you need – take advantage of your organization.  If you see something you are passionate about  - get involved.  Visit www.AIAarchitect.net for more information on our local component.  Www.aia.org will help you take advantage of our national benefits and if you visit our state website, www.aianys.org,  wish them happy 75th birthday.