I have been asked several times over the past several months, why I want to be President of the AIA. There are a few directions that I can go with this, but I think the most honest answer is that I am passionate about the organization. The AIA has helped me become a better architect, and for that, I feel obligated to offer my time, talent and the knowledge I’ve gained, toward helping the AIA become a better organization.
Many years ago, as a new graduate in a two-person firm in a new city, I had limited contact with the rest of the profession. The AIA was the connection I needed to advance my knowledge, build relationships, and to expand my understanding of what we as a profession, did for our communities. Through my work as an architect, a plans examiner, small firm owner, and community leader, the AIA was the resource I relied upon to do everything I needed to do…only better.
For the nearly 35 years that I have practiced architecture, and the 30 years that I have been involved in AIA leadership, I have continued to rely on the AIA to inform me, to inspire me and to make me a better architect. Why would I not want to continue my service to an organization that has done so much for me?
My service to the AIA has been continuous, in one way or another, since becoming a local board member in 1989. As president of AIA Ohio and the Eastern Ohio Chapter, as well as the chair of AIA’s Strategic Planning process and ArchiPAC, and a member of a variety of committees, I have a deep understanding of what we do as an organization. More importantly, with each step, I have learned what we do well and when we should challenge ourselves to do better. As Institute Secretary for the last two years, I have had the opportunity and the honor of working with many individual members who just needed someone to understand their concerns or the roadblocks they faced. I have benefited greatly as a person and an architect. Why wouldn’t I want to be president?