Never wanting to assume, I guess the best place to start a discussion on why I seek the top leadership role at AIA, is to tell you a little bit about myself. For those who attended Grassroots, you know that my speech was centered on an introduction of “me”. If you’ve never tried writing about yourself, you should try it. It is not as easy as you might think. So, for those of you who I haven’t really had the chance to meet or get to know, “this” is who I am.
Born in Pennsylvania, I attended Kent State University and for the past 40 plus years have made Ohio my home. Upon graduation, I moved to the city where I am still based and started what is to date a thirty-five-year career. Four and a half years after graduation, I became a firm principal.
As some know, I am married to my wonderful wife Karen, who supports my many varied interests and activities, including the AIA. I have a daughter who is a consultant and who lives in Texas, a son who recently graduated with his engineering degree and is out in the real world, and my youngest, who is now halfway through college, also seeking a degree in engineering.
I am registered in 22 states as well as Ontario, Canada and am now a principal in two firms – one that is 103 years old and another that will celebrate it’s second “birthday” later this year. For 18 years, in addition to working within my practice, I worked with local jurisdictions as a master plans examiner.
My involvement with the AIA actually began through AIAS where, while at Kent State, I served at secretary of the AIAS Chapter. When I first entered practice, I joined the local chapter and within five years, became a member of the board. Over the next five years, I became chapter secretary and was then elected chapter president. I became a member of the AIA Ohio Board of Directors, was elected as the secretary of the board and then AIA Ohio president. With each of these positions, I better understood the issues that affect us, the challenges we face, and the organization that each of us, in some way, represents.
My appointment to the Board Advocacy Committee was my first introduction to “AIA National”. From there, I was elected as the Ohio Valley Region Representative to the Board where I served for two years. Mid-way through my term, we shook things up a little, creating a smaller board and the new Strategic Council, where I served a one-year term as an inaugural member. I was afforded the opportunity to Chair our national strategic planning effort and, through my previous work in advocacy, Chair the ArchiPAC Steering Committee. As most know, those efforts were followed by my election to Institute Secretary, which I believe, more than anything else, has prepared me for this next opportunity to serve.
So that is who I am.Now you may have heard other rumors about me as well.Some believe that I am a twin – which is true – or that I worked my way through school as an EMT – which is also true. And yes, I have actually delivered a baby. But those are all discussions for another time. What is important is that I am passionate about serving our profession and have had a wonderful opportunity to work with some of the finest people you could ever meet. I have benefited greatly from being a member of the AIA, and after the nearly 35 years of membership, I am still as passionate as I was when I first joined.I seek your support in helping me continue my service, by allowing me to give back to the organization that has given me so much.I ask for your consideration and your vote, as the AIA 2020 First Vice President/ 2021 President-elect.