As the Thanksgiving Holiday approaches it only seems appropriate that I take this opportunity to express my thanks for all the good things happening this year. This Holiday is perhaps my favorite one. There are no gifts, no gimmicks, no crazy decorations to deal with, just good food, the company of family and friends, and a moment to relax amidst the challenging times we are all dealing with. While you may think, with this economy and those trying times it continues to cause, there isn’t much to be thankful for, I actually believe there are many and Here are just a few items:
– That our family and friends are healthy, happy, and safe (I hope this is true for you all)
– That AIA-NJ continues to be strongly supported by its members, making it one of the only Chapters in the country to actually have increased its membership in the past year
– That the staff and volunteer committee members of AIA-NJ continue to work tirelessly promoting the benefit and place of architects in society
– That despite tough budgetary times, AIA-NJ has been able to remain stable because of the prudent, long term planning and management of the last fifteen years
– That for those finding themselves in transition in the profession, there is a network of your peers, new opportunities from AIA-NJ’s “Members in Transition” web page coming, and State/Federal support to see you through those times
– That AIA-NJ and its Sections continue to serve the membership well by providing a vast array of benefits such as an E-newsletter, E-Blast, Alerts, relevant and timely educational programs, networking opportunities, a strong voice at the State House and nationally, and quality conferences such as Design Day and East Coast Green
– That the architect’s role in creating sustainable, livable communities has been more understood and realized by the public and government in the last several years than ever before in history, that I can recall
So, please join me in giving thanks for these amazing happenings. As we continue to try and improve and evolve as a profession and organization, I welcome your comments and suggestions for things we can do more of, better, or different now and in the future and what we’ve done well that you may be thankful for!
One thing we did a little different this year, for sure, was our Design Day Conference. With sustainability, carbon emissions, and green building on the tips of the media and public’s tongue we created and hosted a newly created two day conference dubbed “East Coast Green:
Meeting the Architecture 2030 Goals” and combined the location and venue with Design Day. AIA-NJ has not hosted a two day conference this ambitious nature in a decade. With more than 50 vendors and over 200 in attendance throughout the two day event, the superb educational content and high quality keynote speakers, such as Robert Kennedy Jr., attracted new sponsors like Verizon, United Water, and Advanced Solar Products to our organization. The quality of design submissions received this year was also impressive as was the keynote speaker list for both events.
We did record the Keynote sessions of East Coast Green and are posting all presentations from regular sessions, totaling nearly 14 CEUs, on our website for attendees of the event to have access. We are working on making these excellent resources available to our entire membership, as they are all co-approved for both AIA HSW/SD credits AND USGBC credential maintenance. This was one of the only conferences in the country able to accomplish this dual approval of courses, not to mention a few that also received IDCEC credit. Stay tuned for more information on available courses online from the convention. In case you missed East Coast Green, a brief summary can be found here.
Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEEDap
President AIA New Jersey