Message From The AIA-NJ President

Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEEDap

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you all took some time for a little R&R over the Holidays. Let me be one of the first to wish you great success in the coming year. It has been truly an experience serving as AIA-NJ President for 2010. The torch is now passed to your new President for 2011, Mike Hanrahan. I look forward to continuing to work with Mike, the 2011 Executive Committee & Board of Trustees this coming year to support our members and promote the public’s understanding of Architecture through advocacy, education and service. I would like to thank the 2010 Executive Committee, Board of trustees, local sections, and many committees that worked throughout 2010 on behalf of our members.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dave Del Vecchio for his three years of service as AIA-NJ’s Regional Director. He has been our voice to AIA National and represented AIA-NJ professionally and with great enthusiasm this past three years. We welcome our new Regional Director, Jerry Eben and wish him well for his next three years of service.

2010, while challenging, also had some great moments and many accomplishments. Some of them are listed below to recap 2010.

– AIA-NJ hosts its first 2 day conference in over a decade in Atlantic City, East Coast Green & Design Day with featured speakers such as Robert Kennedy Jr., Ed Mazria (Architecture 2030), Bill Reed, Aaron Betsky, Steven Ehrlich, and Craig Dykers. Thanks to Stephen Carlidge for organizing AIA-NJ Design Awards again this year in conjunction with the East Coast Green conference.

– East Coast Green wins an AIA National Leadership Award! This award will be presented to AIA-NJ at the upcoming Grassroots convention in DC this February. Congratulations to the Committee on the Environment (Verity Frizzell, Chair) and Kim Vierheilig for their dedication and working with me to plan and assemble a world class program. Many thanks to all others involved, including the dedicated staff at PSI, our track chairs, and sponsors in making the conference happen! Stay tuned for information on the Tri-State conference and this year’s 2011 East Coast Green!

– LEED Study Groups conducted in several locations, including Brookdale Community College, Building Contractors Association of NJ, Black Millwork, Dorris Duke Conference Room, & NJIT by COTE to assist our members in earning the LEEDap credential.

– Launch of the AIA-NJ ‘Members in Transition’ webpage. Many thanks to the Professional Practice Committee (Chris Ling, Chair), Christy DiBartolo, and Kim Bunn for working with me to develop and implement this new member benefit.

– Move to a monthly E-Newsletter that is timely & relevant. Thanks to the Communication Committee (Kim Bunn, Chair) for making this happen.

– AIA-NJ CEU programs planned by the Education Committee (Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, Chair) including topics such as professional practice management, Architect’s and Interior Designers working together, & Architect’s Roundtable. Stay tuned for the upcoming seminar on the IBC 2009 code update recently adopted by NJ.

– The Newark Visitor’s Center Design Competition and Awards Ceremony, hosted by Newark & Suburban.

– Architect’s Week, where AIA-NJ members had their work on display at the State Capital

– NJ APAC E-Newsletter launched to keep its members informed and up to date with political and legislative activities affecting our profession. AIA-NJ leadership met with many senior State officials regarding topics and testified on several pieces of legislation that affect our profession.

– AIA-NJ selected to deliver a half day program on Green Building at AIA National Convention in Miami, moderated by Dave Del Vecchio with participation on the panel by Richard Gaeckle, Fred Butters, Janice Olshesky, and myself.

– The many educational programs and activities planned and hosted by your local sections throughout the year, including CANstruction, the Glass House tour, golf outtings, and more. I urge all members to get involved with their local sections. The programs and company are unbeatable!

As you can see from the brief list above, 2010 was a busy year for AIA-NJ and its leadership. I hope you continue to see the benefits of being part of AIA-NJ now and in the future and encourage you to get involved at the local and State level with the organization, if you have not yet. This organization represents the integrity, best interests, and well being of our profession and its members

When I first took on the role of Second Vice President and then First Vice President, it was with some doubt that I could actually have much affect or make much of an impact in an organization or State with such a myriad of pre-existing conditions and operational rules. Those of you that know me, know I don’t necessary like to follow the ‘rules’ all the time. As I observed the tireless efforts of AIA-NJ’s leadership over those two years, I began to think I could make a difference working with this organization. While President-Elect I had the great pleasure of attending Grassroots and the AIA National Convention which gave me a greater sense of the national reach and depth of this organization. I determined that one of my main goals for 2010 was to have AIA-NJ and its members seen as a leading resource when it came to creating sustainable communities. It has always been my belief that architect’s are best suited to understand and lead the integrated design process needed to create truly sustainable communities. With sustainability emerging as one of the top issues of our time, this goal seemed timely and appropriate. AIA-NJ’s participation in drafting of NJ’s first Green Building Guidelines submitted to the Governor for adoption, International Green Code, NJ State Energy Masterplan, testimony on several key green building legislative initiatives, and hosting of one of the best green conferences of the year have helped accomplish this goal, I think.

I have tried to represent the organization well and make our presence known both at the State level to our leaders and at the National level with our colleagues. I hope you will agree that our efforts this past year have been beneficial to you as members directly, and advanced AIA-NJ as a leader in the conversation on sustainability and valued resource.

My thanks to everyone for their support, efforts, and comradery in 2010. I look forward to working with you all this year and many years to come and wish everyone a happy, safe, prosperous, and sustainable 2011.

Sincerely,

Jason

AIA-NJ President, 2010

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