AIA NJ Regional Director 2011-2013
Recently, I had the opportunity to have dinner with four (4) EP’s. EP’s for those who may not know; are our Emerging Professionals. EP’s include students from AIAS, our Associate AIA members both in and those who have completed the Intern Development Program, and are on track to take the ARE and AIA members in their first decade of practice.
At the dinner I was blown away with the enthusiasm, creativity, and the absolute desire of these young professionals to succeed in what most certainly and recently have been some tough times for all of us. Clair Wholean, Associate AIA who serves as AIANJ Associate Regional Director, Nicole DeCadia, Associate AIA, is serving as our IDP Coordinator, John Cwilka, AIA, a recently licensed architect, AIANJ award winner, an AIA Newark and Suburban Officer, and Peter Kozielski, AIA, is AIA Shore section President and chairs our Young Architects, have great ideas for getting all EP’s involved in OUR AIA. I would ask that all of you watch for pending programs of this energetic group of young people and what they will bring to the table in building the successful future of OUR AIANJ.
On many occasions I have mentioned or talked about the generational differences between long time members like myself and the four young people I had dinner with. Those who came before me also reflected on their many years in the profession. After forty (40) years of practice, Herman Hassinger, FAIA wrote, “It goes without saying that the chief joy of my life, after family and friends, has been the profession of architecture.” He also said “I am still an architect with no plans to be anything else!” I believe that his words are true for most if not all of us.
What I found by just talking over some burgers and beer (hot tea for me) was that despite the age differences……….. and choice of beverages, we really have a lot in common. For us it is about being successful in our day to day work within our offices and for our clients, solving problems and creating architecture that works and is sustainable. For us it is about making a living for ourselves and our families in the profession we love. Finally, for us it is about giving back to our communities and our profession, through the vehicle that I call membership contribution(s) in our AIA.
As your Regional Director I would ask the seasoned professionals to be there as mentors for these EP’s. Take an EP to lunch, coffee or even a beer. Make it a regular and repeating event, say monthly. Let them in on the so called secrets of the practice of OUR profession…………be a teacher and an advisor…………share all you know. For our AIANJ leaders and the entire membership, please be on the look-out for great things to come from these EP’s. If you have young people in your offices, invite them to your next general membership meeting and ask them to join AIA in their capacity as young, vibrant new member of our society.
If you fit one of the definitions of an Emerging Professional, you already know that you have chosen a great profession and should and can become active in our new diverse and growing AIA family. I and the EP’s mentioned above WELCOME you to join young and old alike in our new and diverse AIANJ!