When I first started working my way up through the officers ranks, I thought the presidency would be an easy position to hold. You know kiss a couple of babies, cut some ribbons, easy stuff. It is not true. This has been one of the busiest years of my life and one of the more fulfilling. I have had the benefit of a great Executive Committee, Committee Chairs and Board of Trustees. These are the members who volunteer their time and set the agenda and direction of AIA-NJ. It is hard work by a dedicated few. The AIA is like the factory in the industrial park that always has the help wanted sign out front. There is always a need for our members to join committees or become officers at the section and state level. I know Kurt Kalafsky is working on his committees for next year, if there is an interest I am sure we can find a position for you.
At the Board Meeting of September the following was reviewed.
- AIA-NJ has been working on a Good Samaritan Bill. This will allow AIA member who want to act as first responders in case of a disaster to be provided with liability insurance similar to that provided to the police. Joe Simonetta, Larry Powers and Larry Parisi, Home Land Security Chairman has been working on behalf of the AIA to get the bill through the state legislature. The will be a press release on October 29 in one of the Towns that is still being rebuild.
- AIA-NJ Website has been undergoing rebuilding as directed by Kim Bunn and Jason Peist. A new consult is in the process of redesigning the web site and making more users friendly. It will be completed this month.
- AIA Repositioning is something that the AIA National is in the process of doing. This is a process to restructure the AIA National to be beneficial to all of its members. If you have gone to a current meeting you should have had a chance to choose the items that you feel will help the member make better use of their membership. Kurt Kalafsky is the chairman of this committee and making it an important part of his presidency next year.
- Jason Peist the Associate Regional Director has been working with the State Board of Architect to get a bill past to allow Architect Interns to start taking ARE exam prior to completing their three years of internship. He is also setting study groups for the ARE.
- The Historical Preservation Office of NJ has asked AIA-NJ to develop guidelines for raising historic structures in the new flood zones. Mike Calafati is in the progress of developing a committee to create the standards. He will be looking for members who are now work on project to get their input.
This is just a small part of what the AIA-NJ is currently working on. Education Committee, CANstruction, Small Firm Round Table, L&GA, NJIT Center for Resiliency, Diversity, Women in Architecture, Post Sandy Regional Workshop and Membership are ongoing committees.
So the next time someone asks what is the AIA doing for me, this is just a small sampling.
The AIA-NJ will be having our Design Day Conference this week. Offering continuing education classes, world class key note speakers, design competition entries, and service award winners announced. This is the high light of our profession in New Jersey. I hope to see everyone there.
Jack Purvis, AIA
2013 AIA New Jersey President