Presidents Message – Fall 2015

2015 has been flying by, as I talk with AIANJ members around the state there are often comments regarding how fast the year has gone, or that we can’t believe it is October.  The good news is, most of our offices are busy with work.  Our firms might not be back to pre-recession levels however most firms have an even workload level, this is promising news.

WJ_SJSimilarly, AIANJ and the  local sections have been very busy.  I have been trying to visit the different sections this fall.  Thank You to AIA South Jersey and AIA West Jersey for hosting an informative joint meeting the end of September in Hammonton with AIA partner Houzz.   It was a nice evening of networking and learning how to market our firms online.

IMG_3250IMG_3248In September and October I represented AIA NJ in both the South Jersey Food Bank’s Inaugural Canstruction event at Cherry Hill Mall and AIA Newark and Suburban’s Annual Canstruction event at the Livingston Mall.

All of the entries were so creative and the Food Banks received tons of much needed canned food donations.   The entries are still available for view at Livingston Mall, if you in the area stop by to see the creations.

At the end of this week, AIANJ’s major event of the year will be happening at Hanover Marriott.  The agenda that the committee has organized has something to offer in all areas, from the business of architecture to keynote for associates.    I hope many of you will come take part in this event.

Thanks to all the sponsors who have made this event possible and to the committee who has worked so hard to guide this event forward for all of us at AIANJ.

On Friday evening, October 23rd, there will be a Awards Reception to celebrate architecture in New Jersey.  The Design Awards entries will be on display to showcase the work of NJ architecture and architects.  The reception will end with the announcement of the Design Awards Winners and the years AIANJ Service Award winners.  This year the AIA Newark & Suburban Canstruction committee will also announce the 2015 Canstruction competition winners.

Join us any point during the two days, and celebrate architecture with us Friday evening.
Find out more information or pre-register by Clicking Here.

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One the business side of the organization, your leadership has been focused all year on looking at the organization itself, and trying to make sure the value to our members was there.  We have undertaken a long term strategic plan evaluation, to keep the organization moving in the right direction over next just the next year, but 5 and 10 years.

After many meetings, surveys and discussions the final report and plan is being presented to the Board of Trustees this week for approval and implementation.  Many of the items in this strategic plan are issues that I have had conversations with members about throughout the year – and go back to the organizations core mission statement to “Support its Members and Promote the Public’s Understanding of Architecture through Advocacy, Education and Service.”   Over the next few months you should be hearing more about some of the initiatives that are coming out of the strategic plan and see changes in the website and social media.

Another primary area of AIANJ is the Legislative & Government Affairs committee.  This group monitors hundreds of bills going through the current legislature.  P3 legislation, Lightweight Construction, Reciprocal Licensing, Illegal Practice of Architecture, e-Plans and IGCC are just a few that have had movement in the last few months.  If you want to know more about these or if any advocacy issues interest you, please reach out.

Lastly, another update for members is from the Codes Committee.  Hopefully all NJ architects have heard, the state has adopted the 2015 International Building Codes.  These will go into mandatory use in March 2016.  AIANJ offered a well attended 2 day code seminar in September on this, and for anyone who was not able to attend the sessions will be offered again in February 2016.  The New Jersey versions of these codes are available online.   Go to ICC to get your copy today.   Any questions on the seminars or on the new code cycle please reach out.

A lot has been happening throughout the state, to much to note here.   I hope this is a good overview,  but it is just the surface, and we could not do this without all the hardworking volunteers and staff.  Thank you to those who have given their time.  I look forward to continue to work with you, and to represent AIA New Jersey.

Have a good remainder of 2015.IMG_8675

– Kimberly Bunn
2015 AIANJ President

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