Category Archives: Members & the Community

Latest news and information on the various ways AIA-NJ Members are involved in their New Jersey communities beyond designing the built environment.

LAN ASSOCIATES PARTNERS WITH CITY OF NEWARK TO PROVIDE FIRE PREVENTION MATERIALS TO THOUSANDS OF NEWARK SCHOOL CHILDREN

 

In support of National Fire Prevention Week, LAN Associates partnered with the City of Newark and the Newark Fire Department to teach local school children the importance of fire safety and preparedness.

20171011 LAN(From Left to Right) – Newark Fire Fighter Fernandes, Newark Deputy Chief Witte, LAN CEO Ron Panicucci, Principal Garrison, Newark Fire Chief Rufus Jackson, Newark Firefighter Thomas, and Newark Fire Captain Mustafa Al-Mutazzim

 

More than two hundred second and third grade students at Camden Street School participated in a program on fire safety and prevention presented by LAN Associates and the Newark Fire Department. In addition to the presentation, LAN Associates – a full-service architectural and engineering firm based in Midland Park, NJ — supplied National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) approved educational fire prevention materials for 2,000 additional Newark second and third grade students.

 

“As architects and engineers, we find it especially important and rewarding to educate children on the importance of fire safety and prevention,” said Kim Vierheilig, AIA. “It is important students know what to do when an emergency arises at home or in school, and that starts with proactive fire safety presentations such as the one today.”

 

Since 1922, National Fire Prevention Week has been held annually to educate, spread awareness, and commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  This year’s NFPA campaign is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”, and reinforces why having a varied escape plan is so important in the event of a fire.

 

“Partnering with LAN Associates to provide a top-notch fire prevention education program is something we strive for in Newark,” said Fire Chief Rufus Jackson. “This is a public-private partnership on the grassroots level – and it works to enhance the culture of learning in our public schools.”

 

Onque praised the Newark Public Safety Fire Division for its year-long community outreach efforts, including the varied Fire Prevention Week events which will last throughout the month of October.

 

“On behalf of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, the City is grateful to continue this partnership with LAN Associates to bring a remarkably high-quality fire prevention and preparedness program to our youngest students” said Onque. “Our hope is that students will go home and discuss this important program and the materials with their families.”

 

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Firefighters Thomas and Fernandes led an engaging dialogue on safety tips like stop, drop, and roll, escape plans in the event of a fire, and proper usage of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The presentation concluded with student touring the fire truck outside the school, where firefighters gave a demonstration on how the fire department responds to 911 calls and the 80lb of equipment they wear.

 

According to a recent NFPA study, 3,390 civilian fire deaths occurred in 2016. NFPA estimates that one civilian death occurred every 2 hours and 35 minutes during that same year.

 

 

 

William J. Martin, AIA on Pittsburgh’s NPR Radio

When the co-chair of the AIA NJ Public Awareness committee is a guest on NPR radio, we don’t hit the snooze bar.

Take a listen as William J Martin, AIA, shares the real history of the stray toilet in your grandma’s basement.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF TED ZELLERS

http://wesa.fm/post/architect-offers-explanation-pittsburgh-s-basement-toilets-and-it-s-not-what-you-think#stream/0

3rd Annual AIA I Lookup Film Challenge

The 3rd Annual AIA I Lookup Film Challenge voting is now open.
Cast your Vote Today – Only 2 days left – Voting ends Oct.6th

This year’s theme, Blueprint for Better, shines a light on the powerful social impact of architects and their work. In partnership with their clients and communities, architects plant the seeds that blossom into stronger neighborhoods, towns, and cities.

More than 80 films were submitted–60 are eligible to win the People’s Choice Award. Cast your vote for your favorite film and share it with others on social media.

One of the films submitted this year has a New Jersey focus.  Harrison Connexion  is being considered for People’s Choice Award.  The film features the Redevelopment Plan in the town of Harrison, NJ, that has been under redevelopment for the past couple of years. This piece explores the process and the impact of the redevelopment on an old industrial town.

See this video and others at the Film Challenge site.

And don’t forget to vote by October 6th.

AIA NJ Women in Architecture Committee Hosts a Dynamic Conversation featuring Cecilia Coakley

freeholder and speaker.JPGArchitects, Associates and Elected Officials Meet to Discuss

Perceptions and Expectations of Leaders

 

 

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At their annual program, the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Women in Architecture Committee (AIA NJ WIA) Chairwoman and Second Vice President Kim Vierheilig, AIA, and VP of LAN Associates, led a lively Q&A with Senior VP of MWW PR, Cecilia Coakley.

 

 

The evening began with an hour of socializing, courtesy of Michael Halebian & Co., offering networking with the likes of Bergen County Freeholder Chairwoman Tracy Silna Zur and AIA NJ President Elect Verity Frizzell, AIA.

 

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Little Ferry Mayor, Mauro D. Raguseo welcomed an audience of over 50 industry professionals to Brix City Brewing, before Kim and Cecilia began their exchange about gender bias in corporate America.

 

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According to Coakley, 37% of Americans view women as not being assertive enough. She believes that women should more clearly convey their expectations to their employer and push for those expectations to be met. Additionally, 45% believe women are better than men at managing people, yet she finds female leaders have a hard time taking appropriate credit for the success under their leadership.

Cecilia reminded the women in the audience to encourage the next generation of women but to also have the conversation with men. “Let’s bring more people into the discussion. We need more diversity to make a change. We need to be candid about it.”

 

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On the subject of work-life balance, Coakley says, “If you don’t change the expectations of flexibility in the workplace, companies are risking the greatest use of their own talent.” She suggests, “You have to fit your work into your life, not your life into your work.”

 

Cecilia pointed out that women are subjected to unconscious bias, even from peers who claim to support professional equality. Our upbringing sets our minds and we judge and are judged even without realizing. She offers, “In order to drive change and change the perception of women as business leaders, we need to open up the dialogue and have transparent conversations about how we can work together.”

 

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According to AIA NJ President Elect Frizzell, events like these are a high priority to AIA NJ, as equity, diversity, and inclusion are central to the professional mission of the organization. Chairwoman Vierheilig speaks multiple times per year, both to the membership and outside of the organization, on the importance of equality in the workplace, which is especially a priority in a male-dominated industry such as architecture and construction.

 

About AIA and AIA New Jersey

Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the professional organization that helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the 300 plus local chapters represent 89,000licesnsed architects and allied professionals. The organization’s local chapter, AIA New Jersey, has served as the voice of the architectural profession in the Garden State since 1900. Based in Trenton, AIA New Jersey has 2,000 members in six local sections. For more information, please visit http://www.aia-nj.org.

 

 

Larry Merighi, AIA, is Recognized by his Community

636414431264218671-Larry-MerighiAIA NJ is pleased to share wonderful news about a longtime member.  The Guidance Center of Buena Vista, NJ is recognizing nearly 40 years of generous community service by AIA South Jersey member Larry Merighi, AIA and his wife Suzy Merighi. The couple will be presented the 2017 Mental Health Distinguished Community Leadership Award on October 4, 2017.  Read the full story and register to attend the festivities by clicking here.

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5 Year Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy

AIAeagle_2016October 2017 marks the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

Since the storm, AIA NJ Members have taken steps to rebuild a more resilient New Jersey and have better educated themselves to protect our communities from future catastrophes.

If you have been a part of the recovery or renewal and would like to share your story or projects, please contact [email protected] to set up an interview.

Thank you!

The Kids are Back in School, How ‘Bout You?

Jerry Eben, FAIA has been speaking to children about architecture for over 30 years now, estimating that he has reached over 10 thousand children with valuable information about our profession. Recently, he has started teaming up with fellow architect Jose Gennaro, AIA to provide bi-lingual programs, especially in schools with large Spanish speaking/ ESL populations.

Jose made his first presentation about 12 years ago when a teacher friend asked him to present at her Perth Amboy school career day. Many of his early programs were geared toward showing young immigrant students what opportunities for success are attainable, with focus and commitment.

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The majority of their partnered sessions are requested in the spring by schools that feature career discussions, but they try and respond to all requests, year-round. They travel most anywhere that they are asked, but most often find themselves in Harrison, Newark, Perth Amboy and the surrounds. If they are not available to attend themselves, will seek out a willing AIA colleague from the school’s local community.

 

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Jose likes sharing his trade best with 3rd-5th graders, while Jerry finds 6th-8th grade most rewarding, but they have presented to all ages, K-12! Most presentations are about 20-30 minutes, with renderings, perspectives, blueprints and photographs circulating around the room.

AIA Newark and Suburban has also provided giveaway items, such as pencils, with the section name embossed on the side.

 

The kids especially love to check out traditional drafting tools and hear about the transition from drawing by hand to CAD.
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The architects share ideas on the best classes to take in high school to prepare for applying for an architecture degree in college, the basic process of licensure, what a day is like in an architectural firm and other career statistics. They discuss building types and what it’s like to run a project.
But even more important than encouraging kids to become architects, the men seek to enlighten the kids on being aware of the buildings in their own communities, respecting their environments, and understanding the value of good design.
Jerry and Jose are cultivating your next generation of educated clients! 
Jerry always tries to get the kids engaged in building human flying buttresses with two tall children & two small children. When he asks where they have seen this around the neighborhood, he always gets a correct answer from a few: “The church around the corner!” He recommends that everyone “LOOK UP” and see the architecture they interact with every day.
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The program is so well received that most schools ask them back year after year.  They have received pictures and thank you notes from the kids.
Jerry recommends the book EXPERIENCING ARCHITECTURE by Steen Eiler Rasmusson and would love to encourage all AIA NJ members to order a few copies from Amazon to offer each school as a leave behind, to extend the lesson beyond their short talk.
Jose suggests the AIA NJ Guidebook to 150 BEST Buildings and Places as a great resource for local kids to find interesting architecture, no matter where they live.
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Both encourage YOU to contact your local school and offer to come in and share your profession with the students. Architects are naturals at presenting, and the conversation requires nothing more than your regular, off the cuff, knowledge.
For more resources and recommendations, look for the next installment of “The Kids are Back in School, How ‘Bout You?” in a future AIA NJ article.

AIANJ Visit with Congressman Pascrell

Bob Cozzarelli, AIA and Larry Parisi, AIA meeting with Congressman Bill Pascrell in his New Jersey District Office September 5th to discuss key issues concerning AIA and the federal government

Raymond F. Wells, AIA, 1928-2017

He lived by the motto, “Service above Self”

AIA NJ is sorry to share the news that Raymond F. Wells, AIA has passed away on August 27, 2017.  We share his obituary with you here. If you were a colleague of Ray’s, we invite you to comment on this post with a memory.

Please consider making a donation to the AIA NJ Scholarship Foundation in the name of Raymond F. Wells, AIA, so that his contribution to architecture can live on through you.

 

Spiezle Architectural Group Announces Significant New Hires and Promotions

Firm Credits Continued Growth to Sustained Strategy Focused on Enhancing

Scope, Depth and Diversity of Client Capabilities

 

HAMILTON, NJ and MEDIA, PA– August 15, 2017 Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., an award-winning, full-service architectural, interior design and planning firm, is pleased to announce several significant new hires and promotions. The moves illustrate the effective implementation of its sustainable growth strategy driven to consistently enhance the scope, depth and diversity of its client services.

 

The latest additions culminate a team of 59 professionals with extensive architectural, planning and interior design expertise in sectors including K-12 education, higher education, healthcare, senior care, commercial, non-profit, hospitality, sustainability, and government markets.  New employees include Thomas Lee, CPA, Chief Financial Officer/VP of Finance and Administration, James Repka, RA, Project Manager, Courtney Prutzman, Interior Designer, and Chelsea Donnigan, Senior Marketing Coordinator. Promotions include Steven Siegel, AIA, LEEDap to Principal as well as Michelle Lopez and Justin Kozik, LEED GA to Project Coordinators.

 

“I am delighted to welcome our newest professionals and congratulate those who earned a well-deserved promotion,” said Thomas S. Perrino, President and CEO. “Our expanded Spiezle team drives our mission to always strengthen our capabilities to insure optimal performance and client satisfaction.”

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