Tag Archives: President

AIA New Jersey Interviewed by WPIX TV Regarding Lightweight Wood Construction

edgewater-fire-chopper-2In the wake of the tragic events of the Avalon at Edgewater fire, Justin Mihalik, AIA, the newly elected President-Elect of the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects, was recently interviewed by WPIX TV regarding the use of lightweight wood construction.  You can see the WPIX report here. The report is 5:26 in length.  Justin’s comments start at approximately the 1:59 mark and run through the 3:00 mark.

Granted, the conversation is far more complex than can be explained in one minute of TV time. And, the issue has received significant attention, including legislation proposing mandating fire sprinklers in all residential construction (Bill A1698) and a proposed two-year moratorium on all lightweight wood construction. Given the severity of the event and the public attention, it is more important than ever that architects and AIA New Jersey have a voice in this discussion.

This issue is being actively addressed by our Codes & Standards Committee, chaired by Robert Longo, AIA, our Legistative & Government Affairs Committee, chaired by David Del Vecchio, AIA, our Public Awareness Committee, chaired by Bruce Turner, AIA, our President, Kimberly Bunn, AIA, our Executive Director, Joe Simonetta, and the Executive Committee. Therefore, please make sure you share your opinions with your leaders of AIA New Jersey and your political representatives. Architects cannot stand on the sidelines while others determine the shape of the built environment.

Bruce Turner, AIA
Public Awareness Committee Chair

AIA New Jersey Board of Trustees Meets During East Coast Green

The AIA New Jersey Board of Trustees worked late in to the night on June 13th at its regularly scheduled meeting which was held at the Warner Student Life Building at Brookdale Community College, the site for East Coast Green. In addition to general AIANJ business the Board discussed the SDA, ASID and other closely allied professional organizations. We also discussed the 2012 AIANJ Calendar of Events, which includes: the IRC Seminar, East Coast Green, Design Day, The League of Municipalities, and the Business and Ethics of Architecture. Reports of recent activities were provided by Committee Chairs from L&GA, AIA National Small Firms, APAC, Public Awareness, Membership Committee, RAD, and others. All AIA New Jersey Sections were dutifully represented.

Laurence E. Parisi, AIA
2012 President, AIA New Jersey

Message From The AIA-NJ President

Michael Hanrahan, AIA - 2011 President

It’s hard to believe we are already over one month into 2011!  I am truly honored and humbled to be your President of AIA New Jersey for this year.  As always, the year began with our annual black tie gala, held January 8, 2011 at the Carl Icahn Laboratory at Princeton University.  It was a wonderful evening where we celebrated our distinguished colleagues and best of New Jersey architecture.  I’d like to personally thank our sponsors, Princeton University and the staff at Public Strategies Impact for making the evening a great success.

Since being installed as President, I have tried to attend the various Section awards and installation dinners.  This was a wonderful opportunity for me to catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues.  Congratulations to all of the new Section officers and trustees throughout the State.  The Sections are truly the backbone of our organization.

Beginning February 2, 2011, a delegation of AIA New Jersey members descended upon Washington DC for our annual Grassroots Leadership Conference.  This conference provides a forum to meet the National staff, mingle with other AIA chapters across the country, share stories of our collective successes and ultimately meet with our Congressional representatives to lobby on your behalf.  Our blueprint to help rebuild Main Street comprised of four issues:

1.       Unfreeze Credit, Create Jobs:  Thousands of needed construction projects that would employ millions of Americans are on hold because credit is frozen.  Banks received billions in federal taxpayer bailouts; now it’s time to ensure those banks lend.  Congress should support efforts to reign in regulatory overkill in the wake of the banking crisis by passing legislation such as the Equal Treatment of Covered Bank Bonds Act, which unleashes the market for sounder, more straightforward financing alternatives to risky, exotic Wall Street securities; and the Capital Access for Main Street Act, which would help prevent large numbers of commercial foreclosures and free up credit to help small business get back to work.

2.      Remove Regulatory Burdens That Hold Small Business Back:  Small architecture firms and sole practitioners know all too well the burdens of high tax rates and burdensome paperwork.  In 2010, the AIA helped defeat a plan to increase payroll taxes on thousands of small architecture firms that organize as S corporations.  Now Congress needs to pass the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act, which would repeal the expensive and unneeded new Form 1099 paperwork requirement slipped into the health care reform bill.

3.      Jumpstart Market For Building Retrofits As Engine Of Economic Growth:  Across the country, building owners, state and local governments and school districts want to lower energy bills by retrofitting their buildings, but lack the financing to do it.  By increasing incentives for efficient building designs and renovations that show real results, Congress can create jobs while securing our energy independence.  Congress should increase the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction from the current $1.80sf to $3.00sf.

4.      Pass Transportation Bill To Get Our Communities Moving Again:  Our current transportation system is broken.  Crumbling infrastructure and rising congestion have crippled our nation’s competitiveness, reduced safety, and increased greenhouse gas emissions.  In addition, outdated transportation laws and tax policy have slowed projects down, deprived the public of a voice in the planning process, and forced Americans into longer and longer commutes.  Architects have a long record of providing solutions that get our communities moving again; all we need is for Washington to act.  Congress needs to enact transportation reform legislation this year that gives people real choices in how they move.

Finally, there were three additional highlights to the Grassroots conference.  First, AIA New Jersey’s committee on the environment received national recognition for component excellence for their 2010 East Coast Green conference.  Congratulations to Verity Frizzell and the entire committee for this well deserved award.  Next, during our opening session, David DelVecchio, AIA gave his campaign speech for the position of AIA Vice President.  Dave is a Past President of AIA New Jersey and a former Regional Director.  I’d like to personally congratulate Dave for raising New Jersey’s voice at the National level.  Finally, I’d like to congratulate Robin Murray, FAIA.  Just prior to departing for Washington, AIA New Jersey was informed that Robin had been elevated to the College of Fellows.  Robin is a distinguished architect and educator who led our organization both as President and as a Regional Director.  Please join me in applauding her recognition and thanking her for her service to our organization.

I began this article with my appreciation for becoming AIA New Jersey’s 2011 President.  To that end, I would love to hear the thoughts and concerns of our members so this organization can better serve you.  Please feel free to contact me.  I can best be reached via email at [email protected].  Thank you, and I look forward to a wonderful and productive year.

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.



AIA-NJ President, 2010

Message From The President

Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEEDap

Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEEDap

AIA-NJ has hit the ground running in 2010, starting in January with the AIA-NJ Awards Dinner and many local section Inaugural Dinners to install local officers. February began with the annual trip to Washington DC for AIA Grassroots during which we experienced one of the year’s worst snowstorms. This did not stop AIA-NJ from getting to the Hill and pressing issues important to our members which are well outlined in AIA’s “Blueprint for Economic Recovery”. Directly affecting local business, AIA-NJ pressed our Senator’s to support a federal bailout of the ailing Unemployment Insurance Fund to avoid unfair penalization of New Jersey’s small businesses to replenish the fund depleted by former administrations’ use of surpluses for other State needs throughout the years.

Locally, AIA-NJ has been intimately involved with proposed legislation S239 to incorporate green building standards in school construction and the development of interim green building standards recommended to the Governor’s office. Our focus is to ensure the State provides clear direction to the design community by establighing one, consistent, implementable standard, optimizes sustainability by setting the bar appropriately and including verification of achievement, and recognizes the key role architect’s play in successfully and cost effectively integrating sustainability in to School construction, or any project type. You can review Bill S239 at the State web site. This is precedent setting legislation and AIA-NJ has become an important and central voice in creating a unified green building standard for NJ.

Our Mega Issues, which include Sustainability, the Architect as Lead professional, Value of the Architect to the public, and Zoning Ridiculousness are the central focus of our legislative, education, and implementation efforts this year. I am pleased to say the month has very busy with our committees and Mega-Issue champions gearing up for events throughout the year around the Mega Issues both locally and at the State level. Most notable of these is the East Coast Green conference taking place in conjunction with AIA-NJ Design Day September 16th and 17th at Bally’s in Atlantic City. This event will not only provide educational opportunities for our members but will showcase our expertise to the world on key issues such as sustainability and carbon neutrality that will help expand your firms’ job opportunities.

Finally, AIA-NJ is your voice. We have a focused and full agenda for 2010 but we encourage your comments, feedback, and involvement to make the most of your membership and help us represent the profession to the fullest extent possible in the State and Nationally. I would like to thank all members who completed the Member Survey, your ideas and opinions are important on what direction we, the officers of AIA-NJ, take the organization over the next few years. Please look at the committees on our web site and get involved in the things you are passionate about. Look for more information on all events in your e-Bulletin’s and Newsletters. To get involved with the mega issues, please visit our website.

I look forward to a prosperous, safe, and sustainable year with you all!

Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEEDap
2010 AIA-NJ President
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