by Bruce Monighan, AIA
2011 Chapter President
It has without a doubt been a very rough couple of years. Lots of architects out of work, offices closed and uncertainty everywhere. But the upside is that it has taught us how to look for new work and new markets, taught us the true value of collaboration, and given value to the AIA by way of insight, shared ideas and resources.
2011 has also been a healthy year for our Chapter in providing help and education to members, design celebration in programs and events, and an increasing role in public policy and it has been a real joy and honor serving as your President this year. We have outstanding leadership in the office with Kimberly Anderson as Executive Director and Marina Hill helping execute all the programs and daily tasks. We have had an outstanding Board that have provided for engaged Board meetings, lively debate and a lot of good humor. We also bid a fond goodbye to Don Comstock, FAIA who is making his third retirement to spend more time with his family. As a retired firm principal, a retired Chapter Executive Director and now a retired Chapter Trustee he is moving on to some well deserved and overdue free time. We as a group will miss his council and wit and I personally will miss his guidance and support.
As an architect I am optimistic. I think that is a core characteristic of our profession and my optimism says 2012 will be better. Most economic indicators are showing improvement and while Washington may be stuck running political circles there is movement on the building front. It will be a slow recovery and will take us to a place we have not seen before. It will be a “new normal” but as architects we are quick to adapt and see opportunity. Small firms will leverage their resources and share with other small firms and providers of specialty services. Large firms will merge and leverage their great knowledge and employee base to provide ever more specialized services. But at the core of all of this is people and we as a profession are very good at helping people. So as long as there is growth there will be people with needs and we will be there to serve them.
I wish all of us a happy and more prosperous New Year and we all look forward to new opportunities and the work of the outstanding 2012 Board led by President Maria Ogrydziak, AIA.
Be engaged, be creative and be optimistic.