News & Press: CHAPTER NEWS

2020 President's Message: Looking Back to Look Forward

Friday, January 31, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Ress

AIA Silicon Valley’s Board of Directors and I are looking forward to 2020 and to celebrating our chapter’s 70th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, we will be looking back decade-by-decade at the beginning of each chapter meeting, excluding July (summer break) and October (Design Awards). Each Director has selected a decade to highlight the extraordinary contributions of our members to our community and profession at the local, state, and national levels. This month, I started by showcasing our chapter’s formative pre-history years from 1946-1950.

In 1946, architects with a desire to form a local chapter met at Rickey's Studio Club in Palo Alto.

Our chapter was founded on the desire to form a local association of architects that would allow us to focus on professional issues we faced in our communities. Prior to our chapter, California was comprised of four chapters: Northern California, Central Valley, Santa Barbara, and Southern California. Our association was first recognized as a district chapter of the Northern California chapter. As early as 1947, we had engaged our state legislature regarding the licensing of architects and influencing what would eventually become the Architect’s Practice Act we all practice upon today. With the support of the California Counsel of Architects and AIA National, we officially became a Local Chapter on June 21, 1950.

Director, Mary Morris, AIA, will present the 1950’s in the opening remarks of our February 13th Chapter Meeting. This decade will highlight the Women’s Architecture League and Mid-Century Modern architecture.

The February Chapter Meeting is a workshop on the Committee on the Environment’s (COTE) Framework for Design Excellence presented by Marsha Maytum, FAIA, a founding Principal of Leddy Maytum Stacy and the 2019 Chair of the National AIA COTE Advisory Group. This workshop is part of a $3,000 Green for Green grant that our chapter was awarded. Last year, AIA formally adopted the AIA Framework for Design Excellence, formerly known as the COTE Top Ten Measures. The Framework will help us organize our thinking, facilitate conversations with our clients and the communities we serve, and set meaningful goals and targeted outcomes. 

Amy Ress, Executive Director of AIASVC, with 2019 President, Sharon Refvem, FAIA, LEED Fellow and 2020 President, Keith Blaine, AIA, LEED AP BD+C at the 2019 Grassroots reception in the Library of Congress.

It’s with sadness that I report Amy Ress, Executive Director of AIA Silicon Valley has submitted her resignation. Amy has been a wonderful part of our chapter for the last two years. She is transitioning to join AIASF staff as the Deputy Director and it’s nice to know we will have a friend in the AIA family nearby. AIASF is beyond lucky to have her skills and organizational capabilities. Please join me in wishing her well in San Francisco.

Know of a potential candidate? Please help us to share the Executive Director opportunity found here. 

We have several great Signature Events coming up this year. Mark your calendars and get involved in these committees by checking out our event calendar. It’s our member’s involvement that make these events increasingly successful each year.


Home Tours – May 2
The selected
architects and their projects will be announced in February. Thanks to everyone who submitted projects. Prior to the tours, the April Chapter Meeting at TBS Design Gallery will be a panel discussion featuring the Architects selected for the Home Tours.

Golf Tournament – July 20
Our 33rd annual Golf Tournament will be held again at the prestigious Almaden Golf & Country Club. Mark your calendar for a great day of fun, networking, and supporting our chapter.

Design Awards – October
AIASVC is looking for members who’d like to join the Design Awards committee with a Kickoff Meeting on February 10. Join me to help plan the awards ceremony, jury members, and award selections, as well as the celebration this fall.

Thanks to our 2020 Sustaining Partners, for their continued support of not only for our Signature Events, but also our chapter’s other nearly 60 events each year. Through their support, we are able to advance our knowledge, engage our communities and shape the future of Silicon Valley.

Let me know if you’re interested in getting involved or supporting the AIA through one of our events this year.

Looking forward to 2020 with you,

Keith Blaine, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

AIA Silicon Valley Chapter President

Principal, BLAINE Architects