President’s Letter: Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness

On January 20th a new U.S. President was sworn into office. President Biden spoke of unity and inspiration in his inaugural address.

“Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history.”

Last year through our 70th anniversary year, presentations at Chapter meetings shared the history of our Chapter decade by decade. That history is our story. Now, how can we use that story to inspire us in the “ages yet to come?”

The history of our Chapter has included a legacy of mentoring and supporting future architects through our scholarship program. I myself was once a recipient of the Chapter scholarship in 1993. I met Kent Mather, FAIA when I received the scholarship and in shaking my hand to congratulate me, he’s never let go. I’ve been a member of this chapter ever since.

So last month the 2021 Scholarship season kicked off and added two new members to the committee. Missy Mirkovski, AIA will transition from Liaison to committee member, we added Sassan Pedramrazi, AIA as a committee member and Mary Morris, AIA is the new Liaison.

The Architectural Intelligence Conference AI.21 planning is underway for a fall, in person, conference. The committee is already planning some engaging sessions and social events.

This month a new Social Media Committee was formed. This committee will have the task to create content and post to our Chapter social media accounts. We will post about events, partnerships, member spotlights and other relevant “shout outs.”

Our Chapter’s vitality relies on the member volunteers whose passion brings you quality programs, events and education to our membership. Without the generous gift of their time and their enthusiasm we just wouldn’t have as much fun or learn so much each year.

If you have been wondering if there’s more you can get out of your AIA membership, consider joining a committee. Contact Keith Blaine, AIA to find out the best committee for you.

As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work.” Your time and commitment is whatever you would like to make of it. But the people you meet when you work together is the best networking you can do. Any membership level can join any committee.

Continuing with the theme of stories that inspire us, at each chapter meeting we will invite speakers from our membership to share with us a person (or group) who have inspired them. Especially those who have inspired them in their careers. Some presentation may be about architects who inspired them at some point in their architectural practice journey. Some of these stories may be very personal. Those Who Inspire Us will be a fun way to share those important connections and hopefully inspire others. Inspiration can come from anywhere. It can come from colleagues and affiliates.

Maybe it comes from artists, writers or musicians. Or it may come from family members, friends or community leaders.

Are there architects who inspire you that may not be well known or who were not part of your formal architectural education?

The presentations will be short, about 10 minutes, and will occur at the start of Chapter meetings.

Jennifer Kretschmer, AIA, NCARB, LEED Green Associate
Principal Architect, J Kretschmer Architect
2021 AIA Silicon Valley President

2021 President's Message: Those Who Inspire
President's Letter: Gathering our nest. Gathering our community.

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