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President's Message
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President's Message

February 28, 2014


The chapter kicked off 2014 with some great programs and much welcomed support from our energetic volunteers and interns. The wonderful new faces on the board and at our events are helping to revitalize the chapter. It’s good to have new blood!

At our board retreat in January there was the buzz of energy and excitement. Brian Dougherty, president of AIA California Council, served as moderator and was impressed by our chapter and activities. He stressed that our signature First Friday Forum and government and advocacy efforts is what sets us apart from other chapters.

Here are some retreat highlights…

My top three goals for the year:
  • Education for Architects, Emerging professionals and interns
  • Communication/Participation - Focusing and engaging firms, socializing and connecting one to another
  • Financial - Revenue and Expenses
“SWOT” (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) session summary:
Strengths
  • Good size; we are a tight community
  • Great legacy, located in an architecturally rich community
  • Financially strong/stable
  • Large firms are now involved at the board level
  • Bridging the gap with young professionals
Weaknesses
  • Community outreach, need to promote the value of architects
  • Collaboration through social media, local media outlets
Opportunities
  • Reach out to other Foothill cities
  • Share resources with AIA California Council
  • Engage engineers and contractors
Threats
  • Design-Build, CASp, LEED- all these specializations are taking away members and reducing our scope of services
  • Architects are not the “go to” people anymore
Following that, our February included the forum featuring Assemblymember Chris Holden on 2/7; a social mixer / joint event with Architecture for Humanity as we begin our Disaster Preparedness & Resiliency programs; and lastly the chapter program hosted at Flewelling & Moody’s new office was presented by our friends at Collins Collins Muir + Stewart regarding The Standard of Care. I’m happy to say everything that has happened so far is very much in line with my goal for the New Year -- engaging firms and educating members.

Also, on February 21st past president Alek Zarifian and I attended the first board meeting at the AIA California Council (AIACC) in Sacramento. The focus this year is on the following (some AIACC goals also match our 2014 chapter goals):
  • Advocating for Energy, Water and Resource Efficient Design: Influence the 2016 Building Code. Prepare the profession for marketplace transformation
  • Empowering the Next Generation to meet the challenges of the future
  • Resourcing Firms/Employers for Practice and Prosperity
  • Improving the AIA in California: Develop a model to ensure health and sustainability of components. Develop a model to ensure adequate resources for professional staff
I am so pleased with the collaboration of our members, interns and volunteers. Everyone is open and willing to share thoughts and ideas, which helps to make the chapter more effective and responsive. I want to hear more from you! What is the chapter doing right? What types of events and activities do you want? Help us to get out into the community by opening up your office as an event meeting place and venue. AIAPF is 330 members strong and I encourage everyone to get involved.

I truly appreciate my board for their dedication and volunteer time at all activities and meetings. We’ve had a fantastic start and I want to keep the momentum going by continuing to work toward achieving this year’s goals.

Nazanin Zarkesh, AIA, LEED AP
2014 AIAPF President

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