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President's Message 2019
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President’s Message
January 2019

Almost ten years ago, I came to this country as an immigrant. As many others, in the same situation as mine, I left behind family and a job in order to pursue my dreams. I had no idea about AIA until one evening, following a job interview, my fiancé at the time and now wife, Jamie, asked me a particular question: Was the person that interviewed you a member of the AIA? My wife is a professional photographer and not associated to the architectural world so I was taken by surprise with her question. My immediate response was that she didn’t care about the firm or potential salary. It didn't take me long to realize the importance of AIA. AIA is about the work being done to advance the profession. It's more than an organization; it is a community that brings together professionals -- and immigrants.

AIA provides us with resources to position ourselves as community leaders and as a resource. Last November we hosted a public forum connecting with more than 80 guests from the community; educating them on what architects do and the value of our profession. We hope to continue with these types of activities with your support. I invite you to join us to learn how you can contribute and get involved.

I welcome the 2019 board and recognize the 2018 board for their dedication and hard work. I'm proud to be a member of this amazing group of professionals and hope you feel the same way too. I came to this country alone but no longer feel that way since joining AIA. My thanks and gratitude to my wife and family for their encouragement and support too.

Lastly, I will leave you with an African proverb that says: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

I look forward to serving you as your President this year.



Jay Zapata, AIA

2019 Chapter President


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