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President's Message 2019
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President’s Message

July 2019 / Q2

Happy summer everyone. I can't believe we are half way through our calendar year. Even though summer represents a time of well-earned relaxation our chapter endeavors don’t seem to slow down. In early spring we offered tours of incredible new buildings including the Caltech Hameetman Student Center and CalPoly Pomona Student Services Building. Architectural tours are one of my favorite activities and it was great being part of these special architect-led tours. Also, we took time to listen to member concerns at the Firm Round table led by AIA California. AIACA helped to align our chapter goals with their statewide efforts and to redefine our mission for the remainder of this year.

As previously mentioned, continuing education is an essential part of your member benefits. Most, if not all, of our programs have a learning unit or two attached. Our Healthcare Committee recently organized the CES approved programs: “Microgrids and Distributed Generation,” and “Desert Healing: VIBRA Rehabilitation Hospital,” a case study of a brand new 50-bed rehabilitation hospital development. Our Emerging Professionals have also been busy with programs aimed at preparing Associates for the California Supplemental Exam and even providing perspective from a young architect who shared how he passed all the Architecture Registration Exams within six months. The chapter was also represented at Career Fairs at Woodbury, CalPoly Pomona and USC.

In May we organized a free public forum about “Cannabis Dispensaries in the Community.” It will be interesting to see how the business of cannabis will affect us. This new industry is sure to have significant economic impact and will bring about changes to community zoning and planning. As architects we decided to take the lead in beginning a dialogue about cannabis in the community. Our job is to be part of any conversation that involves local policies that touch upon the built environment and quality of life. We will continue to keep tabs on this hot topic and insure there’s a seat at table for architects in this discussion.

Finally, I invite you to participate in our upcoming chapter events! Our Board of Directors is working to bring to you an exciting slate of activities in the coming months. In August there is the Summer Social / architecture product show at The Gamble House, Business Development Basics with Karen Compton, an ADA seminar and Friday Forums. As always, we are actively seeking new sponsors and working to strengthen our existing relationships. I’ll be calling you to see how you would like to support your chapter. See you at an upcoming event soon.



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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