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Chapter President's Letter FY2015


Kurt Moehlmann, CSI CDT

June, 2015

This is my last President's message(the Bronx cheer is heard in the distance).  It has be a grand experience and thanks to all who supported, led, cajoled and threatened me(AKA Cathy B). I anticipate another great year with Chicago Chapter CSI this upcoming season. With Elias at the helm our chapter is in very good, astute and competent hands.

As for the rest of you, I encourage you to "dip your toes in" and contribute to the Chicago Chapter CSI.  Opportunities about for experienced and youthful CSI members to showcase their talents.  Whether enlisting new members, contributing to technical papers, upgrading our social calendar, our chapter can use YOU as a volunteer.  

Have a great summer everybody.  And if anybody is looking for a golf game---give me a  call.

May, 2015

As final presidential missive to you all, one word comes to mind: CHANGE.  Our chapter is and will continue to experience great change.  Just as the wind shifted and sent Mary Poppins away for the Banks’ house; our as the guiding angel which takes care of countless details and emergencies; so too our chapter is losing its driving force, its heart, its executive director, Cathy Beazley.  Her fifteen years with us seems too quick and breathless.  To show proper homage to her we should conscript a Te Deum in praise of her leadership, persistence and dedication:  for she has made the Chicago Chapter CSI the best!  I am not alone in having my butt saved by Cathy.  As many have said:   not enough words, not enough right words to convey what Cathy means to me, all the boards, the membership and our chapter.  Her influence and guidance will be felt long after this President has faded into the sunset.

As to the other changes, I am confident and ebullient about the new President, Elias Saltz and his new board.  It is a strong board which is ready to handle the tasks of finding and hiring our next Executive Director and setting a new course for where our monthly night meetings will be done.  Plenty to do and, as always, the board continues to enjoy volunteers and good sound advice from our membership.

Finally, thank you to my board members and the greater membership for your support.  Our chapter could not be where it is without your efforts (and some of you will be receiving special awards at our banquet).

But to conclude, I must return to our Cathy, who has been so instrumental and vital to our chapter, its life and growth.  Simply to say with great humility and respect:  “THANK YOU, CATHY!”

April 2015

As the Spring Equinox, solar eclipse and Super Moon have arrived, our chapter’s energy is as vital as ever.  Our 2nd CSi2eye event, by many accounts, was a success on many levels.  Many thanks to all the sponsoring manufacturers.  Additional thanks to the design professionals for their attendance.  Special kudos to Mr. Pulido-Gonzalez for his personal perceptive presentation on light and design.

April’s chapter meeting is a tour of the latest jewel added to the Chicago lakefront: Maggie Daley Park.  In concert with the Olmstead/Burnham vision and continuing Chicago pursuit of “no small plans” come join us for a docent’s discussion of Maggie Daley Park: its vision, inception, construction and future.  After our tour, we will reconvene at the new offices of ESA Inc located at 130 E Randolph.  Here, amongst beverages, hearty appetizers and friends, we will continue our discussion of the park and Chicago Chapter CSI news.

March 2015

Greetings to all!!   March is a busy month for Chicago Chapter CSI including our signature event, CSi2eye, a flurry of roundtable discussions and our monthly meeting with Commissioner Felicia Davis.  Just because it is Lent, this is no time to give up CSI and your presence.

Our speaker this month is the Honorable Commissioner Felicia Davis, head of Chicago Department of Buildings.  We are grateful that the Commissioner can address our group.  Commissioner Davis will touch on several topics such as the current City of Chicago code, high rise construction and fire resistance design, energy code update, etc.  I anticipate a lively discussion.

Thanks again to Roxul and Tyvek/Parksite for their generous support of our Building Enclosure event.  Dr Straube was entertaining, invigorating and enlightening.  Those Canadians know their building science.

With spring close at hand and our chapter’s vibrancy on full display, let the March Madness begin.

January 2015

Be gone the travails and problems of 2014!!  Let’s awaken to the new challenges and opportunities of 2015.  May all of us have enjoyed this holiday season!           May 2015 find us all aiming for joy, cheer, reflections and greater successes in 2015 and spending time with the Chicago Chapter CSI.

Our January meeting will focus on the Green Building Institute.  Our speaker, Jerry Yudelson, President of GBI will present the green building rating system, Green Globes.  He will outline and detail how this green building rating system works, its advantages over other green building rating systems and how Green Globes conforms to current codes, reference  and building commission standards.  And he will do all this in only 45 minutes!   His presentation should make for lively dialogue and debate. 

So let’s all get “back in the saddle” for 2015.  Speaking for myself, I can’t wait to get in the saddle again. I look forward to seeing all of you.  I look forward to our February meeting with Dr John Straube speaking (with great thanks to Roxul and Tyvek/Parksite).  And I look forward to our chapter’s signature chapter event, CSitoeye, to be held on March 5, 2015.

November, 2014
Building Delivery: What a pregnancy!

In November our meeting will focus on building delivery systems.  Our presentation will discuss the lessons learned by an alternative delivery system than most of us are familiar, ie, design, bid, build; design/build; budget, build, design; etc.  Our speakers are from Power Construction and ARKADIS.  Their goal is to deliver the new Rehab Institute Center located in Streeterville,  Their presentation is a marvelous story of cooperation, competitive agendas, engaged contracting parties and a budgetary success story.  Please join us at Cannon Design's offices on November 18th for this somewhat revolutionary(in an orbital sense) of how this project was, is and continues to be delivered.  Lessons will be revealed that all in construction can learn and profit from.
The holiday season fast approaches and our December Signature Social event is not far off.  Kristin and Melissa  are hard at work soliciting our venue which will be a good time had by all.  With such good people a good time will be had by all and even a few surprizes.

October 2014 

So we had a rousing start to our 2014-2015 programs.  A huge crowd attended our initial meeting to hear about AIA 2030 challenge for manufacturers for better materials (as these materials relate to indoor air quality, environment and life cycling).  To sample the crowd’s response, it was easy to detect grumblings, disbelief and downright perplexity as the presentation progressed.  Rand and Marion did an admirable job and we will hear from them, this AIA movement and the “Red List”.  If you don’t know what the Red List is,  come to our meetings or call Rich Ray. 

This month our focus is on insulation, the building envelope, what to use where, and why isn’t there any easy answer.   If you talk with Roxul, they have the answer; if you talk to Dow Chemical, they have the answer;  if you talk with BASF, they have all the answers.   Yet, as in life, there are no simple answers.

Mr Peter, Babaian,  Associate Princicpal of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH), will be our featured speaker.  He just finished speaking at USGBC, The Building of Chicago conference. His focus will be on insulation, code compliances and the building envelope.   Granted a dry subject but then insulation is supposed to be and stay dry.   His presentation will provide focus, direction and hopefully offer a platform for better questions to ask.

Hope to see all and more of you at our October meeting.  Keep checking the website for all our meetings, Specifiers, Technical, Industry, etc.  Some exciting stuff to learn. 

September, 2014

As we initiate another season of Chicago Chapter CSI chapter meetings, I welcome you all back from summer.  I anticipate meeting new faces.

This month’s topic focuses on the material transparency movement initiated and sustained by AIA and the larger design community.   Being a material hustler, I find this AIA embarkation fascinating, debilitating, frustrating among other reactions.  Yet, relevant or important product information is being extracted from manufacturers by this movement.   As with many topics, there are many promoters and naysayers: Luddites are everywhere as are also Chicken Littles (you may question me on which group I belong to).   Our speakers are at the very genesis of this movement and will provide insightful, accurate, timely information and also provide direction on what and where the future of Material Transparency is likely to proceed.  Hope to see all you there.

Summer, 2014


As Chicago Chapter begins its 62nd year, Joe Stypka announced to me that I am the oldest elected Chicago Chapter President. Such a dubious honor is one I relish as I believe I have now arrived at that "aha" epiphanal life moment:  I an an adult.  For many of you, this moment occurred many years, even decades ago. Yes, I an a slow learner and do tend to get sidetracked. My Proustian stream of consciousness can be frustrating(just try talking with me!).

Larry Nordin is a hard act to follow.  Under his tutelage our chapter grew in many ways and forge new paths.  Yet I have a talented, motivated board with an energetic, purposeful, take no prisoners Executive Director.  Keeping me focused with this bunch will be easy.
Our events this year will build on past years successes.  And we even forge some new paths of our own

Our upcoming year has numerous activiites for all to enjoy, participate, learn and even lead.  My clarion call goes out to  the new and/or uninvolved membership.  Put on your swimming suit, test these waters and attend one of our Chicago events: plenty to choose from . Come learn and enjoy the experience of our Old Guard as we enthusiastically welcome and learn from you.  Just as Mikey said in the Life cereal commercial,"Try us, you'll like us!"

Learn more!