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Chapter President's Letters FY 2016

Mr. Elias Saltz, CSI, CCS, LEED AP

June  2016

A table in the room where we held our recent Awards Banquet held a pile of 35-year retrospective editions of Change Order published by the chapter in 1988.  One of the features that the retrospective were a series of “Past Presidents Reflect” mini-columns, in which a number of chapter ex-presidents described how the chapter or the industry has changed (or not) since they were president.   It would have been fun to reach out and have a collection of my current former-president friends repeat the exercise of reflecting on CSI and the Chicago chapter.  Unfortunately, that idea occurred to me too late (Jeremy, here’s an idea for a column for next year…) but what I can do is look through our archive of Change Order issues and see what presidents were writing to the chapter during their tenures.   Most presidents’ messages followed themes that would be familiar to today’s members:  requests that members get more involved or attend upcoming events, expressions of gratitude towards helpful committee members, and discussions of the benefits of being in CSI, which haven’t changed.

However, there are a few eye-openers.  

In April, 1969 Glenn Frazier had this to say:

In the September [1968] issue of the Change Order an article by Tom Sturr, the new Membership Officer, indicated that the Chicago Chapter was projecting an increase of approximately 50% in their membership during the 1968-69 year. This comment caused great concern among the Institute Officers of C.S.I. It was apparently their belief that this type of growth would be detrimental to not only the Chicago Chapter but to the C.S.I. in general...

If the objectors would have looked a little further an article by Al -Levy, the new chairman of the Program Committee, would have given them a clue to how the membership would grow. The answer was good programs. The membership has shown their appreciation for the efforts of this committee by turning out in larger numbers than ever before to attend the Chapter meetings.

Another example:  I had no idea that in 1970-1971 there was literally an uprising by multiple chapters against Institute, pertaining to a perceived lack of communication of actions taken by the Institute board.  In the January, edition of that year Albert M. Levy wrote:

Much has been said -much is being said much more will continue to be said - about the revolt at the grass roots level (that's you and me) with the manner in which the Institute in Washington appears to lack communication with us regarding major Institute policies and the direction in which the Institute is heading, whether we like it or not.

Eventually there comes a time when we must stand up and be counted – or shut up forever – and moves now underway in Chapters all over the country indicate that between now and Anaheim, and then at Anaheim – our not-so-quiet revolution may force a change in Institute communications with us, if we all stand up to be counted by vigorous discussion and active support of these grass roots movements.

The chapter’s resolution as proposed to be adopted by Institute was published in that edition. 

As an example of a common letter theme, in the 1988 Change Order containing the 35-year retrospective, Richard Levin wrote this still-appropriate comment talking about how technology has changed some parts of the jobs of CSI members while other parts stayed the same:

Working in the midst of an explosive age of electronic media, the specifier spends much of his or her time contemplating the future and how the new technology will affect one’s work habits, without the luxury of looking back.  The deluge of commercial electronic systems available on the market today for specifications production and product selection has created the dilemma of making the right choice, all in an effort to keep current and competitive in this faster changing industry... After all, in the last 10 years we’ve advanced from mainframes to minicomputers to compact disc readers with new laser technology looming ahead. But while some things have changed, others have not. For instance, relationships between the architect and manufacturer’s rep haven’t changed.

He couldn’t possibly have envisioned how the Internet has impacted product selection, but even with the even greater deluge of information now available, having a knowledgeable rep is still crucial.

I haven’t really even scratched the surface of the archive, which we plan to make available as soon as we can correct some issues that occurred during the digitizing.  

I wanted to be sure once again that in closing out my year as president of the chapter that I express my gratitude to everyone who helped me this year, from the board and committees to individual members who stepped up in ways large and small to contribute to the organization.  All I can do is hope that I was able to set a good example and in doing so inspire others to contribute.  We have the biggest and (I think) the best chapter in the country and it’s all because of the great number of people who bring their time, ideas, energy, passion and dedication.  Thank you all so much.

May 2016

I distinctly remember how I felt being called to the stage repeatedly during the awards ceremony at the 2015 CONSTRUCT conference in St. Louis.  Chicago Chapter had been awarded the communications award for our newsletter and our web site, we had received the Technical Document Award for our painting master, and we’d also been named to receive an Outstanding Chapter Commendation – Silver level.   I felt like I hadn’t done anything to deserve all the plaques or the audience’s applause – and that’s because I had only a small part in them.  I was there representing the chapter as president and accepted the awards on behalf of the people who had actually done all the work and earned those awards for us. 

The chapter does not design its newsletter or website in order to win CSI awards.  The aim of the painting master spec was not to have it recognized at CONSTRUCT.  Likewise, we don’t even glance at the Outstanding Chapter Commendation application form all year when planning our year’s events.  Instead, we aim to create as much useful and relevant programming and content that we are able in order to be useful and provide value to our members.

For chapter leaders, awards season offers an opportunity to review the past year and evaluate the things we did well, and consider what we could improve.  Change Order and the chapter website will be submitted again this year. We are also submitting our CSI2eye booklet for a special communications award.   As a large chapter with many volunteers to handle committee work we also have no problems earning almost all the points available on the Outstanding Chapter Commendation form, but the ones we don’t check off are certainly within our reach and give our leaders something to shoot for as a way to improve from year to year. 

This self-review process is worthwhile on its own and gives us a chance to be critical of our own performance, but we likely wouldn’t undertake it without the additional incentive of being recognized by our peers – national leaders and those from other chapters – for our efforts.   Being set up as an example to emulate is particularly meaningful in an organization like CSI, which holds document quality and standardization as a prime goal. 

Our first chapter program after CONSTRUCT was the one in which we welcomed and honored our new members.  By showing off the awards (and humbly stating that I only collected them and didn’t earn them) I was able to communicate to the new members that they chose a strong chapter - that the value we endeavor to provide them has earned great respect throughout the organization, and that we are proud of that and will work to maintain those same high standards. 

I was also able to make sure that by holding up the awards I was able to say thank you to the members who put in the effort to generate the content and the members who took the time to fill in and submit the awards.   Everyone’s contribution is important. 

At its awards ceremony, the Chicago chapter will present its own awards to members who have contributed to the chapter, and we’ll get an opportunity to kvell at our own accomplishments, and to recognize and express our gratitude for all the work it takes to do all the things we’ve done, and make people feel appreciated for them.   Whether or not you plan to attend our ceremony and be thanked in person, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who’s done anything to help make this year great.  I deeply appreciate it.

April 2016

While giving my announcements during the March chapter program I looked out over the sizable crowd and was gratified to see so many former chapter presidents in attendance.  I counted at least seven, including Rich Ray who was president all the way back in 1978 when I was just in 4th grade.  I believe that so many past presidents keep coming to events is a testament to the value that these people get from being continuing long-time members of CSI and the Chicago chapter, as well as the friendships and professional relationships that they've gained over the years.  It feels good for me to be continuing the legacy of individuals like Rich who have contributed to the health and worth of the chapter.

Each president probably arrives with the idea of introducing new initiatives or improving some aspect of the chapter, but other than the ongoing health of the chapter there's nothing tangible remaining from all but the most recent few.  And that's intentional, I think.  Each presidency lasts just one year and that just isn't enough time to make that big a mark.  Also, this isn't a big ego kind of deal.  It won't matter in a few years whose idea CSI2eye was as long as it continues to be a successful and value-bringing event.

I made a remark as I looked over the crowd last Tuesday that I expected and hoped a number of future presidents would emerge from that group.  Anyone who has dedication and affection for the chapter and a little time and energy (and can come up with an idea for what to write in the newsletter once a month) can do this job.  If you think that might be you but you haven't gotten involved in leadership yet, come to a board meeting and listen in.  We value your involvement.

March  2016

I’m starting to look at the last few months of my presidency both with a little sadness that it’s already ending, but also with a lot astonishment that the Chicago chapter was able to accomplish so much this year.   I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve had an energetic team that was willing to jump in, roll up their sleeves and work incredibly hard to plan all the events and develop the new initiatives.  In the next couple months I will need to start figuring out how to best thank everyone for all the amazing ideas, teamwork, and perseverance they gave to making it a successful year for me and Chicago CSI. 

In this letter I wanted to mention just a couple of initiatives that are completely new; one that is planned for this spring and another that will, with some persistent work and dedication, come into being next fall. 

Pat Duffy has put a great deal of thought and work into the first initiative: a 1-1/2 to 2 hour roundtable event that is a collaboration between CSI Chicago Chapter , the Building Enclosure Council – Chicago and the Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates (ASA Chicago).  This event will be held noon, May 13 in the Pella/EFCO showroom in the Merchandise Mart (with thanks to Chris Carpenter for offering the space).   The format for this event will be a panel discussion featuring a developer, general contractor, subcontractor, and consultant.  They will discuss the strategies and approaches used in preconstruction services, pricing, procuring and executing construction when faced with different project delivery methods, such as Design-Bid-Build, GMP, Design Build, or Design Assist.   Given that three organizations are participating, we anticipate that this will be a popular event.  Watch your email for more information and an invitation to register.

The other initiative was my own idea, but borrowed heavily from things that are happening in chapters around the country.  Last year Chicago chapter began offering scholarships to CDT candidates; the scholarships pay for the CDT course and book, the exam (if passed) and 1 year of membership.  In exchange recipients agree to serve on a chapter committee.  I approached our four CDT scholarship recipients, Charles Arko from SCB, Rebecca Greenberg from ESA, Bill Orlowski from ASI, and Noi Phonexayphova from Fitzgerald Associates with the suggestion they all form a new committee to help plan additional programs for next year that will have a young professional focus.   The idea is that the events should be fun and educational, low cost and high value.  The events might be similar to the Beer/Pizza Education Series that Portland chapter has been doing, for example, but during my discussion with “the scholars” they offered some great other ideas.  We should look forward to these ideas coming to fruition beginning in the next fiscal year.

Once again, I wish everyone a great month.  I look forward to seeing and talking to you all at our events this spring.

February  2016

Now that we’ve completed the holiday season, it seems like project work at my office is really ramping up.  Everyone is back from their vacations and are expending their January burst of energy.  I appreciate seeing that enthusiasm and being part of it.

CSI Chicago has jumped in to 2016 with both feet.  The CDT prep class is off and running.  We’re busily putting the finishing touches on plans for CSI2Eye, the Building Enclosure Event, the golf outing, and the rest of the year’s programs.  Last week Beth and I met Pete Dinschel, CSI and Vince Sticca at the Carpenters Training Center (CTC) to discuss details for our April 26 hands-on chapter program.  It’s hard to believe that Pete and I first discussed this idea at CONSTRUCT in Baltimore – way back in the fall of 2014 – and now it’s right around the corner.  To build some anticipation for this program, I wanted to share how the plans are coming together, and what participants can look forward to.

The CTC will open for us beginning at about 3:00 in the afternoon.  Anyone who wants to arrive that early will be treated to a guided tour of the facility, which will provide 1 CEU.  Those of us who were at the Greener By Design education and product show event a few years ago remember how big and impressive the CTC is, and that day we didn’t even get to see even a small percentage of the things they do there. 

For the hands-on training, we have elected to offer three options: framing a light-gage metal stud partition, hanging cabinets, or installing a knock-down HM drywall frame and wood door, with closer and lockset.  I think this would be an outstanding opportunity for tabletop sponsors to participate by showcasing the products that participants will actually be handling. 

While the Board meets at 4, other attendees are welcome to arrive and begin working on their selected project.  Work will pause at about 5, and we’ll gather for networking, refreshments and the business part of the chapter meeting.  Afterwards, we’ll resume working for about another hour.

Did I mention this is happening on April 26?  Yes, but it bears repeating: April 26.  Block out the whole afternoon if you can, and take advantage of this great opportunity.

January 2016

Last month I decided to spend a couple of these letters reflecting upon some of the ways that CSI has brought value to my career.  I discussed the educational opportunities I’ve taken advantage of, both formal education gained through attending programs and earning certifications, and informal education gained through building professional relationships with knowledgeable individuals.   Those professional relationships over time have provided another benefit - the opportunity to get to know the people (and hopefully to be one of the people) who are leading the industry to change and improve itself. 

Another thing that I’m really coming to appreciate is the leadership that the Chicago chapter brings to the institute.  As the largest chapter in the country, we’re called upon to put the quantity and quality of our talented members to use on behalf of institute and the industry as a whole.  As one example, during CONSTRUCT we were recognized by CSI with a technical award for the master painting specifications that we wrote and made available to our members.  Since the specification was recognized for an award and mentioned in the CSI Specifications Practice Group webinar, chapters all over the country are requesting copies of the spec. 

We have other opportunities to provide leadership and ideas for the institute and the industry, including the following: 

 ●        There are smaller chapters in the North Central Region and across the country which lack the resources to provide as much value to their members, and we have the ability to export some of our programs for their benefit.  At CONSTRUCT I made it known at our region caucus that Chicago chapter is ready to help however we can, and challenged other larger chapters to do the same.

 ●        During our recent holiday party, Randy Chapple, Drew Claussen and I came up with the idea for WebFormat, a proposal for a construction product website standard.  When used, it would have product manufacturers provide a CSI link to information pages that are uniformly arranged across manufacturers’ websites.  I’d like to see us push this idea forward.

As we move into 2016 and the spring chapter program season, I encourage everyone to share their ideas for how we can improve, lead and build our chapter’s influence.

December 2015

While trying to think about what I wanted to write in this month’s President’s Letter, it occurred to me that since July I’ve been writing about my goals for the year, or just promoting upcoming events.   Now that we’re in the middle of the year and more or less coasting a bit (coming up to the holiday break where nothing much goes on) I thought I’d pause and reflect on what being active in CSI has meant to me, personally.   This might even be worth two separate entries, as I can immediately think of two different ways that I’ve been impacted by CSI, and they’re both front-and-center to CSI’s mission: education and industry leadership.

I’ll focus on education this month.  Anyone who attends CSI events regularly has ample opportunities to be educated; every program we hold carries CEU credits and we attempt to make our programs’ content valuable, interesting and informative.  Furthermore, anyone studying for and taking CSI’s CDT or advanced certification exams gains significant and relevant industry knowledge.   That’s the obvious part, and of course I’m grateful to have taken advantage of and gained the benefit of all those learning opportunities. 

More valuable, however, is the education I’ve gained through all the relationships I’ve made.  CSI invites and encourages membership from the gamut of industry professionals.  Specifiers, engineers, architects, product reps, contractors and subcontractors all come to CSI with different perspectives, but each with the overall goal of improving communication between parties and technical proficiency of design.   For me, the conversations I’ve had with people in different industry segments have been extremely illuminating.   There has been no better education than those instances where I’ve had my own preconceptions burst, or found out how much detailed knowledge I’m ignorant of!  It has been humbling, but I’m comforted knowing those resources to add to my professional and personal knowledge are right here in CSI.

I encourage and challenge everyone to get involved and make more of your membership in CSI.  Of course, attend our programs and take CSI’s certification exams.  But most of all, take the time to talk to your fellow members; discuss your experiences in CSI, and ask them for their perspective on any issue on your mind, and I’m sure you’ll learn something new.

November 2015

There are a number of things going on right now worth writing about as we get into the heart of the CSI year.  I was happy to see at least a dozen and maybe more Chicago chapter members at CONSTRUCT earlier this month.  It helps that the convention was geographically convenient – St. Louis is a very quick drive or flight away, but it also tells me that a large number of our members find going to CONSTRUCT to be valuable.   I encourage all members to attend CONSTRUCT; next year it will be held in Austin, Texas from September 8 through 11.

Those of you who attended the awards ceremony at CONSTRUCT saw me on the stage three times (three times!) collecting awards for the Outstanding Chapter Commendation, Communications awards for our website and newsletter and a Technical award for our painting spec.  Like I mentioned earlier, I give full credit for those awards to our various committee members who put in the hard work to earn them.  Congratulations are certainly in order, in particular to Larry Nordin who chairs the Awards Committee that compiled the submissions, to Randy Chapple, who as chair of the Technical Committee oversaw writing the painting spec, and to Cathy and Beth who administer the website and compile the newsletter.  Not in attendance at the ceremony but deserving congratulations here as well was chapter Director Alan Itzkowitz, who was awarded the President’s Award by past CSI Past President Robert Simmons, for his work on the CSI Certifications Maintenance Group.

We’re approaching certification season for the chapter.  While the exams are not taking place until spring, the Certification Committee is busily getting ready to once again offer the CDT preparation class beginning in January.  If you haven’t earned your CDT or other advanced CSI certification, I strongly recommend it.  CSI certifications are a great way to show that you’ve developed your skills in construction document development and administration, specification writing, construction administration and communicating with design and contracting teams.  Registration for our CDT class is now open.

Looking ahead, our November chapter program will be at Cannon Design on November 17, where the topic will be HVAC impacts on building envelope design (and vise versa).   Mark your calendars for the annual holiday party, which will be held at LaBriola Café at 535 North Michigan Avenue on December 10.

October 2015

Autumn is a great time to be in CSI.  All the chapters are starting up a year’s worth of activities and Chicago Chapter is doing the same.  We’ve made it our mission to provide programs this year that appeal across the spectrum of our members’ interests and will be useful for everyone. 

Our first program fit right in.  We were treated to Dr. George Thompson’s discussion of using risk rather than hazard assessment for chemistry in building products.  This is a fairly controversial topic, since it goes against the stream of LEED v4 and its “red lists” that are based on hazard assessment.   Dr. Thompson described but did not demonstrate his web-based chemical risk database tool during the program, and since he could not demonstrate it he offered to conduct a webinar for interested participants who wish to see the database in action.  Watch for an announcement of that opportunity in upcoming weeks.

CONSTRUCT is the other fabulous CSI event in the fall season.  From September 30 through October 3, many hundreds of members will congregate in St. Louis for CSI business meetings, education, sharing ideas, and camaraderie.   It’s the best place to put faces to the names you see in messages from CSI staff and board members, and to talk one-on-one to the people who work on creating the practice group sessions, blogs, certification standards, and all the other things CSI does.   At the CONSTRUCT trade show, you’ll have an opportunity to meet manufacturers’ reps and learn about what’s new and exciting across the whole world of construction products.  I hope you have made it part of your annual CSI routine to attend CONSTRUCT.  If you didn’t make it this year, I encourage you to make a plan now to be in Austin a year from now.

Next month, as part of our chapter meeting on October 27 we will be hosting our new member appreciation event.  If you joined the chapter since the last time we held one (even if it was 2 whole years ago) you are welcome to attend.   Come meet your fellow new members as well as our board members and committee chairs.  It’s a great way to get acquainted.

I’m hoping to meet as many of you as I can at the events we’re holding this year.  If you see me but we haven’t met, step up and say hello.

September 2015

With schools starting up a new year and my own kids off to 9th grade, it feels like summer is nearing its end.  We still have a good few weeks left of warm weather, though, before we need to shrug on our autumn jackets.  So we should try to enjoy the season.   Also, like most summers, it has seemed too short and my family whiled away many days rather than engaging in things we planned to do.  Luckily, we’ll have activities saved up for next year.

Here in the chapter, our summer has been very productive.  Our schedule for the events of the coming year is filling out nicely.  Keep an eye in this newsletter as details of programs are published.   Among other tasks, we’ve been developing charters so each committee is aware of what is required of it, which we will carry forward year to year so that each new board and committee chair doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel.

The main thing I want to discuss in this month’s letter is how thrilled I am that we hired Beth Winkler as our new executive administrator.   I have to admit that I was very anxious about being president at the same time as we were getting a new EA up to speed.  Had we brought on anyone less talented, energetic and committed to learning the ins and outs of the organization than Beth has been, it would have made being president significantly more challenging. 

But instead of both of us fumbling through the year trying to either make stuff up or remember how Cathy might have handled something, given the rapidity with which Beth has learned the job, we’ve actually hit the ground running and are way past where I thought we’d be today in terms of organization, planning, and participation.   With Beth taking the lead we’ve already begun looking at making our behind the scenes processes more efficient.  We’ve started sharing information over Dropbox, for example, we’re setting up Hootsuite for social media, and developing an early-warning system for member expiration dates.   This has all allowed me to not worry about the administration of the chapter and instead focus on leading.

I’m looking forward to our first chapter meeting so that many of you will meet her.

*             *             *            

A little bit of Institute business: Many of our members have met and worked with Joy Davis, who has been the Twitter voice for CSI, guru of institute communication, member relations and leader development for quite some time.  She is leaving CSI effective August 27 to pursue new opportunities, which will leave a giant hole in the organization.   I encourage everyone who’s worked with her to drop her a line to offer your gratitude and wish her well.

With Joy’s departure, and the previous departure of all the other certification staff at Institute (Maya, Jen and Jessica), there is nobody there to handle certification issues for members.  Exams will still be offered this fall, but the following limitations are in place:

  • All exam registrations need to be completed online for now.

  • Boot Camps at CONSTRUCT have been cancelled.

  • CSI is not offering special exam windows at this time.

Andrea Zawodny, who is Certification Chair for the North Central Region, has offered to try to field member questions about certification as necessary.  She’s reachable by email at   Note that Chicago Chapter’s CDT class will be held as usual for the spring exam season.

August 2015

Summer is a time with not a lot of public face-time for the Chicago chapter.  Yes, we do have a golf outing (not until next summer, though) and we participate with Northern Illinois CSI on their White Sox outing, but mostly I’m looking forward to September, when we can get our events into swing.  In the meantime, while we all enjoy the nice warm weather, here are a few things that are happening behind the scenes at CSI.

The leaders of the chapter have been spending time meeting to plan events for the upcoming season, setting the fiscal year budget and working to organize ourselves to further our goals for the year.   Additionally, the board voted to submit for another Outstanding Chapter Commendation from CSI, whose submission deadline was July 15.  The Outstanding Chapter Commendation is awarded to chapters who meet a certain quantity of administration, membership, programming, financial, certification and communication criteria as set by Institute.  Chicago Chapter has earned this enough times to be at Silver level (between 10 and 20 times).

Last year, Institute replaced its membership database software, and as a result many renewal notices did not get mailed out.  CSI is catching up now but the damage to our membership rolls was fairly dramatic, as members neglected to renew.  The chapter’s membership committee has added a few people to help it recover those lapsed members, and we are going to be reaching out by email, phone, and, if necessary, by meeting in person to get as many people to renew as we can.  If you’re in this lapsed group, allow me to urge you to please renew your membership now.   Even if you’re certain that your membership is in good standing, log in to to double-check and also to see the new features that CSI has added to its membership website.

*             *             *

After I published my president’s letter last month, my good friend and CSI evangelist Cherise Lakeside -formerly Schacter - tweeted (follow me @EliasSaltzCSI and definitely follow @CheriseLakeside) to ask me where’s my #CSIKraken mission statement.  The origin of the CSI Kraken (legend has it) came about in Portland Chapter when Cherise and other members were trying to make changes or get something done, and another member muttered that someone “release the krakens.”

What that has come to mean is that there is now growing an informal movement of dedicated members looking to generate excitement, explore new ways to communicate, and to seek out and implement the best new ideas to make a positive impact on the organization (and the professions it serves).

As informal as the #CSIKraken movement is, my mission statement is equally informal (for now, anyway); simply: advocate for positive change and use my position and my voice to motivate and inspire others.  If you feel energetic and motivated, if you have bold ideas or goals for the chapter, and if you want to work hard to reach those goals, you are a #CSIKraken whether you know it or not.  I invite you to write (or better yet tweet) me to let me know you want to actively be a part of it.

Have a great month and I look forward to seeing you all in September!

July 2015

Most times when a new president takes the reins of the chapter and writes his or her first announcements for the newsletter, they start something like this: “I’m honored and humbled by the opportunity, and hope to do my best to continue bringing value to the membership of the institute and the chapter.”   I wholeheartedly concur with that sentiment, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.  I also thank Kurt Moehlmann for his excellent service last year.  Like I mentioned at the awards banquet in May, he was a valuable team member as Dewain, Cathy and I planned the bi-region conference because he trusted us to not spend the chapter into ruin, he completed the tasks we asked him to and otherwise kept out of our way.

There are a few top-of-my-list projects for the coming months, and I plan to get them in motion. In addition to planning and putting on the best events, chapter programs and roundtables possible to educate and bring value to our members and the AEC community at large, I would like to do the following:

  • Hold a special strategic planning meeting with Jeremy Olsen andMelissa Gibson, the next two anticipated presidents of the chapter, todetermine if there are any stretch goals to be set in motion andachieved or at least gaining momentum over the next three years.
  • Speak with all my committee chairs individually to make surethat the charters for the committees are clear, with regular tasksachievable and longer-term goals well described and set in motion.
  • Engage more closely with North Central Region leadership and theleadership of the region’s other chapters to see where Chicago Chapter,as the largest and most vibrant (if I do say so myself) chapter in theregion, can plug some of our energy and talent.  Look for more of mythoughts on this objective in the coming months.
  • Engage with more educational institutions to see if we can plugour members’ knowledge into curricula, and in exchange, to get a tasteof what exciting work is being done in the schools.
  • Hold programs and events with the participation of other industry groups, (subcontractors’ association, BEC, ASHRAE, etc.).
  • Challenge members who have not yet pursued a higher-level certification (CCS, CCPR, CCCA) to do so this year.

To help complete these tasks, I am fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers on the board and committees.  The board this year includes Jeremy Olsen, Melissa Fiore, Melissa Gibson, Stuart Berger, Deb Burkhart, Chris Walsh, Drew Clausen, Kira Rogatnik, Tim Blatner, Peter Grotenhuis, Alan Itzkowitz, Pat Duffy and Kurt Moehlmann.  Our NCR director is Matt Nordloh.

I’m also excited that we will have the enthusiastic support of Beth Winkler, our talented new Executive Administrator who I hope you will all get a chance to say hello to at an upcoming event.   Beth is currently working with Cathy to transition the chapter’s information, policies and procedures.

There are a few financial challenges for the year ahead.  Primarily, the Union League Club, our longtime home for chapter meetings, is drastically increasing its food price for our events.  We are in the hunt for alternative venues and if you have any suggestions I welcome you to send them to me.  Despite the ULC price increase, the board decided to keep dues at the same level they were last year, anticipating that we will find a less expensive meeting venue, hold more meetings in architects’ offices or, if worst comes to worst, charge a token amount for the meal at meetings.  Given this, I promise to be a good steward of the chapter’s limited resources.  The executive committee will be meeting later this summer to prepare the budget for the fiscal year.

I look forward to seeing and speaking with many of you at our events in the coming year!


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