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Michael Kipley, CSI, CCPR
President July 2010 - June 2011

June 2011 No President's Letter

May 2011 President's Letter
Is it Spring yet?  The Winter Aconite in the front yard had a good run poking up through the snow, the Irish tri color flew from the porch on St Patrick’s Day, a platoon of landscape professionals trained their leaf blowers on my block but left all the Daffodils standing and yet, despite such harbingers of Spring, I’m cruelly reminded that the snow scraper left my car a wee bit early by measurable snow in the middle of April; who would have figured?
It was recently announced that the partnership between our chapter and the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA) that organized and presented an annual trade show and conference for over a decade has ended.  Although disappointing to some this change represents a great new opportunity for the Chicago Chapter of CSI.  The concept of annually broadening our contact with the Chicago Construction Community still has merit as it supports our mission of successful construction projects.  Given that there is no dearth of professional associations in our area, a new opportunity for service and benefit will be forthcoming.  But, we could use a good idea.  The first person to deliver a solution that I find practical or one that is deemed really amusing by the President Elect and me gets a twenty dollar Starbucks card

April 2011 No President's Letter
March 2011 No President's Letter

February, 2011
It’s winter in Chicago.  Unless you light out for Northwest Indiana there is not a lot of snowshoeing, cross country skiing or tobogganing around here.  Although it is cold enough to skate outdoors, indoor activities have a renewed appeal.  I attended the Professional Roundtable on Architectural Exposed Structural Steel in January.  Monika Shripka from the American Institute of Steel Construction spoke and brought along a few fabricator/erector subcontractors just to keep the program interesting.  Too often conversations between Design Professionals and Contractors occur at an increased volume as somebody’s wallet is at stake.  The exchange of ideas and experiences was quite lively with insights and benefits for all participants.  I had to leave at the conclusion for another meeting but small groups had formed and discussion was continuing.

The following week I attended the Industry Roundtable on Achieve Certification in Continuing Education.  Jim Saxton co-presented with Katie Kaluzny from the Chicago Chapter of USGBC.  Although concerned that the presentation would not occupy a full hour, Jim and Katie discovered that the attendees were not the least bit shy about asking questions.  The group broke up after an hour and a quarter with a much clearer understanding of the processes involved in having presentations certified by AIA or USGBC.

The days are getting longer but we won’t dream of spring until Saint Patrick’s Day.  In the meantime, take advantage of your Roundtables, the Building Envelope program and Chapter meetings.

January 2011

Kristen Henriksen and Tabitha Ruiz certainly know how to throw a party!  Sorry if you weren’t able to attend the Holiday party at The Joynt on December 8th.  Oh sure, I lost my handkerchief to the scavenger hunt but it was a small price to pay.  After all, I did learn that we have colleagues who are willing and skilled to sing back up to a notable Blues/Gospel/talent.  While others, or were these the same folks, eschewed inhibition on the dance floor and then on stage.  Clearly interested in a low profile after sweeping the raffle last year, Team Mapei was satisfied with a token award or two.  The idea of next year’s party including a full contact silent auction was tabled when Nolan Day expressed enthusiasm.  Apparently a low center of gravity is very intimidating.


As a five oh (owe?) “something-something”, your Chapter depends on membership and a couple of annual events to stay afloat.  Unless, of course, the Union League Club should agree to provide services in exchange for some really good, organic produce freshly harvested from Michelle Goodeve’s garden.  As that scenario is unlikely and given that the local construction market is currently providing a contemporary impression of agriculture in the Dust Bowl 1930’s, your Chapter has been soliciting ideas that will produce revenue.  A variety show or book on the Zen of Product Representation didn’t make it past the first round of discussion.  Obviously we’re open to other notions if you think you can top these, Mr/Ms Smarty Pants.

At our last Board Meeting I mentioned that no one and I mean NO ONE reads the President’s letter.  Nobody picked a fight with me.  The first person (excluding Cathy Beazley.  Sorry!)  to contact me gets a $20 Starbucks card (847.736.2267)

December 2010
I was able to attend GreenBuild and help out at the CSI Booth along with several folks from the Institute in Virginia (A.K.A. Washington D.C.).  Quite a few of our members volunteered to staff the booth and were rewarded by steady interest from visitors as well as familiar professional and industry faces from our chapter stopping in to say hello.  To facilitate volunteer participation, the Institute gave us several Exhibit Hall passes.  The check in system was vastly superior to the last time GreenBuild was in Chicago and I was quickly whisked along to receive my badge in seconds instead of hours.
“Hello Michael, can you show us a picture I.D.?” asked the receptionist with a smile.
I handed over my Illinois Drivers License as I don’t have a concealed firearm permit and am not certain it has a picture.  As things developed it was probably just as well.
“Here’s your badge, Michael” the receptionist said and passed me a plastic case with a clip and safety pin on the back.
“I take my jacket on & off a lot.  Can I have a lanyard please?” I asked.  The smile left her face before she replied calmly.
“I’m sorry, but your pass cannot have a lanyard.”
“What’s wrong with my pass?” I asked with a smile.
“Nothing.  Your pass just cannot have a lanyard.”  She replied seriously.
“You’re kidding.”  I smiled.
“No.  I’m sorry, but your pass cannot have a lanyard.”
“But…,” I started
I’m sorry, but I don’t make the rules.  Your pass cannot have a lanyard.”
Poor pass!
I thought to myself,  “Humph! At Construct 2010 they gave me a second lanyard when the clasp broke on the first one”  but decided to keep it to myself.
The Annual Holiday Party is on December 8th at The Joynt on Erie & Dearborn.  I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to see if Heather Yario can sweep the raffle winnings two years in a row.  Hope you’re curious as well.

November 2010
I can read and, if you’ve gotten this far, so can you.  A colleague and I were attending a CEU presentation.  The speaker presented the first PowerPoint slide and began to read the text.  I passed a note to my friend; “Sorry I spent so much time in grammar school.”   If I did not NEED to learn how to read I could’ve spent the time developing a killer pitching arm, made millions and retired young.  Distracted from both reading and listening, I planned to abduct the speaker , truss him like a Thanksgiving turkey and leave him locked in a men’s room stall at Second City with a note “Do Not Release Before Developing Clever Patter For Presentations!”

However, I did like it when my Mom read to me.  But that was quite some time ago.

From the Walkman to the portable CD player and now the iPod, I have been a devotee of audio books.  It is an effective method for utilizing the time spent doing mindless tasks like folding laundry or weeding the garden.  Always on the lookout for content, I thought it might be interesting to have technical articles transferred to audio.  Since CSI is a not for profit organization perhaps some celebrated voices would be inclined to read “pro bono.”  I am thinking Bollards:  Providing Security, Safety and Design Value read by Sean Connery, Thermal and Moisture Control with Metal Panel Walls as performed by Robin Williams or Oprah Winfrey providing her interpretation of Duct Liners for Acoustic Control and Indoor Air Quality.  Closer to home,  I would definitely plunk down the cost of an early bird movie ticket for an audio version of Special Inspections, IBC Chapter 17:  What Does It Mean and When Is It Required? read by Jeff Tolle.  I mean, he’s got a great voice!

We all need CEU’s to maintain our professional certifications and accreditations and would like to expand our knowledge.   It just shouldn’t have to be painful.

It’s November and besides Thanksgiving there are Professional and Industry Roundtables, the monthly chapter meeting with a presentation on King Abdullah University of Science & Technology and Trivia Night at the Green Door Tavern.  I look forward to seeing you!

October 2010
Attending the NCR Conference at Lambeau Filed in Green Bay, WI, I noticed a t shirt with the following phrase on the back, “CSI - Construction Specs NOT Crime Scene Investigation” and it got me thinking about acronyms.  Are they fast shortcuts?  You bet!  Are the understandable?  Not always.

The next day Randy Chapple and I were discussing opportunities to partner with other professional organizations. 
“Well, we’ve worked with ALA & USGBC, but we could also talk to CBC, AGC or ASC, ” he spelled.  “There’s BEC,” he said. 
“BEC ?” I asked 
“Yeah, you know B-E-C, Building Enclosure Council” he explained. 
“Oh.  I knew that!”  BEC, it’s like BIM, sometimes you spell it but sometimes you say it.
This week I learned about ARPA-E,  IGCC and met a guy from DHI.
My brother used to confound staff with his capricious use of abbreviations.  
“C, M & I are going out for a Q B to E.  GB!”  he’d call while heading out the door.  Translation:  “Cindy, Michael & I are going out for a quick bite to eat.  Good bye!”  Not exactly clear, complete or concise but he usually got a smile.

This month is our 12th Annual Architectural Conference & Product Show in Oakbrook Terrace.  There 15 seminars where you can earn up to 6 LU’s and + 90 exhibitors ready to display the latest in products, materials and systems.  I am hopeful to see you there!



August, 2010
“May you live in interesting times” Chinese proverb.  Well, we certainly have that going for us.   The “Sturm und Drang” brought on by an economy that nobody has seen before, only points up the important time to stay connected and active in CSI.

Those folks looking for their next opportunity have quickly learned the value of networking.  The Chicago Chapter is a terrific opportunity to stay connected to our industry at monthly Meetings and Roundtables. Your Program and Roundtable Committees have great opportunities planned for the upcoming year to assist you in staying informed.  Be certain to visit the CSI Chicago Chapter website regularly for topics, dates and locations.

This is also a most interesting time for the construction industry.  Controversy continues to surround the building envelope and few of us will migrate away from a discussion of moisture and vapor barriers.  New requirements for energy efficiency have lead to the introduction of new products and systems that are meeting the needs of the built environment.  Increased public awareness of the impact that buildings have on the environment has expanded the list of problems and potential solutions that must be sorted through. BIM won’t be the only acronym you’ll need to be familiar with this year.  What better forum than CSI to discuss with colleagues all of these challenges? 

As you’re enjoying August, the last month of summer, keep in mind that we will be hosting Construct 2011 a little over a year from now.  Chicago is arguably the best city to live or visit and I would be most pleased to lead the debate.  I am hopeful you’ll take an active role in hosting our CSI guests from around the country.

This begins my year as your CSI Chicago Chapter President.  I look forward to serving you.



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