Component leadership from across the state, region, and country assembled in Washington DC over the past several days to meet with congressional leaders, obtain continuing education, and to learn of new initiatives, efforts, or programs of the Institute. AIA Ohio was well represented with leadership from every chapter in attendance and over twenty representatives from across the state. The focus of the program was of course the economy, with AIA’s Blueprint for Economic Recovery being the platform of issues presented to members of the House and Senate.
AIA Ohio, including members of our staff and Executive Committee, local chapter President-Elects, Regional Director, and our State and Regional Associate Directors, met with representatives of Senator Voinovich’s office as well as that of Senator Brown and presented the need for each program. Other leaders from throughout the state met with many of the local representatives or their staff to relay the need and importance of implementing programs that will encourage job growth in the hard-hit design and construction industry. This year’s program, and the issues discussed, are at the heart of the needs of our industry and membership. Hopefully, with a continued effort on the part of the Institute, leadership, and members, this years program will be defined as an important piece of the economic recovery puzzle.
As many are aware, probably the biggest news from DC was not the issues, or the strategic plan, but rather, SNOW. With descriptions of “historic”, “shelter in place” and “near blizzard conditions”, the Grassroots events and programs became less of a concern to many late Thursday, as efforts and energy were redirected to schedule earlier flights before the predicted 18″-26″ arrived this evening. With those conditions pending, the Institute presented the results of many, many months of hard work by the Institute Board and many members throughout the country, with a preview of the new strategic plan. This plan, which will be more fully released to chapters in an online toolkit in about a month, includes a well thought-out matrix of goals and initiatives termed the “Weave”. At first review, this new services and goals driven plan appears to be one of the best planning efforts by the Institute in recent memory to define the Institute’s direction, and the toolkit should be a great instrument for components to use to implement their own strategic path.
While we were saddened that the weather hampered this years program, we believe that all that attended were able to take home important and relevant information. With this in hand, our leadership will be better informed on ways to meet the goals and initiatives of the AIA, and our local components will be better able to serve our members and communities.