It’s Saturday morning and it is now apparent that we have finally made it through the holidays and into the new year.  The sun is shining (a rareity), we finally got around to having the office holiday party yesterday evening (think of it as the national championship, it always seems to get further into the new year), and my boys are scampering around the house doing chores in hopes that if they work hard enough, in two or three hours, they will complete the half hour of work ahead of them.  And finally, I keep humming the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, due in part to the fact that I probably watched “Elf”, or parts of it, at least 15 times over the holidays and partly because of the 22 degree “warm-up” outside.

The start of 2010 also provides us however, with the opportunity to implement some programs we have been planning over the past year, to welcome new board members to the organization, and to continue to explore the direction AIA Ohio will move and how our efforts will be integrated with the Institute’s Strategic Plan and the individual plans of each of the seven chapters.  National Grassroots will be held in Washington DC in early February and time and energy will be focused on programming, including the state convention in Toledo, and the state grassroots.  We will look at efforts to increase the frequency of regional conventions, continue to improve communications, and to review and implement policies that direct our legislative efforts.

AIA Ohio President-elect Steve Shinn, AIA, and I hope to once again visit each chapter and hope to have the opportunity to meet with not only the board, but when possible, with the membership.   Through contact with all of the components officers, directors and members, we can better direct our efforts to meet member and client needs.  With the implementation of the President’s Quarterly Conference call, advanced agenda distribution, and continuted work on efforts initiated last year, we will adapt to the conditions that affect our profession.  This past year has significantly affected our profession, but we are encouraged that as the economy improves we, both AIA and our firms, will be better positioned to be leaders in design and on construction matters.

While we start a new year, we do need to look back for one brief moment and express our sincere “Thank You” to Paul Hollenbeck, AIA, who so effectively served AIA Ohio as last year’s President.  Paul worked hard to meet the needs of the members and the organization and his efforts continue to produce positive results.  I appreciate all the efforts he made to help me prepare for this year and his counsel and continued input as a member of the Board will be warmly welcomed.  While the current thought is “One AIA”, we need to continue to remind ourselves that “one” is made up of the efforts of many, and I thank each and every member for what you have contributed to the Institute, your chapter, or AIA Ohio and look forward to what we can do together in 2010.