February 2010’s Letter from Jane

AIA/SC is off to a busy start in 2010.  On January 7th, section leadership and the state board met for our planning retreat.  Twenty-five of us were inspired by Dr. Benjamin Dunlap, President of Wofford College.  After lunch we broke into small groups and worked on our plans for 2010.  One focus of AIA/SC this year is on marketing AIA/SC to everyone in South Carolina.  Our goal is for everyone that has a building or planning project to say “I NEED an AIA/SC Architect.”  Some of our initiatives include a new blog edited by Emerging Professionals Director, Justin Abrams, an AIA/SC Facebook page and our revamped newsletter edited by new Upstate Director, Meg Terry.

The newsletter will be a monthly publication with articles ranging from section news and photos; member profiles, such as member’s artistic endeavors and service on civic boards; firm awards and other entities; AIA/SC and section calendar; outside events of interest to AIA members such as tour of homes or continuing education opportunities; to a report on the State Board’s activities.  If you have any information to be included or interested in writing for either the blog or the newsletter, please contact Holly .

Past President, Steve Coe; President-elect, Todd Reichard; Interim Executive Director, Adrienne Montare; Regional Director Ed Zeigler, Young Architect Regional Director, David Burt, our counter-parts in North Carolina and Georgia and I met for the South Atlantic Region Council Meeting in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on January 15th and 16th.  We had a wrap up of the SAR Convention, approved the 2010 SAR budget, updated the SAR Bylaws and policy manual and heard all about the activities happening in each state.  Our own, Adrienne and David were on the winning cook-off chili team with a perfect score of 15.  The first ever at Graylyn Conference Center.

Our first board meeting of 2010 on Thursday, January 21st kicked off with an in-depth discussion with our new lobbyist, Patty Pierce.  The hot issues this year are job creation, tort reform, interior design legislation, and once again stock school plans.  Keith Sanders is the new Government Affairs Director and will keep us up-to-date on these issues.

Secretary/Treasurer, David Moore reported that we had a strong finish to 2009 with increased membership from 2008 and a “profit” of $50,000.  The membership numbers for 2010 are tracking way behind normal so we encourage anyone that has not renewed to please do so.

New board members, Seth Cantley and Luke McCary are researching ways we can partner with Architecture for Humanity both here in South Carolina and Haiti and other outreach opportunities.  Dean Trakas will be representing AIA/SC at the Clemson Department of Architecture faculty meetings; so call Dean for the inside scoop on Clemson.

Board member, Scott Powell is working with our long time magazine editor, Michael Ruegamer on this year’s edition.  Joe Bace continues his work with allied professionals and Tom Parker is chairing the Design Awards.

Sadly, Connie Dyer Zafiris had to resign her position on the board due to increased commitments at her firm.  We welcome back, Margie Longshore, who filled a partial term in 2008 before serving as AIA Charleston President last year.  Margie will coordinate with the Charleston College of Building Arts in their efforts to start a charter high school.

Steve Coe, arranged for a representative of the group health division of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of SC to make a presentation to the Board about AIA/SC offering a group health plan.  We established a task force to look into our options and will present our findings to the membership in a few months.

Finally, 16 South Carolinians went to Washington, D.C. February 3-5 for Grassroots.

A special thanks goes to our recently retired board members, Past President, Michael Watson, Marc Warren, David Burt, and Connie Dyer Zafiris.

AIA/SC is your association so please let us, the board and staff, hear from you.

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