January 12, 2010
by: Emily Nemens

In this issue:
· Last Chance to Apply for 2010 Community Board Positions
· 2010 Call for Nominations: AIA College of Fellows
· Join AIANYS on a 2010 Committee
· Passing: Cheri Melillo, Hon. AIA

Last Chance to Apply for 2010 Community Board Positions
Architects, urban designers, landscape architects, and urban planners are urgently needed to join NYC’s Community Boards. Half of Manhattan’s 600 community board seats are up for appointment in 2010, and this Friday, 01.15.10 (postmarked), is the application deadline for positions. Community board members represent their neighborhood’s interests on a range of issues, including development, land use, zoning, and the delivery of city services, and the professional expertise of architects can be a valuable asset. While it is a major time commitment, and the application process is a competitive one (the Manhattan borough office is anticipating three applications for every open spot), it is an opportunity to shape one’s neighborhood and give back to the community through effective community-based planning. Details on applying to one of Manhattan’s 12 community boards can be found here. Information on applying in other boroughs can be found on AIANY’s advocacy page.

2010 Call for Nominations: AIA College of Fellows
The AIANY Chapter Fellows Committee is accepting recommendations for nominees to fellowship. Advancement to the AIA College of Fellows is granted for significant achievement in design, preservation, education, literature, and service. Fellowship honors architects who have been members for 10 or more years and who have made contributions to architecture and society on a national level. (View the list of AIANY members who are fellows here).

The process starts with this call for recommendations, submitted to the AIANY Fellows Committee (the 2010 committee includes: Stanley Stark, FAIA, Chair, HDR/CUH2A; David Burney, FAIA, NYC Department of Design & Construction; Michael Gabellini, FAIA, Gabellini Sheppard Associates; Frank Greene, FAIA, Ricci Greene Associates; Peter Samton, FAIA, Gruzen Samton; and Sylvia Smith, FAIA, FXFOWLE Architects). The committee, responsible for facilitating the candidacy process, will assess the submitted suggestions, make their own invitations, and recommend candidates for Board approval, with the Chapter’s final nominations being sent to AIA National in early fall 2010. The Fellowship Committee will be accepting recommendations through 02.05.10, and portfolio invitations will be sent out shortly thereafter, with an information session organized on portfolio submission later in February. Visit the Fellows Committee page for more information on the committee, the timeline, and the full procedure of the nomination process. Contact the committee or Suzanne Mecs (smecs@aiany.org) if you need help connecting with a member.

Join AIANYS on a 2010 Committee
AIA New York State is looking for new members for eight of its committees: Associates; Convention Steering; Government Advocacy; Membership Inclusiveness; Planning; Budget & Finance; Personnel; Public Advocacy; and Student Award/Scholarship.

In 2009, the Associates Committee worked to improve communications and relations with associates, and developed programming for associates at the AIANYS convention. Long-term goals include helping AIANYS address the needs of interns (workplace, IDP, and licensure). The Convention Steering Committee prepared AIANYS for the 2009 conference in Rochester, while the 2010 committee will help select presentations and speakers for the 2010 convention in Buffalo.

The Government Advocacy Committee works in Albany to promote the legislative interests of architects, including the Chapter’s annual Lobby Day. In 2009, their efforts also included the successful support of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, which promotes the rehabilitation of historic buildings.

The Membership Inclusiveness Committee works towards increasing the diversity of membership by reaching out to minority members, students, educators, and non-traditional practitioners.

Both the Planning Budget & Finance Committee and the Personnel Committee help the staff of AIANYS operate the organization while maintaining a balanced budget.

The AIANYS Public Advocacy committee identifies advocacy initiatives to pursue at the state level.

The Student Awards/Scholarship Committee oversees an annual Awards program for NYS architecture students.

If you are interested in joining any of these committees, please Heidi Benjamin at hbenjamin@aianys.org for more information.

Passing: Cheri Melillo, Hon. AIA
By Patricia M. Leyden, CDFA

With distinction from Northwestern University, Cheri C. Melillo, Hon. AIA, received her BS in Theater in 1971. Her career encompassed acting and 24 years as administrator Butler Rogers Baskett Architects (BRB). While employed at BRB, during her membership in the Society for Design Administration (SDA), Cheri created and was editor-in-chief of the SDA award winning news journal, SkyLines. She also instituted the SDA’s Lunch-Time Tours and Administrative Round-Table Program.

During her tenure as the SDA’s National Public Relations Chair, she developed the internationally renowned food charity “CANstruction.” She served as Volunteer President and Executive Director of CANstruction for 17 years. It was her passion and a true labor of love. She mentored teams of architects, engineers, and students who competed to design and build self-supporting sculptures made with cans of food. The results are displayed to the public as giant pop art sculptures in each city where a competition is held. The public is invited to donate canned food to view the exhibitions. When the structures are dismantled, all of the canned food is donated to local food banks. At the time of her death, more than 140 cities from the U.S. to Australia were participating by holding competitions. Thirteen million pounds of food have already been donated to food banks.

Cheri’s vision of introducing students to the design/build professions by bringing CANstruction into school systems is now becoming a reality. Students incorporate art and design, math, geometry, engineering, 3-D rendering, construction, and project management. CANstruction will have the ability to stimulate the next generation of construction professionals, while teaching them the importance of performing community service.

In 2000, Cheri was made an Honorary Member of the AIA for her work in developing, marketing, and promoting CANstruction. In 2009, on behalf of CANstruction, she accepted the Creativity of the Mind Award from “The Odyssey of the Mind,” and a Public Service award from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). She was an honoree at the 2009 City Harvest Practical Magic Ball in NYC, and in the past has been honored by The Food Bank for NYC and The Society for Marketing Professional Services. This past fall, she was nominated for the New York Post Liberty Award in the Lifetime Achievement category.

Cheri was the “go to” person on a wide range of subjects and she always had an answer to any question — be it about HR or administrative issues, or organizing the easiest way to track professional credits. She developed an effective tracking system for professional development hours and gave it to SDA National to offer as an organization product. If Cheri did not have the answer, she knew whom to ask and she would make sure that that the answers were shared with us all.

Cheri always gave 100%. Through her hard work and dedication CANstruction will live on, and every year we will remember her and miss her presence as we work on putting the competition together. We are all the better for having known her — her sense of humor, her incredible energy and knowledge, and her presence. She touched all of our lives in so many positive ways and we will all be the poorer for her absence.

Cheri was born on 02.04.49, in Muskego, WI. She is survived by her husband Bruce E. Melillo, son Brion John van Over, mother Rosalind Couture, and brother Gary Couture.

The family has requested that contributions in Cheri’s name be made to CANstruction at www.canstruction.com.

Patricia M. Leyden, CDFA, is the President of the NY Chapter of the Society for Design Administration and Vice President of Administration at WSP Flack+Kurtz.


Our website has detected that you are using a browser that will prevent you from accessing certain features. An upgrade is recommended to experience. Use the links below to upgrade your exisiting browser.