by Rick Bell FAIA Executive Director AIA New York
The voting for officers took place in the AIA Town Square on the AIA Expo2010 floor of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Delegates who were accredited to vote cast their ballots after seeing many of the booths on the trade show floor. It was good to see those whose support of the AIA, nationally and locally, has made it possible for the Institute to do as much as it does in these challenging times. People voted with their feet, stopping to visit with old AIA friends, including Hafele and Trespa, and new ones, such as Toto and Onyx. Eventually the great majority of delegates, if not all, found their way to the voting booths, where Pam Day, Hon. AIA, and Jay Stephens, Esq., assured that no electioneering took place, and that the voting was conducted in a reasonable and linear fashion — no hanging chads for the AIA in Florida!
The AIA New York Chapter cast its votes based on collegial discussions with our colleagues in the New York State caucus, and after a close read of the candidates’ materials. The speeches and responses to questions also helped clarify leadership potential and vision for the future. Dreiling stressed the importance of AIA members and her long experience as both a volunteer as the National Board Vice President, and service on national staff. Andrejko spoke of the need for better communication, collaboration, and connection to community. Padilla addressed the importance of early design education for students in Kindergarten through high school, as well as the role of AIA Components. Potter spoke of the importance of design, the need to help emerging professionals, and how professional advocacy and affirmation can be used to advance our ethical posture. Voting as a bloc has become something of a tradition in New York State, yet a vibrant debate informed the decisions made by each Chapter and its delegates.
Election results were announced at a gathering on the mezzanine level of the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Those elected were:
– Jeffery Potter, FAIA, AIA Dallas, for First Vice President/2011 President-elect
– Dennis A. Andrejko, FAIA, AIA Buffalo/Western New York, for Vice President
– John A. Padilla, AIA, AIA Santa Fe, for Vice President
– Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, AIA Blue Ridge Chapter, for Secretary
They, and the candidates who did not succeed in gathering enough votes for election, including Pamela J. Loeffelman, FAIA, of AIA New York; Frederick F. Butters, Esq., FAIA, of AIA Detroit; and David Del Vecchio, AIA, of AIA New Jersey, all ran spirited and intelligent campaigns, marked by a focus on real issues.
The process of voting was easier than in prior years. The good choices presented, including the candidacy of a favorite daughter of AIA New York, made the decisions harder than ever.