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December 19, 2012
by Joseph Aliotta AIA LEED AP

Event: 2013 AIA New York Board Inaugural
Location: Center for Architecture, 12.11.12
Speakers: Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, 2012 AIANY President; Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, 2013 AIANY President
Remarks: Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director
Organizer: AIANY

What follows are adapted remarks from the 2013 Inaugural.

Looking back over the past year, I am proud and humbled by all that our Board and volunteers have done to enhance our advocacy profile, increase our membership, and expand the professional services offered at the Center for Architecture. Firstly, the entire region has suffered from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. The design community must take the lead on how to design for resiliency. Reconstruction is an ongoing process. Initiatives and information will continue to evolve. To keep abreast of the changes, please visit AIANY’s Sandy Recovery website.

My presidential theme, “Future Now,” was conceived as an opportunity to envision the future of our profession and building environment by addressing its most profound challenges. Working collaboratively with the New Practices and the Emerging New York Architects Committees, we highlighted the skills, goals, and concerns of young professionals through exhibits, conferences, and programs. Congratulations to ENYA, New Practices, and all their great work this year!

On the advocacy front, the Chapter continues to actively engage government leaders, while also providing expert testimony on issues of importance to the profession. Recent topics include sustainable design policies for federal buildings; federal Transportation Reauthorization legislation; protecting the profession from rules designed to require architects to register as lobbyists; recommendations on how the city can meet the housing needs of older New Yorkers; and working with the Department of Buildings to improve rules for minimum drawing standards. We are committed to advocating for the future of the built environment, and enabling the unique vision of the architect to shape the city at all levels.

Back on LaGuardia Place, to accommodate even more exhibitions and member activities, we expanded our facility into the adjacent storefront at 532. Indeed, we’ve had so many great programs that it’s hard to pick out a few to highlight. Committee programs are the lifeblood of the Chapter, and bring a wide range of expertise and intellectual content to the Center. We thank all our active committee members for their incredible hard work and devotion to the Chapter’s programming.

It was also a great year for Archtober, New York City’s annual Architecture and Design Month, which concluded its second year. This year’s festival of architectural activities, programs, and exhibitions was even more successful than the last. 47 collaborating institutions presented 216 programs and 24 exhibitions encompassing architecture and design.

The Chapter ended the year in a strong financial position, thanks in large part to the fundraising efforts of Board members and committees. This year’s Heritage Ball welcomed more than 1,200 guests to Chelsea Piers, and grossed $1.3 million to support the programs, exhibitions, and events of the Chapter, Foundation, and Center for Architecture. And while our fundraising events are critical, we could never achieve the work we do at the Center without the generosity of direct supporters to our exhibitions and programs.

In that vein, I would like to congratulate Andy Frankl, Hon. AIA NYS, for receiving the Chapter’s Award of Service for spearheading the first-ever AIANY Golf Outing at Baltusrol, and for his dedication to the Center. I would also like to congratulate Felipe Guerrero, AIA, for receiving the ENYA Merit Award, which recognizes his significant contributions to AIANY at an early stage in his career.

Service awards also were conferred to many Chapter members this fall at the AIA New York State Convention. Congratulations to all who were recognized by AIA New York State, including the many firms that won design awards this year.

Finally, I would like to thank our Chapter leaders – the 2012 AIA New York Board. The Chapter’s and Center’s success would not have been possible without your efforts. And, of course, we recognize the efforts of our outgoing Board members. Throughout your tenure, you have made countless contributions that have helped our organization reach new heights.

It is now my honor to pass the gavel to Jill Lerner, FAIA, our 2013 Chapter President. Jill is a principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox where she leads the design of academic, medical, and research facilities for the international practice. She has led the design of numerous award-winning projects for public and private clients throughout the United States and abroad. Jill’s work overseas has set the stage for her 2013 Theme: “Global City/Global Practice.”

We look forward to your leadership in the coming year and working with you to help AIA New York and the Center for Architecture reach higher!

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