December 21, 2011
By Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA
AIA NJ Regional Director ’11-‘13
I have just returned from the final ‘11 National Board Meeting. This is the completion of my first of a three year commitment as your Regional Director. It has been an eye opening experience to witness the way OUR institute is organized and how your leaders focus on the important issues that face the organization and in turn on OUR profession as ARCHITECTS.
The year started with the appointment of Robert A. Ivy, Jr., FAIA Executive Vice President/CEO of the Institute. I am sure many of you know of Robert’s accomplishments with McGraw-Hill and as Editor of Architectural Record. We could not have a better manager than a man who has been an advocate for the profession for his entire career, first as a practicing architect and later in his roll with the McGraw-Hill. Robert was himself a member of the Board over a decade ago, so he is experienced with the way the operation works. In this position, he is charged with the day to day running of the institute, managing the many departments, over 200 employees and a budget of nearly 60 million dollars.
I am part of the Class of 2013. We call ourselves the “Original 13” in honor of the original founders of AIA some 154 years ago. We of course come from all over the country, are made up of firm owners, (large and small), corporate architects, and educators. A good mix, for sure and we have made our mission to increase the public’s understanding of what we do for a living and the architecture we create. Our first year was about getting familiar with the process and working on various committees.
At this last meeting, I chaired a Class Dinner where we had a discussion of now entering our middle year of service, what we do next? I am glad to report that the emphasis of this energetic group will be on the Emerging Professional and the mentoring process. Our goal is to help increase the participation of our young people into the organization and service the needs of the profession that they will inherit. I have been a proponent of the EP’s as I fondly refer to them and I hope that the 2012 leadership of the Sections will see fit to send as many of these young people to AIA’s best program, the Grassroots Leadership Conference in early March.
At Grassroots, I will have the opportunity to hold an annual Regional Meeting. I have asked Phil Simon, AIA’s Director of Communication to have Ned Cramer, Editor of ARCHITECT the magazine of AIA to be available to us. I have had numerous requests from members about the approach of the magazine and its newswire service. Please join me for this important meeting (time and meeting room, will be provided via a future E-mail to attendees) and have your concerns and questions answered.
Architects are skilled professionals who listen to you, interpret your wishes, help realize your building dreams, and add value at every stage of a project.