July 20, 2021
Welcome, friends! I am humbled and honored to be addressing you all tonight.
On March 11, 2020 while in transit back from a much-needed vacation I juggled a series of frantic phone calls with my partner and our IT team, to ensure our office would be able to go fully remote the next day. And, as it was for many of you, that was it. No more in-person gatherings: the world became one of Zoom, WebEx, and Teams meetings for everything from client calls to staff huddles, to the ever-important call to Mom. (Hi, Mom!)
But the pandemic did more than just separate us from each other physically and socially. Let us take a moment of silence to remember those we have lost over the last year and a half, and also in this moment think about how grateful we all are to be spending this special evening together after so long apart. [Pause] Thank you.
Tonight is a night to honor service and professional excellence, including those of our current and past trustees, board members, and presidents for their service to our chapter. In that vein, it is especially good to see past president Jerry Eben is here tonight. Jerry, we are all so glad you are feeling better and able to join us in celebration.
I would also like to congratulate all of tonight’s honorees. The awards we present tonight for service and design illustrate a commitment to the profession that elevates all of us.
I would also like to ask all of the FAIA members present to stand up, if you would. For a lifetime of service and commitment to architecture and design, you deserve to be recognized – please, a round of applause for our Fellows.
I’m not sure what my parents saw in me that inspired them to give me a box of wood, a hammer, nails, and a saw for my fourth birthday. Not only was I very young,
but I had also just given my older brother a black eye. But they did, and it put me on a path that has brought me here today.
My father in particular foresaw that I would wind up starting my own business, long before I could have imagined the thought of starting my own practice. As far back as my high school days he was offering the kind of advice that resonates loudest with me now…
Learn what you do well and find others who can do the rest.
Find good people to collaborate and partner with.
Treat your employees like you would want to be treated. because without them you could not do what you love.
Remember you are only as good as those that represent you.
I could go on, but the essence of it is good relationships, partnerships, and collaboration. I owe it to my father that when my friend and Syracuse classmate Mark Sullivan suggested working together, I was able to see the possibilities. Together Mark and I have built a firm that is much more than either of us could have achieved on our own.
Mark, please accept my gratitude for all your hard work and insight, and for making it possible through continued support to take on this position of chapter leadership.
Likewise, to everyone on the JZA+D team, I owe you a debt for the extra effort you put in each day, and for exceeding our expectations. Today, as every day, I look forward to working with you all.
As president, I was tasked to envision a direction for the chapter for my year-long term. A year is a short period of time – and this one is already half over. But like you all I believe in the power of our profession to make a difference and I hope that these planks of my platform, as it were, will resonate with you well into the future:
Okay, enough lecturing.
Before I finish, I’d like to thank all the members of the AIA New Jersey Board of Directors, for all your hard work; Joe Simonetta and the entire staff at PSI, for your constant support; the team here at Jansa Polana, for a lovely evening; and last, but certainly not least, my family. Some of you are here tonight, others are scattered across the country – thank you with all my heart for putting up with my frequent absences, and my obsession over…well, everything.
Thank you all so much. Enjoy dinner and the evening.
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in AIA-NJ News, Uncategorized | Tagged: #JoshuaZinderAIA, Presidents Message | Comments (0)
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.