January 28, 2019
Message from the President of the Board, Mark B. Steppan, AIA, CSI, NCARB, and the Board of Directors of the East Bay Chapter of the AIA.
Dear East Bay AIA members,
The Board of East Bay AIA remains committed to maintaining a strong service-focused AIA Chapter dedicated to its membership.
Late last year, our past Executive Director of 15 years departed. The purpose of this letter is to further update you, following on the December 2018 letter to membership presented at the Member Appreciation Party and in the AIAEB Newsletter, as to the Chapter’s current situation and to reassure you that – while challenges remain – the Chapter stands on solid ground.
Regarding the Executive Director position and the state of the office, the Board brought on interim Executive Director, Selene Wong, who began managing many aspects of the Chapter office starting late December. Selene has first-hand knowledge of the chapter and the AIA. She has helped to manage Bay Area architecture and interior design firms , where she led business operations and worked with Principals to organize affairs and maintain communications. Selene is an excellent fit for providing immediate assistance as we keep the chapter operating.
As is appropriate we have also advertised to fill the Executive Director position permanently. Our ideal candidate is deeply committed to the Chapter’s mission and to serving its membership, and will have the organizational development and communication skills that will allow the Chapter to flourish. We have received a few resumes, so far, and we encourage our members to also solicit applications from qualified persons. A description of the position can be found at: http://aiaeb.org/job/executive-director/.
The Chapter office is open for business to serve its membership and the public. Please come by, and meet Selene, who is there to help and answer questions! Steadily and deliberately, we continue to clean up and organize the office.
The Board is particularly dedicated to its fiduciary responsibilities. Since the departure of our prior Executive Director, we have discovered that tax returns need to be filed and that our non-profit status needs to be renewed. We are also working to ensure that there is no interruption in our AIA accreditation. These matters are being addressed
and we expect them to be resolved quickly. We have hired a highly-qualified local Certified Public Accountant to assist us.
All of us on the Board, along with Selene, will continue to keep the membership informed as these important issues are addressed, with an emphasis on transparency. Please email any questions or concerns you may have.
The Board intends to use this transition as an opportunity to rebuild the Chapter to be more robust, resilient, and responsive to member’s needs. We also welcome constructive suggestions for how your chapter should be structured moving forward. Thank you for your patience and continuing support. We hope to see you at one or all of the chapter’s upcoming events:
Joint Lecture with UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design – Wednesday, February 13
AIAEB Committee Forum – Thursday, February 28
Additionally, Robert Ivy, FAIA, current AIA Executive Vice President and CEO, will be visiting our chapter in early February, while in California on other business, to meet with us and discuss how things are going, how national can assist us, and to provide insights and suggestions where appropriate. I personally look forward to having this dialogue with our president and to see where it leads us.
Please visit the chapter website for more information on these events.
Mark B. Steppan, AIA, CSI, NCARB, President Devi Dutta-Choudhury, AIA, President Elect
Kim-Van Truong, AIA, Secretary/Treasurer
Winston Win, AIA, Past President
Rudolph Widmann, AIA, Director
Matthew Taecker, AIA, Director
Daniel Morales, Assoc. AIA, Associate Director
And your New Board Members for 2019:
Ali Rafieetari, Associate AIA, Associate Director
Ashley Rybarczyk, AIA, Director