“I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.”
– John F. Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural Address
My involvement at the AIA East Bay started in 2010 when I moved to Oakland. I thought joining would instantly connect me to design professionals in the East Bay, but strangely, joining a group and not participating was not stimulating. I rejoined several years later and connected with the AIA East Bay’s Regional and Urban Design Forum (RUD), which instantly connected me to a design community and helped to professionally energize me. Committees, which are critical to the chapter, provide diverse programming, connections between people, education, and inspiration; join one, or several, now.
Being the co-chair of RUD and a board member has provided insight into the chapter and a greater respect for the chapter accomplishments. We continue to develop our home tour, celebrate design excellence with the design awards, started a housing forum, provide a job board and architect directory, educate and mentor young professionals, and have over 150 events planned for 2022. I did not fully understand all the talent, passion, and dedication required to keep our largely volunteer organization running; being involved provides satisfaction and respect for our region.
The AIA East Bay will continue to provide the expected services, but you have chosen to be a member of this chapter and we need your input and involvement to move the chapter forward. This year will be fundamental to the development of the chapter and I will be concentrating on finding a new chapter office and engaging all regions of our membership.
● A new office brings new opportunities: We want to be part of the East Bay community, so we narrowed our search to a storefront space, in a populated city, near public transportation. As options move closer to reality, there will be a chapter meeting to discuss goals and aspirations; we are in this together. I also want to celebrate this new opportunity with a lecture series of distinguished East Bay architects; we need to celebrate the designers who have shaped and are shaping our region.
● Engage all regions of our membership: Our chapter includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, and Solano counties, which is a large region. The majority of members and programming has concentrated on the inner East Bay. We need to expand our reach and understand how we can better serve our complete AIAEB community. We will be scheduling a listening tour to visit Napa, the Tri-Valley, outer East Bay, and other cities, so be prepared. To make these events successful we need your assistance to organize leaders of the community and your thoughts on how to better serve you the members.
From the beginning of my involvement in the AIA East Bay, I have prioritized great programming as key to a successful chapter. We will continue to provide educational, design–focused, and entertaining programming, but we need your involvement to enhance the dialogue. I want each of our 850+ members to participate in an event and to contact our chapter to express your opinions this year. I challenge each of you to overwhelm Mike Wilson, Sydney Yocum, and me with your input about the chapter. We look forward to continued collaboration with this diverse and talented community to better this chapter and our region.
Brian Stryzek, AIA
Associate Principal, Kennerly Architecture & Planning
2022 AIA East Bay President