Alek Zarifian, AIA, LEED AP
As we quickly embark on the last quarter of the year the call for nominations “Get Connected” message for the AIAPF 2014 Board of Directors has been sent out to you all, our AIAPF members. 2013 has been and still is challenging year and the team perseveres to ensure a great beginning for the 2014 chapter leadership. I have great confidence in Nazanin Zarkesh, our 2013 Vice President/President Elect, as a stout leader and know that she’ll do a magnificent job directing our great chapter of Pasadena and Foothill.
Last year, our Board of Directors made a promise to bring you programs that would add value to your practices here in our chapter area. These programs reminded us of why we love architecture and why we decided to become architects or pursue a career as an architect. We started our first program in June with the Spanish International architect Fernando Olba talking about “Architecture for the 99%.” His critical perspectives demonstrated how well-designed buildings serve as catalysts for urban transformation. In July, we Got on the Bus for an amazing architectural tour of Sierra Madre. The double decker bus was completely full, and the experience was unforgettable. Mark Gangi has been organizing this special program, ‘Get on the Bus’, since 2009 and I would like to recognize him for his continuous support of our chapter programs and events.
On August 15th, we celebrated our ARE Mentor’s contribution and hard work at the Luggage Room. I extend my sincere gratitude to our instructors who have helped our candidates toward achieving their goals of licensure. Another excellent event occurred on August 22nd with the the ‘Social Media Marketing Made Simple,’ held at the Maxwell House. At this event, AIAPF celebrated our liaison with the Producers Council by co-hosting a ‘mini Expo’ of vendors, who sponsored the event to great success. Tremendous thanks to Executive Director Zelda Wong and Public Member Julie Arcelay for facilitating this successful relationship with the Producers Council.
September’s First Friday Forum featured an amazing presentation on the Colorado Bridge Centenial / Historic Preservation in Action. It included a panel discussion and a booksigning opportunity with Tavo Olmos for his book on the preservation process of the historic Colorado Bridge. What a wonderful way to pay tribute to one of the best historic landmarks of our beautiful city of Pasadena. The forum was graced by the presence of Pasadena Mayor Bogaard.
On September 18th we are hosting a program with the internationally renowned LA architect Mehrdad Yazdani of Cannon Design who will talk about the blurring boundaries between building environment and program. His talk will examine the obscuring of program, design and approach through forces such as globalization, technology and social shifts. We can look at this wonderful program as a precursor to our biggest event of the year our Annual Design Awards.
This year we will have our Design Awards Gala at One Colorado, and I urge everyone to attend. This is one of the best opportunities to show your support for excellent design, as we architects gather with the citizens of this chapter area and the cities that we represent.
Now, after so much excitement, it won’t hurt to run a little reality check! As I mentioned earlier, 2013 has been a very challenging year and still continues as such. As with all other AIA chapters our, AIAPF relies heavily on sponsorship as a matter of survival and continuity of service to its members.
The reality is that we all as professionals are all going through very tough times. Unfortunately, we must report that sponsorship levels have not been where they used to be. However, we have been able to keep our chapter afloat and still host significant, meaningful programs in these challenging times. My message to you, to all those who have an interest in the well being of our chapter and the practices that we strive to support, is that we are in this together, and we can use any help that we can possibly receive.
Our goal for the next few months will be to help the finances of the chapter to improve to better levels, which can be easily achieved with increased participation.
With my sincere gratitude to our chapter Leadership, Nazanin Zarkesh (Vice President), Dan Stein (Secretary), Chauncey Jones (Treasurer), Zelda Wong (Executive Director) and the entire Board of Directors, I invite you to all of our great Chapter programs for the rest of this year and, all the years to come.
Thank you for your continued support,
Alek Zarifian, AIA
2013 AIAPF President