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President's Message

Charles T. Bryant, AIA
2021 AIAPF President

Dear Members and Friends,

First, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a healthy and fantastic new year and thanks to everyone for your continued support. The Board of Directors and I welcome you to a new year and we certainly expect this year will be better than the last one. 2020 was challenging with the global pandemic, political un-rest and economic problems, to name a few. These are challenging times which make it clear that we must be more politically and socially active and involved with our cities. We must ensure that legislation and administrative actions will assist us in solving problems rather than restrict us from doing so.

Despite all negativity we still have a few bright spots for 2020, like the historic election in November, and no matter how you voted we should all be proud of the historic number of people who turned out. We are also classified as an essential business type, so we get to keep our doors open. Although we must be very careful, we would all be in trouble if we weren’t allowed to continue work. We continue to face the many challenges in dealing with COVID-19 in our personal lives and that it is the “new normal,” which I believe is a temporary new normal, because the pandemic is not here to stay.

Things will change soon. We look forward to more sponsored programs and events, (even if it’s remotely), that will include our regular First Friday Forums, and our Design Awards, which will be held on March 25th.

I consider it an honor and a privilege to be nominated and approved by the members of Pasadena Foothill Chapter of the American Institute of Architects to serve as your president for 2021. We have a great Board of Directors and I am privileged to serve among such distinguished people. They are all hard workers and contribute their time, energy, and passion toward maintaining a high level of professionalism. I am proud to be the first African American to serve as this chapter’s President since its founding more than fifty years ago.

During 2021 we will continue to improve our relationships with local, state, and federal law makers so that we will be invited to the table and be consulted when policy decisions are being made and before those decisions impact us and our clients. At the same time, we must advocate for productive regulations that improve the quality of our work and what we produce.

In 2021 we look forward to more joint participation with AIA Los Angeles, and LANOMA, Los Angeles National Organization of Minority Architects. We are expanding the ACE program to introduce High School and Middle school students to Architecture Engineering and Construction. We also look forward to welcoming new members and creating an even stronger organization. We will continue to provide all our members with continued education, and services.

I want to thank Var Movsesian for his phenomenal leadership in the past year. He has proved himself as a natural leader. He has done an excellent job with the entire Board of Directors, and he will continue to assist the chapter as the Past President and Director at Large.

Thank you, especially Board Members and all the returning Board Members. Ms. Rachael Adams is our returning Treasurer Director, Ms. Andrea Cabalo is our returning Secretary Director, Ms. Fariba Shantiyai, our returning Director of Programs, Ms. Jane Becronis our returning Director of Government Affairs, Ms. Christian Gomez, our returning Associate Director, Mr. Mark Gangi is our returning Citizen Architect Director, Mr. James Betancourt is our returning Director of Communications. Our new Board members will include Mr. Doug Joyce, Director of Communications, Mr. Joe Ohara, Director of Membership, returning Board Member and former Director of Sponsorship and our President Elect is Mr. Winston Thorn. He will not only be involved in managing a great team and assisting with chapter events, he will also be assisting Doug Joyce with sponsorship. This installation is even more historic because Winston Thorne as President-Elect is also African American.

As your new president, I look forward to meeting each of you personally and to hear your thoughts on how our Pasadena & Foothill Chapter AIA can assist you and meet your expectations of all of us. Of course, we cannot meet in person right now, but I look forward to communicating with you through today’s technology.

In closing, I’ll try my best to be available to you. If you have any concerns, or suggestions that can help our chapter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for trusting me with this important role of President of the Pasadena & Foothill AIA. I will work hard to support our local and state agenda. I wish you and your families the best of health and prosperity in this new year. I look forward to working with you.


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