2012-13 Term Review by Sarka Volejnikova

2012-13 Term Review by Sarka Volejnikova

Dear members of the ASLA Northern California Chapter, colleagues and friends,

It has been another busy, productive and wonderful year for the Northern California Chapter. We are one of the most active chapters in the nation. Our diversity of programs and events, member participation, award submissions, and response to national advocacy alerts are unparalleled. We get together at events nearly every month throughout the year, and many of you contribute to expanding our programs. Your engagement, support and participation make all the difference. Thank you.

As newly Past President it is my job to set the stage for the construction of the new Presidency. How better to summarize the last term than in the form of Specs?

Sarka Volejnikova
ASLA-NCC President 2012-13
October 5, 2013

2012-13 Term Review


1.1 Congratulations and many thanks for your commitment and enthusiasm to existing Executive Committee members to remain:

A. President: Amy Cupples-Rubiano
B. Past President/CCASLA Delegate: Sarka Volejnikova
C. Vice President: James Ingels
D. Trustee: April Philips
E. Director: Bob Birkeland
1.2 For a gradual and natural transition between terms, we welcome new Executive Committee members. Congratulations!

A. President-Elect: David Nelson
B. CCASLA Delegate: Chiye Azuma
C. Secretary/Treasurer: Justine Hirsch
D. Director: Elizabeth Boults
E. Director: Carolyne Orazi

1.3 Thank you for your hard work, and best of luck to departing Executive Committee members in your next endeavors:

A. Trustee: Chris Kent
B. CCASLA Delegate: Dave Mitchell
C. Secretary/Treasurer: John Hykes
D. Director: Joe Runco
E. Director: Anita Bueno
F. Director: Tim Coppola

2.1 Winter Holiday Gala
A. Thanks to your unflagging interest and our improved financial status, we were able to put this this cheerful social event back on the calendar.
1. The Winter Holiday Gala took place at the Bancroft Hotel in Berkeley. Nearly a hundred members participated, including UC Berkeley students and members of the Emerging Professionals group.
2. We honored two members who were elevated to the Council of ASLA Fellows for their outstanding achievements.
a. Chris Patillo, FASLA
b. James Heid, FASLA
2.2. Awards
A. This year marked the highest number of project submissions for ASLA NCC Chapter awards to date.
1. We received well over forty entries, including student projects, in thriving, vigorous condition from our peers. An independent jury selected twenty three (23) entries for awards.
2. Six Merit, Fifteen Honor and two Awards of Excellence were presented at the Chapter Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Lake Chalet in Oakland.
3. A photo gallery of awarded projects is available for viewing, under direct supervision of a Landscape Architect, on the Chapter website.
2.3 Giants Night
A. Another great opportunity, true to species and variety, to catch up with friends and colleagues at the second annual Giants Night.
1. Over a hundred people came.
2. Three lucky quiz/raffle winners went home with Giants baseball caps.
3. We ran out of beer toward the end of the social part of the event.
4. The Giants lost to the Cincinnati Reds 8-3.
5. We’ll give them another chance next year.
2.4 Lecture Series
A. The Chapter organized a season of exciting lectures. From technical know-how, to the challenges of working in foreign lands, to scholarly discussions, topics included but were not limited to:
1. Adaptive Metropolis
2. Lost in Translation
3. Design in Public Interest
4. The Art and Science of Healthy Soils
B. Coming up! One more lecture this season: Rising Coastal Waters – Reaction and Adaptation. It will be held on October 17th at the usual time and place, don’t miss it.

 C. For those of you who are unable to attend in person, we continue to videorecord the lectures. Individual videos are available no later than twenty-one (21) days after award of contract.

1. They are only a click away.
2. Let us know what you think.

2.5 Mentorship Program
A. The long-awaited mentorship program started with a bang last January. Fifty-three (53) enthusiastic people made kicked off the meeting.
B. Based on geographic proximity in the Bay Area, we established five self-governed groups, each composed of both young and seasoned participants. Groups larger than specified were accepted.
C. San Francisco and East Bay groups organized events for a larger circle of participation:
1. Portfolio review
2. Mentorship tips: Find Mentors, Find Mentees, Repeat
3. LARE overview
2.6 Emerging Professionals
A. The EP group is in its fourth year of operation. Their focus is shifting on engaging more members through social media, and impromptu organization of informal social events. Interest in touring Bay Area offices remains high.
1. Many thanks to SWA for hosting an office visit, and to APDW and KMC for financial contributions to the group.
2.7 Website
A. The Chapter website expanded considerably since its re-launch in 2012. Its relevance is evident through on-line traffic, which increased five-fold (!) in the last four months. It is a wonderful resource for news, updates, articles of interest, calendar of current events, and more. It is also a useful platform to voice out your opinions and concerns; don’t be shy to join in.
2.8 Outreach to students
A. The Chapter is proud to have endorsed the formation of a student chapter at Academy of Art University.
B. We continue close collaboration with the UC Berkeley Student Chapter, and focus on improving our connection with UC Berkeley Extension.
C. Through the Envision Tomorrow Program the Chapter sponsored two Martinez high school students interested in Landscape Architecture as a career option.
2.9 Finances and sponsorship
A. The Chapter finances stabilized over the last two years. Thanks to diligent work of the Executive Committee and to continuing support and generosity of our sponsors we have raised enough funds to fully cover all events and programs.
B. At the encouragement by the California Council ASLA we resolved to establish, in 2014, a defense fund for legislative emergencies. Our good financial standing enabled us to set this funding without raising Chapter membership fees.
C. Many thanks to Miracle Play Systems, Ackerstone, Victor Stanley, Park West, Delta Bluegrass, Landscape Forms,, Vision Recycling, Tournesol, Recreation Republic – MMCite and Urban Accessories, Cagwin and Dorward, Calstone, Iron Age Design, and Park Pacific for their support.
2.10 Communication
A. The node of communication for the Chapter is in the hands of Laura Leuer, our Executive Administrator. We are very happy and grateful for her services in her second year with us.
B. We are always interested in hearing from you. Please take a few minutes to fill out the on-line survey.
3.1 Website
A. In a few weeks we will add a job link to our website. It is for your use, take advantage of it.
B. In line with expanding services to the larger landscape architecture community, we are in the process of setting up a searchable archive library of Chapter-awarded projects.
1. If you are interested in getting intimately familiar with the best projects by our leading designers while helping us with data input, please contact us.
3.2 Health Care Insurance
A. Along with Sierra, Southern California and San Diego Chapters, we have put this initiative on a back burner until the launch of Obama Care. As the health care reform settles in, we will investigate in earnest the coverage options for members of the four chapters. Stay tuned.


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