Chapter Accomplishments: 2012

Chapter Accomplishments: 2012

Crossroads and Transformations!

From  April Philips, President 2011-12

The main focus for the 2011 – 2012 year’s executive committee was to begin to forge new directions of purposeful and innovative leadership. We began with the hiring of our new Executive Administrator, Laura Leuer, who has helped us follow the course and goals we set at our first strategic planning meeting. These goals included evaluating how to better leverage our Chapter’s ability to outreach to our members who live in the bay area and beyond, to be more fiscally responsible to the changing times, to provide stronger, more diverse educational and social networking events to our members, and lastly to transform our Chapter web site to better reflect our members work and meet their resource needs. Here is a snapshot of our accomplishments for the year:

DECEMBER GALA AS BI-ANNUAL EVENT: In taking stock of our fiscal matters which had been negatively impacted by the economy over the past few years, we rethought our annual December gala to be held every other year. This event had always been a traditional seasonal event for the Chapter but was seriously affected by the under performing economy felt by both members and sponsors.  We are happy to announce our first re-instated bi-annual Gala will be held in December 2012.

NEW WEBSITE: The web site was an enormous effort and challenge taken on by our Executive Committee. The web site/communications committee worked with a web site designer to make it fresh and exciting. We have added features including video links to showcase our lecture series and other videos sprouting up on the web by landscape architects around the country. A major feature is how we showcase the Award winning work of our members.  We hope you have visited the new site and will continue to regard the site as an important tool and resource. Our newsletters and email blasts have also been retooled to make access to articles and content more accessible to our members. We’d appreciate your feedback on letting us know how it is working for you.

THE LECTURE SERIES: This year the re-invigorated lecture series aimed at targeting topics more relevant to our region ranging from the theoretical to the technical to capture something for everyone. The evening lectures were formatted with multiple speakers and followed by interactive discussions. This years topics included Landscape Urbanism, Livable Streets, Living Walls, Urban Agriculture, and Legacy in Stone. We wish to thank all of the great guests we had this year – both topics and attendance were fabulous. We also explored videotaping the lectures this year to reach those of you who live too far away from the Bay area to attend or just had a conflict that night. We’d like your feedback on this aspect –  if it is well received we will look again for video sponsorship for next year’s lectures. This service was graciously sponsored and provided by the SWA Group this past year. We are looking forwarded to another year of great topics!

AWARDS NIGHT & FELLOWS: This year our Awards night coincided with Fredrick Law Olmsted’s 100thbirthday and we ended the evening with cake and champagne in his honor!  Besides the thrill of celebrating work well done by our colleagues, because there wasn’t a winter gala this year, we celebrated the new Chapter fellows – Jack Chandler and Patrick Miller. The jury worked diligently to select a fine group of winners who not only are highlighted on the new web site but a new media item created is a booklet of the winning entries for purchase. The food, ambiance and music were all fantastic so a big shout out to the Awards Committee for a job well done. Thanks again to our sponsors who help to make this event our most successful every year.

EMERGING PROFESSIONALS GROUP: The EP group comprised of our young professional members had a successful year of social mixers, networking and educational events. The EP group is also linked to our local student chapters. We wish to thank our firm sponsors for this year – AECOM, WRT, PGA & APDW. We are looking for firms to host, sponsor and or lead the EP events for next year- 2013.  Please contact Laura Leuer  at or 415-974-5430 if your firm would like to participate and / or support the program in any way.

MENTORSHIP PROGRAM:  The Mentorship program is looking to launch in October with a social mixer, date and time to be determined. If you are interested in participating in being a mentor especially midlevel or senior level, please contact Laura Leuer and she will connect you with the mentorship committee. We are especially looking to those of you outside of the bay area to help create mentorship groups in your areas as a way to connect locally and provide more local oriented programs that will serve your needs. Mentorship is an important role for our profession to participate in and is a very rewarding process for both mentor and mentee.

NEW EVENT… GIANTS NIGHT: This summertime event held in July turned out to be a fun one for members, family,  guests and sponsors. Everyone had a great time at the game. We hope to keep this a recurring one and potentially add more elements to it in the future such as walking tours of SOMA projects before the game.  And a big shout out to our sponsors who helped to make it a smashing success! GO GIANTS!

NEW SUB-COMMITTEE FORMAT of EXECUTIVE BOARD: We have reformatted how we work as an executive group into sub committees in order to get our tasks accomplished beyond our monthly meeting format. We’d like to invite you to participate on our sub committees if you have an interest in being part of the Chapter’s leadership group.  We especially are looking for contributors and media savvy skills to help with our newsletter and PR events via our Communications Committee, we need organizers and planners for our events committees such as the Gala, Annual Awards and Giants Night. We would like to start a Stewardship Committee this year to focus on local sustainable issues and networking with other organizations. And of course our new Mentorship program is looking for assistance and thought leaders. Please engage, don’t be shy and become part of the local action by contacting the Committee Chairs listed on our Chapter web site.

INCREASED OUTREACH: We have made great strides in communicating to our members to increase both participation and awareness of Chapter news, advocacy alerts, and events. We have been sending out the newsletter and eblasts with regularity, alerted members on our own events as well as other events that might be of interest, written letters inviting members to actively participate and give us feedback, have established a comments section on the website, and we have videotaped most of the lectures for your convenience.

Whew! As you can see the Executive Committee was very busy this year. The Chapter is a society and as such is a voluntary association of individuals joined in reaching for common ends with passion, energy and drive.  I’d like to thank each and every one of the Committee members and their contributions too numerous to list.

 In closing, I’d like to say that it has been a pleasure to lead the Chapter through this exciting year of new directions and to represent our Chapter at the national level where we have a voice in our profession’s future.

 I hope that many of you will have been positively affected by this year’s accomplishments and that the coming year will bring even more exciting resources and professional development your way.


 April Philips, FASLA

President ASLA Northern California Chapter

Posted in ASLA News. Tags: , .