Letter from the President
Letter from the President
December 6, 2013
Dear members of the ASLA Northern California Chapter, colleagues and friends,
With the Holiday season in full swing and the end of the year quickly coming up, I am sure that we are all running around in the madness that can seem to take over this time of year, but it is also a time to reflect on the past, successes and disappointments alike, and to establish goals for the future. The construction industry seems to be on the rise again with landscape architecture picking up and beginning to make a definite recovery although slower than most of us would like. I hope and trust that our profession will continue to improve and flourish next year, and in the years to follow.
Our Chapter began a new term at the close of the ASLA Conference and Expo in Boston in November. New and returning members of the Executive Committee, all volunteers, launched into their work with ample energy, infectious enthusiasm and creative ideas. As well, we have plenty of Volunteers that are active and full of wonderful ideas to add to and expand the work of our Executive Committee. I feel very fortunate to be part of this group, and I look forward to working with them as the Chapter President over the next year.
I would particularly like to commend the work of last term’s Executive Committee under the energetic leadership of Sarka Volejnikova and the watchful eye of our Executive Administrator, Laura Leuer. The Committee had set bold goals and a busy schedule, and accomplished them with flying colors.
In the 2013/2014 term we want to extend the great work of the past several years by continuing to enhance services, advance communication between the Executive Committee and you, the Chapter members, and add value to your membership.
In September the Executive Committee held its annual strategic planning session, and from that session we established the following goals and priorities for the coming term:
– Membership. We recognize that our Chapter would greatly benefit from actively engaging more young people. Making ASLA both more visible and more valuable to young professionals is one of our top priorities. We have already started working more closely with the Emerging Professionals Group to reinvigorate it. We are working closely with our students chapters, including the UC Berkeley Student Chapter and the Academy of Art Student Chapter. Our next step is to connect with students from other universities in the Chapter area by inviting them to our events and making it possible for them to meet both budding and seasoned professionals. We encourage all of our members to post upcoming events in your offices so members and non-members alike can see what is scheduled.
We are also looking to reach out to our more distant members to help set up lectures and events closer to home so that our membership community can flourish whether in the Bay Area, South Bay, North Bay or beyond. If you are interested in helping us to develop some of these events, please contact us!
– Mentorship Program. In providing more services to students and young professionals, we are continuing to focus on mentorship as a primary focus for this term. We have several active groups around the Bay Area meeting on a regular basis and we hope to host the first annual Mentorship Connection meeting early in the New Year. We would like to cordially invite all of you who are interested in becoming mentors or seeking mentorship from others to join. We also encourage you to sign up for the Mentorship Program on our website in advance.
– Volunteerism. In an effort to meet your needs as a member of our Chapter, we are encouraging those of you that have time and interest to volunteer with us! We always welcome volunteers to work on specific projects or events. Do you want to have an Emerging Professionals Office Visit, or do you love party planning, or maybe you have a great idea for a factory visit or winery tour? Let us know and get involved! If you simply want to know more about what goes on at our monthly meetings, all of our members are always encouraged to attend. The schedule is posted on our Calendar.
The Northern California Chapter continues to operate well within our budget, and have been able to increase our financial reserve. Last year the Executive Committee worked very closely with our sponsors, and raised enough funds to cover our costs for all of our events. Our popular President’s Holiday Gala will be held on December 10th at the historic General’s Residence at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, and I hope we will see all of you there. We will have a brief program with a Key Note by Stan Skalka of Victor Stanley with the majority of the night devoted to catching up with old friends and perhaps making a few new connections as well.
There is certainly more to come as the year unfolds. In January we will start another round of lecture series with multiple speakers on each topic to bring different points of view, foster discussion, and encourage your participation. In April you can look forward to our annual Chapter Meeting and Awards Presentation, and additional events as part of Landscape Architecture Month. If you missed the ASLA Giants Night at the AT&T Park this year, you’ll have a chance to root for them with us again next summer, hopefully with a better winning average.
All events and more will be publicized in our electronic newsletter, with a bonus paper issue in full color after the annual Awards presentation. Your own contributions to the newsletter and/or news updates are more than welcome!
As you can see, Northern California is a very busy ASLA chapter. If you would like to participate more actively in other ways, you can always contact individual committee members about issues that interest you. We encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and through our website calendar. And there’s nothing like face-to-face: We hope to talk to you in person at our various events. Your reciprocity in sharing your passion and points of view is crucial to what we do. Just as the health of the profession relies on a sustained flow of ideas, the health of the Chapter depends on your involvement.
We look forward to seeing familiar faces and to meeting new ones throughout the term!
On behalf of the entire ASLA-NCC Executive Committee,
Amy Cupples-Rubiano, President
ASLA Northern California Chapter