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2014 Letter from the President                                                                                                                      

January 7, 2014

2014 is full of promise for our profession, though there are still residual concerns about the economy.  We need to seize upon the promising outlook and continue to work to improve the foundation of our profession.  In this challenging environment, our AIA Chapter is prepared to make a positive impact for AIA members, our sponsors, and the community at large.

Our primary engine is YOU, the Architect.  We greatly encourage you to become involved in our Chapter.  We have committees that do great work for our chapter and our community.  This is a great way to get to know your colleagues, and I think you will find that there is a lot of fun and satisfaction in working with your fellow AIA members to make a difference.  We are also in the midst of a membership campaign.  I encourage you to talk to fellow architects about joining and becoming involved in the AIA.

We recognize that the economy is still creating a difficult situation for many architects.  We are still committed to helping unemployed and underemployed architects find work.  If you are looking for work, or if need to hire someone, please contact us.  We are available to help firms get in contact with those looking for work.

We also recognize the value of being in the public eye. Toward this end, we created a public relations committee in 2013 that that has established contacts at local and regional websites, publications, etc. In 2014, we will continue to find stories from AIA, individual firms, or individual architects to feed to these publications. 

An exciting new venture for us is the Alabama Center for Architecture.   In 2013, we renovated our space so it can be used for public events, conferences, and other uses.  In 2014, we will utilize the ACFA  space for exhibits, lecture series, conference room rental, venue space for special events, etc.  This organization, and new space, has great potential, and will help us increase our exposure in the community. 

2015 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham Chapter of the AIA.   Planning for this event will begin in 2014 with the formation of a committee and brainstorming to create a vision of the celebration.  If you are interested in helping, please let us know.  We would love to have you involved.

One reason our Chapter is so strong and involved is our Sponsors.  Without their support, we could not do many of the activities that make our Chapter great.  Please take some time to thank our current sponsors, and also tell other companies about the AIA.

I am looking forward to serving as your President in 2014.  Through architecture, and the AIA, we have the power to change our environment, our firms, and ourselves.  Please contact us and let us know you are interested in getting involved.  There are many opportunities out there, and I promise you will enjoy working with us on our many endeavors.  I look forward to seeing you all at our Chapter meetings, special events, and other functions throughout the year.

Regards,

Robert Thompson AIA
2014 AIA Birmingham President