Well, I think were off to a great start for the year. We had 69 in attendance at our first meeting of the year last month_and there were plenty of new faces. This year has some new changes and significant events for the Chapter. The first of which is the new meeting location_
New Meeting Location
The renovation of the Holiday Inn in Tempe has prompted the Chapter to seek another meeting location, which may be permanent or temporary. Weve worked out arrangements with the Hilton Phoenix Airport for the first three months. Based on the feedback from the attendees at Septembers meeting, the new location is a great improvement. Well continue to evaluate service and cost to determine if well continue to hold meetings at the Hilton beyond the three-month trial period.
The Programs Committee is continuing its search for a possible meeting location in the central Phoenix area. But like the Holiday Inn, the light rail construction is creating some problems for access. Any specific suggestions for meeting locations are greatly appreciated. Hopefully, well have another location to try out for the meetings after the first of the year.
Southwest Region Conference
As some of you are already aware, the Chapter has agreed to relieve the Las Vegas Chapter of its obligation to host the Southwest Region (SWR) Conference in 2008. The conference is scheduled for late April (most likely the 24th through the 26th). There are two reasons for doing this: 1) the national convention will be in Las Vegas in early June and the Las Vegas Chapter will have much on its hands getting ready, and 2) nobody wants to go to Las Vegas for conferences twice within two months of each other. In return, the Las Vegas will take our spot for hosting the conference in 2009.
The SWR Conference can be a big boost for the Chapter and CSI. For those familiar with the conference, we plan to deviate from the traditional format by opening up the conference to nonmembers through a variety of educational sessions in multiple tracks, similar to that at the national convention. The original intent of the conference will remain (president training, committee workshops, and the region general meeting). Other suggestions include incorporating the Chapter golf tournament into the conference.
But, in order to accomplish such a task, we need volunteers to handles the numerous tasks, both big and small, to make the SWR Conference a success. Some of the assistance we need includes:
- Finding and establishing the venue and accommodations
- Organizing educational sessions
- Speaking for educational sessions
- Designing a conference logo
- Handling publicity and registration
- Planning and coordinating the trade show
- Planning and coordinating the hospitality suite
- Planning and coordinating spouse/family activities
As you can see, the job is big, but with a lot of assistance, this work can be very manageable. If youre interested in lending a hand, please call (602-569-9645) or email (email@example.com) me.
The Return of ÏMaynards Corner
The September meeting also saw the return of ÏMaynards Corner to the Chapter. H. Maynard Blumer, FCSI, FAIA, was elevated to Fellow in CSI in 1973 and in AIA in 1993. You can read about Maynards background at http://www.fcsinet.org/bios/BlumerH.pdf. Maynard has returned from retirement to facilitate his old discussion group. ÏMaynards Corner is an open forum held from 5:30 to 6:30 PM just before the regular Chapter meeting. And where do you find the forums location you ask? Well, in the corner, of course. The forum, unlike the online types found on todays internet, is a face-to-face discussion where members and guests can introduce things they have learned and would like to share with others, or they can bring a problem theyve encountered to seek solutions. Were glad to have Maynards experience at our disposal, and it would be beneficial to everyone to participate in this unique Chapter benefit.
A Student Chapter in the Works Through the tireless efforts of the Chapters Academic Affairs Chair, a new CSI Student Chapter is in the early planning stages. Andrea Stephan, CSI, CDT, a project engineer with Sundt Construction, has been working with students enrolled in ITT Technical Institutes new construction management program to establish a student chapter at the school.
Also, the Chapters Professional and Industry Directors have been charged with the task to research andpropose to the Chapter a new membership fee for students (as well as for retired members). Currently, students pay the student membership fee of $27 at the Institute level, but must also pay the full Chapter fee like any other Chapter member to be affiliated with the Chapter. A reduced fee would encourage more young people to get involved in CSI earlier in their careers.
Ronald L. Geren, CSI, CCS, CCCA, AIA, SCIP
Phoenix Chapter President