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Board Inaugural: 2013 President Jill N. Lerner, FAIA

What follows are adapted remarks from the 2013 Inaugural.

Looking back over the past year, I am proud and humbled by all that our Board and volunteers have done to enhance our advocacy profile, increase our membership, and expand the professional services offered at the Center for Architecture. I would like to highlight the many initiatives and ongoing projects at AIANY and the Center for Architecture, organized around our key objectives: Public Outreach and Advocacy, Design Excellence, and Professional Development, as well as events of the year’s presidential theme, “Global City/Global Practice.”

The strength of the Chapter relies first and foremost on our members, and this year our membership is up, adding to the strength and vibrancy of our activities. Now numbering almost 5,000, we would like to welcome all 556 new members who joined this year, and hope you will participate in our many programs and committees in the coming years.

The Chapter ended in a strong financial position thanks in large part to the fundraising efforts of Board members, committees, and staff. We thank our many 2013 sponsors for helping us support the range of activities promoting architecture to both public and professional audiences. This year’s Heritage Ball welcomed more than 1,200 guests, and grossed $1.375 million to support the programs, exhibitions, and events of the Chapter, Foundation, and the Center.

Our major efforts in advocacy focused on the mayoral election and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We issued two important documents – A Platform for the Future of the City and the Post-Sandy Initiative Report. Our platform, while not comprehensive, focuses attention on 30 recommendations for incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio. Some build upon the policies of the Bloomberg administration, others are new ideas – such as a Deputy Mayor for Planning & Design, a new position that would coordinate and streamline approvals, planning, and design vision. The platform was well received by all who read it, and our suggestion for the new deputy mayor position was cited in The New York Times. The Post-Sandy Initiative Report, in conjunction with the FAR ROC competition and our first-ever regional symposium, addressed ongoing efforts to make our city more resilient.

We continued our traditional “Lobby Day” activities, both in Washington, DC, and in Albany, focusing on post-Sandy aid to the region, and efforts to pass a “Good Samaritan Act” in New York State, covering architects who want to help out in an emergency. We continued to provide positions on key issues facing our city’s growth and development, including East Midtown Zoning, and MoMA’s desire to demolish the American Folk Art Museum.

Design and Design Excellence were paramount throughout the year, and we had many opportunities to celebrate the outstanding success of so many New York firms. From our Design Awards winners to the Heritage Ball honorees and numerous awards for New Yorkers at the National AIA Convention, we highlighted the significant work of our members.

Archtober was a resounding success in its third year, bringing together hundreds of events, co-sponsored with 53 design organizations. Our numerous exhibitions at the Center continued to showcase design excellence at home and abroad, and brought visitors from around the globe.

Currently on view, “Practical Utopias: Global Urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo,” and its related events mark the concluding months of my presidential year. The exhibition presents a body of recent work by American and international firms in five cities across East Asia. It garnered a lot of publicity in the Asian press, on many virtual architectural websites, made it to the New York Magazine “Approval Matrix,” and was recently reviewed by The Architect’s Newspaper.

In terms of professional development, the Chapter’s ENYA Merit Award recognizes those of the next generation who are making significant contributions to AIANY at an early stage in their careers. We would like to congratulate this year’s winner, Brynnemarie Lanciotti, AIA. Throughout her efforts she has focused on the importance of building relationships between seasoned and emerging professionals. At this point I would also like to acknowledge the 144 members who became newly registered architects this year.

I would also like to thank our Chapter leaders – the 2013 AIANY Board. The Chapter’s success would not have been possible without your efforts. I’d particularly like to recognize our outgoing Board members. Throughout your time on the Board, you have made countless contributions that have helped our organization reach new heights.

And now, I’d like to introduce Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, the 2014 AIANY Chapter President. Lance is a recognized architect and urban designer, an award-winning author, ACSA Distinguished Professor at City College’s Bernard A. Spitzer School of Architecture, and the founding co-chair of the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee. AIANY has not had a published author and ranking academic as president in 20 years. We look forward to your leadership in the coming year and to working with you to help AIANY and the Center for Architecture. It is my honor to pass the gavel and welcome you as the 2014 President of the AIA New York Chapter.