By Cynthia Fishman, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP – Associate Director, AIA Colorado
My friends have started calling me The Committee Queen. It began with a few AIA groups, but like any gateway drug, it led to many other committees that now sometimes require me to attend two or even three meetings a night after work. I have become a master of organization, scheduling, and my Google calendar. It reached the point that when I was upgrading my phone and the salesperson was synching my gmail account, he commented “Wow, you have a lot of things on here.” I thought it was odd that he was looking at my calendar, and odder still that he thought it was appropriate to comment, but he did have a point.
Back in the fall of 2011 when I was elected Associate Director for AIA Colorado, it seemed like a good idea to be involved with planning for the AIA National Convention. I looked at it as an opportunity to collect and funnel information to Associates. The plan was that I would just sit on the Steering Committee and listen, so that if an Associate asked me about the convention I could provide an informed answer. However, I wasn’t really satisfied with just sitting there and not contributing. After looking through all my options, the obvious one for me was to join the Access and Affordability for Emerging Professionals Committee.
This was the first year that there was a National Convention committee devoted to emerging professionals. We discussed many great ideas. In the end we created two documents to help EP’s attending the convention. The first helped with the access and affordability aspect. It contained information about traveling to Denver, how to get around in the city, and listed events that were on the less-expensive side.
The second document broke up the city into different neighborhoods (if you’ve read the last few blog posts you know what I mean) and listed restaurants, landmarks and activities to check out. We also included relative costs for these places, along with a map.
It was interesting approaching Denver as a visiting EP architect. It really made me think about what makes this city so great and how to experience as much of it as possible in a limited time frame while on a limited budget.
My friends are hoping that after the Convention I can cut down on my committee commitments and start hanging out with them again. I feel the same way, but in no way regret having signed up for the Access and Affordability committee. I hope that what happened in Denver was just the beginning of this type of committee since there is so much potential in terms of what it can provide to the future of our profession.