Saturday, December 19, 2009

December AIA-SWO Chapter Meeting Recap

The 2009 AIA-SWO Holiday Party took place this past Wednesday at the Mid-Town Arts Center in Eugene. With the talented woodwind quintet “No Strings Attached” setting a festive mood, over fifty chapter members and friends crowded the MAC to enjoy each others’ company and a scrumptious selection of culinary delights prepared by Cornucopia Restaurant & Catering.(1) From what I could tell, everyone had a great time.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. When else do people gather to reflect and savor a season as much as we do during the span between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day? We look forward to our seasonal traditions in part because they are comforting and strengthen the bonds of our community. They celebrate peace and nostalgia. The rituals of our holidays are meaningful and worthy of preservation.

From our chapter’s perspective, the party was a fitting conclusion to a year marked by membership growth, increased fellowship, and capacity-building, all in the face of a devastatingly severe economic downturn that might have suggested otherwise. I think it’s a testament to the value of AIA that 2009 proved to be such a watershed year. I’m confident that AIA-SWO will continue to grow, prosper, and be even more effective during 2010. The future looks bright.
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Our December program sponsor was Herman Miller, the international leader in ergonomic chair design. As I mentioned in my President’s Message, the company generously donated to our chapter one of its stylish and technologically sophisticated Setu office chairs. We sold the chair to the highest bidder in a silent auction at our holiday party. That person was a very happy Anne DeLaney, AIA, of Bergsund DeLaney Architecture & Planning, who looks forward to using the comfortable Setu chair for many years. Thank you Anne! Your contribution will help support AIA-SWO activities in 2010 that benefit all members.

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This month's winner of our chapter meeting raffle prize, which was a $25.00 gift certificate courtesy of The Green Store, was Anita Van Asperdt of LandCurrent Landscape Architecture. Remember, your first raffle ticket is free with your paid dinner and additional tickets are only $2 each. However, you can’t win if you don’t attend, so join us at our February 2010 meeting for your next opportunity to win!

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The first AIA-SWO chapter meeting of 2010 will be our annual joint event with the Willamette Valley Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). Join us on Thursday, January 28, 2010 for the BUILD 2010 Construction Conference. With the economic picture showing glimpses of hope, building professionals will gather at the Eugene Hilton Hotel & Conference Center for an afternoon of educational seminars, a construction product show, and an evening economic forecast featuring a keynote speech from leading Oregon economist John Mitchell.

BUILD 2010 will begin with a product show and free educational workshops on a variety of construction-related topics from 2:00– 5:30 PM. You’ll find a full list of topics and continuing education credit information on CSI’s website. The social hour begins at 5:30 PM, with dinner following at 6:30 PM; the program will start at 7:00 PM. The cost for dinner is $25 and reservations are required. If you are interested in attending please contact Tana Baker at (541) 687-9445 or by e-mail at

(1) I’m very appreciative of how understanding and accommodating Cornucopia’s owner, Alison Albrecht, was when faced with the challenge of serving food to many more people than she was asked to plan for. At the time of our RSVP cutoff, we had twenty-four confirmed respondents. Over fifty showed up at the party. Come on people! Send in your RSVP on time. It’s a matter of courtesy and respect to our caterer, and greatly assists with event planning. An accurate headcount is the best guarantee we have of ensuring that everyone gets their fill and is able to enjoy the full variety of food provided.

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