Sunday, October 25, 2015

Back to the Future

There was a terrific turnout last Thursday evening at Shadows Hill Country Club for the 50th Anniversary celebration for the Willamette Valley Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute. Seventy-plus chapter members (past and present) and guests commemorated the occasion with a walk down memory lane testifying to the chapter's half-century of achievements, camaraderie, and influence both here in the Willamette Valley and also on the national scene.
It was in May of 1965 that John Amundson, Eldon Shields, Paul Edlund, and Richard Gessford attended the CSI convention in San Diego. There they determined that CSI could help improve the building construction industry back home in Oregon. Upon returning to Eugene, Paul and Richard called a meeting to spread the word and seek support for establishing a new CSI chapter in the Eugene/Springfield area. The CSI idea caught fire, and with help from NW Region Director Dick Ehmann and a few members of the already established Portland Chapter, the institute granted the Willamette Valley chapter its charter in October 1965. 
The 24 charter members of the Willamette Valley Chapter CSI were:

  • John Amundson
  • Bob Ashbaugh
  • Jim Balzhiser
  • Jim Bernhard
  • Paul Bogen
  • Eldon Brown
  • John Briscoe
  • Rick DeYoung
  • Dale Dukes
  • Stan Ducyk
  • Paul Edlund
  • Richard Gabriel
  • Richard Gessford
  • Miles Kontich
  • Don Leavitt
  • Fred Masarie
  • Max Moorhead
  • Gene Schaudt
  • Larry Nielson
  • Bruce Purdy
  • Eldon Shields
  • Walt Schmeiding
  • Bob Stearns
  • Paul Wilson
We were all blessed to have two of these charter members—Paul Edlund and Dick Gessford (who was the Willamette Valley Chapter’s first-ever president)—on hand for the festivities. 

Paul Edlund, FCSI (my photo)
During the course of its 50-year history, CSI dramatically improved communications and collaboration within the local AEC industry. The Willamette Valley Chapter grew quickly, doubling its membership in the first year alone. It was only three years before it hosted its first CSI NW Region conference (at the Country Squire Motor Inn). By the time the seventies rolled along, the chapter was collecting awards for technical excellence, membership growth, and counting its own amongst the institute’s national leadership. Paul Edlund would become the chapter’s first member elevated to Fellowship in the institute. The ensuing decades would see the chapter collect more than its share of institute accolades, including an unrivaled sixteen consecutive “Outstanding Chapter” commendations (including this year), and propel several of its members to positions of prominence at the national level. 

(photos by Steven Leuck)

The Willamette Valley Chapter has much to be proud of. The 50th Anniversary celebration highlighted all of this as well as setting a very optimistic tone for the chapter's next fifty years. The evening's speakers—Paul Edlund, FCSI, Jim Chaney, FCSI (past Institute President and current WVC-CSI President-Elect), and Bob Simmons, FCSI (immediate Institute Past-President)—collectively looked back to the historic high points while also praising the chapter's resilience and forward-thinking attitude. Tom Deines, FCSI, served as the master of ceremonies.

Tom Deines, FCSI (my photo)
Tom was also the chair of the anniversary celebration’s organizing committee. The other committee members included Jim Christian, Linn West, Jon Texter, Loren Berry, and Marina Wrensch (I’m sure I forgot to include someone; if so, please accept my apologies). The committee did a great job organizing an event we’ll all remember for a long time. 

Deva Priyo and Gypsy Moon provided wonderful musical accompaniment throughout the proceedings. 

We definitely all owe thanks to the evening’s sponsors for helping make it such a great success.

  • Contractors Electric
  • Chambers Construction
  • Twin Rivers Plumbing
  • Robertson/Sherwood/Architects pc
  • Essex General Construction, Inc.
  • DeaMor
  • KPD Insurance and Risk Solutions
  • Rodda Paint
  • John Hyland Construction
  • TNT Consulting, LLC
  • Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc.
If I could jump into Dr. Brown’s DeLorean time machine and visit the Willamette Valley Chapter in 2065, I’m sure I’d find it still going strong, still setting the bar high. Looking back from 2015 across the span of its storied history was great. Looking forward, I’m certain the chapter has much, much more to accomplish.


Steven Leuck said...

I'm thinking in 2065 the biggest topics of discussion will revolve around holographic pre-build demonstrations walk-thrus of our projects for suitability prior to construction.

Randy Nishimura, AIA, CSI, CCS said...

Steven: Well, immersive, virtual walk-thrus are possible today, so holographic versions probably aren't that far-fetched at all.