Updates from Terri Hogan Dreyer, President of AIA New Orleans
(These updates have also been sent out via our newsletter, which we encourage you to sign up for)
[accordion-item title="Letter From Terri Hogan Dreyer 12/31/20"]
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- Increase representation
- Ensure equity
- Enforce accountability
- Commit to our minority community
- Design with Justice
[accordion-item title="Letter From Terri Hogan Dreyer 5/22/20"]
Good Afternoon Members and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
I hope all of you are staying safe, wearing masks, practicing social distancing and cleaning offices to carefully re-enter the local atmosphere! While we take time to reflect and honor our service members, we have decided to share with you what has been happening behind the scenes at AIA NOLA.
We are looking at a re-entry date of June 1 to open up the AIA Design Center. We are hoping to start by having both Aran and Lauren work there and see how the City handles the reentry before working on any in-person meetings or seminars. We will follow the City and State’s guidelines for any large group gatherings.
We are vigorously working to bring relevant, thoughtful content to our webinars while investigating different types of webinar software and A/V equipment for the Design Center to assist in elevating the webinar experience. My vote is to procure a better A/V system to allow for content as well as the typical talking head imagery.
From our 2020 board strategic plan for 2020 workshop, we identified that outreach and communication to our members needs more attention. Our website is the main feeder for information and it has been difficult to navigate. It is in need of a holistic calendar with all events local, state and national with an emphasis on the ability to spotlight all of our members, architects, associates and professional affiliates with their talents and sponsorships. Board member Javier Marcano and Content and Communications Coordinator Lauren Oglesby are spearheading this effort and we are grateful for their support.
We are launching the Redesigning Space Virtual Exhibition which explores the collaborative way in which we live work and play after COVID-19. How both public and private spaces will change and how the human condition will transform. Our preliminary start date is June 8. More information is forthcoming.
Storytelling Series: This is a webinar series we started to delve into the different paths of the architecture profession and introduce our membership to each other. We have Angela Morton, the AIA Lousiana State Board President coming up on May 29 (register here), and many more celebrities in our community who have agreed to participate. Stay tuned!
In addition to the our re-entry announcement, we have allocated dates for events that, whether through the web or in-person, we are committed to achieving this year for our members. The only one that may have to be re-thought is the bowling tournament, as we are awaiting rules on large gatherings
- Bowling Tournament: August 28, 2020 – Pending
- Golf Tournament:October 8, 2020
- Design Practice Exchange:September 11-12, 2020
- This was an amazing event held last year and championed by our Past President Jessica Walker. This years committee is stronger than ever with a host of amazing talent from Austin, Texas. Keep your eyes posted for the specifics.
- Design Awards: October 29, 2020
- Hopefully this event will be held at the CAC warehouse. Whether it happens there or online, we are looking for volunteers to hep with this event
- AIA 2030 Challenge Symposium: November 13-14, 2020
- This is a new event and will be in tandem with the AIA Louisiana Resiliency Seminar occurring August 17-18 in Baton Rouge
- The urban built environment is responsible for 75% of annual global GHG emissions: buildings alone account for 39%. Eliminating these emissions is the key to addressing climate change and meeting Paris Climate Agreement targets
- The focus will be on educating architects how to meet these goals and advocate for these goals, both locally and nationally. Moreover we will address the effects of climate change on Equity in architecture
- Holiday Party: December 11, 2020
Per our last virtual Member Meeting, AIA Louisiana is requesting volunteers for the following committees and nominees for the State Board.
- Chair: Current VP
- Current Members: 5-9 Chapter Members (recommended by their BOD) Whitney (AIA BR),
- Identify and recommend future leaders to the Board of Directors and the General Membership for vote at the Annual Meeting. Short-term duration of duties.
- Political Action
- Chair: Executive Director
- Current Members: Rex C,
- Operates separately but with some alignment in focus to the Advocacy Committee and in accordance with PAC requirements. Focus on relationship building with legislators as well as fundraising
- Associates & Emerging Professionals
- Co-Chairs: Assoc. AIA & AIA appointed members
- Current Members: Lance Matthews, Dominic Willard, Adam Grunzinger
- Create opportunities to aid in and increase the member value for intern architect members and those recently licensed
- CRAN (Custom Residential Architects Network)
- Current Members: Kevin Gros, Robert Ellis,
- Enhances member value with a focus towards residential markets, housing issues, design, and construction
I realize this is a healthy amount of information, but we have much to share. AIA has been working for you. It is the only member association that is also a lobbying firm for architects and our profession. I am proud and honored to be your 2020 President and look forward to seeing all of you in person, and if I can and you will let me, give you a hug.
[accordion-item title="Letter From Terri Hogan Dreyer 4/7/20"]
Good Afternoon Members,
As information moves so quickly these days, we want to keep you informed on what we know and give you links to information that we don’t fully know. Knowledge is power, and we hope to ensure that our members can be as powerful as possible when charting new territory for their future, business and profession.
In speaking with many members, most firms are working remotely while trying to maintain productivity. There is an expectancy of about a 20-30 percent drop in productivity due to stress, implementation and added responsibilities from working from home. This drop in productivity will decrease within the next weeks as routines are established (You can watch our recent webinar on remote work for some tips navigating the new normal).
Video Conference calls are the rage and many are wishing they bought stock in Zoom. Our firm has established a check-in once a day where we discuss projects. The call is only 15 minutes, but it provides feedback and positive communication about projects as well as a sense of inclusion desperately needed at this time. And, although our firm is working remotely, our operations manager, Ian, and myself come into the office to work for a few hours and check on the computers.
Work is progressing in some cases and slowing in others, yet there are forecasts from AIA National that our profession will bounce back in the third and fourth quarter.
Last week I participated in a meeting hosted by Timothy Hawk, on the AIA Government Advocacy Committee, and he described the many actions that AIA National has been doing to assist and engage Congress, ICC, state, and local communities for the future safety of the public, environment and profession.
Listed below are the highlights of the meeting and what initiatives are being generated:
- 3 Tasks Forces are being instituted:
- Task Force One: Best Practices This is a repository of information and projects to help architects with business continuity and form best practices for the future.
- Task Force Two: Engagement Letter: COVID-19 Guidelines to engage and access education on how we can reconceive public spaces for the future; what guidelines can be put in place for anxiety; clean air in public spaces; distancing of product, furniture, people; occupancy calculations, etc. This engagement will be through charrettes and analysis.
- Task Force Three: Short and Long Term Implications for Business Continuity. Kermit Baker, Hon AIA will be running many seminars that focus on the economic impact of COVID-19 and the construction profession.
- AIA was a part of the two recent bills, in particular the conversion of SBA loans to a grant and the PPE program.
- AIA is now pushing for the fourth stimulus COVID -19 bill, which could potentially include monies for vertical infrastructure and retirement IRA monies contributing to student loans.
- Solidification of Architecture Schools where expertise is essential — a reengagement with our emerging professionals to assist in lifting YAF members into the architectural profession.
- AIA National Conference has been postponed:
- This has caused the AIA to begin to think of the conference in a new and different ways, perhaps similar to a TED TALKS convention while reaffirming our partnerships.
- A new date for the convention will be sent out.
- AIA Membership Renewal will be extended to June 30 as a reprieve for our members.
- Strategic Plan is complete and submitted to the AIA board. It will be adopted by end of 2020. There is a focus on inclusivity, mobilization for the younger professionals and most of all Climate Change.
Our top priority is climate change and AIA will be a national leader on this front. Vivian Loftness FAIA, LEED AP, CPHC and university professor Paul Mellon stated that air is fueling the spread of these types of diseases and we must double down on environmental impact governance and advocacy. I firmly agree with this statement and AIA New Orleans is committed to upholding and creating opportunities for this purpose.
As for local information we have found that several websites and emails reports have been the most helpful :
- GNO, Inc. We recommend that you sign up for their newsletter.
- Louisiana Economic Development. Visit this site for information about loans and what the state is participating in
Finally, if you’re a board certified architect and one of your top specialties is healthcare, please reach out to Kathleen Gordon at email@example.com. The AIA LA is putting together a list of architects who may be able to step up and help, if need be, in keeping with the AIA Code of Ethics.
Although I have started drawing again, which has been incredibly calming to my personality, it apparently has not been enough for my eleven year old daughter Lucia. Last week she requested that we put up our camping tent in the backyard because she was moving out. She needed space and wanted to “get out for a while”. Lucia lived out in our backyard for 4 days and nights, deciding to come back into the house on Sunday. She missed her room but requested we keep the tent up in our backyard so she could “get away and have some alone time.”
Independence and ingenuity are a definite requirement for our current state of affairs; so is personal time, so if you need to, follow Lucia’s example and take care of yourself and grab some alone time…
Thank you and be in touch.
Terri Hogan Dreyer
President of the AIA New Orleans
[accordion-item title="Letter From Terri Hogan Dreyer 3/24/20"]
This past week has been complicated and frenetic to say the least!
We hope all of you are staying safe and have used our information for working from home, sites for trusted current information, and SBA financial information. Several issues have surfaced that need clarification, and we want to provide you with the most trusted and current information.
MAYOR LATOYA CANTRELL & THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS
We spoke with Mayor Latoya Cantrell last Thursday. The mayor requested a teleconference with AIA New Orleans, AGC, ASCE, and several of our affiliate organizations to ensure that our professions are considered essential personnel and that continuing New Orleans infrastructure and capital work during this difficult time for our city is absolutely critical. Architecture, engineering, and construction for both public and private work is to remain on course, specifically infrastructure and capital projects, but we must conduct our business as safely as we can for our community. This includes the combined Department of Public Works (DPW) and Sewerage and Water Board Joint Infrastructure Program projects, Capital Projects, NDR-HUD Green Infrastructure projects, as well as DPW maintenance projects.
City of New Orleans capital projects currently has 17 projects under construction valued at more than $75 million dollars. Work will be continuing with these projects. Between maintenance projects and the Joint Infrastructure Program, we currently have 26 DPW projects under construction valued at nearly $160 million dollars and work is continuing on all of these projects.
Second: for Construction, the safety and well-being of the crews working at these sites is paramount, and contractors must do what is necessary for crews to work safely by washing hands, practicing social distancing on sites, and furthermore staying home if they are feeling sick.
Finally: in the next 60 days, The City of New Orleans will have approximately $200 million dollars of Joint Infrastructure projects going out to bid and $20 million dollars of capital projects going out to bid. Within the next several weeks, the much anticipated staff augmentation RFP will be re-released for bid.
The City plans to continue with their quarterly industry days; the next one will be done via webinar sometime in April. All RFP’s and bid openings will be teleconferenced until further notice.
This is wonderful news in today’s climate, and AIA New Orleans assured the mayor that as a profession, we will do what we can to assist during this time. AIA New Orleans offered services for committee work, planning and whatever other essential tasks or strategies that may require our help. There will be a follow up meeting in the future as this teleconference is being put on her media calendar of events. Thank you, Mayor Cantrell!
WHAT THE AIA IS DOING:
The last two weeks have been full of change. We are here for you and your business to help you get through this difficult time. We have taken several steps to streamline information so it comes to you in a factual and timely manner.
- In response to the survey we sent out last week, we have set up a LinkedIn member only group, AIA New Orleans Member Forum, for sharing resources. It will also provide links for the most current information with the chance for all of us to communicate as the weeks pass.
- We are participating in webinars with local, state, and national organizations, including AIA, GNOF, and other nonprofit organizations to share knowledge for this crisis.
- We’re communicating with Professional Affiliate Members and sponsors to set up webinars for CEU’s and information about latest technology and materials
- We’re in constant communication and collaboration with Board members to ensure we are all communicating with members across all types of businesses to pass along information as we receive it.
- We will be submitting a weekly report via newsletter to all of our members and posting resources on the website and through social media, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook (see below for links).
- We’re also pleased to announce that Program Manager Aran Donovan has accepted the position of Interim Director. We are extremely excited and grateful that she accepted the position, and as she has been a powerful force this last year, she will continue to excel and provide deliberate paths for us moving forward. She is an incredibly organized and resourceful asset to AIA New Orleans, and we are thrilled she accepted the position.
Finally, thank you for your time and commitment to our AIA component and our profession. Change is difficult but essential to the survival of our profession, and I look forward to working with you all as we adapt to these new circumstances.
Terri Hogan Dreyer
President of the AIA New Orleans
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Yesterday, a state of emergency was declared both in Louisiana and New Orleans in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. More information on the virus in New Orleans can be found here. General information on the virus can be found on the CDC’s website here.
We take these developments seriously and are carefully considering steps both within our office and with regard to upcoming committee meetings and events. We will reach out with more information as decisions are made.
Within your firms, we ask that you have conversations about office hygiene (cleaning surfaces and washing hands), encouraging sick employees to stay home, holding conference calls instead of in-person meetings, and creating a flexible work environment and remote work where appropriate. The CDC has a guide for Employers and Businesses here.
We’ll post updates when we have them. Please keep an eye on local media and NOLA Ready for any developments.
Terri Hogan Dreyer
President of the AIA New Orleans
Updates from AIA New Orleans Staff
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We have reformatted our COVID-19 web resources to reflect the amount of information we have been receiving from local, state, and national outlets. Please feel free to email if you have a resource or tip: firstname.lastname@example.org
[accordion-item title="AIANO Staff Update 3/17/20"]
In response to the spread of COVID-19, the staff of AIA New Orleans/NOAF will be working remotely until further notice. We are available during business hours via email, phone, or social media, and encourage you to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns. Our website will be kept current with any event postponements or cancellation, and this webpage will be continuously updated as new resources are made available to our membership.
Thank you for your understanding as we work together to serve our community. We hope you are staying healthy and safe during this challenging time.