Presidents Message

David L Stipe, ASLA, LLA

Before I discuss some of the goals the Executive Committee and myself have for the next couple of years, I want to thank Courtney Landoll, ASLA for her tireless service to the chapter most recently as Chapter President.  Her passion for all things Washington ASLA shone through in her correspondence with the Executive Committee and to the chapter as a whole.  As Courtney mentioned in last month’s newsletter her term has come to an end.  Following an energizing week in Denver and the ASLA National Meeting, the presidential torch has been passed to me.  I am honored to accept the challenge of sustaining and expanding the chapter over the next two years. 

Historically, the Chapter President has served a one-year term.  Over the last several months, the Executive Committee debated the benefits and drawbacks of switching to a presidential term of service to two years.  The primary reasoning behind the two-year term is to establish a little more continuity in the position and to ease the recruitment of so many Executive Committee candidates annually.  With the change, we will seek a president elect every other year, trustee every three years and secretary/treasurer every other year.  The executive committee also combined the positions of secretary and treasurer into one position on the heels of a change to how our monthly book keeping is done.  The treasurer no longer prepares the monthly financial statements; now, our management company SBI prepares the statements for review by the treasurer and ultimately the Executive Committee.  This is of great benefit to the chapter, as the financials are prepared by staff with experience in preparing such documents and reports. 

With added efficiencies at the executive level, the committee is free to focus on expanding programs and membership outreach.  Outlined below are some the EC’s goals for the 2015-2016 term.

Continued fiscal discipline
For the last decade plus, members of the chapter Executive Committee have worked hard to establish a stable financial platform for the chapter.  As a result, the EC has been able to establish a reserve policy with a nine-month funded capital reserve fund as its basis.  From that envious financial position, the chapter can look to expand some programs, add and refine others to better serve the chapter. 

Expanded Emerging Professional Opportunities
Currently our chapter provides a number of opportunities for student and recent grads to cross paths with established practitioners.  This exposure to practicing landscape architects takes on many forms including jury reviews, guest lectures, mentorship and social events.  The Executive Committee will begin working on a couple of new programs this year with a focus on a job shadow week and a firm studio crawl to further enhance relationship building opportunities for students and recent grads. 

Scholarship Growth
Another agenda item of note to landscape architecture students is a potential expansion of the chapter scholarship program.  The chapter’s scholarship program has grown from $500 for two students annually to $2,000 for two top candidates.  The 2015-2016 Executive Committee will seek funding through chapter sponsorship and practicing firm support on an annual basis.  Our hope is to increase the scholarship fund to over $6,000, giving the EC the flexibility to give additional scholarships to eligible students.

These and several other initiatives will be the focus of the Washington Chapter Executive Committee’s efforts along with the chapter’s subcommittees.  It will be my pleasure over the next 24 months to share our chapter successes and seek your input and advice when we face hurdles in the advancement of our practice and the development of our young professionals.

Yours truly,

David L Stipe, ASLA, LLA.


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