Trustee's Report Of Mid-Year Meeting: May 20-21, Washington DC

Membership Dues
An evaluation of dues by the Finance and Investments Committee and the Member Services Committee was presented to the Board of Trustees.  The committees’ recommendation is a dues increase of five (5) percent or fifteen ($15.00) dollars, effective January 1, 2017, for Full, International, and Affiliate Members.  No dues increase would be scheduled in 2018. The Board approved the dues increase because it is tracking with national cost increases.

Graduated Dues for Emerging Professionals
A plan was presented for a graduated dues structure for emerging professionals to improve retention among emerging professionals as the dues payments would increase with their capacity to pay the dues.  A chart of the dues structure for 2017-2018 was presented for approval. The Board unanimously approved the graduated dues plan which eliminates the first year free since that may have given the wrong perception of the value of membership.

Climate Change and Resilience
As part of this year’s strategic planning, the Board was asked to take a closer look at ASLA initiatives and programs related to the issues of climate change and resilience.  The importance of climate change to the profession—and the importance of the profession in responding to climate change—has been identified in the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis.

The trustees were asked to:  1) Identify the top two-to-four anticipated aspects/outcomes of climate change that will affect landscape architects or on which landscape architects have particular expertise.  2) Review current ASLA programs and projects that relate to climate change and resilience and identify any gaps or areas where additional ASLA efforts are needed.

Rebranding ASLA
At its fall 2015 meeting, the Board passed a motion to begin a rebranding study in 2016 pending availability of 2015 year-end funds.  Based on 2015 financial results, and depending on the scope and cost of the rebranding project, funds may be available to begin the project this year. The Board discussed and finalized the scope of the rebranding project to enable next steps.  Susan Waldman, a branding expert, facilitated an interactive discussion to follow through on the survey results from the Board and to determine directions to take to begin drafting an RFP.

--Curtis LaPierre

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