As everyone prepares to relax during the holidays and the calendar year winds down, I wanted to give you a few updates on what’s been happening at ASLA, from the Executive Committee perspective.
The ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago was a huge success! With over 6,000 attendees, the event exceeded both registration and vendor projections, making it one of the largest in ASLA’s history. The Annual Meeting & Expo makes up nearly one-half of ASLA’s $12 million budget each year, so your continued support helps keep ASLA on very stable financial ground. The call for presentations is already out for the 2016 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, October 21-24.
ASLA is reviewing construction bids for the $6.3 million ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture project at our headquarters building. Staff will be moving to a temporary location, allowing work to begin soon. The move will not affect ASLA’s operations, but the office will be closed December 14-15 to allow for the move. Three of your chapter leaders have already pledged $15,000 for the project, and a new conference room in the Center will bear the California Sierra Chapter’s name as recognition. In addition, the UC Davis Student Chapter became the ONLY student chapter to donate to the project! They pledged $1,899 to become ‘1899 Society’ level sponsors. How’s THAT for leadership among our local students and future emerging professionals!?
Be on the lookout in early 2016 for a Chapter Pledge Drive Challenge. We will be challenging our members to collectively match current pledges over the course of the next 3 years, and will be reaching out to firms and members for their support. All donations will be tax deductible. Stay tuned for more…
Operationally, the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees approved ASLA’s 2016 Annual Operating Plan and 2016-17 Operating and Capital Expense Budgets in Chicago. Other agenda items included ratifying new Ethics and Document Retention Policy amendments to ASLA’s Constitution, beginning our annual Constitution & Bylaws review, and discussing the annual Performance Review program for the ExCom and Board. Time was also spent discussing new ways to engage Student and Associate ASLA Members. This included approval of new Student and Associate Member Advisory Councils to the Board. Both new Advisory Councils will begin development during 2016.
Lastly, as Vice President of Membership, I want to mention that ASLA saw it’s 3rd straight year of increased membership since the economic downturn. Overall these increases have been very conservative, but any growth is good for the Society as a whole. I continue to work with ASLA staff and my national volunteer committees to develop new ways to better enhance the VALUE of all categories of membership in ASLA. If you have questions, comments or concerns about your ASLA membership, please reach out to me so I can be of service to you.