September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014

As many of you know, Obi and I have been doing a lot of travel recently. Obi just spent a week touring the AIAS chapters and schools across Texas, and I’ve been on a crazy trip around the West Quad, ranging from San Diego to Bozeman, Montana! It’s been an exhausting run, including 10 schools, 8 chapters, 3 AIA meetings, a FORUM site visit, 5000 miles in the air, 2300 miles on the ground, and more truck-stop meals than I care to remember!

So why do we do all this running around? Because as much as we love hearing from you all on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email and every other digital means available, sometimes we just need to see you face-to-face! Not every member gets a chance to attend FORUM or Grassroots, but many of them have amazing ideas to share!

The reason we do all this travel is to learn from you, on your own turf, about what you’re doing and how well it’s working, so that we can share your successes with chapters all over the country! We also want to hear from you, your boards, your faculty advisors and professors, and the professionals in your community how we can better support what you’re doing! I’ve heard all kinds of great ideas on this trip, like this one from Jake Liddicoat at the University of Idaho: How cool would it be if chapters could upload their posters and marketing layouts as templates on the AIAS site, and allow other chapters to buy those templates for their own meetings and events?? Post templates, make money for your chapter! Buy templates, save precious time for your overworked marketing director!! It’s a win-win!! (Thanks Jake; we’ll work on building this into the new website we’re developing!!)

This is just one of the many great ideas I’ve heard over the last few weeks. It’s been so great that I’m already starting to plan my next big chapter tours, so I can keep learning from you! (Hint: The Midwest and Florida are high on my list!!) We’re even sending Quad Directors and our staff associates to represent the AIAS at conferences like the Equity by Design conference in San Fran and the Holcim Awards in Toronto!

So, if you think we need to send someone to come see the amazing things going on at your chapter, speak up!! We’re listening!!

– Charlie Klecha