New at the Helm

June 30, 1998 · by Ryan Cramer

The AIA Convention held mid-May in San Francisco was the largest ever with total attendance topping 19,200 according to CFO Fred Deluca. The educational programs guided by Brenda Henderson were again outstanding.

The AIA Convention held mid-May in San Francisco was the largest ever with total attendance topping 19,200 according to CFO Fred Deluca. The educational programs guided by Brenda Henderson were again outstanding. Were the exhibitors happy? Eighty percent have already signed up for next year’s event in Dallas. Aside from the persistently long and tedious registration lines, this year’s convention set a new high mark for its organization and resourcefulness. Richard Farson’s theme presentation provided a provocative and fresh angle on design leadership. John Gaillard, convention director in DC, and the entire San Francisco AIA Chapter deserve a lot of credit for creating a framework and an implementation plan that truly performed. San Francisco provided an environment conducive to community, creativity and unique value.

Strategically, the new policy set by AIA’s board of directors to provide free registration for members was a critical breakthrough.

HKS Architects’ CEO Ron Skaggs was elected first vice president-president elect of AIA. That means that he will follow Ron Altoon (Altoon and Porter Architects) and Mike Stanton (Michael Stanton Architecture) and will be president from December of 1999 through December 2000. Architects have a lot of things on their minds these days judging by the questions and comments brought up at the regional caucus sessions.

Why was Skaggs elected? Here are some comments that came from delegates:

  • Visionary leadership skills
  • Radiates confidence and stimulates other architects to new levels
  • Orientation toward cooperation and collaboration as competitive strategy
  • Promotes harmony and teamwork within AIA’s complex regional system
  • Receptive to grassroots ideas
  • Promotes quality values throughout the industry
  • Effective communicator, translating complex issues into common terms

    The Dallas-based HKS now has over 400 staff with offices in Los Angeles, Tampa, Orlando and Richmond. The depth of leadership in the firm includes veteran Joe Buskuhl who has consistently focused on getting positive results in the building segments of commercial office buildings and well-designed health care facilities.

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