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Community News

Mar 22, 2017

Leadership and the art of presidents

Pollock header

As I recall, my experience was both challenging and rewarding. The economy was really bad. Most architects were suffering. My partner had just retired, leaving ADD Inc with a terrible debt. I had to lay off many good people, including some principals, and I remember going over to the BSA with a feeling of relief from the difficulties at my firm.

​But things were not that much easier at the BSA. Members were resisting paying both AIA and BSA dues. We had to close the popular BSA bookstore, and the organization had just committed to the purchase of 52 Broad Street. The purchase was a stretch for the BSA and was possible only because of support of a few hearty members including Ed Choi FAIA Emeritus and Buzz Brannen FAIA Emeritus. The bank became our new best friend. These were not fun times.

Nevertheless, most of us survived. I am honored even now to have been elected president of the organization. It is a superior place to meet and work with outstanding people, and I treasure doing that. The BSA’s executive director, Richard Fitzgerald, cannot be thanked enough for his service. Serving as chair of the editorial board of ArchitectureBoston and helping Elizabeth Padjen FAIA create that publication was a particularly memorable experience. On reflection, there is no doubt that I grew because of my participation in the BSA.

Wilson Pollock FAIA, 1990 BSA president