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May 03, 2017

(AIA) Sisterhood is powerful

Goldstein header

Header image: Convention Center Auditorium. Credit: Ed Uthman, creative commons license, modified.

The BSA of today is clearly different from what it was in the late 1990s—as is the case with the culture and profession in the larger context. I was very proud to be the BSA president in 1997 and saw it as a real personal accomplishment. Since my presidency was nearly 20 years ago, the details have become a bit fuzzy. Nevertheless, a few things stand out for me:

  • My year as president-elect actually seemed more significant in some ways than my year as president. The primary reason was that I led the BSA’s Long-Range Plan effort that ultimately put in place some significant changes to the board structure, reflecting the emerging priorities at the time. As I recall, those changes included creating several new commissioner positions focused externally rather than simply on member services. The work involved in developing the plan was intense and very rewarding, and brought me into contact with dozens of members across the region.
  • Richard Fitzgerald, the BSA’s executive director at the time, was an enormously effective leader who made it possible for the president and board members to do their jobs well while still maintaining active professional practices. Without Richard, I don’t think I could have done what I did as president.
  • In addition to the various leadership and ceremonial functions of the presidency, I particularly enjoyed representing the BSA in interactions with our sister AIA chapters, especially those of the major cities. We clearly were held in high regard by our peers (which I hope is still the case!), and I did my best to “carry the BSA flag.” The relationships I developed through that networking experience have been valuable ever since.

My overall impression looking back was that I felt I had a positive impact on the BSA during my tenure and that, when I passed the baton to Peter Kuttner FAIA, the groundwork had been laid for the next several years of the organization’s activities.

Happy anniversary in 2017!

Roger N. Goldstein FAIA, 1997 BSA president