Here's hoping that this note finds you in good form. A few of us exchanged quick "hellos" in Chicago, but my convention schedule became filled with Executive Committee duties and meetings with visiting delegations -- completely undoing plans to have time with the AIA International Region and the AIA International Practice Committee.
You know about the steps the AIA membership took in Chicago to trim the size of our Board and to establish a new "AIA Strategy Council" (full details are available on Institute web pages).
One upshot, significant for our interests: As of early December 2014 -- in just five months -- there will no longer be an AIA International Director; and the AIA International Region (and thus our five-soon-to-be-six offshore Chapters) will not have an assured spot on the new AIA Strategy Council, after the former International Director's transition.
Work is needed to advance people to serve effectively in one or both of these bodies. Perhaps more than ever, "offshore" members will need to strive to participate in AIA governance, so I hope that our Region and the International Practice Committee will take this up as a matter for strategic planning.
It was gratifying to hear rave reviews for the pre-convention workshop on which so many of you worked. Please let me extend thanks and congratulations to James Wright and to the group he recruited to make that happen. Wishing you a fine summer, with hopes we'll meet before long (for example, in Paris from 23-26 October 2014: aiaeurope.org/paris) .
Thomas Vonier FAIA RIBA
AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS