2013.09 President's Letter

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Summer vacations are mostly over. Our interns are heading back to college, some entering their final year and eagerly awaiting job opportunities in the construction industry. Whether they consider themselves students of design, engineering, or marketing very few, if any, would tell you they are embarking on a career in technical writing—especially specification writing. We need to consider where we are heading.
Today, the improvement of our project delivery systems should be at the forefront of our industry. We have to start communicating with and teaching not only the newly-emerging professionals but the entire team about the process of getting a building designed, financed, built, and maintained. The process is vast, but one of the current tools that makes some sense out of it is the specifications. This document connects everybody together. As we all know, specifications (and all construction documents) must be clear, concise, and their message must be conveyed completely to ensure a well-built environment. The job of creating a set of specifications is much greater than the title “specification writer” conveys. Those individuals embody a resource that is essential to the design and construction process, from concept to built facility, and beyond. 
CSI offers the highest level of professional training in this field. Volunteer instructors devote their time and effort to teach, mentor, and offer their experience in providing solutions for complex problems in order to enhance the built environment. This summer, Cliff Marvin has been teaching the review course for the Construction Document Technology exam, leading to CDT Certification. The course uses a syllabus designed to further one’s education on the construction process, with an emphasis on documentation. The class has met for 8 sessions to date.
Jeff Matles continues his tireless effort with his team planning the Metropolitan New York CSI Trade Show. On Wednesday, October 9, the Trade Show will be offering high-level continuing education credits with actual project teams discussing their experiences on some major projects throughout the New York area. These seminars are being offered by some of the most respected professionals in the industry.
Other examples of professionals giving their time and talent to assure the success of our chapter include Bill Dubois, who led our planning meeting in August, continuing to develop our vision for our chapter’s growth and future relevance, following the path set by the Institute. Ken Raikowski and Anthony Drummond are co-chairing our Golf Outing that supports the Frybergh Scholarship Fund. Some exciting news on this front: this will be the biggest Golf Outing at least five years, with over 100 golfers signed up, and the roster is growing. We have fun on this Outing, so you won’t want to miss it, on Tuesday, September 10.
This summer Tom Lanzelotti held the first-ever new members orientation for all those who joined in 2012 and 2013, at the Dorma Showroom. The theme for the new members was “Let’s grow your knowledge and build something together!” The whole Chapter will get to see that beautiful location on Wednesday, September 11, as we have the kick-off program for the year, put together by Bob Crane and Chris Kroeter. The program is appropriately on the subject of the World Trade Center and all that has happened on that site since 9/11 of 2001. Bob and Chris already have a great year of programs planned, keeping up the quality of programs that our Chapter is becoming known for.
Many more of our volunteers are working tirelessly within our Chapter. Linton Stables manages and edits our website and the e-newsletter, with along with his Treasurer duties; Ruma Som chairs the Academic Committee, with its huge success sponsoring the ECOHABITAT House, the Solar Decathlon entry from Stevens Institute, as well as the awarding of two scholarships in the Spring; Bill Jacquette continues to make sure you get your AIA credits for our programs; and there are many others who we will feature in future newsletter.  I want to thank all of them for their continuing efforts.
Summer vacation has been CSI for many of us.
‘We are CSI” The time to get involved is now: join our organization, and together we can make a difference.


Arnie Kravitz, CSI
President, Metropolitan New York Chapter CSI