CSI is pleased to recognize the 2019 Class of Fellows and CSI Award Winners. Recipients will be honored during the CSI Honors and Awards Ceremony at CONSTRUCT 2019 in National Harbor, MD, Thursday, Oct. 10th.
Kermit Duncan AIA, CSI, CCCA, NCARB will be honored as a member of the Class of Fellows at the ceremony. Here, he discusses what the award means to him, and how CSI has impacted his life and career.
What does being a member of the 2019 Class of Fellows honorees mean to you?
Being selected as a member of the 2019 Class of Fellows is an honor that I humbly accept and will strive to live up to the high standards set by the College of Fellows. My purpose is to be attentive in continuing to seek ways to improve myself and my profession.
As Fellowship acknowledges contributions to the advancement of construction technology, of all your contributions to CSI, which of them are most significant to you?
Of my contributions, the most significant has been and continues to be involvement in CSI education and certification programs. Assisting fellow members of CSI and others to be successful in their pursuit of the exam process for certification is a way to thank those CSI members who assisted me in continuing education and achieving my CSI certifications.
What was your first job in the construction industry?
My first job in the construction industry was a summer internship working in an architectural firm following my sophomore year of Architecture School. Architectural documents were drawn by hand, but my regular task was practicing my lettering and making sets of prints on a blue line machine.
What has been your favorite aspect of making your career in this field?
As an Architect, I’ve found that there are a wide range of roles to pursue in the design and construction industry. Early in my career after working in architectural firms, I had an opportunity to work for a construction company on a construction management team for a large, multi-year municipal project. Being on site and involved with every aspect of the construction process, added a level of intensity and excitement that I experienced on a daily basis. Thinking about how work was done more than 30 years ago, the transformation from construction documents to physical construction was a daily and weekly reward.
How has being a member of CSI informed your life and career?
When I made the transition from working as an Architect, to working in support roles for Project/Construction Managers, I felt like a fish out of water. At the recommendations of my mentors, I joined CSI at the same time as this transition and studied to take the CDT Exam. One of the Owner’s representatives for the Municipal project joined me in studying for the exam. He realized the value of CSI education and practice and has remained a mentor that connected me with great work opportunities.
Is there anyone you would like to recognize for supporting the work you do?
Doug Lingren, CSI, Member Emeritus, CCS, Associate AIA for his patience 30 plus years ago starting me down the path of understanding the importance of the written documents in the construction industry and his continued support and leadership over the years, especially introducing me to CSI.
Alana Sunness Griffith, FCSI, Distinguished Member, Lifetime Member, CCPR and John “Grif” Griffith II, FCSI for their encouragement, separately and together (Yes, they are firm believers in the double-teamed, shock and awe approach), to help me see the value and fun by becoming more involved in CSI leadership roles in the Chapter and Region.
There are a host of other CSI members that are really too numerous to mention unless we are talking about writing a book. This highlights another great benefit of CSI membership.
What advice would you give to newer CSI members just entering this industry, or that you wish a colleague had given you?
Get involved with CSI programs and become a leader in the Chapter, Region, and Institute. In addition to building a network of reliable partners in the construction industry, you develop skills that you will use in your work and personal life. Preparing to be a presenter gives you an opportunity to gain even more knowledge on subjects that you have already experienced. No one in our industry does everything, but we all rely on others to do their part as we do our part. The best way to work as a team member is to have an understanding of how to interact with your teammates to deliver the best project.
What do you think the most significant changes, or opportunities, will be in the construction industry in the next 5 to 10 years?
I believe that methods of project delivery will continue to change in an effort to have more efficient transfer of knowledge from the design and development of construction documents to contractor selection and management of the construction process. The opportunities will be there, but will there be enough industry professionals to fill the roles?