FY2022 President's Message

By CSI Chicago Chapter posted 06-22-2021 10:35 AM


Dear CSI Chicago Members,

From early in my professional career as an interior designer and transitioning to a building product representative, CSI has been my guiding light within the construction industry. Although my level of involvement changed with each career move, the value I have for the education and relationships built within CSI, has not waivered. I will be forever grateful to those who took me under their wing to lead me to this wonderful family of professionals.  

I am honored and excited to step into the position of President this month with the plans of meeting face to face this fall. My personal goal this year is to understand what Influences you, as a member, to remain active in CSI. So, when you see me or a board member, please tell us why! I hope to meet each and every member in the coming months.

I want to thank Brad Schwab for his exceptional leadership during, what was likely, one of the most challenging years for the chapter. There were many hours spent by Brad and our many volunteers to redirect chapter communications to a digital structure, during a time when we were all consumed with our jobs, family, and concern for our health. Well done! We are in a positive financial position to begin the year, we have strong alignment with the chapter and foundation initiatives, and we strengthened our commitment for a more diverse and inclusive membership.

In June, the new board met for our annual retreat to define this years’ theme and goals:

Reveal CSI Chicago’s Community Spirit.

How we contribute and interact with chapter members and adjoining construction channels is paramount to our success. CSI Chicago is the foremost association for promoting technical knowledge in construction. We are leading the way for architects, specifiers, designers, and manufacturers to realize a higher performing built environment.

Goal #1: Strengthen existing member, partner, and ally engagement.

Goal #2: Increase visibility for CSI Chicago through participating, supporting, and partnering with neighboring associations in charitable efforts.

Goal #3: Focus and uncover needs of emerging professionals.  

Goal #4: Increase momentum related to value of certification program.

Goal #5: Execute a smooth transition with new management choice.

We will continue with our existing committees, along with introducing two others: Community Engagement and Chapter Awards. Our Programs committee is diligently working on a plan for fall roll out. We have connected with our home base at East Bank Club and hope we can begin to enjoy a sense of normalcy, or maybe balance is a better term. If you have any suggested topics, please submit your idea through our Technical Education Program Suggestion Form - your input is vital. If you filled out our survey related to virtual vs in-person meetings, the results are in and we are retooling as best we can to accommodate. There may be a few changes to meeting protocol, but we will be sure to communicate all procedures prior, so you know what can be expected before registering and arriving at the event.

And finally, this is my last shameless plug to call for committee volunteers. The strength and future of our chapter relies on its volunteers, so email me , Beth Winkler or sign up on the website if interested!


Jennifer Friendland, CSI, CDT

CSI Chicago Chapter President