President's Message

Hello and thank you for your interest in the CSI Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter.

Friday, June 26, 2020
Health, Safety, & Welfare; these three precepts dominate the practice of architecture. According to the AIA Health is defined as “those aspects of professional practice that improve the physical, emotional, and social well-being of occupants, users, any others affected by buildings and sites”, Safety is defines as “those aspects of professional practice that protect occupants, users, and any others affected by buildings and sites” and Welfare is defines as “those aspects of professional practice that enable equitable access, elevate the human experience, encourage social interaction, and benefit the environment”. While ambitious and altruistic; these precepts can seem overly idealistic. But if you step back and think about the communities we work and live in; they are simply what we made them to be. They consist of choices each of us made, and those before us, collectively over time. If we want to make Health, Safety, & Welfare better we can begin by making new choices collectively over time. I believe we are at a precipice based on what has occurred over the last few months. Some suggest that CSI has no business addressing political issues and others say the opposite. I say it is up to each of us to decide how our choices can influence the communities around us. I believe that CSI has an opportunity to evolve, adapt, and contribute to the improvement of Health, Safety, & Welfare. It is up to each of us to decide what that will look like. I know that hope is not a strategy, but it is a motivation to believe in a better tomorrow. My hope is we can find new solutions to our current challenges and I believe we will be better for it.

It is my sincere hope that each of you are safe and healthy. That we take the opportunity we have in this moment to focus on what is important and why we work together to improve the little corner of the world we do have some influence over; and to accept what we cannot. I am pleased to report that the State of the Chapter is strong. With the help of the Board of Directors, Committee Chairs and their members, and our sponsors; along with vendor partners and individuals we managed to preserve our cash reserves with only minimal impact to the 2020-21 budget. This allows us the freedom to adapt our chapter’s offerings of construction document education, project and practice reviews, and professional to professional interaction to the new normal without interruption. While two premier events that drive interest and revenue into our chapter had to be deferred to this coming fall, I am confident we will emerge renewed.

Finally, in my last order of business as Chapter President I have had the privilege to swear in the new Board of Directors and acknowledge those who have contributed “above and beyond the call” in the last year at the annual Awards Dinner. Because of COVID we had to cancel that event but still plan on acknowledging them when we meet as a group once again. That being said; the President also has the privilege to recognize individuals that made his/her job easier. While I still have this platform, I would like to do that now.

Chapter President’s Certificates: Awarded at the discretion of the Chapter President for exceptional work performed on behalf of the Chapter.

  • Mark McPherson, who provided loyal counsel to the President and dedication to the details that protected the interest of the Chapter.
  • Mike Buchner, who provided constant optimistic support and guidance to the service of the President.
  • Susan Lee, who provided encouragement of innovation to the President and essential service to the Chapter
  • Gerhard Guth, who provided steadfast commitment to educational goals of the President and the Chapter
  • Andrew Garner III, who provided critical guidance to the President when navigating the functions of CSI
  • Gary Patrick, who provided by example the importance of “presidential stewardship” to the President
  • Cynthia Long, who provided guidance to the Board and the President to always remain true to the mission of CSI

Respectfully Submitted,

James R. Bergevin || CSI, CCPR, CDT