President's Message January 2021

2021 has arrived!

This past year has certainly been an interesting one and for all of the setbacks that our industry faced, new opportunities have been opened up. As architects and industry professionals, we quickly learned new tools that enabled us to work remotely and figured out how to continue contributing to our built environments despite the challenges.

Before I touch on our plans for the year ahead, I would like to introduce myself. I am Jared Bilsak, AIA Eastern’s 2021 Chapter President. After graduating from Philadelphia University back in 2014, I moved back to the Lehigh Valley and have been working at Breslin Architects since then. I became involved with our chapter back in 2016 as the associate director. These past 5 years have certainly flown by and I would never predicted that by the time I became our chapter’s president that we would be in the middle of a pandemic and have to shift to a virtual world of events…

With that being said, we will continue with virtual events through the Winter but are developing ways to make these events more enticing while also introducing different and interesting educational topics. We are optimistic that we will be able to shift back to in-person events by the Spring in the form of construction tours, factory tours, and other building tours if the state of things permit us by then.

Moving forward as a chapter, we have and will continue strengthening our relationships with other local organizations such as CSI Greater Lehigh Valley, Green Building United, and even the local colleges and universities that offer architecture and building construction programs. We believe that developing these relationships with non-architects, other industry professionals, and students may open new insights and opportunities that we can then bring back to our firms and our communities.

This is just one of the focuses that aligns with our following mission statement:

‘To serve the community of architects and allied professionals through education and advocacy. To elevate public awareness of our profession. To encourage and nurture emerging professionals.’

On behalf of our board, we are looking forward to the year ahead and hope to see your continued support and participation. If you are interested in getting involved or have ideas in which our chapter can grow or evolve, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us on the board!

We’ll see you soon.

Jared Bilsak, AIA, CSI, CDT, LEED AP