Citizen Architect – Giving back to the community.

As I sit here planning my day I am making a mental checklist to be sure I am not overlooking anything. You see, I have a hard time saying “no”and tend to get involved in many activities, organizations, and events….

I believe that every Citizen has a duty to serve their local community. You should give back if you expect to take from the services being offered (sidewalks, roads, electricity, non-profits, landscaping, parks, food….). This should not be seen as optional, this should be done by everyone. Sometimes your service will simply be taking care of your neighbor’s yard while they are on vacation, feeding their dogs, and watering their plants. Sometimes it is service on a board or volunteering to help with a non-profit. Sometimes it is giving money to help support a good cause or voting for a local school in an online fundraiser. Working hard for your community helps you and your neighbors. Serving others is good for the soul, it builds community fabric, it strengthens local resolve.

As an Architect I have certain skills that benefit the community in ways different from a doctor, school teacher, or banker. I see solutions, identify problems, I am organized. These are not traits that serve you well at dinner parties where conversations with me almost always go to what needs to be fixed in your home. They do serve well in organizing events, delegating tasks, and seeing needs and offering solutions. Here is a list of some of the activities I have been involved with this year. I encourage you to find places where you can be engaged in the community and give your time, energy, and money to support them. It will make us all stronger to have you involved!

Presented “Common problems in your home” to the Spotswood Garden Club

Promote and attend Harrisonburg Tweet Ups

Founded the HR Chamber of Commerce Aging in Place Round Table – Serve as Vice Chairman, maintain the Facebook page and blog

Organized and Hosted the Central Virginia CSI Education Sessions at the Annual Product Expo

Serve on the SVBA Green Expo Committee in charge of children’s activities

Serve as the EMES PTF President

Help organize monthly Harrisonburg Green Drinks Events

Presented “Building Green” to the Darden Business School at UVA

Serve as Secretary of the SVBA

Serve on the SVBA Home and Garden Committee assisting with “special activities”

Founded and Organize the SVBA Builder Smarts Education Series

Presented “Sustainable Design Elements” at UVA Architecture School

Serve on the Parkview Mennonite Church Creation Care Council

Presented “Solar Innovations in Commercial Design” for CAAV

Worked the JMU Basketball Concessions Stand for a EMES Fundraiser

Helped to Charter the HR Green Network and serve as the Vice Chair

Presented “Innovation in the Construction Industry” for the Shenandoah Valley Tech Council

Served on the EMS Soup and Arts Committee

Volunteered time to Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity‘s second LEED for Homes Project

Presented “LEED Industrial Case Study” for the Construction Specifications Institute

Worked a booth and volunteered time for the SVBA Home and Garden Show

Volunteered at a booth at the Black’s Run Cleanup Day

Spoke with EMES Kindergarten students about Earth Day and celebrated a 1/2 birthday

Chaperoned a EMES Second Grade Field Trip

Attended the Ground Breaking for an affordable housing project in Charlottesville that we have donated time to support

Attended the CATEC Foundation Lunch (I work with students each year to design a house they build)

Led a Sunday School Class looking at Caring for Creation

Volunteered time to Greene County Habitat for Humanity‘s first LEED for Homes Project

Assisted with several Social Media Presentations around the country for the Construction Specifications Institute

Met with Cub Scouts to talk about Architecture

Presented “Design Matters” at a Virginia Tech Innovations Summit

Hosted three-day training for the SVBA for CAPS certification

Served on the EMS Planning Committee organized and led by Blue Ridge Architects

organized and hosted an Energy Star training session for local builders

Helped organize the Harrisonburg Parklet Project

Serve on the Harrisonburg Downtown Design Committee

Presented at the Virginia Sustainable Building Network Annual Meeting

Served on a panel discussion about careers in Engineering at JMU Engineering School

Serve on the CSI Green Format Task Team

Organized the Central Virginia CSI Summer Social

Organizing and hosting a tour of Charlottesville for the Energy Industry Study Program

Organizing and hosting a tour of Harrisonburg for AIA-CV

Serve on the Harrisonburg Downtown Landscape Committee

Seems like there should be more on the list, wonder what I am forgetting. Guess I better get more organized!

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