As we step forward into the promising possibilities of a new year, I am delighted to write my first letter as your President of AIA Baltimore. This role comes to me from the incredible work our Past President, Martina Reilly, AIA had begun in addressing the chapter’s strategic goals. I appreciate the contributions of our members, and I thank you for your hard work as you are the life of this organization. As we embark on this year, I extend a warm welcome to both our longstanding members and those newly joined or will be joining our community.
Let me take a moment to introduce myself. I came to Baltimore from the West Coast with a background in history and a training in architecture with an enthusiasm for sustainable design. I was drawn to stay here due to Baltimore’s history, but more to the spirit, fortitude and compassion of the people that live in and around the area. AIA Baltimore helped me nurture a commitment of encouraging an environment of creativity, collaboration, and progress within myself and our organization. With nearly 20 years in the profession in Baltimore, I have enjoyed collaborating with people to host a ‘Green Schools Conference’, mentoring with students at Morgan State and MICA, and working with talented individuals in shaping our area.
Last year in our chapter, our members contributed to:
- Having conversations on how to address Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice issues within our chapter membership on the board, the programs we put on and how AIA Baltimore can facilitate addressing the topic within the membership.
- Focusing on bringing programming to the Center for Architecture and Design at One Charles Center.
- Working on improving membership opportunities to engage with your colleagues and friends.
- Discussing how the chapter can best address issues affecting the profession and the built environment within the local communities that make up AIA Baltimore.
As I look ahead to the upcoming year, I see a year filled with impactful initiatives aimed at not only celebrating the beauty of architecture, but also addressing the pressing challenges faced by our industry. Already planned are engaging events starting with the Baltimore City Comprehensive Plan Open House for Downtown at the Center on Friday, Baltimore Architecture Foundation’s annual Groundhog Party on February 3rd, and thought-provoking discussions at Civic Lab beginning in February (Registration now open!)
Your involvement and participation are pivotal to our success. I invite each of you to unite efforts in shaping the future of our city, area, and profession. There are numerous ways to get involved, whether through volunteering your time and expertise, following our newsletters and social media for events and workshops, or actively engaging in our various committees and projects. Your unique perspectives and contributions will enrich our collective efforts and bring depth to our initiatives.
Additionally, I encourage you to reach out with any ideas to either myself or our great staff with your suggestions or anything you may have. Your feedback is invaluable, and I am committed to ensuring that our chapter remains inclusive, responsive, and supportive of each member.
Together, let us continue the legacy of excellence and collaboration, working to advance the field of architecture and create a just and equitable impact in our communities.
Thank you for your ongoing support, dedication, and commitment to AIA Baltimore. Feel free to come up and introduce yourself at our next event. I am looking forward to this year of expanding, empowering, and engaging with our membership and our community.
Ryan Jordan Pfarr, AIA