AIA Grassroots 2013

AIA 2013 Grassroots Candidate Speech
Debra S. Kunce, FAIA

Have you ever been practicing for a big interview and had an “Ah Ha” moment. I had just that moment recently. As I was rehearsing this speech, my nine year old daughter asked, “Do architects see the future in a different way than other people?” I paused. We do see it differently, in part because we recognize the positive impact Architects have on our future. We know that, through design, we are creating a better world., It is TIME to tell OUR story.

My name is Deb Kunce, FAIA, and I want to be your  First Vice President / President Elect. When I was on this stage a few years ago, I told the story about our need for BOLD actions. Today, I am extending an invitation to all of you – an invitation to participate.  John F. Kennedy challenged a country when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  That call to action engaged every American.   Do you remember what a difference that made?

It’s time for our own Call to Action.. As Architects, we have the education, skills and talent to create  better places, better communities and a better  profession. It will not be easy, but together, we can BOLDLY design our Future.

Imagine a future where emerging professionals are attracted to our organization because they see AIA members sharing meaningful and impactful stories. Stories of how our office buildings inspire new ways of working; how our school buildings enrich a student’s learning experience; how our collaborative leadership and problem-solving skills transform a community, or how our design thinking saves a city.

The pace of change today is unprecedented. Our past experiences and knowledge are  springboards to our unlimited future. As AIA Leaders, we must continue to uphold our traditions of excellence, while also challenging yesterday’s thinking.

I have a collaborative leadership style and I focus on achieving results. These attributes help bring clarity in complex situations, which AIA faces now more than ever. I will help us FOCUS. I have been at the Repositioning table, and I know our BOLD actions will result in a stronger organization, one that is poised to create  the  future we desire.

I also KNOW and RESPECT how important it is for all of us  to reach out across the Institute when crafting new initiatives, working WITH and THROUGH our components and engaging our next generation of emerging leaders.

So…The answer to my daughter’s question is YES, Architects do see the future differently than others. Will your sons and daughters share our vision?  It WILL be possible when we talk about what we’re doing, the relevance of our work, and the impact it makes. We must use language about architecture and design that is more accessible and inclusive. We must meet our audiences on their terms.

My challenge to you is simple…. Join me. This is OUR organization and WE will make this DIFFERENCE.  This is our time to change our world and our profession. We must reevaluate and strengthen our core foundation to achieve this better future, and we need AIA leaders willing to act.

My name is Deb Kunce. I ask for your support and your vote. Most importantly, I ask you to join me. Join me in telling our story. Join me in creating a better world , a better profession, and a better AIA. Let’s make this difference together.

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