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Gregg Strollo, AIA Ohio President
By way of introduction, I am Gregg Strollo, a partner in Strollo Architects, headquartered in Youngstown, and the AIA Ohio President for 2016.
Though I am around six feet tall with a generally sour demeanor, this message will be short and sweet.
First of all, kudos to 2015 President Jim Sarks. Just when he was most effective, his year came to an end. This will be one of our discussion points moving forward. Though there is an ascension plan, the officers and senior leadership serve one year terms, we throw them out, and re-order responsibilities. I will be recommending that we revisit our by-laws so that the terms be lengthened to allow seasoned volunteers to be more effective, and establish more orientation time for ascending officers.
For the coming year, we as a State Organization, can expect to be fully engaged in meshing our State Strategic Plans with the National Stra tegic Initiatives. There are new Core Criteria, new Membership Engagement vehicles, and a robust new Public-Relations and Media effort. We will be rolling out new membership initiatives, particularly geared toward emerging architects, as our Statewide Membership has receded a bit. Our statewide census is critical to our voice nationally, as delegates are tied to membership.
So dive in... our Chapters are doing fabulous things, and sharing their insights with each other. If you are not currently active, start locally by attending events - each chapter has a full calendar. Your options are vast - social, educational, service and leadership. State, Regional, and National conventions and Grassroots meetings are loaded with content and you get to see old classmates that probably haven't aged as gracefully as you.
If you have a gripe, pearl of wisdom or question for me, I'll make every effort to respond. I'll be visiting each chapter for an event or meeting, and am available by email or phone to any member, anytime.
Do great work... a rising tide raises all ships,
Gregg Strollo, AIA
AIA Ohio President
David W. Field, CAE, Hon. AIA, Executive Vice President
The Ohio General Assembly has returned for the second half of the 131 st Ohio General Assembly. Following is the status of proposed legislation of interest to AIA Ohio members:

AIA Ohio Achieves 2016 Legislative Victory!
AIA Ohio achieved its 2016 proactive legislative goal January 20 when the Ohio Senate passed HB 17, AIA Ohio's "Good Samaritan" bill, that will grant qualified immunity from civil liability to a volunteer architect for any acts, errors, or omissions conducted in the performance of professional services that are requested by government officials, for a building, structure, piping, or other engineered system during a declared emergency and 90 days thereafter. No immunity is granted from wanton, willful or intentional misconduct
Passage of the bill comes following a three year effort. Rep. Louis Blessing III (R-Cincinnati) introduced the bill three years ago during the last General Assembly as HB 379.  That bill cleared the House and the Senate Committee, but failed to achieve a Senate vote prior to the end of the legislative Session.  Rep. Blessing re-introduced the bill as HB 17 at the beginning of the current General Assembly.
HB 17 passed the Ohio House unanimously last February and the Senate January 20 with only Senator, Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood), voting against it.
AIA Ohio thanks all those who helped lobby for the passage of this bill... especially past AIA Ohio President, Elizabeth Murphy, FAIA, who testified on behalf of the bill on several occasions!
Now would be an appropriate time for AIA members to thank both their Representatives and Senators for their support during this three-year legislative effort!

Historic Preservation Tax Credits:
As part of the state's budget bill, HB64, Senators adopted an amendment directing the Department of Development, as part of the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission, to present legislative leaders with a study of ways to convert the tax credit to a grant program with similar qualification criteria by the end of the year. The Commission started its hearings in mid October, but has yet to address the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program. Interested parties, including AIA Ohio, are discussing a broadly coordinated strategy with regard to: (A) key aspects of the Ohio HTC that should be preserved, and (B) key aspects of the Ohio HTC that can be improved (e.g., whether it can be improved in any way by the enactment of some type of grant program without eliminating the Ohio HTC).

Architect Board's CE Bill:
HB 243 has passed the House unanimously and has been assigned to the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee. HB 243 would modify the Board's authority to revise the types of activities that qualify for continuing education credits.  Although the Board has no plans for immediate changes to these activities, it believes that HB 243 is needed to clarify the issue in light of the Legislative Service Commission's contention that the Landscape Architects Board, which operates under identical statutory authority, didn't have the ability to change the types of activities that qualify for CE.

Sunset Review of Architects & Landscape Architects Boards:
As part of the state's budget bill, legislators directed the Sunset Review Committee to hold hearings to "consider and evaluate the usefulness, performance, and effectiveness" of the Ohio Landscape Architects Board and the Architects Board... and "specifically to consider and make recommendations to the General Assembly, by June 1, 2016, regarding whether or not the Ohio Landscape Architects Board and the Architects Board should be combined to improve efficiency and save costs."
The Executive Director of both Boards will appear before the Committee Feb. 9 to explain why the Boards should continue to be autonomous. AIA Ohio has submitted a letter to the Committee requesting that the Boards continue to be separate.
School Door Barricades:
The Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS) reviewed all comments that it has received and has finalized a Rule permitting qualifying temporary locking devices. Following are relevant sections:
1008.1.9.11 Temporary door locking device in school buildings. A temporary door locking device shall be permitted when approved by the building official and noted on the certificate of occupancy only in school buildings where the requirements of sections 1008. and 1008. are met.
1008. Conditions of use. A temporary door locking device shall only be used on doors under the following conditions:
1. Proof is provided by the administrative authority of a school building that a school safety plan has been adopted and filed pursuant to section 3313.536 of the Revised Code; and
2. The temporary door locking device shall only be used in an emergency situation and during active shooter drills; and
3. The temporary door locking device is engaged only by a staff member of the school building; and
4. The temporary door locking device shall only be engaged for a finite period of time as determined by the administrative authority of a school building in accordance with the school safety plan adopted pursuant to section 3313.536 of the Revised Code; and
Proof is provided by the administrative authority of a school
building that police and fire officials having jurisdiction for the school building have been notified prior to the use of the temporary door locking device; and
In-service training on the use of the temporary door locking device is provided for school staff members and records verifying this training shall be maintained on file and provided to the fire official upon request.
1008. Operational requirements. The temporary door locking device shall be permitted to be used in accordance with the following items:
1. The temporary door locking device shall not be permanently mounted to the door.
Exception: Individual parts of the temporary door locking device assembly such as bolts, stops, brackets, pins, etc. that do not prevent normal ingress and egress through the door may be permanently mounted provided that when such parts are mounted on a labeled fire door assembly such installation does not affect the fire rating of the fire door assembly.
2. The removal of the temporary door locking device, after it is engaged, shall not require more than one operation.
Exception: Two operations may be permitted to remove a temporary door locking device, after it is engaged, if the school building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance section 903.3.1.1.
Provisions of the "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990," 104 Stat. 327, 42 U.S.C.A. 12101, as amended, may apply to the use of the temporary door locking device but are outside the scope of this code.

Ohio Officials Assess Supreme Court Antitrust Ruling Re: Licensing Boards:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that a board controlled by members of the profession it regulates are not entitled to individual immunity from lawsuits alleging violations of antitrust laws that forbid restraint of trade and competition. In that case, the court found that the state dental board had no legal protection from antitrust claims when issuing cease-and-desist orders to nondentists offering teeth-whitening services.
Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) is working on legislation to redesign the state's occupational licensure and regulation framework once he receives a recommendation from the office of Gov. John Kasich.
The senator sees three potential fixes:
  1. Reconfigure all boards so they are not controlled by members of the professions they regulate. Seitz and the boards don't like this option, saying the expertise of practitioners should be preserved.
  2. Create "mega-boards" to consolidate regulation of related fields. For example, all health-related occupations could be overseen by one board consisting of equal numbers of members from those fields.
  3. Empower a single "state actor," such as the attorney general or lieutenant governor, to review and issue decisions on recommendations by a board.
The Ohio Consumers Union and others are urging the state to change its board structure to eliminate what they call the conflict of members making decisions that benefit their professions financially. They think only Seitz's first option would provide antitrust protection.
The governor's office says it's communicating with the state's licensing boards on the implications of this decision so that it can examine options to address the concerns raised by the Supreme Court.
Capital Re-appropriations Bill Headed for Quick Approval
The capital re-appropriations bill, SB 260, passed the Senate on January 27 and has been referred to the House Finance Committee.  

Capital appropriations made by the General Assembly remain in effect only for the two-year capital biennium, and if they are not re-appropriated, they lapse or expire. In the past, re-appropriations have been combined with the actual capital bill, but because the capital bill isn't expected to pass until April, the re-appropriations bill is being done in a separate process.
The bill includes an estimated $1.48 billion in re-appropriations over the biennium. The amounts presented in the bill are not the actual amounts that will be re-appropriated, but instead are estimate placeholders developed by the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) based on its review of agency requests. The actual amount to be re-appropriated for each capital project is the exact unencumbered and unexpended balance as of the end of the fiscal year.

Prohibition of Residency Requirements for Architects and Contractors:
Both the Ohio House and Senate have passed companion bills (HB180 & SB152)
designed to eliminate rules in Cleveland, Akron and elsewhere that require a certain amount of local workers be hired for the design and construction of publicly funded construction projects.
The Ohio House passed a ban (61-31) on June 30; five days after the Senate passed its own version. The legislature now will decide which of the two bills to send to Gov. Kasich.

Separate Egress Above Second Story of Residential Rentals:
Introduced in December, HB 306 (Rep. Rick Perales) & SB 205 (Sen. Bill Beagle and Peggy Lehner) would require a separate, exterior means of egress for dwelling areas above the second story of certain residential rental properties and provide a qualified immunity to landlords who in good faith comply with the requirement. HB 306 is in the House Commerce and Labor Committee and has had three fall hearings. SB 205 was referred to the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee where no hearings have been held or scheduled.
The Ohio Building Officials Assocition (OBOA) has opposed this on the basis that the General Assembly created the BBS to investigate and make such decisions.

Adult Changing Staton Requirement:
SB 112 (Sen Peggy Lehner ) would require public buildings to have at least one rest room facility with an adult changing station. It is in the Senate State and Local Government Committee where only a sponsor's hearing has been held and no additional hearings are expected. OBOA has opposed SB 112 using the arguments offered on HB 306 and SB 205.

BBS Issues Memos for Tank Regulation and Generator Installations:
The Board of Building Standards has issued two new Memos regarding the regulation of tanks and the installation of generators. Additional information can be found at the BBS web site or directed to the Board's technical staff at 614-644-2613.

OFCC Advisory Committee:
This group has met quarterly with Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) staff to deal with issues emanating from the adoption of alternative construction methods. The last several meetings have dealt with the confusion resulting from a lack of clarity on what kinds of projects are suitable for each of the various methods as well as problems and opportunities for improvement within each category.  The group is working with OFCC staff to assemble an even wider advisory group of owners, architects, engineers and builders who would flesh out problems and opportunities to improve everyone's knowledge and procedures with a goal of facilitating a 2016 meeting, open to all construction partners, aimed at improving the processes and everyone's understanding of them.

Doug Steidl, FAIA Appointed to Ohio Architects Board:
Governor John Kasich has appointed Douglas L. Steidl, FAIA to the Ohio Architects Board for a term beginning January 7 and ending October 2, 2020.  He replaces Stephen Sharp, AIA. Widely known throughout Ohio, Doug Steidl is the only Ohio architect ever to be elected President of all three levels of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)-local, state and national. He is a Fellow of the Institute who has received many Gold Medals and citations.

Senator Chris Widener, FAIA Retires from Ohio Senate
Senator Chris Widenr, FAIA, the only architect serving in the Ohio General Assembly, has retired from the Senate in order to focus his attention on his design and construction business as well as Achieve Strategy Group, LLC, a new consulting firm focused on strategic planning and engagement as related to public policy and finance.Term limits prevented Widener from standing for re-election this year. Prior to his time in the Ohio Senate, Widener served four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. Prior to that, he served on the Mad River Board of Education .

November election:
Between now and the November election legislative candidates want to make friends with architects and it will help AIA's legislative program for architects to make friends with them! What better way than to contribute $50 ($100 if you file a joint tax return) to the candidate of your choice... a contribution that will cost you nothing, since it will become a tax credit on your 2016 Ohio tax return. All an architect has to do is send a copy of his/her check to AIA Ohio and AIA Ohio's PAC will send the candidate a matching contribution telling him/her that it's because the architect made the initial contribution... and that we hope they'll use the architect as a sounding board for design/construction legislation during the next Ohio General Assembly!   
Timothy Hawk, FAIA, AIA OVR Representative
Drew White, FAIA and myself were lucky to be able to attend the AIA National Governance conference in Washington in early December, 2015. I am very proud to share that the AIA is alive and well at the national level, and looking to work even more diligently to improve our profession. The re-positioning initiatives have transformed the AIA into a much nimbler organization which is getting down to the business of focusing on member value. Throughout 2015 national embarked on the development of a new Strategic Plan. Bruce Sekanick, AIA, one of our region's representatives to the Strategic Council, represented the region well by serving as the chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force. By the end of the year, the Board of Directors approved and adopted the new Strategic Plan. Member relevancy is at the core of the plan and there is a renewed focus on basic areas of member engagement. The four strategic initiatives include:
  • Knowledge - this agenda sets forth key programs, including practice-relevant research, business intelligence, Knowledge Communities and member constituencies, and knowledge sharing and dissemination, while enhancing member value through a focus on quality continuing education.
  • Prosperity - the AIA will focus its efforts and resources on advancing opportunities for practitioners and firms of all sizes to promote and sustain successful and resilient practices and prosperous business models.
  • Sustainability - the AIA will continue to implement and grow its sustainability resources in the areas of energy, materials, health, and resilience.
  • Workforce - A productive, diverse, and engaged workforce is essential to the future of architecture profession. The institute is working to provide a more cohesive and structured approach to identify key catalysts in the areas of market demand, employment capacity, education, work experience, compensation, on-the-job training, career outlook, and organizational culture. The strategic council has study groups researching firm culture and the needs of emerging populations.
Primary to the success of our service on the Strategic Council is a true understanding of the challenges each of you are having in your day-to-day practice. Please share your thoughts with Drew or myself. We are listening.
Timothy Hawk, FAIA, AIA Ohio Valley Region Strategic Council Representative
In 2015, the AIA adopted our 2016-2020 Strategic Plan titled "Advancing Member Experience & Value". This document was the culmination of more than a year's worth of work by members, allied professionals, members of the Board and Strategic Council and a variety of stakeholders whose goals are closely associated with the efforts of the AIA. While the plan was written as a typical 5 year "guide" on strategic issues, it was prepared to support short term goals as well as those goals that look significantly further into the future and well beyond 2020.

Our short term goals focus on those programs already moving forward or those deemed necessary to immediately affect or improve member services. Our long term goals focus on advancing concerns that we are familiar with and know and believe crucial to the ongoing success of the organization. It has been developed as a tool in our efforts to change the way we think and work as an organization and is focused on creating an organized effort that will result in an actionable framework of Institute-wide programs in support of key initiatives. As you look through the plan, you may note that very few of the ideas presented are new...and you would be correct. The creation of the plan is less about discovering something we don't already know and more about establishing priorities to act on issues that demand our attention.

From our initial conversations, there were several givens that this strategic effort had to achieve. The first was that this plan was one that needed to go beyond being looked at once and then placed on a shelf for the remainder of its life. The second objective was that the plan needed to be written and presented in a way that made it capable of being operationalized. Through the work of the committee, we established several procedures to help make this happen. 1). We created reasonable and obtainable metrics that were outlined in the plan's companion document that, while not part of the official plan, represent the committee's thoughts and opinions on the priority given to each individual part of the Institute's work. 2). We sought approval of the Council to have this plan reviewed annually as part of their work and, at the plan's third year of implementation, take a deeper dive into the relevancy of the blue sky issues identified in the plan. Through continuous review, this document can remain relevant and be the guide that it was intended to be when it was written.

There are two key elements of the plan that we think are extremely important to our overall success and both of these look at what we do from a very broad perspective. The key to achieving any part of the plan is our commitment to continuous improvement. We identified this as organizational excellence or effectiveness. Without this overarching goal that affects every part of the Institute and every part of the plan, we cannot achieve the success we desire. In a similar way, we need to continuously look toward our envisioned future and set our goals beyond what we see today. Our envisioned future is a goal and it should be constantly changing to adapt today's needs to tomorrow's opportunities.

Many components will sit down in 2016 to develop or adjust their own strategic plan, and while each will have different needs and priorities, we hope that the 2016-2020 AIA Strategic Plan will be used as a guide in aligning the efforts of each component to the goals and initiatives of the Institute. In the end, the ability to work together might be the most important part of our strategic effort.

It's time to begin planning for the 2016 AIA Ohio Honor Awards! These four awards recognize Ohio's best and brightest architects and firms. Nominations can come from individuals, groups of individuals, firms or from local components. The four awards are:

AIA Ohio Gold Medal - the highest honor that AIA Ohio can bestow on an individual. It is conferred by the AIA Ohio Board of Directors in recognition of exemplary efforts and significant accomplishments.

AIA Ohio Gold Medal Firm
- the highest honor that AIA Ohio can bestow on an architectural firm.
AIA Ohio Mentor Award -
the AIA Ohio Mentor Award will be given to an individual who has demonstrated the ability to assist and mentor in their community.
AIA Ohio Public Service Award - the AIA Ohio Public Service Award will be granted to an individual who has made a significant impact in their community through public service.

The deadline for each of these is June 17, 2016 - so there's plenty of time to put together a nomination packet. Consider an Ohio architect that you know - and plan to nominate them for an AIA Ohio Honor Award!
Mark your calendar for October 6-8 and plan to come to Akron, Ohio, for the AIA  Ohio Convention! This trademark AIA Ohio event brings architects and associate architects together to earn learning units, recognize award winning projects and enjoy reconnecting with peers at the various networking opportunities. Combine this with exhibits that showcase the products and services of dozens of vendors, and you will find the AIA Ohio Convention to be event you won't want to miss.

This year's convention committee has already started working to create a convention that will be both fun and educational. Hosted at the John S. Knight Center in Akron, the convention will bring together more than 250 architects from across the state for three days of great programming and events. With multiple tracks of educational sessions plus keynote presentations (yet to be announced), attendees will have a great opportunity to fulfill continuing education requirements. The convention is only eight months away and we don't want you to miss it. Mark your calendar to make sure you are part of this year's AIA Ohio Convention!
Erin Curley, Associate Director, AIA Toledo
Greetings from Toledo! 

Last year was a very exciting and productive year for our Emerging Professionals. We introduced our pilot program, ENGAGE Studio, which built upon our existing component benefits by encouraging candidates to pursue registration through quality seminars, study materials and resources.
I am thrilled to say that our program was of great success. With the integration of seven seminars last year (each focused on a specific exam division), we welcomed 18 participants from 3 components including our own. 80% of candidates who tested following participation in one of our seminars, passed that exam. The seminars brought opportunities for candidates to ask specific questions and have open discussion with other EP's, as well as learn the content from experienced and knowledgeable professionals. We recorded each session, allowing availability for those unable to attend and also an additional source for those who did participate.
As a small component, AIA Toledo, does not have the capacity to host another seminar series, led by out of town speakers at this time. (We are very sensitive to maintaining affordable fees, used toward upgrades for the program and in anticipation of V5.0.) However, we have had interest, which may bring about seminar sessions beginning in March, with a potential NCARB kick-off lecture. We are not hanging up our hat though! Our study groups are still in effect, we have discussed workshops, and we still have our webinars available for purchase. If you are interested in attending a seminar or purchasing a webinar, please contact me with any questions.
Webinars may be purchased at the following website:
Each division is **$40 for 4 weeks of viewing and includes:
  • Over 5 hours of ENGAGE Studio seminar coverage
  • Over 4 hours of AIA Colorado webcast
    (AIA Colorado has been hosting seminars/webcasts for over 15 years)
  • Study material covered in the video's (presentations, key resources, etc.)
    *80% of participants have passed the division exam after attending the seminar
    **Fees are used for maintenance of the video hosting site and toward the purchase of future upgrades to V5.0 study material once released
Please be sure to check the following sources for updates on upcoming seminars and related ENGAGE Studio information.
Amy Kobe, Executive Director
Douglas Steidl, FAIA, of Peninsula, Ohio, has been appointed to the Ohio Architects Board by Governor John Kasich, for a term beginning January 7, 2016 and ending October 2, 2020.

Mr. Steidl, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, practiced architecture for 36 years and was a Founding Principal for 24 years of Braun & Steidl Architects, Akron and Columbus. Mr. Steidl has served in leadership positions within the profession of architecture for more than two decades, including:

  • 2005 President of the American Institute of Architects,
  • 2009 President of the National Architectural Accrediting Board,
  • Co-Director and Secretary of the Professional Practice Commission of the International Union of Architects from 2008-2011.
  • 1995 President of AIA Ohio
Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea and Australia have recognized him as either an Honorary Member or Honorary Fellow by their professional societies.

In 1971, Doug received his professional architecture degree from Carnegie-Mellon University. Following graduation he served for three and a half years as an officer in the U.S. Navy's Civil Engineer Corps, overseeing construction projects in Florida.

He has held architectural registrations in 23 jurisdictions and is a holder of a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Certificate.

Since 2010, Doug has served as the Dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University.
The following slate of officers was elected for 2016.
            President-        John Rademacher, AIA - Cincinnati
            Vice Pres.-       Monica Green, FAIA - Moreland Hills
            Secretary-        Chris Meyers, AIA - Delaware
            Asst. Sec.-       Vacant
In 2016, the AIA will make a radical change to our traditional Grassroots program, by focusing more on leadership and less on advocacy. This change is made even more significant by the fact that, as opposed to being held in Washington, D.C., the conference will move to Detroit, MI. For those of you who will miss the visits to Capitol Hill, not all is lost. With this change, the AIA Government Relations Team will also be hosting the AIA Speak-Up Conference in July that will be geared toward those members who are specifically interested in AIA Advocacy efforts. This conference will be held in Washington, D.C. and will focus on the training and leadership directed specifically toward advocacy.

ArchiPAC is also in the process of undergoing changes. We will of course be present at the Grassroots conference and hope that all attendees stop by to support this very important part of our national AIA advocacy program. As we have worked to prepare for Grassroots and the Speak-Up Conference, there have been many changes taking place within ArchiPAC. The most noticeable will be the new and very bold pins that we will be using in 2016 and beyond for those who participate. Identifying yourself through donations is a great way for members to show their support for one of AIA's key advocacy tools. Beyond contributions, ArchiPAC is concentrating on new giving levels and new ways of allowing you to participate in the PAC effort. As we concentrate on how we manage ArchiPAC, we also realize that the national PAC is only a small part of a much larger, nationwide effort. As a result, we are now working with three states as part of a pilot program to see how we at national can better collaborate and support state PACs to bring about a higher level of advocacy success at all levels.

We look forward to seeing members at Grassroots, the Speak-Up Conference and throughout the year as we work to become a more effective member driven AIA.
Registration is now open for the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo, March 9 to 11 at the Columbus Convention Center. Click here to view event information, including the event schedule, hotels, directions and free online registration.

Days one and two (Wednesday & Thursday) offer general sessions, educational sessions and the Expo Marketplace. Day three (Friday) of the safety congress delivers full-day workshops and in-depth training. Attend the day or days which best meet your training needs.

We look forward to seeing you at OSC16!