As one of the 11,000+ CSI volunteer members (and also one of almost 20,000 CDTs), my involvement with the Construction Specifications Institute is because I truly do believe in its Mission: to advance building information management and education of project teams to improve facility performance. I just celebrated my 5 year anniversary of joining CSI last week and in that time, I’ve gained countless valuable friends and had innumerable experiences and memories that will last me a lifetime.
Proper involvement within CSI should go well beyond joining and adding CSI to your business card and email signature. Chapter meetings are a great place to start, with most meeting one day a month. Joining a Chapter committee is another way to get involved, as is passing your Certified Document Technologist (CDT) exam or attaining one of the 3 advanced CSI certifications – the CCPR, CCS or CCCA. The CSI Annual Convention and trade show, CONSTRUCT, may be the grandest experience of them all. A convergence of over a thousand members from all walks of life who congregate to hug, shake hands, learn, share and laugh, happens to take place this year in Baltimore from September 9th to the 12th, 2014. The grand finale of CONSTRUCT is the induction of the new CSI Fellows. Since CSI Fellowship was introduced in 1959, only a few hundred members have been elevated to Fellow. Fellowship is one of the highest honors bestowed by CSI and one of many awards that the Institute bestows on their members. The various CSI Regions and Chapters also give out awards and as CSI members are volunteers and not paid positions, these awards are a true thank you to the work that is put in by the recipient member.
I have been extremely fortunate to be active in the Allentown Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute over the last 5 years. A Chapter that now has 2 active member Fellows in Sal Verrastro and Mitch Miller, that is hosting it’s 36th year running a very successful product expo & educational seminars on April 16, and one that has now received five Outstanding Chapter Commendations from the Institute. I believe we have been most fortunate to have an incredible Immediate Past President who also is our Program Chair and Awards Chair in David Wrigley, the Director of Specifications for Spillman Farmer Architects. I consider myself lucky to call Dave a friend and can only fathom the hours he has spent over the last few years alone submitting the Allentown awards into the Region, as well as the Institute so that the hard work of our Chapter members can be duly recognized. Just last week he shared the news that our Chapter received FIVE Mid-Atlantic Region awards, including:
Lee Ann Slattery – Winner of the Robert P. Brosseau Memorial Award, Dave Fenstermacher – Winner of the George C. Neuhausel Memorial Award, Jon Lattin – Winner of the Communications Award, Barry Isett And Associates – Winner of the Organizational Certificate of Merit and Mitch Miller – Winner of the Education Award.
Being fortunate enough to know Lee Ann, Dave, Jon and Mitch, I know the work that they put in during the day that pays the bills and then the additional time they put in before and after work for the Allentown Chapter of CSI. These awards are a true way for them to receive thanks for all that they do and the time that they spend to contribute to the same Mission of CSI that I live by.
I have been extremely blessed to have received an Award from the Allentown Chapter and further, one that could rightfully be given to any active member. As then President of our Chapter, David Wrigley led the awards announcements on June 20, 2012. These words alone are ones that will stick with me for a long while:
“This next Award is a very Special Award, because it is given to the person whom the President feels has shown amazing devotion and selfless personal commitment to the Chapter in the administration of the Chapter’s affairs over the past year. Whenever I have asked the gentleman for something, no matter what it was, he got it to me as quick as he could, as correct as it could be, and with his own opinion on what he thought was best and why……I respect that. I said earlier that I thought a sizable portion of the Expo’s success could be attributed to his e-mail blasts and the constant contacts lists he has, not to mention the tweeting and blogging he does on behalf of the chapter. But it is also his unbridled devotion to CSI that has gotten him to where we are tonight.
On a more serious note: Last September, we were both at the National Convention, in Chicago. After the convention, we ended up driving home together. He quizzed me and asked me questions about spec-writing and all kinds of other construction related topics, like he was actually interested. We talked almost the whole ride home. I don’t know about you, but spending 11 hours in a sealed vehicle……..talking with a spec-writer…………..is more than most individuals can stand in a lifetime, let alone in one day!! Now if that isn’t amazing devotion and selfless personal commitment to the Chapter, I don’t know what is!!
So, in lieu of combat pay…………….. I am very pleased, and happy to present the 2011 – 2012 President’s Award to Mr. Eric Lussier”
The plaque above is only a reminder of how great it felt to be recognized for all of my work and effort that I was more than happy to do. The President’s Award was the icing on the cake and the ultimate recognition that we all really do like to hear. Who doesn’t like to hear ‘You look nice today’, ‘You did great work on that proposal’, ‘Congratulations on getting that project’ or ‘I am very pleased, and happy to present……’?!?
Take the time and help recognize those CSI members that continue to go above and beyond. The deadline to submit nominations for the FY14 CSI Honors & Awards program (including the Outstanding Chapter Commendation for FY2013 covering data from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013) is 5 PM Eastern, May 2, 2014. Recipients will be recognized at CONSTRUCT & The CSI Annual Convention in 2014. Submit your nomination at www.csinet.org/awards.
Special honors, including Fellowship, have unique and specific requirements. Download the 2014 Honors and Award Guide (PDF) at www.csinet.org/HAGuide.
The miscellaneous ramblings of Eric D. Lussier, CSI, CDT