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A Letter from 2020 Foundation President, Richard Pospula, AIA


As the incoming and interim president of our Architectural Foundation of Greater Rochester, I have been tasked with writing the first in a series of E-Newsletter articles that were supposed to begin with the Foundation’s goals and theme for 2020. Well, by now, for those of you who know me well, and for those of you who do not, I have always and quite fervently believed in the importance of setting achievable personal and professional goals. And yes, sometimes under the banner of some newly evolving, flavor of the day inspirational theme or tag line generated by an overly zealous committee and handed off to someone saddled on a beautiful white horse. But unfortunately for you, it won’t happen today.

Instead, I wish to begin by clarifying the primary distinction (or at least my personal understanding) between the missions of AIA Rochester and the Foundation. AIA Rochester exists to support its membership through the various programs, resources and activities created under the umbrella of AIA National and AIANYS, to ‘advance and enhance the profession of Architecture’. (Capitalized out of respect.) The Foundation exists to ‘advance and enhance the profession of Architecture’ through its support of scholarships, educational programs, and public outreach to help educate the public-at-large on the intrinsic value we as architects bring to the communities in which we reside and also serve. Now, before someone starts yelling, “OK Boomer” from the peanut gallery, please notice the white flag gently waving over my shoulder next to my autographed portrait of Abraham Lincoln.

The upcoming generation of emerging and maturing architects won’t be remembered by the goals they set, but rather by the goals they accomplish, and the impact those goals have on creating and sustaining a healthy, viable regional community. And, the rapidly retiring generation of matured architects should simply be remembered for the fields they sowed, and the crop of young professionals they mentored. However, knowing full well we did the best we could to help clear the pathways to their respective successes; it will be up to the next generation and those that follow to incorporate rapidly evolving technology with their inherent design and problem-solving skills. And, hopefully without diluting the core nucleus of creativity and communication that exists within each.

Oh, but we were supposed to be writing about upcoming realistic and achievable goals for the Foundation for 2020. With the assistance of a highly energetic and spirited board of directors and our seemingly tireless administrative support staff member, Linda Hewitt, Hon. AIA NYS, we have our sights set on achieving the following goals:

  • Retain a Development strategist to jointly assist the Foundation and AIA Rochester with establishing a highly effective and sustainable process to increase our outreach and fundraising capabilities;

  • Increase the number and dollar value of contributions that directly support our educational outreach and scholarship programs by 10-15%;

  • Establish a long-term partnership with a local school district and educators to provide the academic vessel that would introduce fundamentals of architecture in K-12 coursework;

  • Developing a strategy and process to address the question: What would we do if we received a one million-dollar gift?

Oh, and our theme for 2020. How about, ‘Maintaining a Sustainable Future and a Healthy Community’?

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