Really? You Could Have Told Me!

Today is Halloween.   Today also marks the anniversary of a huge shift in my AEC career.  One that I wish I would have explored sooner.

While many are celebrating ghoulish fun and shenanigans on this fun-filled holiday, I find myself celebrating today for an entirely different reason.

Four years ago today, I signed my name on the dotted line and officially became a member of CSI (The Construction Specifications Institute).

What?  Odd you say?  What kind of weirdo celebrates joining an industry association?

Yep, that would be me!  Those that know me personally will not be surprised.  They call me the #CSIKraken for a reason.  Not only did I drink the Kool-Aid, but I went all in.

Honestly, since writing specs was a part of my job, it seemed to make sense.  I had known about CSI for my entire career but other obligations had prevented me from having the time to get involved.  As some of those time constraints faded away, I found that I could finally check it out.  What the heck right? It was something new to do.

When I joined, I expected to learn all about writing specs.  I mean really, that’s why I signed up.  After all it is the Construction “SPECIFICATIONS” Institute right?


Hello! Why didn’t someone tell me there was so much more to CSI than just specifications?  Why didn’t I know that I could learn:

  • Project Delivery Education from Cradle to Grave
  • Construction Contract Administration
  • Better Project Collaboration among Disciplines
  • Best Practices for Manufacturers and Product Reps
  • Limiting Liability and Risk on Your Projects
  • BIM Collaboration
  • Everything AEC – From the Basics to the most Advanced
  • The List Goes On

Hello! Why didn’t someone tell me that CSI:

  • Welcomes all parties of the project team as equal members (Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Subcontractors, Manufacturers and Product Reps).
  • Offers education in AEC that is so full of depth and well-rounded because all of these parties are at the table in every class and event. Wow, everyone’s perspective at once? Cool!
  • Would vault my career forward because of the level and depth of knowledge that I would obtain.
  • Would earn me Trusted Advisors all over the globe that I could go to for any problem that I needed to solve or skill I needed to learn.
  • Would offer me opportunities to step out my box and grow as a professional in ways that I never imagined. From never speaking in public to 38 gigs in the last two years? How on earth did that happen?
  • Would become my 2nd family of amazing, like-minded professionals and friends who are there for me no matter what.

Why didn’t I know that CSI was NOT only about specifications?

The sad truth is that I just didn’t ask.  My bad!  My loss!  The silver lining is that I finally figured it out.  Whew, that was close.

I have accomplished more in the last four years in AEC, education, leadership, public speaking and professional networking than I have accomplished in the last 20 years in many areas that are critical to my professional growth.  The people who have become what will be my lifelong friends are just the super awesome icing on the cake!

These accomplishments are, unequivocally, due to two things:

  • Signing that membership form for CSI and getting involved.

So today, while I reflect on this four year journey and how much I have accomplished while still being considered just a baby in this organization, a few thoughts come to mind as I look forward:

  1. My heart is full and grateful for these amazing people who teach me, guide me and have my back in every respect. There are no better!  Not sure how I lived or succeeded without them.
  2. I renew my commitment to better educating the AEC community about what CSI has to offer. I do not want one AEC professional to think that CSI is only about specs.
  3. I renew my commitment to better project team collaboration and young professional development (my passions) and will use all of my CSI resources to continue to strive to move that mission forward.
  4. I renew my commitment to better understanding the needs of the AEC community and stepping up within CSI to help meet those needs. The time and effort spent by CSI Members is what makes this organization so dynamic.  I will walk the walk and I will likely ask you to do the same!
  5. I renew my commitment to the CSI Krakenmission of positive, collaborative, forward thinking change. Together we can make CSI bigger and brighter.

So today I say – Happy CSI Anniversary to me!  How lucky I am!

CSI is the best kept secret in AEC and I intend to change that!  Be watching for me!

Happy Halloween! #CSIKraken



  1. It only gets better. The ‘ole saying goes, “the more u put in the more u get out of it.” So, do get involved. There are 3 add’l words to CSI; “relationships, relationships, relationships”. Cultivate your relationships with other CSI members, u’ll never regret it. And remember, it’s always a “Gooooooood mornin CSI!”


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