How will you vote CSI? Change is Ahead!

I happen to be running in the CSI Annual Election for an Institute Board Position. This is my first (and likely not my last) run at a national level board position.

This IS NOT a ‘vote for me’ blog.  This is a ‘do your homework’ blog.

Our own very wise and wonderful Sheldon Wolfe wrote a blog this week about the upcoming CSI Elections (check it out here: Election Time –  Sheldon’s blog got me thinking about how people vote, why people vote and when people vote.  What makes our members choose the people that they choose to help lead our organization?

The fact is that recent years have been tough on all of our industry organizations, CSI included.   Some of our challenges have included:

  • Loss of people, funding for programs and motivation/passion during the economic downturn.
  • Experienced Baby Boomers retiring and not enough emerging professionals joining to fill their shoes or benefit from their experience.
  • A year of change in CSI with staff changes, database difficulties and the search for a new Executive Director.
  • Small chapters struggling without enough support.

What gets me excited is that we are coming back.  I see positive, forward movement every day toward the vibrancy and passion that we all had before the economy did a number on us.  We all know that CSI is the only industry organization that brings all members of the project team to the table as equals.  This makes us unique.  This makes the value that we provide to our members more collaborative and multi-faceted.  Our take away from every meeting and event is so much more valuable by having this variety of viewpoints in the room.

What I also see is that we have a lot of work to do.  During this downturn, the industry has changed.  It has changed a lot.  How we design and administer projects is changing at lightning speed (BIM, IPD, etc.), emerging professionals are being asked to step into roles far earlier than they ever have in the history of this industry and technology has completely changed the way we communicate and get information.

I don’t care who you are, if you are serving our AEC community you better be changing fast if you want to stay relevant and provide benefit to your members in our ever changing environment.

CSI is at the crossroads of change.  Right now, our leadership’s passion and vision for this organization is more important than ever before.  This is why you need to do your homework.

I happen to know that the original list of potential candidates for Board positions was pretty long.  I also know that the selection committee went through three or four rounds of cuts to come up with the final list below.  There is no doubt in my mind that every candidate has the appropriate resume to be running for these positions. It is truly an honor to even make it to the ballot.

The question is – are you happy with an appropriate resume or are you getting to know your candidates well enough to know whether they represent your vision, hopes and passion for this organization?

Consider a few things:

  • CSI election voter turnout is historically very, very low. Those who do vote, typically do so at the first of February when the ballots come out even though the election is open for weeks.
  • Many vote for a name they recognize, someone from their own chapter or region or because all those initials after a name look pretty darn good. Many do not even read the candidate profiles thoroughly.
  • Candidates are asked not to do active campaigning to keep the playing field level. We are allowed to have others express their support.  Is someone from a smaller chapter or area getting the same exposure as a candidate from a large chapter or region?
  • There is more to your candidates than their resume. How active are they? Are they implementing change? What kind of voice and passion do they spread for your organization? Don’t just look at their skills, also look at their heart!

Every candidate below is qualified and dedicated to this organization. I have no doubt that any one of them will serve us well.

All I ask, in this unprecedented climate of change, is that you take a little more time and make a little more effort to truly know your candidates.  The next few years are going to pivotal to CSI’s relevance.  It is more important than ever that we choose leaders who have the passion and dedication to drive us forward and change with the times.

Please – Do your homework and make your voice heard!  Vote in February!

Our 2016 Candidates


Joseph Anetrella    

Ellen Crews                

Vice President:

Cornelius Davison  

Jerry Putnam            

Sandi Velleca            


Loren Berry               

Jonnie Cox                

Craig Mount             

Director at Large:

Edmund Brown       

Laura Derrick             

Cherise Schacter Lakeside

Gulf States Region Director:

Billy Mathis                

Northeast Region Director:

Arthur Cambronne Featherstonhaugh IV

Northwest Region Director:

Brad Glauser            

Southeast Region Director:

Ken Buschle             

West Region Director:

Brian Cournoyer     

Linda Stansen          



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