November 6, 2023 / President's Letters

President’s Letter: November 2023

One thing I learned early on in my career was the importance of gratitude.  As Thanksgiving approaches, I keep reminding myself to have gratitude and celebrate the little “wins” each day brings. Whether it is being thankful for an amazing cup of coffee in the morning or driving safely to a job site, I find that thinking about what you are grateful for helps reframe your situation, especially if it is challenging.

At this time of year when many of us are quagmired by deadlines, we should take a moment and reflect on gratitude.  Yes, we are busy… it is good to have work.  Yes, we have family obligations… it is good to be loved. Yes, AIA is planning a bunch of things we want our members to be a part of even though people are busy… it is good to have an active AIA community who cares.

I have so much gratitude for the amazing community we have here at AIA Baltimore.  We don’t just have small wins to celebrate, but big wins!  Just this past month, our staff and committees produced an outstanding number of stellar events.  To name a few:

Our Golf committee hosted an amazing golf outing event at Eagle’s Nest on the most beautiful day you could imagine!

BAF and Doors Open Baltimore celebrated the 10th anniversary of the event which featured 46 open house sites and 20 tours, despite challenging weather, an Orioles playoff game, and Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks coming to town.

The Design Awards committee put on an exquisite ceremony at the Baltimore Design School, honoring projects and designers across the region.  We had a record 87 submissions to the design awards this year which is a reflection of the amazing talent of our growing membership.

I am truly grateful for everyone who worked so hard on these events, and all of our events throughout the year: our committees who plan them, our sponsors who support them, our members who attend them, and our staff who do ALL THE THINGS.  Thank you all for what you do!

But, the year isn’t over and we still have a lot to look forward to as we close out 2023.  Most importantly, it is voting time!  Our board election voting is live with a slate of individuals who are true leaders in our chapter.  These are the people who will help shape the future of our chapter and represent you, our members…as such, we need your vote!

We also have our bylaws amendments open for voting.  Our bylaws have not been updated since 2015 and are in need of a refresh.  Details about the proposed amendments can be found here:

I am thankful that the current leadership on our board has proposed these amendments, as they are long overdue.  In particular, I am proud that our board has proposed to remove gendered pronouns throughout the document, which are currently primarily used in the section regarding who serves on our board.  We want to make it clear that anyone can be a leader in our chapter, regardless of their gender identity.  Utilizing they/them consistently throughout the document and eliminating gendered pronouns not only makes it more congruous with other sections in the bylaws, but it aligns the document with our strategic goal to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.  It is a small gesture in the grand scheme of things.  And truly, to be good on our word to promote EDI as a chapter we need to do much more.  But, the last thing I want is for someone to feel like they cannot be a leader in this chapter because of the way something is written in our bylaws…which is why we want to address it.  I hope we can have your vote to approve this and all the  amendments proposed this year.

Voting ends December 1, 2023 and results will be announced at our Annual Meeting.  I am excited to share who will be the next leaders in our chapter!  I am grateful for all the leaders we have today and I am so excited to get to know the leaders of tomorrow.  I thank you in advance for all that you will do. Let’s keep having “wins” —big or small— to sustain us through the rest of the year and years to come.

Thank you!


Martina Reilly, AIA LEED AP BD+C
2023 AIA Baltimore President