Dear Minnesota Architect,
Spent some time today thinking about how I can Represent Architecture and promote architects...while maintaining the work load associated with my (new) title: Architectural Representative.
I had been working in (5) various Minnesota architectural offices from 1990 thru end of 2008 - Almost 18 years. Like many of you I found myself laid off and seeking a job in a still shrinking architectural community.
The day I was laid off, I blasted an e-mail (help....), and the window representative who helped me specify, budget and detail my last two projects, a church in Coon Rapids, and clinic in New London, called and told me that they were creating an ARCHITECTURAL REPRESENTATIVE position, and I might be right for the job. Door Shut, Window Open. I whistled while I didn't work the rest of that very afternoon - cleaning out my office.
Long story short, after a 3-month interview sequence, I have now been the Pella Architectural Representative for just over 6 months. It is a different world...no, a different perspective on the same world, that I once thought I understood not so long ago.
See the Long story here in the Feb 09 issue of Architect Magazine: http://www.architectmagazine.com/industry-news.asp?sectionID=1006&articleID=871507
....My thinking today. What tools are available for me to use to bring the Minnesota Architectural community closer, start sharing best practices, make connections, make friends, inspire, research and share, filter unlimited data into useful information, grow leadership, encourage informal mentorship, spark ideas, etc. While my official job is to share which Pella products should be used to satisfy specific project requirements, the un-official job is to build relationships that last.
These relationships, both personal and professional, start with me, but must reflect the Culture and serve the purposes of Pella. I am lucky that Pella products, the people of Pella, and the culture of Pella align so well with my own personality and ethics. I know I would have already quit without faith in the company. My new Designer series sliding patio door was just installed 2 weeks ago - AWSOME!
For those of you currently practicing architecture, and reading this, please don't shrug off my presence ir involvement in "your activities" as a "marketing ploy". While I must do my job of networking and "Representing" Pella products, I must also be true to myself in developing, furthering and sharing with all, my Love and Belief in architecture, and all that it, and it's membership, can do to improve and inspire those who we directly serve (clients)......and those we just happen affect by chance while doing our official "JOB".
Maybe TWITTER is a useful tool. I know Jennifer Gilhoi at the AIA mentioned something about a social media committee.....let's see if we can "unofficially" start something up. I'm on LINKED in as well - - send me an invite.
Larry Fredlund, Assoc. AIA
Pella Windows & Doors - Twin Cities