ASLA-NCC Chapter and It’s Members,

I want to extend a huge thank you to the executive committee, our executive director, member firms, members, and our sponsors for staying engaged with the chapter this past year and for continuing to build a strong community of landscape architects in the Bay Area through all 2020 threw at us. It has been a privilege to serve as this year’s chapter president.

Our chapter began the year learning how to better serve our members through a member-wide survey. The chapter improved our internal operations through the use of Basecamp and updated our chapter’s visual brand. Thanks to the help of many, we revamped the look and feel of our emails, social media, and website. Please take a look for yourself at

When the tragic death of George Floyd shook the nation, our chapter took a chance to reflect, realize our past lack of action, and make a commitment to be better. Our chapter immediately formed a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee to provide leadership and support, created a relationship and provided a donation to The Urban Studio, a black and minority-led non-profit working to bring students into the design field, and began work to sponsor an art piece as a symbol of our commitment to action. While this is nowhere near enough or not a solution to any of the problems our industry and nation face, this is a start and a promise to move our chapter forward. Read our JEDI Action Plan

As the pandemic turned the world upside down, our industry and our members were also affected – experiencing downturns, lost projects, learning how to work remotely, financial hardships, and sometimes personal tragedy. This has been a tough year for everyone, but the resilience of our chapter and our members shined through the difficulties of the year. Our chapter was able to pivot to an entirely digital event platform starting in April, which allowed for a greater frequency of events than in past years. This included our annual awards ceremony which was the best-attended event ever with over 100 attendees. The night truly showed the resilience of our community and celebrated a fantastic group of winning projects. View the Award Winners Here

Operating digitally, we were able to provide new lectures and events such as the Emerging Professional Lecture series, the Lunch with Leaders – Industry Icons series, product webinars, LARE prep sessions, and the Summer Salon Art series. While we lost our ability to meet in person, our chapter was able to expand our offerings to our members, something we were incredibly excited about. We hope that you enjoyed the increase in events and we look forward to continuing this level of service for our members. View Event Recordings Here

On the back of the National ASLA announcing free student membership, our Emerging Professionals Committee made great gains establishing connections with UC Berkeley and Academy of the Art students and worked to create a mentorship program in collaboration with these students. Additionally, the group hosted multiple webinars including a LARE Prep Session, an interactive Pub Quiz, and lectures focused on the career paths of young professionals.

Our chapter is also proud to announce the elevation of Chip Sullivan to the Council of Fellows. Chip is a long time active member and is best known for his contributions to academia, hosting sketch crawl workshops, his book, Drawing the Landscape, and recently hosting a Summer Salon Art Series for the chapter. Congratulations Chip.

Again it has been a privilege to serve as chapter president and I extend a warm welcome to the new president Krista Van Hove and our largest and most diverse executive committee ever (Meet them here). I know you all will continue to move the chapter forward and make an impact for our members and our profession.

Be well,

Blake Rhinehart, PLA, ASLA

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