This May, Charles “Chuck” Greenberg, B.Arch., FRAIC, will be retiring from the OAA after 25 years of service. A Life Member, he originally joined Association staff in January 1981, working until retirement (for the first time) in 1993. He returned to the OAA in 2007 to work as a Practice Advisor.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Chuck graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1958. He worked in Montreal for six years after serving with the U.S. Forces in Germany. Chuck became an OAA member in 1968, starting his own practice nine years later.
ln 1981, after chairing the OAA Practice Committee, Chuck joined Association staff.
“My first involvement was with the Practice Committee in 1977; I became chair in 1980. At that time, Executive Director Brian Parks was looking to bring an architect onto the OAA staff, full-time, to assist in matters related to the practice of architecture, rather than always being dependent on volunteers,” he explained. “He was really persuasive in this matter. He convinced me to come on board and the rest is history.”
During this period, he was Director of Practice, Deputy Registrar and the first full-time Claims Manager for what was then known as the “lndemnity Plan”—he often held two portfolios at the same time. Chuck was also deeply involved in assisting Parks in the development and implementation of the then-new Architects Act. During deliberations with what is now known as the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) related to the “grandfathering” of professional engineers under the Architects Act, he served as staff support for the OAA members on the Joint Practice Board.
Throughout this initial stint with the Association, Chuck was responsible for supporting various OAA committees related to practice and discipline, and was on the editorial board of the Canadian Handbook of Practice (CHOP). He helped represent the OAA position to various provincial ministries and agencies and national bodies as well as served on several committees of the U.S National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) related to the national examinations.
After stepping away from the OAA in 1993, Chuck was a senior architect with a Toronto firm. He came back 14 years later, assuming the role of Practice Advisor in 2007.Beyond assisting those who contact the OAA’s Practice Advisory Service (PAS), Chuck has provided support to several OAA committees, writes Practice Tips and Regulatory Notices and represents the OAA on industry committees such as Engineers, Architects and Building Officials (EABO). He has liaised with industry groups such as Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) and Large Municipalities Chief Building Officials (LMCBO) as well as helped review proposed legislation that may affect architects. Chuck has helped draft OAA standard documents, taught parts of the Admission Course, assisted in the evaluation of Canadian Experience Record Book (CERB) submissions and commented on RFPs and related contract terms and conditions.
“Chuck possesses a sharp mind. When combined with his years of experience in practice and at the OAA, this means he maintains much of the corporate memory of the OAA. His ability to recall what the intent of the OAA was in drafting provisions of the Architects Act three decades ago or in writing the terms and conditions of OAA 600 has been invaluable,” says Allen Humphries, a fellow Practice Advisor. “He has used his knowledge and experience to mentor the other Practice Advisors, for which we are grateful and the membership should be thankful. We will miss his advice and perspective.”
Throughout his career with the OAA, Chuck has been dedicated to promoting the profession of architecture, provincially and nationally.
“I think our professional association is unique in the services that PAS provides,” Chuck says. “Helping architects with the advice that assists them in their practice of architecture has been very satisfying.”