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A Thank You From the President

John Stephenson Reflects on His Two Terms

Dear Fellow OAA Members,
As I enter the last weeks of my second and final term as OAA President, I have been reflecting on the challenges and successes of the last 21 months. I want to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to you—the members of the OAA. What we have accomplished over the last several years would not have been possible without your support. Having said that, there is still much more to do, and it needs your continuing support. The OAA cannot do this important work alone.
To all the members who volunteer for the OAA on its many committees and task forces, and the practices who support their volunteerism… THANK YOU! 
There is an ongoing need for volunteers as committees renew and refresh on a regular cycle. The more than 250 members who contribute their time, energy and talents to the regulatory and advocacy work we do are essential to its success. Our extremely capable and dedicated staff at the OAA depend on your engagement with the Association for us to meet our obligations as a responsible, self-governing profession, protecting and advancing the public interest in architecture.
To all the members who volunteer their time and energy at the local level for their Architectural Society and an incredible range of worthwhile community organizations and causes… THANK YOU! 
Through your local engagement, each of you is using your voice as a member of the profession to make your community a better place. By doing this, you elevate the stature of the profession. Do not underestimate the impact you are having or the value you are creating. Engaged and proactive architects are essential for a healthy society and for a healthy profession.
To all the members who have engaged with the OAA by providing your comments, criticisms and suggestions directly to us… THANK YOU! 
It is paramount that we hear from you—even when what you are telling us may be uncomfortable for us to hear. The OAA cannot function in isolation. Our profession is not just the OAA, but it is also all of us who are, have been or are about to be licensed to practice architecture in Ontario. You are the eyes, ears and voices for architecture in this province and, as a self-governing profession, you are the key link between the Association and the public whose interests we are given the responsibility to protect.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly:
To all the members who voiced their concerns and made the conscious decision to refuse participation in unprofessional procurement processes or agreements that would have us contracting out of our professional obligations… THANK YOU! 
Your support is enormously empowering. In fact, it is essential if we are to affect positive change for the public benefit. There is much more to do, though, and we need your continuing support. We must modernize our standard agreements to bring them closer to today’s business realities and we must continue strong advocacy work throughout the provincial and broader municipal sector procurement infrastructure to ensure that the negative trends of recent years are reversed and that architects are empowered to produce their best work for the benefit of Ontario.
So, to all my colleagues who, through the amazing work you do every day, demonstrate the compelling value of architecture… THANK YOU! 

Thank you also for using your voice and empowering change! It is truly exciting to see what can be accomplished when we do this! 
Thank you, merci beaucoup, chi miigwetch,
John Stephenson, OAA, FRAIC, Architect
President, Ontario Association of Architects