By Charlotte Friedley
Last month, the TxA Convention Futures Committee gathered at 500 Chicon, where I had the opportunity to meet Elizabeth Danze, FAIA, a new member of the committee. Danze took some time to talk with me and shared her enthusiasm for the work the team is doing.
The Convention Futures Committee is responsible for helping to plan, not the current year’s convention, but ones in the years to come. Currently, Danze and the other committee members are focused on our 2015 Convention, which will take place in Dallas.
Danze says that what originally drew her to this particular committee was the chance to interact with TxA membership. “Being a part of Convention Futures has allowed me the incredible opportunity of shaping the convention experience by finding ways to bring relevant information and materials to our profession,” said Danze.
One of the committee’s primary goals is to identify and secure keynote speakers for 2015, and to set themes for future conventions. “With a membership as active, engaged, interesting, and interested as ours, the Convention Futures Committee really strives to present multivalent subject matter,” said Danze.
Danze also spoke regarding the committee’s excitement about making previously successful events, such as the New Architects Recognition Ceremony and TxA Interactive, both new in 2013, even more effective. Says Danze: “I continually question myself — what would I like to see, and what would my peers like to see? I experience a sense of responsibility to help create a convention that they will find interesting and motivating.”
The most compelling thing about my chat with Danze was learning what she indirectly takes away from the committee. Since joining Convention Futures, Danze says, she has reveled in the chance to socialize and engage with AIA chapters and the people of TxA.
“It’s been a fun learning experience,” she says. “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know who our members are and how they engage with our constituency — I find myself continually amazed at the breadth of what architects are accomplishing.”