Beyond the Boardroom: TxA Board Meets in Marfa

The subject of this post belies my column’s name as it is in fact all about the boardroom….The Texas Architects board of directors meets once in each quarter of the year. Our first quarter meeting is always in Austin and the last is always at our Annual Convention and Design Expo. The sites for the second and third quarter meetings are selected by the current Society president, with these parameters: the second meeting should be at a Texas site other than one of the five convention cities, and the third at an out-of-state site of high architectural interest. 

This year’s second quarter board meeting took place in Marfa, Texas, on April 19-21. 

Marfa Courthouse

Downtown Marfa with its historic courthouse. –photo by Alan Roberts, AIA

Located in the high desert between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend, Marfa provided, as intended, a superb opportunity to be removed from familiar surroundings, investigate a different community’s fabric, and focus on the work of the Society.

Landscape of Marfa

Marfa landscape -photo by Donna Kacmar, FAIA

Touring Marfa

Board members tour The Capri, an event space across the street from, and belonging to, Marfa's Thunderbird Hotel. -photo by Alan Roberts, AIA

Marfa Old Factory sketch

Sketch by Alan Roberts, AIA -photo by Alan Roberts, AIA

To view additional photos of sites visited by the board, see the Facebook album Alan Roberts, AIA, put together from his 2,300-mile round trip to Marfa.

At the board meeting itself, the major topics of discussion were the AIA Repositioning and AIA President Mickey Jacobs' request for responses from all chapters about the 10 identified issues for AIA to address. 

The Texas Architects Board prioritized the 10 items and found the following three to be of highest interest:

  • Lack of coordination between the local, state, and national tiers
  • Prioritization of AIA initiatives
  • Resource allocation

Ultimately, the board intends to respond in writing to President Jacobs to comment on the main priorities, as well as other issues. (The discussion may be more than you want to know, but we’ll be happy to make the letter available when it’s final.)

The board also approved a request from Texas Architects President Larry Speck, FAIA, to convene a task force to investigate the current issues around licensure. Three other states (CA, IL, NY) have expressed an interest in the Texas task force and would like to send representatives to our meetings. The board also approved another task force that will investigate the prevalence of portable school buildings on public school campuses. More information on each of these topics will be forthcoming.

Marfa Board Meeting

Members attending the board meeting -photo by Alan Roberts, AIA

In my EVP report, I discussed our annual convention (goal: to increase attendance), Texas Architect magazine (always looking for new interesting projects to publish), and advocacy (reviewed the current status of bills we’re following and issues for the next legislative session). Chapter activity reports were presented by Michael McGlone for San Antonio, and Melissa Brandrup for El Paso. Reports were also reviewed for the following committees: Convention, Career Building, Continuing Education, Digital Communications, Publications, Speaker’s Bureau, and Urban Design. Members can find these reports on the webpage of each committee. Lastly, the 2012 Audit Report and current financial reports were reviewed and discussed.

The next board meeting will be on July 26-27, 2013, in Vancouver, British Columbia.