A New Voice
I’m happy to announce the national level Small Firms Round Table (SFRT) has been developed as a result of a recommendation from the Small Firms Task Force in 2006 (or somewhere in that timeframe). But I’m still puzzled. It seems that because the notice is in the AIArchitect eNewsletter and the link points to KCs within the AIA, it is just duplicating portions of SPP and Residential/CRAN. I pointedly asked the questions and, if so, as such will just dilute the effort those two fine groups, but alas “Neigh” they say.
In a nut shell, I’ve paraphrased it that SFRT is essentially about advocacy for all the constituents of small firms (and sole practitioners). From my observation, the SFRT will get attention/efforts for the areas that small firms/sole practitioners have little muscle and/or buying power. So far topics kicked around are liability insurance, health insurance, contracts, etc. (hmmm, I think SPP had this same list a few years ago and didn’t get much horsepower). I need to admit I don’t know what Residential KC and/or CRAN have on their list, but I do know they’ve done a ton of work for their constituents.
I am hopeful that because small firms and sole practitioners have a new advocacy voice at 1735 New York Avenue in D.C., a lot of the yammering I’ve read on LinkedIn discussions and other various blogs will finally get proper attention with resolution (and not just lip service “there, there, we’ll look into it”) from AIA National. Realistically small firms and sole practitioners have been feeling the brunt within the past 12 months of running an office and, at the end of the day, we need to pick the battles we chose to fight in hopes of winning. Honestly, in my office, we’ve decided to focus on our clients and our projects rather than other activities which do not immediately increase our bottom line.
One thing I know for sure, for SFRT to maintain the arena in which they are placed and excel at truly helping AIA members (and likely nonmember small firm/sole practitioner architects may benefit as well) we NEED to have the strong force of support for this new committee. I urge you to do two things:
• Read the notice about the new roundtable http://www.aia.org/practicing/groups/kc/AIAB082947
• Include Small Firms Round Table in your AIA profile (details “how to” are here) http://www.aia.org/groups/aia/documents/presentation/aiab081610.ppt
Choose to be positive, choose to be happy, enjoy what you do!
-Lisa Stacholy, AIA