Mr. Wolfe Goes to Washington


Director nominations for Institute committees

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23 December 2005, Stacy, MN

As we enjoy the holiday season, it seems fitting that Institute directors take this time to exercise one of the more positive privileges of the office - submittal of recommendations for Institute committees. This is our opportunity to help shape the future of the Institute, and to start promising members on the path to region and Institute offices.

If you haven't served on an Institute committee, it's hard to appreciate how exciting and rewarding they can be. Committees are where most of the real work of our organization occurs; they are the front line, the trenches, where problems are analyzed, solutions found, and things get done. They serve the same purpose at any level, but there is a special intensity in Institute work. Part of it is the result of the significance of the work - it affects the entire organization, rather than a single chapter - but most of it is the commitment of the members.

While chapter committees often have many inactive members, some who don't even attend committee meetings, every member of an Institute committee is there to get something done. Once in a while, new members may not have the needed time or focus, but they don't last long, as they are not invited to return the next year. Institute committee work is helped by meeting away from home and business one or more times each year, allowing the committee to devote the entire time to its work, without interference. The concentration is so great that the work typically continues on through dinner and into the evening; in my experience, some of the best ideas have come up during late evening free-for-all discussions.

I have been fortunate to serve on Institute committees three times. The first time was on the Specifications Subcommittee of the Technical Committee. At that time, members of the Technical Committee were chairs of several subcommittees. I don't recall what the other subcommittees were or did, but the Specifications Subcommittee reviewed the content of SpecText, and worked with chapters on SpecGUIDEs. My second term was the most satisfying; during that four year period TechCom shaped the future of our Manual of Practice and MasterFormat. During my last term, TechCom oversaw the development and implementation of the PRM and MasterFormat 2004. Although I wouldn't promise anyone that much excitement, I will say that if you are willing to make the commitment, you won't be disappointed.

At this time each year, Institute directors are asked to forward the names of members they believe will be able to serve CSI as committee members. I won't kid you - it means a lot of work. But if you are willing to make the commitment, it can be one of the most satisfying things you do.

CSI has thirteen standing committees that are open to all members - Academic Affairs, Awards, Certification, Host Chapter, Credentials, Education, Finance, Jury of Fellows, Membership, Nominating, Resolutions, Specifications Competition, and Technical - and a number of task teams and ad hoc committees. For a list of committees and a brief description of the qualifications of each, go to

For most standing committees, one-year appointments are made by the Executive Committee-Elect each year, based on recommendations from Board members, committee chairs, and Institute staff. Committee terms are limited to three years, except for committee chairs. Task team and ad hoc appointments are made by the Institute president with advice from the Executive Committee; the term is for the duration of the work required by the assignment.

If you are interested in serving on an Institute committee, task team, or ad hoc committee, and you have the necessary qualifications, please contact your Institute director now! Institute directors' submittals are due by 15 February 2006.

2006 Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, 

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