2016 has come and is about to be gone, the same as my term as President of the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners. Time surely flies when you're having fun. Much has happened over the year, starting with the board issuing 4,385 licenses, certificates, etc. (newly issued or renewed). This has kept both Mary and Holly very busy, and I would like to personally thank them for their attention to our needs.
One important rule that the Board has been working on this year is development of guidelines for the Louisiana Architectural and Education Research Fund. Many thanks to Mr. Blitch, Mr. McKinney, Ms. Chandela and Mr, Spaht for their diligence in overseeing this task. We expect to complete the guidelines for making awards that will support the integration of practice into education to our universities in 2017.
Several of our board members have been elected to offices on the NCARB Region 3 Board, they are John Cardone (Chair) and Robert McKinney (Vice-Chair). Also elected to the NCARB National Board of Directors for 2016-2017 is John Cardone. John is the first consumer/public member of a state regulatory Board to serve in the Public Director position. Other LSBAE board members serve on various committees of NCARB. To these members I say "Thank you" for your service.
A major hurdle this year was the retirement of our Executive Director Mary "Teeny" Simmons after more than 40 years of service and leadership to the LSBAE. I want to thank Teeny for all her help to me and the service to the board for these many years for a job well done. You will be missed. Between Teeny's announcement of retirement and the hiring of the new Executive Director, the entire board participated in several special meetings and many emails throughout this process. The culmination of this activity was the interview process, which started the morning of the floods in Baton Rouge. The floods welcomed our new Executive Director to Louisiana with a 28-hour ordeal on I-12 outside Hammond. It was a very wet welcome to Louisiana, and it wasn't even a hurricane. With that, we are pleased to announce the new Executive Director of the Board is Ms. Katherine E. Hillegas, CAE. Kathy comes to us from NCARB in Washington, DC, where she has been Director - Council Relations for the last six years and Assistant Director - Corporate Affairs the previous five years. With much enthusiasm we welcome Kathy to Louisiana and the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners. Welcome aboard Kathy.
As 2016 comes to an end, so does my term as President. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you for the past year. On behalf of the entire board, have a very happy holiday season and Happy New Year.