Q & A
with Second Vice President
Gregory L. Erny, NCARB, AIA
My primary responsibility was serving as the Board liaison to the Member Board Executives Committee and providing support to Maria Brown, committee chair and executive director of the Oregon Board. As second vice president, I also attended meetings with our collaterals, becoming more familiar with the common interests and concerns that NCARB shares with each of these organizations. Through these meetings, I was able to establish relationships with collateral leadership so that we can continue to move our mutual interests forward in the future.
Supporting President Ward and his efforts to continue implementing NCARB’s strategic plan was also very rewarding. One of the strengths of our organization is the commitment to ongoing continuity in the delivery of NCARB programs and initiatives. As second vice president, I had the opportunity to become directly involved with the president and first vice president in formulating these strategies, as well as looking to the horizon for programs and initiatives that may come to fruition in the next few years.
The Member Board Executives (MBEs) are a dedicated group that provide valuable input and perspective to both the formulation and implementation of NCARB policies and programs. The group’s primary responsibilities include:
NCARB continues to invest significant resources to facilitate licensure in our 54 jurisdictions. NCARB meets with each of the four collateral organizations throughout the year, both collectively and individually, to share information regarding our initiatives for facilitating licensure. The success of these efforts is illustrated in the support from each of the collaterals for the new Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) 5.0, the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®), and the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL).
My service within NCARB started over 18 years ago as a member of the ARE Pre-Design Committee. Since that time, I have served on seven more ARE-related committees. While the work of each committee was important in sustaining the rigor and validity of the examination, I am most excited about my involvement as Board liaison to the Research and Development Committee that led to the development of ARE 5.0.
It became very clear a few years ago that sustaining, much less updating, the vignette software in ARE 4.0 was no longer feasible. The ever-increasing advancements in technology mandated the evolution of a new approach to testing that could keep pace with future changes in testing methodologies and practice. The Board of Directors agreed with the recommendation of the Research and Development Committee to not only pursue a new testing format but also make an aggressive decision to have it implemented by the end of 2016.
ARE 5.0 will include new question types and case studies in six divisions that reflect the categories of contemporary practice. Eighteen years of ARE perspective convinces me that this new exam platform and format will allow us to keep pace with evolutions in practice. I look forward to seeing the efforts of our dedicated volunteers come to fruition—and serve us for many years to come.
As a student and candidate pursuing licensure, I always envisioned owning my own firm. Shortly after becoming licensed, I suddenly became unemployed during an economic downturn during the early eighties. While working part-time for a sole practitioner, I was also able to secure a number of small commissions that evolved into the opportunity to open my own full-time practice. The architectural education that I received at Ball State University, my preparation for passing the ARE, and the training that I received during my work experience all served to provide me the tools to competently practice as a sole practitioner. Those skills provided the foundation for a successful practice during the last 34 years.
I have provided a voice for the sole practitioner and small firm through my involvements with both NCARB and my service on the Nevada Licensing Board. And I will continue to represent the architects who practice in these settings in my role as both first vice president and president of our organization.
As first vice president, it will be important for me to support the efforts of President Kristine Harding, serve as liaison to the Regional Leadership Committee composed of the regional chairs, and foster relationships with the current and future leadership of our collateral organizations. President Harding is setting forth initiatives that will further improve service and value to our customers and constituents, and I am looking forward to supporting her in these efforts. Another goal includes raising awareness of NCARB’s important role in the protection of both the public and those who utilize architectural services.
Effective involvement and communication among all levels of leadership in our organization is critical to NCARB remaining relevant and effective in serving our 54 member jurisdictions. I plan to extend relationship building to the leadership of the collateral organizations to further understand their goals and objectives. I intend to be an avid listener and be someone who the collaterals can count on for objective input and constructive dialogue. I am also very excited about our new partnership with the American Institute of Architecture Students’ (AIAS) Freedom by Design community service program, and I look forward to working with AIAS leadership to ensure its success.
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