January 2024

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season. Last year flew by! If you missed our annual meeting which was hosted at the office of o2, here’s a quick summary of the year…

One Year Ago...

December 2022 Annual Meeting at The Drift Hotel designed by o2 Lance O'Donell AIA to elect the 2023 Board.

Annual Meeting December 2022

Drift Hotel
Modernism Week

February 2023 Modernism Week Tours and Lectures providing 20+ learning credits to AIA members (thanks to Florence and Richard for making that happen!)

Thisrty Thursdays !!

Launch of the Social Committee led by Austin Davis

Our Allied Member and engineer from Ashley Vance…and the birth of Thirsty Thursday (thank you to our sponsors…Ashley Vance, Mark Daniels, Bill Crigger, and H3K). Thirsty Thursday will resume in January 2024

College of The Desert

·   Launch of the Membership Committee led by Jorge Garcia.

·        Commitment to offer (2) half year scholarships to COD Architecture students. Scholarships named after our retiring Executive Director – Florence A. Hagstrom for the 2024 Fall Term.

·        Welcoming our first student representative Molly Glaab, AIAS to our board as our student liaison with COD along with our COD link Marina Acosta

Home Tours

·        Tour of three (3) homes designed by Mark Daniels and team – which started the ball rolling for scholarship fundraising.

2023 Board Of Directors

Thank you so much to the 2023 Board of Directors who worked very hard this year on your behalf. Board Members included:

Kathy Friedle – President

Lee Campbell – Secretary

Geoffrey Gregory – Treasurer

Lance O’Donnell – AIA CA Representative

Marina Acosta (COD representative) – Associate Director

Austin Davis-Social Committee Chairperson

Jorge Garcia-Membership Recruitment Chairperson

Richard Hobbs, FAIA – Director

Dan Spencer – Past President

Florence Hagstrom – Executive Director

Annual Meeting Awards

At the annual meeting, we presented several awards to retiring Board Members and owe them a BIG thank you for their many years of service!

Richard Hobbs, FAIA

In recognition of his outstanding dedication and service to the Chapter and to the architectural profession as AIA President of Seattle (1986), National AIA Board of Directors (1986 – 1989); Vice President of Professional Practice on the AIA National Staff (1990-2001) and most recently as a board member and Director of the California Desert Chapter from 2019 to 2023.

Thank you for pioneering our relationship with Palm Springs Modernism Week and dedicating countless hours of your time to qualify lectures and tours as learning opportunities for our members throughout the country to achieve their required continuing education learning units. Thank you for sharing your vast amount of AIA experience to mentor all of us by your knowledge, experience, and dedication to the AIA.

Daniel Spencer, AIA

In recognition of his outstanding dedication and service to the California Desert Chapter and to the architectural profession as a member of the Chapter Board of Directors from 2018 to 2023 in the roles of Director (2018), President (2019 – 2022) and Past President (2023).

Thank you for your leadership and always being our ally and connector between the many Architectural organizations in Palm Springs including PS Mod Com, PS Architectural Alliance, PS Historical Society, the City of Palm Springs, PS Architecture and Design Center, PS Preservation Matters and the College of the Desert Campus Planning Efforts.

Florence A. Hagstrom, Executive Director Hon. AIA CA

In recognition of her outstanding dedication and service to the California Desert Chapter and to the architectural profession as a member of the Chapter Board of Directors in the role of Executive Director from 2006 to 2023.

As a member of the AIA for twenty-eight years and as the Executive Director of the California Desert Chapter for seventeen years, thank you from your Chapter members, CACE colleagues, and leadership at the local, state, and national levels for always working tirelessly on behalf of the organization. Recognized as an Honorary AIA of Inland California (2011) and Honorary AIA California Council (2013), we wish you all the best in your much deserved retirement and always look forward to seeing you in the future!

2024 AIA California Desert Board of Directors

We wrapped up the Annual Meeting with a presentation of the proposed Board Slate for 2024 and I am happy to report that the members present voted unanimously for the new board and the new board was inducted by Richard Hobbs at the end of the meeting.

President:                                         Kathy Friedle, Assoc. AIA (‘24) 

V.P. President-Elect / Treasurer:      Geoffrey Gregory, AIA (‘24) 

Secretary:                                         L. Campbell, AIA Emeritus (‘24)

Director:                                            Todd Verwers, AIA (‘25) 

Director:                                            Marina Acosta, Assoc. AIA (‘24

Chapter Lead / Director:                   Jorge Garcia, Assoc. AIA (‘25) 

Assoc. Director:                                Bing Bu, Assoc. AIA (‘25) 

Student Director:                              Molly Glaab, President of AIAS

Past President / AIA CA Rep:           Lance O'Donnell, AIA (‘24)

Next Month on the February Newsletter ! ... Meet The New AIA California Desert Members

Todd Verwers, AIA MAA

Bing Bu LEED-AP. Assoc. AIA

The Focus for the Future...
  • More Scholarships to College of the Desert Architecture Students
  •  Active Fundraising on a much bigger scale
  •  October 2024 (Project Tours by our members in conjunction with Modernism Week) with a goal to raise $10K
  • Shadowing / Mentoring Approach for board members – active succession plan in place so the annual board slate is more seamless and new board members are ready to roll at the start of their term.
  •  Increase membership (interior designers, Assoc. AIA memberships, potential sponsorships by firm owners)

And Now for My Request of You in 2024...

As a small chapter with just 53 members (with the same requirements to deliver services to members like any large chapter like LA or San Fransisco), we often struggle to find volunteers to step up and actively participate. It’s a lot of time and effort for our Board and quite often we have a very low number of participants – which can be very frustrating. This past summer, the board embarked on a due-diligence study related to potentially becoming a section of AIA Inland California and I hosted a Town Hall meeting in June to explain what that might mean for us. We put a pin in that for now because Jorge Garcia has stepped up and volunteered to take on the role of Executive Director for the next year. In addition, we were also very fortunate to be able to fill our Board slate for 2024 with mostly returning members as well as a few new folks willing to take on leadership positions for the Chapter.

 So…be active members and encourage fellow architects and designers to join our chapter. We can’t do this without your help! 


All the best to you in 2024 and I look forward to seeing you!


Kathy Friedle, Assoc. AIA, President AIA California Desert

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