Chapter History

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The Redwood Empire Chapter

In the spring of 1969, thanks to the efforts of the late Paul Corbin, then the Manager of the North Coast Builders Exchange, a group of interested local design professionals and various construction individuals met with Mr. John Kurensky, Region 11 (now the West Region) Director of CSI, to discuss the many attributes of CSI and the possibilities of forming a Chapter in this area. As a result of that meeting and several subsequent ones, it was decided to seriously pursue the formation of a local Chapter. Pro-forma officers were then selected and we were on our way. At that time, solicitation of members was very difficult since, among other things, the whole concept of CSI was new to this part of the country. The two-year long efforts of that initial group did finally prevail however, and at last we had enough members, a set of Bylaws, and most importantly, the approval of the Institute.

The Construction Specifications Institute in May 1971 officially chartered the Redwood Empire Chapter. The charter was presented to our charter president, Mr. Keith Bergman, by the Institute president-elect Arthur J. Miller, FCSI at a charter banquet at the Los Robles Lodge in Santa Rosa on June 26, 1971.

The charter lists eighteen Professional and ten Industry members. Normal attrition, untimely deaths, retirement and occupational relocations have all taken their toll. However, eleven years later, eight of those Professional Charter members were still active members of the Chapter. None of the Industry charter members were active by 1982, but rather, had been replaced by other equally concerned and dedicated individuals.

The History of CSI

During the post-WWII years, the U.S. government initiated a vast building program. Specifications, the basic language of construction, was “multi-lingual,” with each agency using its own format to prescribe design.

In early 1947 a select group of government architectural specifications chiefs began to meet informally to discuss the need for uniform specifications. They put in motion a plan to establish an organization where specifiers and others in the construction industry could unite to develop a common method of communication within the industry.

On March 8, 1948, The Construction Specifications Institute was founded. Objectives were established and bylaws adopted. As its purpose, the Institute devised and pursued five priority goals: better specification writing, simpler specifications, standardization of building codes, standardized specifications for government work at all levels, and the study of new materials and processes to substitute for those made more costly or scarce by the war.

Throughout its history, CSI has encouraged member participation in technical document preparation. The Institute’s Technical Document Program was officially launched in 1961 with the publication of Specification Series Documents (SSD). Written by individual members, these documents were reviewed and critiqued by CSI members and industry experts before incorporation into the series, the predecessor of today’s popular and successful master guide specifications system, SPECTEXT®. 

However, phasing out the SSD program effectively eliminated the need for input from individual members – CSI’s most valuable resource for continuing the advancement of construction technology. Consequently, the former Technical Documents Committee revitalized old programs and created new ones to carry on the tradition of member participation. Both the Monograph® series and SpecGUIDE® program are results of these efforts. Possibly the two most important programs in fostering construction uniformity, the Manual of Practice® and MASTERFORMAT,® are also examples of member involvement and dedication to CSI’s goals.

While the other documents address the “hows” of specifying, the SPEC-DATA® Program was initiated in 1966 to deal with the “whats” of construction specifications. It requires technical product information direct from the manufacturers. Today, more than 300 manufacturers participate in this program.

Advancing technologies have brought CSI-supported technical programs into the computer age with SPECTEXT-on-Magnetic Media, Electronic SPEC-DATA, SPEC-DATA II®, and the new electronic database, CONI®. Other developments are on the horizon. In 1951, the first local chapter was formed in New York City. By the first annual convention in 1957, CSI had 12 chapters, composing nearly 1.500 members. In 1961 membership has risen to 5,0001; in 1981 the membership total was 15,114. Today, with membership approaching 20,000 and approximately 128 chapters worldwide, CSI continues to grow and progress – still in pursuit of the five original goals, and expanding on them without hesitation to make the construction industry the most organized and universally understood field in the world.

Chapter Past Presidents

Jim Williams 1969-1971
Keith Bergman 1972
Raymond Longman 1973
Ervin Hille 1974
Paul A. Vincilione 1975
Grosvenor B. Bolles 1976
Grosvenor B. Bolles 1977
Gregory P. Zucco 1978
Joel R. DeSilva 1979
Nolan M. Tinkler 1980
Randall Miller 1981
Donald Morton 1982
Audrey Bjorndal 1983
John Taylor 1984
John Taylor 1985
Maynard Luurs 1986
Phillip Johannes 1987
Robert Crowell 1988
Rene Cardinaux 1989
Rene Cardinaux 1990
Thomas Whitson 1991
Leo Egan 1992
Leroy Carlenzoli 1993
Herk Swaney 1994
Jay True 1995
Blaine Lemmon 1996
David Steffen 1997
Darin Dutra 1998
Alan Soule 1999
Bryan Varner 2000
Kevin McCann 2001
Dan Furlong 2002
Peter Stanley 2003
Michael Caldwell 2004
Bill Beck 2005
Karen Collins 2006
Jennifer Alexander 2007
Matthew Cardle 2008
Jim Daniel 2009
Bryan Varner 2010
Steve Pestell 2011
Peter Lescure 2012
Eric Ziedrich 2013
John Dolan 2014
Michael Wright 2015

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