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From The Publisher August 2000 Ok . . . the letters are pouring in and many of the arguments are very good, unfortunately, due to the nature of publishing and the timing of this column you'll have to wait until the next issue to read the full mail bag. Also, by the look of things, most everybody is a staunch Democrat . . . Actually . . . and understandably . . . the letters are debating my commentary and thus take the opposing view . . . i.e. . . . "Many of us were drawn to Landscape Architecture by our interests in nature, so the scorched-earth record of Mr. Bush makes him an untenable choice for that group . . . " "You criticize Gore's position against urban sprawl. Should Landscape Architects be in favor of urban sprawl?. . . " "You say Gore is against capitalistic growth. Then why have we had this tremendous growth in the economy during the Clinton/Gore [administration] . . . ." Anyways, now that the gauntlet is down, the forum is yours! LASN will print a representative sample from all sides who respond . . . In the meantime . . . the other big news out there is that the ASLA has found a new EVP . . . Nancy Somerville. Now, I may be getting older, but in the spirit of good will, and adopting a wait-and-see policy, here is the official press release issued by ASLA . . . . The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) today announced the appointment of Nancy C. Somerville as the Society's new executive vice president, effective August 21, 2000. "We're very fortunate to have someone of Nancy's caliber joining us to help build on our recent successes, especially in the public affairs arena. From the Centennial on, we've been working hard to leverage our efforts for even greater success," said ASLA President Janice Cervelli Schach, FASLA. "And the fact that she's the first woman to serve as the Society's executive vice president is just further proof of how far we've come as a profession." Somerville comes to ASLA after 18 years with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) where she has served as managing director and vice president of many program areas including membership, state and local government affairs, chapter relations, and continuing education. Somerville's contributions there include creating a highly successful State Government Network and leading the Institute's chapter assistance program. Most recently, she directed the selection and implementation of a web-enabled membership database, audience management, and communications platform for the organization and its 300 chapters. Somerville served as the Institute's lead policy expert on licensing issues for 10 years and wrote the entry on "Registration of Professionals in Construction" for the 1989 edition of John Wiley's Encyclopedia of Architecture, Design, Engineering, and Construction. She is also the author of the 1985 landmark AIA study of qualifications-based selection and competitive bidding, Selecting Architects and Engineers for Public Building Projects: An Analysis and Comparison of the Maryland and Florida Systems. "Nancy has had a wide range of experience with AIA and she's definitely ready to put together all the pieces for ASLA - from licensure to our move towards enhancing our electronic communications. Of all the candidates, Nancy seems to be the best person for the position, given where ASLA is and where ASLA wants to go. She has just the right experience, vision and personality that should be a perfect fit for our Society," said ASLA President-elect Leonard J. Hopper, FASLA. Somerville received the AIA's Citation for Exceptional Service in 1990, was honored in 1991 by the Illinois Council of the AIA for her contributions to the profession, and received honorary membership in the AIA in 1993. Early in her career, Somerville served the U.S. Department of Energy, providing program analysis and evaluation support. Her duties there included writing reports to Congress and responding to White House inquiries. She began professional life as a writer/editor with the U.S. Consumer product Safety Commission. A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Somerville holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. from Stanford University. Somerville's appointment follows a thorough selection process that saw the Society's search committee, comprised of two trustees, a chapter president, two members-at-large, and a Landscape Architecture Foundation representative, review hundreds of nominations and applications. The ASLA Executive Committee conducted the final round of interviews and made the final decision. "Transitions are always difficult, and we owe a real debt to Jim Tolliver, who served as our management team leader, helping to shepherd us through this interim period, as well hearty thanks to our other dedicated staff. We couldn't have done it without them," said Schach. Tolliver's service has been recognized with his also newly announced promotion to serve as ASLA's deputy executive vice president. Welcome Aboard Nancy . . . Good Luck and God Bless . . .

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