Installed in November 2019 at Redbird in Los Angeles, Gerod was joined by fellow board members, past presidents, friends, family, and colleagues as she accepted the role with an equal combination of humility and excitement.
Gerod, Partner at Gruen Associates, was installed as AIA CA president by her friend and colleague Michael A. Enomoto, FAIA. Enomoto, who was 2012 AIA CA president, delivered a heartfelt inauguration speech. His words covered all the proverbial bases, from professional to personal endorsements to provide further insight and instill confidence in the crowd. His words traveled from her philosophy that a team can design a project better than an individual.
Gerod announced some of her plans for 2020, and is looking forward to a collective effort in order to effect change. “It felt like a good moment to step up,” she explained. “This is a pivitol time where architects are in a position to show leadership in the climate action arena. I wanted to be part of an influential conduit such as the AIA CA. I can think of no better group to work with,” she continued.
Gerod believes that for the architecture profession to accomplish great things, collaboration with peers and colleagues across multiple disciplines is critical. It is with this collaboration that she intends to further the support for Zero Code and climate action initiatives including the continuing education components and their members will need for this. This ties into another item on her agenda regarding the sharing of resources between the State’s 22 components so that all architects throughout the State are equitably served.
AIA CA staff looks forward to working with her, and 2019 president, Kasdan, believes the profession will be in good hands. “Debra Gerod, FAIA, represents AIA California and the architectural profession in such a quintessential way. She leads by example with tactful wisdom, seemingly effortless grace, and just the right amount of wonderfully dry humor. I am really excited to see her influence on the organization as we continue to take meaningful climate action in 2020.”