After nine months of planning sessions (or beer fueled creative get-togethers, depending on the week), the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2013 ORCHIDS & ONIONS Award Ceremony & Silent Auction went off without a hitch last week on Thursday, October 3rd.
Having been involved with this great program for a few years, I am extremely proud of this years contingent of volunteers as we saw a big challenge ahead of us. For the first time in many years, the O&O team was without rock stars Leslee Schaffer (recently departed ED of SDAF) & Ivana Vinski (SDAF Director & O&O Event Co-Chair/Co-Ordinator). Sites set, SDAF designated my fellow Co-Chair Craig Howard & I the task of ensuring not only a successful event, but one that continued the tradition of San Diego’s most anticipated party for the creative community & an award ceremony that could both celebrated the Orchid additions to our community, while tastefully handing out Onion’s too.
Where to start with Craig?…A recent graduate from the NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NSAD), SDAF Director & member of the DBRDS team, Craig is a seasoned veteran of the O&O experience & he diligently set out to create a team of volunteer rock stars all invited to play very specific roles in the planning. Pulling in fellow recent graduates & current students, Craig used his NSAD resources & showed phenomenal leadership liaising with everyone involved & putting in the long (very long) hours after work & on weekends to ensure that everything was done & that everyone was being supported. I look forward to working with this lad for many years to come.
The first of these key teams that Craig pulled together was our ‘Graphics & Marketing’ team who consisted of Lauren Pasion, Melina Aluwi, Daniel Ordonez, Kate Johnson & Yolanda Campbell (all below, minus Yolanda who could not make the event). This team was challenged with the task of taking the existing O&O branding graphics & reinventing them for the 2013 program. The ‘vinyl bobble’ was shortly presented & the team simply set about doing their thing. Meeting after work hours & in addition to our standing weekly O&O volunteer meetings, this bunch of self driven individuals saw no issues, only solutions as they worked their way through an ever-growing list of marketing collateral needs, all while dealing with the multiple revisions to ensure names, spelling & sponsor logos were all correct. Thank you to each of you for the tireless efforts. I am so inspired your passion for the program & thankful for your flawless team commitment & collaboration.
Our Silent Auction team of Mikaela Rosvall & Monika Banakaite (below) were simply amazing. This dynamic duo found time during their day jobs to send hundreds of emails, make many phone calls & follow up with a very long list of previous donators to the O&O Silent Auction. In addition, both ladies (along with Craig) took hours out of their weekends & many late nights (including here in the DBRDS office) to collate packages, make fancy presentation bags, layout their own little graphic tags & shop for supplemental presentation items all to ensure that the 2013 O&O Silent Auction raised money for SDAF. The amount of personal time dedicated to this effort is priceless. The entire SDAF Board of Directors thanks you!
My event planning team – Gretchen Sorenson & Andrea Hammann – you ladies rock! Gretchen brought amazing experience always questioning to various teams ensuring a conversation was taking place between the various teams, while Andrea brought a bright-eyed enthusiasm that she used to simply get things done. Thank you to you both for the great ideas & for finding solutions. I am grateful for your participation. (some how our photographers missed you in the photos…but that doesn’t mean we don’t love you!)
A special mention to Sasha Pisch. This crafty lad accepted our challenge to find a way to present the 15 or so Jury ‘Napkin Sketches’. With access to the NSAD workshop & some spare plastic, he created a very sexy way to display the sketches. Sasha’s dedication to the cause didn’t even fade as the connection pieces he ordered did not show up until half way through the event pre-party…so as everyone else ate & drank during the party, he sat there putting each frame together…solid, solid dedication. Thank you! Here is Sasha, along with our ‘Vanna White’, the always entertaining Ms. Julia Cota…
My Jury Tour team – Chuck Crawford, your ability to spark dialogue on the tour is crucial. You get the creative juices flowing for a Jury who mostly just met each other…thank you. Dedicated SDAF Director Jerry Shonkwiler, thank you for participating in the day. You got a glimpse into how much effort goes into just one of the many components to a successful O&O event. I hope you enjoyed the experience & we hope to have you involved again next year. Suzanne – I dont know how you can scribble a thousand notes on a moving bus, but you did it. Thank you for listening to our jury & transcribing so thoughtfully their considerations of each project. You are an amazing writer (not to mention your always provocative music selections) & we are a better team for your involvement. Our videographer Lauren Pasion & our photographer Jackie Kowalik (below) – both of you wonderful ladies played a huge part in capturing the moments of the Jury (in addition to helping out with other many things!)…thank you.
To ALL of our volunteers, thank you. Each week you came & participated. Everyone had a role, no one was left out. This event simply does not exist without volunteers. Giving up every Thursday night to come & be part of the programming is one thing, but to take complete ownership of your various tasks & to pull it all off is absolutely amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
To the SDAF Board of Directors for participating in many ways – whether it be through fundraising & sponsorship efforts, or turning up early to help set up or staying late to help breakdown, you know who you are & you all played a key role in the success. Thank you.
Our ‘Core’ Committee of SDAF President Maxine Ward, SDAF Directors Suzanne Clemmer & Perriann Hodges & Photographer Darren Bradley – you guys are the dream team. From all angles you kept Craig & I on task; supporting throughout every step you all played key roles in the success of this event. Our program should not simply say ‘Co-Chairs’, it should state ‘TEAM’…I love working with each of you…let’s do more good things together.
Our esteemed Jury of Design Professionals; I put you through the ringer making you sit & vote online for hours, then dragging you around to 24 site visits in one day (a Saturday no less!), then locking you in a room for 4.5 hours as you worked your way through the short list of nominations during the deliberations, all to select the official 2013 O&O Awards…you took it all in stride. I could not be happier to have met you all…you’re all good peep’s.
Eric Naslund – Principal at Studio E Architects & Chair of the San Diego Planning Commission
Frank Wolden – Founding Principal at Skyport Studios & Adjunct Professor at the NewSchool of Architecture & Design
Viveca Bissonnette – Interior Designer; Principal at Hollander Design Group
Brian Garrett – Landscape Architect; Project Manager at LandLAB
Gina Champion Cain – Developer; President & CEO at American National Investments & Owner of the Patio on Lamont in Pacific Beach
David White – Artist; Founder of Agitprop Gallery in Barrio Logan
Alex Hempton – Urban Planner; Membership Direction for the San Diego American Planning Association.
A special shout-out thank you to Richard Messenger also from GoldField Stage Co. For the fifth time Richard has been our bus driver on the tour, we like Richard & we like that Richard dig’s architecture.