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President's Letter - October 2019

As my time as Chapter President is wrapping up (officially in November), I find myself in a reflective mood. Particularly when it comes to leadership.

While I have tried to do the best I could for the chapter over my time as President, I will be the first to admit it was a struggle at times – to make the time to devote proper attention to ASLA Chapter tasks. (Perhaps having a baby a few months into my Presidency had something to do with that!). I most certainly owe much credit and many thanks to the supportive and encouraging membership and the support of our Executive Committee.

So in thinking back on that, I recognize the need and benefit of engaged and supportive ASLA members at ALL levels. General membership supporting the chapter and leadership by attending our events and engaging with each other, our sponsors, and our chapter leadership. Committee members and leaders supporting specific events and initiatives, and working with Executive Committee. And of course the Executive Committee engaged in the monthly and often weekly business of running the chapter, keeping us move forward on track. Thank you!!

This thought exercise also made me realize the idea or ideal of people moving easily across those different “supporting” segments during their time with ASLA – up and down, or in and out – of committees, of event planning, of leadership. Members can be engaged and supportive in so many different ways, we as the chapter leadership just have to enable that engagement in an easy and flexible way. Please don’t give up on us! I would certainly understand it – “well I offered to volunteer a few times, but nobody ever reached out to me.” So many of you have offered your help, often directly to me, and I admit I didn’t have a good way to get everyone engaged. I believe we are making good strides in generating simpler and more straightforward ways for people to help the chapter. So stay tuned for more good things to come!

Speaking of the future – Ben Boyd is our incoming President and the real deal. We are all going benefit from HIS leadership (and have already). While I’m not sure how I’d rate myself as a leader, I already think quite highly of Ben and his leadership style. I look forward to my role in supporting him and the chapter through my continued involvement, next year and beyond.


Larissa Torres

PLA President, Maryland Chapter ASLA Trustee MDASLA


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