Call to Reverse Dismissal of Zurich Esposito from AIA Chicago

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As members of the Chicago design community, we are writing to express our utmost concern with the actions of the AIA Chicago Board of Directors involving the recent departure of the organization’s effective, longtime executive vice-president, Zurich Esposito. 

Since Zurich’s installment nearly fifteen years ago, he has worked diligently to transform the AIA Chicago chapter into one of the most reputable and active chapters in the country. His unique ideas pushed the chapter forward by creating more programs, forming diverse and expansive interest groups, and producing top rated materials, like the highly regarded Chicago Architect magazine.

The chapter events have grown to become 'must-attend' by members as well as the design community at large. Design Night has doubled in size. Zurich is like our statesman, building bridges with various government agencies and civic groups and dramatically raising the organization’s visibility and stature.

His tireless dedication to make significant improvements in diversity and inclusion help make the chapter more inviting to all its members. Notable achievements in this area include a Diversity Scholarship for architecture students, involvement with the national AIA Diversity Council, and the only AIA Chapter group in the United States dedicated to the needs of LGBTQ+ architects and designers.

The board's abrupt removal of Zurich from his position demonstrates questionable and inexperienced behavior. Those actions not only failed Zurich, an invaluable advocate for all of us, but they failed the entire design community as well.