Contributed by Eric D. Lussier
By definition from the Construction Specifications Institute, Fellowship is one of the top two honors given by CSI. Fellows of the Institute are chosen by their peers. Nominees must have been members in good standing for not less than five years and have notably contributed to the advancement of construction technology, the improvement of construction specifications, education, or by service to the Institute.
I've known my friend and Let's Fix Construction co-founder, Cherise Lakeside, for just shy of seven years. Relatively fresh off of joining CSI, we met at CONSTRUCT, when it was held in Phoenix in September of 2012 by happenstance. In those seven years that I've known her, I've watched her give, give and give some more. Always selfless. Never asking for anything in return. Seven years of continually making up for the lost time of not being involved in CSI earlier in her professional career.
Cherise and I are friends. Friends talk. When she knew she would be nominated for Fellowship, she had her doubts. "I haven't been doing this long enough". "I haven't done enough". "I won't be selected". All thoughts that she uttered to me in private conversation. "You're full of it", I would respond. "I know of nobody else in CSI who has given more in seven years".
Even I was shocked on just how much Cherise has done for CSI and the construction industry in seven short years. I read a draft of her Fellowship submission and even I was in awe. CDT classes. Specs 101 presentations. Let's Fix Construction workshops. Dozens of blog posts. The list went on and on.
When I was on the shortlist of those that were asked to write a Letter of Endorsement for her earlier this year, I wondered to myself where I was going to start and where I was going to end. I've never met anyone who has said "I haven't done enough", but turns out has done a bit of everything. It turns out I had to stop myself at 1,500 words, and I felt that I only scratched the surface on describing what Cherise has done.
I submitted my Letter of Recommendation with little doubt of what the end result would be. I concluded my Letter with "I’m honored to call her a friend and I’ll be even more honored to call her a Fellow." On August 2nd, the information trickled out and joining John T. Dunaway, CSI, CCS and Kermit Duncan, CSI, CCCA in elevation to Fellowship on Thursday, October 10th in National Harbor, MD at CONSTRUCT will be my friend, Cherise Lakeside, CSI, CDT.
Let's Fix Construction is an avenue to offer creative solutions, separate myths from facts and erase misconceptions about the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
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