Construct 2018 - Long Beach, CA

See how CSI Construct has affected our members who attended. Below is a letter by Tom Lanzelotti (CSI Metro NY Director), and you can download a letter here written by Oliver Wilhelm (CSI Metro NY Past President).

Belief + Action = Making a Difference

by Tom Lanzelotti


“an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially without proof”

     …according to Oxford Living Dictionaries  


“the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim”

    …according to Oxford Living Dictionaries



“a point or way in which people or things are dissimilar”

    …according to Oxford Living Dictionaries



In 2008 a close friend and trusted colleague of mine introduced me to an organization that he believed could be integral in bringing together multiple design + construction disciplines with the purpose of Building Knowledge and Improving Project Delivery…That organization was the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI).  Based upon his elevator pitch, I took a leap of faith and in June of 2008, I joined CSI as a member of the Metro NY Chapter…

So, for the first year or so, I attended meetings and was not necessarily convinced that CSI Membership was living up to my expectations…I expressed my concerns to my trusted colleague and he said to me, if you don’t like the way things are going, get involved and try to make difference…Such simple, yet profound words…

So I took action based upon that sage advice and became a Metro NY Board Member as a Chapter Director for a two-year term and also took on another leadership role as our Chapter Membership Chair…Years later, I have held a number of leadership positions:

Chapter Director (2-years) 7/11-6/13

Membership Chair (3-years) 7/11-6/14

Chapter Vice President (1-year) 7/13-6/14

Chapter President (2-years) 7/14-6/16

Chapter Immediate Past President (2-years) 7/16-6/18

NE Region Vice President (2-years)

Chapter Director (1st of a two-year term)

Chapter Programs Chair (2nd year)


With hindsight being 20/20, I would have to say that my CSI experience has had its ups and downs, and there have been times along the way that I have questioned if CSI Membership is worth the effort…But then, for some reason, maybe its fate, I end up in a place where my CSI battery gets recharged…This year, it was three brief encounters with CSI CEO Mark Dorsey that has again inspired my belief that CSI is an organization that can make a difference:


§  In May at our Northeast Region Conference in Vermont, Mark attended our Board Meeting where each chapter shares their successes and concerns…I shared some of our Program successes and later on during the conference, I was afforded a few minutes of time with Mark along with my CSI Mentor Bill DuBois, to chat about the importance of Chapters in the CSI Experience…

§  In June, Mark was in town for the AIA Conference and once again, my CSI Mentor Bill DuBois brokered a meeting with Mark, at the Pret in the building where our office is located.  At this once again brief encounter, Mark shared his belief that CSI is turning the corner and that the Institute Leadership Team has takien action to put into place initiatives that will be the catalysts for a different CSI…his parting words to me were…stay tuned and be ready to get involved…

§  So, with my interested stoked, I took my annual pilgrimage to Construct a few weeks ago.  This year, Construct was being held across the country in Long Beach, California.  I would say about a week or so prior to Construct, I received an email from Mark asking me to check out a link to the Institute Website:

TL CSI Construct 2018

So, I took action and jumped on it…I registered as a Dynamic Chapter Program volunteer and a Dynamic Chapter Program Transformation Advocate, not fully knowing what the programs were about but, believing that they could help to make a difference for our Chapter and our Members…and at Construct where, I typically experience a signature moment, Mark delivered, introducing a number of new initiatives in the works at the institute, focused on Chapters, the lifeblood of CSI:

§  Members as VIP’s

§  Chapters as VIP Service Centers

§  Dynamic Chapter Program (DCP)

§  Dynamic Chapter Program Transformation Advocate

§  Volunteer Portal


So now, when people ask me what is CSI?  I proudly say it is a professional organization comprised of a diverse group of design + construction professionals who are focused sharing knowledge; educating the next generation of professionals; and developing new and innovative cross-discipline strategies to improve the design + construction of our built environment and enhance the human experience.


I have BELIEF in the new CSI, and I am taking ACTION as a leader to assist in making a DIFFERENCE!  All I ask is for others to jump on this and try out what CSI has to offer…If you believe and take action, you too can be a part of making a difference


Tom Lanzelotti

CSI Metro New York Chapter Director & Program Chair