Trade Group Gets Involved in Plan For Community Non-Profits Best Trade Organization: American Institute of Architects, San Fernando Valley Chapter By SLAV KANDYBA Staff Reporter The San Fernando Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) went beyond its call of duty as a trade organization when it spearheaded the design team for Panorama City’s commercial corridor. Accolades have poured in from the community via letter and peer recognition. The chapter was recognized by the Washington, D.C.-based AIA’s California Council. “We are making a contribution to the community,” said Jerry Pollak, the Sherman Oaks-based architect who put together the UDAT, or Urban Design Assistance Team, that helped to shape the development vision for Panorama City working in conjunction with the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. It was the Economic Alliance that approached the chapter to help identify so-called “town centers” throughout the Valley to spruce up communities. “I drove all over the place and I came up with Panorama City, which at that time was very deteriorating,” Pollak said. “It was a strong candidate for redevelopment.” Pollak pieced together a team that included a lawyer, a pastor and representatives from several city departments, which has since given Panorama City the blueprint for development still in use. “After we completed this report it was adopted by the Planning Commission of L.A.,” Pollak said. Since then, the AIA chapter has done similar studies for Ventura and Van Nuys boulevards. The Valley chapter of the AIA has more than 200 members from an area spanning Glendale to parts of Ventura County, and a board of directors. “The purpose of the chapter is to promote” the architect profession, Pollak said. “We are required to have educational programs once a month.” The chapter publishes a newsletter and has a well-developed Web site, where it posts events, workshop times and other items.