About Our Chapter

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In the 1960’s and 1970’s there was a local CSI Chapter, known as the Warren, Akron, Canton, Youngstown or “WACY” Chapter. The Chapter gradually fell apart from lack of leadership and loss of interest and was dissolved in the early 1970’s.

A few of the former members retained CSI membership recognizing the value and benefits even without a local support Chapter. Some transferred to other Chapters in the region. Some were simply unaffiliated members. One such faithful member was Larry Everhard. In the summer of 1996, Larry was called by a member of the Columbus Chapter who had noted the absence of a Chapter in the Northeastern Ohio area. Some phone calls, some commitments, some meetings with CSI members from other Chapters, and the spark for a new local Chapter was ignited. Larry Everhard and George Wagner, also a CSI member, gathered a core of interested persons, including this writer. George, during the course of his work convinced a number of persons to join our ranks. George also tracked down other unaffiliated members by obtaining a list from The Institute.

On September 26, 1996, a meeting of 28 prospective members of the new Chapter was inspired by a highly motivational presentation of “What is CSI” by Edith Washington, a member of the Toledo Chapter. Edith is currently president-elect of the Institute, and was treasurer of the Great Lakes Region at that time. Her enthusiasm for CSI in her presentation convinced a lot of attendees to join and made clear that she was destined to go far in CSI. Also present were Larry Raymond and Kathy Bultman, president and vice president, respectively, of the Great Lakes Region, and Brian Smith and Dave Proudfit, presidents of the Columbus and Cincinnati Chapters, respectively.

At the October 1996 dinner meeting conducted by Larry Everhard, officers were elected by verbal vote. Elected to the Board of Directors were: President, Larry Everhard, CSI, AIA; President-elect, Roy Crawford, CSI, CCS, CCCA; Vice-president, Jerry Iams, CSI; Secretary, Debbie Lavanty, CSI; Treasurer, George Wagner, CSI, CDT; Director, Professional, Bill Mikusa, CSI; Director, Industry, Dan Sarvis, CSI; Advisory Board, Jim Jones, CSI; Assistant to the Treasurer/Secretary, Karen Strekely (Schlechter).

By October 1996 the first Chapter newsletter was published and mailed to members, prospective members, and construction-related organizations. Monthly dinner meetings continued through the winter, as did recruiting of members.

On March 27, 1997, at the monthly dinner meeting, Larry Raymond, president of the Great Lakes Region, presented Larry Everhard with a gavel, and a Charter for the Akron-Canton Chapter, CSI. Forty-two charter members, most of whom werepresent, received their charter certificates.

Since that time, the Chapter has grown to 65 members, and continues to grow. Several rounds of new officers have been elected, and have taken the Chapter to new levels of achievement. Our Chapter has won several national and regional awards and is recognized as an important part of the local construction community.


Memberships meetings are held at various times during the month. Refer to the Monthly Chapter Meeting page or to the current The fACts Newsletter for more information.

Board meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at the chapter office, with the exception of a Thursday holiday where the meeting is to be held the next Thursday following the holiday. All are welcome to attend.