New Hampshire Chapter CSI – A Brief History
The New Hampshire Chapter of CSI can trace its inception to the foresight and enthusiasm of the late Paul Tolman who was the Director of Public Works Division of the New Hampshire Department of Public Works and Highways. Having initiated to CSI through his association with the Maine Chapter, Tolman gathered together twenty-one people from the New Hampshire construction industry to petition for chartering of a new chapter in the spring of 1970. In September 1970, a meeting was held in Manchester and the New Hampshire Chapter was formally chartered by the Institute President. The celebration was joined by a number of CSI Members from the Boston and Maine Chapters.
By 1975, the original membership of twenty-one grew to thirty-nine and the monthly programs were well established and well attended. The next five years saw another membership increase of ten to forty-nine members by 1980. During this period of time, the Chapter had begun to participate in Region activities more vigorously. A noteworthy achievement in this respect came in the fall of 1976 when the Chapter hosted a very successful Region Conference in Hanover which is still remembered by many Region members.
Between 1980 and 1984, the membership fluctuated between 35 and 45 causing some concern for the Chapter leadership, but the activities of the Chapter continued to expand in scope into areas of continuing education and student education and into annual product shows. The Chapter was instrumental in the establishment of an architectural technology program at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord and it started an annual seminar program for the practicing professionals. The first product show sponsored by the New Hampshire Chapter was held in 1974 and was revived in 1983 to become an extremely successful annual affair. Also during this period of time, the Chapter cultivated a close relationship with the Vermont Chapter, in addition to the Maine Chapter, and held several joint meetings with both of the chapters.
In 1984, Dale Doller was elected Chapter President and launched a campaign to strengthen the chapter’s membership base. His leadership during the next two years, followed by President Joleen Worden, resulted in a phenomenal increase in membership to 62 in 1985, 69 in 1986 and 86 by June of 1987. The crowning event during this period of Chapter growth was another superb Region Conference, held in Nashua in October, 1987.
Other events include the first Annual NHCSI Golf Tournament held at Candia Links in 1993, and the fifth Annual Product Show at the Center of New Hampshire in March 1993.
Today, the New Hampshire Chapter of CSI is a viable and visual organization, actively serving the New Hampshire construction community. The early goal of promoting one-to-one communication among engineers, architects, contractors, suppliers and producers is still the most important aspect of the Chapter activities, but the Chapter now serves to promote closer communication and coordination among various trades and professional organizations as well.
No history of an active organization is complete without a forecast for the future. The New Hampshire Chapter’s growth, coupled with the growth of the Institute as a whole, promises that CSI will continue to gain stature in the New Hampshire construction scene as a leading organization which promotes advancement of construction technology through better communication.