New project reestablished why CSI matters

by Ken Lambert, CSI, CSL

Recently, the CSI Northeast Region embarked on a journey of creating a 2.5-minute video (a commercial essentially) of why you should join CSI, and more broadly, what CSI means to people and to the building industry at large.

(We are now promoting and showcasing this video throughout various avenues and websites.

I was part of a small four-person subcommittee who represented the region, and worked with a third-party video producer/director to accomplish this task. This group had some great ideas, and helped to steer the direction of what we wanted this video to demonstrate. As a volunteer, this was a fun and exciting project—and I think most of the regional CSI directors would say the same.

We were able to get nine CSI members on camera for this piece. Given the current COVID restrictions, unfortunately, all of the taping had to be done via Zoom. That said, the overall quality of video and audio is generally fine. These nine representatives, all within the Northeast Region, each had a story to share and some insight to give us as to why they joined CSI, and why they still are members (often after many years).

Some great points were made, some being very logical and formal, others more personal and heartfelt. One member said CSI was like another family in her life. Another commented  the friendships which he gained as a result of membership in CSI have been longstanding and very important to him. (It’s important to note all of the interviews were unscripted.)

I watched, and analyzed, a couple versions of the video numerous times to try to help craft the best outcome we could, I thought to myself, “You know, CSI is a really good group of people who are in fact actively trying to better the built environment.” This, of course, was one of the main objectives of the project.

The other objective was to encourage professionals who are not yet CSI members to consider joining in the near future. Given membership declines over the past several years, especially in 2020 due to COVID, I think this is quite important, and timely.

Much of what we do within CSI chapters and regions can be fairly rigid and predictable; we have a plan and some tasks that work, and we generally repeat them month after month. But it is wise to step outside of the box now and help reinvigorate our members and give them something different to talk about. I hope the benefits of this video will come to fruition, but even if they do not, I think it made a difference to the people involved and to the current CSI members who have watched it.

Ken Lambert is director of Industry Development and Technical Services for the International Masonry Institute (IMI). He can be reached at

If you have an idea or opinion you would like to share with your colleagues, please contact CSI content strategist Peter Kray at

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