Archive | Advocacy News

Not-So-Good PAC Fact

Less than 3% of AIA Virginia Members Participate

As of today, only 64 participants have contributed to the AIA Virginia PAC totaling $4,580.  Three of the participants are actually not members.  The membership of AIA Virginia has a 2.6% participation rate.  Though this is the most participation we have had in the first six months of a calendar year in many years, we must do better.  The majority of members say their biggest value with AIA Virginia is Government Advocacy.  Yet, I’m scratching my head in disbelief as the number of practitioners who do public work and contribute to the PAC is microscopic.  Our voice is only a whisper at the table because the PACs of chicken farmers dwarf ours.

Here is how PAC membership participation stacks up by local AIA component:

Check out this infographic to see how we compare to allied industries.

I’m asking that you please make a contribution to  No amount is too small or too large.  Help us have a seat at the table as the voice of the ARCHITECT.

Posted in Advocacy News

Gubernatorial Appointment Opportunities

Board of Housing and Community Development

Two seats on the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development will be up for reappointment.  The Board of Housing and Community Development consists of 14 citizen members, including 11 members appointed by the Governor from each of Virginia’s Congressional Districts, a representative from the Virginia Fire Services Board appointed by the chairman of that board, the Executive Director of the Virginia Housing Development Authority, and the Director of Regulatory Compliance of the Virginia Building Officials Association.  Candidates that wish to be considered should live in either the 6th or 11th Congressional District

Please see the link below for a map of each District:’s_6th_congressional_district’s_11th_congressional_district

For those that are interested, please send a letter of interest on letterhead to AIA Virginia Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne at  by June 30, 2018, in PDF format.

Posted in Advocacy News

SAP Training

Thirty-seven regional architects, engineers, and building inspectors participated in Post-disaster Safety-Assessment Program (SAP) training this past Saturday, June 9 in Norfolk.

SAP training. June 9, 2018. Norfolk.

SAP training provides architects and other building professionals with the knowledge to provide evaluations of facilities and buildings in the aftermath of a disaster. With the beginning of Virginia’s hurricane season, this training will benefit communities across the state in the event of a natural disaster. Attendees earned a Cal-OES registration ID card and are now certified volunteer building safety evaluators.

Architects frequently volunteer with state and local jurisdictions to help determine the safety and habitability of homes and small businesses when emergency management and building departments are overwhelmed, which has been the case in the wake of recent hurricanes. This benefits communities by reducing temporary shelter needs and supporting services when residents are cleared to safely return home. Architects provide this service pro bono as part of their membership in the AIA and its Code of Ethics.

AIA Virginia is exploring hosting 2nd SAP training at Architecture Exchange East this November in Richmond.

Posted in Advocacy News

Lobbying for Architecture

This was one of the most politically intense General Assembly sessions Virginia has seen in a long time. There were 19 new members elected to the House, which many believe was a backlash to the results of the Presidential election. A number of Democrats were victorious in their races without the financial backing of their caucus. There was an incredibly large volume of bills introduced. That number climbed north of 3,700 when typically, it rarely exceeds 3,000. Most bills placed a strong emphasis on how will it impact my caucus/race to re-election.

The profession of architecture has its hands full. This is especially the case for practitioners that do public work. A number of localities have adopted their own competitive negotiations processes for hiring professional services. The existing Code of Virginia allows this to occur to provide flexibility to the various sizes and complexities of local governments. As one may imagine, these local procurement processes ARE INDEED, requiring price during the proposal phase and there is not an effective way to monitor or track which localities are doing this. Localities are not required to submit their customized procurement process plans to the state, and as such, there is a high level of unawareness that this is even occurring. And if a legislator knows it’s occurring, the next question is, do they care?

More and more of you are sending me RFP’s that are requiring price in the proposal. It seems to be happening more so with the RFP’s issued by local School Boards.

AIA Virginia is working on a plan with our lobbying counsel, Williams Mullen, and our allied professional society the American Council of Engineering Companies Virginia to close this loophole. This will be more than a one-year effort. You are critical to the success of this plan.

Here are the initial components of our plan:

Get the Facts: Determine and confirm how many localities in Virginia are procuring professional services through their own customized procurement processes and requiring price as part of the proposal. As you can imagine, this is a gigantic task in itself.

Education: We are preparing for an intense amount of educational meetings with legislators out of session that will be led by Williams Mullen. I’m going to be calling some of you to attend these meetings.

Legislative Sponsor: Determine if there is a Legislative Committee Chairman that would be willing to support a change in the Code of Virginia to close this loophole. This individual would be instrumental in leading the process and getting enough votes for any proposal to pass.

Please do keep me posted on RFP’s that have this language as it will help us tremendously in this first stage. This is going to be a long tug-o-war. The number of lobbyists that represent local governments and their respective associations towers over that of design professionals. However, our membership is north of 2,300 – there is Strength in Numbers. And when we decide to put our pens and mouse down for a second to unite, we have the potential to be quite powerful.

Corey Clayborne, Executive Vice President of AIA Virginia,

Posted in Advocacy News

Advocate for Action on Climate Change



Architects Advocate Action on Climate Change Develops Election-Year Tool to Empower Members on Environmental Issues

The Catalytic Action Platform outlines steps that architecture firms and “citizen architects” can take to advance the cause of finding solutions to climate change


Chicago, IL—Eighteen months after its formation, the nonpartisan grassroots network Architects Advocate Action on Climate Change (Architects Advocate) has grown to more than 900 firms and over 2,400 individual members. Now, the group is focusing on ways to activate firms and citizen architects.

“Maybe more than any other profession, architects are trained to build consensus around multiple—and often competing—interests and stakeholders. We need to deploy these skills towards a redesign of the systems that impact all of society. This is leadership in the truest sense. To achieve the ultimate goal of transforming to a carbon-free economy, we need to go to the polls and make choices based on issues, not parties,” said Architects Advocate co-founder Tom Jacobs.

To shape and accelerate the process, the network created a Catalytic Action Platform that is tailored to both individuals and firms to serve as a roadmap for activist efforts.

Citizen architects—individuals who commit to being guided by science and prudence, to being nonpartisan, and to taking action—are encouraged to take ownership of their role as employers of the government officials who represent them through participating in the Open Letter drive. Already signed by 1,500 architects nationwide, the document highlights the need for continued growth of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. Citizen architects are encouraged to use the letter (available at when contacting incumbents and candidates to find out if they commit to bipartisan climate action.

At the firm level, members are encouraged to support existing initiatives like the 2030 Commitment by the AIA and the We Are Still In coalition, which represents the broadest cross-section of the U.S. economy ever assembled in pursuit of climate action. Architects Advocate also recommends firms include fossil-free fund options in their 401(k) plan offerings, allowing their employees to align their financial resources with their environmental values.

Jacobs said that Architects Advocate Action on Climate Change prioritizes results over the organizational structure. “As a leaderless network and platform of architects, we are highly nimble and able to mobilize quickly; something that can be challenging for more traditionally structured groups like the AIA, which represents 90,000 members. The opportunity before us is to innovate advocacy by meshing both approaches, to combine the advantages of our grassroots network with the initiatives and resources of the AIA.”

For more information, visit

Posted in Advocacy News

Joint Owner Forum with Higher Education Clients






Register today for the next Joint Owner Forum with higher education clients from the eastern region of Virginia. An interactive panel discussion with key university decision-makers will be held to discuss upcoming projects and ways the industry can best collaborate with the respective institutes. To date, commitments from William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Old Dominion University leadership have been provided. Additional universities are pending.

Date: Monday, June 18
Time: 3:00–5:00 p.m. followed by a Cocktail Reception
Location: The Sadler Center at The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg
Cost: $50
2 LUs available

Register today>> Space is limited. 

ACE is a joint venture of the American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors, and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia, to educate and promote best practices of the design and construction industry.

Posted in Advocacy News

Gubernatorial Appointment Opportunities

Board of Housing and Community Development

A vacancy has occurred on the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development.  The Board of Housing and Community Development consists of 14 citizen members, including 11 members appointed by the Governor from each of Virginia’s Congressional Districts, a representative from the Virginia Fire Services Board appointed by the chairman of that board, the Executive Director of the Virginia Housing Development Authority, and the Director of Regulatory Compliance of the Virginia Building Officials Association.  The individual that will be appointed is required to live in the 7th Congressional District.

Please see the link below for a map of the District:

AIA Virginia distributed an email notice to AIA members in the 7th Congressional District on April 5.  Due to the time sensitivity of this appointment, the deadline has been shortened from that notice.  For those that are interested, please send a letter of interest on letterhead to AIA Virginia Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne at  by April 20, 2018, in pdf format.


Art and Architectural Review Board

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s  Art and Architectural Review Board (AARB) reviews and advises the Governor on the acquisition and design of works of art, buildings, and structures on property owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The AARB meets year-round on a monthly basis and is comprised of six members, to include a designee of the Department of Historic Resources, and five citizen members appointed by the Governor. Agencies are responsible for submitting project information to AARB for its consideration.

In June 2018, an opening to serve in this capacity will become available.  AIA Virginia plans to present a slate of qualified candidates to the Governor’s office for consideration.  For those that are interested, please send your resume and a letter of interest on letterhead to AIA Virginia Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne at  by April 30, 2018, in pdf format.


Posted in Advocacy News

Citizen Architect Scholarship – Architect Planning Commissioners

Part of AIA Virginia’s Strategic Plan is to enable Citizen Architects to expand their power to effect change.  Serving on a local Planning Commission is one way to do just that.  Planning Commissions advise the elected leadership on promoting the orderly development of the community.  To help you be more effective in your role, we have available a limited number of scholarships that will cover the cost of your registration at the 2018 American Planning Association Virginia Chapter Annual Conference at Wintergreen Resort.

The theme of the conference is Mountains of Influence and will be held July 22-25, 2018.  Each scholarship is valued at $50 which covers full registration for Planning Commissioners.  Included in this registration is breakfast on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; lunch on Monday and Tuesday, and receptions on Sunday and Tuesday evenings.

To apply for a registration scholarship, submit a letter of interest on letterhead to Corey Clayborne, AIA at by no later than Friday, May 4.  To be eligible, you must be an AIA member in good standing and currently serve on your locality’s Planning Commission.  Recipients will be notified by May 31.

Posted in Advocacy News

Grassroots 2018

AIA Grassroots was recently held in San Diego, California from March 12-14. The conference theme was “Leading through Influence” and it certainly lived up to the title. The clearest message to come out of Grassroots 2018 was that through engagement, we demonstrate the value of architects and architecture. Architects and allied professionals can advocate for and create meaningful transformation within our communities.

Region of The Virginias representatives at Grassroots 2018. (From left to right) Krystal Reid, AIA; Amanda Schlichting, AIA; R. Corey Clayborne, AIA; Scott Campbell, AIA; Brian Frickie, AIA; Rachel Shelton, AIA; Kelly Callahan, AIA; and Marci Parrish.















Bill Bates, FAIA, First Vice President and Grassroots Chair, noted a recent Harris Poll identified ‘architect’ as the 7th most prestigious profession in the country. He then asked: “What are we doing to leverage this influence? Influence is the new power.” Now more than ever an architect’s skills, systems-thinking, and visionary planning can make a positive impact on society and the world.

Highlights from Grassroots include:

  • We can find ways to shape communities to create healthier, resilient, and ultimately sustainable models of living. The new urban agenda will be a highlight of the AIA national conference in New York this June addressing issues of housing, energy, resiliency, infrastructure, planning, and policy.
  • Architects have a unique ability to think critically and creatively. This places architects in a unique position to tackle big societal questions as they relate to the built environment and the social condition of the people living within it.
  • Engagement is key. Public engagement will build public awareness through our actions, advocacy, and visibility.
  • Support our future architects through leadership development and by listening. Be inclusive in our actions and work to advance equity and diversity within our profession.
  • We were inspired to hear mayors and urban planners from cities across the U.S. advocating for architects to be at the table as a partner in shaping our cities and built environments.

Grassroots 2018 Panel on Licensure. Photos courtesy of AIA.


Posted in Advocacy News, Featured

Payne Appointed to Technical Review Board

J. Kenneth Payne, Jr., AIA, LEED AP BD+C

The State Building Code Technical Review Board (TRB) consists of 14 citizen members that are appointed by the Governor and represent various state organizations. The Virginia Society of American Institute of Architects is one of the organizations represented on the Board.

Kenneth Payne, Jr., AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Vice President of Quality Control, Risk Management, and Training at Moseley Architects was recently appointed by Governor Ralph Northam to represent Virginia AIA on the TRB. Kenney has over 31 years of experience in the architectural profession. He is dedicated to building safety, code development, and code education and has worked hard to build coalitions and consensus between the various industry groups involved in building construction and regulation. Kenney was the recipient of the “Award for Distinguished Achievement” from AIA Virginia in 2004, the “Jack A. Proctor Meritorious Service Award for Registered Design Professionals” from the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association in 2015 and a “Presidential Citation” from AIA Virginia in 2016.  Read the Governor’s appointment letter.

The primary purpose of the TRB is to hear appeals from enforcement actions under the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, the Virginia Industrialized Building Safety Regulations, the Virginia Manufactured Home Safety Regulations and the Virginia Certification Standards. The TRB also provides formal interpretations of code provisions for local code enforcement officials and makes recommendations to the Board of Housing and Community Development for future code amendments.

The Office of the Review Board is in the State Building Codes Office within the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Division of Building and Fire Regulation. For more information on the TRB visit
or contact the State Building Codes Office at (804) 371-7092 or

Posted in Advocacy News

Membership News

Professional Development News

Government Advocacy News

  • Not-So-Good PAC Fact

    Our voice is only a whisper at the table because the PACs of chicken farmers dwarf ours.

Virginia Accord

  • The Virginia Accord

    Bringing together the planning and design disciplines to examine two key themes critical to the future — job creation and environmental sustainability — on Sept. 19-20, 2014 at the Virginia Accord.