“December, being the last month of the year, cannot help but make us think of what is to come.” ― Fennel Hudson, A Meaningful Life

My sentiment exactly as I write my final letter as AIA Virginia 2019 president, reflecting on what has been a full but satisfying year, and looking forward to 2020 with confidence and optimism.

Rob Reis, AIA

Change seemed to be a recurring theme in 2019 as AIA Virginia moved from the Branch House to renovated space in the Bookbindery Building, worked with the Branch to mutually transition each organization to independence, and orchestrated the final step of eliminating supplemental dues. Amazingly, while in a sea of change AIA Virginia staff maintained their positive, helpful, and collegial spirit, along with a laser focus and a remarkably high level of productivity. I thank them for their dedication, support, and seemingly endless energy, which I’m convinced trickles down from the top through the passion and vision that EVP Corey Clayborne brings.  I’m fortunate to have benefitted this past year from Corey’s keen insight, advice, timely sense of humor, and friendship.

I’m also fortunate to have served with a dedicated and exceptionally effective Board of Directors, bringing a wide range of perspectives and expertise. I thank each Director for the knowledge, energy, and flexibility they brought to our common objectives and to advancing their particular passion.

2019 was shaped by a series of successful programs and initiatives, growing AIA Virginia’s presence and influence while connecting members, students, and the allied industries. In collaboration with the associated architecture schools, AIA Virginia BoD meetings were held at Hampton University and the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, providing the Board opportunities to engage with students. The ACE programs – collaborative events initiated in 2018, bringing together the architecture, construction and engineering professions – continued successfully across the state in 2019, and the second bi-annual Art of Practice held at the Winery at Bull Run was distinguished by both program and setting.

Architecture Exchange East, deftly organized, brimming with activity, and pulsating with the energy of connections and interaction, proved to truly be our great annual architecture get-together. The theme of re:culture resonated through an array of compelling keynotes, curated learning zones, and seminars, but was perhaps most tangibly evident in our emerging professionals – YAF, the 2019 ELA class, and budding leaders like Pascale Sablan, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP and her SAT IT LOUD initiative – and their exponentially growing influence and promise.

I enthusiastically welcome our incoming 2020 AIA Virginia President, Beth Reader, FAIA. Beth brings a wonderful blend of thoughtfulness, curiosity, and creativity, and I look forward to continuing my service to AIA Virginia alongside her.

And a final thought… fifteen years ago when my wife Lily and I arrived in Virginia I could hardly have imagined serving as AIA Virginia president, much less someday having many, many AIA friends and colleagues across the state – humbled and appreciative, I offer my heartfelt thanks to all of you!

Best in 2020!

Rob V Reis, AIA, LEED AP
AIA Virginia

Presidential Citations Awarded to UVA and Frickie

At Visions for Architecture, AIA Virginia President Rob Reis, AIA, awarded Presidential Citations to The University of Virginia School of Architecture and Brian Frickie, AIA.

The citation to the University of Virginia School of Architecture reads:

AIA Virginia is privileged to confer this Presidential Citation upon The University of Virginia School of Architecture Recognizing 100 years of unparalleled contributions to the profession through the education and training of Virginia practitioners, educators, and scholars in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, architectural history and building technologies, while steadfastly advancing design innovation, technical research and critical thinking; AIA Virginia hails a legacy positioned to inform a more valiant, just, sustainable, and aesthetic future.

University of Virginia’s Felipe Correa (center) accepts the Presidential Citation from AIA President Rob Reis, AIA (left) and AIA Virginia EVP, Corey Clayborne, AIA (right). Photo by Yuzhu Zheng.

The citation to Brian Frickie, AIA reads:

AIA Virginia is privileged to confer this Presidential Citation upon Brian J. Frickie, AIA, LEED AP for his outstanding leadership as the Region of The Virginias Regional Director on the AIA Strategic Council. Further, his colleagues in Virginia acknowledge his notable dedication to shaping the profession’s future through his service as Chair of the Institute’s Strategic Planning Committee and Leadership Development Program Steering Group.

Brian Frickie, AIA, (center) accepts the Presidential Citation from AIA President Rob Reis, AIA (left) and AIA Virginia EVP, Corey Clayborne, AIA (right). Photo by Yuzhu Zheng.

Current AIA Membership Incentives

  • Join or rejoin for 2020 by December 31, 2019, and you could win an iPad Air 64 GB or one of three Visa Gift Cards.
  • Pay your dues in up to six monthly installments with the Dues Installment Program. Enrollment begins October 1, 2019, and is available through April 30, 2020.
  • Join the AIA now as a new member for 2020 and enjoy free membership for the remainder of 2019 and free registration for A’20 conference in Los Angeles.
  • Architecture school graduates receive complimentary AIA membership at the Associate level for up to 18 months upon the date of graduation.

Learn more about these incentives at

New YARD Selected

The Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects Region of The Virginias has selected Allie Ditzel, AIA, as Regional Director for the 2020 – 2022 term on the Young Architects Forum, a National AIA Committee.

Allie is a Project Architect at HGA Architects & Engineers in Northern Virginia and received her M.Arch from Virginia Tech WAAC. She shared that she believes, “young architects if given the right tools will engage on important issues facing their communities and by default the world. We need to support, mentor and empower individuals to find their place within our field and continue to build a supportive community within the AIA for which they can rely.”

Jay Scruggs, AIA, Director at HGA Architects & Engineers, comments that “Allie is a dedicated employee, and she contributes to the community, our firm, and our office in many ways. Within AIA, Allie provides ARE instruction for young aspiring architects through YAF and AIA Northern Virginia. She also is a mentor through the AIA Women in Architecture Mentorship Pairing Program and attended the Women’s Leadership Summit this year in Minneapolis. Allie has a keen interest in mentorship and furthering the professional growth of young aspiring architects.”

The Young Architects Regional Director (YARD) serves as a link between the YAF and regional AIA members. YARDs are also responsible for gathering information about issues facing young Architects within their Regions and helping to disseminate information about national/regional activities and resources.

Interested in a NOMA Virginia?

NOMA Interest

Minority individuals within the architectural design community are exploring the creation of a National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) chapter in the state. An Exploratory Committee has been formed to analyze the feasibility of such an endeavor. We ask that you please complete the following questions and information fields.

At The Last Board Meeting

AIA Virginia | 2019 Board of Directors
October 11, 2019
Virginia Tech – Washington Alexandria Architecture Center

Motions Made and Approved:
The Board of Directors of AIA Virginia voted as follows:

  • Approval of the August 16, 2019, Meeting Minutes
  • Acceptance of the Honors Committee Diversity Task Force Recommendations
  • Approval of creation of the Invest in the Future Task Force

Written reports were provided for the following consent agenda items:

  • PAC Update
  • Membership Update
  • Disaster Assistance Committee Update
  • Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Update
  • ACE Joint Owner Forum
  • Helene C. Dreiling, FAIA Fellowship Award
  • University Reports

Questions regarding the written reports were answered to provide additional clarification. Members may request a copy of these written reports by emailing AIA Virginia Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, AIA at


Position Architects as vital contributors to our built environment.

  • An overview of the Honors Committee Diversity Task Force’s charges, the process for engaging pertinent stakeholders, deliberations and recommendations were provided. A motion was presented by the Task Force recommending acceptance of the presented recommendations. The motion passed unanimously.

Advance the knowledge and expertise of members.

  • The Emerging Leaders in Architecture program’s class project is in Northern Virginia and will be presented at Architecture Exchange East. The application deadline for the 2020 class is November 8 and the project will be in Norfolk.
  • The revenue, registration counts, and demographics to date of Architecture Exchange East 2019 were presented.

Advocate for the profession.

  • The jury’s selected option for the PAC Pin design competition was presented.
  • The status of the organization’s advocacy efforts related to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Statute of Limitations (SOL) was provided. The Executive Vice President attended an industry-wide presentation by the Department of General Services on October 3 which briefed attendees on the August survey results. A bill is expected to be introduced by the Associated General Contractors providing a finite limit on the SOL in which AIA Virginia will support.


Treasurer’s Report:
The organization’s Balance Sheet was presented which indicates the cash and cash equivalents are approximately $78k greater than at this point last year. It was noted that revenue associated with Architecture Exchange East is lower than at this time last year. The organization’s excess of revenue over expenses was recorded at just under $55k.

New Business:

  • The 2019 General Assembly directed the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in SB1755 to develop proposals for building code changes to counteract the threats of active shooters in schools. The review required the examination of locking devices, barricade devices, and other safety measures. AIA Virginia’s position is that architects will implement the requirements of the building code language that is adopted.
  • It is expected that the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan will be voted on at the February 2020 Board meeting.
  • The National Organization of Minority Architects Exploratory Committee has been formed to determine the requirements and feasibility of starting a Virginia chapter. Its first meeting was held on October 17.
  • The Region of The Virginias Young Architects Regional Director position will need to be filled by the end of the year.
  • The Invest in the Future Task Force was created to explore how the organization can better position itself to invest in the future generation of the profession.
  • The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design hosted “Learning from Landmarks” on October 21. The event consisted of a moderated interview with Hugh Miller, FAIA.
  • Howard University hosted the Howard Modern Tour Day on October 26 on its campus in Washington, D.C.

The next meeting of the 2019 AIA Virginia Board of Directors will take place Thursday, December 12, 2019, at AIA Virginia’s Headquarters.

Where’s Corey

Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, has pledged to get around the state and visit firms, components, partner organizations, and universities.

Here’s what is on his travel schedule:

AIA Local, Regional, and National Engagement
Architecture Exchange East
November 6-9

Council of Architectural Component Executives Leadership Transition Meeting
Boston, MA
November 11

AIA Blue Ridge Annual Meeting
December 4

NCARB Licensure Advisory Forum
Oklahoma City, OK
December 5-7

AIA Virginia Board of Directors Meeting
December 12-13

AIA National 96th Presidential Inauguration
Washington, DC
December 13

Ambassador Engagement
ACE Joint Owner Forum with ACEC and AGC
November 13

Preservation Virginia Board of Trustees Meeting
December 4

New Architects

We understand the dedication and effort required to study for and pass the ARE. Congratulations to the following members for passing their exams and gaining licensure. This is great news that thrills all of us and we are so proud to call you architects!

Mr. Christopher N. Ames, AIA (AIA Hampton Roads)
Justin M. Beckner, AIA (AIA Blue Ridge)
Kelley Davies, AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Oleg “Alec” Yuzhbabenko, AIA (AIA Hampton Roads)

Have you recently passed the ARE? Upgrade your membership to Architect using this AIA form. or send an email to your Member Services Director, Cathy Guske,

New Members

We are always excited to welcome new members to Virginia. The following members recently joined the ranks of AIA Virginia.

New Architect Members

Ms. Jenny C. Alvarez, AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Mrs. Adele Boyle-Denning, AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Mr. Steven R. Griffin, AIA (AIA Richmond)
Mr. Chris J. Nakamura, AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Mr. John B. Oduroe, AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Richard K. Perkins, AIA (AIA Richmond)

New Associate Members

Mr. James K. Atkins, Assoc. AIA (AIA Central Virginia)
Ms. Kayla Bromley, Assoc. AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Ms. Nastasia T. Buckley, Assoc. AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Miss Wenpei Chen, Assoc. AIA (AIA Richmond)
Ms. Kristen D. Hill, Assoc. AIA (AIA Central Virginia)
Mrs. Kaitlyn E. Hubert, Assoc. AIA (AIA Central Virginia)
Mr. Amr A. Ibrahim, Assoc. AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Mr. Thomas J. King III, Assoc. AIA (AIA Blue Ridge)
Mrs. Kerri A. Kite, Assoc. AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Miss Victoria Lasecki, Assoc. AIA (AIA Richmond)
Mr. James B. McDonald, Assoc. AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Ms. Hayley J. Owens, Assoc. AIA (AIA Central Virginia)
Mr. Lennon Robichaud, Assoc. AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Mr. James I. Vidoni, Assoc. AIA (AIA Central Virginia)
Mr. Phil White, Assoc. AIA (AIA Hampton Roads)
Ms. Margret G. Wilhelm, Assoc. AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)
Miss Ziwen Xu, Assoc. AIA (AIA Northern Virginia)


Dr. Christopher W. Kiss, AIA (AIA Northern Virginia) from AIA South Carolina

New/Renewing Allied Members

Michael Dunlap, Mid-Atlantic Rep., Polyguard
Brandon Wood, Vice President, Pace Collaborative
Ian MacRae, CEO, E-N Computers
Jimmy Keith, President, Keith Fabry Reprographic Solutions

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

Meet Robert Vickery, FAIA Emeritus

After graduating from Washington University with a Bachelor of Architecture, Robert Vickery traveled to Spain on a Fulbright Grant. In 1969, Bob was invited to join the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture as the Thomas Jefferson Visiting Professor in Architecture. During his three-decade tenure at UVA, Bob made an indelible mark on the University’s architecture program by helping to implement the school’s 4-2 architectural curriculum and by mentoring close to 4,000 students, both in Charlottesville and through travel programs in Venice and Vicenza, Italy.

Bob’s passion for education and providing opportunities for young architects was realized in professional practice in 1976 with the founding of VMDO Architects alongside three students – Robert Moje, Lawson Drinkard, and David Oakland.