From the President

Do you know what the late Sam Mockbee, James Cutler, Tod Williams, David Salmela, Glenn Murcutt, and Brian MacKay- Lyons all have in common, other than being incredibly talented and influential architects? They have all been speakers at our biennial Virginia Design Forum, held every other spring. The Design Forum is my favorite AIA Virginia event.

Beth Reader, FAIA

The first Design Forum was held in the spring of 1994. Jim Ritter, AIA was one of the founders. Jim thought our AIA Virginia members should have an event that clearly and specifically focused on design. Jim knew that employee issues, business, and office technology were all important, but he felt like design was the core of being a great architect. He wanted AIA Virginia to have an event that acknowledged that premise.

In addition to Jim, some of the other original Design Forum committee members included Greg Hunt (the Chair), Mark Orling, Bob Steele, Joanne Goldfarb, Carlton Abbott, David King, Judith Kinnard, Ed Pease, and Vernon Mays (the former editor of Inform).  

The theme for the initial 1994 symposium, “Architecture + Innovation” was selected to “provide a loose structure around which speakers and practitioners can explore ways in which the architecture profession has advanced in days past and hopes to advance in the future.” The first venue was The Homestead, in Hot Springs, Virginia. The first Design Forum committee thought that “in a retreat setting, architects can escape the distractions of daily practice and immerse themselves in discussions that will push the boundaries of professional discourse.” In the program, attendees were “strongly encouraged to react to what they heard, and to offer personal views and pose difficult questions.”

When we come together on March 27th and 28th in Richmond for the 14th biennial Virginia Design Forum: In Praise of Shadows, I urge you to retreat into the world of design, as the first Design Forum committee intended. Temporarily forget your day-to-day office operations and imagine yourself back in your college design studio. Let the impressive roster of speakers inspire and challenge you.

Special thanks to our current Design Forum committee members: Jack Davis (Chair), Ed Ford, Allison Ewing, Anca Lipan, Mark Orling, Matthew Pearson, Ed Pease, Andrea Quilici, Rob Reis, Michael Spory, and Roberto Ventura.

To all of the Design Forum committee members past and present, and to all of the architects who have attended the Design Forums over the past two and a half decades—thanks for creating and sustaining this signature event. And for any of you who have not yet signed up—please register online today!

Beth Reader, FAIA
2020 President

Alternative Paths to Licensure – IPAL

As the profession of architecture grows in new and interesting directions, so does the education and licensure paths that feed into it.  Many in the profession are familiar with the typical education path of having an intern position to earn NCARB experience while a student, earning a NAAB accredited degree, earn more experience, and pass the exams.  However, in the past few years, NCARB has been working to provide an alternative path to licensure and is working with state licensing boards to get this path approved as a viable option. This path is known as the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL). 

IPAL is an accelerated path to licensure for students to meet the requirements for licensure while documenting the same hours of work experience, obtaining a NAAB accredited degree, and passing their exams all at once.  When they gather their diploma they will be a fully accredited architect (pending any other requirements from their jurisdiction of practice).  Currently, there are 26 programs at universities that offer the IPAL program.  A majority of the universities offer it as a graduate program, yet there are those that offer it to undergraduates although there may be certain stipulations applied.  These programs typically have tie-ins for work-study programs or strong connections to internship programs with local firms to help facilitate the work experience needed to meet IPAL and NCARB requirements.  Many IPAL participants will need to work what equates to a part-time job at a minimum along with being a full-time student to meet all the requirements to complete the program. 

With a new path to licensure emerging and tying into education requirements provided nationally, those who dream of a career in architecture will have multiple paths to obtaining licensure. In 2018, the first group of IPAL graduates moved into the workforce. It will be interesting to see how their alternative path and experience has molded them as architects, and if any change will be ushered into the profession as a whole.

For more information on IPAL, requirements, and a list of institutions that provide the path, visit

article submitted by Virginia Licensing Advisor, Michael Hammon, AIA. You can reach out to Michael at with any licensing questions.

At the Last Board Meeting


AIA Virginia | 2020 Board of Directors
February 28, 2020
AIA Virginia Headquarters

Motions Made and Approved:

The Board of Directors of AIA Virginia voted as follows:

  • Approval of December 12, 2019, Meeting Minutes
  • Approval of December 13, 2019, Meeting Minutes
  • Approval of appointments to the 2020 Honors Committee
  • Approval of endorsing Charles Hendricks, AIA for Harrisonburg City Council
  • Approval of appointments to the 2020 Nominating Committee
  • Approval of placing an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee in the Rules of the Organization
  • Approval of the AIA Virginia 2020-2022 Strategic Plan
  • Approval of the AIA Virginia Financial Investment Plan
  • Approval of the Audit Report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2019
  • Approval of appointments to the 2020 Secretary’s Advisory Committee

Written reports were provided for the following consent agenda items:

  • PAC Update                                                                                                   
  • Membership Update
  • Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Update                                                                                              
  • ACE Joint Owner Forum
  • NOMA Virginia Exploratory Committee                                
  • SAP Training Update
  • Emerging Leaders in Architecture
  • Norfolk Community Dinner Update
  • Architecture Exchange East Update
  • Publication Update                                                                            

Members may request a copy of these written reports by emailing AIA Virginia Executive Vice President, Corey Clayborne, FAIA at

Invited Special Guests:

Mr. Josh Batkin, Vice President of Council Relations at NCARB, presented the regulatory proposals that have been introduced in state legislatures around the United States. The presentation included an overview of the public perception of the profession of architecture based on recent survey results.

The next meeting of the 2020 AIA Virginia Board of Directors will take place Friday, April 17, 2020, at Virginia Tech – Blacksburg.

Hampton Roads NOMA Interest Mixer

A small and determined contingent in the Hampton Roads area spent less than one month between December and January planning an event for local architects and architecture-adjacent professionals to mix and mingle and gauge interest and momentum, at a local level, for chartering a Virginia NOMA.

NOMA is the National Organization of Minority Architects, an organization with a mission to support and advance the professional development of minorities in the architecture and design professions.

The ‘Interest Mixer’, a term our small local committee created to help give a succinct name for the event, was intended to serve both as a social and a membership interest meeting. All the fun took place on Friday, January 17, 2020, from 6-9 p.m. at Hamilton Perkins Collection, a minority-owned retail outlet in MacArthur Mall in Norfolk. It was well attended, welcoming 55 guests of all walks of life, with students from Hampton University, local artists, architects and designers, and engineers, all from Hampton Roads and as far out as Petersburg and Richmond. We even had two past NOMA national presidents in the house: Kenneth Martin, former North Carolina NOMA president, and Robert Easter, current chairman of architecture at Hampton University. The evening was mostly mixing and mingling, but there was a 15-minute presentation/interest meeting to inform everyone on the history and purpose of NOMA, and of how to become a member. We were fortunate to hear organization insights from Kenneth Martin and program updates from Hampton University NOMAS student leadership. And a huge bonus it was in having our local AIA board members in attendance.

All in all, it was an incredibly serendipitous night spent connecting and networking with other underrepresented professionals and students in the A/E/C industries; certainly, a night to remember.

The greater effort of establishing a Virginia NOMA is being led by a small committee of architects spread across the state. Now that we have momentum snowballing throughout the state, we may soon finally see our very own NOMA. If you would like to see NOMA in Virginia, fill out this very short form on AIA Virginia’s website >>

A special thanks for this local effort goes out to Zachary Robinson, Ramon Turner, Charles Redmond, Ty Champion, Che Clark, Ian Vaughan, Ashley Montgomery, Tiesha Hopkins, and Joel Mieses; and much gratitude to the Virginia NOMA committee for moving this effort forward.

Jeffrey G Butts, Jr., Assoc. AIA | Hanbury
AIA Regional Associate Director, Virginias Region
AIA Hampton Roads, Membership Co-director
YAF Hampton Roads, Chair

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!

Mingfan Li, AIA (Hampton Roads)
Mr. Quinn MacKenzie, AIA (Northern Virginia)

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

Mrs. Julie K. Filges, AIA (Richmond)
Ms. Claire M. O’Connor, AIA (Northern Virginia)

New Associate Members

Leah Bancheri, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mrs. Behnaz Hedayat, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Miss Keyera Howard, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Ms. Esther J. Jeong, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Ms. Andrea M. McCornell, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Sean N. McGillicuddy, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Mario Rodriguez, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Majd M. Soudi, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)

Transferred In

Mr. Matthew E. Godfrey, AIA from AIA Illinois (Richmond)
Jenine S. Kotob, Assoc. AIA from AIA DC (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Sami M. BaSuhail, AIA from AIA Maryland (Northern Virginia)
Mrs. Kristin E. Duncan, AIA from AIA Oregon (Northern Virginia)
Mrs. Meredith L. Ellinger, AIA from AIA DC (Northern Virginia)
Ms. Bhuvana Shankar, Assoc. AIA from AIA Pennsylvania (Northern Virginia)

New/Renewing Allied Members

Patrick Dyer, Vice President, Gulf Seaboard General Contractors Inc
Matt Carr, Regional Manager, American Hydrotech, Inc.
Meril Gerstenmaier, Managing Partner, HG Design Studio
Elizabeth Woods, Nydree Flooring

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

Where’s Corey

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

Here’s his recent travel schedule:

AIA Local, Regional, and National Engagement

Community Dinner in Partnership with AIA Hampton Roads
March 19

AIA Virginia Executive Committee Meeting
March 27

Design Forum
March 27 – 28

Ambassador Engagement

Introductory Meeting with AIAS National Executive Director
Washington, DC
March 5

Virginia Society of Association Executives Panel Discussion Panelist
March 6

Commonwealth of Virginia APELSCIDLA Regulatory Board Meeting
March 17

ACE Joint Owner Forum
March 18

Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing Conference
Virginia Beach
March 25

Construction Site Signs Available for Architecture Firms

How many times have you walked past a construction site and seen signs promoting the general contractor? We think architecture firms deserve recognition on construction sites too! Construction sites inspire curiosity. They tell a story. Wouldn’t you like to help shape that narrative?

The AIA has created custom construction site signs to recognize how new construction will contribute to the community. We think this is a great idea — so we’re sponsoring up to 10 banners for members. We’d love to see at least one in each of Virginia’s 5 components.

If you have an active (or soon-to-be active) job site and are interested in participating, please contact Rhea George.

Simply work with us to customize a banner by sharing a project image, firm contact information, logo, and a compelling headline. These mesh banners are durable and come with zip ties for easy fastening to a fence.

All we ask in return are a few photos of the sign posted at the job site.

Members can also create a Brand Shop account and design and purchase signs directly from the AIA.

Virginia Celebrates New Fellows

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is elevating 5 AIA members from AIA Virginia to its prestigious College of Fellows, AIA’s highest membership honor, for their exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society. Less than 3% of the architecture profession achieve AIA Fellowship.

The newly elevated members are:

R. Corey Clayborne, FAIA (AIA Richmond)
Robert L. Easter, FAIA (AIA Richmond)
H. Randolph Holmes Jr., FAIA (AIA Richmond)
Gregory L. Rutledge, FAIA (AIA Hampton Roads)
W. Kenneth Wiseman, FAIA (AIA Northern Virginia)

New fellows will be celebrated at the Region of The Virginias Fellows Fete on Saturday, March 28th in Richmond and then again at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2020 in Los Angeles.

R. Corey Clayborne, FAIA is the Executive Vice President of AIA Virginia.

What the jury had to say:
Corey Clayborne creates a dramatically more diverse and sustainable leadership pipeline to the profession by accelerating the transition of students into practice, reshaping the path toward licensure, and empowering young architects to leave a legacy.

Robert L. Easter, FAIA is the President of KEI Architects in Richmond and Chair, Department of Architecture at Hampton University.

What the jury had to say:
Robert Easter is a passionate, vocal, and successful advocate for diversity and inclusion in the profession. His activism and leadership, including service as NOMA president, inspires a stronger learning environment for students and emerging professionals.

H. Randolph Holmes Jr., FAIA is the President and Senior Principal at Glavé & Holmes Architecture in Richmond.

What the jury had to say:
H. Randolph Holmes is an artist and historian, both visionary and curatorial. Long admired for his dedication to honoring the finer attributes of architectural classicism, Randy creates environments and spaces that elevate the human spirit.

Gregory L. Rutledge, FAIA is Design Principal and Historic Architect for Hanbury in Norfolk.

What the jury had to say:
Gregory Rutledge is recognized by clients, peers and international colleagues not only for his design philosophy and technical expertise in preservation but for the power of his projects to contribute to and revitalize communities.

W. Kenneth Wiseman, FAIA is Design Principal for Cannon Design in Washington, D.C.

What the jury had to say:
In designing inventive, high-performance sports facilities for Olympic and collegiate athletes across North America, W. Kenneth Wiseman has created new conceptual models and planning standards now adopted by sports institutions worldwide.