Call for Interest: At-large Director to the Board of Directors

At its June 2022 meeting, the AIA Virginia Board of Directors created an At-large Director position and seeks applicants to serve in this leadership role:

At-large Director Position

The At-large Director is a vital link in the two-way communication between constituents of the American Institute of Architects in Virginia and the state organization. Individuals will be elected to serve on the AIA Virginia board because of their experience, contributions to the profession, and understanding of the organization, all of which should be shared with other members of the Board of Directors.

An At-large Director should bring the viewpoints of their colleagues; moreover, they have a responsibility to advise the members and stimulate them to work for results on which AIA Virginia has chosen to focus. As a member of the Board of Directors, the At-large Director’s viewpoints should be statewide in scope while at the same time representing the unique interests of each chapter’s geographic region. The term of office for this director is two years. 

Candidate Declaration  

Any member-in-good-standing may declare their candidacy by informing the Secretary, through the Executive Vice President, of the individual’s intention to run for the At-large Director position.

Declarations by candidates are due August 15, 2022 by 5:00 p.m. EDT to Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA | Interim Executive Vice President at hdreiling@aiava.org.

Candidate Certification

Once this declaration is complete, the candidate will have 30 days to provide the following information for the certification process:

  • A declaration indicating that the individual’s firm does not employ unpaid labor on projects (this will be provided to the candidate by AIA Virginia for completion).
  • A statement of acknowledgment from the local AIA component that the candidate will stand for election (this will be provided to the candidate by AIA Virginia for completion).
  • A letter of support from three different AIA Virginia members-in-good-standing.
  • A candidate resume, headshot, and statement of philosophy. The statement of philosophy is limited to 250 words.

Voting for Candidates

Any member-in-good-standing may participate in the election of the At-large Director. Voting will be performed electronically commencing October 11, 2022 and concluding November 4, 2022. Results of the election will be announced on November 8, 2022.

Márquez-André and Garland Appointed by the Governor

“I am pleased to announce this next roster of leaders,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “The Commonwealth is grateful for their dedication to serve. I know that their hard work will help make Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family”. 

Georgie Márquez-André, AIA, Partner at Andre + Marquez Architects, Inc. in Portsmouth has been appointed to the Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel. 

Lynden Garland, AIA, NOMA, Associate and Studio Partner at Baskervill in Richmond has been appointed to the Art and Architectural Review Board.

Associated Thoughts: Job Shadowing: 3 Benefits + 3 Tips

In my brief time working in the architectural industry, I have seen the power of collaboration. Those in the industry reaching out and helping me become a better professional have been a key to my success. The powerful action of those that are in front of me in their careers is a gift and I am grateful to have their wisdom and advice as I grow professionally. To this end, I was inspired to give back to those coming into the industry behind and beside me. So, this year, I co-founded EmergeAEC (EmergeAEC.com), a platform that supports emerging professionals across architecture, engineering, and construction so that we can build stronger foundations of communication and education across AEC while supporting each other.

This edition of Associated Thoughts is dedicated to the students and emerging professionals looking for that real-world experience in an architecture office and how we, as professionals working in architecture, can better support these future architects through job shadow opportunities.

How to Professionally Prepare Yourself for Becoming an Architect Through Short-Term Job Shadowing Opportunities

Caitlin Morgan, Assoc. AIA, CSI-EP, CDT

Job shadowing, similar to interning, allows students and recent graduates to observe architecture offices and ask questions to figure out where their passion lies within the industry. Unlike internships, however, most job shadow opportunities are more informal consisting of a few meetings. During these encounters, it is important to have a clear learning objective and communicate with your mentor so that both of you can maximize your time in an architectural office.

The first step to finding a job shadowing opportunity is to reach out to architectural firms in your local area, either over email or with a phone call. Look for architects or project managers that you admire and explain that you are a student or recent graduate looking to learn more about architectural firms and day-to-day activities. They may invite you to their office or schedule a Zoom call, but they may also direct you to some online resources about architecture – both are valuable, and don’t be discouraged if you cannot find a mentor immediately.

If architectural firms in your area are scarce, widen your search range and reach out to firms by asking for virtual job shadow opportunities. A thirty-minute Zoom call to ask questions and hear from an architect is more valuable than giving up your search. Having experience with a diverse range of firms will give you a better idea of the kind of firm and the type of work you will enjoy.

Job shadowing allows you to gain experience in an architectural firm by seeing first-hand the typical pace and process for projects coming through the office. You may also have the opportunity to gain experience, such as schematic design, or learn about which software is being used and why, such as AutoCAD, Revit, or SketchUp. Every office and mentor will be different, so here are some benefits and tips for job shadowing that you can tailor to each opportunity.

Benefit 1: Portfolios & Resumes
Take the opportunity to update your portfolio before reaching out to architectural firms so that the architect or project manager has an idea of your design experience. It also serves as a jumping-off point when you do meet with your mentor by discussing your projects and design process thinking. Throughout your time job shadowing, you and your mentor may also develop a practice project that can enhance your portfolio. Any skills or software you learn can also build your resume by showing you have firsthand experience in an office. Learning these skills and software through a short-term job shadow won’t be enough for resume proficiency, but they open the doors to spend time developing those skills on your own time and for future job shadow opportunities.

Benefit 2: Professional Development
Reaching out to an architectural firm is step one to finding a job shadow opportunity, but that first step contains some of the most important lessons in professional development: Initiative and networking. Taking the initiative to develop your professional skills will open doors that others will not know exist because you are creating your own opportunities. When others see that you have the drive to succeed and learn, people will want to help you, and that is where networking comes in. Talk to your professors who may be able to connect you with fellow architecture professionals and take the initiative to reach out and continue building relationships. Once you have found a mentor to work with, brush up on your interviewing skills; Although job shadowing isn’t an internship or job, it’s a lower-stakes opportunity to develop a professional skill that will again benefit your future job searches.

Benefit 3: Sketching Future Plans
Learn what kinds of architectural firms or projects are the best fit for you by experiencing them first-hand. Firms can range in size from one to thousands of employees, and many of these firms can have vastly different structures and work cultures. Other firms may also specialize in specific projects, such as hospitality, education, residential, etc. with different approaches to each type. Architecture has many branches and specializations, so by job shadowing in different office structures, you will not only be networking with experienced architects but also educating yourself on what office culture will best align with your future goals when you begin your job search.

Tip 1: Job shadowing is short-term.
Plan to spend a few days a week maximum with your mentor. Because you are observing, asking questions, and learning, job shadowing is typically unpaid, unless you are working on a project where your time will be billed to a client. Unpaid internships are illegal, so stay aware of any projects you are putting work into by asking questions and having an end goal for your job-shadowing experience, such as a mentor-mentee project.

Tip 2: Develop a project with your mentor.
Mentor-mentee projects are an excellent method for learning about the architectural development process because you are learning over a real-world, though the hypothetical, project. For example, your mentor may pose as a client with specific requirements for their project, and it will be your job to translate what is in their mind into a floorplan and eventually a virtual model. Having a project also serves as a medium for learning new software or applying new skills so that by the end of your job shadowing, you can highlight this project in your portfolio. To make the most of your meetings, try working on your project at home so that you and your mentor can spend more time in-person (or virtually) discussing your project, reviewing questions, and shadowing around the office.

Tip 3: Treat your job shadowing opportunity like a job.
Establish consistency and effective communication with your mentor early on. Communicate your availability, arrive on time, and act professionally in the workplace. Not only is your mentor spending their work time to support you, but you are also building a relationship for future job references or ongoing mentorship opportunities. Job shadowing is not “your job,” but it is a professional development opportunity that is teaching you skills for your future career.

I started job shadowing in high school when I was enrolled in architectural classes at my local technical center. Those opportunities gave me the confidence to reach out to architectural firms in college and earn my first internship, which turned into a full-time designer position when I graduated from college. Not every job shadowing opportunity will turn into a long-term position, but you will learn more about the industry and develop professional skills that will benefit you for years to come.

If I can offer more guidance or connect you with architectural firms across Virginia, please do not hesitate to contact me. Shoot me an email, connect with me on LinkedIn, or DM me on Instagram through EmergeAEC so we can chat. My contact information is below. Additionally, if you are a practicing architecture professional, share this Associated Thoughts with your mentees or on social media so that we can support more students and emerging professionals.

As always, I’m here for you.

Caitlin Morgan, Assoc. AIA, CSI-EP, CDT
Associate Director, AIA Virginia

Contact:
Email: caitlin@thegainesgroup.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitlin-morgan-cdt-associate-aia-csi-ep-676b0a126/
Instagram: (@)emerge.aec
Website: EmergeAEC.com

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

Shane Powers, AIA (Richmond)

New Associate Members

Hend M. Aloosi, Assoc. AIA (Blue Ridge)
Ingrid Brandares, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Zachary Britton, Assoc. AIA (Blue Ridge)
Bailey Brummer, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Ryan David, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Namita Desai, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Milamem Lauriane Donang, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Frank Gonzales, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Lozie Goolsby, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Rashaan Thomas, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
James Trent, Assoc. AIA (Blue Ridge)

Transferred In
Bridgett Baker Thomas, AIA (AIA Richmond) from AIA DC

New/Renewed Allied Members

Patrick Cushing, Partner, Williams Mullen
Jonathan Shoemaker, Esq., Lee/Shoemaker PLLC

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

Newly Licensed

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

Joseph A. Kraus, 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, cguske@aiava.org

Are you ready to get licensed? AIA Virginia has 60-day Amber Book subscriptions for $50 here>>

Have questions about licensure? Contact AIA Virginia’s State Licensing Advisor, Michael Hammon, AIA at mhammon@glaveandholmes.com

Superstar

It isn’t often that you have the unique privilege of watching a superstar grow before your eyes, close-up and personal. I met one several years ago at a conference in Chicago. He had just been selected as what was then called, the Intern Development Advisor for the Commonwealth of Virginia. We quickly became close friends; he came to my office to introduce my employees to the IDP process and later came to Hampton University to share the nuances of the IDP with my students. He and his amazing wife became supporters of our program and efforts to advance opportunities for them in our profession. I tried to hire him, but he turned me down and, instead, took a position with AIA Virginia.

Robert Easter, FAIA

Later, he convinced me that I should get involved in the leadership of AIA Virginia, and after I succumbed to his prodding, he soon afterward shared that he was ‘moving on up to the east side.” Yes, R. Corey Clayborne has been a superstar in the making from the moment I met him. To borrow a verse of the Bible, “eyes have not seen, nor ears heard, neither has it entered into the hearts of humanity, what God has prepared for [Corey].”

I didn’t want to wish him well before he left us, because, with each passing day, I hoped that he would change his mind and continue his journey with AIA Virginia, at least for as long as I had this role. But truth be told, Corey is destined for stardom, because he is a man of vision, passion, and leadership that should be allowed to grow and impact as large an audience as possible. At AIA, he has a platform that will allow the work he has done in Virginia to touch more lives and influence our profession and our organization to a higher level of service and responsiveness.

So with this month’s newsletter, I want to give Corey a presidential farewell for a job well done and offer the wishes of our state component that he achieves the success and fulfillment associated with his massive potential to do good and great things. We have been well served by Corey, and his service has provided him with a stepping-stone to do more and better.

AIA Virginia will continue to flourish because we are blessed with talented and capable leadership at every level, and in every component.  No other state can boast that they have a Helene Dreiling, FAIA to fill the gap and help us discover the next superstar. She was at the helm when we found the last one!

We are going to miss Corey’s involvement at AIA Virginia. On behalf of the AIA Virginia, I wish my dear friend and brother, along with Sara and their two children, great days, months, and years ahead. Our only demand is that he never ceases being a superstar in servant leadership. We are proud of you.

Robert L. Easter, NOMAC, FAIA
2022 AIA Virginia President

Aspen Trees and AIA Virginia

“In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Yes, Colleagues and Friends, I have returned! Actually, I was quite honored to be asked by the AIA Virginia Board of Directors to facilitate a smooth and successful leadership transition between the incredibly dedicated and accomplished R. Corey Clayborne, FAIA, and your new chief executive. This places me in this spot until December and I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming months, especially at Architecture Exchange East in early November.

Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA
Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA

Some years ago when I ran for the AIA presidency, I introduced the concept of ‘the aspen effect’ as a way of imagining the AIA. That analogy became the foundation of my leadership tenure as well as the inspiration for other roles and initiatives since. It occurred to me that I might share this analogy with my Virginia peeps, and explain how wonderfully well this applies to us here at AIA Virginia.

Above the ground, aspens stand tall and sturdy as individual trees, but below grade, they are interlinked through their elaborate root system. (This is why one never sees an aspen tree standing alone; they are always in groves.) Similarly, AIA Virginia serves as the web of nourishment and enrichment for its members, helping them to survive and thrive. Aspen trees are sometimes brilliant in a burst of fabulous fall color; at other times, they ‘quake’ under the force of a powerful wind. However, no matter what their environment imposes on them, aspens are always supported by their strong network of roots, depending on that interconnectivity for their well-being and vibrancy.

The AIA Virginia I know IS that nurturing wellspring of support. The connector. The network.  The collective. Moreover, in every decision we make and every action we take, we should assure that we are advancing the profession as well as positioning our members as valued contributors to community and society.

The dedicated leadership and devoted staff team of your professional society within our state hold the professional vitality and economic viability of each individual member in Virginia foremost in their minds. For my part, as the organization’s chief executive for these next few months, I shall encourage us to apply ‘the aspen effect’ to nurture an organizational and cultural outlook that focuses on the professional wellbeing of each and every member.

Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA
Interim Executive Vice President
AIA Virginia  

Highlights from the June Board Meeting

MEETING RECAP

AIA Virginia | Board of Directors
June 17, 2022
In-person + virtual meeting

Motions Made and Approved:

The Board of Directors of AIA Virginia voted as follows:

  • Approval of the April 27, 2022 Board of Directors Special Meeting Minutes
  • Approval of the May 19, 2022 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
  • Approval of the Consent Agenda
  • Approval of investment report and recommendation to move a limited portion of financial assets
  • Approval of the Treasurer’s report
  • Approval of the recommendation of the Finance Committee to not contribute any additional fiscal year-end monies to the Financial Contingency Fund
  • Adoption of the FY2022-2023 Budget
  • Approval to hire the Financial Auditor
  • Approval of the At-large Director election policy
  • Approval of the Job Board posting policy
  • Approval of Knowledge Community Grant recommendations

Motions Made and Approved in Closed Session:

The Board of Directors of AIA Virginia voted as follows:

  • N/A

Written reports were provided for the following consent agenda items:                                             

  • Design Forum Recap                                                                                      
  • Architecture Exchange East Update
  • PAC Update                                                                                                               
  • Membership Update
  • Amber Book Program Update
  • Emerging Leaders in Architecture Update
  • Disaster Assistance Committee Update
  • Design Awards
  • AIA Virginia President’s Town Halls Update
  • HousingX Conference Recap
  • Mayor’s Innovation Project – Town of Blacksburg
  • AIA Annual Meeting and Voting
  • Advisory Council Rosters                                                                                
  • Executive Committee Meeting Minutes – May 9                                            
  • Executive Committee Meeting Minutes – May 16                                                                   

Members may request a copy of these written reports by emailing AIA Virginia Interim Executive Vice President, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA at hdreiling@aiava.org.

The next meeting of the AIA Virginia Board of Directors will be held virtually on August 5, 2022.

YAF at A’22

This year was my fifth consecutive attendance of the AIA Conference on Architecture, not including the last two years when it was canceled. Between the pent-up demand for connection, climate change, economic and industry upheaval due to the pandemic and supply chain issues, and national conversations around equity, diversity, and inclusion, this year felt different. This year was a clear departure from a simple collection of seminars to get CEUs (though you could still do that). The AIA Conference on Architecture and the new CEO, Lakisha Woods, have embraced these national conversations and tackled them head-on. The energy was high and left me feeling invigorated and excited for the future of my profession and my role within it. I hope that all emerging professionals and young architects look into attending next year in San Francisco. These are my recommendations for programming that are good for EPs and YAs:

  • Mini MBA – Co-hosted every year by the YAF and Large Firm Roundtable (LFRT)
  • Tours
  • Emerging Professional and Young Architect networking events
  • Keynotes with well-known speakers on topical issues (this year we had Barack Obama!)
  • You can volunteer a minimum of 8 hours to get free registration if cost is an issue

I also attended sessions and roundtable discussions on practice innovation, design for climate action and climate justice, and heard Pascale Sablan, FAIA, NOMA, LEED in an empowering discussion of dismantling injustice in the industry and celebrating great works of women and diverse designers and architects. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report has listed “youth disillusionment” as one of the “top blind spots” that could cause significant negative impacts in the coming years. But we are in a unique position to make things better as architects, designers, critical thinkers, and community change makers. Join me in pushing forward. 

In case you missed it:

  1. COF Quarterly publication
  2. “Now YA Know”, the YAF newsletter attached
  3. Get to know your YAR / YARD on our social media channels is live! Remember to follow us below.

Opportunities:

  1. AIA Young Architect Award call for submissions (open now thru 9/15/22)
  2. Connection call for articles Due 7/29
  3. Call for Volunteers (YAF Advisory Committee – coming out soon)

Follow the YAF:

Stay up to date on the latest news:

  • Twitter: @YAF
  • Facebook: @AIAYAFNational
  • Instagram: aiayaf
  • Linkedin: AIA YAF
  • AIA Knowledge Net (most comprehensive) 
  • Quarterly YAF Publication “Connection”. Links from Knowledge Net, also available HERE.

Feel free to connect with me, too. What are some ways your firm is working with emerging professionals and young architects? Send me an email or a message on LinkedIn!
As always, I’m here for you.

Carrie Parker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Associate Vice President at CannonDesign
Young Architect Representative for Virginia to the Young Architect’s Forum, 2022-2024
carrieleeparker.aia@gmail.com
linkedin.com/in/carrieleeparker

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

Jeremy Busse, AIA   (Northern Virginia)
Tyler Pitt, AIA   (Central Virginia)

New Associate Members

Mira Abdalla, Assoc. AIA   (Central Virginia)
Seyedmohammad Ahmadshahi, Assoc. AIA   (Northern Virginia)
Ryan Anderson, Assoc. AIA   (Northern Virginia)
Kathleen Clark, Assoc. AIA   (Richmond)
Abdulelah Daiwaly, Assoc. AIA   (Northern Virginia)
Aria Hill, Assoc. AIA   (Hampton Roads)
Tyler McDaniel, Assoc. AIA   (Blue Ridge)
Debargha Sengupta, Assoc. AIA, AICP, LEED AP (Northern Virginia)
Adrianna Spence, Assoc. AIA   (Northern Virginia)
Kelley Wisenauer, Assoc. AIA   (Hampton Roads)
Thomas Wyatt, Assoc. AIA   (Central Virginia)
Zhipeng Zhang, Assoc. AIA   (Blue Ridge)

New/Renewed Allied Members

Jim Jenkins, Region Sales Manager, Huber Engineered Woods

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members