Strategic Council Applications Open

The AIA Strategic Council (“Council”) is a diverse group of over 60 forward-thinking leaders, charged with exploring new ideas and solutions to significant issues facing the profession of architecture and its role in society. The Council seeks to prioritize and make advancements by informing the AIA Board of Directors and other Institute bodies about important professional issues and opportunities.

The Council is not an AIA governing body, which allows it the freedom to explore issues outside of current constructs. The Council’s primary focus is the future of the profession. A recent and profound example of this is the Council’s effort, along with the Board of Directors, to create the 2021–2025 AIA Strategic Plan.


While the form and operation of the Strategic Council have continued to evolve since its inception in 2015, engaged and effective Councilors over this time have several shared qualities.

We are seeking individuals with the following characteristics:

  • A true representative of our state’s members, that can bring forth the diversity of perspectives within our various communities
  • An exemplary communicator, a listener, and advocate who will capably serve as an active conduit for information and ideas to and from our members.
  • A natural leader, able to inspire, collaborate and work with others, who possess a bias for action.
  • A reflective thinker who offers expertise, experience, insight, and/or unique perspectives.

The AIA Bylaws do not require that state representatives be Architect members.

Questions for potential candidates may include:

  • Do you want to make a difference?
  • Are you an individual committed to action?
  • Do you embody the qualities of an engaged and effective councilor?

Commitments and Expectations of a Strategic Councilor

Click here to review the latest Handbook for the Strategic Council.

In addition, you can contact Donna Dunay, FAIA, Virginia’s current representative to the AIA Strategic Council ( with additional questions.

Application Requirements

AIA Membership – Applicant must be an AIA Virginia member in good standing.

Letter of Interest – From Applicant. Indicate understanding of the position, qualifications/experience, and reasons for seeking election. Limit one-page.

Letter of Nomination – From an AIA local or state component Board Member. Indicate the connection between the Strategic Council position and the Nominee’s leadership qualities. Limit one-page.

Letter of Recommendation – From an AIA member. Indicate Nominee’s qualifications for the Strategic Council position. Limit one-page.

Letter of Support – From Employer. A Principal (or Officer) within the candidate’s firm must commit to supporting the candidate in fulfilling the role’s obligations. Limit one page on company letterhead.

Personal Resume – Indicate education, employment history, organizations, activities, honors, and awards. Limit two pages (It is NOT in the applicant’s best interest to simply submit a firm resume with project experience).


Completed applications must be submitted by email as a single PDF to Donna Dunay, FAIA, Virginia’s representative to the AIA Strategic Council ( AND Corey Clayborne, FAIA, Executive Vice President of AIA Virginia ( no later than Friday, July 8, 2022.

Selection Process

The Nominating Committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors to take action at its August 5, 2022 meeting.

Let’s Make Some Noise

There has been some pushback from members who are perplexed at the emphasis being placed by our Institution on issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.  In this polarized environment, some believe that any mention or effort to celebrate one community over another or to acknowledge past injustices in our society is unwarranted and pits one group over another.  I realize that in my capacity as President, I represent the entire membership; that we form a broad coalition of every ethnic, gender, faith-based, stripe of multiple national origins and sexual identities.  It is my goal, this year, to celebrate the uniqueness of our membership in all of its splendor. 

Robert Easter, FAIA

But I have to be clear that acknowledgment of some contributions is long overdue.  Whitney Young, in 1968, said that the architectural profession had distinguished itself for its silence in addressing the social inequities experienced by racial minorities in our country.  The AIA response was the creation of an award named after him.  And more silence. In the 54 years since that address, little has changed.  In 1968, two percent of our professional licensees were African American. Today, it is still two percent.

Enrollment in our accredited programs has become more diverse. Increased numbers of women and persons of color and members of multiple ethnic and racial communities are being realized in most schools across the country.  But our profession is still indistinguishable from its silent past. 

The letters we have received expressing outrage and discomfort about the emphasis being placed on issues of social justice by our Institute, nationally and within our state, voice a real concern about human relations and social interaction.  Some are feeling left out.  I can only imagine that the discomfort being felt by those authors is palpable and beg for a remedy that will quell their uneasiness.  They want the messaging to stop and return to a dialog about good design and extraordinary buildings. 

As your president, I wish I could eliminate the awkwardness some might feel.  Just as I wish that presidents from 1968 until the recent past had felt the discomfort of their membership who were isolated and marginalized for their gender, their appearance, their life choices, or their God-given skin tone.  Change is uncomfortable, but it is also inevitable.  We either grow or protest; we embrace it or fear it.  Everybody won’t always be the center of attention, the beneficiaries of a tainted, flawed, and highly prejudiced system.  

It would have been nice if our collective voices had to be raised fifty years ago, or even forty. Thirty wouldn’t have been too bad. But instead… silence.  Please know that I certainly understand what it means to feel uncomfortable, and I am grateful that we as a profession are speaking up and speaking out.  For the past few years, architects are making some noise.  It is inspiring.  It is impactful.  It is uncomfortable.  And it beats the silence.

Robert Easter, FAIA
AIA Virginia President

At The April Board Meeting


AIA Virginia | 2022 Board of Directors
April 1, 2022
Hampton University

Motions Made and Approved:

The Board of Directors of AIA Virginia voted as follows:

  • Appointments to the 2022 Disaster Assistance Committee
  • Approval of Revisions to the T. David Fitz-Gibbon Architecture Firm Award in the Rules of the Organization
  • Appointments to the Pathways into the Profession Inclusivity Study Task Force
  • Appointments to the 2022 Nominating Committee
  • Approval of Revisions to Director Counts in the Rules of the Organization
  • Appointment to the 2022 PAC Board of Trustees

Written reports were provided for the following consent agenda items:

  • Advisory Council Updates
  • Strategic Planning Update                                                                 
  • PAC Update                                                                                                   
  • General Assembly Update
  • Secretary’s Advisory Committee Update
  • Membership Update
  • Amber Book Program Update           
  • Emerging Leaders in Architecture Update
  • Operation Reach, Retain, and Develop Update
  • AIA National Conference on Architecture
  • HousingX Conference Partnership
  • Mayor’s Innovation Project – Town of Blacksburg
  • Advisory Council Rosters                                                                              
  • Proposed Amendments to AIA National Bylaws                                                                                           

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

The next meeting of the AIA Virginia Board of Directors will be held virtually on June 17.

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

Luis Clemente, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Cheng Gao, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Charu McDermott, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Adrienne Stronge, AIA (Central Virginia)
Michael Mauceri, AIA (Blue Ridge)
Tara Semtner, AIA (Richmond)

New Associate Members

Crystal Wolfe, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Monica Flippen, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Ryan Minar, Assoc. AIA (Blue Ridge)
Sandra Callejas, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Ella Breidenstine, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Bao Nguyen, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Yinzhu Yao, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)

New/Renewed Allied Members

Patrick Dyer, Vice President, Gulf Seaboard General Contractors Inc
Elizabeth Connolly, Architectural Representative, Pella
Walter Lourie, Sustainability Manager, mafi
K.C. Haile, Sr. VP, Whiting-Turner

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 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!

Marium Rahman, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Timothy Creasy, AIA (Hampton Roads)
Peyton Bright, AIA (Hampton Roads)
Rebecca Costanzo, AIA (Richmond)
Erin Clapp, AIA (Richmond)
Mariana Torres, 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,

Ready to get licensed? Discounted Amber Book subscriptions are available>>

Have questions about licensure? Contact AIA Virginia’s State Licensing Advisor, Michael Hammon, AIA at

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, State, and National Engagement

AIA Virginia Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Training
May 6

AIA Virginia Executive Committee Meeting
May 12

AIA Virginia Component Accreditation Summit
May 18

AIA Virginia Design Forum
June 3-4

Ambassador Engagement

Virginia NOMA Board of Directors Meeting
May 4

Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design Advisory Board Meeting
May 9

APELSCIDLA Licensing Board Meeting
May 11

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) PAC Golf Tournament
May 16

HousingX Conference on Affordable Housing
Newport News
May 24-25

Clayborne Stepping Down as EVP on June 17

Corey Clayborne, FAIA, who has served as AIA Virginia’s Executive Vice President since June 1, 2017, is leaving to serve as Senior Vice President, Knowledge & Practice at The American Institute of Architects headquarters in Washington, D.C. “This is a tremendous opportunity to work alongside a dedicated and dynamic staff team to equip and position architects around the globe with the resources to lead in the fight against the climate crisis while maintaining a commitment to shaping healthy equitable communities.” His last day with AIA Virginia is June 17, 2022.

“AIA Virginia has been extremely blessed to have benefited from Corey’s leadership and vision,” says board president Robert Easter, FAIA. “We wish him great success in this new position of professional leadership.”

A search committee is being formed to fill the position.

Clayborne earned his degree in architecture from Virginia Tech and spent 13 years in practice before stepping in to lead AIA Virginia. He received AIA Virginia’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2016 and the AIA’s Young Architects Award in 2017. In 2020, he was elevated to Fellowship for his sustained efforts to create a more diverse and sustainable leadership pipeline to the profession.

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, State, and National Engagement
AIA Virginia Board of Directors Meeting
Hampton University
March 31 – April 1

AIA Virginia Meeting of the Roundtables
April 21

Mayor’s Innovation Project Design Charette
April 28

AIA Virginia Safety Assessment Program Training
May 6

Ambassador Engagement
Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design Advisory Board Meeting
April 11

Professional Design Practice Presentation
James Madison University
April 18

Operation: Reach, Retain, and Develop Mentorship Program Celebration with AIAS National
April 29

Collaboration is Part of our Currency

As architects and designers, our daily practice should revolve around collaboration. This act is necessary for allowing a project solution to reach its highest and fullest potential. It strengthens the outcomes of policy development in our communities. As an association, collaboration allows us – as a profession – to broaden our impact and crystalize our relevancy.

Collaboration is part of our currency.

Over the last few weeks, AIA Virginia has been spending significant amounts of this specific currency. For the first time, the organization held a design and construction conference in partnership with the state components of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and Associated General Contractors (AGC). Held at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, architects, engineers, and contractors convened for networking and business development while exchanging industry best practices. Our members’ clients were used to curate and present much of the conference content. In its inaugural year, this AEC (Architecture/Engineering/Construction) conference was most certainly a success. Make sure this event lands on your 2023 calendar when the “save the date” is released!

Two days after the AEC conference, we partnered with ACEC in sponsorship to support the Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing (VAGP) conference. In this endeavor, we provided content on procurement best practices and risk management for the professionals who procure architectural and engineering services. This partnership with VAGP has grown significantly over the last three years providing significant advantages in our legislative work.

Lastly, it is an absolute honor to support AIA Blue Ridge as it serves the Town of Blacksburg through a grant from the Mayor’s Innovation Project and AIA National. The Town desires to transform an old vacant downtown building, formerly serving as a dry-cleaning facility, into a downtown business incubator. For the first charette, I watched local architects, Town staff, and community members come together harmoniously to create the programmatic requirements and bubble diagrams that bring the project vision to life.

As you move forward this month, reflect on what the role of the architect is in our communities. We are the creators of the built environment. This is a massive responsibility. A responsibility that is best executed when we use collaboration as part of our currency.

In service,

R. Corey Clayborne, FAIA, NOMA, MBA, CAE
Executive Vice President

VANOMA Project Pipeline Volunteers Needed

VANOMA’s 2022 Project Pipeline Summer Camp is scheduled for July 18th – 22nd. Planning has begun and we need your help! If you are interested in volunteering to help plan, or just work the week of the camp, please sign-up via our website, See the full list of volunteer opportunities and descriptions below, and let us know how you would like to be involved upon sign-up.


Lead the camp day discussions, instruct students on activities, and assist in the development of the program curriculum leading up to the week of camp.


Act in support of the presenters, helping to lead break-out room discussions as well as answer general questions from students in attendance.

Technical Support

Assist with facilitating and running Zoom sessions, Miro boards, and other technology needed for students to interact and share their work.

General Support

Assist with general planning tasks as well as packaging and mailing of student supply kits.

Content Creators

Assist with the development of various marketing and digital promotional materials as well as the development of student activity workbooks and pre-recorded presentation materials.


Brings forth new ideas or roles in support of the overall planning and development of the virtual summer camp and its legacy.