Archive | Membership News

2017 Agenda and Statement of Values

The American Institute of Architects has announced its federal agenda, advocating for policies that create more livable and energy efficient communities and emphasizing investments in buildings as key elements of the national infrastructure. The agenda is the result of AIA’s recent survey of its membership, which takes place with each presidential and mid-term election.

The AIA has also published “Where Architects Stand; A Statement of Our Values,” a document that re-asserts the values of the architecture profession and where it stands on a host of issues. This document is intended to be a guidepost for AIA members as they advocate for the profession on the federal, state and local level for policies that foster inclusive, diverse, sustainable and prosperous communities.

Posted in Membership News

New Programs From AIA Trust

Exciting new programs are available for members in 2017—take advantage of them!

Now you can manage your office without the HR hassle – with a significant member discount!

Short-term Disability Plan
A new plan for individuals – with maternity benefits.

Travel Assistance
An all new plan and pricing – better than ever benefits whether traveling for business or pleasure.

Cyber Liability Insurance
An important part of your office risk management plan. Assess your risk and determine what’s right for your firm.

New Term Life Insurance Plan with Reduced Rates
All new plan with significantly lowered pricing!

New Practice Resources for Members!

For information on all AIA Trust programs, please visit them online at

Posted in Membership News

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. Michael P. Chapa, AIA
Mr. Tyler Dye, AIA
Mr. James Hazelton Mulligan, AIA
Mr. Paul M. Tassell, AIA

Have you recently passed the ARE? Please send an email to your Member Services Director at to upgrade your membership and be featured in the next newsletter.

Posted in Membership News

New Members

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

New Associate Members

Mr. Christopher N. Ames, Assoc. AIA
Mr. Justin Beckner, Assoc. AIA
Mr. Garrett Marini, Assoc. AIA
Ms. Susannah Marshall, Assoc. AIA
Mr. James R. McReynolds, Assoc. AIA
Mr. Darshan S. Shah, Assoc. AIA
Ms. Claudia S. Siles-Santillán, Assoc. AIA
Ms. Deborah L. Smith, Assoc. AIA
Miss Corinne Frances Snyder, Assoc. AIA
Mrs. Anxhela Sula, Assoc. AIA

New Architect Members

Ms. Lisa Bricker, AIA
Mr. William L. Keller, AIA
Mr. Matthew E. Lawhead, AIA
Mrs. Sandra Pantelic, AIA
Miss Krystal Reid, AIA
Mr. Ryohei Saito, AIA

Transferred In

Mr. Steven R. Butler, AIA from New York, N.Y.
Mr. Ramon N. Turner, Assoc. AIA from Philadelphia, Penn.
Miss Mayda V. Colon, Assoc. AIA from Wyoming
Mr. Christopher J. Garcia, Assoc. AIA from Potomac Valley, Md.
Mr. Enrique Villa, AIA from Seattle, Wash.
Mrs. Lankika Perera, AIA from Washington, D.C.

New Allied Members

Kathy Blanchard, Senior Vice President, BB&T Insurance Services
Abigail Bishop, Principal, Katheryn Robertson, Ltd.

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

Posted in Membership News

Amanda Schlichting Selected Regional Associate Director

January 29, 2017

Amanda N. Schlichting, Associate AIA

The Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects Region of The Virginias has selected Amanda N. Schlichting, Associate AIA, as Regional Associate Director for the 2017 – 2018 term on the National Associates Committee.

Amanda graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 and lives in Danville, Virginia, where she has worked for Dewberry since 2014. She has been involved with both local and national organizations as a student, a community advocate, and as a Director on the Board of AIA Blue Ridge. Through the AIA, she has helped run community design events and become a part of the 2017 Class of Virginia’s Emerging Leaders in Architecture Program.

She discovered her passion for architecture during a middle school when she became determined to go to architecture school, get licensed, and give back to the community and the profession. She believes that, to be truly successful, it is crucial to develop relationships and push others to succeed with you. She wants to help other emerging architects see the value in becoming licensed and bring others along the path to professional success.

“Amanda has the right temperament as a leader and listener,” according to Larry W. Hasson, Jr., AIA, her immediate supervisor at Dewberry, adding that she “is a leader, not a follower, as she does not wait to be told to perform; she initiates.” President-elect J. W. Blanchard at AIA Blue Ridge said, “Amanda is a hardworking volunteer leader who understands the appropriateness of delegating and building consensus among volunteers… and understands when the time is right to roll up her sleeves.”

The National Associates Committee (NAC) serves Associate AIA members in the advancing their careers. The NAC wants to be a catalyst by becoming agents of change, by challenging the status quo, by representing a diverse membership, and by promoting mentorship, fellowship, licensure, advocacy, and service.

The Regional Associate Director (RAD) serves as a vital link between Associates and the national organization. RADs work with other association counterparts, are responsible for gathering information about issues facing Associates within their Regions, and help disseminate information about national/regional activities and resources for use at the local level.

For more information about the Region of The Virginias, contact Brian J. Frickie, AIA, AIA Strategic Council Representative, Region of The Virginias

Posted in Membership News

Have Your Reviewed Your Policy Lately?

from Robert C. Smith, PLC, Chartwell Capital Advisors

Robert (Rob) Coleman Smith

As lawyers and advisors, we strongly believe in proper business succession and estate planning, and the proper use of life insurance to fund these needs. Great wealth can be created and preserved through smart legal counseling and discipline. For many reasons, existing life insurance policies should be reviewed annually. Just today, one of our major carriers lowered its pricing. We offer free reviews and comprehensive evaluations of existing policies for all AIA members. Often times, these policies can be replaced with price, terms, and benefits that are simply better.

Over the past few years, traditional life insurance has undergone a metamorphosis. Life insurance has become an extremely flexible investment vehicle:

  • Its purchasing power has never been greater,
  • New dynamic policies can be used for LONG TERM CARE, RETIREMENT or DEATH BENEFIT needs.
  • Retirement Distributions are tax-free.
  • Long Term Care Distributions are tax-free.
  • Death benefits are income tax-free.

If you live to be 65, there is an 85 % likelihood that you will need long-term care assistance. In the past, if you had long term care insurance and didn’t need it, all of these premiums were wasted. This is no longer the case, as there are now products where an insured can decide to cancel his long-term care policy and get back almost all of the premiums paid. There are other products where the insured can choose to use his policy for long-term care needs, retirement needs or death benefit needs based on future events. There is a product where a very highly rated financial firm will guarantee a return on the cash value of your policy, but also allow it to grow up to 12%. Over a period of time these policies can build up a significant cash value; this money can be withdrawn income tax-free to pay for retirement. If you don’t need the money, the death benefit grows significantly. Death benefits are also income tax-free. One of my favorite planning tools is to use life insurance as a way to fund a DYNASTY TRUST, which is a trust that can be used for future generations and NEVER pay estate taxes. This is how the Kennedy family retained all of its wealth into future generations, but you don’t have to be a Kennedy to create such a vehicle if the funding is done by leveraging the power of life insurance.

Shortly, we will be rolling out an “Instant Estate” program for AIA members where a young AIA member can fund a trust with convertible term life insurance. We recently formed one where the financial contribution for a $2 million term policy for a 28-year-old was only $68/month. Over time this policy can be converted as the insured’s income rises funding a very substantial retirement account with a large death benefit and long term care protection.

To take advantage of our comprehensive life insurance review program, just contact me at:

Robert C. Smith, PLC,
Chartwell Capital Advisors
The Branch House
2501 Monument Avenue
Richmond Virginia 23220

More than just a law firm. We provide legal and financial services to businesses and wealthy individuals. We are problem solvers and opportunity seekers. We deliver and manage a wide variety of professional services for our clients. Once we identify your needs, we offer state of the art financial products to allow our clients to build and retain wealth and reduce risks. We either provide or broker/manage: legal, accounting, financial and real estate advisory services through our “best in the industry” model that allows our clients to receive outstanding professional services at competitive and fair prices.

Posted in Membership News

Great Minds … Great Ideas

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

AIA Virginia is convening a diverse cadre of decision-makers, from practices of all sizes, for a one-day forum designed to cultivate strong leaders and advance business practices. With a focus on creating and fostering a healthy firm culture, both seasoned and emerging leaders will come together to share and learn best practices, be challenged and be celebrated by their peers. Roundtable discussions will focus on leadership development, team building, diversity, inclusion and equity, and legal challenges faced by firms.

On March 31, AIA members from around the state will gather as “great minds” to “discuss ideas” for advancing our profession within the Commonwealth. We invite all firm leaders to be part of the inaugural Art of Practice forum. This forum will center, as the title suggests, on matters of import to architectural practice, particularly firm culture. It is intended to complement the focus on design that is afforded by the ever-popular Virginia Design Forum and will take place on alternating years (odd years) with the Forum (in even years).

In early 2015, under the leadership of President-elect Nick Vlattas, AIA, we convened key leaders from the state’s largest firms to discuss issues and items that were relevant to their practices. The Virginia Large Firm Roundtable has since met on four occasions to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern. Their sessions have become an integral part of their engagement with AIA Virginia and we’re pleased to have nearly 100% attendance at almost every meeting.

In that spirit, and in response to our members’ requests and needs, we shall now convene a Small Firm Roundtable as well as a Mid-sized Firm Roundtable. These two, along with the Large Firm Round Table, will meet for the first time at the Art of Practice conference.

Firm principals should watch for a special e-mail and invitation from me on behalf of conference chair Maggie Schubert, AIA. We anticipate that after these initial sessions, these groups will convene twice during each year, once in the spring and again at Architecture Exchange East (November 3, for 2017). We hope this will continue for some years to come. (Please note that the Sole Practitioners Roundtable will meet for the first time in June under a separate invitation.) In order to keep the event FREE to attendees, it will take place at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design in Richmond. Space is limited, so you’ll want to register right away to ensure a spot in this exciting launch event.

For this year, our schedule looks like this:

9 a.m.        Welcome reception and coffee
9:30 a.m.   Opening remarks and keynote presentation
10:00 a.m. Firm Culture Breakout Sessions (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion;
Succession Planning and Leadership Development; and Building Effective Teams)
11:45 a.m.   Lunch, with regulatory and legislative updates
1:00 p.m.    Knowledge Community Breakout Sessions
(Large, Mid-size and Small Firm Roundtables)
2:45 p.m.    Roundtable Report Outs and Closing Discussion
4:15 p.m.    Happy hour reception

Our conversation promises to be transformational for our profession within the Commonwealth, and we hope you’ll take time from your busy schedules to attend this important conference. In fact, we expect the discussion to be quite rich, making this is an event you won’t want to miss. Please register here.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday, March 31!





Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA | Executive Vice President

Posted in Membership News

Call for Regional Associate Director Nominees

Are you an Associate AIA Member? Are you interested in the issues confronting architecture school graduates on a path to licensure? Would you like to help the National Associates Committee address these issues? Then, you may be just the person we’re looking for.

Every two years, the AIA Region of The Virginias (Virginia and West Virginia) selects an Associate AIA member to represent the Region on the National Associates Committee. Applications are now being accepted for the National Associates Committee 2017 – 2018 Virginias Regional Associate Director. If you think you may be interested, please read on. If you know of an Associate AIA member who may be interested, please forward this information to them.

NAC Purpose
The National Associates Committee (NAC) is dedicated to serving Associate members of the AIA in the advancement of their careers.

NAC Vision
By promoting excellence, providing information and leadership, fostering inclusiveness, and encouraging individual, community, and professional development, the NAC will integrate the growing Associates community of the profession into a strong voice within the Institute. The NAC aspires to be the catalyst for progress within the Institute and the profession:

  • We ENGAGE by becoming agents of change
  • We INNOVATE by challenging the status quo
  • We CONNECT by representing our diverse membership
  • We LEAD by example, promoting mentorship, fellowship, licensure, advocacy, and service

The NAC believes its work serves to make AIA membership meaningful to Associates through services that effectively anticipate, meet, and exceed their needs.

NAC Overview
The Regional Associate Director (RAD) works with their counterparts, the YARDs, AIAS Quad Directors, Architect Licensing Advisors, and AIA Regional Representatives. RADs are responsible for gathering information about issues facing Associates within their Regions and disseminating information about national/regional activities and resources for use at the local level. Of equal importance, RADs serve as a vital link between Associates and the national organization.

RADs are the key to vertical communication, connecting Associate leaders at all levels of the Institute. RADs are also encouraged to work on various issues important to them and their regions through the NAC work groups. More information about the NAC can be found here:

This is a tremendous opportunity to take on a larger leadership role within the AIA. This rewarding experience will allow you to be actively engaged in shaping the future of the profession and to grow your network with the NAC, YAF, and the AIA both regionally and nationally.

NAC Annual Events and Commitments

  • YAF/NAC Annual Meeting, Washington, DC:  March 5–7, 2017  (Mandatory)
  • AIA Grassroots, Washington, DC:  March 8–10, 2017
  • AIA Convention, Orlando, FL:  April 27–29, 2017
  • Architecture Exchange East, Richmond, VA: November 1–3, 2017
  • NAC Full Committee Quarterly Conference Calls – 1 hour each
  • NAC Taskforce/Workgroup Conference Calls – 1 hour each/frequency TBD
  • Regional Reports – written with the assistance of the NAC
  • Attendance at Regional Emerging Professional Committee Meetings and Programs

NAC Funding
National AIA covers the costs for Regional Associate Director travel, food, and lodging to attend the NAC/YAF Annual Meeting. In addition, RADs have the opportunity to attend AIA Grassroots and the AIA Convention, but expenses for these events, along with any other costs associated with other travel or conferences, are the responsibility of the RAD.

Required Application Material

  • AIA Membership – Applicant must be an Associate AIA member in good standing within The Region of The Virginias (AIA NV, AIA RI, AIA BR, AIA CV, AIA HR, or AIA West Virginia) and must not be licensed at the time of submission.
  • Letter of Nomination/Letter of Interest – Applicant may be nominated by others or be self-nominated. The author of the nomination letter should ideally be familiar with the NAC and understand the leadership qualities of the applicant. Limit one-page.
  • Letter of Recommendation – Each application must include one letter of recommendation from an AIA Leader. Limit one-page.
  • Personal Resume – Indicate education, employment history, organizations or activity involvement, 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 Brian J. Frickie, AIA, Region of The Virginias Representative to AIA Strategic Council ( NLT Monday, January 23, 2017.

Posted in Membership News

2017 Architect and Associate Dues Renewal

If you are an architect or associate member and have already renewed your AIA membership for 2017, thank you! We appreciate your continued commitment to AIA, and look forward to working with you this year.

If you are an architect or associate member, and you haven’t renewed yet, you can access your personalized renewal invoice and pay online at and select sign-in to renew. The interface is new this year so please allow additional time to navigate the new system. You can also contact Info Central at 1-800-242-3837 and select option 2 to pay over the phone.

Need a copy of your invoice or have a question? Contact Cathy Guske, Member Services Director at AIA Virginia, or (804) 237-1763.

Posted in Membership News

Phased Elimination of Supplemental Dues

In response to member requests, the mandatory payment of supplemental dues is being eliminated! I’m pleased to inform you that supplemental dues will be phased out over a four-year period, beginning with architect members in 2017, associate members in 2018, non-member architects in 2019, and finally, other technical staff in 2020. Our goal is to strengthen our vibrancy as a nonprofit membership organization and eliminating supplemental dues is a bold step in that direction.

While this transition will be a great one for our members, the loss of revenue for AIA Virginia is significant. It will be managed by relying on reductions in operational overhead and programming, along with modest increases in numbers of members and sponsorship support. We also hope that firms who have paid supplemental dues in the past might voluntarily reinvest these funds in the programs and events that are most valuable to them.

Please take a moment to show your support by submitting your information and payment if applicable. Access the online form and select the appropriate options. When you’ve finalized the form, simply click on the submit button. We ask that all architect members complete the online form, even if you do not owe a payment.

Want to cut a company check? Here’s a PDF of the worksheet/invoice for download.

We appreciate your membership and continued support!

J. Mitchell “Mitch” Rowland, III, AIA
2017 AIA Virginia Board of Directors

Questions? If you have a question about supplemental dues or are experiencing problems with the online form, contact your Member Services Director, Cathy Guske, at (804) 237-1763 or

Posted in Membership News


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Membership News

Professional Development News

  • ELA Class of 2017

    Here is the 2017 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA).

Government Advocacy News

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    Today is the mid-point of the 2017 General Assembly session, known as “crossover.” At this point, each house of the legislature can only consider bills passed by the other house.


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.