Meet Harry M. Falconer, Jr., FAIA, NCARB, HonD, Hon. FCARM

As Vice President, Experience + Education, Harry Falconer leads the department to provide professional support for the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP™) as well as NCARB’s education-related programs including the NCARB Education Standard, Scholars in Professional Practice, Education Alternative for Certification, Foreign Architect Certification programs, and continuing education initiatives. He is responsible for the administration of the Council’s outreach initiative to schools, professional conferences, and firms; and management of the Architect Licensing Advisors Community program. Falconer also leads the development and management of the Council’s international mutual recognition arrangements and relations.

Harry M. Falconer, Jr., FAIA, NCARB, HonD, Hon. FCARM

Falconer’s career in architecture includes over 22 years in practice prior to joining NCARB’s team. He holds a bachelor of architecture degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is licensed to practice architecture in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, has been certified as a construction documents technologist by the Construction Specifications Institute, holds the NCARB Certificate for national reciprocity, and is an honorary member of the Federatcion de Colegios de Arquitectos de la Republica Mexicana. In 2010, Falconer was awarded NCARB’s highest honor, the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service, for his leadership in the Intern Development Program (IDP). In 2019, The Boston Architectural College conferred the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa upon Falconer, recognizing his transformative vision and work within architectural education and the profession.

NCARB Vice President Harry M. Falconer Jr. Receives Honorary Degree

Where did you go to college?
Virginia Tech

Would you recommend studying architecture to a young person?
Absolutely! And particularly if they mention they want to be an architect. I recommend it whenever presented the opportunity – to individuals of any age. As I travel the country for work, I still hear the urban legend… you need to be good at math to be an architect. We all know that’s not true! My sales point – what other course of study allows you to investigate and develop your skills as an artist, scientist, engineer, counselor, humanitarian, etc.? Studying can be fun if you plan it out correctly.

What does it take to be an architect?
Key Words: desire, commitment, tenacity, thoughtful, attentive, confidence
It takes a person who wants to be an architect. Someone that appreciates design; someone who appreciates the environment; someone who appreciates technology; and someone that wants to impact the lives of many.

Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?
I can’t say that one architect that has inspired me. I have been, and continue to be, inspired by many different architects that I have met throughout my career. Many of my employers/supervisors have inspired me. And I feel lucky to say I have many mentors – each offering inspiration and encouragement in various aspects of my career and life. More is better than one.

What are you currently reading?
Honestly? Correspondence, documents, rules, regulations, and promotional materials. I read a lot for work… and look forward to the day I make time to read for pleasure.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
I’ve finished a lot of meals thinking “this is the best meal I’ve ever had.” I think it’s safe to say though that the meals have featured lobster and/or crab. I do think the best appetizer I’ve ever had was just recently at A’19 in Las Vegas: “Cotton Candy Foie Gras.” Foie Gras on a stick, wrapped in cotton candy!

Why do you volunteer with the AIA?
Simply put – hoping to make a positive difference, whether in an individual’s career or more broadly in the locale, or the profession. Fourteen years ago I can say I didn’t believe volunteering with the AIA could make a difference. Today, after working closely with AIA members across the country, I’ve experienced the power, commitment, and success of the volunteer community. I now know volunteers do effect change!

NCARB Live: Architecture Career Tips

Join NCARB on August 15 for a live webinar on career tips for emerging professionals in architecture!

Not sure how to find a firm that will support your licensure goals? Looking for advice on the best way to ask for a raise? Need tips for your next interview? Our experts are here to help!

Join Perkins and Will’s Director of Human Resources Amber Hamilton and NCARB Assistant Vice President of Experience + Education Jeremy Fretts, AIA, NCARB, M.A. Ed., for an interactive webinar on advancing your architecture career!

During the webinar, we’ll explore:
• Finding a firm that will support your licensure goals
• Interview and portfolio tips
• Advocating for equity and inclusion
• Coaching and professional development (as it relates to the AXP)
• Navigating benefit packages and negotiating salary
• The power of networking

You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions of our experts.

Date: August 15, 2019
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Where: To watch, simply go to YouTube before the webinar starts

Can’t make it? A recording will be available on the NCARB Blog and YouTube channel after the webinar.

Visions for Architecture

Save the Date!

Please plan to join us for an evening at the Hilton Downtown Richmond as we celebrate architecture and delight in the accomplishments of people and organizations whose vision and skills enrich our world.

Friday, the eighth of November
Two Thousand Nineteen

Hilton Downtown Richmond
501 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia

6:30 p.m. Cocktail reception
7–11 p.m. Ceremony and dinner in the River City Ballroom

Your invitation is coming soon!

AIA Launches National Leadership Academy

The AIA Leadership Academy is a comprehensive, three-year professional development experience built around people, growth, practice, and community. Designed exclusively for architects ready for the next level of accomplished leadership in their firm, industry, and community. As AIA’s newest leadership program, it will empower leaders of the profession with valuable business skills, effective leadership tools, and communication techniques. Ignite your capacity for leadership, achieve business success, grow professionally, and expand your standing in the industry.

Participants in AIA Virginia’s Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) program are well-qualified and well-suited for the National platform that the Leadership Academy is designed to address.

The LA is a premier program designed for architects by architects with expertise from leadership development professionals and academic deans and professors. Designed to cost about $500 per month, it is an economical program for firms considering the average cost of similar programs in business schools is almost 10 times that amount.

Applications are now open for online submission and are due September 9, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified in October. The first session will be held in late January 2020.

For further information, please review the program information and application in the links below.


Information: PDF and Website
Download the Application

New Architect

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

Mr. John T. O’Hara, II, 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

Mr. Daniel A. Berenato, AIA (Blue Ridge)
Mr. Stephen Bortowski, AIA (Richmond)
Ms. Erika Manley, AIA (Hampton Roads)

New Associate Members

Mr. Scott A. Belcher, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Miss Liz Bussert, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Daniel H. Castellano, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Alex Cejka, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Miss Alla Elmahadi, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Gunther Gallagher, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Mr. Derik S. Jones, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Ji Yong Kim, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Logan M. Merrill, Assoc. AIA (Blue Ridge)
Mrs. Brittany Pedroni, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Ms. Natasha Sachania, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Ms. Seyedehshima Safinia, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Mr. Caleb Snyder, Assoc. AIA (Central Virginia)
Mr. Bo Wanng, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)


Mr. George R. Winne AIA from AIA Florida (Central Virginia)

New/Renewing Allied Members

Gloria Johannessen, Mgr. of Business Operations, Phoenix Noise & Vibration, LLC
Jonathan Shoemaker, Esq., Lee/Shoemaker PLLC
John Dunlap, President, Dunlap & Partners Engineers

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

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
AIA Resolution 18-3 Diversity Pipeline Task Force Meeting
Washington, DC
August 3 – 5

AIA Council of Architectural Component Executives (CACE) Annual Meeting
Columbus, OH
August 6 – 9

AIA Knowledge Leadership Assembly
Denver, CO
August 12 – 14

AIA Virginia Board of Directors Meeting
August 16

Ambassador Engagement
Construction Industry Collaboration Group
August 26

6-Month Check-Up

Mid-summer – and mid-year – seems to suddenly be upon us, and we continue to see the indicators of a strong market for architectural services as we enjoy the pleasure of seeing the immense volume of work under construction. Along those lines, with construction recently completed, June saw the first gathering of the AIA Virginia Board of Directors in the new AIA Virginia Headquarters for lunch and strategic planning exercise. Many thanks to all that have been a part of this successful transition.

For those who called into the Virtual Membership Meeting in June, the PAC Opt-In Initiative was presented to the membership. For those unable to call in, the PAC Opt-In Initiative will enable AIA Virginia to form and strengthen relationships with key lawmakers who debate and pass bills that affect the built environment and our profession. To ensure the Opt-In Initiative is clearly communicated and understood, AIA Virginia leadership is meeting with each of the local component Board of Directors for feedback as we consider using a portion of dues to support our PAC.

Indicated in the past as a favorite service through member surveys, the Firm Directory – in electronic format – has been issued! No small accomplishment, in this updated format, the Directory is an agile, living platform, allowing for edits, immediate new listings, and unparalleled flexibility. Congratulations to the AIA Virginia staff for their initiative and innovation!

Acclaimed practitioner and award-winning designer Ann Beha, FAIA will serve as Jury Chair for the 2019 AIA Virginia Design Awards. Ann has assembled a stellar jury – Rodrigo Abela, ASLA, PLA, LEED AP BD+C, Sara Caples AIA, LEED, James Elmasry, AIA, LEED AP, and Anthony Pangaro – bringing an urbane yet diversified perspective to the program. Ann will appear at Architecture Exchange East in November to present the projects recognized, and to share jury deliberation comments.

A’19, the national conference in Las Vegas in early June lived up to all the promise of its billing. The curious spectacle that is Las Vegas (for some of us…), was complemented by substance and authentic promise. Two ‘sustainability’ themes emerged. We saw practical applications of building performance research, and ingenious strategies to reduce our footprint, with evidence that our buildings can achieve ‘net zero’ and even give back by generating energy. We saw the promise of a cleaner, healthier, and more balanced environment.

And, we also saw the promise of sustainability through the lens of society and the profession. On many fronts led by young practitioners, the case was made that diversity, equity, and social justice are essential considerations, not only for society in general but for the AIA and the practice of architecture. Roman Mars, host and creator of 99% Invisible conducted a series of live, on-stage keynote interviews with contemporary “disrupters” – Reshma Saujani (leader of Girls Who Code), Karen Braitmayer, FAIA (barrier-free design), and Keller Rinaudo (bringing medical supplies via drones to hard-to-reach places) among others – and the message was clear: as architects we have the opportunity to positively reinforce, bring, and design change. An opportunity that we’re fortunate to have.

Best to all, and thank you for your ongoing support of AIA Virginia.

Rob V. Reis, AIA, LEED AP
2019 President
AIA Virginia

June Board Meeting Highlights

AIA Virginia | 2019 Board of Directors
June 21, 2019
Williams Mullen Headquarters – Richmond

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

  • Approval of the April 12, 2019 Meeting Minutes
  • Approval of the Public Policy and Position Statements
  • Approval of the FY 2018-2019 Financial Contingency Fund Contribution
  • Approval of the FY 2019-2020 Organization Budget

Written reports were provided for the following consent agenda items:

  • PAC Update
  • Inform Update
  • Membership Update
  • Architecture Exchange East 2019 Update
  • Honors Committee Diversity Task Force Update
  • Disaster Assistance Committee Update
  • Documenting Modern Architecture Update
  • Member Appointments to Boards of the Commonwealth
  • Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Update
  • University Reports
  • Quarterly Component Leadership Meeting Notes
  • Blueprint for Better – National Mall Initiative

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

Mr. Patrick Cushing, Esq. of Williams Mullen introduced Mr. David Albo, Esq. to the Board of Directors. Mr. Albo will be succeeding Mr. Reggie Jones, Esq. as a Principal Lobbyist for the organization.


Advocate for the profession.

A motion was presented by the Government Advocacy Advisory Council recommending approval of the presented revisions to the AIA Virginia Directory of Public Policies and Position Statements. The motion passed unanimously.

Insights were shared from visits to the local component Board of Directors regarding the PAC Opt-In. A discussion was held on the successful actions required for implementing the program which includes repetitive communication, creation of talking points for local component leaders, case studies, education on the difference in membership dues versus PAC investments, and careful messaging to depolarize the term “PAC”.


Treasurer’s Report:
The organization’s Balance Sheet was presented which indicates the cash and cash equivalents are approximately $95k greater than at this point last year. The revenue to date has exceeded the annual budget by nearly $18,000. Expenses are currently at 90% of budget. To date, the organization has an excess of revenue over expenses of $148,167. The year-end projection suggests that the organization will end the fiscal year on June 30, 2019 as cash flow positive.

A motion was presented by the Finance Committee recommending a minimum allocation of $30,000 to the organization’s Financial Contingency Fund (FCF). The motion passed unanimously.

A motion was presented by the Finance Committee recommending approval of the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 organizational budget. The motion passed unanimously.

President-Elect’s Report:
The draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) developed by a Joint Task Force was presented which is intended to establish a strategy for future partnerships between the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design and AIA Virginia. The board discussion led to several follow-up items for the Joint Task Force.

New Business:
No New Business items were discussed.

The next meeting of the 2019 AIA Virginia Board of Directors will take place Friday, August 16, 2019 in Richmond.

RAD Update

Hey guys!

It’s the summertime, it’s the middle of July, and so far, it’s been a really ‘rad’ year. I’d first like to give a shout-out to all Virginia component chapters: big ups to all the EPs in West Virginia, Richmond, Northern Virginia, Blue Ridge, Central Virginia, and my hometown Hampton Roads.

Jeffrey Butts, Jr., Assoc. AIA

Last month, I had the great fortune of being formally acquainted with this year’s ELA class on their visit down to my neck of the woods here in Norfolk, at VIA Design Architects. Although brief, it’s very likely this was perhaps the first time RAD and ELA had an intentionally direct engagement with one another. At the start of our meeting, I issued a brief survey to the group to gauge what issues and topics both affect and interest our current generation of emerging professionals. Further on, as the group exchanged their inspiring project ideas with me, I got to also witness the amiably kinetic camaraderie of this class—in another way of saying: they’re a very tight group that keeps it 100.

So what does the RAD do?

In our RAD ELA meeting, I got to share a few professional opportunities for emerging professionals, and also bring awareness to just what the RAD does, and shed light on the National Associates Committee (NAC), and the Center for Emerging Professionals. To keep this kept in one breath: a RAD (Regional Associates Director) is an appointed NAC member, for a term of two years, with the sole task of fostering communication between AIA National and their local region (in my case, AIA Virginia and West Virginia) and relay issues of importance that affect us associates (unlicensed design professionals with AIA membership) and assist AIA to devise opportunities that benefit emerging professionals. RADs are also placed in one of four NAC Work Groups—Future Practice, Knowledge, Mentorship, and Advocacy—to brainstorm with the other RADs throughout the country and implement new emerging professional opportunities and initiatives. If you have any questions relating to the NAC or RAD, feel free to contact me at

Now on to those professional opportunities! Although there are many out there, here are a few in the pipeline:

ARE Scholarship

The Architects Foundation issues annually the Jason Pettigrew ARE Memorial Scholarship. Sadly, the deadline has passed (12 July), however, if you are thinking about studying for the ARE in the near future, keep this opportunity on your radar for next year! More access to additional professional and student scholarships through the Architects Foundation found here at the “Scholarships” tab.

AIA Leadership

If you are seeking further leadership opportunities within AIA National, apply here to volunteer on the National Associates Committee (NAC) or the Young Architects Forum (YAF) Advisory Committee.

Call for Design Entries

Support our AIA Virginia Political Action Committee (PAC) by submitting a design entry of a new PAC lapel pin via the PAC Pin Design. More information on the design challenge posted here.

As this is my first official RAD report to you guys, I intend to share updates quarterly and highlight opportunities and news that affect us Associate AIA members. In the meantime, connect with me if there’s something on your mind related to the NAC, or any queries you have to the leadership of AIA Virginia. I’m here to serve you.

One last thing: although this is called a “RAD Report”, let me know if you have any other creative ideas for what this report could be named.

Have an amazing summer!

Jeffrey G Butts, Jr. | Hanbury
AIA Regional Associate Director – Region of the Virginias