Archive | Membership News

Being a Freshman Wasn’t So Bad

It is hard to imagine that my freshman year in the Executive Vice President role at AIA Virginia is over.  I am grateful for the continuous outpouring of encouragement and support that still reaches my desk from the membership.  Truthfully, AIA Virginia is made up of a talented, dedicated, and synchronized team that has your best interests at heart.  Our goal is to do everything with excellence and be member-focused.  No one is making money hands over fists.  That’s not why we are here.  We are here to make ARCHITECTS the absolute best they can be for their firm, clients, and community.

As I look in the rearview mirror, I wanted to share the team’s accomplishments that I am most proud of over the last year:

Improved Financial Standing: On June 1, 2017, this organization was $10k in its line of credit, possessed $0 in its Financial Contingency Fund, and held a $25k pledge obligation.  Through the amazing ambassadors that serve on our Board of Directors, significantly improved membership participation, the generosity of sponsorships, and prayer, our financial position has an upward trajectory.  On June 1, 2018, AIA Virginia is pleased to say that we have paid off our line of credit, will be making a $10k deposit into the Financial Contingency Fund, and have reduced the pledge obligation to $10k.

Positioning Architects to be Relevant: AIA Virginia has reinvigorated its Memorandum of Understanding with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.  Our first training was last week where 35 architects, engineers, and building officials earned credentials by California’s Office of Emergency Services to perform building assessments after a natural disaster as second-responders.  This program is the official AIA all-hazards post-disaster training.  By this time next year, we would like to have 100 assets trained.

Joining Allied Industries for Programming: Most notable has been our joint-venture with the American Council of Engineering Companies and Associated General Contractors.  This collaboration called ACE, has brought forth Joint Owner Forums where the goal is to educated and promote best practices of the design and construction industry to our members, owners, developers, and the general public.  Our first event was in February and hosted the executive leadership of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of General Services.  The next one is June 18 and will host the design and construction department leadership of William & Mary, VCU, ODU and Norfolk State.  These events are bringing in nearly 100 registrants.

Emerging Leaders of Architecture (ELA): This program was under the tremendous leadership of Brian Frickie, AIA for a decade.  ELA was his vision that has birthed into one of the greatest AIA leadership development programs in the United States.  With his help, we have transitioned to an alumni-led leadership structure that allows past program participants to continue to hone their leadership skills well after graduation.  Imagine what the next 10 years of the program is going to look like!

Investing In You: We have concentrated heavily in sewing back into YOU.  You are expected to grow professionally as an AIA member.  This is why I have been visiting firms around Virginia on my “Listening Tour”. Last year, we gave firms free Associate passes to Architecture Exchange East and had the best attendance since pre-Great Recession days.  We also made scholarships available for our Citizen Architects to receive training to allow them to better serve their communities.

So as I embark upon my sophomore year, AIA Virginia will continue to strive to bring exemplary value to your membership.  Join us (RSVP here) for our Virtual Membership Meeting on Friday, June 15 to hear what’s ahead this year!  Thank you for your faith in our team.

With service,

Corey Clayborne, AIA, MBA
Executive Vice President

Posted in Membership News

ARE Update

The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) 4.0 retires in just a few weeks—here’s what you should expect if you haven’t finished testing by June 30, 2018.

Transitioning to ARE 5.0
If you haven’t already transitioned before ARE 4.0 retires, our system will most likely transition you the first time you log in to your NCARB Record and open the Exams tab. Any division credits that you’ve earned will show in your Record based on the Transition Calculator, and you’ll be able to schedule your first ARE 5.0 division right away.

If you’ve recently tested in ARE 4.0 and are still waiting on a score report, you will not be able to transition until your score is posted. As soon as the score posts and you view your Exams tab, you’ll either be marked as ARE complete or be transitioned to ARE 5.0 if you still have some divisions left.

If you have testing accommodations that include extra breaks or extended time, you will need to contact NCARB’s Customer Relations team to transition. You’ll also see a message about this on your Exams tab.

Due to extremely high testing volumes, score reports may take longer to process between now and the retirement. Although candidates typically receive their results within 1-2 weeks, score reports for divisions taken between now and June 30, 2018, may take up to 3-4 weeks to post.

Not planning on testing between now and June 30? Make the transition now!

Navigating the New Exam
Not familiar with ARE 5.0? Here are two key resources to help you get used to the new exam:
ARE 5.0 Handbook—This essential resource walks you through each division, providing specific objectives, sample questions, suggested references, and more.

ARE 5.0 Demonstration Exam—Want to practice navigating the new exam format? Log in to your NCARB Record to try our free demo exam.

Need Help?
Join the ARE 5.0 Community to connect with NCARB’s exam experts and your fellow candidates.

Do you have questions about licensure? Please contact Rachel Shelton, AIA, Virginia Licensing Advisor at

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 Architect Members

Ms. Shani M. Chambers, AIA (Northern VA)
Mr. Omari A. Davis, AIA (Northern VA)
Mr. Michael Ermann, AIA (Blue Ridge)
Mr. Michael Medick, AIA (Northern VA)
Ms. Christine M. Mussler, AIA (Northern VA)

New Associate Members

Ms. Maryam Afzalipour, Assoc. AIA (Northern VA)
Mr. Ryan K. Alkire, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Ms. Melanie G. Baron, Assoc. AIA (Northern VA)
Dr. Ila Berman, Assoc. AIA (Central VA)
Mrs. Fletcher C. Bruegger, Assoc. AIA (Northern VA)
Ms. Vy Do, Assoc. AIA (Northern VA)
Mr. Robert Lee Hall III, Assoc. AIA (Northern VA)
Dr. Shabnam Kavousi, Assoc. AIA (Northern VA)
Mr. Ryan Kendall, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Mrs. Lin-Dai Y. Kendall, Assoc. AIA (Northern VA)
Mr. Chris L. Neveu, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Mrs. Antonina Pritchard, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Ms. Jomellie Salonga, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Mr. Jonathan M. Sang, Assoc. AIA (Northern VA)
Ms. Emily String, Assoc. AIA (Northern VA)
Richard J. Blythe, Intl. Assoc. AIA (Blue Ridge)

Transferred In

Ms. Kara A. Abbott, Assoc. AIA (Richmond) from AIA Massachusettes
Mr. James D. Wills-Lipscomb, AIA  (Northern VA) from AIA Massachusettes
Ms. Jessica B. Wills-Lipscomb, AIA (Northern VA) from AIA Massachusettes

New/Renewed Allied Members

Dan Longenderfer, Director of Marketing, York Building Products
Dave France, Senior Associate, Kimley-Horn
Jay Peterson, Principal, First Light

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

Posted in Membership News

Fellows Fete 2018

The Fellows held their annual Fete in Richmond, Saturday, April 28, 2018. They enjoyed a building tour of the new Institute for Contemporary Art (the Markel Center) at Virginia Commonwealth University followed by a black tie reception and dinner at the Westwood Club.

The five new fellows from Virginia and West Virginia were officially welcomed during this special evening: Donna M. Phaneuf, FAIA; Edwin Schmidt, FAIA; Nick Serfass, FAIA; Robert Steele, FAIA; and Edward W. Tucker, FAIA.

Photos shared by Baird Smith.

Posted in Membership News

A’18 Reception

You’re invited to a Region of The Virginias Breakfast

Please join your Region of The Virginias colleagues for a casual reception during A’18, the AIA Conference on Architecture in New York.

We will also celebrate our new Fellows!

The cost to attend is $30.


June 22, 2018
7:30 a.m.

New York Hilton Midtown
Clinton Room

Scrambled Organic Brown Eggs
Hickory Smoked Bacon & Griddle Potatoes
Kashi and Kellogg’s Cereals
Seasonal Fruit Salad
House Baked Cinnamon Buns, Muffins, Croissants and Bagels with
Cream Cheese, Fruit Preserves and Butter
Freshly Brewed Coffee, Regular or Decaffeinated, Assorted Teas, Juice

Hosted by AIA Virginia and AIA West Virginia.

Posted in Membership News

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’s on his travel schedule:

AIA Local and Regional Engagement
Emerging Leaders in Architecture
Virginia Beach
June 8

Safety Assessment Program Training for Natural Disaster Response
June 9

Design Awards Celebration
AIA Northern Virginia
June 14

AIA Virginia Board of Directors Meeting
June 15

AIA Richmond Annual Golf Tournament
June 25

Ambassador Engagement
APELSCIDLA Regulatory Board Meeting
June 13

ACE Joint Owner Forum with ACEC and AGC
College of William & Mary, Williamsburg
June 18

A’18 Conference on Architecture
New York, NY
June 20 – 23

Posted in Membership News

Meet the Staff

We heard from you that you would like to get to know the AIA Virginia staff a little better, so here we go.

This month we highlight our Director of Finance (aka Head Cheerleader), Keesha Ezell. Keesha has been with AIA Virginia for 4 years now. Reach out to Keesha and say hello at

Keesha Ezell

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I went to Strayer and Ashford University and studied Accounting

What is the last book you read?
The Lifestyle of a Prophet by James Goll

What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
Sit and watch the water

Who or what inspires you?

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Frank Sinatra Chicken at Trivinia

What color crayon would you be?

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
Watch a good movie

What is one thing on your bucket list?
Go to Jerusalem

What’s the best gift you have ever received?
A Prayer Shawl

What’s the one TV show you never miss?

White, dark, or milk chocolate?

Posted in Membership News

Virtual Membership Meeting

Hear about the work happening within your professional society at a virtual Meeting of the Membership on Friday, June 15, 2018, beginning at noon.

To engage the broadest number of participants, members can join the June 15th meeting electronically.

Register>> for the membership meeting

Note: When motions are presented, the voting members of AIA Virginia are assigned Architect members, Associate members, Emeritus, and Fellows.

Review the following meeting documents:

  1. Agenda
  2. Minutes from Nov. 2, 2017, annual membership meeting

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please take a moment to download and test the meeting software. It takes just a few minutes to activate your account and make sure everything is working.

Call (804) 237-1768

Posted in Membership News

My Path, Our PAC

Most would agree, particularly most architects, that I have had an interesting path to the presidency of AIA Virginia. My involvement in the AIA began in the late ‘90’s. Upon encouragement and nomination by a colleague and good friend, David Keith, AIA, I joined the board of what was then AIA James River. After a few years of underwhelming service, I left that board, I left Richmond for Virginia Beach, and I left the traditional practice of architecture. Embarking on a new career in marketing and business development in the construction arena, I maintained my AIA membership, but for more than a decade I only occasionally attended local chapter events and socials. In my rebuilt professional path, I still had the pleasure of working with architects on a regular basis, and I began to think that I might be well positioned to serve the AIA once more. Bringing a new perspective and renewed vigor, I joined the AIA Hampton Roads board in 2012, and in a whirlwind that was as shocking as it was stimulating, I rose to AIAHR President, joined the AIA Virginia Society board as Secretary, and was nominated and elected as AIA Virginia President for 2018. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve the membership.

In the last couple of years, under the leadership of Tim Colley, AIA, and Sean Reilly, AIA, the AIA Virginia Government Advocacy Advisory Council (GAAC) has been extremely productive, and as a member of the committee, I’ve seen firsthand the hard work being put in by a group of dedicated leaders in support of the membership and our profession. In alignment with our adopted strategic plan, strong efforts are underway to engage in the legislative and regulatory environment, advocating for policies that are in alignment with the principles that drive the design of healthy and vibrant local communities. Legislative key influencers from throughout the Commonwealth have been identified and opportunities are being created for members to interact with these legislators and discuss priorities and concerns. With the help of our lobbyist, an annual legislative agenda is developed, and potentially impactful bills are tracked with our positions articulated throughout the legislative sessions.

Citizen Architects can have a powerful influence on many issues affecting our communities, and the Council has made it a priority as well to equip, empower and engage potential Citizen Architect candidates for any number of potential opportunities. Just in the last 2 months, the GAAC and AIA Virginia have identified and supported interested candidates for openings on the Virginia Art and Architecture Review Board (AARB) along with two potential vacancies for gubernatorial appointments to the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development. This board works closely with the development of the building code in the Commonwealth, and representation from within AIA Virginia is of value to and a benefit for the entire membership.

Much of the new perspective I was able to bring to the AIA table was gained through insight and experience garnered from involvement in a variety of other design and construction-related organizations, including the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), the Associated General Contractors (AGC), and the Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate (HRACRE). Each organization had its own personality and helped to inform my thoughts and opinions about what the AIA did well and not so well.

AIA Virginia PAC Contributions by Location












One area where AIA Virginia is striving to keep up with other related organizations is in the critical area of contributions to our Political Action Campaign. Let’s face it, architects don’t contribute to their PAC like engineers, contractors or home-builders, and we need to work on that. (Take a look at this comparison) Through the PAC, AIA Virginia supports candidates who understand our profession, and when these candidates win, you and your firm benefit. By speaking with a united voice through the AIAVA PAC, architects influence government actions that affect our profession and the quality of life for all Virginians. Amplify your voice. Please consider contributing to the PAC today>>

Eric Keplinger, AIA
2018 President
AIA Virginia

Posted in Membership News

May is Building Safety Month

Governor Ralph S. Northam recognized May 2018 as Building Safety Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia. On Wednesday, May 2, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development held a celebratory event on behalf of Secretary of Commerce and Trade, R. Brian Ball.  The event brought together various organizations and stakeholders responsible for protecting the public health, safety, and welfare through the design and construction of the built environment.

Read the full proclamation here>>

Posted in Membership News

Membership News

Professional Development News

Government Advocacy News

  • Not-So-Good PAC Fact

    Our voice is only a whisper at the table because the PACs of chicken farmers dwarf ours.

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.