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!

Haley DeNardo, 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,

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

AIA and mindful MATERIALS Partner

The AIA and mindful MATERIALS have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance holistic product specification.  

The goal for this partnership is to deepen collaboration and provide resources, education and support to continue to grow AIA’s Architecture & Design Materials Pledge, a significant member engagement program within AIA’s climate action initiatives, in-step with similar industry initiatives.  With more than 162 firms signing the pledge to date, this collaboration will also bring critical clarity to firms seeking to take action to achieve their pledge commitments, by recognizing a common framework for defining product sustainability as established by the mindful MATERIALS Common Materials Framework (CMF).         
The A&D Materials Pledge established an industry vision for the ‘north star’ of building product sustainability, allowing architects and designers to publicly commit over time to demanding and specifying products that disclose and reduce their impacts across five categories of sustainability: Climate Health, Human Health, Ecosystem Health, Social Health & Equity within a Circular Economy. Other stakeholder materials pledges have since followed suit, pledging to support these same categories of health in producing and selecting building products.  

It is critical that these pledges recognize a consistent definition of what constitutes each one of these five categories of health and sustainability, to support industry alignment in reducing the embodied impacts of building materials. To support this need, mindful MATERIALS established a diverse, cross-stakeholder industry group of materials experts to build a Common Materials Framework. Participants reviewed existing sustainability certifications, labels and mapped and organized how factors within each contribute to meeting those ‘buckets’ of health defined in the pledge. This consistent foundation of knowledge will support the creation of meaningful and aligned metrics, tools and accountability.  

As of June 2022, mindful MATERIALS has completed version 1 of the Common Materials Framework and will be digitizing that framework and integrating it into its cloud-based database by Greenbuild and working with other tech platforms to recognize the CMF, allowing for achievement of the materials pledge and more consistent decision-making regarding sustainability wherever architects and designers are working.  

“This partnership is an important step for AIA’s members and our building product manufacturing partners as we rally around a consistent, holistic approach to sustainable product specification,” said AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE. “Industry consensus around what constitutes a sustainable material will accelerate transformation within firms and create business development opportunities for manufacturers.”  

New opportunities for AIAU CE courses for member education and knowledge in this area and BPMs/CE Providers to expand course offerings in this area developed by both mindful MATERIALs and AIA.  

“We can no longer ignore the ‘why’ behind materials sustainability in the built environment. Science has proven the enormous and complex impacts of materials supply chains, and geographic and social inequities exacerbate those impacts unequally and unfairly,” says Annie Bevan, CEO of mindful MATERIALS. “But while the ‘why’ may be clear, the ‘how’ of drastically reducing the embodied impacts of our built environment has been our biggest challenge. This partnership by AIA and mindful MATERIALs and the Common Materials Framework is a critical step to changing this.”  

There has been an incredible breadth and depth of work done to date to highlight unsustainable practices, and to help identify more sustainable products through various ecolabels and standards. Adoption of the Common Materials Framework will only accelerate that progress, by amplifying that work and making it easier for architects and designers to consistently identify and find sustainability products so they can make sustainability standard for every building.  

“This collaboration is so exciting because it recognizes that the only way to meaningfully reduce the impacts of buildings through materials, is together,” added Bevan.  

About mindful MATERIALS  
mindful MATERIALS’ mission is to reverse the embodied impacts of the built environment by driving the use of regenerative and restorative building products that meet an industry-aligned framework for health, sustainability and resilience, the Common Materials Framework.  

Mindful MATERIALs furthers its mission through a global cross-sector collaboration hub to develop and drive adoption of the common materials framework, which is digitized through its curated digital materials library and connected to industry tools, resources, education and advocacy for the greater benefit of all.  

To learn more about mindful MATERIALs and the Common Materials Framework visit

Represent Virginia on the AIA Small Firm Exchange

The AIA’s Small Firm Exchange (SFx) is seeking state representatives. Use your voice and experience to advocate for small firms within the AIA and beyond. See the complete position description. Virginia’s representative position is currently vacant.


This position is a 1-year commitment, renewable for up to 5 years total. 

Every month this position will require up to 4-6 hours of your time and participation in two 1-hour calls.


Applications accepted through Oct. 1, 2022 

Notifications sent in December 

Positions begin every January

Submit your application.

Questions? Contact before completing the application.

Change of Seasons

It is hard to believe that it has been five years since I took this position in June 2017. I knew the career opportunity as AIA Virginia Executive Vice President was going to be special, but you honestly never know how great something will be until you immerse yourself in it. As I look back over my tenure, we built something magnificent together that I know will live on in future seasons of leadership.

This role has afforded me the privilege to meet so many of our approximate 2,500 members around the Commonwealth. I have seen the great work that you are producing and how you are shaping your community as architects and designers. I have recruited many of you who are too talented to sit on the sidelines to serve on various committees to move AIA Virginia forward in a beautiful way.

There is so much that I am proud of as I put this pen down for the final time.

Let’s start with the People. Without them, accomplishments whether big or small are not possible. Let me take a moment to highlight the powerful staff team at AIA Virginia. All I can say is small but mighty. Our body of work is on par with the biggest states in the AIA and our staff is half the size.

You may ask, “how did we do that?

It is from a servant leadership mentality that we have for each other blended with a relentless pursuit of self-improvement. We all bought into that system and what you see is what you have received. If I could take a moment to brag about them, each one is growing beyond what they had ever envisioned for themselves ranging from obtaining a Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential to completing college degrees to speaking at national conferences! I am so thankful for each one of our staff members that I have worked with both past and present.

To the six presidents I have had the honor to get to know and who welcomed me as their business partners during their year of presidential leadership:

Bill Brown, AIA
Eric Keplinger, AIA
Rob Reis, AIA
Beth Reader, FAIA
Sean Reilly, AIA
Robert Easter, FAIA

What no one tells you when you take this role is how close of a relationship you form with your Presidents. And my is that true! As President of the Board, there are a lot of demands and expectations. It is truly a year of service and there are often defining moments where I am sure that they ask themselves what they got into. Every single one of these men and women not only survived but thrived in their year. And each of these individuals knows there is nothing that I would not do for them as they have become just like family members to me. And what they all have in common, though they are different and unique individuals, is that they have hearts of gold. And that is a prerequisite for a successful President because it is never about them. It’s about leading the organization to successful outcomes for the benefit of our membership.

And then there is a host of others where it would be impossible to name but you know who you are. You may feel like your contribution was not large. But let me tell you, regardless of the size or breadth of your support, it moved us forward.

When I think about my most proud moments, it is really difficult to narrow it down to a simple newsletter article. So, I boiled it down to a couple of overarching themes:

  • Our relevancy as architects and the profession of architecture to the general public and our state and local leaders has grown exponentially in the last five years. Today, we are now invited to present on the built environment to organizations that support mayors, local elected officials, procurement professionals, and members of the General assembly. We have truly become a go-to source that is credible, knowledgeable, and authentic. Architects SPEAK UP!, our community dinners and transformation of the Political Action Committee (which has literally grown tenfold in my tenure and would not be possible if you all did not believe in our advocacy work) have allowed us to do that.
  • A model of excellence in our continuing education through our signature events. We continue to bring you the most prolific domestic and internationally acclaimed architects for design inspiration. Many times, you must go to New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago to see the names that we bring to you right here in Virginia.
  • Continuing to invest and cultivate our next generation of leaders. We have shifted the model of our nationally respected Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) program to a “for us, by us” model. This legacy program is now run and executed by its alumni. Now with over 200 graduates, the impact that these men and women are making in the world is unmatched. Our Operation: Reach, Retain, and Develop mentorship program with AIAS National was cobbled together quickly during the pandemic for temporary purposes and has now blossomed into a value-soaked program that I suspect will be around for years to come.
  • We became a model of a strong and growing nonprofit. Over the course of my tenure, we really had to change our financial practices as an organization. That takes confidence and courage from the Board to have trust in the various strategies that were employed. Without going into great detail, I am proud to say that today we are an organization with a financial reserves balance that aligns with that of non-profit best practices. We have retooled our governance structure to one that allows it to be more efficient and effective while opening the door of inclusivity to so many members who have a desire to serve. That was hard work, but we did it!

So, as I bring this to a close, the work as Executive Vice President is never done. You could serve for 20 years and still feel like there is more to be accomplished. But there is a season for everything. And as this particular season comes to a close, a new one will flourish and the organization will be taken to even greater heights. I am excited to take this body of work that we have accomplished together and explore how it can be scaled for national impact in my next season. Remember that I am still an AIA Virginia member and I look forward to reuniting with so many of you at the signature events.

I am wishing all of you many blessings and prosperity. Until next time.

In service,

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


June is Pride Month. It is a time to remember the movements and celebrate the achievements toward social justice for our LGBTQ colleagues. We at the American Institute of Architects – Virginia must join that memorialization and celebration. Movements are often born out of struggle, riot, and revolution. Pride month commemorates the struggle for freedom and justice denied a segment of our population whose history includes the Stonewall riots, as well as demonstrations in large cities across the country. Today, there are still efforts to restrict bathroom use, politicize scholastic sports, determine who has equal access to health care and upend marriage equality.

Robert Easter, FAIA

When I was president of NOMA, the AIA held its first Diversity Conference. Organizations representing architects and designers of color, and women, including those who were gay and lesbian were invited by Jean Barber, the AIA’s Director for Diversity to plan a three-day conference focused on the issues impacting the many and varied interests of these communities. That conference highlighted me. The fact that injustice and bigotry imposed on any one segment of our national family is injustice imposed on us all.

We’ve done little to distinguish ourselves as full proponents of equal justice for all; our personal biases and political affiliations often lead us to marginalize our colleagues for simply being themselves. My faith teaches me that all are created by an intelligent Being who created our diversity and who delights in our multiplicity. It was that Creator who first displayed a rainbow as a symbol of divine love for all of humankind.

Our nation was born out of a struggle for freedom. At the same time, it has prospered through division and subjugation. For people of color, people of various religious backgrounds, and people of differing sexual orientations, that struggle has been real and each community is often left to fight their battle alone. As we learn more about each other’s struggles, I hope that we also learn to work together to tear down the boundaries that restrict access to the opportunities that our profession offers.

Architecture has the tremendous potential to bring life-affirming change to communities. When we seek to understand those who live in the communities we are charged to impact, our design work can give a voice to the unheard, hope to the helpless, and understanding to those who feel unseen. Architecture can make a difference when architects choose to be catalysts for just change.

I hope that we will listen and open our hearts as our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer colleagues will help us define the parameters where we are truly advocates for justice. Every American is constitutionally guaranteed this protection and, every architect deserves no less.

Robert Easter, FAIA
AIA Virginia President

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

Jessie Gemmer, AIA (Richmond)
Ali Parva, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Angelo S. Phillos, AIA (Richmond)

New Associate Members

Houda Boudjemaa, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Saeideh Chaharbaghi, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Lauren Peterson, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Weonyoung Rho, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Eman Elnorag, Intl. Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)

New/Renewed Allied Members

Jim Jenkins, Region Sales Manager, Huber Engineered Woods
Marie White, Account Representative, APCO Graphics, Inc.

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!

Sean N. McGillicuddy 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,

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

Associated Thoughts: Design Forum

AIA Virginia’s Design Forum, held this past June 3rd and 4th in Arlington, was the first in-person gathering for design-centric dialogue since its virtual transition in 2020. This year, the theme “South is Up!” featured Latin American designers and architects and the work they’ve done to improve not only their local communities but their countries as a whole through innovative and relationship-centric design.

Their projects, ranging from multi-family dwellings and single-family retreats to modern art museums and kindergarten school systems, emphasized the role that architecture has on society and the human condition. Thank you to Smiljan Radić – Chile, Viviana Peńa – Colombia, Alberto Kalach – Mexico, and Cazú Zegers – Chile for speaking about your experiences with AIA Virginia and our virtual attendees!

Kristen, Enid, Caitlin, and Cheyenne

Sitting among colleagues and friends as we listened to the effect architecture has made in South America was already a powerful experience, but as an emerging professional in architecture, each message behind the presentations was more impactful than the last. Viviana Peńa’s presentation, titled “Architecture as an Instrument of Transformation,” featured three case studies from her hometown in Medellin, Colombia – community kindergartens, the Medellin Modern Art Museum, and a single-family residence near a forest reserve. She walked us through each of her projects using concise bullet points that explained how Colombia’s turbulent history has changed the country’s political landscape, and how architecture has an opportunity to remedy many of their challenges. Her mission through working on community kindergartens was to elevate the children of low-income families through improved education programs, thereby eliminating the perpetual cycle of generational poverty.

Cazú Zeger had a similar message of increasing educational opportunities for her country’s children, but her passion lies in changing the architecture education curriculum so that students can become the change she wishes to see in Chile’s future. Her architecture workshop for students in Chile achieves that, because as she explained in her “Mondo Nostro – The 21st Century Agency” presentation, man is a part of the natural ecosystem, and designed to integrate into the system rather than on top of the system is a mindset our culture must learn and adapt to.

Meeting in person for Design Forum was especially valuable because it provided an opportunity for architecture students to be a part of our industry’s conversations. I was joined by three Architectural Design students from James Madison University, and the conversations we had over coffee following the conference highlighted how we envisioned our future in the built environment. Cheyenne, Enid, Kristen, and I discussed how design impacts the communities we inhabit, and how architectural academia can adapt to the rapidly-changing society and climate we live in. Students play a vital part in the future of architecture, and their participation and discussion at Design Forum were inspiring. All of this to say – Invite architecture students to AIA events and make them a part of the conversations we are having today.

Feel free to connect with me, too. What are some ways your firm is working with students and emerging professionals? Send me an email or a message on LinkedIn!

As always, I’m here for you.

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

Young Architect’s Forum Update

Happy June everyone, there are a few updates and deadlines from the Young Architect’s Forum (YAF). It is all exciting and asking for engagement, so please read on!

  • Applications for Summit 30 – Due 6/19
  • Submissions for the next issue of the publication “Connection” – Due 7/29

Summit 30

Every 5 years the YAF undertakes its strategic planning for the next 5 years at our Summit. This year is the 30th anniversary of the YAF, hence the name “Summit 30.” The Code Red Charrettes discussed in my previous post gave us the thoughts, opinions, and sentiments from a wide range of architects that armed us with information for Summit, themed “Mission: 2130”–discussing critical issues facing the next 100 years. If you participated in the Charrettes thank you for your valuable input! Apply by June 19th at THIS LINK to be one of the select 50 people in the room to help shape the future of the YAF and its strategic goals for the next 5 years.

Connection Publication

Did you know that the YAF publishes a quarterly online magazine called Connection? Last year, we published an article titled “Becoming Visible”, amplifying the voices of young architects and emerging professionals advocating for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in architecture. In order to further these efforts, we would like to continue celebrating and featuring young architects and emerging professionals who have done great work in the world of architecture, particularly in advocating for diversity and inclusion in our field, through social media and a second Becoming Visible article in the Fall/Winter issue. We are looking for “emerging professionals” (less than 10 years since college graduation) and “young architects” (less than 10 years licensed) to showcase and inspire others. If you know someone who fits the bill, please contact me with their name and email address and I can contact them directly about the logistics. Please also feel free to forward this message to your other networks!

Anyone can contribute to Connection, and it is an easy way to be recognized and published. The next theme is “Career Evolution” and the content is due July 29th. Reach out if you have ideas or want to contribute to Carrie Parker at

As always, stay connected to the YAF in our channels:

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

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 Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Interim 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.