ArchEx 2019: Public Work/Public Good Zone

Join us in our carefully-curated Public Work/Public Good Zone at Architecture Exchange East this November 6–8, 2019. In this zone, you’ll discuss the benefits and challenges of engaging in public work and working for the public good. Check out the highlights from this Learning Zone below.

View the complete agenda or register online today. You can pick and choose sessions from any of the zones or do a deep dive into a particular theme. Discounted Registration ends Oct. 9.

Public Work/Public Good Zone


07: NCI Facilitation Skills Boot Camp for Contentious Meetings
This workshop covers the top tools and techniques for keeping meetings on track. Participants will learn on their feet through role playing exercises that simulate various meeting types.


52: Design for Emotional Well-Being in Military Communities
Examine strategies for designing in opportunities for increased social connectivity, recreation, and overall community resiliency through dynamic and well-researched master planning and placemaking.

105: Planning Washington Union Station: The Architect’s Skills
Discuss how the architect’s wide-ranging skillset is especially useful in leading multi-disciplinary teams to solve the unique design problems encountered in a complex project.

205: Visibility: Risk Mitigation for School Design
Hear tips on visibility — one of the greatest tools for risk mitigation in school design.

305: Public Owner Roundtable
Engage in a dialogue about upcoming projects and the ways that owners and members of the profession can best work together.


413: JUSTice for All: Reviewing Practice Through An Equity Lens
Hear one firm’s experience undergoing ILFI’s JUST certification—what they did, what they learned, how it‘s changing the way they operate, and what it means for their workplace culture.

503: Re-imagining Benefield: A Catalyst for Hope
Join community leaders and designers for a journey through a project designed by the people of Highland Park for the people of Highland Park.

605: Y!MBY: Facilitating Enthusiastic Community-Based Design
Hear stories of lessons learned — from triumphant fiascoes to unsuccessful victories — in order to reinforce a design culture that encourages open and immersive conversations and embraces equity in development.

705: Architecture as a Catalyst for Social Change
Join us for a discussion highlighting several case studies of how architecture has had a profound effect on a community.

805: Humanitarian Design: Tilt the Planet
Explore the practice of Humanitarian Design and the ways architects can participate meaningfully in humanitarian work.

905: Sustainability: The New Form Giver
Discuss how sustainability as a design goal can influence architectural forms, material choices, and building appearance.

About Architecture Exchange East

ArchEx is AIA Virginia’s annual conference and expo. This year, it takes place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center from Nov. 6–8, 2019. The program is curated to bring together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.

All ArchEx seminars offer 1 AIA/CES learning unit unless otherwise noted in the agenda.

AIARVA Event Registration II

AIARVA 2020 - Virginia's Political Outlook

ArchEx 2019: History/Community Zone

Join us in our carefully-curated History/Community Zone at Architecture Exchange East this November 6–8, 2019. In this zone, you’ll hear case studies, discuss preservation, and deliberate the power of building community. Check out the highlights from this Learning Zone below.

View the complete agenda or register online today. You can pick and choose sessions from any of the zones or do a deep dive into a particular theme. Discounted Registration ends Oct. 9.

History/Community Zone


03: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design Workshop
This day-long workshop provides an introduction to the principles of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).


51: Field Measuring 101
Renovation projects may not always warrant the use of 3D scanning or photogrammetry. This course reviews basic techniques for field measuring and provides some helpful hints.

104: AIA Forum for the National Mall: Renewing our Voice
The AIA Forum for the National Mall is a think tank for creative innovation to address climate change, security, expansion, preservation, spatial allocation, interpretation, transportation, tourism, and utilization to design an even greater treasure for future generations.

204: Cultural Stewardship through HBIM
Explore how Historic Building Information Management (HBIM) gives stewards of historic properties the information they need to preserve culturally important sites like never before.

304: Architecture is the Message
Discuss how old buildings and the ones not deemed historic can survive and thrive through modern adaptations. 


402: Mentoring Future Fellows
Are you interested in becoming a Fellow? Do you want some guidance and feedback on your application? Sign-up for this session and get matched with a mentor.

451: The Power of a Women’s Archive: Revealing Diverse Cultures
The interaction with the original artifacts is, in itself, a qualitative, multilayered, and irreproducible learning experience. Immerse yourself into women’s diverse professional practices.

604: Alexandria Riverfront Economic Framework Plan
Investigate a road map to reinvigorate the waterfront into a vibrant economic engine that encourages cultural development, tourism and urban mixed use development. 

704: Cultural Matchmaking Your Way to Project Success
Explore the cultural opportunities and challenges of integrating research, academic and healthcare environments using a case study and published research.

804: Excellence in Affordable Housing: Reshaping Urban Environments
Using case studies in Northern Virginia, this panel discussion will highlight the successful practices and strategies used to address the pressing need for affordable housing in urban environments.

904: Washington Alley Project: Research and Public Space Advocacy
Examine D.C.’s informal alley network as a viable site for new modes of urban living, creating opportunities to adapt to the social and technological pressures of today without sacrificing architectural heritage.

About Architecture Exchange East

ArchEx is AIA Virginia’s annual conference and expo. This year, it takes place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center from Nov. 6–8, 2019. The program is curated to bring together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.

All ArchEx seminars offer 1 AIA/CES learning unit unless otherwise noted in the agenda.

ArchEx 2019: Practice Zone

This year, we’ve organized our carefully-curated program for Architecture Exchange East into learning zones. You can pick and choose sessions from any of the zones or do a deep dive into a particular theme.

Join us in our Practice Zone to focus your ArchEx experience on practice management. In this zone, you’ll discuss practice management methods and explore the topic of firm culture.

View the complete agenda or register online today. Discounted Registration ends Oct. 9.

All ArchEx seminars offer 1 AIA/CES learning unit unless otherwise noted in the agenda.


04: AIA Virginia Firm Roundtables
Leaders from various firm sizes come together to discuss pertinent practice topics in a structured and facilitated format. 


50: Why Should I Choose You?
There’s one question you’re faced with every day that matters above all else: Why should I choose you? It’s the most difficult question to answer and it comes from three directions: business development; employee experience; and customer experience.

103: Building Belonging: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
How do you foster a diverse firm culture where every individual feels empowered to contribute? Hear from leaders whose organizations have devised and implemented a strategy to build and sustain a culture that celebrates human differences.

203: The Missing Middle: Surviving the Mid-Career Phase
Engage in an open dialogue on firm culture, the recession, and the art of delegating. Discuss firm culture, work/life balance, time management, goal setting, and mentorship. Emerging professionals, mid-career professionals, and firm leaders are all welcome.  

303: Building a Cohesive Firm Culture Across Offices
Quinn Evans Architects has expanded rapidly in the past few years, having merged with both Baltimore’s Cho Benn Holback + Associates and Richmond’s BCWH since 2017. The directors of QEA’s Richmond, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, offices will discuss their experience with the mergers and their impacts on firm culture.


404: The Culture of Value
Understanding key points such as building a management team, building a client base, building a growth strategy for the firm and individuals, and effective financial controls shows the employees (and perspective future owners) that the firm’s value culture is one they’ll want to buy into.

450: Focus: Your Most Valuable Skill
Distraction is derailing your projects. It’s also making you stressed, burned out, and less innovative. Dive into how our brains function best and discover secrets to overcome distraction individually — and as a firm.

603: Culture Catalyst: Workplace Design as a Leadership Tool
Does your office align you’re your culture, or does it get in the way? Learn how design impacts the culture you have and how it can support the culture you want.

703: Enriching Culture: Diversity Groups in Practice
FXCollaborative shares how the firm’s mission-driven groups foster an inclusive and equitable environment. Hear about the firm’s diversity groups including FXWomen, FXMosaic, and FXOne, which are designed to help women, racial/ethnic minorities, and the LGBTQ community to thrive.

803: Creating a Business Development Culture
Building a corporate culture that embraces business development can be one of the most effective ways to achieve your company’s growth objectives. Discover how to engage in a systematic cultural change process that will allow you to create this type of culture.

903: Purpose-Driven Performance: Connecting Culture to Success
Assess your firm’s culture and learn how to leverage a sense of purpose to drive better performance.

About Architecture Exchange East

ArchEx is AIA Virginia’s annual conference and expo. This year, it takes place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center from Nov. 6–8, 2019. The program is curated to bring together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.

Siewers Lumber and Loudoun Design Cabinet Recognized with AIA Virginia Honors

Richmond-based Siewers Lumber & Millwork and the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development’s Design Cabinet will be recognized with AIA Virginia Honors at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Hilton Downtown Richmond. AIA Virginia Honors may be bestowed on non-member individuals or organizations that have inspired, influenced, or complemented the architecture profession in Virginia through practice of an allied profession, research, education, planning, legislation, architectural writing, the arts, or crafts.

For nearly 135 years, Virginia’s architects have relied upon Siewers Lumber and Millwork to help realize their designs. The company has reliably offered a vast array of historical wood trim patterns, in-house woodworkers, and expert craftspeople to help develop custom solutions for even the most sensitive restoration projects. Their ongoing commitment to offering high-quality educational opportunities to the industry not only serves the profession’s current needs, but anticipates them moving forward. For those in the design profession and construction trades — particularly those who work in the fields of restoration and historic preservation — Siewers has been an invaluable partner for generations.

In 2003, the Loudoun County Design Cabinet was formed through the county’s Department of Economic Development to help promote high-quality, environmentally sustainable, and culturally respectful architectural and landscape design in one of the fastest-growing communities in the Commonwealth. In addition to their awards program and design charrettes, the Design Cabinet is asked regularly to collaborate on a variety of issues, such as streetscape improvement, campus planning, sustainable design, and modifications to the County Zoning Ordinance. What started as a bold and unique experiment nearly twenty years ago to determine whether design professionals could effectively “work with their communities rather than for their communities,” has become the new standard within Loudoun County and a model for communities nationwide.

Tickets to Visions for Architecture are available online.

Henry Wheeler and Reggie Jones Recognized with Honorary Membership

Educator Henry Wheeler and legislative counsel Reginald N. Jones will receive Honorary Membership in AIA Virginia. Honorary Membership is bestowed upon a person of esteemed character who is not eligible for membership in the AIA Virginia but who has rendered distinguished and exemplary service, over a sustained period of time, to architecture and the built environment in Virginia. Wheeler and Jones will be celebrated at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Hilton Downtown Richmond.

“Every student has a teacher in their life that they remember as the one that stood above all others … the teacher in my life who was most impactful to my formation was Mr. Wheeler.” 

– former student Ken Thacker, AIA

Henry Wheeler was an instructor and, later, Department Head of Industrial Arts at Douglas Freeman High School in Richmond, Virginia. During a career that spanned four decades, he taught generations of students in his mechanical drawing, architecture, and engineering classes. Ahead of his time, he utilized a project-based-learning approach through a variety of increasingly complex assignments. Second and third year students were encouraged to pursue their own design interests with plenty of guided tutelage in independent study. When asked why he turned down a promotion into the school administration, Wheeler said, “I could have made a lot more money, but money isn’t everything. Happiness counts for a lot, and I enjoyed teaching. It was my first love.” His impact on built fabric of Virginia and beyond is immeasurable. Henry Wheeler inspired an astonishing number of his students — more than 354 of them by his own meticulous count — to life-long careers in architecture and allied professions.

“Honorary Membership in AIA Virginia should be our way of thanking Reggie for his many years of service, friendship, support, wisdom, and passion for our profession.”

– Robert A. Boynton, FAIA

For almost 40 years, Reggie Jones has been the legislative voice for design professionals in the Commonwealth. He helped shepherd the adoption of the original Virginia Public Procurement Act in 1982 through the introduction of design-build and the Design Build Construction Management Review Board, and the development of the Public Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act. Throughout this time, he has represented the interests of architects in many matters, including the statute of repose, indemnification, professional licensing, APELSCIDLA Board development, and concerns regarding encroachment on design professionals practice that required constant vigilance. Jones is an invaluable resource on legislative matters extending well beyond his scope of services.

2020 AIA Virginia Dues

Over recent years, AIA Virginia has undertaken significant steps to improve member value while reducing organization expenses. In 2020, Supplemental Firm Dues will be completely eliminated! This means there are no other dues obligations outside of individual membership dues.

Through conscientious decision making, our budgeted expenses have decreased by more than 33% when compared to the 2014 budget. As AIA Virginia becomes leaner and financially healthier, we’ve also been listening. As such, the Board of Directors voted at its last meeting to invest 100% of the 2020 dues increase to the AIA Virginia PAC.

You spoke loudly—the most important thing we at AIA Virginia do for you is advocacy. You expressed a desire for us to be more proactive on issues that elevate the importance of architects and good design. We heard you.

The AIA Virginia PAC supports legislators who understand our agenda and support our goals without regard to political party affiliation. By speaking with a unified voice, architects can influence legislation affecting our profession and the quality of life in our communities. For more information regarding the AIA Virginia PAC, please click here to read the FAQs.

If this investment is acceptable, no action is required on your part. If you wish to divert your dues increase to our general operating account, please let us know by going to This provides the opportunity for your dues increase to be dedicated to non-PAC activities and ensures, that no matter what, your AIA state dues go toward important work for you and the profession in Virginia.

Various communications will be sent between now and membership renewal regarding this important decision. If you have any questions, please contact Corey Clayborne, AIA at Thank you for believing in what we do.


Rob Reis, AIA
AIA Virginia


  1. What is the AIA Virginia PAC?
    The AIA Virginia Political Action Committee (PAC) is the funding vehicle used to support legislators in office and candidates seeking elected office whose policy positions support the profession of architecture and align with our Directory of Public Policies and Position Statements. Contributions to the PAC are voluntary and shall in no way be a condition of membership in AIA Virginia. The PAC is governed by its own Board of Trustees, separately from AIA Virginia’s Board of Directors. However, the Chair of the Board of Trustees is the Vice President of Government Advocacy (from AIA Virginia’s Executive Committee) as an ex-officio member. The Executive Vice President of AIA Virginia also serves on the Board of Trustees as ex-officio.

  2. Why does the organization have to give money to legislators?
    Shouldn’t legislators just do the right thing? It sounds like you are trying to buy votes.

    We will never buy votes. Investing in legislators provides access and forms partnerships. Any legislator only has so much time to balance the competing demands, priorities, and requests that are a part of their job. Often, time allocations are as follows: constituents first, then supporters, and if any time remains after priorities are complete, it is allocated to everyone else.

    Showing support for a legislator or candidate is done in one of two ways: time or money. Handing out flyers and knocking on doors to reach 140 individuals is unfeasible for an organization of our size. Therefore, we demonstrate our support through contributions, not unlike personally showing your support to a non-profit. For example, to advance the mission of Habitat for Humanity, one must either swing a hammer on site on a Saturday or make a financial contribution. This is the only way Habitat can achieve its goals and how it knows you exist as a resource.

    The same principle holds true for a legislator or a candidate running for elected office. In addition, making a contribution to attend a legislative event provides the organization an opportunity to educate legislators about what we do as architects. This is the foundation for relationship-building and establishes AIA Virginia as a resource for consulting when certain bills are introduced during the General Assembly session. Remember, the Virginia General Assembly is comprised of members of varying backgrounds, professions, experiences, and cultures. Many have no idea what architects do or why what we do is important for a community. If we don’t speak for ourselves in terms of educating legislators, then you better believe that another entity will.

  3. The PAC only focuses on procurement issues. My firm does not do public work, so the PAC is irrelevant to me and provides no value to my firm.
    The PAC benefits ALL firms. If you like the way you are allowed to practice in Virginia, then the PAC is relevant to you. We have established a positive legal framework for practicing in Virginia, and the PAC is essential to ensuring this framework continues to benefit the profession as a whole. Historically, you have heard the most about procurement for two reasons. First, many of the bills introduced in the General Assembly that have a negative impact on the profession involve procurement of design services using taxpayer dollars. Second, the AIA Virginia PAC’s historically low funding levels has allowed us to only be reactive and extinguish the “greatest fires.”

    In reality, we advocate for issues outlined in our Directory of Public Policies and Position Statements, including the following: civic engagement, resiliency, mass transit, tort reform, regulation, the business of architecture, environmental responsibility, diversity + inclusion, accessibility, housing, historic preservation, and livable communities to name a few priorities. For example, AIA Virginia was instrumental in the passing of a bill that requires all school projects to be reviewed for security and crime prevention through building design elements during the 2019 General Assembly. Since 2018, our members’ perception of the PAC has shifted, and the PAC’s value is being recognized through increased investments. This investment is allowing AIA Virginia to begin shifting to advancing many of these issues.

  4. Why is this now just coming up? The PAC has been around for some time and everything has seemed to be going alright.
    The PAC is unique in that members participate voluntarily, yet the benefits impact everyone in our profession. AIA VA’s PAC initiative is the only equitable way to fully support the many elements of advocacy. Prior to 2018, less than 3% of our membership invested in the PAC. Though this number has improved since last year, it is far from reaching a level that is meaningful and sustainable. As such, 100% of the 2020 dues increase will be transferred to the PAC unless one decides to opt-out.

    In March 2019, a survey of 2,338 AIA Virginia members and allied members garnered nearly a 20% response rate. The responses clearly indicated the value of advocacy to members. Surveys have also shown that members desire the AIA to be more instrumental in the public realm and proactively promote the value of architects and architecture. Our PAC is the first step in building relationships with policymakers and those who have influence over our profession and the built environment.

  5. I thought a portion of my dues went to Government Advocacy. Tell me again, what is this for?
    Currently, a portion of your AIA Virginia dues goes toward paying lobbyist fees and day-to-day business operations of performing advocacy. Today, no portion of your dues goes to supporting political candidates for elected office or legislators currently in office. Support of those individuals is provided through the PAC.

  6. How do you decide which candidates to support?
    The PAC Board of Trustees, which consists of AIA members, develops a Disbursement Plan using counsel from our lobbyist team at Williams Mullen. Primarily, we focus on individuals who sit on the House and Senate General Laws Committees and members of the House and Senate leadership. Many bills that impact the profession of architecture land in the General Laws Committee. This does not mean that other Committees are unimportant; we strategically contribute to members on other Committees as our available PAC member investments allow.

  7. Does the AIA Virginia PAC benefit candidates for national office or U.S. House and Senate legislators?
    No. AIA National has a PAC called ArchiPAC, which supports legislators in the U.S. House and Senate as well as candidates for national office—a completely different undertaking than the AIA Virginia PAC. The AIA Virginia PAC is used to support legislators in the Virginia House of Delegates and Virginia Senate as well as candidates for state office.

  8. How much money do you need in the PAC to be successful?
    Based on our Disbursement Plan, which targets primarily the House and Senate General Laws Committees and House and Senate leadership, a minimum of $30,000 annually is required to be impactful and proactive. As we continue to mature in the legislative arena and proactively advocate for issues in accordance with AIA VA’s Directory of Public Policies and Position Statements, more money is required annually. This is because many of those issues fall with Committees outside of General Laws.

    A meaningful contribution from an organization our size ranges from $500 to $1,500, depending on the legislator’s rank and influence. Our 2019 Disbursement Plan consists of 36 individuals and 5 caucus events. Our PAC goal for this year is $35,000. The PAC Opt-In is estimated to generate $20,000 annually. This alone is insufficient. AIA Virginia will still require additional PAC investments to be successful.

  9. Before this proposed PAC initiative, how much did the PAC generate previously?
    In 2015 and 2016, the PAC generated an amount of money equivalent to less than $1.50 per AIA Virginia member. In 2017, AIA Virginia members invested just over $6,833. In the same year, PACs representing engineers and contractors each ranged from $50,000 to $65,000. This is a factor of 10! AIA Virginia’s historic levels of PAC participation are unsustainable for ensuring the health of our profession in the state.

    In 2018, AIA Virginia developed and implemented a multi-pronged strategy to communicate the value and importance of the PAC to members. It worked! Last year, we are proud to say AIA Virginia members and firms invested nearly $22,000.

  10. Are there any other AIA state components that do this?
    Yes. However, PAC laws vary from state to state. In 2018, the Board of Directors undertook extensive research and planning to position themselves to take action this August. Part of the process included discussions with state components that allocate a portion of their dues to a PAC in a similar way such as AIA Georgia, AIA Illinois, and AIA New Jersey.

  11. You all lean a little too heavily toward one particular party for my liking. How much money did you give to Democrats vs. Republicans?
    The AIA Virginia PAC is non-partisan. Contributions to one political party may be greater than the other in any given year due to the composition of the General Laws Committees. The political party in power will have more individuals on any respective Committee [not just General Laws] and also Chair committees. As of 2019, the House and Senate are both narrowly controlled by Republicans. As such, our 2019 Disbursement Plan has allocated $15,500 to Republicans and $12,500 to Democrats.

  12. Do you support AIA members that run for state office?
    Yes, and we encourage it! In 2019, one of our members ran for the 57th District House seat. Through our PAC, we were able to invest $1,225 in this member.

  13. Do I get a check back for the amount of the dues increase if I decide not to allocate it as a PAC investment?
    By Virginia law, an organization cannot mandate that you contribute to a PAC. As such, AIA Virginia will allow those who wish to not invest in the PAC to have their dues increase go to the organization’s General Operating Fund. No rebates will be issued.

  14. Will this allocation to the PAC occur annually?
    Currently, the plan is to defer a portion of dues money to the PAC annually starting in 2020. A member will ALWAYS have the option to move that portion to the General Operating Fund instead. This allocation does not always mean dues will be raised by an established amount. For example, in the absence of a dues increase, the intent to make a PAC deferral from membership dues remains.