It was just 14 short months ago that we gathered in the Jefferson Hotel a few blocks from here to celebrate the 100th anniversary of AIA Virginia. On that glorious September day, I was inspired as we heard the minutes read from our organization’s first meeting held in 1914 followed by the reading of the names of all the presidents that served during our first century.
It made me think back to the early days of my career, three years following graduation and starting a small practice with my
partners. Achieving membership in The American Institute of Architects was a milestone in my life. AIA was such a wonderful resource for professional practice and for connections with colleagues. AIA was a gift!
Today I stand before you humbled and honored to serve as the 2016 President of our esteemed organization, AIA Virginia, with joy and hope that I can continue to give back to the profession in a meaningful way.
In 2015, the first year of our second hundred years, as reported earlier, significant transformation in our organization was led by our President, Valerie Hassett, FAIA and our Executive Vice President/CEO Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA with support from an exceptional Board of Directors and a deeply committed and dedicated staff. There was significant collaboration with leadership from our five local components and with AIA National as the institute repositions itself for the fast-changing practice of architecture.
It is my hope to build upon the firm foundation of the last century and of this year with four pillars of focus:
- First, I want AIA Virginia to be financially responsible to ensure operational sustainability and success.
- Second, I want membership in AIA Virginia to be of significant value to its members.
- Third, I want to see that our programs and services are relevant to our fast changing profession.
- Finally, I hope to celebrate the prosperity of our members.
As we structure our programs and services in 2016, I also believe that we can build upon the principles of the VIRGINIA ACCORD. Shortly after the Centennial Celebration, under the leadership of then AIA Virginia President and Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, Jack Davis FAIA, the VIRGINIA ACCORD brought together planning, design, construction, and real estate disciplines to examine key themes critical to our future in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VIRGINIA ACCORD recognized the excellent contributions of the past century and offered our promise for the future with five guiding principles:
- Commitment to contributing to job creation and a growing and thriving economy
- Commitment to constructing environmentally sustainable buildings
- Commitment to public health
- Commitment to systems of mass transit
- Commitment to responsible land development and urban infill
There are a couple of other items I would like to highlight for next year.
Design Forum XII will take place in April at the recently completed Slover Library in Norfolk Virginia. If you haven’t seen the Slover Library, I know you will be inspired by the building. The overarching topic is TRANSFPRMATION: THE CHANGING POINT. The forum will explore how design itself is transformed in the wake of a changing climate and how meaningful changes are enacted by design. Confirmed speakers are from OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), Kieran Timberlake, and Playlab.
Every three years AIA Virginia revisits its Strategic Plan so I am looking forward to that effort in the year ahead. Our mission is to be the voice of the architecture profession in the Commonwealth, dedicated to serving our members and through a culture of innovation, AIA Virginia empowers its members, advances their value, and inspires the creation of a better built environment.
In summary, I am proud to have graduated from Virginia Tech where our motto is UT PROSIM, THAT I MAY SERVE.
That I have been a Rotarian for over thirty years living by a motto of SERVICE ABOVE SELF.
And further, that I have strong faith that my Creator put me on this earth to DO GOOD WORKS and to HELP ONE ANOTHER.
It is with that frame of mind and with that spirit in my heart, working with my colleagues that I embark on the year ahead as a servant leader to the members of AIA Virginia. Thank you.
Nick Vlattas, AIA