On June 6, 2014, the Board of Directors unanimously accepted the recommendation of the Search Committee to appoint Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, to the position of Executive Vice President/CEO of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects upon the retirement of the current EVP John Braymer, Ph. D., Hon. AIA, at the end of the year. Her contract was signed during the Sept. 17 meeting of the Board of Directors on the Society’s centennial anniversary.
“The Virginia Society AIA has a history of developing responsive and innovative programs for its members and the profession,” says Dreiling. “I look forward to continuing that legacy of leadership, with a focus on enriching the member experience while elevating awareness of architects and architecture.”
Dreiling — who is an accomplished architect and Fellow of the AIA — has followed a career path largely beyond the bounds of traditional architectural practice. She has worked in several not-for-profit settings including The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and as a staff Vice President for The American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C.
Her service to the profession is significant and remarkable. She is a past president of AIA Blue Ridge and recipient of their Award for Distinguished Service. Dreiling is also a Virginia Society AIA past president, a Noland Medalist, and Distinguished Achievement Award recipient. Her service at the national level includes 2014 President; Past 1st VP, Secretary, VP, and Regional Director. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Virginia Center for Architecture, a position she will continue to hold.
Throughout her AIA experience, Dreiling visited dozens of AIA local and state components, facilitating member town hall meetings, helping to resolve challenges, and assisting in the restructuring of numerous Component Boards. This work gave her deep insight into the strengths and weaknesses of a wide range of AIA Components.
Her professional background and volunteer service provide her with substantial non-profit management experience, uniquely suited to the role of EVP/CEO of the Society.