Keesha Ezell and Sean Golden will be recognized by AIA Virginia with Honorary Membership for their sustained commitment and tireless work on behalf of the Commonwealth’s architects. Honorary Membership is bestowed upon a person of esteemed character who is not eligible for membership in AIA Virginia but who has rendered distinguished and exemplary service, over a sustained period of time, to architecture and the built environment within the domain of AIA Virginia.
Ezell, director of finance for AIA Virginia, joined the organization in 2014 during a time of transition. AIA Virginia’s CFO had just retired, and the EVP/CEO was on sabbatical as the organization searched for his replacement. In addition to seamlessly stepping into managing AIA Virginia’s finance and accounting responsibilities, she consistently found ways to streamline processes to increase efficiency and improve financial transparency — always in a timely manner and with a friendly smile.
Her responsibilities extended to the accounting needs of AIA Virginia, the AIA Virginia PAC, and the Virginia Foundation for Architecture, and she juggled them with ease. In 2016, she began supporting AIA Richmond’s financial accounting as well. She has offered her guidance and support to finance and audit committee members as well as treasurers for each entity she serves. Ezell has shown herself to be an asset to the architecture community in Virginia through her exemplary service. A woman of great faith, she is also a licensed pastor.
Attorney Sean Golden, who recently moved from private practice to an in-house counsel position at AECOM, has served Virginia’s architects in both a professional and volunteer capacity for more than a decade. He continues as a member of AIA Richmond’s Community & Government Affairs Committee and has offered numerous presentations on best practices for contract negotiations and other risk reduction topics.
As an attorney, Golden has provided many firms with legal assistance, resulting in judgements that have benefited the architecture profession as a whole. Much of his law practice consisted of assisting architects and engineers with drafting and negotiating their service contracts and other agreements. In court he has defended architects from error and omission claims and prosecuted claims on behalf of architects to recover unpaid fees. Golden developed a particular expertise regarding copyright law as it relates to the practice and represented a Richmond firm in a lawsuit alleging infringement of the firm’s design for the adaptive reuse of the John Marshall Hotel. The case is believed to be the first reported court decision extending copyright protection to the design of an adaptive reuse.
These new honorary members will be recognized at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and online.