Although the pandemic is not over, folks are returning to restaurants, movie theaters, churches, and ballgames as Covid restrictions have loosened.  We are transitioning to something different, still to be defined.  Are we returning to a sense of normalcy that we are used to, the “way things were”, or moving toward something new?  I think too much has changed to return to the way things were.  

Sean Reilly, AIA

If we are moving forward, what are we moving forward towards?   Moving towards something new is unique and personal. Consider the return to the office.  Some of us are ready to return to the office and in-person meetings without any restrictions, others want to return only with certain restrictions, some aren’t ready to return and prefer to continue to work at home, while still others prefer a hybrid model that combines working at home with working at the office.

From the crisis, we have changed, for better, or worse.  We can slide backward, or we can create something new.  AIA Virginia is creating something new with Board Governance changes that will propel our organization forward to a more impactful future. 

  • Through numerous outreach efforts with our local components, it was evident that there was clear support for Phase 1 of the Secretary Advisory Committee’s recommendations for creating a new, more efficient and inclusive Board Governance structure. A special meeting of the membership was held on June 3, 2021 and those recommendations were overwhelmingly approved with a 69-5 vote. 
  • The key component of Phase 1 is the separation of the four Advisory Councils (Advocacy, Education, Outreach and Members Services) from the Board of Directors.
  • Advisory Councils will be populated by members who are passionate about that area of work through a self-nomination process, thus providing new opportunities for leadership.
  • Each Council will consist of up to nine members and select its own Chair.
  • Refer to the Call for Council Nominations article included in this Newsletter for more information. 

It is very exciting to consider the potential impact the four Councils will have in shaping the future of our profession in Virginia.  There are no limits to what we can accomplish through working together in the Councils that will begin work in January.

This period of transition out of the crisis to a better future is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new beginning.  Individually, each of us can choose to move forward and create something new in our lives and careers. It is a journey that requires our imagination and persistence, one day at a time.

What we need is the opportunity to learn what takes us forward to create a positive impact on our families, friends, firms, and the communities we live in.   Let’s move forward together with the courage to create a better-built environment and a healthier, more just world for all people.

Sean E. Reilly, AIA
AIA Virginia 2021 President