“We are more fulfilled when we are involved in something bigger than ourselves.” John Glenn
I am honored to have served as president-elect in 2016 as staff and the board collaboratively imagined what AIA Virginia could look like in 2020. I was taken by the collective energy in the room and the passion for our profession and our organization. I truly am humbled and honored to serve now as your 2017 President and my road map for 2017 is to guide the implementation of the Strategic Plan through my term.
My introduction to the AIA was through Edgar C. Beery Jr. FAIA in 1984 and I continue to find it to be such a wonderful community of people and resource for professional practice. Through this, I have come to ask myself the question of “How do I make a difference?” Whether it is making a difference in the community, at work or on a personal level the approach is not too different.
Recognize your beliefs and passions, be sincere, and be involved. Serve the community by first; educating yourself, second; contributing to the body of work and knowledge and consequently; volunteering your time to better our profession. I am committed to guiding the association’s continuing momentum to be member focused and reinvented as an effective and efficient organization. I pledge to “speak up” and advocate for our profession, and the communities we are part of, guided by the principles of the Virginia Accord. I truly believe that only through being personally engaged in the AIA can we accomplish great things as the AIA.
My passions are;
Advocating for the profession,
Leadership development and mentorship of those aspiring to rise, and
Enhancing the membership experience
There is much work to do to make our organization what we imagine it to be. There will be change, some easy and some difficult. I see myself as facilitator, advocate, and champion of the organization
In 2016 significant transformation in our organization was led by our President, Nick Vlattas, AIA 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 this last year with five goals:
- Elevate public awareness by positioning architects as vital contributors to our built environment.
- Advance the knowledge and expertise of members.
- Advocate for the profession.
- Implement a communication program that informs and facilitates connections.
- Become a model of a strong nonprofit and vibrant membership organization.
Highlights for next year include;
ART OF PRACTICE FORUM
The inaugural Art of Practice will be a one day conference presented by AIA Virginia designed to build skills required by the practice of our profession. Topics for discussion will include firm culture, marketing, new technology trends, and how to grow your practice. With relevant content for both small and large firms, no matter what stage in your career, we are sure there will be something for everyone. See you March 31, 2017, for this exciting conference!
As we structure our programs and services in 2017, 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
We will continue to work to create a healthy business environment for the architects in the Commonwealth. Raise the awareness of Citizen Architects and encourage members to be involved in their communities. We must create a more robust AIA VA PAC that is in line with other organizations to support those legislators that have a proven track record working with us in alignment with our priorities.
Continue the support and encouragement of emerging leaders. Strategically engage with ELA alumnae in order to encourage networking, engagement, and the future growth of the citizen architect program. The voice of emerging leaders must be heard.
In summary, I am proud to be a part of this group of thought leaders and staff members that are diligently working collaboratively in your best interest to make these ideas actionable to the benefit of our members. 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.
Bill Brown, AIA