It’s a Wrap: Art of Practice 2021

More than 70 firm leaders came together online on Aug. 4 to exchange ideas, enjoy fellowship, and learn at the third biennial Art of Practice business symposium.

The program kicked off with a talk from Carole Wedge, FAIA, the CEO of Shepley Bulfinch, and the 2020 AIA Edward C. Kemper Award winner. She spoke about her professional journey from the mailroom to CEO and her approach to leadership. Following her talk, she had a conversation about the future of the profession with Rasheda Tripp, AIA, an Architect at Guernsey Tingle; Simone Saidel, AIA, a Project Architect at HGA Architects and Engineers; and Michael Spory, Assoc. AIA a Designer at VMDO Architects. They explored how the disruptions of 2020 revealed new opportunities to engage and empower teams.

Next up, we heard from a series of experts about what’s on the horizon for practice — from emerging technologies, trends in risk management and decarbonization, and the latest developments in employment law. Then, attendees talked about what they heard during our firm roundtable breakout sessions.

We closed out the day with a lively economic update and Q&A session with the AIA’s chief economist Kermit Baker, Ph.D.

Art of Practice: What’s Next

The third biennial Art of Practice event is intended to cultivate leadership skills, identify solutions to common business problems, and fuel collaboration across the profession. With a focus on “what’s next” for the profession, current and aspiring firm leaders will hear timely, relevant, actionable advice on how to grow and sustain their businesses.

Featured Speakers:

Carole Wedge, FAIA
CEO of Shepley Bulfinch | Immediate Past Chair of AIA National Large Firm Roundtable
2020 National AIA Edward C. Kemper Award winner

Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA
Chief Economist, The American Institute of Architects

Nathan King, DDes
Co-Director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Design Research | Technology Centers Senior Strategic Relationships Manager at Autodesk

Yvonne Castillo, Esq.
Vice President and Director of Risk Management at Victor US

Karen Elliott
Labor and Employment Law expert at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott

Kathy Blanchard, CIC, RPLU
Professional Liability Consultant and Senior Vice President with McGriff

With keynote conversation moderators

Rasheda Tripp, AIA
Architect at GuernseyTingle

Simone Saidel, AIA
Project Architect, HGA Architects and Engineers

Michael Spory, Assoc. AIA
Designer, VMDO Architects

And, Firm Roundtable Moderators

Tim Colley, AIA – Small Firm Roundtable
President, Colley Architects, PC

Andrew McKinley, AIA – Mid-Sized Firm Roundtable
Principal, Via Design

Paul Battaglia, AIA – Large Firm Roundtable
Principal, Clark Nexsen

Learn more.

Tickets
AIA members: $60
Assoc. AIA member: $25
Non-members: $100

Earn 4.24 AIA LU.

Register Below


 

Art of Practice: What’s Next

Registration is now open for the third biennial Art of Practice event from 1-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. Held virtually, the half-day program, kicked off by a keynote address from Carole Wedge, FAIA, is intended to cultivate leadership skills, identify solutions to common business problems, and fuel collaboration across the profession. With a focus on “what’s next” for the industry, current and aspiring firm leaders will hear timely, relevant, actionable advice on how to grow and sustain their businesses.

About the Keynote Speaker

Carole Wedge, FAIA

Carole Wedge, FAIA | CEO, Shepley Bulfinch
2020 AIA Edward C. Kemper Award winner
Immediate Past
Chair, AIA Large Firm Roundtable

Carole Wedge, FAIA, LEED AP, is CEO of Shepley Bulfinch, a national design firm with offices in Boston, Hartford, Houston, and Phoenix. Since 2014, she has led the firm’s evolution and growth into an innovative organization with an open and diverse culture.

Throughout her career in architecture and advocacy in the wider community, Carole has sought to challenge conventions and incite organizations to become more transparent and diverse. Her dynamic and collaborative leadership has powerfully impacted cornerstone institutions — from higher education and civic organizations to the architectural industry. In 2009, she was one of seven women from the Boston Women Principals Group to pilot the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit. She has also been recognized with the Boston Society of Architects’ Women in Design Award. Carole is a member of Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission, a member of the board of trustees for Boston Architectural College and a board member of Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Following Carole’s talk, she’ll be joined by Rasheda Tripp, AIA, an Architect at GuernseyTingle; Simone Saidel, AIA, a Project Architect at HGA Architects and Engineers; and Michael Spory, Assoc. AIA a Designer at VMDO Architects, for a conversation about the future of the profession and a Q&A with the audience.

Other program highlights:

Economic Forecast

Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA
The AIA’s Chief Economist will share the latest economic forecast along with insights on infrastructure spending and supply chain issues.

What’s Next: Ignite
Experts in tech, employment law, and risk management share rapid-fire insights about what’s on the horizon for the profession.

Speakers

Nathan King, DDes
Nathan King is Co-Director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Design Research (CDR) and teaches courses in Architecture, Industrial Design, Construction, and Engineering-related disciplines. Prior to Virginia Tech, Nathan taught at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the Rhode Island school of Design, and the University of Innsbruck’s Institute for Experimental Architecture. He is also the Senior Industry Engagement Manager for the Autodesk Technology Centers focusing on Architecture, Engineering and Construction, where he develops applied research collaborations relating to industrialized construction and automation technologies.

Yvonne Castillo, Esq. | Decarbonization Trends and Impacts on the Design Industry
Yvonne Castillo is Vice President & Director, Risk Management with Victor US. She is an architecture-degreed lawyer with 22 years of experience. She began her law practice as a judicial law clerk and then a trial lawyer and later became the Chief In-House Lobbyist and General Counsel for the American Institute of Architects, Texas Chapter. After almost 10 years, she worked at AIA National Headquarters and supported all state government affairs programs with research, analysis, and programming that connected state components with common issues and strategies.

Karen Elliott | Labor and Employment
Karen Elliott focuses her practice at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott on labor and employment law and commercial litigation matters. She strives to provide practical legal advice to help employers craft reasonable business solutions for their human resource challenges. Her clients span all sizes, from start-ups to the Fortune 500. As a labor and employment lawyer, Karen helps clients navigate the alphabet soup of the 40 or more employment laws from the ADA, FMLA, GINA, OSHA to USERRA, and the myriad federal agencies such as DOL, EEOC, and NLRB.

Kathy Blanchard, CIC, RPLU | Risk Management
A familiar name to many in Virginia, Kathy Blanchard is a Professional Liability Consultant and Senior Vice President with McGriff. She leads McGriff’s design professional liability practice group for the mid-Atlantic.

Firm Roundtable Discussions

Following these info-packed talks, attendees will join breakout sessions moderated by our Small, Mid-sized, and Large Firm Roundtable chairs. With a focus on peer-to-peer sharing, discuss common challenge and share solutions.

Tickets
AIA members: $60
Assoc. AIA member: $25
Non-members: $100

Aug. 4, 2021 from 1-5:30 p.m. Earn 4.25 AIA LU|Elective


Art of Practice

The second biennial Art of Practice is intended to elevate the business skills of firm leaders and cultivate connections between peers in a comfortable, retreat-like atmosphere. The day-long program takes place at the Winery at Bull in Northern Virginia.

Both seasoned and emerging leaders will come together to share and learn best practices, advance their business skills, and form a lasting network of peers.

Please join us in thanking our generous sponsors:

Pella Windows of Virginia
Hinge Marketing
VMDO Architects
MEB General Contractors

Art of Practice Agenda Announced

Current and future firm leaders from across the Commonwealth will converge on March 22, 2019, at the Winery at Bull Run for the second biennial Art of Practice summit. The program is intended to cultivate leadership skills, identify solutions to common business problems, and fuel collaboration across the profession.

Registration is now open for the day-long event in Northern Virginia. The venue was selected to nurture a retreat-like atmosphere and to encourage relationship building among peers. In keeping with this notion, space is extremely limited, so early registration is strongly encouraged. Tickets are available to members only and are $125 (lunch is included). Participants can earn 6 learning units.

Art of Practice is sponsored by:

Pella Windows of Virginia
Hinge Marketing
VMDO Architects
MEB General Contractors

About the Program

Advanced Communications Training
Effective communication skills are critical the success of any business leader. Take part in an intensive leadership communications program — developed specifically for architects — that was designed to improve your public speaking and storytelling skills. Learn advanced presentation techniques and discover more about your personal style and delivery. Come away with an understanding of how facial expression, eye contact, hand and body movement, and voice impact your message.

Lunchtime Roundtable Discussions
The learning doesn’t stop when we break for lunch. Taking a cue from the most popular part of AIA Virginia’s Firm Roundtable meetings, we’ve reserved time for peer-to-peer learning. Discover best practices and share your experiences with colleagues while you enjoy a catered lunch (carefully paired with sparkling water or a glass of Bull Run’s finest).

Employee Recruitment and Retention
Firm leaders are telling us that their biggest challenge right now is finding and hiring the right talent. Hear emerging research from the AEC industry and discover best practices for employee recruitment and retention.

Moderated Leadership Transition Panel Discussion
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Whether your firm is facing the retirement of a key leader, a merger, or simply considering how to nurture the next generation of principals, leadership transitions can often take years — even with advance planning and management. Hear how your colleagues faced a host of issues and positioned their firms for success in the face of change.

Lodging

A limited room block is held nearby at the Hyatt Place Chantilly. Make reservations online or call the Reservations Center at 1-888-591-1234 using the group code G-AIAE. Complimentary shuttle service is available for those who wish to stay afterward and a enjoy tasting.


About the Art of Practice

The biennial Art of Practice was launched in 2017 with the purpose of providing current and aspiring firm leaders and with timely, relevant, actionable advice on how to grow and sustain their businesses.

Read the key takeaways from the 2017 event and see the photo gallery.

Practice Conference Takes Place on March 22

Registration is now open for AIA Virginia’s second biennial Art of Practice. The day-long event, which takes place on March 22, is intended to cultivate connections between peers in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.

Both seasoned and emerging leaders will come together at the Winery at Bull Run in Northern Virginia to share and learn best practices, advance their business skills, and form a lasting network of peers.

Participants in the program will consider the following questions:

  • In the face of a changing economy, what are smart firms doing to prepare for the future?
  • What are the leading trends that will impact practice?
  • What role should the AIA play in supporting firm leaders?

As the Board of Directors developed the current Strategic Plan, it was clear from member feedback that there was a desire for programming, tools, and resources to help elevate the business skills of AIA Virginia members. In response to that need, the Art of Practice was launched in 2017 with the explicit purpose of providing current and aspiring firm leaders and with timely, relevant, actionable advice on how to grow and sustain their businesses.

Registration is open to AIA members only.

Read the key takeaways from the 2017 event and see the photo gallery.

Sponsored by:

Pella Windows of Virginia
Hinge Marketing
VMDO Architects
MEB General Contractors