R. Corey Clayborne, FAIA, NOMA, MBA

Corey Clayborne currently serves as the Executive Vice President of AIA Virginia. In this position, he has the responsibility of ensuring the success of the Advocacy, Education, Communications, and Member Services portfolios. Corey has been recognized by the AIA at the local, state and national levels. In 2017, he was an AIA Young Architects Award recipient and named to Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40 class. His volunteer service has spanned across a multitude of roles for all levels of AIA, several NCARB Committees, and an appointment to Virginia’s regulatory Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, Landscape Architects by Governor Terry McAuliffe. Corey is an architect licensed to practice in Virginia who worked in private practice for 13 years serving as a project manager for local, state, and federal clients before taking the chief executive position at AIA Virginia.

Where did you go to college?

Virginia Tech for a B.Arch
Liberty University for a Master in Business Administration with a Public Administration cognate

Would you recommend studying architecture to a young person?

Absolutely! Architecture teaches you how to think systematically and how to problem solve. These two skills are extremely valuable across a variety of career spectrums. Whether one pursues the traditional architecture path with his or her degree or moving to a non-traditional path – like I did – you can be a valuable asset to our world.

What does it take to be an architect?

Discipline, perseverance, and the drive to make positive change. The path to licensure is not easy: Education, Experience, and Examination. And it is not intended to be as the responsibility of an architect to the public is great. However, when you reach that milestone, your creations – whether design or policy – touches many lives.

Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?

Not while I was growing up or in college. However, when I entered the professional field, I was adopted by several architects within the firm. They took me under their wing and much of my career success is attributed to these individuals. This is the power of mentorship.

What are you currently reading?

I honestly don’t find reading fun which does not diminish its importance. I’m not a fast reader and I often get drowsy while doing it.

My goal is to read more, about 10 minutes each day. I’m currently making my way through the latest Virginia Business magazine to keep up with what is happening in our Commonwealth. One of my friends is being featured in this particular publication. He put Danville on the map in terms of economic development and just took the Economic Development Director position in Arlington. It’s great to see your friends being blessed for their hard work.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

Tough question. There is not a clear-cut favorite so I’ll tell you the best cocktail I have had. Get the “Old Fashion” at the newly renovated Cavalier in Virginia Beach. They put it in a smoke box which takes the cocktail to whole new level. I experienced it on a CEO retreat with other association colleagues. We all had more than one. Or two.

Why do you work for the AIA?

Once in a lifetime opportunity. Over 2,500 members have put their faith in my vision, my team, and our organization to make our profession increasingly more relevant each day.

Meet Robert L. Easter, NOMAC, FAIA

Robert L. Easter, AIA, NOMA, assumed the role as chair of the Department of Architecture at Hampton University in September 2008. He has overseen the reaccreditation effort of the professional program, securing a six-year affirmation of the program’s standing with the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Professionally, he is President of KEi architects (formerly Kelso & Easter, Incorporated) in Richmond, Virginia. A graduate (Bachelor of Architecture) of Hampton University, he also holds a Master of Architecture degree in Architecture / Urban Design from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. He is an ordained minister and has done extensive graduate studies at the Divinity School at Howard University. His initial registration is in the state of Maryland, and he is licensed to practice architecture in Virginia and the District of Columbia. He holds certification with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and his firm holds active registrations in twelve states and Quebec, Canada. He began practicing architecture in 1977 in Baltimore, Maryland where he served as a Project Architect and designer for Ford & Associates, Inc. He also worked with the New River Valley Planning District Commission as a staff Architect and taught Architectural Technology for the Northern Virginia Community College. Following a four-year tour of duty in the US Army Corps of Engineers, he founded the Easter Design Center, later merging with John Kelso to form Kelso & Easter, Architects serving the Washington, DC metropolitan area. They were incorporated in 1985 and opened an office in Richmond, Virginia in 1987. In 2001, Mr. Kelso retired, and the entire operation was consolidated to the Richmond office.

Mr. Easter is active in community, civic and professional activities. He has twice served as a Director for the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects and is now the chair of the City of Richmond Board of Code Appeals and a board member of the Metropolitan Business League. His other civic involvements have included: board member Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau for the City of Richmond, Board member of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Board chair of the and is a member of the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council. He has served as a board member for the Commonwealth Girl Scout Council of Virginia, Freedom House, Social Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation; Member, Woodley-Nightingale Land-use Task Force, Fairfax County; Member (and former Chair), Architectural Alumni Committee, Hampton University; Board of Directors, Richmond Opportunities Industrialization Center, Richmond, VA; the Board of Directors, Greater Metropolitan Richmond Literacy Council, and as a member of the Northern Virginia Minority Business & Professional Association.

In 1992 he was elected as the fifteenth president of the National Organization of Minority Architects and has been a vigorous advocate for increased minority participation in the public and private sector building industry. During his tenure, NOMA worked to increase opportunities for its members throughout the nation. International engagements included a tour to South Africa where he served on a mission to bridge relationships between black and white architects and assisted in the formation of the Association of Black Architects in that nation, a sister organization to NOMA, during the transition from apartheid to democratic rule. His work, both civic and professional has been recognized in local and national print media, including NOMANews, the New York Times, Metropolitan Magazine, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Richmond Free Press, Progressive Architecture Magazine and Inform Magazine.

Where did you go to college?
I attended Hampton University for undergraduate work and Virginia Tech for graduate school.

Would you recommend studying architecture to a young person? Absolutely. As an educator and practitioner, I believe that the work we do makes a difference

What does it take to be an architect?
Passion, creativity, determination and opportunity.

Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?
I only knew two architects before attending school: John Spencer, FAIA, who was the dean of Architecture at Hampton University (and a friend of our family), and Bert Berenson, who was Mr. Spencer’s predecessor (whom my mother worked for). Since beginning my career, I am inspired by a number of great architects, including John Chase, Wendell Campbell, and John Kelso. Stylistically, my favorite was the Japanese American design icon, Minoru Yamasaki.

What are you currently reading?
I am reading Slaves in the Family, by Edward Ball.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
The next one. Every meal is good. I love food.

Why do you volunteer with the AIA?
It is an opportunity to serve our profession and to share a perspective that is not always considered. It is an opportunity to make a connection between the profession and students who need to know that our profession welcomes them.

Region of The Virginias Fellows Fête 2020

As recommendations to protect public health rapidly evolve, we believe it is prudent to postpone the Fellows Fete. AIA Virginia will be working with our vendors and venue to identify a new date for this event. We will be in touch with ticket holders as soon as details can be finalized. Refunds will be available for those who are not able to join us for the rescheduled event.

American Institute of Architects College of Fellows Region of The Virginias cordially invites you to the 2020 Fellows Fête.

Saturday, March 28, 2020
6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

1635 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220

Attire is Black Tie.

Join us for cocktails, dinner, and a celebration of our new fellows!

R. Corey Clayborne, FAIA (AIA Richmond)
Robert L. Easter, FAIA
(AIA Richmond)
H. Randolph Holmes Jr., FAIA
(AIA Richmond)
Gregory L. Rutledge, FAIA
(AIA Hampton Roads)
W. Kenneth Wiseman, FAIA
(AIA Nothern Virginia)

Purchase Tickets>> Ticket sales are currently suspended.

Read about the Historic Rehabilitation of this building done by Robert Steele, FAIA and BOB Architecture>>

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Richmond. Make reservations online or call 1-804-672-8585 and ask for the American Institute Architects group rate. DISCOUNT ENDS MARCH 11th.

Carpooling from the hotel is recommended. There are limited parking spaces at Mobelux and street parking available on Broad Street in front of the building.

Thank you to our sponsors

Pella Windows of Virginia

Show your support for this event through sponsorships. Contact Judy Cheadle, jcheadle@aiava.org for more information.

If you have any trouble purchasing tickets, contact Cathy Guske, cguske@aiava.org.

Meet Michael Bednar, FAIA

Michael Bednar, FAIA, is a Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia as well as Partner in Bednar Lawson Architects in Charlottesville.


University of Virginia, School of Architecture
Assistant Professor of Architecture; 1972-1975
Associate Professor of Architecture; 1975-2007
Professor of Architecture; 2007-2009
Professor Emeritus of Architecture, 2009-present
Co-Chairman, Division of Architecture, January 1976-June 1981
Associate Dean for Academic Programs, January 1992-1995,
Acting Associate Dean for Students, Spring 2006
Director of Undergraduate Advising, 2007-2009
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, School of Architecture and Center for
Architecture research (joint appointment) Assistant Professor of
Architecture; September 1968-June 1972


The Role of the Physical Environment in the Education of Children with Learning Disabilities, Center for Architectural Research 1969 (with D. S. Haviland).

Architecture for the Handicapped in Denmark, Sweden and Holland, Architectural Research Laboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1973.

Barrier Free Environments, Editor: Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, Stroudsburg, PA 1977.

Facilities for Special Education Services, Council for Exceptional Children, Reston, VA 1979 (with A. Abend, V.J. Froehlinger, Y. Stanzler).

“Architectural Planning for Special Education,” in Handbook of Special Education, J. M. Kauffman, D. P. Callahan, Editors, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1981.

The New Atrium, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1989.

Interior Pedestrian Places, Whitney Library of Design, New York, 1989.

“Urban Atriums” Chapter 6.1 in Time Saver Standards for Urban Design edited by Donald Watson, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2003

L’Enfant’s Legacy: Public Open Spaces in Washington, D. C., Johns Hopkins
University Press, Baltimore, 2006

“John A. G. Davis House,” Magazine of Albemarle County History, Volume 72,

Where did you go to college?

Bachelor of Architecture, U. of Michigan 1964 (Tau Sigma Delta Honorary) Master of Architecture, U. of Pennsylvania 1967 (Louis Kahn Studio)

Would you recommend studying architecture to a young person?

I would recommend studying architecture because it is a diversified field with skills useful in many occupations.

What does it take to be an architect?

To be an architect it takes vision, organization, zeal, and discipline.

Was there an architect who particularly inspired you?

I. M. Pei inspired me as a student and I was fortunate to get a job in his office after graduation.

What are you currently reading?

I am reading the Power of Art by Simon Schama.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

Any pasta dish cooked and served in Italy is the best meal.

Meet Dale Ellickson, FAIA

I have been a licensed architect and attorney since 1975 and 1976 respectively. Elected to the College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects in 1991, I managed the publication of AIA’s Standard Documents for nearly 20 years. I have written for such publications as Architectural Record, AIA Journal, Architect, AIA Handbook of Professional Practice and ABA’s Real Property, Trusts, and Estates Journal. My blog, www.architects-tales.com and its 30+ stories about architects’ lives has a worldwide readership. I currently practice construction law as Senior Counsel to the Washington, DC branch of the Carlton Fields law firm

Who inspired you to become an architect?

It’s in my genes.

I wanted to become an architect since my pre-teens when I read about Frank Lloyd Wright, whose picture appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. It turned out that he came from Wisconsin as I did. In high school, I read his autobiography.

The truth be told – major decisions are made for the flimsiest of reasons.

I did not like English courses with their mandated exercises in writing on such themes as, “What did I do last summer?” I liked geometry, math, and the smell of sawdust. Early on, I got over the youthful desire to become a policeman, fireman, or cowboy. So, what were my choices? I decided that there was something in the essence of my being about sawdust. Although my father was a watchmaker, my family has a long line of Scandinavian carpenters who brought that skill from the Old World. Through genealogy research, I discovered that many of my cousins are carpenters, contractors and at least four living architects. My father’s ancestors came from the city of Skien, Norway, which so happens to have been the home of the playwright, Henrik Ibsen, who wrote the story Master Builder – about a carpenter who dearly wanted to achieve the status of an architect. According to my family’s lore, my Great-Aunt Aaget Eigildsdotter was a maid in the Ibsen household in the 19th century.

Indeed, it’s in my genes.

Where did you go to college?

Testing the waters at the local University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse, I took a semester in calculus – wrongly following the common misconception that architecture requires a lot of math. I then transferred to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to join a herd of 6,000 incoming freshmen where I was educated as a modernist in the School of Architecture under Dean Ralph Rapson, who used a modified Bauhaus Vorkurs teaching method combined with Gropius’ teaming approach.. (At that time, Wisconsin did not have an undergraduate school of architecture due to strenuous resistance by establishment architects in Milwaukee who despised Frank Lloyd Wright and his school at Taliesin. That’s another story.) After graduating from Minnesota, I moved on through an odd sequence of events to enroll in Atlanta Law School. Read that part of the story in my blog’s article, No challenge too small or too great.

Would you recommend studying architecture?

If you like to visualize and dream about being involved with big projects, architecture may be for you. But first, do you know the difference between an architect and a professional engineer? See my blog’s most-read article, Architect or Engineer – What’s the difference? It astounds me how people are confused about that!

The following is an excerpt from a letter I recently wrote to a high school student who wants to be an architect.

“It is not too early to plan and prepare for college. Many schools require a portfolio of original drawings, paintings, etc. from the prospective student. Now is the time to assemble that portfolio. Taking an art class in high school or at a community center is very helpful in preparing and organizing such a portfolio.

As for schools of architecture, there are about 75 accredited schools in the United States where you can obtain a professional degree – usually bachelors of architecture (5 years) or masters of architecture (6 years) – which will enable the degree holder to obtain entrance to take the licensing exam. Some community colleges offer two-year associate degrees that might get you a job as a draftsman, but no license.

Since 1953 according to the AIA, the vast majority of the accredited schools have chosen to teach a form of modernism derived from Germany ’s Bauhaus school (1919-1933) where “form follows function.” Prior to that, the Beaux-Arts School of Paris (founded in 1797) was the model for the dominant teaching method – where design begins with the exterior visual composition or “big idea.” Very few American schools teach the Beaux-Arts method, today.

For more information on architects, I recommend obtaining the book, Architect? A Candid Guide to the Profession by Roger Lewis. He has a list of schools at the end of his book.”

What does it take to become an architect?

Similar to a general in battle, an architect is expected to assess a situation containing multiple factors, be quick decision-making about them to visualize a solution, and have the tenacity to pursue that vision.

What are your current readings?

My nightstand may have a half-dozen books on it, which means I seldom read a book with one sitting as I switch from one book to another to suit my interests and attention span. Thus, I am not a Kindle fan. I am still a hard copy user. I also tend towards non-fiction – so the books on my nightstand are:

  • The Holy Bible
  • Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe by J.R. Gott
  • Saxons. Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic roots of Britain and Ireland by Bryan Sykes
  • Exploring The Sky by Richard Moeschl
  • The JLC Guide to Production Carpentry

What was the best meal you’ve ever had?

My very first prime rib at a Christmas party in a fine Minneapolis restaurant hosted by Thomas Hendricks & Associate Architects where I worked as a junior draftsman during college. The steak was so well prepared that even the fat, which I still seldom eat, was delicious!

Why do you volunteer to work for the AIA?

Actually, I did work for the AIA as an employee. As a Fellow, I feel obliged to give back whatever I can to the profession. Architecture is still my first love.

Meet Robert Vickery, FAIA Emeritus

After graduating from Washington University with a Bachelor of Architecture, Robert Vickery traveled to Spain on a Fulbright Grant. In 1969, Bob was invited to join the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture as the Thomas Jefferson Visiting Professor in Architecture. During his three-decade tenure at UVA, Bob made an indelible mark on the University’s architecture program by helping to implement the school’s 4-2 architectural curriculum and by mentoring close to 4,000 students, both in Charlottesville and through travel programs in Venice and Vicenza, Italy.

Bob’s passion for education and providing opportunities for young architects was realized in professional practice in 1976 with the founding of VMDO Architects alongside three students – Robert Moje, Lawson Drinkard, and David Oakland.

Meet Mary P Cox, FAIA, FAUA, LEED AP

Where did you go to college?

Virginia Tech

Would you recommend studying architecture to a young person?

An enthusiastic Yes!  I spent a year in the College of Engineering but found the curriculum to allow little flexibility for exploration and creativity back in the 1980s when I was in school.  Architecture offered then, as it does now, much more freedom to define your own path for learning and to apply what you’ve learned in the studio.  I think an architecture degree confers multiple skills which can be used in lots of different fields. 

What does it take to be an architect?

It certainly takes determination and commitment since the path to licensure is a long one. It also takes mental dexterity to synthesize disparate concepts and to move nimbly from the general to the specific. I also think it takes curiosity and a certain eagerness for new discovery.

Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?

I was deeply inspired after having visited the Thorncrown Chapel in Arkansas by Fay Jones in the 1980s. 

What are you currently reading?

I always have several books going at once.  Right now I’m interested in exploring the nexus between the physical environment and human behavior. So I am reading some articles from a SCUP (Society of College and University Planners) publication, and “Why Architecture Matters” by Paul Goldberger and “American Places, in search of the twenty-first century campus by Perry Chapman” and “Mission and Place, strengthening learning and community through campus design” by Daniel Kenney, Ricardo Dumont and Ginger Kelly.  I”m very interested in social science and collecting evidence to support design decisions.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

One of the best meals I’ve ever had was a recent experience.  I had the pleasure of dining with friends for my birthday at a “farm to table” restaurant in Richmond’s Fan District called “The Broken Tulip” which included multiple courses of tapas-sized selections from the chef.  Each dish was carefully prepared and served, beautifully presented and savored with superb wine pairings.  That, together with the joy of friendship made it a memorable evening.

Why do you volunteer with the AIA? I had some very kind and nurturing mentors as a young architect and I want to “give back” to the profession just as they so generously gave of their time to guide me. I still have a mentor, Hugh Miller, who is a model for the architect I would like to become one day.  He maintains a strong level of interest in and dedication to the profession and still has a curiosity about so many things. Sometimes “cold calls” can be intimidating for us, but he is not afraid to reach out and explore those areas of interest and opportunity eagerly and amiably.  

Fellows Fete 2019

On Saturday, March 23, 2019, 56 Region of The Virginias Fellows and guests enjoyed dinner and networking at LeMeridien Arlington.

The 4 new Virginia Fellows were celebrated too! (Burt Pinnock was not able to attend)

Meet Jack Davis, FAIA

Jack Davis, FAIA has been a leader in architecture for more than forty years — representing the profession in Virginia, the middle-Atlantic region, nationally, and internationally. His insightful impact on the profession through service to the AIA as President of AIA Virginia, Invited Member of the AIA Large Firm Roundtable, as well as Vice President of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, has blended his professional and academic experiences to the benefit of the future of the profession in a most profound way.

Jack served as President of AIA Virginia in its centennial year. In doing so, he laid out a vision for the next 100 years through his development of the Virginia Accord. The symposium gave the opportunity for professionals across the state to affirm their commitment to the environment, economy, sustainability and quality of life of all Virginians. The several daylong gatherings, envisioned by Jack, assembled architects and members of allied fields together with legislators, economists, and educators to focus on the built environment creating spaces to better serve our society.The Accord has been shared with all national chapter officers, Virginia legislators and additional contacts in 15 states.

Jack has been eminently involved in and responsible for the Professional Degree Programs at Virginia Tech for over thirty years. For most of Jack’s eleven years as dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, Design Intelligence has ranked the program within the top five, with one year in the first position.

Jack’s career has been a tapestry of constructive research, design, education, public service, and professional practice. He has advanced the profession of architecture within the state, to the nation, and to over a dozen countries internationally. Through both membership and leadership in multiple organizations, he has represented the architects of Virginia in critical professional venues.

Where did you go to college?
Virginia Tech

Would you recommend studying architecture to a young person?
Absolutely. Both of my children are in the architecture and landscape architecture world. I have enjoyed sharing the fields with young people for 40+ years.

What does it take to be an architect?
A strong work ethic, interested in the potential for change in the world around us.

Was there an architect that particularly inspired you?
It sounds predictable but I would have to say Frank Lloyd Wright. My mother introduced me to his work after she became aware of it through the magazine, “Arizona Highways,” which frequently featured his early work. She continued to receive the magazine after she and my father were stationed in Arizona during the second World War.

What are you currently reading?
I read quite a bit, at least 2 books a month, often more. I just finished, The Power of One, and am currently reading, Workin our Way Home: The Incredible true story of an Ex-con and a Grieving Millionaire.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
A picnic of wine, cheeses, breads, and diverse accompaniments on the lawn of the Seji Ozawa Music hall at Tanglewood near Lenox, Ma. (Designed by William Rawn, Associates in Boston).

Why do you volunteer with the AIA?
I enjoy the community of professionals, the discussions and the sharing of design stories.