As part of our annual efforts to ensure we have the most recent contact information to provide you with outstanding member service, we ask that you take a moment to make any changes on your membership record. More »
While traveling for AIA business recently, I called up a close friend and confidant in the profession to let him know that I would be in his town. With excitement, we synched our schedules and connected over dinner and a libation or two. As I was sharing with this individual how proud I was of all that he had accomplished in the profession and community, I asked him an important question.
My question was, “Why are you doing all of this?”
His response was, “if not me, then who…”
This answer resonated with me. As I look around, I see that architects struggle to remain relevant in today’s world. Some may disagree. But how do you explain the United States of America having a neurosurgeon instead of a design professional as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development? Locally, why are there Planning Commissions with no appointed architects? How come the majority of the general public has no idea this is Architecture Week?
Perhaps, it is because we work our 9 to 5 and go home. We don’t have any more time to give with the competing priorities in our lives that are already tugging on us. Perhaps, we think other people are going to raise their hand and step up. The fact of the matter is that it is not happening. Maybe, we believe the timing is not right. Let’s wait for this to end or that to pass. The reality is that there is never a perfect time.
This leads me to ask you, “Why are you an AIA member?”
I’m hopeful the answer is deeper than “my firm pays for it” or “I need some letters after my name”. If that is your answer, then you are short-circuiting the power of what you can accomplish through your training as an architect. As the membership renewal season just closed, my challenge to you is to find one way you will use your skillsets this year to make a difference in your firm, the profession, or the community.
When you determine the answer, use the AIA as the vehicle to achieve those aspirations. Start small. Join a local AIA event committee that has a finite start and stop duration. Volunteer to be a design critic at one of our universities. Attend a Meeting of the Roundtables to discuss pertinent practice issues with your colleagues. This is the true value of membership.
Individually, let’s take control of our own destiny. If we all do that, we will collectively control the destiny of the architecture profession.
Have you moved, changed jobs, or otherwise need to update your contact information in the AIA database? Dues invoicing for 2018 will begin this month, so please take a moment to check your contact info at: www.aia.org/myprofile.
Additionally, if you are aware of any members that are now deceased, please notify us, so we may make the necessary updates.
Members are not required to transfer chapters when they move and this is optional and at their discretion, however, should they wish to transfer, they must complete and submit the Transfer Request Form
Please feel free to contact AIA Virginia Member Services Director, Cathy Guske at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 237-1763 if you need any assistance or have any questions.
If you are an architect or associate member and have already renewed your AIA membership for 2017, thank you! We appreciate your continued commitment to AIA, and look forward to working with you this year.
If you are an architect or associate member, and you haven’t renewed yet, you can access your personalized renewal invoice and pay online at www.aia.org/renew and select sign-in to renew. The interface is new this year so please allow additional time to navigate the new system. You can also contact Info Central at 1-800-242-3837 and select option 2 to pay over the phone.
Need a copy of your invoice or have a question? Contact Cathy Guske, Member Services Director at AIA Virginia, email@example.com or (804) 237-1763.
After serving AIA Virginia in the roles of Sales Administrator and Communications Manager, Cathy Guske, Hon. AIA Virginia has been promoted to Member Services Director.
Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Executive Vice President, commented, “Cathy is intimately familiar with our members, our organization, and our operations. Throughout her twelve years of service, she has consistently exhibited her dedication to our membership and her devotion to our mission.”
Please help us welcome Cathy to this new position!
Feel free to contact her with any membership questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 237-1763.
Membership Manager, Shanelle Calvin, will be leaving AIA Virginia on August 1, 2016. Calvin will be moving on to spend her time as a Process Improvement Coach. Her firm SC Coaching, LLC is committed to helping women entrepreneurs implement systems that save them time, money, and headaches. The firm provides service to women entrepreneurs across the country through strategy calls, facilitated mastermind sessions, and interactive events. Her new virtual coaching academy will launch on July 30th and be broadcasted to women in over 120 countries.
Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, shared, “Shanelle has been with us for over ten years in a variety of roles, most heavily and recently in the membership area. She has advanced this program in many ways, and we are indeed sad to say farewell to her. Of course, we wish her nothing but the best and we are excited for her successful future!”
Members will be glad to hear that current Manager of Special Projects, Rebecca Lonadier, will be stepping into the role of Membership Manager. Lonadier has been with AIA Virginia since August 2015 and came to us from the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce. Her special experience in preparation for her time with us includes serving on the staff team at AIA Austin. I hope you’ll join us in welcoming Rebecca to this new position at AIA Virginia! You’ll see more of Rebecca in the weeks to come, but if you have any questions about your membership after August 1, feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
As your delegate representing AIA Virginia, it is my pleasure to report on AIA Convention recently held in Philadelphia on May 19-21, 2016, and to also update you on current efforts of the Board of Directors and staff at AIA Virginia.
It was reported that over 20,000 were in attendance at AIA Convention which promoted President Russ Davidson, FAIA, and the convention’s theme of “Imagine+, to celebrate architecture’s unique ability to add value to projects and our continuing drive for new knowledge, fresh insights, and leading-edge skills.”
AIA Convention was an incredible experience filled with a myriad of opportunities to connect and share with people from around the world with a passion for architecture and to gain new knowledge and skills. General Sessions with keynotes by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Neri Oxman, and Rem Koolhaas were certainly a highlight of the convention for me, but also of interest were the business sessions, caucuses, and election, alumni and regional receptions, educational tours, seminars and workshops, AIA Expo, exhibits, Host Chapter Party, AIA Town Hall and Store, book signings, and experiencing Philadelphia.
Of greatest inspiration was the keynote titled “Design at the Intersection of Science + Engineering” by Neri Oxman, an architect, designer, and MIT professor “whose pioneering work explores biologically-inspired fabrication technologies that enhance relationships between designed objects and the environment.” One person tweeted during her talk “My head is reeling with the potential of growing seamless built form – so inspired by the complex work of @NeriOxman #aiacon16”. I encourage you to watch her recent TED Talk which has scored more than 1.1 million views.
At the 2015 AIA Convention in Atlanta, President Bill Clinton was one of the keynote speakers and it was billed for this year’s convention that we would have another President – Kevin Spacey who plays President Frank Underwood on “House of Cards.” Mr. Spacey canceled the engagement and so Mr. Davidson was pleased to announce that the keynote address was filled by Julia Louis-Dreyfus playing the role of Vice President on “VEEP”. Being a fan of “Seinfeld”, it was interesting to hear Fresh Air’s Terry Gross interview Ms. Louis-Dreyfus about her career from being a student at Northwestern to her current role on VEEP as well as her current experience of working with an architect to design her personal residence.
Executive Vice President and CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, reported on the success of the institute’s public awareness campaign, “#ilookup”, which has been active on social media, including a film competition, and television ads which reached 125 million viewers during the height of political debates with themes of “working together we can create great things, serve the greater good, and imagine what we can create together.” As part of its digital transformation, AIA has also launched its redesigned website in pilot format which can be viewed here. The website was billed as a “transformation from a stable pyramid to a dynamic network of the 21st century” with fundamental changes, stunning visual layout, greater functionality, faster search, fully mobile, and it is “only the beginning in sharing who we are, what we do and why it matters.”
During the Business Session, the delegates heard updates on AIA’s activities and finances and voted to pass amendments to institute bylaws and passed other resolutions of recognition and appreciation. One resolution of interest resoundingly passed was amending the current “Intern Declaration Policy” to strengthen the Institute’s commitment to its members and the profession to more assertively address its position on the use of unpaid labor. Following speeches by the candidates at plenary sessions and responding to questions at regional caucuses, the delegates elected Carl Elefante, FAIA (AIA Potomac Valley), Principal of Quinn Evans Architects in Washington D.C., as its 2017 First Vice President/2018 President-elect. Also elected were Bruce W. Sekanick, AIA (AIA Eastern Ohio) as 2017-2018 Secretary and Peter J. Exley, FAIA (AIA Chicago) as 2017-2019 At-Large Director.
The Expo consisted of 170,000 square feet of booths, galleries, and lounges and nearly 800 exhibiting companies showing what’s new in materials, technologies and processes to help us in our practice. Many exhibits displayed the work of talented practitioners who were awarded for their innovation. During the course of Convention, presentations were made to design and honor award recipients including, to name a few, the AIA Gold Medal to Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, the AIA Architecture Firm Award to LMN Architects, and 11 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture. Workshops, seminars, and educational tours were varied and plentiful providing a wide range of choices to feed our hearts, mind, spirit and passion for architecture.
Philadelphia was an excellent host for AIA Convention 2016 providing an inspiring stage for Convention as one of the first planned cities in North America envisioned by William Penn as a “greene countrie towne which will never be burnt and always be wholesome”. The city has produced prominent architects and architecture for centuries which led to many opportunities to explore a rich and diverse urban environment. We enjoyed connecting with our colleagues at the reception of The Virginias and also at the Host Chapter Party with entertainment by actor Kevin Bacon and his band, The Bacon Brothers.
I encourage all of our members, whether you have never been to AIA Convention or if you are a veteran, to consider attending our 2017 Convention which will be in Orlando April 27-29, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Directors of AIA Virginia is scheduled for June 17, 2016. Our agenda is filled with important items as we near the conclusion of Fiscal Year 2016, on June 30, 2016. Included in our business is continued work on our tri-annual update to our Strategic Planning process which began in February with a retreat of the Board of Directors and staff of AIA Virginia. The Board will also consider the FY2017 budget with projections for FY2018 and FY2019 as we strive to meet the goal of the elimination of Supplemental Dues. We are evaluating methods to replace Supplemental Dues with revenue from new sources with the goal of providing additional benefits to our members. The Board continues to work on updates to its Bylaws and other Governance Documents. The Nominations Committee will also be meeting to identify candidates for officers of the Board for the Annual Meeting of the Membership to be held at Architecture Exchange East on November 2-4, 2016, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
In addition on June 17, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Board looks forward to reporting its progress to the membership during the AIA Virginia Virtual Membership Meeting.
On June 14, we are continuing the initiative to convene a Large Firm Roundtable on a semi-annual basis to gain a better understanding of the priorities and concerns of our state’s largest architecture firms thus informing the AIA Virginia on how it might shape its programs and activities to better serve its large firm constituents, to play a strategic role for the architectural profession by being a sounding board to identify developing issues in our profession, and to provide input and ideas and work with AIA Virginia to ensure the architecture profession is championing design and serving the evolving needs of clients and communities.
As part of the repositioning initiative of the AIA National, the leadership of AIA Virginia, AIA Blue Ridge, AIA Central Virginia, AIA Hampton Roads, AIA Northern Virginia, and AIA Richmond have been collaborating during the last year to meet the goal of ensuring that all AIA members receive the services they have a right to expect from AIA. Core Member Services are basic deliverables categorized into seven service areas. AIA national, state and local components all have a role to play in delivering specific services designed to elevate public awareness, advocate for the profession, communicate with members, provide educational opportunities, maintain membership and manage their operations, finances and governance. We are pleased to report that AIA National notified us in May that all components in Virginia were accredited and that AIA Virginia received a three-year accreditation.
We are close to the mid-year point of the service of this year’s Board of Directors and I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the Directors individually by name and thank them for their service to AIA Virginia and its members.
William T. Brown, AIA, First Vice President / President-elect; Robert V. Reis, AIA, Vice President / Communications and Outreach; Tim A. Colley, AIA, Vice President / Government Advocacy; Elizabeth A. Reader, FAIA, Vice President / Professional Excellence; Eric Keplinger, AIA, Secretary; S. Jeanne LeFever, AIA, Treasurer; Valerie Hassett, FAIA, Immediate Past President; John A. Burns, FAIA, Director; Al Cox, FAIA, Director; Phoebe A. Crisman, AIA, Director; Robert J. Dunay, FAIA, Director; Robert Easter, AIA, Director; Spencer E. Lepler, AIA, Director; Kelly Olt, AIA, Director; Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, AIA, Director; Damian L. Seitz, AIA, Director; Robert A. Steele, AIA, Director; Fernando Viego, AIA, Director; Daniel Zimmerman, AIA, Director; Gina A. Robinson, Assoc. AIA, Associate Director; Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Executive Vice President / CEO.
The staff of AIA Virginia is also working hard on our behalf and truly worthy of recognition.
Helene Combs Dreiling FAIA, Executive Vice President / CEO; Rhea George, Managing Director; Judy Cheadle, Partnership Advisor; Marshall Dreiling, Education Manager; Shanelle Calvin, Membership Manager; Cathy Guske, Hon. AIAVA, Communications Manager; Keesha Ezell, Director of Finance; Edward Nace, Accounting Assistant; Savannah Ball, Manager of Outreach Programs; Rebecca Lonadier, Manager of Special Projects.
As if you need a reminder, 2016 is an election year and the voices of architects should be heard. Please consider giving to AIA Virginia PAC here, even if it is a small amount, many voices will help us be heard by our legislators.
The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design continues to elevate the public awareness of architecture and design within the Commonwealth through innovative exhibitions, educational programs, and partnerships. Based on a strong belief in our mission and direction, The Cabell Foundation has issued a $500,000 2:1 challenge grant through June 30, 2016. To multiply your support of the Branch, your consideration of a gift is appreciated. Donate>>
OUR VISION AND MISSION:
AIA Virginia continues to work hard to bring significant value to our members, provide programs and services which are relevant to our fast-changing profession and to celebrate the prosperity of our members. Our mission is to be the voice of the architecture profession in the Commonwealth, dedicated to serving our members and through a culture of innovation, AIA Virginia empowers its members, advances their value, and inspires the creation of a better-built environment.
Thank you for being a member of AIA Virginia! Leadership from AIA Virginia and local components have made it a point to reach out to our membership by visiting firms across the Commonwealth to share the initiatives of AIA Virginia and to listen to ideas and issues facing our membership. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or suggestions for AIA Virginia.
Nick Vlattas AIA
AIA Virginia President 2016