100% Participation

Damian Seitz, AIA, 2016 President of AIA Hampton Roads, and AIA Virginia director, made an exciting announcement at the June 17th AIA Virginia Board of Directors meeting. 100% of the AIA Hampton Roads board has contributed to the AIA Virginia PAC this year! This is amazing and we are so grateful for the support!

How about your chapter board? We challenge you to get 100% participation from your chapter board by donating at www.aiavapac.org today!

Contribute to the AIA Virginia Political Action Committee


Through the PAC, the membership of AIA Virginia supports candidates who understand the architecture profession. When these candidates win, they bring that understanding to the General Assembly and to your issues. You and your firm benefit.

By speaking with a united voice, architects influence government actions that affect our profession and the quality of life for all Virginians. AIA Virginia uses the collective power of its membership to participate in the legislative and regulatory policy making process.

Through the PAC, the membership of AIA Virginia supports candidates for state office who understand the profession and support its goals.

The AIA Virginia PAC supports candidates without regard to party.


AIA Virginia PAC has options.

• Give online

• Mail your check (payable to AIAVA PAC) to AIA Virginia, 2501 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23220

• Contact Rhea George at (804) 237-1768 to discuss other ways to give or to get involved.

Special Delivery

Member Bill Brown, AIA, met with Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax Station)
Member Bill Brown, AIA, met with Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax Station)

A new initiative to foster closer relationships between Society members and their elected state representatives shows promise for the future.  Instead of providing campaign contributions to candidates via mail, VSAIA members hand delivered the organization’s 2011 donations.

Although some appeared uncertain about the task they were asked to accomplish, all provided positive feedback from the short — 10-15 minute — conversations with their delegate or senator.

None of the architects discussed legislation.  They were asked to talk about the economy, their work, their elected official’s work, or fishing.  The goal was to make a connection with the legislator on any level other than legislation.

These people are elected to represent their constituency.  The better they know architects within that constituency, the better they can represent the profession.  Bill Brown, AIA, with BeeryRio Architecture + Interiors, for example, met with Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax) for at least the third time.

However, this was the first time he delivered a contribution for the profession.  The other times he was speaking on legislative issues.  Perhaps because of their previous meetings and that talk of legislation was forbidden, Brown and Bulova discovered a common interest:  playing guitar.

Kelly Southard, AIA, of Gillum Architects in Orange took a VSAIA contribution to Del. Ed Scott (R-Culpeper).  This was Southard’s first experience representing the profession.  “Thank you for asking me to do this, it was a very pleasurable experience,” he wrote.

In all cases, the VSAIA members were asked to offer their expertise on the various issues that may come before the legislators in the future and to reiterate the breadth of an architect’s range of work including building codes, planning, land use, sustainability, historic preservation, and design.

So far, the VSAIA has provided $7,250 to candidates — eight Democrats and eight Republicans — running in this November’s election.  Those in hotly contested races might receive more.  All were on the House or Senate General Laws Committee or in leadership positions.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the VSAIA PAC may do so by sending a check to VSAIA PAC, 2501 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23220.  The VSAIA suggests that each member contribute an amount equal to one billable hour and that each firm match that amount.

In addition to Brown and Southard, the members who participated in delivering the campaign contributions for the VSAIA included Bill Black, AIA, Jim Boyd, AIA, Jon Covington, AIA, Charles Enos, AIA, Lynden Garland, Jr., AIA, Keith Hayes, Assoc. AIA, Hunter Hurt, AIA, Wayne Mortimer, AIA, Charles Piper, AIA, David Puckett, AIA, Jeff Stodghill, AIA, Charles Tilley, AIA, and Kirk Train, FAIA.


Your Political Action Committee

A rousing start to the election season was generated by contributions and pledges to the VSAIA political action committee campaign by long-time supporter Gauthier Alvarado & Associates in Falls Church and relative PAC newcomer HDR in Alexandria.

Rob Morris, III, AIA, PE, presented his firm’s traditional $1,000 check to the PAC in December.  Jim Draheim, AIA, announced his firm’s pledge of $2,000 in March.  Both have combined their firms’ support with personal efforts to increase the level of participation in the PAC.  They are sending letters to their peers in several firms encouraging them to join in supporting the PAC and asking that they also encourage their employees to do the same.

Ed Gillikin, AIA, VSAIA vice president for government advocacy, and the members of the government and industry affairs committee ask that individuals contribute the equivalent of one hour’s billable time to the PAC.  They request that firms contribute a like amount. 

With all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly open this year, the campaign goal will be to top the PAC’s previous best year of $23,630 contributed in 2006. 

The PAC supports the campaigns of those candidates who have shown an understanding of what the profession does and of how architects affect the quality of life within their communities.  If a candidate is running for the first time, the VSAIA considers its members’ evaluations.  For incumbents, the VSAIA concentrates its support on those who serve in leadership positions and those who serve on the General Laws committees in the House and Senate.  This committee reviews nearly 90 percent of the bills affecting the profession.

A candidate’s party affiliation is not considered.  Historically, the VSAIA PAC’s contributions run just about 50-50 on supporting Democrats and Republicans.  Information on past activity can be obtained from the Virginia Public Access Project website http://www.vpap.org/committees/profile/home/600.  VAPA’s home site is www.VPAP.org

It takes time to build rapport and trust between the architects and elected officials.  This is done through individual meetings among the VSAIA legislative counsel, staff and members, and the legislators. Those in office depend on us for information about the possible impact of a bill.  We depend on them to weigh that information with other sources and to reach a reasonable conclusion when the votes are taken. 

To maintain the investment in these relationships, the VSAIA needs to support those candidates who supported restricting unlicensed practice, who supported limiting by contract an architect’s liability, and who support the concept of qualifications-based selection for public projects. 

In supporting the PAC, you are supporting your firm and your ability to practice your profession.  Please contribute to the PAC today by sending a check equal to one-hour’s billable time to the VSAIA PAC, 2501 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA   23220.