Our Year in Review

Greetings Colleagues,

As this year comes to a close, I would like to thank our members for the honor of serving as the President of OUR AIA Virginia in 2016. It is my pleasure to take this opportunity to share an annual report highlighting some of the accomplishments and activities of AIA Virginia in 2016, and to thank the many people who contributed time, talent and treasure for the advancement of our profession. Let’s begin with the statement of our MISSION, VISION, and the FOUR PRIORITIES OF FOCUS we maintained throughout the year.

AIA Virginia is the voice of the architecture profession in the Commonwealth, dedicated to serving its members, advancing their value, and improving the quality of the built environment.

Through a culture of innovation, AIA Virginia empowers its members and inspires the creation of a better built-environment.

(1) AIA Virginia shall be financially responsible to ensure operational sustainability and success.
(2) Membership in AIA Virginia shall be of significant value to its members.
(3) Our programs and services shall be relevant to our fast changing profession.
(4) The prosperity of our members is celebrated.


The fiscal year for AIA Virginia ended on June 30, 2016, and we are pleased to report that we finished the year with an excess of $24,701 on revenues of $1,363,528 over expenses of $1,337,826. As of June 30, 2016, the total assets of AIA Virginia were $246,567 and total liabilities were $124,560, leaving total net assets of $122,007 as compared to the year-ago period total assets of $241,419, total liabilities of $144,114, and total net assets of $97,305. The current fiscal year 2017 earnings through four months ending October 31, 2016, are $18,660.

Budget and Supplemental Dues
The Board of Directors adopted a balanced budget for fiscal period 2017 ending June 30, 2017, which recognizes the phasing out of supplemental dues.

AIA Virginia Membership as of June 30 was reported at 1,593 AIA members and 480 AIA Associate members for a total of 2,073 members. Our retention rate is at 93% which represents the highest number of members and retention rate over the last four years. One area of concern is that our penetration among the registered architects in Virginia is only 52%. The voice of architects in Virginia would be much stronger if we were able to increase our membership and your participation in recruiting new members is encouraged.

Thank you to Treasurer Jeanne LeFever, AIA; Director of Finance Keesha Ezell; Accountant Edward Nace; Partnership Advisor Judy Cheadle; Manager of Outreach Programs Savannah Ball; and Membership Manager Rebecca Lonadier for their efforts and positive impact on our finances and membership.

Strategic Plan
AIA Virginia conducted its tri-annual strategic planning retreat at Airlie in Warrenton, Virginia in February and after further development the board adopted the plan on June 17. This is the first strategic plan for the second century of AIA Virginia. It has been more than an update and represents a significant opportunity for AIA Virginia to advance our profession in the Commonwealth. A key element of the plan is the phased elimination of Supplemental Dues.

The five primary goals of our strategic plan are:
(1) Elevate public awareness by positioning architects as vital contributors to our built environment.
(2) Advance the knowledge and expertise of members.
(3) Advocate for the profession.
(4) Implement a communication program that informs and facilitates connections.
(5) Become a model of a strong nonprofit and vibrant membership organization.

Thank you to Bill Brown, AIA, who chaired the strategic planning team as our President-elect and Managing Director Rhea George, Hon. AIAVA, who led efforts on behalf of our staff, Sarah Milston, our lead consultant from The Spark Mill, and everyone else who contributed to the strategic planning effort.

AIA Virginia conducted a thorough review and rewriting of its bylaws in 2016 to bring them up to date with current best practices. Review and revisions to the Rules of the Board and other governance documents are underway. It is planned to present the revised bylaws to the membership with a webinar in the spring of 2017 and for approval at the semi-annual membership meeting. Thank you to Secretary Eric Keplinger, AIA, and EVP Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA for leading this effort and their task group consisting of John Burns, FAIA; Valerie Hassett, FAIA; Jeanne LeFever, AIA; and Mitch Rowland, AIA.


Legislative Advocacy
AIA Virginia advocated for our members during the 60-day legislative session, which began in January. We also supported the majority view of our members in front of the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences to support the continuation of Virginia’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HRTC). Thank you to our Government Advocacy Advisory Council led by Tim Colley, AIA and staff liaison and Managing Director Rhea George, Hon. AIAVA, for monitoring bills and working with our lobbyists on bills of interest to our members.

AIA Virginia Political Action Committee (AIAVA PAC)
We continued to raise money in an effort to engage legislators to tell them what architects think about legislation affecting limitations of liability, open-space planning, historic rehabilitation tax credits, universal building codes, sustainability, statutes of repose, and basically the entire spectrum of an architect’s practice. We need your support for the benefit of all architects in Virginia. Please consider a small or large donation to the PAC at https://www.aiava.org/advocacy/pac-2/

APELSCIDLA Collaboration
To promote a dialogue on legislative and regulatory items of mutual interest, the AIA Virginia Board of Directors hosted, at its October meeting, the Virginia State Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects Executive Director Kate Nosbisch and Board Member Bob Boynton, FAIA.

Large Firm Roundtable
On June 14, with 24 people in attendance, we convened the third meeting of the AIA Virginia Large Firm Roundtable (AIAVA LFRT), which is meeting on a semi-annual basis. In addition to updating those present on the activities of AIA Virginia, there was sharing of ideas of mutual concern. One of those items was the nurturing of the next generation of architects within our firms. As a result, we asked each member to bring an emerging leader to the fourth meeting of the LFRT held on November 3, 2016 in conjunction with ARCHITECTURE EXCHANGE EAST. Our meeting room was filled to capacity with standing room only and we had an excellent generational exchange of ideas. Thanks to Bill Brown, AIA for chairing the AIAVA LFRT in 2016.

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design
AIA Virginia supported The Branch in its successful fundraising effort, which exceeded the target of $1,000,000 in order to receive a matching grant of $500,000 from the Cabell Foundation.

As part of the repositioning initiative of AIA National, the leadership of AIA Virginia and the five local components collaborated in 2015 to meet the goal of ensuring that all AIA members receive the services they have a right to expect from the AIA. We were notified in May 2016 by AIA National that all components in Virginia were accredited and that AIA Virginia received a three-year accreditation. 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.

Component Collaboration
AIA Virginia, AIA Blue Ridge, AIA Central Virginia, AIA Hampton Roads, AIA Northern Virginia, AIA Richmond, and AIA West Virginia continued to collaborate and communicate on programs to improve the experience and value to our members during this year with quarterly calls to discuss strategies to promote stronger working relationships among the components.

Firm Visitations
During the year, leaders from AIA Virginia along with local components visited many firms around the state to learn the concerns of our members and their firms and to share the initiatives of AIA Virginia.

AIA Grassroots
Leadership from AIA Virginia and local components attended AIA Grassroots 2016 along with approximately 625 other leaders of the American Institute of Architects from around the country February 23-25 in Detroit. This was truly an inspiring and motivational event to learn from and collaborate with other AIA components and leaders.

AIA Convention
It was my honor to serve as the delegate representing AIA Virginia at AIA Convention held in Philadelphia on May 19-21, 2016.


Architecture Exchange East
The annual convention of AIA Virginia was held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on November 2-4, 2016. ARCHITECTURE EXCHANGE EAST is Virginia’s largest annual educational event and expo, featuring educational sessions, behind-the-scenes architectural tours, engaging special events, and an exposition of vendors. Our convention was kicked off at the General Session with an engaging panel discussion on civic responsibility, followed by the keynote from Rosa Sheng, AIA, who shared how equitable practice has the potential to foster success on multiple levels – equity in the workplace, and socially just access to basic resources, healthier communities and resilient public spaces in our urban centers. Our closing keynote presenter was Mickey Jacob, FAIA, the Executive Vice President of BDG Architects, a practicing architect in Tampa, Florida for 32 years, and the 2013 National President of the AIA. Mickey spoke on building leaders through citizen architects. We concluded ARCHITECTURE EXCHANGE EAST with our VISIONS FOR ARCHITECTURE gala held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Holding a successful event such as ARCHITECTURE EXCHANGE EAST is a team effort involving many hours of AIA Virginia staff and volunteers and we are very thankful for those efforts which were led by Vice President of the Advisory Council on Professional Excellence, Elizabeth Reader, FAIA and AIA Virginia Education Manager, Marshall Dreiling. AIA Virginia also expresses its deep appreciation and continuing support to exhibitors and sponsors who contributed significantly to the success of ARCHITECTURE EXCHANGE EAST and to AIA Virginia Partnership Advisor Judy Cheadle who coordinated with the vendors.

Design Forum XII
DESIGN FORUM XII took place in April at the recently completed Slover Library in Norfolk. The overarching topic was TRANSFORMATION: THE CHANGING POINT. The forum explored how design itself is transformed in the wake of a changing climate and how meaningful changes are enacted by design. Dr. Z Smith, AIA, Principal and Director of Sustainability and Building Performance at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (winner of the 2014 AIA Firm Award) served as our dynamic moderator. The Forum included keynote presentations by Jason Long of OMA in New York; Anne Fougeron, FAIA, of Fougeron Architecture in San Francisco; Archie Lee Coates, IV, of PlayLab Inc. in New York; and Stephen Kieran, FAIA, of Kieran Timberlake in Philadelphia. Thank you to the Design Committee chaired by Camilo Bearman, AIA, who planned an outstanding event and our many sponsors who helped to make it possible. In addition, our AIA staff including Education Manager, Marshall Dreiling; Special Projects Manager, Rebecca Lonadier; and Managing Director, Rhea George deserve special recognition for working tirelessly before and during the event to ensure the success of the Forum. It is also worthy to mention Jim Ritter, FAIA; Bob Steele, AIA; and Greg Hunt, FAIA, who inspired the creation of DESIGN FORUM I in 1994, at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, the tradition that has continued as AIA Virginia’s premier biennial conference on architecture and design in the Commonwealth.

Hampton University and the National Resilience Initiative
AIA Virginia supported the successful selection of the Hampton University Department of Architecture as the Mid-Atlantic Studio for Phase II of the National Resilience Initiative.

Architecture Week
Architecture Week took place the week of April 10-16, 2016, as an outreach campaign focused on encouraging the public’s appreciation of design and explaining the role architects play in shaping our communities. Activities occurred in components across the Commonwealth.

Emerging Leaders in Architecture
The future success of AIA Virginia hinges on our ability to engage the next generation of architects. AIA Virginia established the well-recognized Emerging Leaders in Architecture program in 2010, creating an intensive program of educational sessions undertaken by a select group of emerging professionals chosen for their potential for outstanding contributions to the profession and community. Established leaders in our profession and the community facilitate the sessions. Since 2010, the program has enrolled over 100 participants. The 2016 class tackled the issue of low-income communities with limited access to healthy food, more commonly known as food deserts. We are very thankful for the leadership of Brian Frickie, AIA, and other members of the ELA Steering Committee and staff liaison Marshall Dreiling. I hope you will join me in encouraging participation by our emerging professionals in AIA programs.

Architecture Prize Competition
The AIA Virginia Prize design charrette was conducted in mid-September, engaging students at all of the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia and promoting collaboration between the profession, students, and professors in Virginia. The 2016 Prize problem asked students to design a space bringing forward the many histories of the “First Africans in Virginia” historical marker located next to the Old Point Comfort waterfront walkway near Fort Monroe National Monument. Thank you to Jury Chair Chuck Swartz, AIA and the jury of Timm Jameson, FAIA; Johanna Huddle, Assoc. AIA; and Kristin Baum, AIA, and congratulations to all honorees and participants.

Relations with Academia
AIA Virginia is thankful to have strong relationships with the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia and we appreciate the participation on our Board of Directors by Robert Easter, AIA from Hampton University, Phoebe Crisman, AIA from the University of Virginia, and Robert Dunay, FAIA from Virginia Tech.

John W. Braymer Leadership Circle
The John W. Braymer Leadership Circle was created to honor long-time AIA Virginia Executive Vice President John Braymer, Hon. AIA, and consists of the past presidents of AIA Virginia. The group held its annual meeting on November 3, 2016 in association with Architecture Exchange East. After receiving updates from the president and president-elect on AIA Virginia programs and services, the group turned its focus to membership development and engagement, which I am hopeful will bear fruit in the years to come as these former leaders of AIA Virginia engage in worthy programs.

Virginia Accord
As we structured our programs and services for 2016, we kept as a guide building upon the principles of the VIRGINIA ACCORD. Shortly after the AIA Virginia Centennial Celebration in 2014, under the leadership of Jack Davis, FAIA, then AIA Virginia President and Dean of the Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies, 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:

(1) Commitment to contributing to job creation and a growing and thriving economy
(2) Commitment to constructing environmentally sustainable buildings
(3) Commitment to public health
(4) Commitment to systems of mass transit
(5) Commitment to responsible land development and urban infill

Professional Excellence | Communications and Outreach
The quality of programs presented by AIA Virginia would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of our staff and volunteers led by Vice President Beth Reader, FAIA and Education Manager, Marshall Dreiling, as well as the communication and outreach about those programs to our membership and beyond by Vice President Rob Reis, AIA and Communications Manager, Cathy Guske, Hon. AIAVA.


FAIA Honors
Early in the year, we congratulated Ann Kosmal, FAIA, a member of AIA Northern Virginia, and David Oakland, FAIA, a member of AIA Central Virginia, for being elevated to fellowship.

Design Awards
In November, we recognized Awards for Excellence for outstanding design, built and unbuilt, in Architecture, Contextual Design, Historic Preservation, Interior Design and Residential Design. The robust Design Awards program with jury comments was presented at ARCHITECTURE EXCHANGE EAST by Z Smith of Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.

Honor Awards
At the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, November 4 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, we honored and congratulated Robert J. Dunay, FAIA as this year’s recipient of the William C. Noland Medal, our highest award given to a member architect. Mr. Dunay is the Virginia Tech Center for Design Research Director, ACSA Distinguished Professor and T.A. Carter Professor of Architecture at Virginia Tech. Also, on that evening, Virginia Tech Professor of Architecture Jaan Holt was recognized with the Architecture Medal for Virginia Service, our most prestigious public award. Central Virginia architect R. Corey Clayborne, AIA, project manager and senior architect at Wiley|Wilson received the Award for Distinguished Achievement. Colonial Williamsburg Curator of Architecture William Graham and metal conservator Andrew Baxter received AIA Virginia Honors. AIA Virginia Managing Director Rhea George was recognized with Honorary Membership in AIA Virginia. Richmond architect Rachel Shelton, AIA, project manager and project architect with Glavé & Holmes, and Northern Virginia architect Katherine Williams, AIA, assistant project manager at Marion Construction, were honored with the Virginia Emerging Professional Award.

Thank you to Chair William E. Evans, AIA and the Honors Committee: Michel C. Ashe, FAIA; James R. Boyd, AIA; James P. Clark, FAIA; Lori Garrett, AIA; Al Hansen, FAIA; Paula J. Loomis, FAIA; Mark McConnel, AIA; James W. Ritter FAIA; Robert E. Comet, AIA; Gwyn C. Gilliam, AIA; Burchell F. Pinnock, AIA; and Donna M. Phaneuf, AIA.

Presidential Citations
In October and November, two of our members were recognized with Presidential Citations:

Robert A. Boynton, FAIA
“For seventeen years, he has supported the ideals of the American Institute of Architects and its historic mission to be of every-increasing service to society through his service on the Virginia State Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects. As the Board’s Chair on two separate occasions, he advanced the inestimable value of this profession’s enduring commitment to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the public it so respectfully serves.”

Kenney Payne, AIA
“Inspired by the practical efficiency of our profession, he has dedicated much of his career to enriching the individual and collective understanding of building codes and standards, the inimitable twin pillars that support the practice of architecture. Hundreds of his industry colleagues throughout Virginia have benefited from his wisdom, expertise, and passion, which he has so selflessly and willingly shared through countless professional development settings and sessions.”

Celebrate Our Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Advisory Council and Regional Representatives
Duly worthy of recognition and to whom I am most grateful are my colleagues who served in a leadership capacity for AIA Virginia. This team of professionals has been spirited, collaborative, creative, dedicated, and they have contributed much on behalf of the members of AIA Virginia. A warm thank you to each one.

Recognition of our 2016 Board of Directors
William T. Brown, AIA, President-elect
Robert V. Reis, AIA, Vice President
Tim A. Colley, AIA, Vice President
Elizabeth A. Reader, FAIA, Vice President
Eric Keplinger, AIA, Secretary
S. Jeanne LeFever, AIA, Treasurer
Valerie J. 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, Assoc. Director
Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, EVP

Recognition of our 2016 Executive Committee
William T. Brown, AIA, President-elect
Robert V. Reis, AIA, Vice President
Tim A. Colley, AIA, Vice President
Elizabeth A. Reader, FAIA, Vice President
Eric Keplinger, AIA, Secretary
S. Jeanne LeFever, AIA, Treasurer
Valerie J. Hassett, FAIA, Immediate Past President

Recognition of our Advisory Council Leadership
Tim A. Colley, AIA – Government Advocacy
Elizabeth A. Reader, FAIA – Professional Excellence
Robert V. Reis, AIA – Communications and Outreach

Recognition of our AIA Regional Representative
Paula Loomis, FAIA, 2014-2016

Celebrate our Dedicated Staff of AIA Virginia
I am very grateful and appreciative of the dedicated service that the staff of AIA Virginia provided in helping to fulfill our mission and vision and achieve our goals during 2016. They brought a positive attitude to every encounter and have served our membership well in advancing our profession. They have been good stewards of the resources provided to them to do their jobs. I admire what they do every day and I am hopeful, if you have not already, that you will have the chance to work with them and express your appreciation for a job well done.

Recognition of our Dedicated Staff of AIA Virginia
Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
Rhea George, Hon. AIAVA, Managing Director
Judy S. Cheadle, Partnership Advisor
Marshall Dreiling, Education Manager
Rebecca Lonadier, Membership Manager
Cathy Guske, Hon. AIAVA, Communications Manager
Savannah Ball, Manager of Outreach Programs
Keesha Ezell, Director of Finance
Edward Nace, Accounting Assistant

Celebrate our Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
Not enough can be said about the leadership that our Executive Vice President and CEO, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, has brought to AIA Virginia and the impact she has made for our organization. She became our EVP/CEO on January 1, 2015, shortly after completing her service to AIA National as its President in 2014. Helene has been an outstanding communicator and ambassador for all architects in Virginia. She has made tough decisions in balancing our organization’s financial resources against our goals for quality programs and services. Most importantly, Helene has guided the overall focus of AIA Virginia’s culture to be member-centric with a constructive climate and she has motivated the Board of Directors to be strategically focused and engaged. Helene has made a difference for the architects of Virginia and the staff of AIA Virginia with her inspiring leadership and service given fully from her heart and for that I am truly thankful to have partnered with her in service to AIA Virginia.


I would like to thank Valerie J. Hassett, FAIA, who called for my nomination as President-elect in 2014. That year, on September 17, we gathered at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond to celebrate the 100th anniversary of AIA Virginia, since its founding when William C. Noland, Clarence A. Neff, Philip N. Stern, Frank C. Baldwin, and Benjamin F. Mitchell first met in 1914 at The Jefferson Hotel. On that glorious September 2014 day, I was inspired as we heard the Minutes read from our organization’s first meeting, followed by the reading of the names of all the presidents that served during our first century. It made me think back to the early days of my career. Achieving membership in The American Institute of Architects was a milestone in my life. The AIA has been a wonderful resource for professional practice and for connections with colleagues. The AIA is a gift!

I have been humbled and honored to serve as the 2016 President of AIA Virginia. It has been a journey filled with joy, a spirit of servant leadership, and collaboration with amazing colleagues including AIA Virginia staff, our Board of Directors, our Executive Committee, and members around the state. I am hopeful that our team has made meaningful contributions for the benefit of the members of AIA Virginia and the practice of architecture in the Commonwealth.

I wish 2017 President Bill Brown, AIA and the 2017 Board of Directors every success in the coming year. To all our members, thank you for your support of AIA Virginia. I am most hopeful that each of you enjoys a blessed Holiday Season and a New Year filled with joy, prosperity and good health.

Nick Vlattas, AIA