Bruce W. Sekanick AIA OAA, AIA National Board of Directors

AIA Ohio and the Ohio Valley Region was well represented at this year’s national conference in Denver.  The conference, which was built around the theme of Building Leaders was chaired by AIA Cincinnati member and new Fellow John Rogers FAIA. 

IMG 00000982rBeginning early in the week with an Executive Committee Meeting and a Meeting of the National Board of Directors, the conference kicked off on Thursday with a full schedule of presentations, tours, seminars, meetings, and dinners. With keynotes presentations by General Colin Powell, Tom’s Shoes Founder Blake Mycoski and the founder of Architecture for Humanity Cameron Sinclair, members were provided with example a of the many different ways that architecture can make a difference.  

Working with the Emerging Professionals, a new emerging professionals town square was provided as a way to listen to and hear from the future leaders of our professionals.   AIA continues to move forward with repositioning through Koster International as our change consultants to help us move forward. There is a lot going on and the Institute will continue to change as we move forward to become member focused. Adam Palmer of Indianapolis was named a repositioning ambassador, in addition to OVR directors and national board members Martha Tarrant AIA and Bruce Sekanick AIA. 

The organization is a visionary service organization that works to provide advocacy and leadership. Part of that advocacy effort is the contributions to the AIA PAC, ArchiPAC. At the conference, ArchiPAC reached our half year goal of 100,650.   The AIA Ohio Valley is well on our way to meeting our goal but continues to need your support. At ArchiPAC, we look forward to meeting both our dollar goal AND our participation goal. Thank you to those who have contributed and we hope the rest of you will consider contributing. You can contribute by going to With Advocacy as one of our top goals, it is important that we make every effort to strenghthen the PAC and to elevate our efforts.

The election of officers occured during the conference. The results were announced on Friday with a runoff for the presidency occurring on Saturday between Elizabeth Chu Richter and AIA  Indianapolis member and Current Vice President Deb Kunce FAIA. The results of the election included John Grounds FAIA, Treasurer, Jim Rains FAIA and Tom Vonier FAIA, Vice Presidents, and Elizabeth Chu Richter FAIA, First Vice President, President-Elect. AIA Ohio congratulates all of the candidates for their time, energy, and commitment to the profession.

The AIA National Board of Directors took several important steps earlier in the week at their board meeting, including changes in the Gold Medal and Dues. The Board voted to waiver the automatic dues increase of 1.9% for 2014, leaving national dues the same as charged in 2013.  The board did note however that national dues is in most cases, a small part of the overall dues charged as part of the three tier system, and it is their hope that this action will encourage state and local boards to take a close look at their membership dues as well.  The board also voted to change the Gold Medal award to include the opportunity for two individuals who work together and who have developed a singular body of distinguished work, to be honored with a Gold Medal.  This is something that has been called for by some in the profession for years and the board took action to provide this opportunity to those deserving dyads of our professional membership.


The AIA membership passed a number of resolutions during the convention as well.  Associate members are now permitted to become officers of the local components with a bylaws change approved Saturday.  The membership also approved for the first time, the ability of affiliate members to use the term “member of the American Institute of Architects, to acknowledge their contributions as important stakeholders in our profession.  Two resolutions were also passed related to transparency and the urgency of moving forward with the repositioning. 

The membership of AIA Ohio and the Ohio Valley also recognized three members who were formally honored as Fellows of the Institute.  John Rogers, FAIA of AIA Cincinnati, Rober Maschke, FAIA of AIA Cleveland and Gary Vance, FAIA of AIA Indianapolis were made Fellows of the Institure at the  Investiture Ceremony.  Congratulations again to all of this years Fellows. 

The convention was a great success with great programs, successful networking opportunities and a great venue.  Members seeking more information on any of the efforts described above or those who are more interested in repostioning can contact either Martha Tarrant AIA or Bruce Sekanick AIA for more information.  More pictures can be found on the AIA Ohio Facebook page.