President’s Message

Fall is a good time to pause to remember and to be thankful for all the positive things that have happened this year. When I look back at the year, I feel truly blessed to have served as the President of AIA Ohio at this time surrounded by a group of passionate and dedicated professionals who have invested countless hours advancing the organization for the benefit of our members and the profession.

I’d like to especially thank the group of leaders from across the state that came together in 2020 after it was clear that business as usual was not going to happen in 2021 to develop a strategic “bridge” plan that set the vision for what has been a unique and innovative year for the organization. We are close to completing the bridge plan and are starting to prepare a vision for what the future of AIA Ohio will look like in a post pandemic world. The Board will gather for a two-day strategic planning session in November that will be led by a professional facilitator who is helping us to develop a new multi-year strategic plan for the organization. We look forward to developing a new plan and what the future will hold for AIA Ohio.

Our focus for the remainder of the year will be recognizing our members for their design, service, and financial contributions that have supported the organization’s mission this year.

On September 30th we gathered virtually to celebrate the design achievements of Ohio’s architects. The program included a highlight of the recipients of the AIA Ohio student design competition. The awarded projects are an inspiring example of the incredible design being produced by AIA Ohio members. A video recording of the AIA Ohio design awards will be available at

On November 4th we have the opportunity to recognize the recipients of the AIA Ohio Honor awards at an in-person event at the Joseph Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. Be sure to save the date and plan on celebrating this year’s AIA Ohio Gold Medalist, Ruth Gless, FAIA, the AIA Ohio Public Service Award Recipient Michael Crislip, AIA, the AIA Ohio Mentor Award Recipient Chris Meyer, AIA, and the AIA Ohio Emerging Professionals Award Recipients Theodore Ferringer, AIA, Eric Pros, AIA, and Matthew Teismann, AIA.

At this event, we will also be recognizing our sponsors that were essential to our ability to offer quality programming at no cost to our members. There will also be recognition for members who have made significant contributions to the AIA Ohio Foundation and to the AIA Ohio PAC. This year’s Charles Marr recipients will be honored for their commitment to the future of architecture by donating to the AIA Ohio Foundation. Members of the organization who have made long-term and significant financial contributions to the AIA Ohio PAC will also be recognized for their impact on AIA Ohio’s advocacy efforts. In addition, we will share the results of the AIA Ohio Board challenge by recognizing those chapters who have shown their support for the AIA Ohio PAC by having 100% of their board members contribute to the PAC this year.

The final educational sessions for the year will be presented as part of the Practice Innovation Series. The first two sessions included “Recognizing the Added Value of Research in Practice” an “Beyond AIA 2030: Reducing Embodied Carbon”. There will be four more sessions in October all designed to provide access to innovative ideas and tools that can be implemented in our practices.

Finally, the annual membership meeting will be held on November 19th via zoom. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear highlights of the year’s activities and participate in the election of officers.

As my term as President winds down, I look forward to handing the reins over to Aaron Hill, AIA who will lead the organization next year. I’d like to once again thank my fellow officers and board members and especially Kate Brunswick, Hon. AIA for her dedication and commitment to making 2021 a successful year!

Karen Planet, AIA
AIA Ohio President, 2021