As the calendar turns to Fall, my term as AIA Ohio President draws to a close. It has been a pleasure serving AIA Ohio members because of the dedicated group of architects that serve with me on the Board. I am constantly impressed and appreciative of the countless hours these individuals invest in advancing the organization for the benefit of our members and the profession. Over the past nine months, we have begun our work on defining the strategies and implementing the tactics of a three-year Strategic Plan. I would especially like to recognize and thank the leaders of our focused Strategic Plan work groups; Eric Pros for Member Engagement, Karen Planet for Government Advocacy, John Meegan for Public Awareness, and John Orsini for Organizational Vitality.
At the beginning of this year, with uncertainty still surrounding the desire and ability to gather in large groups, AIA Ohio made the decision to ease back into our first in-person programming since the Fall of 2019, by pulling our typical annual convention apart into four single-day events, each with a different focus. This programming began in March, with a day in Columbus focused on advocacy for our profession. In July, members gathered in Dayton for thought-provoking sessions and experiences at a Technology Summit. Our third installment of programming this year focused on the design achievements of Ohio’s architects at the annual Design Awards celebration.
On September 23rd, architects from across the state convened in Cleveland to celebrate design by recognizing Ohio’s architects for the outstanding work that they do every day. AIA Ohio made a complete day of the Design Awards celebration, offering tours of significant projects around Cleveland on one of three different tracks: Visual and Performing Arts, Mixed-Use, or Historic. Following the architectural tours, we gathered at the Botanical Gardens for the AIA Ohio Design Awards program, hearing from Jury Chair, Sam Lasky, FAIA, Principal at William Rawn Associates.
I would personally deem this year’s Design Awards a great success based upon the following; There were 100 projects submitted this year by 43 different firms. A clear sign that there is a plethora of significant projects across the state that Ohio architects are proud of. Of those projects submitted, the jury recognized 18 award winners, a higher-than-normal percentage and a testament to the quality of the design. It was also pleasing to see the winners composed of 13 different firms, hailing from six of our seven local components, with seven winning firms being small firms. Thank you to everyone who submitted projects this year and congratulations to the winners. It is inspiring to be reminded that great architecture and design can profoundly impact the communities within our state and beyond. I would encourage you to view the submitted and winning projects at: https://aiaohio.org/design-awards/.
Our emphasis for our fourth and final event of the year will recognize our members for their service and contributions that have supported both the profession and AIA Ohio’s mission. On November 3rd we will have the opportunity to recognize the recipients of the AIA Ohio Honor awards, as well as others, at an in-person event in Columbus. At this event, we will also be recognizing our sponsors that were essential in our ability to support the initiatives of AIA Ohio this year. Please take note of these generous companies, listed on the homepage of AIA Ohio’s website. Keep an eye out for upcoming details and registration for this celebration – we hope you will join us!
Finally, the annual membership meeting will be held on November 17th at noon, via Zoom. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear highlights of the year’s activities and participate in the election of officers.
I have enjoyed the camaraderie in being able to gather for programs in-person again this year, and I thank each of you that have taken the time to join us as we together strive to improve ourselves as architects and the profession as a whole.
As my term as President winds down, I would like to thank my fellow officers and board members once again and especially Kate Brunswick, for her dedication and commitment to making 2022 a successful year.
Aaron Hill, AIA
AIA Ohio President, 2022