Volume 13, No. 11 - December 30, 2019
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

2019: The Year in Review

What a great year it has been! As our Chapter wraps up 2019, we can look back on some wonderful accomplishments for which to be proud.

Year in Review

We reached an impressive milestone in membership this year – 1,200 members! In our Chapter's 45 year history, we have never had this many members.

In an era where more and more non-profits are vying for the same pool of money, our Chapter has, yet again, finished the year in the black. The hard work and long hours from our staff, the amazing volunteers we have for our Committees and Board, and the relatively low overhead we maintain allows us to focus our efforts on our members and the profession.

Membership Figures Bylaws
We took on the task of updating our Chapter Bylaws this year (which you can find on our website). There were many updates and additions to bring our Chapter current and align with our Strategic Plan from last year. Not always an exciting endeavor, but a very important one nonetheless.

"The Big Move"
During the AIA Annual Meeting at the Conference on Architecture in June this year, the membership voted overwhelmingly to make combating climate change a priority. Even though our Chapter is just getting started on addressing this issue, our Design Awards and COTE (Committee on the Environment) committees have already taken the first steps. You can read more about it in this month's newsletter.

As many of you know, our Executive Director, Debbie Burns, celebrated her 20th year with our Chapter in October. Her contribution to our Chapter and its members over the years has been invaluable. In fact, the past presidents of our Chapter came together to create the "AIA Northern Virginia Presidents’ Award for Distinguished Achievement" and selected Debbie as the inaugural recipient.

Thank you to all of our members for allowing me to be your President this year. It has been a wonderful and humbling experience. I look forward to continuing to contribute to our great organization. All the best to all of you.

    -- T.J. Meehan, AIA, 2019 Chapter President


 On November 4, the US officially notified the international community that it plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord next fall, the earliest date allowable by the 2015 agreement. The AIA clearly supports sustainable, resilient, and resource efficient design, believing it will ultimately be good for our economy. During this time of increased polarization, building relationships with our lawmakers at all levels of our government is now more important than ever.

This past fall, over 600 architects, including several our board members, met with Senate and House representatives to discuss policy issues germane to our profession during Grassroots 2019. Energy efficient building and sustainable design were the predominate issues. We pushed to create new tax incentives to increase energy efficiency in existing buildings, allowing building owners and developers to write off some of the depreciation related costs for the installation of energy efficient systems and materials. We also stressed the importance of design to mitigate school violence, making our educational institutions safer and healthier places to learn.

Architectural Billings IndexLocally, our robust Architecture Week expanded public outreach for our profession with 22 programs including tours, family events, and educational programs, raising awareness and elevating our presence in the community. The Chapter continues to support local design awards programs, including Arlington, Fairfax County, and Loudoun County, by sharing entries, providing jurors, and publishing winning projects.

The AIA Safety Assessment Program (SAP) has greatly expanded this past year. The program provides architects, engineers, and building inspectors the specialized knowledge and technical skills needed to determine if a building is safe and habitable after a catastrophic event. Local governments are relying on architects to help heal their communities.

In keeping with our emphasis on advocacy this year, we recognized Sean Reilly, AIA with the Award of Honor for his efforts to champion advocacy at local, state, and federal levels. As the chair of our Legislative/Government Affairs Committee, Sean has organized our Chapter's participation in national Grassroots events. He is a leader by example and a source of motivation for all of us to join him in service at all levels of the profession. In the coming year, AIA Northern Virginia will continue efforts to position our profession’s relevancy, engage the public, and become an effective voice in the region for our Chapter members.

    -- Theresa del Ninno, AIA, 2018 Chapter President + 2019 Nominations Chair

Year in Review

Activities and Events

Our Chapter continues to provide a wide variety of programs to serve members, advocate for the profession, and improve the quality of the built environment in our communities.

The on-going and special activities of our Chapter are powered by our various committees and our dedicated volunteers. Highlights from this year include:
  • Our Mardi Gras-themed Open House in March
  • Architecture Week in April 20 offering 22 different events for all ages, including architecture scavenger hunts, sketching groups, exhibits, tours, lectures, pop-up lunches and yoga.
  • In May, the Chapter offered two fellowship sessions for members who are considering submitting for AIA fellowship.
  • Our Design Awards Celebration was held on June 13 at Marymount University, recipient of a 2018 Design Award. The design jury from AIA Middle Tennessee awarded 37 projects for their design excellence.
  • In August, the Young Architects Forum, AIA|DC's Emerging Architects Committee, and the Structural Engineering Association's Young Members Group met for a DC United game against the NY Red Bulls.
  • The Interschool Student Design Competition was held in September. A tradition for over two decades, this day-long design charrette for local architecture students is organized by the three metro area AIA Chapters, six local schools of architecture, and the National Building Museum.
  • CRAN held a Night at the Ballpark in September, on the Nats' road to the Championship.
  • In September, our Chapter participated in Alexandria's PARK(ing) Day, a worldwide event that demonstrates the importance of preserving and creating public open spaces. Our parklet on King Street was designed by Sanchez Palmer Architects.
  • Our 16th annual Canstruction competition, which benefits our neighbors in need, was held at Dulles International Airport in October. Over 15,361 pounds of food and $33,000 were donated to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
  • Our Autumn Social was held at Punch Bowl Social in Arlington. Along with voting for our Chapter officers, we honored the outstanding achievements of our members and colleagues, congratulated our newly licensed members, and honored Debbie Burns, Hon AIA with the newly established Presidents' Award for her 20 years of outstanding service. This sold out event was a great success and attendance exceeded previous years.
  • Outreach to area schools continued through a variety of programs organized by our Architecture Lab Committee including, career day presentations, shadow an architect opportunities, and an after-school architecture club.
  • The Young Architects Forum continued their successful ARE 5.0 Prep Series.
  • Our WIA Committee provided another year full of diverse events including lectures, a book club, pop-up lunches, happy hours, building tours, charitable events, and a new mentorship program.
All of these events rely on the continued dedication and efforts of our Chapter committees and always supportive staff. Thanks to all for a successful year.

    -- Sonia Jarboe, AIA, 2019 Secretary

Financial Outlook

The Chapter continued its strong financial performance in 2019. It is expected that the reserve fund (65 percent) of budgeted annual income shall remain intact. The Chapter depends on just over half of the annual budget being funded by membership dues. The other half of the budget is funded by events, programs, volunteer committees, and sponsorships.

The financial strength of the Chapter is a direct result of commitment and work of Debbie Burns, Hon. AIA (Executive Director), Lorin Boswell (Membership Director), Matt Shuba, AIA (Communication and IT Director), Jody Cranford, who helps with our partnership program, and the many volunteers who develop and deliver valuable programming while carefully balancing available financial resources.

The 501 (c) (3) Community Outreach Fund created last year is dedicated to positively impacting educational and public outreach programs. We continue to seek tax deductible charitable contributions made by individuals wishing to support these key Chapter missions.

In 2020, the Chapter plans to leverage its strong financial position to evaluate ways to create even greater impact in serving our members. We will stay focused on our core mission goals of advancing the practice of architecture among our community of professionals and promoting awareness and appreciation of architecture among the public. Our Chapter's more than 1,200 members, as well as the Northern Virginia public at large, continue to benefit from the programs and services our Chapter provides and the effort of both our staff and volunteers.

    -- Manoj Dalaya, FAIA, 2019 Treasurer

Our Volunteers

The volunteers who serve on AIA Northern Virginia's committees represent the life blood of our Chapter. They coordinate, collaborate, and execute excellent programming and activities for our members, and provide a vital connection between our Chapter and other constituencies such as the public, students, and allied professionals. We want to thank those who graciously give of their time each year and welcome our newest volunteers, thanking them for generously offering to serve. We hope that everyone will show their appreciation for those taking on new roles within the Chapter, and please consider lending your support to a specific activity or committee in 2020.

 The following signify changes for next year:
  • Architecture Lab: Ravine Kassam, Associate AIA takes over as Chair from Elma H. Willcoxon, Associate AIA.
  • Design Awards: Charles Todd, AIA takes over as Co-Chair from Manoj Dalaya, FAIA. J. Paul Lewis, AIA, continues as Co-Chair.
  • Honors and Nominations: Immediate Past President, T.J. Meehan, AIA takes over for Theresa del Ninno, AIA.
  • Legislative/Government Affairs: Eliza Beth Engle, AIA takes over for Sean Reilly, AIA, as Chair.
  • Small Firms: Matt Guenther, AIA becomes Chair as Steve Kulinski, AIA steps down after several years of service.
  • Women in Architecture: Rebecca Pantschyschak, AIA will be Co-Chair with Katie Selis, AIA. Rebecca Mezny, AIA, will be Past Chair.
  • Young Architects Forum: Jamie MacNichol, AIA departs as Vice-Chair. Toni Lem, AIA, and Simone Saidel, AIA, remain to serve as Past Chairs.
2020 Committee Chairs:
  • Architecture Lab: Ravine Kassam, Associate AIA
  • Architecture Week: Joe McCoy, AIA
  • Communications: Anh Tran, Associate AIA
  • Community Service / Canstruction: Lisa Lettieri, AIA and Jay Scruggs, AIA
  • CRAN: Francisca Alonso, Associate AIA
  • Design Awards: J. Paul Lewis, AIA and Charles Todd, AIA
  • Environment (COTE): Joshua Rubbelke, AIA and Jason A. Slatinsky, AIA
  • Golf Tournament: Bill Conkey, AIA
  • Historic Resources: John A. Burns, FAIA
  • Honors + Nominations: T.J. Meehan, AIA
  • Legislative/Government Affairs: Eliza Beth Engle, AIA
  • Schools Connections: Joshua A.W. McKenrick, AIA
  • Small Firms: Matt Guenther, AIA
  • Women In Architecture: Rebecca Pantschyschak, AIA and Katie Selis, AIA
  • Young Architects Forum: Toni Lem, AIA and Simone Saidel, AIA
Schools Connections is currently in need of a Vice Chair and the Young Architects Forum is in need of both a new Chair and Vice Chair. If you are interested in serving, please contact the Chapter at aianova@aianova.org.

At our 2019 Autumn Social in October we elected an enthusiastic and committed Board of Directors for AIA Northern Virginia and our Chapter’s representatives on the AIA Virginia Board.

2020 AIA Northern Virginia Board

Executive Committee:
  • President – Joseph McCoy, AIA
  • President Elect / 1st VP – Manoj Dalaya, FAIA
  • Treasurer – Sonia Jarboe, AIA
  • Secretary – April C. Drake, AIA
  • Past President – T.J. Meehan, AIA
Directors: Braden L. Field, AIA; Stephen W. Kulinski, AIA; Roland G. Lemke, AIA; Rebecca W. Mezny, AIA; Simone Saidel, AIA; Jay Scruggs, AIA; Charles J. Todd, AIA; Anh Tran, Associate AIA, and Edward Weaver, AIA.

2020 AIA Virginia Directors: John A. Burns, FAIA; Karen M. Conkey, AIA; Eliza B. Engle, AIA; Spencer E. Lepler, AIA; Maury S. Saunders, AIA, and Stephen R. Wakeman, AIA.

A very special thank you for the service of our out-going board members: James L. Barker II, AIA and Theresa del Ninno, AIA.

We hope as a member that you will continue to connect with the Chapter through our numerous programs and activities, but we continue to ask, "How are we doing?" Is there a program or an activity that we should be doing that we are not doing now? Is there a program, or activity that could be strengthened, or improved in some way? We want to hear from you. Please tell us your ideas and what you would like to see in 2020, and we will do our best to make it happen. Contact our Executive Director Debbie Burns, Hon. AIA at debbie@aianova.org, or our 2020 Chapter President Joe McCoy, AIA at jmccoy@sanchezpalmerarchitects.com.

    -- Debbie Burns, Hon. AIA, Executive Director

Looking Forward to 2020

2019 was a busy year for our Chapter and 2020 promises to continue our tradition of enriching and engaging program opportunities. Our Chapter is already busy planning events for the coming year, beginning with our ARE Roundtable + Information Session on January 15. Organized by our Young Architects Forum (YAF), this introductory session with NCARB staff offers the opportunity for candidates to learn about the ARE testing process and have all their questions answered as they move towards licensure in 2020.

Continuing EducationSave the date! Celebrate Mardi Gras at our annual Chapter Open House on Tuesday February 25. And continue to socialize with colleagues at regular happy hours organized throughout the year by both WIA and YAF.

Spring also means the start of our annual Design Awards program and all members are encouraged to submit their work in 2020. Watch for the Call for Entries in March, with submissions due in late April, followed by the awards celebration in June. Each year we engage two separate juries, for residential and commercial projects, allowing us to select appropriate jurors for each submittal category. We had 37 winners last year and held our awards ceremony at the recently completed Marymount University, Ballston in Arlington. See the winning projects showcased in our awards gallery.

Firms are also invited to showcase their work by publishing projects in our Chapter publications - AIA Northern Virginia News and BLAST. Each publication features members' work – recently completed projects, conceptual designs, work on the boards, and travel sketches. Guidelines for submitting are available using these links. Please share your projects!

The Women in Architecture Lecture Series will continue in 2020 through engaging programs and speakers like the recent event in November with AIA President-Elect Jane Frederick, FAIA, who discussed her path to leadership, the recent Women’s Leadership Summit, and AIA’s renewed commitment to sustainability.

Architecture Week in 2020 will become Architecture Month with the goal of offering more weekend activities in an effort to attract and engage a wider audience. Over the month of April we will be presenting fun and educational events for the public throughout our Chapter area that will celebrate and promote architecture and its positive impact on the communities in which we all live and work. We are looking for members to host events like building tours, lectures, and children's activities. Please volunteer to organize an event in your community. Email aianova@aianova.org

The Interschool Design Competition will take place in September at the National Building Museum continuing our support of over 20 years of this event that brings together area schools of architecture in a celebration of design and creativity.

New for 2020 will be an expansion of our current advocacy efforts into local jurisdictions within our Chapter along an exploration of how we as a Chapter and a profession can become more engaged and relevant in Climate Action, Resilient Design, and Sustainable, Energy-efficient Development.

Watch for more information on other programs as we continue to plan for 2020...
  • Continuing education programs
  • Canstruction Competition at Dulles International Airport
  • Autumn Social
  • Chapter Honor Awards
  • 360 Mentoring
  • Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities
It's easy to keep up with Chapter activities. Just check the front page of our website for our current calendar, check and sync our Google calendar, and look for the calendar in each issue of BLAST.

    -- Joseph McCoy, AIA, Incoming 2020 Chapter President

Now It's Your Turn

Take full advantage of your AIA membership and become an active member in 2020! The Chapter offers you the opportunity to make a significant difference for yourself, your community, and the profession. We need your participation! Learn more on our website. Let us know what we can do for you and where you would like to help. Contact us at (703) 549-9747 or aianova@aianova.org.

Membership Renewal Information

 Your 2020 AIA dues can be paid online, by phone, by mail or by a dues installment plan. Specific instructions are included with your invoice and additional information is available on the AIA website.