President's Message

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The mission of AIA North Carolina is to serve its members by enhancing and promoting the profession of architecture.

2017 is going to be a great year for AIA NC! We have an amazing Board of Directors representing our seven unique sections throughout the state and an incredible staff to carry out our mission. Membership is up, architecture school graduates are finding jobs, and firms across the state are busier than they have been in several years.


Times are good!

After three years of repositioning per AIA National’s directive, we are finally beginning to settle into a more efficient association organized around seven core member services. We are now able to focus more heavily on public outreach, advocacy, design, and the future of AIA NC.

AIA NC staff growth

A much needed, new position has been created for the AIA NC staff! By summer 2017, the Director of Programs and Communications will join David Crawford, Keri Dixon, and Marynell Gehrke at the Center for Architecture and Design. Their focus will be on member communication, ACTIVATE programming, continuing education, and public outreach.


Chair and AIA NC President-Elect, Thad Rhoden, AIA (Asheville), has been busy coordinating April Architecture Month for all seven sections as well as this year’s Urban Housing Design Ideas Competition hosted in the City of Asheville. The international design competition will be released this fall. We are enjoying the second year of ACTIVATE becoming a statewide public outreach initiative, and encourage all members to participate in or initiate programs or events that engage the public and help improve our communities through design. Benefits include increased awareness of the value of architects and the opportunity to give back!


Director Richard Alsop, AIA (Charlotte), has poured his heart and soul into connecting with members in all seven sections to ensure they have the opportunity to be engaged in and informed of legislative matters that affect our practice and the significance of our profession. Prior to Legislative Day in April, Richard visited each section to present the Advocacy Workshop he created. The workshop centers on how to successfully communicate with legislators and create relationships that encourage productive dialogue about important issues to our practice.


Matt Hart, AIA (Winston-Salem), has empaneled a group of members statewide to help create topics for the successful existing O.W.L.S program and CE academy. Matt is also working on details and learning objectives related to CE credits that will be offered during the Wilmington Design Conference in the way of seminars, tours, and a two-day design charrette.

Emerging Professionals

Director Megan Bowles, AIA (Triangle), is organizing a fall Leadership Conference called “Designing the Career You Love”. Thanks to the support of the Fellows Committee, the event will highlight the various career paths that can be enjoyed by architects. Our state is fortunate to have many accomplished Fellows whose career experiences vary greatly and can serve to inspire young architects to consider traditional and non-traditional ways of practicing architecture. Megan is also working on organizing a design focused summer community service outreach program that will benefit a non-profit group in an underserved part of the state.


Director Juliane Kuminski Hatfield, AIA (Triangle), has been diligently communicating with all seven sections in order to keep up to speed with the many newsletter worthy activities happening throughout the state. More frequent e-newsletters to our members as well as a multi-part series highlighting the value of AIA membership will be enjoyed this year. Juliane is also leading the effort on revitalizing the North Carolina Architectural Foundation which will allow for increased focus on education and outreach in architecture.

Public Awareness

Director Chris Roberts, AIA (Triangle), is preparing for the release of a new website template offered to all components from AIA National. The website will be more aesthetically pleasing, easier to navigate and update, and more graphically unified across the board for all components, while still allowing for individualization. Because the website template is member focused, Chris is also working on enhancing AIA NC’s public website,, in order to make it more accessible to all seven sections.

Fellows Committee

Chair Walt Teague, FAIA (Piedmont), has expanded the scope and energy of the Fellows Committee this year. In addition to nominating and supporting candidates for fellowship, the committee is working closely with Emerging Professionals in order to foster mentorship opportunities to young architects throughout the state.

Wilmington Design Conference . September 13-15

Many thanks to the volunteer AIA Wilmington section members and Jen Sisak, AIA Triangle President, who have been working to make the Design Conference a success! The theme this year is ACTIVATE – design and public engagement. We are partnered with the City of Wilmington Planning Department have identified two areas in the city that need design attention in light of recent and future growth and change in the area. The design charrettes will occur over two days during the conference and will include attendees from allied professions in addition to architects. Exciting tours (including walking, boat, bus, and kayak!) and seminars will be concurrent tracks as well. Design and Chapter Awards will take place on the Battleship North Carolina, followed by live music, fellowship, food, and dancing!

2018-2020 Strategic Plan

A new three year Strategic Plan will be created this year for 2018-2020! Members will have the opportunity to provide input on current successes and areas for improvement in the association as we create new, measureable goals under the categories: Advocacy, Relevance, and Composition.

The success of AIA NC is not possible without our 2,000 plus members, allied organizations, dedicated staff, and incredible board leadership to carry our mission forward.