This year at the AIA Grassroots Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, AIANY was well-represented among Emerging Professional Leadership with AIANY members holding positions on local, state, and national levels. Local Associate members were represented by AIANY Associate Director Jessica Sheridan, AIA, LEED AP, and AIA NYS Associate members by AIA NYS Associate Director Julie Engh, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP. At the national level, the NYS Young Architect Regional Director, who is our representative to the Young Architects Forum, is Illya Azaroff, AIA, and I am the Advocacy Director for the National Associates Committee.
This Grassroots was unique, in that this year AIA National provided their findings on Repositioning the Institute, summarized in this manifesto video and recounted in further detail this issue by AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA.
In addition to the Repositioning findings, to me, the most interesting part of Grassroots was the follow-up conversations, both on- and off-the-record, regarding this new initiative. As leaders, we were challenged to be ambassadors to the AIA National component, of which WE are all a part. At the Associates Breakfast, we were excited to have AIANY’s own George Miller, FAIA, AIA National 2010 President, speak to the group about what the AIA – along with its senior leadership – can do to focus its efforts on the next generation of architects. Discussions, while initiated by the Repositioning efforts, turned into a conversations about the value of the AIA. One salient point was that perhaps the Institute can do a better job in facilitating the transition between academia and the profession. This is something we have begun to focus on here at AIANY and the Center for Architecture, and we are excited that the discussions we are having on a local level are also happening on the national level.
Venesa Alicea, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, works at Dattner Architects, and currently serves as the Advocacy Director for the National Associates Committee.