AIA Florida Convention Review

This year's AIA Florida Convention was full of exciting happenings.

Early Thursday, the Annual Meeting and elections took place. Orlando had two candidates running: Arlenne Gil, Associate AIA, ran for Associate Director at Large, and Nathan Butler, AIA, for Regional Representative to the AIA Strategic Council 2018-2020. It was a tough race with 4 candidates for Associate Director. Though Arlenne did not win, she did a great job on her speech and continued to network during the convention in hopes to run again in the future. Nathan was elected to his position by acclamation. 

Opening session started out with AIA Orlando receiving a Presidential Citation from President Joyce Owens, AIA RIBA, for "the Component's outstanding service as host of the 2017 Conference on Architecture highlighting the rich architecture and diverse community of Orlando and Central Florida." It was an honor to accept the award along with Convention Co-Chairs Dan Kirby and Jacki Hale, and AIA Orlando Board members, David Stone and Andy MacPhee. 

Two AIA Orlando members were invited to sit on the Florida Architect's Political Action Committee (FAPAC) Board –Dan Kirby and Holly Stenger. FAPAC exists to advocate for the profession of architecture within the political realm in Florida. FAPAC is gearing up for 2017-2018 elections and watching the House and Senate candidate races throughout the state. 

Overall, the AIA Florida Convention CEU sessions were excellent. The theme was "Communicating Value" and each session focused on an aspect of the value of architects and architecture and how to communicate the message to clients and the public. Internationally acclaimed speakers, including Bob Borson of the blog "Life of an Architect", Judith Dupre, author of the new book One World Trade Center, and Ruth Reed, Past President of the Royal Institute of British.  In addition, there were sessions lead by AIA Orlando chapter members. Scott Nichols, CPSM, followed Bob Borson's keynote with his session, Engage your Clients with Technology, which explored technology assisted storytelling as an antidote to commoditization. Scott also collaborated with President Joyce Owens, AIA RIBA, to design this year's logo and brand the convention.

The Road to Citizen Architect session was a panel discussion moderated by Ronok Nichols, AIA (DLR Group). The panel consisted of three architects, including Hernan Rivera, AIA (HuntonBrady Architects). The discussion focused on the role of a Citizen Architect and the path to becoming one.

The Shedding Light on Fellowship Myths session was presented by Orlando's Bill Hercules, FAIA and Lourdes Solera, FAIA of Miami. The session helped attendees understand the College of Fellows honor and the process of becoming FAIA.




Congratulations to our design award winners from the AIA Orlando chapter! Highlights from the AIA Florida design awards included two merit awards for HKS Architects, in the theoretical & research category for their LilyPod project and North Texas Food Bank project. Robert E. Yohe, AIA (RLF Architecture), was awarded the Silver Medal- Hillard T. Smith Community Service Award. The silver medal is conferred upon an architect whose leadership in community activities and service has been a direct benefit to the profession or community.

And lastly, thank you to our local chapter members, David Stone and Nathan Butler, who sat on the 2017 AIA Florida Convention Committee, for helping make the 2017 Florida Convention another memorable experience.

Let it be said that Florida architects know how to put on a great convention!!

Holly Stenger, AIA | AIA Orlando President




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