If you are an emerging professional, you have received your packet about “I AM AIA.” This is my AIA story.
There was never a doubt in my mind that I would become a licensed architect; a goal I accomplished in 2008. After licensure I asked the same question as so many others – now what? I knew I wanted to give back to my profession and to my community, and a colleague suggested I look into the AIA Young Architects Forum (YAF) which represents architects who have been licensed 10 years or less. In 2011, I became the YAF Regional Director for New England, a six state region including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
After two 2-year commitments I was selected to become the YAF Advisory Committee Knowledge Director. I plan Grassroots and National Convention sessions, curate and disseminate programs throughout the AIA’s 18 regions nationally, and push forward the YAF’s agenda.
I recently returned from the annual Emerging Professionals conference, which is co-hosted by the YAF and the National Associates Committee (NAC). This year’s event was held in Michigan prior to the annual Grassroots conference. YAF has become a focus of AIA leaders, and our group has been recognized for our commitment to the profession and our forward-thinking approach to where architecture is heading. Conversations we had at this year’s annual meeting included: the future of the architecture workforce and how it relates to a sustainable career; the design and culture of our communities; and how the AIA can provide architecture assistance to the public. We also discussed our partnership with the Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) and how we can help provide content for this year’s conference on November 18, 2016.
As I enter my sixth year on the committee I am proud of how far YAF has come. In 2011 when I first attended AIA Grassroots we met on the carpet in a hotel corridor because we did not have the recognition for a room! Today, the voice of young architects is being heard.