Sara A. Kay, Hon. AIA

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Sara A. Kay, Hon. AIA | Notes of Interest

Sara Kay’s passion is Government Advocacy. Having served as a staff member in the Nebraska Legislature and as a lobbyist for a Nebraska law firm, early in her career she became aware of the importance of grassroots efforts, building relationships, developing collaborations and making an impact. One of the law firm’s clients happened to be AIA Nebraska. Twenty years later and after two other positions, she returned to AIA Nebreaska in July of 2001, this time as their Executive Director. In addition to working for the AIA Nebraska Board of Directors, Sara offers guidance and support to the local unstaffed components in Nebraska, including Omaha, Lincoln, and Western Nebraska. During this challenging economic period, the number of members and dues revenue continues to increase under Sara’s leadership. Annual conference net income has increased by 300% since her tenure.

Having the opportunity to create a successful government affairs program from the ground up is one of Sara’s greatest accomplishments for AIA Nebraska. Informing the Legislature of the valuable roles architects have in upholding and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public, is the message she communicates and promotes as executive director of AIA Nebraska.

Sara’s high standards of service and her record of significant accomplishments have made a difference by improving her component, elevating the profession, and advancing the AIA. Locally and regionally, she continues to be instrumental in protecting the practice interests of existing members while nurturing and growing new membership during a period of economic strain. Her approach and work ethic, and the resulting successes have been used as examples for other chapters within the region and across the country. Whether one has worked with Sara for one committee meeting, or over the course of years, the respect afforded to her from peers and the constituents she serves as an executive director is universal. It is a respect based on her leadership skills, her intelligence, work ethic, and tenacity, combined with a unique blend of grace, humor, and empathy for everyone she meets and with every project or task she undertakes.

Photo Credit

  • © Sara A. Kay, Hon. AIA

Sara A. Kay, Hon.AIA

  • Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Jury Comments

An advocate for the needs and issues of architects, she works tirelessly to support programs and initiatives that have positioned architects as leaders representing the profession. Her leadership and vision have resulted in resources available to chapters everywhere.

Her efforts have placed AIA Nebraska as a respected and expert voice as an advocate for the profession in the community, the marketplace, politics, and the AIA.

2012 AIA Honorary Membership Jury

  • Pamela Touschner, FAIA,Chair
  • DLR Group WWCOT
  • Palm Springs, California
  • Christopher Kelley, AIA
  • Gensler
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Carol Pedigo, Hon. AIA
  • AIA Middle Tennessee
  • Nashville

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