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Erica Rioux Gees, AIA, Named Managing Director of AIA Legacy, Inc.

      Selection marks Institute’s long-term commitment to research, public education and outreach in support of overall mission

      Contact: Matt Tinder

      For immediate release:
      Washington, D.C. September 9, 2010 –
      Erica Rioux Gees, AIA, has been selected as Managing Director of AIA Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization with close ties to The American Institute of Architects (AIA). Gees will transition from her position as a partner with the Massachusetts firm Kuhn Riddle Architects as well as her current responsibilities as a member of the AIA and Legacy Boards of Directors. Gees joins the AIA Legacy staff October 18.

      A primary aspect of AIA Legacy’s mission is to work in collaboration with the Institute and the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) to advance public appreciation of architecture and design, including leading the discussion through research and thought leadership on issues that have an impact on the profession and the built environment.

      “Commitment and creativity are the strengths Erica Gees brings to this important staff leadership role,” said AIA President George H. Miller, FAIA. “Her perspectives as a practitioner, volunteer, and successful fund-raiser, combined with skill in consensus building, are qualities necessary to demonstrating the valuable role architects play in our society,” he added.

      “With Erica Gees joining AIA Legacy, the architecture profession has a leader dedicated to deepening the public’s understanding of what architects do in helping shape the built environment,” said Marshall E. Purnell, FAIA, former AIA President and 2010 Chair of AIA Legacy.

      In addition to responsibility for the AIA/AAF Minority/Disadvantaged Scholarship program available to high school seniors and college freshmen planning to study architecture, Gees will manage operation of the Octagon museum. One of the first residences built in Washington, D.C. in 1799, the Octagon is a National Historic Landmark and accredited by the American Association of Museums.

      Also, Gees is responsible for developing partnerships and alliances to expand the reach and impact of AAF and AIA Legacy programs, including providing assistance to communities by partnering with international, federal, state, and local government agencies, and serving as a conduit for outreach and public education.

      Gees, licensed to practice architecture in Vermont, New York, and Switzerland, has a long history with the Institute, which includes securing grant funding for various programs, serving on local and regional AIA Boards, managing Sustainable Design Assessment Teams (SDAT) delivered through the AIA Center for Communities by Design, and volunteering for local community programs. She earned a post-professional Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, a Diploma in Architecture from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie-Mellon University.

      About AIA Legacy, Inc.
      Founded in 2005, AIA Legacy, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) corporation created to endow architecturally related research and scholarships as well as develop initiatives to increase public understanding of the role of architects in helping achieve healthy, safe, sustainable, and livable conditions in communities through design. Additionally, AIA Legacy oversees the AIA/AAF Minority/Disadvantaged Scholarship program available to high school seniors and college freshmen planning to study architecture and operates the Octagon, the first national headquarters of The American Institute of Architects, as a public museum. Visit

      About The American Institute of Architects
      Serving as the voice of the architecture profession since 1857, AIA architects, emerging professionals, and allied members express their commitment to excellence in design and livability in our nation's buildings and communities. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, public, and colleagues of an AIA-member's dedication to the highest standards in professional practice. AIA members embrace their responsibility to serve society by actively engaging civic and government leaders and the public in finding needed solutions to the most pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit


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