2018 President's Report

AIAW 2018 President Walker

Happy (belated) new year!

I’m honored to assume the role of President of AIA Wisconsin and follow in the footsteps of Daryl Dean, AIA. We accomplished many things last year – and we look forward to an exciting 2018! Here’s a quick synopsis of what AIA Wisconsin leaders are working on . . .

State Conference

The 2018 AIA Wisconsin Conference on Architecture is right around the corner – May 9 & 10 at Monona Terrace in Madison. It builds on the key issues for architects and firms that we have focused on at our recent long-range planning retreats – Next Practice, Resilience, Diversity and Leadership.

TJ Morley, AIA, is leading this year’s conference planning committee. An amazing program of speakers and special events has been assembled. The conference includes keynote presentations by Joan Soranno, FAIA, with HGA in Minneapolis, and Kai-Uwe Bergmann, AIA, with BIG in New York.

This is a big event – combining awards, networking, continuing education and a one-of-a-kind Architecture Expo of building products and services. I can’t think of a better way to spend two days in early May than talking about the things that make our profession relevant. Please join us!

Emerging Professionals

We have been busy at the local AIA section level, as well. AIA volunteer leaders are providing events to engage members and mentor emerging professionals on their path to licensure.

In November, AIA Wisconsin member Stacey Keller, AIA, the Young Architects Regional Director for the North Central States, coordinated the second annual Emerging Professionals (EP) Summit in conjunction with the AIA Minnesota Conference on Architecture. The summit brought together current and future AIA leaders from across the four-state region to share success stories and build strong connections.

If you are an emerging professional looking for a leadership role and opportunities to make a difference, I encourage you to roll up your sleeves and get involved with the AIA. There is a lot going on at the local, state, regional and national level.

Advocacy

Advocacy has been front and center as the state legislative session is wrapping up. AIA Wisconsin has taken strong positions on proposals of importance to the profession as well as to individual members like you.

Our state advocacy efforts are focused on legislative proposals:

  • Threatening state licensing of architects and other professionals,
  • Updating the state commercial building code to reflect contemporary model code requirements,
  • Increasing new limit on state historic tax credit awards to $3.5 million per parcel,
  • Shortening the long tail of professional liability for architects by reducing the statute of repose for improvements to real property to six years from the date of substantial completion,
  • Streamlining the state building program by updating dollar thresholds,
  • Requiring qualifications-based selection of architects for state building projects,
  • Offering state creative economy grants to promote artistic and creative enterprises, training and economic development,
  • Updating architect registration rules to reference NCARB’s Architectural Experience Program (AXP) requirements. and
  • Exempting retired architects from state continuing education requirements for license renewal.

The best way to make your voice heard is to use it. Advocating for our profession has never been more important. I want to thank the AIA Wisconsin leaders who help guide our state advocacy initiatives and members who step up to testify at state legislative hearings on behalf of our organization.

A few years ago, AIA Wisconsin started a “State Capitol Day” event where members meet with their state legislators in Madison to discuss policies and proposals of interest to architects. This year, State Capitol Day is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21. Your participation could make a big difference in the success of our advocacy efforts this session.

Leadership

Historically, architects have been recognized as leaders possessing unique problem-solving skills. A key planning initiative, work is underway on a program for AIA Wisconsin members to hone their leadership skills for the benefit of their career, firm, profession and community.

Focused on developing the next generation of leaders, the Mentor Architect Program (or “MAP” for short) is being modeled after similar successful programs offered by AIA components around the country and allied organizations in Wisconsin. While several firm principals from around the state have provided valuable feedback on the initial concepts, the program also would benefit from your input and suggestions at this stage

The plan is to begin the leadership program in September and conclude the seven-part course in April. Additional details about MAP will be announced in May at the AIA Wisconsin Conference on Architecture. I look forward to talking with you about this exciting initiative to help better position our profession for the future.

Image credits

AIAW 2018 President Walker

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