AIA Wisconsin leaders from across the state focused on ideas for encouraging member engagement at this year’s planning retreat. Five key strategic initiatives emerged to enhance membership value and engagement:
Collaboration – Work with allied professionals on education and advocacy programs.
AIA Wisconsin Director Rob Wheat, AIA, Monroe, describes the initiative as a way to elevate the value of AIA membership by collaborating with professionals who architects work with to educate and problem solve. He notes the initiative touches the four key engagement areas of communication, education, advocacy and public outreach. Next steps include working with allied organizations on a statewide program like the Fall Workshop and assisting local section leaders to integrate the initiative with their meetings.
Leadership – Leverage the new Architect Mentor Program (AMP) to share knowledge on leadership skills.
Stacey Keller, AIA, Windsor, believes there are opportunities for AIA Wisconsin to build upon its new AMP leadership initiative. For example, membership engagement could be enhanced by sharing articles on leadership topics, offering seminars on leadership issues at state conference, hosting AMP sessions at firm offices and inviting AMP graduates to annual planning retreat. Keller is the Young Architects Regional Director and a co-coordinator of AMP.
Storytelling – Highlight contributions to the profession and diverse career paths through a regular Member Spotlight communication feature.
AIA Wisconsin Secretary/Treasurer Andy Malanowski, AIA, Milwaukee, is the champion for the Member Spotlight initiative. The idea of recognizing the contributions of members in the newsletter addresses communication, education and public outreach goals. A committee is developing criteria, standard questions and submission form to implement the program.
Advocacy – Create resources to demystify the legislative process and get architects more engaged in government affairs and community service.
A goal of this strategic initiative includes developing stronger relationships between members and public officials, with AIA members recognized as “trusted advisors,” explains Daryl Dean, AIA, Rhinelander, the immediate Past President of AIA Wisconsin and chair of the Strategic Council. Next steps involve expanding participation in AIA Wisconsin’s annual State Capitol Day and training members to be confident in engaging in state and local advocacy efforts.
Recognition – Establish a program to recognize “Citizen Architects” for their role in improving our communities.
Thomas Hirsch, FAIA, Madison, explains that the purpose of this initiative is to encourage community service by recognizing AIA Wisconsin members for their contributions. Next steps involve developing short description of eligibility criteria and registration process for use in promoting the program to members.
The one-day planning session on July 20 at the Aldo Leopold Center near Baraboo was chaired by AIA Wisconsin Vice President/President-Elect Paul Martzke, AIA, Green Bay.