Grassroots 2018


Grassroots 2018 is an exclusive event for our leaders. The agenda emphasizes component leadership and workshops designed to help component officers become more effective chapter and civic leaders.

The conference will open doors and provide opportunities for us to share knowledge, experiences, and challenges. The premise of this year’s Grassroots theme “Leading through Influence,” is to demonstrate the impact of influence in improving chapter and firm effectiveness, communities, and the lives of others. Empowering attendees to best serve their chapters, communities and the profession is an integral part of the experience.


Monday, March 12

Pre-event optional activities (Please note: These events require advance registration.)

Noon Lunch for pre-event workshop attendees

12:30–3:30pm Pre-event workshops

3:30–5pm Regional meetings  

5:15–6:15pm First–timers welcome reception

6:30–8pm Opening reception

The Headquarters at Seaport, 789 W Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA  92101

(Please note: This is an outdoor facility so please plan to dress accordingly.)

Dinner on your own

Tuesday, March 13              

7:15–8am Welcome breakfast

8:15–9:45am Opening plenary session

Component Excellence Award presentations

Candidates for national office

  • “A Conversation with AIA Leaders”
  • Whitney M. Young – 50th anniversary presentation
  • “Architects Role in Building Communities”    

11:45am–1:15pm Lunch and keynote address

Jonathan F.P. Rose, Real estate developer, urban developer and author

1:20–2:45pm General session

“My AIA Story” and Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team (R/UDAT) breakout sessions

2:45–4 pm Developing as a Leader Workshops

Choose from nine concurrent workshops. Attendees receive 1.25 LUs unless noted otherwise.

Dinner on your own  

Wednesday, March 14

7–8:30am CACE Breakfast Meeting (for CACE members only)

7:30–8:30am Strategic Council 2018 Work Group topical breakfasts

8:45–9:45am General session

Mayors Panel: Leading as Influencers

10–11:15am Developing as a Leader Workshops

Choose from eight concurrent workshops. Attendees receive 1.15 LUs unless noted otherwise.

11:30am–12:45pm Developing as a Leader Workshops

Choose from nine concurrent workshops. Attendees receive 1.15 LUs unless noted otherwise.

1–1:45pm General session and luncheon

2–4pm Closing general session & closing keynote address

Sessions and workshops must be selected during registration. View the full list of session and workshop descriptions >


View a list of registrants by state report (updated on Thursday, March 8).


The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina is sold out, please find a list of alternate hotel rooms below.


AIA is pleased to offer discounted airline and car rentals for travel to San Diego for Grassroots 2018.

You can book directly with the carriers below, or use your own agent. Another option is to use AIA’s official travel agency, Ovation Corporate Travel, by calling (800) 925 4055 or (516) 624 0308 for international callers on Monday-Friday from 9am-8pm EST (booking fees apply).

Delta Air Lines

Reservations and ticketing are available through Delta here (a direct link to AIA’s discount page), or through Ovation Travel or your agent. When booking through Ovation or your agent, ask them to use the meeting code NMQZT in the box provided on the “Search Flights” page.

Reservations may also be made by calling Delta Meeting reservations at (800) 328 1111 Monday-Friday 7am-7pm CDT and using the same meeting code. (Please note that there is a fee for booking through the reservation phone number.)

United Airlines

United Airlines is pleased to offer discounts of 2 percent to 10 percent off published fares. Save an additional 3 percent off by booking your own reservations at Choose your flight times, and access your meeting discounts by inserting ZYY6630145 in the “Offer Code” box.

You may also call your travel professional or United Meetings at (800) 426 1122 for reservations. Refer to Z Code ZYY6 and Agreement Code 630145.

Outside of the United States, please call your local United Airlines reservation office.



Coming soon.



Sam Assefa, Director, Office of Planning & Community Development, Seattle

Prior to his appointment by Mayor Ed Murray in 2016, Mr. Assefa served as the senior urban designer for the City of Boulder, Colorado. From 2002 to 2010, he was the Director of Land Use and Planning Policy at the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, and served as Deputy Chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Between 1991 and 2002, he worked as the senior urban designer for the San Francisco architecture firm of SMWM as well as the City of San Francisco Planning Department. While in San Francisco, he was responsible for the implementation of various urban design policies and redevelopment plans including the Hunters Point Shipyard, the Trans Bay Center, Rincon Hill, and the Better Neighborhoods Program. Mr. Assefa is a graduate of MIT with a Master’s in City Planning, and the University of Illinois, Chicago, with a B.A. in Architecture.

Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D., Author and Consultant on Higher Education, Access and Diversity, New York

Dr. Cantarella is the daughter of  Civil Rights leader Whitney M. Young, Jr. Formerly a corporate executive, she is the author of I CAN Finish College: The Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide, has been a Dean at Hunter College, and at Princeton University and on the Dean’s staff at NYU’s College of Arts and Science. She co-directs the CUNY Hunter College Black Male Initiative. She works with students, schools and programs around the issue of college success.

David Dixon, FAIA, Senior Principal, Stantec’s Urban Places Planning and Urban Design Lead, Boston

David Dixon leads planning and urban design for Stantec’s Urban Places, an interdisciplinary initiative to assist clients and communities in managing the accelerating pace of social, economic, environmental, and technological change. For the past three years he has participated in planning more than $10 billion of investment in walkable, mixed-use, and sustainable districts in cities and suburbs alike. Mr. Dixon is especially known for initiating a national dialogue—through lectures, commentary, and the organization of two national conferences—about creating “walkable density” as an essential tool for achieving the benefits unlocked by the flow of people and investment into urban environments. Mr. Dixon is the co-author of Urban Design for an Urban Century: shaping more livable, equitable, and resilient cities (Wiley, 2014) and Suburban Remix: the next generation of urban places (Island Press, 2018).

Toni L. Griffin, Assoc. AIA, Professor in Practice in Urban Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge

Toni L. Griffin is founder of Urban Planning for the American City, based in New York City. Through the practice, Ms. Griffin served as Project Director for the Detroit Work Project Long Term Planning initiative, and released Detroit Future City, a comprehensive citywide framework for urban transformation.  In her current role at Harvard, Ms. Griffin directs The Just City Lab, a multi-year platform for developing values-based planning methodologies, including indicator frameworks and participatory engagement tools. She is an architect and urban planner, holding a degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Harvard Graduate School of Design Loeb Fellowship.

Daniel S. Hart, FAIA, PE,  At-Large Director, AIA National Board of Directors

Dan Hart has worked to transform the communities he serves through collaborative design as a Principal and Director of Higher Education Practice for his firm Parkhill, Smith & Cooper. He serves on the board of directors of the 320-person firm founded in Lubbock. Both an architect and engineer, Mr. Hart was an adjunct instructor of architectural engineering at Texas Tech University.  Dan has served as chair of the Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series for Midland College and is currently a Trustee on the Board of Shreiner University. Mr. Hart has devoted his service to building community in and beyond the AIA. He was elevated to the College of Fellows in 2014.  

Jonathan F.P. Rose, Real Estate Developer, Urban developer, and Author

Jonathan F.P. Rose’s business, public policy and not-for-profit work focus on creating a more environmentally, socially and economically responsible world. In 1989, Mr. Rose founded Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, consulting and investment firm. The firm has completed $2.3 billion of transformational work, in close collaboration with cities and not-for-profits. Mr. Rose is a thought leader in a wide range of urban issues, and the development of communities of opportunity. Mr. Rose’s book on how to create resilient cities, The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life, won the 2017 PROSE Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work by a Trade Publisher. Mr. Rose and his wife Diana Calthorpe Rose are the co-founders of the Garrison Institute, aan organization that connects inner transformation with outer solutions to relieve suffering in the fields of trauma, education and the environment.


Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor, Baton Rouge

Sharon Weston Broome has been a public servant for more than two decades. Her first step as a councilwoman led to her election as the first female mayor-president of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish. The Chicago native and longtime Louisiana resident has served as a Louisiana state representative and senator. She continues to lead with a call to build a Baton Rouge full of peace, prosperity and progress.

Michael Hancock, Mayor of Denver

Michael B. Hancock is Denver's 45th mayor. During his time in office, Mayor Hancock and his administration have eliminated the city’s budget deficit, fostered a diverse economy and restored much needed services that were lost during the recession. With a drive toward increasing opportunity for every resident, he has prioritized innovative solutions to investing in the city’s children and youth; increasing mobility options, affordable housing and services for the homeless; supporting economic mobility, entrepreneurs and small businesses; and making government work smarter for residents.

Tom Tait, Mayor Anaheim

Tom Tait was elected as mayor of Anaheim in November 2010 and re-elected to his second term in November 2014. As mayor, Mr. Tait has promoted Anaheim as a city of kindness. Under his Kindness Initiative, Anaheim Union School District students fulfilled a pledge to complete amillion acts of kindness. He also created the Hi Neighbor program, which simply encourages neighbors to get to know one another through acts of kindness and to build social infrastructure that leads to stronger, more resilient communities. Under the Kindness Initiative, Tait also launched a program called Coming Home Anaheim, which coordinates the work and resources of local community and religious groups to provide homes and help for the homeless. In 2011, Tait, formed a Regulatory Relief Task Force to review and eliminate regulatory burdens on existing and prospective businesses in Anaheim, resulting in more freedom for people to achieve their dreams.

Charles Travis, III, FAIA, Mayor of Cornelius (2013-2017)

Charles (Chuck) Travis, FAIA, has been a long-term advocate for the art, craft and technology of housing practice, dedicating his career to formulating housing design strategies that are both economically and environmentally sustainable. His work has resulted in applicable solutions for the challenges housing projects bring to owners, communities and infrastructure.  Mayor Travis has lectured on housing design trends to national and international audiences, and continues to serve as a frequent juror to academic housing studios and award committees. He is currently serving as the mayor of the town of Cornelius, North Carolina, after being elected  town commissioner for two previous terms. He also serves on numerous leadership boards including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Regional the Conference of Mayors.


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