New Jersey Hosts the Annual American Institute of Architects Large States Conference

October 17, 2018

AIA Large States Presidents-Elect at the Welcome Dinner

 New Jersey Hosts the Annual American Institute of Architects Large States Conference


AIA New Jersey hosted the annual meeting of AIA Large States in Princeton, New Jersey led by President Verity Frizzell, FAIA. Also participating from AIA NJ were President-Elect Judy Donnely, AIA; AIA New Jersey Regional Representative and Moderator for the Strategic Council, Bruce Turner, AIA and Regional Associate Director, Megan Pritts, Associate AIA.  The conference was attended by the Executive Director, President, President-elect, Regional Representative, and a young architect from each of 8 states:  New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, California, Illinois & Michigan.

Strategic Councilors (Nathan Butler of Florida is missing from the photo) Left to Right: Michael Skolnick, AIA – Pennsylvania, Ric Abramson, FAIA – California, Donna Kacmar, FAIA – Texas, Bruce Turner, AIA – New Jersey, Kelly Hayes-McAlonie, AIA – New York, Rik Master, FAIA – Illinois, Jeffrey Ferweda, AIA – Michigan Chip Desmone, AIA – Pennsylvania



The annual meeting serves as an opportunity for the large state leaders to get together as peers to discuss issues of relevance to single state regions.  The host city is also typically a part of the agenda with tours associated with the history and culture of Princeton. The program included a strategic planning session where it was discussed what the Large States group can be and accomplish together.  Our guests engaged in roundtable discussions of today’s most pressing subjects.


Presentations on each topic interspersed with the roundtable discussions.


They included how AIA can be a leader in school safety.  Can design play a role in preventing violent acts or at least protecting the occupants?  In an era of increased floods, fires, high winds, and other “natural” weather events, how can architects effectuate positive outcomes from design?  Many communities are facing acute housing problems, can architects address this problem with the skills they already have?  How can architects better engage in public projects and make sure they are on the “team.”


AIA NJ President Verity Frizzell, FAIA, with a guest presenter


Each state offered their best practices in order to share ideas and work together as a cohesive organization under the umbrella of AIA.   President Verity Frizzell offered a Pecha Kucha on the accomplishments of the State organization as well as the Sections that was warmly received. The 2019 conference is being planned for September 19-21, Pittsburgh, PA, home of the 2019 AIA National President, Bill Bates, FAIA, hosted by Chip Desmone, AIA.


Natalie Shivers, AIA, Princeton University Associate Architect gave a presentation and brief tour on the architectural history of Princeton University.  Visiting states enjoyed the hospitality and charm of Princeton.


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