News & Press: CHAPTER NEWS

April 2017 Chapter News

Thursday, April 13, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: April Becerra

April 2017


President’s Report

By Michelle Ney, AIA


Spring is upon us! Let’s start something new! Every month, at each Board meeting, I get so jazzed about what is happening within our Chapter when we get to the Committee Reports. Why not share the vibe of our good collective work with our members! This month, we are rolling out the first in a series of monthly blog posts which focus on the work of our Committees. You’ll hear about past, current and future events, the diverse activities that are happening, and all are available to you if you wish to participate. 


On the National level is our upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 in Orlando April 26-29 (formerly known as our National Convention). I’ll be there, representing our Chapter, participating in the Annual Business Meeting and voting on the National Candidates and Referendums on your behalf. This year there is only one contested position for Director at Large, and both candidates are very well qualified. If you have any preferences please let me know. AIACC has three Resolutions on the ballot this year, which I fully support. AIACC has been very busy! If you are interested, you can find the information on all election items here:


Happy Spring, happy April, and I hope to see you at our Chapter Meeting on April 19 on Equity, hosted by the WIA Committee. You’ll find out more about this and other Committee activity in the blog. Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think!


Vice President’s Report

Michael Dern, AIA


The AIA National Convention, also known this year as AIA Conference on Architecture 2017, will be in Orlando, Florida at the end of the month (April 27th through the 29th). With 20,000 +/- us architects from the US and other countries attending, we will be networking, learning and having the opportunity to hear from inspiring thinkers and industry leaders.


These are the many seminar sessions that the Conference provides for LU’s, but this year the Keynote Speakers may be this year’s highlight. Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Best-selling author and Harvard professor Amy Cuddy and Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena to name three of the many listed. What we’ll see this year may be one of the most thought enriched Keynoter Lineups that does not have just one “Starchitect” that we must hear from while at the Conference, but many.


Keynote Speaker Sessions share with us about Anticipating Change: What’s Next in Architecture, Anticipate Challenge: Design That Overcomes, and Anticipate Need: Design That Cares. Design and the future of our profession is changing as we are now looked upon as thought leaders and advocates for design and our built environment to lead it forward in our own communities. We’ll see that architecture is always and continuously evolving. I am looking forward to getting out of the office and connecting with the changes and shared experiences within the passion for design, the business of architecture and the advocacy we need to lead in our communities.


What about learning more about thinking and behaviors change our outcomes in design and life? How about a moment to reflect from a presentation on using of our imagination to drive science and technology versus the other way around? These are just a few philosophies the Keynote Speakers bring to this year’s Conference. Our take away will be to bring about these opportunities within the community we live in and fuel our inspiration in architecture within the Silicon Valley (and beyond) of good design is good business.


Megan Blaine, AIA


The WIA are committed to empowering women by fostering growth, developing leaders and role models, and championing the success of women in Architecture. The WIA are excited to announce we've launched a website,, where we promote those values and encourage social interaction by sharing articles, posting upcoming events, featuring women in the industry, and blogging about trending topics monthly. Please visit the site to join us.


Last month, the WIA co-hosted a mentorship workshop with the Emerging Professionals Committee and a happy-hour to connect with others on the path to licensure. In January, the WIA hosted a TED talk screening focused on developing leadership skills. 


The WIA will be hosting the AIA SCV April chapter event, Designing Equity for All, on April 19th. We will have a lively panel discussion about how firms can ensure equity in the workplace, and how women can advance into leadership roles in Architecture, with the goal of co-hosting the Fall Knowledge Conference. Visit to RSVP for Designing Equity for All.



By Carisa Nakano, AIA


The Membership Committee will be hosting an Internship Fair the second week of May for students to meet with local firms to discuss summer internships. The Committee is reaching out to local colleges, but the event is open to all students who are interested. More details to come…


Reminder to renew your membership today! The Membership Committee will be reaching out to individuals whose memberships have lapsed. And if you aren’t a member, please consider joining today!


The 2017 AIA Compensation Survey is currently being conducted. Your participation ensures better metrics for each region and is a useful tool in the ever-changing economic climate. To participate in the survey, please contact the AIA Economics and Market Research Team at



By Steve Sowa, AIA


Attending the AIASCV monthly programs make it easy to stay at the top of your field with programs concentrating on the latest developments and trending topics, current examples of the work of our members, of the many different specialties, design strategies, technologies and history, as well as meeting your continuing education requirements.  Each year our goal is to find noteworthy projects, the latest venues and current areas of interest for the membership, while keeping attendance high.  Working directly with the goals of the AIASCV Board, the Programs Committee’s responsibilities include annual program planning, finding knowledgeable speakers and panel presenters, selecting cutting edge venues, attracting sponsors, creating the program and the meeting format.  We set up and clean up. We do all this with the members of the committee and the help of the Executive Director and assistant.  


The 2017 year started with a different direction.  The Board has decided that each of the Chapter’s committees would be tasked with planning one of the monthly programs.   This is to create better collaboration among all the committees, better representation and provide each with a challenge.  With that said, we have set up an exciting calendar for the 2017 year and hope to see you at a future AIASCV event. 


Our May program will be a joint meeting with the AIA San Mateo chapter.  A firm lecture to be held at the Bishop Hall at Stanford.  June will be our Home Tour Mixer on June 3rd.  We are working out the final details on the mixer and will be posting it soon.  August will be an exciting tour of the new Intuit building in Mountain View and the rest of the year will be equally as exciting and educational.   Look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.


Shohreh Khodabakhshi, Associate AIA


Your path to licensure begins with your local AIA.  The AIA Santa Clara Valley Emerging Professionals Committee (EPC) is very active in offering a variety of programming for its Associate AIA members.  Becoming a licensed architect is a career milestone, professional accomplishment, and the culmination of education, experience and examination.  At the AIASCV, you will find a support system of other professionals who have either gone through the process of working toward licensure or going through it right along with you.


Each month, the EPC hosts events that ae geared toward the emerging architect.  We host evening mixers with our allied friends of IIDA or AIA San Mateo, building tours, firm tours and sketching groups. We also have a consistent group that meets for the ARE 5.0 Study Group two times a month. 


Many EPC members have passion for architecture.  We will try to find a way to link them to the professional community by organizing events each month. If you want to learn more, visit the AIASCV website and check out the Calendar of Events.  You can also reach out to us by email at



By June Yip, AIA


COTE participated in Strategic planning session based on Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Advantage”.  The session helped in finding COTE core values.

  • COTE raise the consciousness of sustainability.
  • COTE need engaged, strategic thinkers who are in it for long haul.


Jerrod Nicholls, Associate AIA


For the past year, my focus as Director on the AIASCV Board has been exploratory; a combination of entertaining ideas, interviewing peers, reaching out to my alma mater and connecting with different AIA affiliates hoping for support. My goal is to create a committee that is rooted in connecting with today’s architecture graduates – a simple statement with lofty expectations and introducing them to the idea of launching their careers in Silicon Valley.


I reached out to Susan Kaleita (Director of the University of Arizona’s Alumni Career Lab) to gauge interest in partnering with AIASCV and my efforts to connect UA’s architecture students with the Bay Area. Susan offered up multiple (broad networking) platforms already in place for us to leverage to be more architecture-specific.  


Additionally, our goal is to partner with AIA Colorado, AIA Orange County and AIA Southern Arizona and present to UA CAPLA students and start utilizing existing platforms from UA Alumni Career Lab. Once we get things moving forward with U of A, we plan on duplicating it across the country with other educational institutions who have architectural programs.





  • Bay Area Builders
  • Bay Print Solutions
  • Blach Construction
  • One Workplace
  • XL Construction
  • Walters & Wolf


What do you think?

  1. About our events?  Any new ideas to share?
  2. About this new report from all of our volunteer leaders to you?
  3. About your own participation in the AIASCV?

First 3 people to respond to our questions receive a Starbucks Gift Card.  Email answer those three questions and a card is on its way to you.