AIAIL Board Of Directors

  

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2016 President 
Richard C. (Rik) Master , AIA

Rik is a Research Architect with over 40 years in the science of buildings and currently serves as Sr. Manager, Sustainability for USG Corporation. His responsibilities include sustainable guidance and technical support, environmental research and documentation. Rik spent 14 years in Building Science and 17 years at the USG Research Center, where he developed many building systems, including the Light Steel Framing Manual and USG ACTION software package which evolved into the current USG technical website. 

I hope to continue serving the profession and help lead AIA Illinois in several key areas which are so intertwined: Advocacy, Practice, Licensing and Communication. The Practice of Architecture has changed in recent years and will continue to evolve. We can be one of the drivers or sit passively as others make changes. I prefer to drive our future. Licensure and the protection of our profession must remain our primary goal. In these hard economic times, this task will become more difficult and even more important! 

Advocacy, or being better linked and engaged with our state legislators, is one of the best methods of protection of our licensure and practice. Effective communication is needed to maintain this engagement of both the board and membership. In addition, communication is needed to report the performance of our board as well as the state chapter as a whole. AIA Illinois has come a long way and I want to help continue with this positive drive.

  

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President-Elect/Treasurer 
Mark Schwamel , AIA

Mark is a Registered Architect and Studio Director for Gensler Architects in Chicago. His architecture experience includes retail, commercial, headquarters, and high profile hospitality projects. In addition to architecture, Mark is an integral part of the Planning and Urban Design group at Gensler. Mark has served on the AIA Illinois state board as an AIA Chicago Delegate, Young Architects Forum (YAF) Regional Director and as the Associate Director to the National Associates Committee (NAC) and locally he has served as Associate Director on the AIA Chicago Board. 

I feel AIA’s mission is to raise awareness, to inspire, to lobby, to educate. AIA protects and promotes the advancement of the profession and the improvement of the built environment. As an Architect and active member of the AIA, it is a great place for networking, mentoring and collaborating on all levels. For me, it has been an additional creative outlet allowing me to strengthen my communication and leadership skills. On my own, I’m a singular voice; however, when my voice is part of an organization that is the collective voice of our profession, it amplifies our ability to make change.

  

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ILLINOIS REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE TO THE INSTITUTE'S STRATEGIC COUNCIL 
Peter Exley , FAIA

Peter is an architect, designer and advocate for interactive public environments, committed to construction of new paradigms in pedagogy, play, public space and participatory experience.  Hailing from Yorkshire, he arrived in Chicago for a year in 1985. He has mostly been there ever since, and founded Architecture Is Fun on April Fools’ Day 1994. He is a Professor and Faculty Director of Career Development Outreach at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the co-host of PechaKucha Night Chicago, winner of the 2012 Benjamin Moore HUE Award and served as 2013 President of AIA Chicago. Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown note that the projects of Architecture Is Fun are “work of significance and relevance, joy and seriousness, range and depth.”

Within the leadership structure of the AIA, I look forward to growing the AIA Illinois network and supplementing the outward facing recognition, connectivity, and public expertise that exists, representing on issues of communications, advocacy, representation and flying the flag for AIA architects and what we do.  

We are AIA, AIAS, Assoc. AIA, FAIA, Professor, Hon. AIA, Board Member, MEMBER, National, State, Local, Global, Graduate, Student, Movie Maker, Writer, BIG building, small building, Public, Private, Advocate, Town, Gown, Influencer, Thinker, Bike-Rider, Problem-Solver, East Coast, West Coast, Best Coast, No Coast—each a storyteller on the subject of Architecture. This is our AIA, and we are cool.

  

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ILLINOIS REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE TO THE INSTITUTE'S STRATEGIC COUNCIL 
Jeff Flemming , AIA

  

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EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT 
Mike Waldinger , Hon. AIA

Architecture is about taking something that doesn’t exist and imagining it 
into existence for an owner. The association embodies the characteristics of its members, giving us a mindset of exploring possibilities. If you ask architects why they chose their career, somewhere along the line the answer boils down to a desire to change the world. At AIA Illinois, we get these moments of impact to create more opportunity so amazing people can change the world. Not a bad way to make a living.

My favorite building is the Illinois Capitol. It’s a grand civic space that has gotten better and better over the years thanks to the original designer, restoration firms and the Architect of the Capitol. Plus, we have won a lot of victories there for the profession and the public since 1897. My favorite space in which to reflect and recharge is the 150 acres of Washington Park in Springfield. It’s a wonderful community asset, designed by landscape architect O.C. Simonds and on the National Register.

It seems as if everybody lost something in the downturn. But if history is a guide, the recoveries always outpace where you were when things started falling. So imagine that for a second…an architecture industry more robust than the 2007 peak? That’s a major recovery and we need to be ready, by clearing a path to licensure, providing effective business tools, pushing for a better regulatory framework, advocating forward looking public policies, and helping people connect within the profession. The organization is only as good as the individuals in it. We can provide a home for like-minded people to join forces, but we also need to be clear that everyone plays a part. Here’s the big vision for the next decade—AIA helping launch people into lives of service.

  

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chicago delegate 
Ellen Dickson , AIA

Ellen Dickson, AIA, is the founder and managing partner of Bailey Edward Design, a Chicago-based architecture and engineering firm established in 1991. Dickson, a Registered Architect and Interior Designer, is responsible for directing the day-to-day business operations and marketing efforts for the firm. A frequent lecturer before business and community organizations, Dickson has taught at the university level and has served in leadership positions within organizations including the American Institute of Architects and National Organization of Women Business Owners.

I chose architecture after an aptitude test showed that I was strong in 3D visualization. Since I also had always been interested in art, my mother suggested architecture and I started to look at the buildings and houses along my morning paper route. I thought it would be great to create something that built community and could be beautiful.

In the next decade, I would like to see architects as thought leaders in health and wellness of people, buildings and communities. The main reason I’m involved with AIA is to give back to the community. I first got involved with AIA to be involved in promoting good design and to spend time with other architects. I started on AIA Chicago’s Design Committee, helped establish the youth outreach program Box City, and worked on the annual awards.

My favorite Illinois building is the Dana Thomas House in Springfield. It is such a brilliant house in plan layout, but most importantly in section. Moving through it, from room to room, is an experience in the manipulation of scale.

  

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chicago delegate 
Janeen Harrell , AIA

Janeen Harrell, AIA, is a native of Durham, North Carolina and earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Hampton University in 2001. She practiced for three years with The Freelon Group Architects before studying at Cornell University where she earned the degree of Master of Arts in Interior Design with a specialization is Sustainable and Regenerative design in 2006. Her thesis work explored the affordability of sustainable housing through comparison of materials and potential contribution to a carbon trading market. After graduating, she stayed at Cornell to teach the Sophomore Interior Design Studio before moving to Chicago, where she has worked with Nicholas Clark Architects and Harley Ellis Devereaux.

I have known since the 8th grade that I would be an architect. I can’t recall any one major influence and believe it was an overlapping and fusion of experiences that ignited the spirit of design within me. For example, my family visited open houses for years before finally moving to a new house; whether completed and furnished or under construction, I found something extremely exciting about experiencing those spaces. I have always enjoyed the arts (visual & performance) and math, and even at a young age, architecture seemed the perfect marriage of my scientific and creative sides.

I most enjoy helping people realize their own vision, even if they can’t initially articulate it. The constant discovery that results from listening, defining, and solving [repeat], intrigues me and keeps me motivated. 

If you’re not careful, it can be easy to fall into an insular existence where you only reach for the things that are immediately adjacent to you. I am active in the AIA because I believe exposure to different kinds of people, practices, and ideas makes us much better architects. The more I can learn from others’ stories and share my own, the richer our collective story becomes.

  

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EASTERN DELEGATE 
James Maciejewski , AIA

Jim Maciejewski received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  He became Principal Architect of his firm, JMA Architects, located in South Holland, Illinois in 2001.  Jim is active in the Eastern Illinois Chapter and currently serves as the chapter’s delegate to the state board.  He has been the President of the Board of Zoning Appeals in his hometown of St. John, Indiana for the past 12 years.  In his spare time, Jim is active in his church, where he participates in the music ministry.

A love of math, combined with my artistic talents, is what led me to the field of architecture.  My firm has both designed and managed numerous public and private projects.  The thrill of designing a new building or space, along with the satisfaction of seeing people put it to use, is what drives me to continue.  

The AIA has allowed me to make contact with other architects I would not have typically met.  The grassroots efforts of the AIA allow me to be an advocate for issues I believe in, that are voted on by the State legislature.  I am fortunate to have this opportunity to contribute my time and talent to such a valuable association.

  

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NORTHEAST DELEGATE 
Terence A. Moeller , AIA

Terry is Vice President, Director of Architecture at Wight & Company and is also in leadership in AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE).

I joined the AIA about 10 years ago when the National Convention was in Chicago, because I wanted to be involved in the larger architectural community and network with other architects. My main reason for participating in the AIA now is giving back to the profession and to help strengthen the profession, including advocacy.

I intend to help see the Statewide Repositioning Effort through to the next level, as laid out during the Statewide Local Component Summit in St. Louis in November. We should be able to provide more effective support for members. I also see advocacy at the state and local governmental unit levels as critical areas on which to focus.

  

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PRAIRIE CHAPTER DELEGATE 
John Saunders , AIA

John Saunders is an architect, Vice President, and managing principal of Larson & Darby Group, which is the largest firm in the Rockford region. 

I draw inspiration from being an integral part of the entire business process, from the initial vision to the finished product. I am inspired by seeing the buildings that the firm designs become a reality and I make it a priority to work closely with clients.

I’m involved in AIA to maintain a leading-edge perspective and stay actively involved in the architectural community. I attended National Grassroots two years, and have attended our Prairie Grassroots annually since 2011. I’ve also participated in the AIA Illinois Leadership Training program in 2010 and the AIA Leadership Institute.  I served as the alternate statewide delegate of the Northern Illinois Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/NI), serving two years as the AIA/NI president, and four years on the board. 

It’s also important for me to be involved in my local community. I serve on the board for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) and am a past board member of the school board for Spectrum Progressive School.  

Much of my vacation time each year is spent on various Boy Scout treks and activities as a troop leader for Boy Scout Troop 14. I have led many several high adventure treks, including the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota and, most recently, a 10 day, 64 mile, 11,700 foot trek up Mount Phillips at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

  

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AT-LARGE DELEGATE 
Steve Kismohr

Steve Kismohr, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is the Senior Technical Manager at the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), a non-profit based in Chicago, IL. Utilizing the holistic design approach he developed during his 15 years of design and sustainability practices, Steve assists cities and states in the Midwest to create initiatives and ordinances to meet their goals for building energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. He also provides technical assistance to public entities as they adapt the latest technology and energy management practices into their own building management processes. Steve received a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mr. Kismohr is a past Chair of AIA Chicago's Committee on the Environment (COTE) and currently participates on the AIA Chicago 2030 Working Group.

I hope to rekindle the flame of advocacy within the architectural profession - by expanding the voice of Architects on public issues. As a profession, we have the ability to understand complex problems and develop long lasting creative solutions. I hope that by increasing the participation of Illinois Architects in public matters, the result will be a greater understanding of the Architect’s role in leading the design of high performing buildings. My goal is to visit each spectacular and beautiful edifice in this year’s Illinois Great Places Calendar!

  

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At-Large Delegate 
Andreas Symeonides , Assoc. AIA

Andreas is an architectural intern at Wight & Company in Darien, Illinois. Before coming on board as an AIA Illinois Board Director, Andreas served as the Associate Director for the Northeast Illinois chapter for several years. Among the committees Andreas actively represents and/or chairs at AIA NEI include the Emerging Professionals, Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) and Repositioning committees. Andreas earned both his Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies degrees from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Andreas’ professional experience includes work in campus and urban planning, commercial and institutional design and an emphasis in the education market.

From a young age I was always fascinated by the built world around me. Great spaces were playgrounds in which I could explore and allow my imagination to run wild. These places inspired me to dream of my own ideal spaces. I allowed these aspirations to become a lifelong pursuit with a career in architecture. Within the AIA, I found a place where we can celebrate our profession and the built world around us.

 As an Associate AIA member and previous Associate Director, I seek to be a strong conduit between our Associate members and the Illinois board. I am currently pursuing to complete my examination and license myself in the state of Illinois. Upon doing so, I will continue to voice the opinions of our emerging professionals and young architects – the future leaders of our communities.
 

  

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STUDENT DIRECTOR 
Kaitlin Gerson , AIAS

Kaitlin grew up in a small community in Colorado. One of her first jobs at age 14 was spending two days a week at a local architecture firm. She’s currently a second-year graduate student pursuing her M. Arch at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, after receiving a B.S. Arch from the University of Virginia.  She also serves her fellow students as an AIAS/NCARB Architect Licensing Advisor. Kaitlin's area of interest is healthcare design.
 
At the Colorado firm, at first I spent a lot of time organizing the libraries and material selections. I returned every summer until I graduated from high school. As my responsibilities grew, so would my excitement for the profession.
 
My favorite space in Illinois is somewhere in the sky.  Whenever I visit new cities, I try to find the landmark that will let me rise many stories above the ground.  I have viewed Chicago from the 76th floor of the Aon Center and “the Ledge” in the Willis Tower. Looking far beyond the immediate context, where you can begin to see the curvature of the earth, reminds me how much of the world I have yet to see and explore, and all the possibilities that life has to offer.  
 
As a board member, my goal is to set up a way for the professional community to aid the students in their endeavors. We should do what we can to aid the ambitions of those who are the future of the organization.