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Large States Network
Illinois Attendees, Left to Right: Rik Master, FAIA, Illinois Regional Representative; Terrence Moeller, AIA, President-Elect; Kim Kurtenbach, AIA, President; Mike Waldinger, Hon. AIA, Executive Vice President; and Andreas Symeonides, Associate AIA, Young Architect Regional Director.

Illinois is one of the "large states" of the American Association of Architects, states that are large enough to be considered their own region in the AIA association world. They include New York; Texas; California; Pennsylvania; Florida; Michigan and New Jersey.

Recently, AIA Illinois board leadership attended a Large States Network (LSN) Roundtable, an informal, annual get-together. This year's Roundtable was hosted in Princeton, NJ. (Rewatch the movie A Beautiful Mind for great shots of that campus' architecture.)

The gathering is a chance for leadership from the single-state regions to get together and exchange information about the challenges and successes in each. "It was my first time attending," said Terrence Moeller, AIA Illinois President-Elect. "The in-person interaction helped reinforce that while we’re all single-state regions, there is a variety of approaches for how each state is organized and does things."

The Roundtable is also an opportunity for state chapters to steal good ideas that work from other states. Eric Klinner, AIA Manager Director, says that many of the large states have asked him for AIA Illinois' strategic planning process, which the staff and board went through in 2015 to determine which programs were still relevant.

"Traveling to the east coast always reminds me of how ‘young’ Illinois is compared to the original colony states and seeing buildings well beyond the age of anything around my area gives me plenty of buildings and building details to take in," added Moeller.
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