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I trust this letter finds you well in the new year of 2024. At AIA Illinois, we're gearing up for an exciting year filled with educational opportunities, networking events, and advocacy for the profession. To ensure a successful journey ahead, we recognize that your active participation is key.

Engaging with AIA Illinois opens the door to a world of connections, shared experiences, and staying abreast of the latest industry trends. By immersing yourself in the AIA Illinois community, you not only expand your professional network but also gain the chance to collaborate, contributing significantly to the growth of the architecture profession.

In 2024, our highly anticipated annual conference will return for its second year in person, providing unparalleled education and networking prospects. Beyond this event, we're excited to offer monthly webinars featuring our valued partners, along with our coffee talk webinars and our annual advocacy day at the Capitol on March 13, Prairie Grassroots. Embrace these opportunities to elevate your practice and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving industry.

For those seeking a more participatory or leadership role, consider joining one of our committees for the year. Actively participating in a committee is a powerful way to make a meaningful impact, whether your interests lie in advocacy, early professional activities, or community outreach. Your unique skills and perspectives can contribute significantly to the success of our initiatives, shaping the future of AIA Illinois.

If joining a committee is not within your current scope, but you have insights to share, seize the chance to participate in our new initiative launching at our February board meeting. Your involvement in these sessions provides a platform to voice your opinions and concerns directly to the board of directors, fostering a collaborative environment. As a member-driven organization, your engagement is crucial to the success and vitality of AIA Illinois. Together, let's forge a community that inspires and supports each other in achieving our professional goals.

Should you have any questions or require assistance in getting involved, feel free to reach out to the AIA Illinois office at We deeply appreciate your commitment to excellence in architecture and look forward to your continued participation.

Thank you for being an integral part of our AIA Illinois community!

Eric Klinner, CAE

AIA Illinois Executive Vice President

  • Anna Harkey

Dear fellow members and friends,

May this letter find you well as we enter our 2024 membership year!

I am honored to serve as this year’s state chapter president, in partnership with the chapter’s distinguished volunteer board and highly-skilled and dedicated staff. The important work we will do together builds upon the transformative work of our prior board members, allied partnerships and member input statewide.

With advancing the chapter’s goals and objectives, I would like my tenure to also foster expanded ways that members and aspiring architects can engage with the board and staff, and members statewide. In whatever way you can, whatever your experience or practice interests, I encourage you to take advantage of your membership and become involved. Some ways include:

  • Attend a Board Meeting: The board meets quarterly in different areas of the state; this year includes Moline (Feb. 15-16), Chicago (May 16-17), Springfield (Sept. 13-14), and East St. Louis (Nov. 14-15). The chapter will host online/virtual participation for the general sessions, in addition to our on-site locations.

  • Reach Out Via Email or Telephone: We’ve created a dedicated email and webpage for advocacy subjects (nonpartisan representation at the Illinois State Capitol is one of the state chapter’s primary functions for members). If you have a question about a particular topic, bill or policy, email General inquiries may also be emailed to, or call (217) 522-2309.

  • Participate with One of the State Chapter’s Committees: This can be a great way for members to be involved without the commitments of being an elected board member. Reach out and consider ways to participate with your local component, too.

  • Attend Prairie Grassroots at the Springfield State Capitol (March 13, 2024): Members statewide and allied partners will convene again to meet with legislators, learn about and advocate for issues important to the architecture profession and communities we serve.

  • Attend an Education Program: The chapter will continue to host the virtual/online “Coffee Talk” series and support other education programs throughout the year.

  • Attend the Illinois Annual Conference (scheduled for October): This event provides continuing education credits from focused programs, keynote speakers and breakout sessions, and opportunities to connect with members and event sponsors.

  • Support Students, Aspiring Architects and Emerging Professionals: Attend programs including the annual AIAspire Student Leadership Conference and Early Professionals Summit.

  • Consider Serving as a Board Member: Nominations and letters of interest open in September.

I look forward to continuing my participation with the board and staff to advance our chapter’s Four Strategic Plan Goals:

  1. To empower our members

  2. To champion the profession of architecture

  3. To deliver special programs

  4. To thrive as an organization

The chapter will continue to update members regularly throughout the year on each of these goals.

Regarding one of these goals, the ability for the Illinois state chapter “to thrive as an organization,” I am pleased to report that leadership remains strong through the selection of Eric Klinner, CAE (Fall 2023) as the chapter’s Executive Vice President. Eric’s assets for our organization include his longstanding experience and accomplishments as this chapter’s prior Managing Director, which already position Eric and the board to look ahead for how the chapter’s operations will evolve and grow while supporting the Strategic Plan goals and sustaining the chapter’s mission, vision and action.

I invite you to reach out to me with any ideas, thoughts, or new ways you could be involved: email

My relationship with AIA began over 25 years ago, when I joined my local/Chicago chapter. Through the simple action of joining an event, I met others who encouraged my participation; a member took notice and invited me to join a knowledge committee that supported my curiosities; my interest to learn more about the profession led me to meet other chapter members through this state council, ultimately introducing me to opportunities to participate with the Illinois board.

I have experienced that our AIA membership holds potential value far beyond the cost of the dues. Your own simple actions and involvement can allow you to grow your own knowledge, meet new members, learn things you might not have known or considered, strengthen our profession, and even introduce others to see potential pathways for their own engagement.

Until our next update – HAPPY 2024, and I look forward to our shared experiences ahead!

Jeff Jeno, AIA

2024 AIA Illinois President

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Nov. 13, 2023) - AIA Illinois announces the recipients of the 2023 AIA Illinois Honor Awards, “A Celebration of Better Illinois Communities by Design,” recognizing architecture throughout Illinois. Award recipients have been selected by a jury from nominations submitted this spring. AIA Illinois recognized their contributions at a ceremony in Champaign, Ill. on Oct. 26. The AIA Illinois Honor Awards recognize people and projects epitomizing the contributions of the architecture profession, the transformative power of design, and the dedication of individuals to service and excellence. All award winners have positively impacted citizens throughout the state of Illinois by helping create communities in which people are drawn to live and work, and to live healthier and happier. “A sincere congratulations to all of the 2023 Honor Award recipients,” said Eric Klinner, CAE, executive vice president at AIA Illinois. “Your contributions to our built environment impact us all and strengthen our communities.” “Congratulations to all of the recipients,” said Leanne Meyer-Smith, AIA, 2023 president of AIA Illinois’ Board of Directors. “The decisions were difficult ones, but this year’s award recipients have shown exemplary work and great service to bettering our communities and the built environment.”

  • The Capitol Award - Chicago O’Hare International Airport Terminal 5 East Extension | Chicago, Ill. | The highest state honor given for a transformational project - one designed for the human experience that works towards cultural transformation. Selected from all submissions, chosen directly by the jury. "This is a striking addition - modest in size and scale, but not lacking in detail and thoughtful execution," said one juror. "This project is a perfect example of Design for Community though its celebration of travel, engagement of stakeholders, and champion of local arts and artists. It fully embraces the energy and excitement of travel and also provides some beautiful counterpoints of rest and contemplation for the weary traveler."

  • Greatest Impact: Project Construction Value $5 Million and Above Joliet Inpatient Treatment Center | Joliet, Ill.

  • Greatest Impact: Project Construction Value Below $5 Million – Farm on Ogden | Chicago, Ill.

  • For Excellence in Historic Preservation: Project Construction Value $5 Million and AboveTribune Tower Conversion | Chicago, Ill.

  • For Excellence in Historic Preservation: Project Construction Value Below $5 MillionMidtown Faust | Rockford, Ill.

  • Excellence in Master Planning - Clark Street Crossroads Corridor Study | Chicago, Ill.

  • For Excellence in Interiors: Projects 5,000 SF and Above - Elgin Math + Science Academy Campus | Elgin, Ill.

  • For Excellence in Interiors: Projects Under 5,000 SFState Street Apartment | Chicago, Ill.

The 2023 AIA Illinois Design Honor Award jurors include Allison Anderson, FAIA, Varun Kohli, FAIA, and Tate Walker, AIA. Service Award recipients are voted on by the current Board of Directors.

  • Gold Medal for Outstanding Lifetime Service – Peter Exley, FAIA

  • R. Buckminster Fuller Award for Social Good – Sheri Andrews, AIA

  • John Wellborn Root Award for Emerging Professionals – Kelly Moynihan, AIA

  • Nathan Clifford Ricker Award for Architecture Education – Francisco J. Rodríguez-Suárez, FAIA

  • Alan Madison Award for Diversity Work – Roderic Walton, AIA

About AIA Illinois

AIA Illinois, the state component of the national American Institute of Architects (AIA), represents more than 4,200 members working to build livable communities from Cairo to Chicago to Rockford. It is empowered by members to champion the profession of architecture. Learn more at or call (217) 522-2309.

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