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  • Anna Harkey

Jeff Jeno, AIA, 2024 President

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

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