"Impact" is the theme of this year's AIA Convention, which takes place this week in Atlanta. One way that AIA members can have an impact on the organization is by voting in the annual elections. Here's a primer on the voting process, and the candidates and issues that will be on the ballots.

The Voting Process

Delegates must be accredited to vote in the annual business meeting and for national officers. Voting and accreditation will take place at AIA Town Hall, located on the Expo floor in booth 4345 on Thursday, May 14, 3:30–6 p.m., and Friday, May 15, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

If no candidate for first vice president receives a majority of the votes cast during this initial round of voting, a run-off election will take place on May 16.

The Accreditation Process

The number of delegate votes distributed to each chapter are based on a formula involving the number of members in good standing. Each chapter may allocate those votes however they choose—they may elect to distribute delegate cards among members attending convention, or designate all the delegate cards to an individual, such as the chapter president. Regardless of how the chapter allocates the votes, all voters must have a delegate card signed by the chapter president or secretary to be accredited by AIA staff at booth 4345​.

Associate AIA members may serve as chapter delegates, but they aren't allowed to cast more than one-third of the votes of an AIA chapter and cannot vote until after the chapter’s AIA-member delegates have been accredited and voted.

If a chapter is unable to send any members to the convention, it may select a member or state delegate from another chapter in the same state or region to represent the absent chapter by proxy. The president or authorized designee from the absent chapter must give written permission and a signed delegate card to the stand-in member or delegate.

The Candidates

2016 First Vice President / 2017 President-Elect
• Don Brown, FAIA (AIA Montgomery/AIA Alabama)
• Stephen Fiskum, FAIA (AIA Minneapolis/AIA Minnesota)
• Thomas Vonier, FAIA (AIA Continental Europe)

2016-2017 Treasurer
• Stuart Coppedge, AIA (AIA Colorado)

At-Large Directors (three to be elected)
• Jerome Eben, AIA (AIA New Jersey)
• Jane Frederick, FAIA (AIA South Carolina)
• Haley Gipe, Assoc. AIA (AIA San Joaquin/AIA California Council)
• Anthony Schirripa, FAIA (AIA New York Chapter/AIA New York State)
• Jennifer Workman, AIA (AIA Dallas/AIA Texas Society of Architects)

Read what all nine candidates had to say about their goals, the benefits of AIA membership, and the Institute's "I Look Up"​ public awareness campaign. You can hear them speak in these short clips here and at the convention on Thursday, May 14 at 9 a.m.

The Annual Business Meeting
Accredited delegates will vote on bylaws amendments, resolutions, and other business items at the meeting on Saturday, May 16, at 8:15–10 a.m., in Hall A3 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

2015 Proposed Amendments to the AIA Bylaws

The AIA board of directors is sponsoring two proposed amendments to the Institute’s bylaws. ​If enacted by a two-thirds vote by the delegates at the annual business meeting on May 16, the amendments would affect the core member services and the formation of sections by state organizations. These proposed amendments, excerpted from ​the "Official Delegate Information Booklet" are below:

First, the amendments would require AIA chapters and certain sections to meet Core Member Services. The Bylaws currently require that these components meet Performance Criteria. The Member Service Resource Task Force has developed Core Member Services designed to replace the Performance Criteria, and more clearly define component commitment to member service. The Board approved the Core Member Services concept last September. Responding to the Board’s action, the proposed amendments would change references to "Performance Criteria" in the Bylaws so that they read "Core Member Services."

Second, the amendments would authorize any State Organization to form one or more Sections within its territory. The Bylaws currently authorize a Chapter to form one or more Sections within its territory under guidelines set by the Board. (AIA Bylaws, Section 4.21.) A State Organization, however, may not form a Section unless it is a "statewide chapter" (that is, where it functions as the only Chapter in the state). It is therefore impossible in many locations for a State Organization to form a Section, even though that is what members believe to be most beneficial. The Bylaws amendments proposed here are designed to alleviate this situation by allowing any State Organization to form a Section.


Each resolution is brought up for debate; a majority vote by the delegates present at the business meeting is required for adoption. If a resolution is passed by the delegates, it is then considered for ratification and implementation by the board of directors at its first post-convention meeting. A resolution does not take effect without ratification by the board. At this year's meeting, 15 resolutions are up for the debate, on topics ranging from promoting equity in architecture to raising the minimum standards for membership renewal. Read about each resolution here