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2023 AIA Rochester Board of Directors







Jay, a graduate of University of Buffalo (BS Arch) and SUNY Alfred (AAS Architecture Engineering Technology), currently manages the Dwyer Architectural Rochester office as an Associate and Leadership Team member. Jay brings enthusiasm and 17 years of professional experience to the healthcare, medical university and higher education markets. He is a strong leader who commits himself to clients and encourages young professionals. He is focused on the betterment of his local community, possesses a reliable attention to detail and always conducts himself in an unselfish manner in both professional and social situations. In addition to being a fun and loving family man, Jay supports the Rochester AIA, GVRAHE, CSI and serves on the committee for the NYS Healthcare Facilities Conference.



Vice President

Jamie is a Project Architect at SWBR and has worked on an array of project types during his 15-year career there.  He’s currently situated in the Education Studio where he’s focused on K-12 and Higher Education Projects. He finds it very rewarding to design buildings and spaces that both children and young adults get to experience, inhabit and interact with.  He uses his more “technical focused” Bachelor of Science (in Architectural Engineering Technology) degree from Alfred State College to feed his passion for problem solving, detailing & creating a design with depth.


Jamie is excited about the opportunity for professional growth, leadership, and collaboration that this role on the AIA Rochester Board of Directors will provide, and is eager to learn from others in our professional community.





Ben Deuel, Associate AIA






Director of Practice + Design

Syracuse University, M.Arch 2021
Stony Brook University, B.A. Environmental Design, Policy, & Planning 2017

Christina is currently an Architectural Designer at Edge Architecture and has been a team member there since 2018. She is currently an Associate AIA member and has been serving on the Design Awards Committee since 2020, helping the team to prepare and deliver the recognition for those who continue to advance and push the boundaries of practice and design within the Greater Rochester community. She is currently working towards her licensure and aspires to continue the efforts of the committee in recognizing the extraordinary work that has been put forth by those active within the architectural, building/construction, and other industries who continue to improve not only our built environments, but also the quality of life for those who reside within them.



Director of Emerging Rochester Architects (ERA)

Dustin Welch, AIA, CSI-CDT is a Project Architect providing architectural design expertise on a variety of institutional, residential, and aviation projects. He incorporates the latest innovations in design and construction into each of his projects, helping clients achieve their goals. Dustin received his Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a Minor in Environmental Design from SUNY University at Buffalo. He is a board member with AIA Rochester and ACE Rochester with a passion for community engagement.



Director of Education

I received my BArch degree from Alfred State College in May of 2019. In addition, I grew up within the Rochester community and have always gravitated towards architecture since I can remember. I am an Architectural Designer at CPL. My two passions include playing soccer and architecture. Rochester has always been my home, and the City has become and continues to be a place where community is at its forefront. Architecture has the ability to open a variety of avenues, and community is one of the avenues that speaks to me the most. I express a passion for adaptive and innovative design to better the built environment and the users within it, ultimately creating architecture that facilitates positive social impact design.



Director of Outreach

Rob Smithgall is a Project Manager at Young + Wright Architectural with 18+ years of experience and a focus in K-12 Projects. He has a strong work ethic, enjoys sharing knowledge with junior staff and is committed to doing what’s best for the client. Over the years he has helped with the AIA Scholarship Golf Tournament and helped host a few AIA Rochester-sponsored ARE Trivia events. He enjoyed taking part in many of the Emerging Rochester Architect events the Rochester Chapter put together over the years.  Rob looks forward to taking on his new role, meeting more AIA members, and supporting AIA Rochester along with its great community.




Erin, a graduate of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, is a BIM Manager in LaBella's Rochester office. In addition to aiding in developing workflows, tools, and standards, Erin focuses on developing and managing BIM training and technical skills. Her passion for helping others grow and develop makes her a valuable asset to architectural and technology team members. She lives with her wife Kelley and their children in Brighton, NY.

Erin has been a member of the directory committee since 2019. As a part of the directory committee, she has worked to leverage technology and data to make the directory easier to maintain and update. She is passionate about trying new tools and sharing more efficient workflows with others. Erin looks forward to connecting with new and existing chapter members online and in person throughout the coming year.



Director of Communications

Sara received her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from SUNY College of Technology at Alfred and joined Dwyer Architectural as a Project Architect in 2019 focusing on Healthcare.  She joined the Dwyer Team with 20+ years of professional experience including project planning and management. She brings a wide range of design experience to all projects and is dedicated to the clients’ needs, meeting code and contractual requirements while integrating modern design trends to attract patients and maintain staff retention. She has a lot of hometown pride in both growing up here and settling back here after college.  Helping her community through design and architecture continues to be something Sara is passionate about.  In addition to her profession, Sara is an avid reader, history enthusiast and animal lover.  Sara’s enthusiasm, strong communication skills, eye for graphics and natural ability to lead will serve clients, the AIA and ultimately the community well.

Minerva Jang, AIAS


Director of Social Media




Director of Governmental Affairs

 The Government Affairs Director actively lobbies at the local, state, and national levels specifically representing and promoting the interests of AIA Rochester.

Committees overseen: Local Government/Activism

Recent activities have included:

  • Building communications on legislative issues to membership

Potential new activities:

  • Perform an inventory of AIA participation on local planning, zoning, architectural review, and historic preservation boards and report findings back to the Board (this has been done several years ago via a grant)

  • Develop a placement procedure for promoting AIA members to fill positions noted above








AIANYS Representative





AIA Rochester Executive Director

Linda graduated from RIT with a Business Administration degree in 1982.  She has been the Executive Director of AIA Rochester since July 1996.  Prior to that she owned her own consulting business.  She also serves as the Executive Director of the Architectural Foundation of Greater Rochester.  She resides in West Henrietta with her husband Greg and their Guiding Eyes Released Puppy, Demi.

Committees:  Newsletter, Golf, Design Awards, Honor Awards, Membership (Directory)

Volunteer Activities:
Guiding Eyes for the Blind
American Cancer Society - Breast Cancer Awareness



AIA Rochester Associate Director

Michelle Murnane is a registered architect, a LEED accredited professional, and NCARB certificate holder.  She has been an active member of the AIA her entire professional career.  She has held various roles on the Board of AIA Rochester, including President in 2013, and was instrumental in co-founding the Emerging Rochester Architects (ERA), which is AIA Rochester's young professionals' group.  Michelle was also an active member of AIA Columbus' Associates Committee, and co-chaired a program for high school students which was recognized by the National Associates Committee (NAC) in 2003.  Michelle received AIA Rochester's Emerging Architect of the Year Award in 2010.  In addition to her service to the AIA, Michelle has over a decade of specialized experience in practicing healthcare architecture.  She served on the formation committee for the new Master of Architecture program at Rochester Institute of Technology and was active with the program as an Adjunct Assistant Professor and the IDP Education Coordinator with the program.  Michelle graduated cum laude from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

Governmetal Affairs

AIA Rochester Board of Directors (BOD)
Roles & Responsibilities

BOD Roles & Responsibilities

Join the Board for a unique opportunity to serve and influence your profession and peers. If you have ideas, they should be heard!  Open positions are made available in August and voting takes place in the fall.  Winners are announced at our Annual Meeting in October, and new board members are onboarded for the remainder of the year. While a few positions are only open to registered architect members per the bylaws, most positions are available to any member, regardless of licensure status or experience.  Contact Linda Hewitt, Executive Director ( for further information or to express interest in a role.




The President exercises general supervision over the affairs of the Chapter; presides at general membership and Board of Directors meetings. He/she appoints, with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, all committees; signs all contracts and agreements to which this Chapter is a party; has charge of and exercises general supervision over the offices and employees of the Chapter. The President acts as spokesperson of the Chapter and is its representative at meetings with other organizations and committees unless otherwise delegated by the Board of Directors.

Committees overseen: Past Presidents’ Council, Principals’ Roundtable, Medal of Distinction Award Jury, Holiday Party

Responsibilities include:

  • Chairing the Past Presidents’ Council, Principals’ Roundtable, Medal of Distinction Award Jury

  • Attending Grassroots/AIA National and AIA NYS Conventions

  • Attending Design Awards Celebration and participates in the award presentations

  • Holding regular meetings with the Executive Director to review Chapter business

  • Attending and chairs all Board of Directors Meetings

  • Overseeing collaboration with the Rochester Architectural Foundation and is responsible for fundraising events such as the annual Golf Tournament and Holiday Party

  • Leading the Board in fundraising including securing sponsors for the annual and general chapter meetings.

  • Representing the Chapter on the AIA Regional Network (Buffalo/Western, Central, Southern, and Rochester)

Vice President

The Vice President possesses all the powers and performs all the duties of the President in the event of the absence of the President or of the President’s disability, refusal, or failure to act and shall perform other duties assigned by the Board of Directors.

Committees overseen: CES Programs, Nominating, COTE, Principals’ Roundtable, Social Impact

Responsibilities include:

  • Scheduling annual CES events with the assistance of the Executive Director

  • Attends and introduces all CES programs

  • Assembles and chairs the Nominating Committee to solicit names for open board positions for the following year

  • Overseeing the Committee on the Environment (COTE)

  • Attends Grassroots Conference (if budget allows)

  • Attends AIA National and AIANYS Convention (if budget allows)

  • Co-chairing Principals’ Roundtable



The Secretary records Board business and writes correspondence for the Board.

Committees overseen: co-chairs Honor Awards


Responsibilities include:

  • Preparing agenda for all Board meetings

  • Keeping minutes of the proceedings of Board meetings

  • Issuing all notices of the Chapter

  • Signing all instruments and matters that require the attention or approval of the Chapter Secretary

  • Preparing the reports of the Board of Directors and the Chapter

  • Furnishing the Institute, and the State Organization with such reports as may be required

  • At least annually furnishing the Secretary of each of the above organizations with the names and addresses of all officers and directors of the Chapter with assistance of the Executive Director

  • Co-chairs and handles the Honor Awards program (local, state, and national) with the Membership Director


The secretary may delegate to an assistant secretary or other assistant employed by the Chapter the actual performance of any or all duties as recording or corresponding secretary, but shall not delegate responsibility for the property of this Chapter, or the making of any attestation or certification required to be given by the Secretary, or the signing of any document requiring the signature of the Secretary.



The Treasurer has charge of & exercises general supervision of the financial affairs of the Chapter.

Committees overseen: EDI


Responsibilities include:

  • Keeping records and books of account of the Chapter

  • Preparing the Budget

  • Collecting amounts due the Chapter

  • Giving receipts for and have the custody of funds and monies and makes disbursements of funds

  • Having custody of its securities and its instruments and papers involving finances and financial commitments

  • Making a written report to the annual meeting of this Chapter and a written report to each regular meeting of the Board of Directors. Each of said reports shall set forth the financial condition of the Chapter, and its income and expenditures for the period of the report and the Treasurer’s recommendations on matters relating to the finances and general welfare of the Chapter.


The Treasurer shall not authorize any person to sign any order, statement, agreement, check or other financial instrument of the Chapter that requires the signature of the Treasurer, unless such delegation is expressly permitted in the bylaws. The Treasurer may delegate to an assistant treasurer employed by the Chapter the actual performance of any or all duties as Treasurer but shall not delegate responsibility for the property of this Chapter, or the signing of any document requiring the signature of the Treasurer.



Membership Director

The Membership Director recruits, enriches, and maintains all levels of membership.  He/she periodically investigates the value of membership with regards to services rendered vs. assessed dues.

Committees overseen: Women in Architecture, Membership Directory, co-chairs Honor Awards


Recent activities have included:

  • Working with the Executive Director to produce the Membership Directory

  • Contacting new members to welcome them to the Chapter

  • Providing outreach presentations and question/answer sessions with local firms (3-4 times per year)

  • Identifying and addressing issues with non-returning members

  • Addressing individual member questions or issues with the Board

  • Co-chairing and handling the Honor Awards program (local, state, and national) with the Secretary

  • Overseeing the Women in Architecture (WiA) Committee


Practice + Design Director

The Practice + Design Director supports practice and design by providing opportunities for AIA members to showcase their design skills. Along with the Membership Director, he/she also provides opportunities for members and their firms to enhance the functional aspects of their practice.

Committees overseen: Design Awards


Recent activities have included:

  • Planning and executing the annual Design Awards and Design Awards Celebration

  • Coordinating traveling board displays with the Executive Director


Emerging Professionals Director

The Emerging Professionals Director is responsible for demonstrating and increasing the value of membership in the AIA to Associate and emerging professional members.  The Emerging Professionals Director represents the interests of recently graduated students, interns, and recently licensed architects. 

Committees overseen: Emerging Rochester Architects (ERA)


Recent activities have included:

  • Organizing and running exam review classes and ARE Workshops

  • Developing programs for Associates and Emerging Rochester Architects (ERA) to increase involvement and interest

  • Holding social gatherings to help Associate members become more comfortable with ongoing AIA involvement

  • Collaborating with local schools of architecture and their AXP Coordinator(s) in the spirit of advancing the profession.


Education Director

The Education Director is responsible for educating the general public and interested students about the field of architecture.  He/she also assists in the continuing education of AIA Rochester members.

Committees overseen: ACE Mentor Program, Scholarship, Career Fair


Recent activities have included:

  • Serving as a liaison to Rochester’s chapter of the ACE Mentor Program

  • Procuring scholarship funds and chairing the Scholarship Committee

  • Chairing Scholarship Committee

  • Presenting scholarships

  • Helping students secure shadowing positions in local firms



Communications Director

The communications team consists of two directors – Communications and Social Media, headed by the Communications Director - who work in tandem to promote the brand of AIA Rochester and to advance public advocacy for AIA Rochester, its members, and architecture in general.

The Communications Director controls the AIA Rochester brand to become a preeminent presence in the community.

Committees overseen: Communications


Recent activities have included:

  • Scanning regional news to become part of the public conversation

  • Mining information/generates content

  • Writing pitches/media releases

  • Executing calendaring (breaks down quarterly/monthly)

  • Forwarding appropriate interest stories to the Social Media Director

  • Consulting with others as required to generate special interest stories


Social Media Director

The Social Media Director collaborates with the Communications Director to generate and post content to promote AIA Rochester, its members, and the organization, and to promote architectural awareness to the community at large.


Recent activities have included:

  • Generating social media content

  • Scanning regional news (media) to become part of the public conversation

  • Tweet/Retweeting posts that add the voice of AIA Rochester to the public conversation

  • Having the ability to react immediately (participation in Twitter/Instagram is a now or never kind of opportunity)

  • Aiming to post updates to all social media 3-4x/week minimum, in collaboration with the Communications Director and other volunteers. (Can preschedule using Hootsuite or similar.)


Development/Outreach Director

The Development/Outreach Director is AIA Rochester’s internal liaison with firms and external liaison with other organizations. This role is suited for a member who is outgoing, enjoys making new connections and collaborating on endeavors to benefit the community.

Committees overseen: CANstruction


Recent activities have included:

  • Curating a list of Firm Liaisons and distributing updates through these individual AIA Rochester champions within firms to help reach our members and to increase participation

  • Teaming with outside groups to cultivate new relationships

  • Seeking opportunity for collaboration and cross-pollination

  • Organizing teams for architecture related events – e.g. CANstruction


Government Affairs Director

The Government Affairs Director actively lobbies at the local, state, and national levels specifically representing and promoting the interests of AIA Rochester.

Committees overseen: Local Government/Activism

Recent activities have included:

  • Building communications on legislative issues to membership


Potential new activities:

  • Perform an inventory of AIA participation on local planning, zoning, architectural review, and historic preservation boards and report findings back to the Board (this has been done several years ago via a grant)

  • Develop a placement procedure for promoting AIA members to fill positions noted above



Recent activities have included:

  • Acting as an advisor on legal issues


AIANYS Representative

The state representative acts for and on behalf of the Chapter in all matters that may come before the state organization. This is a non-voting role on the AIA Rochester Board of Directors.


Responsibilities include:

  • Attending AIANYS Board meetings

  • Reporting significant actions back to the AIA Rochester Board of Directors

  • Representing AIA Rochester’s interests at the state level


Past Presidents’ Council (President)                              Holiday Party (President)

Principals’ Roundtable (President & V.P.)                      Medal of Distinction Jury (President)

CES Programs (Vice President)                                       Nominating (Vice President)

Women in Architecture (Membership)                            Membership Directory (Membership)

Honor Awards (Membership & Secretary)                      Design Awards (Practice + Design)

Scholarship Committee (Education)                               Career Fair (Education & Executive Director)

ERA (Emerging Professionals)                                         Golf Tournament (Executive Director) 

Communication (Communications)                                 CANstruction (Development/Outreach)

Newsletter (Executive Director)                                        Social Impact (President)

Committee on the Environment (COTE) (V.P.)               Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee (Treasurer)

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