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2020-2025 AIA Rochester Strategic Plan

Every five years, our component is asked to reevaluate our goals and our strategic plan to achieve them. Our strategic plan is aligned with the seven aspects of AIA National's goals.  The strategic plan may be downloaded as a pdf here.


The Rochester Chapter’s Communication Committee adheres to all AIA National and State standards in its communications with members, the media, and the general public comprising the area served by our component.


AIA Rochester maintains a multi-faceted communications program that includes regularly scheduled communications with members and the media regarding news of interest and events.  Communications include direct, publicized op-ed pieces in the Rochester Business Journal, robust social media platforms, and an ongoing initiative to heighten public understanding and awareness of the importance and benefits of community-based, good design.


The Chapter’s policy for all communication is as follows:

  • Promote the products and services that members value and thus increase the value of AIA membership through regular promotion of AIA products and services.

  • Mirror AIA National’s efforts to rigorously communicate the value of membership to current and prospective members at the local and regional levels through a multi-tiered process that includes mailings, e-mailings, web postings, the use of social media, and regular website enhancements.

  • Promote, and simultaneously support and adhere to, the AIA brand guidelines through contributions to the AIA digital platform and use of printed and electronic media.

  • Continue to hold Communications Committee meetings regularly and to brainstorm how to more effectively broaden its branding, influence, and outreach to our membership.



Trends in architectural professional education dictate that AIA Rochester remain deeply committed to providing our members with broad-spectrum educational opportunities and knowledge agendas that encompass best practices, sustainability, business intelligence, design related research, public policy and knowledge sharing.


It is imperative to develop the next generation of architects as well. With quality educational opportunities available throughout the year to enhance the knowledge and skillsets focused on the next generation of leaders, emerging professionals will be engaged and supported by their senior colleagues, mentors, and firm principals. Emerging professionals will be encouraged to actively participate in Chapter programs and activities targeting the specific needs of their professional development. This educational support process will serve to enhance the growth and evolution of this rapidly maturing leadership base.


AIA Rochester will accomplish this by:

  • Provide quality relevant continuing education through a) HSW programs that exceed 18 CES hours annually with a minimum of 12 HSW hours and b) collaboration with other chapters to provide a day-long CES program in late fall.

  • Provide support for emerging professionals preparing for and taking the ARE, including opportunites for professionals to engage with one another.

  • Develop mentoring activities for both emerging professionals and students.

  • Continue to offer a career development workshop.

  • Provide the ACE program to local high school students interested in learning about the architectural profession.

  • Maintain and promote the Girls in Architecture and Engineering Program to educate young women about architecture and careers in architecture.

  • Collaborate with the Architectural Foundation of Greater Rochester to identify additional programs developed to reinforce the profession’s relationship with secondary and post-secondary students and the worldwide educational STEAM initiative.

  • Engage regional post-secondary architectural programs to raise student awareness of the mission of the AIA and how it can benefit their career.

Provide opportunities for high school students interested in architecture to shadow at member firms to learn more about careers, schooling, and what architects do.



AIA Rochester is committed to advocating for our profession to help the public to better understand the architect’s role in the design of our built environment. Improved connections are sought in state legislature, licensing boards, procurement agencies, city boards, school boards and business networks.


AIA Rochester is striving to establish itself as a continued leadership-focused community organization.


AIA Rochester will accomplish this by:

  • Promoting architecture and increasing public awareness regionally though
    social media.

  • Continuing to reinforce relationships with local, state, and federal policy makers.

  • Initiating deeper community outreach, while continuing collaboration with The Landmark Society of Western New York and regional architectural education institutions (Alfred State College, Finger Lakes Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.).

  • Contributing articles to the media and providing commentary on issues of public interest relevant to architecture and the built environment.

  • Updating the listings of local municipalities that have elected or appointed boards and commissions. Once updated, a committee under the leadership of the advocacy board member will reach out to AIA Rochester members to see if they are interested in serving on a local government agency. This committee of 3 to 5 people will reach out to local agencies with vacancies and will try to fill it with someone from the architectural profession.

  • Formulating potential legislative initiatives of benefit to our membership.

  • Developing partnerships with local governments as objective professional advisors on issues of public design and sustainable development.

  • Creating a round table panel of architects and other professionals to discuss advocacy. This panel will hear issues within the community. This will be organized by the advocacy board member and will happen twice a year.

  • Keeping members involved and informed. This occurs via board meetings, the AIA Rochester newsletter, round table discussion and through social media.  The advocacy board member will work with the Director of Social Media to promote advocacy of the AIA through such outlets as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Elevate Public Awareness


Architects contribute much more than simply “creating wonderful spaces”. We also mentor, coach, govern, debate, teach, volunteer, collaborate, coordinate, advise policymakers, serve on municipal boards and commissions, support the arts, and consider ourselves master problem solvers - all in a day’s work!


AIA Rochester is the primary, and focused resource for the promotion of the architectural profession and its role in shaping the built environment in our community. We must promote the value and benefits of working with an architect and educate the public with respect to the depth of our value to our community.


The members of AIA Rochester should be viewed as a valuable regional think-tank. Academically trained problem solvers with highly diversified skill-sets honed by years of collective experience, they are informed and objective resources in all matters of design, construction, public safety and sustainable development in our region.


AIA Rochester will accomplish this by:

  • Developing a multi-faceted campaign centered on creating enhanced public awareness about the role of architects in the planning process. 

  • Developing stronger relationships with the media, government, not-for-profits, other design organizations, and the public to educate all on architecture and our contribution to the community.

  • Partnering with local media, firms and companies associated with design and development, and educators to provide targeted coverage of Chapter events that link architects and architecture with tangible benefits to the regional community.

  • Making the annual Design Awards program an interdisciplinary and community focused event.

  • Publicly celebrating Scholarship Awards by the Architectural Foundation of Greater Rochester, and the Honor Awards programs.

  • Expanding member participation in the ACE Program Collaboration and Girls in Architecture Program.

  • Hosting events for students such as local architectural tours, and encouraging participation by parents and other interested parties.

  • Continuing to host High School and College Career Days, and expanding the frequency of these events to three (3) times per year.

  • Maintaining and expanding the use of social media as an effective communications platform by providing a continuous dialogue on issues of community importance or interest.

  • Participating in post-secondary curriculum review and assessment programs with allied institutions. (SUNY Alfred, FLCC, RIT, HWS).



AIA Rochester shall be maintained by the Officers, Board of Directors, and Executive Director to ensure excellence by providing consistent and effective member services and support while maintaining sound management and financial stewardship of AIA Rochester’s budget and assets. 

Aspects of the governance process include:             

  • Adopt and maintain policies regarding:

    • Maintenance of Board and Committee meeting minutes

    • Conflict of Interest

    • Whistleblower protection

    • Record retention/destruction

    • Board review of executive director compensation & benefits

    • Gift acceptance

    • Joint ventures/partnerships with other components and not-for-profits

  • Annually update officers to AIA Component Collaboration & Resources.

  • Comply with NYS filing requirements for non-profit organizations.

  • Maintain, abide by and periodically (annual recommended) review and update the chapter’s By-Laws.

  • Adhere to the AIA Anti-Trust policy.

  • Maintain directors & officers insurance and general liability insurance.

  • Conduct Strategic Plan update at least every 5 years.

  • Send executive director and up to 2 officers to annual leadership conference at least once every three years. 

  • Voting at AIA National Convention – The AIA Rochester BOD will review subject material and discuss prior to the convention and  designate a member to submit the Chapter’s vote at the convention.

  • Periodic review of the Memorandum of Understanding (for shared Executive Director support) with Buffalo/Western NY and AIA Southern NY.



AIA Rochester maintains its strength through the recruitment and retention of our professional and affiliate membership. The Chapter recognizes the importance of recruiting new and retaining existing members, and endeavors to continually expand the ranks of our fold while providing unsurpassed support and services for the existing members.


This is accomplished by:

  • Creating a Recruitment and Retention Policy by using a combination of existing materials provided by AIA National and local networking efforts.

  • Inviting recent grads and younger members to programs, establishing phone trees, and collecting volunteer forms.

  • Welcoming new members via email from the Membership Director and adding them to email lists. They are also invited to the next AIA Rochester annual as our guest. They are informed about our current committees and opportunities and asked to fill out an AIA Rochester Volunteer form.

  • Creating and distributing a new member welcome package and letter and by announcing new members to the entire membership via the Annual Meeting, eNewsletter, social media, and weekly AIA Rochester Update.

  • Following up with architects with lapsed or expired memberships to encourage membership renewal by the Membership Director. If hardship or emeritus status is possible, the Membership Director works with that member to complete the application process.

  • Recognizing newly licensed members or Fellows utilizing social media, the chapter newsletter, and personal correspondence from the Membership Director.

  • Hosting Emerging Professional Committee activities including socials/networking opportunities.

  • Planning Girls in Architecture Committee activities including a program designed for middle school students to learn about architecture and engineering.

  • Reporting dues rates to AIA National every fall in order to utilize National’s centralized database system. This is done by the Executive Director.

Finances & General Operations


In 2019 AIA Rochester received our Accreditation from AIA National that is valid for three years, meaning our finances and general operations are in accordance with AIA National guidelines.


Other financial activities include:

  • File Tax Forms 990 - filed by our Accountant - Stokes, Visca & Company.

  • Keep banking information current with AIA National – Executive Director (ED) will notify AIA National if changes ever take place.

  • Financial information - written policy is in our current Policies & Procedures Manual.

  • Dedicated point of contact information for members – our ED – is listed on website and E-News.

  • CACE Annual Meeting every three years - ED to attend.

  • Performance Review of ED - done in December by current AIA Rochester President/Vice President.

  • Update Policies and Procedures Manual to align with AIA NYS and AIA National standards.

Special thanks to the AIA Rochester Strategic Plan Committee:

Jay Woodcock, AIA – Chair
Jennifer Takatch, AIA

Nathan Rozzi, AIA

Richard M. Pospula, AIA                                           

Germania Garzon, Associate AIA

Linda Hewitt, Hon. AIANYS

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