AIA Northern Virginia seeks a visionary, highly engaged, dynamic individual with an interest in architecture and design to inspire AIA Northern Virginia in promoting the architectural profession through the strength and participation of its members. This is a significant leadership position requiring the services of an individual with extensive and successful experience working with volunteer organizations and various personality types.
Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director of AIA Northern Virginia exhibits strong interpersonal skills, diplomacy, ethical conduct, and thoroughness in directing strategic initiatives and managing operations for the professional society. The individual is a resource for volunteer leaders and association staff regarding the implementation of best practices, generation of new ideas, and effective execution of shared goals. The AIA Northern Virginia Executive Director is a strong advocate to the broader public for members, the American Institute of Architects, and the profession of architecture.
About the Organization
AIA Northern Virginia represents more than 1,100 members and offers professional development, networking, and outreach opportunities to advance the knowledge of architecture and practice among professionals and to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture to the public.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA), with over 95,000 members in 200+ chapters around the globe, inspires and empowers architects to improve society and transform the world. Through core values that center on being impactful, transformative, visionary, inclusive, and innovative, the AIA drives positive change through the power of design and focused activism. The AIA is a three-tiered organization operating at the national, state, and local levels. AIA Northern Virginia is a local chapter/component of the AIA and is independently chartered and incorporated. The national organization is headquartered in Washington, DC and the statewide component, AIA Virginia, is based in Richmond. AIA NOVA works closely with other local chapters in the state as well as AIA Virginia.
AIA Northern Virginia is the largest chapter within AIA Virginia and represents licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied design professionals in private practice, business, industry, government, and academia. AIA Northern Virginia offers lectures and continuing education courses, numerous award programs, issue-specific Knowledge Communities, advocacy for architects, online communications, and help for consumers looking for an architect.
A 14-member Board of Directors, comprised of five officers and nine directors, governs AIA Northern Virginia. The staff team of three operates from its office at 1101 Duke Street in Alexandria, Virginia. Members volunteer on committees and task forces to develop programs and services. Additional information is available at www.aianova.org.
This position requires significant leadership skills in planning strategically and collaboratively. It also requires keen business acumen, strong management practices, and attentive customer service. Knowledge of – or special interest in – architecture and/or the built environment is important. Experience in nonprofit membership organizations is desirable. Most importantly, the Executive Director must be an excellent public speaker, listener, and writer to communicate the value of the architect in society and the power of architecture as a force for positive change.
The Executive Director manages the operations of AIA Northern Virginia – providing leadership for the organization and staff, influencing policies, planning programs, supporting initiatives, directing communications, and enhancing outreach – to satisfy the expectations of members and maintain the viability of the organization. Roles and responsibilities include:
Leadership & Management
Provide leadership to the organization through the current governance structure including the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, serving as a working partner with the president.
Interact with committee members (volunteers) to encourage positive working relationships with the membership and/or stakeholders and identify future leaders of the organization.
Effectively present information to and respond to questions from volunteer leaders, members, public officials, media, and others.
Seek, hire, train, supervise, motivate, and mentor staff to foster teamwork and develop a strong office culture and productive workplace, adhering to organizational policies and applicable laws.
Work with the Board of Directors to develop the budget and strategically manage the annual financial health of the organization, monitoring general administration, identifying new sources of revenue, and working with volunteers to achieve organizational goals for growth while providing continuing exceptional service to members.
Advocacy & Outreach
Monitor and influence municipal legislative and administrative agency proposals as well as local government policies that affect members and the organization.
Guide leaders and volunteers toward a legislative agenda that is consistent with the AIA’s public policies, engaging leaders and members in grassroots legislative efforts and building coalitions with allied professional associations and interest groups to achieve public policy goals.
Collaborate with public agencies and allied organizations to establish forums to discuss issues of mutual interest and advance the policy positions of AIA Northern Virginia.
Programs & Knowledge Sharing
Plan, direct, coordinate, promote, and manage programs developed by volunteers and sponsored by AIA Northern Virginia, as well as membership campaigns, working with volunteers and committees and delegating responsibility and authority to staff as appropriate.
Provide support and advice on program operations, monitoring effectiveness and recommending improvements to ensure programs are responsive to members’ needs.
Participate on national AIA and Council of Architectural Component Executives (CACE) committees and task forces, as may be requested or appropriate.
Communications & Public Awareness
Direct, manage, and prepare communications with appropriate delegation of responsibility to staff team members to ensure effective communications with members.
Leverage data processing, collaboration software, membership database, and related programs.
Encourage open communication with members and allied organizations by interacting with members, the Virginia Tech Washington Alexandria Architecture Center, national AIA, and other AIA component executives. Convene like-minded organizations for opportunities of mutual benefit.
Reach the public by enhancing awareness of the organization, architects, and architecture; providing client education; encouraging community service initiatives; and maintaining positive relations with media, national AIA, and allied organizations.
AIA NOVA seeks an individual with these attributes to shepherd the organization into the future:
A Natural Connector, who …
Possesses a friendly disposition and is open-minded and receptive
Has a broad network of professional contacts within the AIA and adjacent disciplines
Looks for opportunities to build bridges and facilitate new relationships
Inspires confidence, transparency, and consensus among board, staff, and members
Is effective in sponsor development and fundraising
An Excellent Communicator, who …
Knows how to tailor messages to a specific audience
Can fluently converse in and translate the language of architects to the public
Knows when to listen and when to speak up
Is proactive in preparation and communication about board business
Sets up others for success and makes others’ jobs easier
A Driven Leader, who …
Is moved by the organization’s mission, the power of design, and architecture
Aims to improve year over year, not just maintain the status quo
Strives to be innovative and find better ways of doing things
Advocates relentlessly for the profession and architects’ role in society
Guides the Board of Directors, and does not simply serve the board
A ‘Big Picture’ Person, who …
Comfortably navigates the details of operating the chapter
Maintains a high level view of the chapter and its strategic plan
Is comfortable having difficult conversations
Has vision and sets clear, achievable milestones within an attainable framework
Provides transparency to the Board of Directors and builds trust
Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s Degree, with position history demonstrating increasing responsibility.
Minimum of five years of previous organizational-level management experience working in association management, not-for-profit, government affairs, public administration, or communications.
Business administration, organizational management, or design-related focus desired.
Exposure to professional societies preferred.
Understanding of membership organizations and/or familiarity with architecture or allied professions.
History of proactively recognizing and acting upon opportunities that benefit members.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Willingness and ability to commit to a long-term association with AIA Northern Virginia, with compensation tied to demonstrable results.
Ability to interact, advise, and communicate in a timely and respectful manner with volunteer leaders, members, employees, stakeholders, and allied organizations.
Creativity, flexibility, diplomacy, persuasiveness, and ability to evaluate all sides of an issue.
Confidence in one’s own knowledge and skills and willingness to take responsibility to accomplish goals and tasks, balanced with effective, appropriate, and respectful delegation.
Excellent abilities in communication, interpersonal dynamics, leadership and management, problem-solving, organization, decision making, planning, and policy development.
Ability to support and nurture volunteers to assume leadership roles for the component.
Aptitude to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment with attention to detail.
Knowledge and experience in the Northern Virginia region or state of Virginia preferred.
Willingness to relocate to Northern Virginia or surrounding DC metropolitan area.
Resourceful nature, innovative spirit, and creative approach are valued.
Demonstrated leader with positive attitude, organizational dedication, and energetic enthusiasm.
Commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the membership, volunteer, and staff environments.
This position is at the highest staff level within the organization; as such, the Executive Director operates as the chief executive for AIA Northern Virginia.
Works closely with:
President, officers (Executive Committee), and Board of Directors
Members of AIA Northern Virginia and its committees, task forces. and other volunteers
Leaders and staff team members of the AIA (national), AIA Virginia, and other local components
All members of the staff team
Other strategic partners and related professional organizations
On-site and remote guests, visitors, vendors, and suppliers
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:
This is a full-time exempt position (average of 2,080 hours per year).
Generally, work hours and days are Monday through Friday.
Evening and weekend work can be anticipated from time to time.
Travel within and beyond the state should be expected.
ADDITIONAL ELIGIBILITY QUALIFICATIONS:
AIA Northern Virginia provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.
Candidate must be willing to undergo a background check including legal, educational, driving, employment records, etc. This position description does not cover or contain a comprehensive list of activities, duties, or responsibilities required of the employee for this position. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time, with or without notice.
AIA Northern Virginia has engaged an organizational management consultancy, The Three Aspens, Ltd., to assist with this executive search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed (confidentially) to Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA via e-mail at email@example.com. No phone calls, please. All candidates will be notified via e-mail as to the status of their application.
To be considered, applicants must submit a customized letter of interest and resume/curriculum vitae to Ms. Dreiling at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 31, 2021.
Additional Salary Information: Base salary commensurate with education/experience and knowledge/skills/abilities with additional benefits package; range of $100,000 to $125,000 anticipated.
About AIA Northern Virginia
Consultancy devoted to organizational transformation through change management, leadership development, strategic planning, and ownership transition … focused on the culture of groups and entities, specifically design-related firms and small non-profits.