2021 Year in Review

Dear AIA Seattle Community,

Thank you for the warm welcome to lead AIA Seattle’s mission to champion the central role of architects in creating and sustaining a better built environment. It’s a pleasure to share with you a reflection on our work in 2021 and our plans for 2022. We’ve come a long way in the past year through the availability of vaccines and evolving understanding of COVID 19. 2022 holds the promise of continuing impactful programs and our work to move forward our vision of design that fosters equitable, resilient, and thriving communities.

In 2021, disruptions transformed into opportunities as we adjusted how we provide programs for our members and the community. Over the past year, AIA Seattle has maintained focus on the core elements of our strategic plan, to prepare our profession to lead, to deploy design to make a difference, and to sustain a healthy chapter. We move forward in service to the membership in ten counties which we serve.

We are launching into 2022 with a steady focus on three areas of highest priority for advocacy, engagement, and programming: 

  • Housing
  • Climate
  • Justice and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

We will continue to engage as problems solvers in an evolving environment, and have plans for 2022 to provide education for our members through a broad range of programming including everything from the Small Firm Series to the Climate Leadership Summit. Advocacy plans include hosting sessions for members of the public and profession to learn how they can engage in the City of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan process, perhaps the most urgent and valuable step forward the city we want to become. In fall we plan to gather together for the Honor Awards, as an opportunity to share and celebrate nationally recognized excellence in design by architects in Washington State.

In 2022, I am personally looking forward to continuing to develop my understanding of your interests and relationships with you as a stakeholder. Your first opportunity to express your interests is below in our brief Programming Feedback Survey, and in early 2022, I’m also hosting ‘Ask Me Anything‘ Sessions in a virtual format. I encourage you to consider what questions you have for me as AIA Seattle’s Executive Director. Submit your questions here and we will group those by theme and announce dates early in the year for interactive zoom sessions.

Thank you for your engagement, and I look forward to our future connections in 2022!

Melissa Neher Executive Director Headshot

Melissa K. Neher
Executive Director, AIA Seattle + Seattle Design Festival

A Look Back – 2021 Events and Programs

So many great programs were delivered in 2021. Highlights include:

Stay tuned for 2022’s lineup of educational programming and events. First up – the Diversity by Design exhibit – online and at the Center (by appointment) January 19 – July 14.

The Staff of AIA Seattle Welcomed Five New Members to the Team in 2021:

  • Melissa K. Neher, Executive Director
  • Anthony Collins, Membership & Development Coordinator
  • David Le, Communications Coordinator
  • Andrea Aguilera, Programs Coordinator
  • Mitch Britton, Graphic Designer

From all of us at AIA Seattle, we wish you the best for your holiday season and look forward to seeing you all again in 2022!

Note on Holiday Hours: AIA Seattle + Seattle Design Festival will be closed December 24, 2021, through January 3, 2022, for Winter Break.