VISION Testimonials

The AIA Cincinnati VISION Program provides valuable training to expose emerging professionals to the importance of leadership in business, community, politics and the marketplace

—Mickey Jacob, FAIA

2013 AIA National President +Managing Principal, Urban Studio Architects, Tampa, FL



The four presentations [by VISION participants] before mine were diverse in topic, ranging from sustainable design to workplace communication. Together they hit on pretty much every key practice issue that hits my radar as ARCHITECT’s editor-in-chief. I was equally impressed by the participants’ sophisticated exchange with the speakers who followed me.

Ned Cramer

editor-in-chief, ARCHITECT Magazine, Washington DC


The development of young professionals to become leaders in architecture is essential to the prosperous future of the profession. The AIA Cincinnati VISION Program provides valuable training to position these emerging professionals to the importance of leadership in business, community, politics and the marketplace. It is a model program that offers exposure to a wide range of experts, knowledge and topics to cultivate the next generation of architects making a difference in the community, elevating the public awareness of the Importance of architecture and becoming firm leaders.

Mickey Jacob, FAIA

2013 AIA National President +Managing Principal, Urban Studio Architects, Tampa, FL


Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to take part in this wonderful program. I wish every AIA component would emulate what AIA-Cincinnati is doing with VISION, because we need more young architects to become civically engaged in their communities and in the national policy debates about design.

Andrew Goldberg, Assoc. AIA

Managing Director, Government Relations and Outreach-The American Institute of Architects, Washington DC


The VISION Program, as developed by AIA Cincinnati, represents one of the most comprehensive approaches to educating young architects as they grow in both their professional careers and personal lives. The importance of their development as civic leaders in their communities can not be overstated and needs to become a “non-negotiable” goal of the AIA and the architectural profession. Only then will we be recognized as agents for positive change … driven not by private agendas but rather by a life-long commitment to improving the common good of all citizens.

Anthony “Tony” Costello, FAIA

Principal, C+A & Irving Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Architecture, Ball State University, Muncie IN


The AIA Cincinnati VISION leadership development program for emerging professionals is one of the most refreshing and vital programs I have seen at both the chapter and national levels of AIA. From my perspective, this unique educational/exploration opportunity represents a model for all AIA chapters – a source of tremendous potential for all architects seeking a participatory role of deeper relevance, meaning, and responsibility in the co-evolution of our culture.

John Boecker, AIA, LEED Fellow

7group/ Boecker Consulting Services, Wellsville PA


I was pleased to be a contributor to the learning experience for participants in the AIA Cincinnati “Vision” program. As architects can become catalysts for civic initiatives and creative community leaders, the “Vision” Cincinnati Program provides young architects the tools, insight and resources they need in preparing to be the engaged leaders our communities so desperately need. Congratulations and continued success for the design and implementation of a dynamic and vital program.

Judson A. Kline, FAIA, LEED AP

2012 President, AIA Ohio + Senior Director, Herschman Architects, Inc, Cleveland OH


There is no question that the AIA Cincinnati Vision Program is among the country’s best responses to provide strategic, appropriate and essential training for our future professional leaders. The organization, the content and the knowledge used in the Vision Program is well considered and effectively delivered. I would highly recommend this program for key professionals in any firm. We will continue to send members of the MSA team to the Vision Program in the future.

Michael Schuster, FAIA LEED AP

2013 President, AIA Ohio + Owner, MSA Architects, Cincinnati OH


The AIA Cincinnati Vision program is well conceived and executed with very interesting and important program content and faculty. The test is in the participants and the GBBN Architects leadership candidates have attested to the program’s success.

Robert E Gramann FAIA

Chairman, GBBN architects, Cincinnati OH


I believe the future of the architectural profession is tied to the ability to first understand clients and second to take responsibility to be the client’s advocate and see the project completed in the client’s best interests. The AIA VISION program is demonstrating these issues to the emerging leaders in the profession.

  1. Wickliffe “Wick” Ach

President and CEO, Hixson, Cincinnati OH


Hats off to the creators and leaders of the VISION program. It provides a forum for interesting and timely thinking about the business world of architects. The program takes participates out of daily project work and offers them a unique opportunity to explore new dimensions related to their careers and industry.

Dennis Geiger

CFO of LPK, Cincinnati OH


I was eager to share emersion’s experiences within the higher education realm, in particular how professional firms can be integrated into the education of future professionals and thought leaders of our region. I was fortunate to hear from John Senhauser Architects and GBBN to gain further knowledge in the shaping of education and its impact on the profession, as well as being exposed to AIA Vision students’ presentations focused on research and practice. As we tackle the biggest issues of our time, it is important to share our knowledge and skills; through the Collective Impact of area firms, students and individuals, we can help elevate the stature of our regional community as we continue to compete on the global stage.

Chad Wayne Edwards, RA, NCARB, LEED© AP BD+C

Principal, emersion design, Cincinnati OH


The Vision program is one of the most visionary programs developed at the local AIA Cincinnati Chapter. Having personally sponsored individuals to attend the program, participated in providing content for it and watched its evolution from the perspective of a Board member, I believe this is one of the strongest programs we have. It is forward looking in that it focuses on developing emerging professionals into future leaders and providing an opportunity for participants to develop bonds with their peers that can serve as a support system for them into the future. The return on this investment will serve all well.

John Isch, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP Homes

Principal, RWA Architects, Cincinnati OH


The excellent AIA Vision program is exactly the kind of program that shows what the AIA can do to enlighten our future leaders. I hope this program goes national because it is exactly what our profession needs more of.

James Stapleton, AIA

Vice President, FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati OH


For the past two years, I have been honored to participate in the AIA VISION sessions addressing Advanced Delivery Methods. The guest speakers in each case have been gracious and thought-provoking. Their expression of the need to envision a new process model that strengthens the role of the architect in the overall scope of services and influence on the built environment is spot-on! I am proud to have had the chance to voice my passion for this message as well.

The audience has been superb and I so appreciate the willingness of each participant to challenge the thoughts being presented and to look internally and challenge themselves to accept a new responsibility; one that embraces not just design excellence, but collaboration, integration, leadership and most importantly an embracement of managed risk. For it is only through embracing and managing risk that we will control it.

I’ve learned much from every participant and guest, and am proud to have filled a need in this excellent program for young professionals.

Richard S. Thomas AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Vice President, SHP Leading Design + Managing Director 2enCompass, Cincinnati OH


I had the unique opportunity to participate as a panelist in the AIA Cincinnati VISION session 07: Design Legacy. As is so often the case, I’m quite sure that I got more out of it than the participants and I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute.

It is popular to question the AIA and its general relevance to architectural practice. We live in cynical times. I am one that struggles with the ‘return on investment’ when the time comes to pay dues. My glimpse into the AIA Cincinnati: VISION program begins to address my skepticism. What I witnessed was a group of energetic, young architects looking to make a difference; maybe a difference in the AIA – maybe a difference in the world. The group did not shy away from controversial and relevant architectural issues and engaged in a discourse that was both respectful, yet challenging. These young men and women are forward looking and are fully engaging the future opportunity to become the next leaders of our profession. The AIA Cincinnati: VISION program is clearly equipping these participants with the tools to empower their vision. This is truly an effort to develop the talent in our community for our community. In this, AIA Cincinnati VISION is embodying the very purpose of the local AIA chapter.

Rob Busch, AIA

Owner, drawing dept, Cincinnati OH



The VISION program exposed me to facets of the profession of Architecture that I would not have access to otherwise. The interaction with my peers was eye opening and allowed me to forge relationships that will provide great insight and knowledge throughout my career.

Aaron Buirley, AIA, LEED AP

SHP Leading Design; 2011 VISION Alumni


The AIA Cincinnati VISION program successfully offered a “classroom-style” setting for those emerging leaders that have been removed from that type of environment longer than they wish to remember. Its well-structured combination of class locations, key-note speakers, industry conversation topics, and skill improvement assignments helped me, as a young architect, to view the profession (both locally and nationally) with broader brush strokes as opposed to the fine-tune detail of daily tasks. I highly recommend this program for those looking to grow both personally and professionally.

Christopher G. Bujnak, AIA LEED AP

Associate, MSA Architects; 2011 VISION Alumni


The experience exceeded my expectations in all respects. The VISION content and exposure to leading professionals has given me a much greater depth of knowledge specifically associated with leadership that is not available through any other professional organization. This program helped me specifically understand where my passions exist and how I can use these passions to make a difference and promote the value of the architect.

Ryan Duebber AIA LEED AP

Owner, Ryan Duebber Architect; 2011 VISION Alumni


Vision provided an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with emerging local leaders, while learning from local and national leaders in Architecture and related fields. Each participant developed through the year in several professional areas, and expanded an understanding of the relationship of Architecture, the Community, and other fields. Vision also established a network of personal/ professional relationships to assist with development of each participant and the professional community.

David R. Johnson, AIA LEED® AP BD+C

chief operations officer, CR architecture + design; 2011 VISION Alumni


AIA Vision was an excellent opportunity to learn from both peers and a multitude of experts in the field, explore and evaluate the profession of architecture and my place in it, and find a bit of the enthusiasm that attracted me to the discipline of architecture in the first place.

Kevin Kluender, AIA

the drawing dept; 2011 VISION Alumni


The AIA Vision program was an excellent opportunity to expand my knowledge of how the business of architecture really works. Being exposed to so many firm leaders and great local and national experts was a unique experience that I will continue to draw upon for many years to come. This program is raising the bar for architecture in our city and I feel very fortunate to have been a part of its inaugural year.

Andrew Plogsted, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C

Associate, GBBN Architects, Inc ; 2011 VISION Alumni


What a wonderful opportunity the AIA Vision program has been for all of us. This has been such a rewarding year. We have all been exposed to so many innovative and inspiring leaders in our industry, both locally and nationally. We have developed lasting relationships that will result in a well-rounded and diverse group of leaders for Cincinnati’s architectural community, now and in our future. I know I will be a better architect, leader, and person because of this program.

Christie Boron, AIA, LEED AP

CR architecture + design; 2012 VISION Alumni


The VISION program was a worthwhile experience this past year. I appreciated the opportunity to explore a wide range of issues within the business or architecture – what we do, why we do it, and how we can do it better. The monthly “rhythm” of research, preparation (our own presentations), listening (industry leader presentations), and then discussion / debate on these topics was not only very informative, but also very enjoyable. I think this kind of development program is not only important for individual growth, but is also a good example for the overall industry.

Jeffrey Ewart, AIA, LEED AP

Hixson Architecture Engineering Interiors; 2012 VISION Alumni


The Vision program was an excellent opportunity to expand and diversify my knowledge of the Architectural profession. This program gave me the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from other emerging professionals and firm leaders experiences, while also connecting with national leaders within the industry. I will continue to revisit my experiences within the program to use within my career for years to come.

Shawn Feigh, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

GBBN Architects; 2012 VISION Alumni


AIA VISION was so much more than I expected. Rather than teaching us the characteristics and skills common to so many leaders, as you might find in a self-help book, VISION focused on personal development allowing us to better understand ourselves, our peers, and the profession that we have so much passion for. Through this journey, we have been exposed to many facets of our profession and ideologies that the day to day operations do not always afford. The skills and understandings acquired through participation in this program have inspired us all to seek our places within our firms and professional organizations while allowing us to forge strong bonds with our fellow classmates. I am certain that our class will be calling upon each other and the knowledge that we have gained through our participation in this program for decades to come.

Christopher Scott Graham, AIA, LEED AP

CR architecture + design; 2012 VISION Alumni


AIA Vision was an enlightening experience that provided a new understanding and appreciation of the many facets of our profession. By bringing together emerging professionals, local leaders and experts, and keynote speakers from across the country, I’ve gained confidence in creating opportunities to lead, instead of waiting for chances.

Bryan Greene, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Champlin Architecture; 2012 VISION Alumni


The AIA Vision program is a great way to sharpen the toolkit of the younger generation of local architects. For me personally, it really reinforced the desire to lead both my firm and community into the future.

Monica Lowry, AIA

FRCH Design Worldwide; 2012 VISION Alumni


The AIA VISION program exposed to me a wide range of issues that are having a great impact, some positive and some negative, on the architectural profession. Most of the issues addressed were concepts that I would not normally be exposed to on a daily basis in the office, but that nevertheless deserve a great bit of my attention. An intentional byproduct of the program is a close network of peers that will stay in contact long after graduation.

Dan Montgomery, AIA, LEED AP

MSA Architects; 2012 VISION Alumni


My expectation for the Vision program was that it would provide a foundation for future growth as a leader. What I found was an immediate and complete shift in my attitude toward the practice of Architecture, community involvement and leadership, and career goals. The sessions, discussions, and friends I’ve made have reinvigorated my passion for this profession. It’s been a game-changer for me.

Jason Schneider, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

KZF; 2012 VISION Alumni