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ABOUT US

A Community of Architects

About AIASWM

Mission Statement
The Mission Statement is defined in the chapter bylaws. It identifies the organization, who it serves, and what it offers. The aspirational Vision Statement aligns with the vision of AIA Michigan, which aims to advance society through architecture. The Values Statement helps identify the organization’s guiding principles. There are seven guiding principles, which follow the accreditation goals outlined by AIA National.

Vision Statement
Enhance communities through design excellence.

Values Statement
The board is guided by these principles in carrying out their duties.

  • Member Communication
  • Education
  • Advocacy
  • Public Awareness
  • Governance
  • Membership
  • Finances & Operations

2022 Board members

President
Shawn Cencer, AIA
Diekema Hamann Architecture + Engineering

Vice President
Dustin P. Altschul, AIA
Eckert Wordell

Treasurer
Juliana E. Garner, AIA
JG Designs, LLC

Secretary
Sara L. Tripp, AIA

Past President
Fred J. Grunert, AIA
TMP Architecture, Inc

AIA Michigan Director
Tracy Ezell, AIA
Byce & Associates, Inc

Chapter Directors

Hayden Juergens, Associate AIA
Eckert Wordell, Inc

Dieneke Kniffin, AIA
Diekema Hamann Architecture + Engineering

Paul Van Der Kolk, AIA
Eckert Wordell

Associate Director
Hayward Babineaux, Assoc. AIA
Byce & Associates, Inc

2022 Committees and Chairpersons

Advocacy Committee
Tracy Ezell, AIA

Public Outreach
Sara L. Tripp, AIA

Member Communications
Juliana E. Garner, AIA

Education Committee
Dustin P. Altschul, AIA

Membership Committee
Paul Van Der Kolk, AIA

Finance & Operation
Shawn Cencer, AIA

Finance & Operation
Fred Grunert, AIA

About Us

The AIA SW Michigan Chapter History
The history of AIA Southwest Michigan goes back to a letter drafted at the Octagon office of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), dated December 11, 1923 covering minutes of the Institute Board of Directors of that day wherein in the official application and resolution of the Grand Rapids Chapter of the AIA were recorded. The petition for a formal charter of Chapter membership in the Institute listed certain counties of the west portion of the state as the chapter area, although it’s members were all from Grand Rapids area.

It was not until 1930 and 1932 when Lewis Sarvis and William Stone were the first members outside Grand Rapids. During 1942 and 1943 it became a practice of the Chapter to rotate the meetings between principle cities, relieving some members from long travel to Grand Rapids for every meeting. As a result, by January of 1946 membership outside of Grand Rapids increased to about 50% of the 62 members. Also, at this time, a recommendation was made to change the name to Western Michigan Chapter AIA, which was adopted.

Again in 1956, the Chapter area was enlarged by the addition of counties, which had been a portion, assigned to the Detroit Chapter. This gave the Western Michigan Chapter a grand total of 57 counties of the state from which to draw membership. It was on March 8, 1956 when the Western Michigan Chapter was incorporated under the provisions of ACT 327 Public Acts of 1931.

In 1963, The Grand Valley Chapter of the AIA was chartered reducing the territory of the Western Michigan Chapter to what it is today. Currently, our membership draws from the following southwest Michigan counties:

Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph, and Van Buren

Finally, in 1992, the institute initiated a new identity format and in order to better identify the area, which we serve, the Board elected to change the chapter name to AIA Southwest Michigan.

From the five “Charter Members” in 1923, AIA Southwest Michigan has grown in the last 78 years to over 100 members representing dozens of architectural firms.

The AIA Southwest Michigan Chapter is led by its’ own members committing their time to serving on the board, committees, and hosting events. The board members commit themselves to serving according to the chapter by-laws and according to AIA National accreditation requirements for maintaining status as an AIA chapter.