AIA Chicago seeks an experienced association management professional to provide leadership as the next chief staff executive for the not-for-profit organization. This is a significant managerial 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 Vice President of AIA Chicago is responsible for managing operations and directing strategic initiatives 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 Chicago Executive Vice President is a strong advocate to the broader public for members, the American Institute of Architects, and the profession of architecture.
About the Organization
As a resource for its members in service to society, AIA Chicago promotes positive change through the power of design.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA), with over 95,000 members in 200+ chapters around the world, 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 Chicago 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 Illinois, is based in Springfield.
AIA Chicago is the largest chapter of licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied individuals within AIA Illinois and is the second largest local AIA chapter in the country. With over 4,000 individual members, AIA Chicago represents architects and allied design professionals in private practice, business, industry, government, and academia. AIA Chicago offers lectures and continuing education courses; numerous award programs; specialized, issue-specific Knowledge Communities; advocacy for architects; daily communications online and through its in-house magazine, Chicago Architect; and help for consumers looking for an architect. AIA Chicago is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors with 7 officers, 7 directors, 2 Associate Directors, 2 Professional Affiliate Directors, and 1 Student Director. The staff team of six operates from offices on East Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago. Members volunteer on committees and task forces to develop programs and services. Additional information is available at www.aiachicago.org.
Also managed by the AIA Chicago Executive Vice President is the AIA Chicago Foundation, an independent not-for-profit, charitable organization dedicated to supporting activities that benefit the Chicago-area architecture community. The Foundation provides grants, travel scholarships, and awards for activities that promote the profession and the larger architecture and design community. With its own 14-member Board of Directors, the AIA Chicago Foundation operates separately from AIA Chicago.
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 critical. Most importantly, the Executive Vice President must be an excellent public speaker, listener, and writer to communicate the value of the architect to a broad and diverse community.
The Executive Vice President manages the operations of AIA Chicago – 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:
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 of AIA Chicago.
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.
Supervise and mentor staff to foster teamwork and develop a strong office culture and productive workplace in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws.
Develop the budget and manage the financial health of the organization, monitoring general administration, identifying new sources of revenue, and working with volunteers to achieve organizational goals and provide exceptional service to members.
Monitor and influence municipal legislative and administrative agency proposals as well as local government policies that affect members and the organization.
Develop a legislative agenda for the organization 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 Chicago.
Programs & Knowledge Sharing
Plan, direct, coordinate, promote, and manage programs sponsored by AIA Chicago, 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.
Serve as the chief executive of the AIA Chicago Foundation and as an ex-officio member of the AIA Chicago Foundation Board of Trustees.
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 and manage communications and the preparation of newsletters and other publications, delegating responsibility and authority to appropriate staff to ensure effective communications with members.
Encourage open communication with members and allied organizations by interacting with members, Chicago’s colleges and universities with architectural programs, national AIA, and other AIA component executives (e.g. CACE). 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 other allied organizations.
Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s Degree, with position history demonstrating increasing responsibility.
Minimum of five years of previous management-level experience working in association management, not-for-profit, government affairs, public administration, or communications.
Business administration, organizational management, or architecture/design-related focus desired.
Exposure to professional societies preferred.
Periodic evening or weekend work may be required.
Understanding of membership organizations and/or familiarity with the architecture profession.
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 Chicago, 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.
Significant experience in public speaking.
Ability to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment with attention to detail.
Knowledge and experience in the city of Chicago or state of Illinois preferred.
Willingness to relocate to Chicago or surrounding 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 Vice President operates as the chief executive for AIA Chicago.
Works closely with:
President, officers, and Board of Directors
Members of committees and task forces and other volunteer leaders
Members of AIA Chicago
Leaders and staff team members of the AIA (national) and AIA Illinois
All members of the staff team
Other strategic partners and related professional organizations
On-site and remote guests, visitors, vendors, and suppliers
Proficiency in data processing, collaboration software, and related programs.
Database working experience/exposure helpful, though managed by others.
Good interpersonal skills, diplomacy, ethical conduct, and thoroughness.
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:
This is a full-time exempt position (average of 2080 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 Chicago 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, credit, 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 Chicago 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. 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. CST on December 11, 2020.
Additional Salary Information: Base salary commensurate with education/experience and knowledge/skills/abilities with additional benefits package.
About AIA Chicago
Established in 1869, AIA Chicago (Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects) is a 501c6 professional association for architecture and design professionals. With a local membership of more than 4,000 individuals, AIA Chicago is the leading professional association for architects and allied professionals in the Midwest. AIA Chicago is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.