Mr. Reed goes to Washington

David joins other architects studying industry issues

Published April 12, 2017

Sparks Reed co-founder and principal David Reed traveled with several Tulsa architects to Washington, D.C., in March to study industry and leadership trends with national executives and lawmakers.

Their activities started with the American Institute of Architects’ Grassroots 2017 conference, March 8-10 at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel. This gathering offered multiple workshops to help AIA members learn about industry concerns and fine-tune their organizational skills. 

“It brings people in who are entering their leadership roles, and it shows them how our organization runs from top to bottom,” said Lindsey Ellerbach, executive director of AIA’s Eastern Oklahoma Chapter. “It shows us what’s going on at the national level, regionally, and at our state and local level, and how we can best navigate those issues.”

Delegates also met with Oklahoma’s congressional representatives and other national leaders to learn about Capitol Hill and share their concerns. 

“For example, we’re watching the national historic tax credit right now and waiting to see what the new administration is going to do with that,” said Melissa Hunt, executive director of AIA’s Central Oklahoma Chapter. “That really impacts us locally because the state tax credit is tied to the national tax credit.”

Ellerbach led the Tulsa delegation with chapter President Jonathan Crump (of Dewberry’s Tulsa office) and President-elect David Reed. Hunt and President-elect Jason Hukill (of LWPB Architects) represented their Oklahoma City chapter.

Ellerbach said this year’s Grassroots conference focused not just on industry issues, but leadership roles architects may play in their communities.

“We’re all looking forward to learning not just how to be leaders on the AIA board, but how we can be positive leaders in the local community,” said Reed. 

Reed said he intends to share insights learned at this conference with other newly elected officials in AIA’s 340-member Eastern Oklahoma chapter. Eric Miller (SGA Design Group) is the group’s new secretary, and Ivan Dubikovsky (also of SGA) is treasurer. Sarah Ramey (SGA) is the chapter’s associate director, and Carrie Johnson (Wallace Engineering) is the affiliate director. Two new architects also were elected to the chapter board: Weldon Bowman (W Design) and Francis Willmore (ASL Architects).

“I look forward to learning how to leverage what the national AIA has to support the local chapter,” said Reed, who will become president of the Eastern Oklahoma chapter in 2018. “And to help our local members as they get more involved in the industry and community.”

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