October 22, 2015

2016 AIA Detroit Board Nominees

Please Join AIA Detroit for our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 10th, at 7:00PM. The meeting will be held at Valentine Vodka in Ferndale.

We will discuss this past year’s achievements and outline our vision for the future. We will also be voting on the AIA Detroit Board for 2016. Please take the time to read about this year’s candidates below.

We hope you will join us for some cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres as we wrap up another successful year at AIA Detroit. An RSVP would be much appreciated.  If you cannot make the meeting in person and wish to participate in the election, you must request an absentee ballot from Lauren by November 6th, 2015.



Jonathan Disbrow, AIA, NCARB

Jon is a right and left brained architect. He’s both an award winning designer and accomplished technical architect. Jon’s projects span from macro to micro, including sports, hospitality, residential, mixed-use and civic projects. Jonathan earned his Master of Architecture degree at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and his Bachelor of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has been a Detroit Director since 2013 and served as the board secretary in 2014 and 2015. In addition to being an AIA Detroit director he was an integral member of the AIA Detroit Urban Priorities Committee. As a part of the UPC Jon was instrumental in the planning and successful execution of the 2011 Designed in Detroit exhibitions and symposia series dealing with the subjects of Urban Agriculture, Public Transportation and Urban Centers in Detroit and was co-editor of the subsequent book on the series. In 2012 Jonathan was one of the organizers and jury moderator for the 2012 Designed in Detroit – Detroit International Riverfront Design Competition.

Statement of Intent
-Engaging and exciting architects about the profession and about the AIA are challenges that our organization needs to be working toward constantly.
-As the practice of architecture changes the AIA needs to find ways to stay relevant and provide value to members.

While these comments may seem obvious they are ideas that need to be central to everything we do as a Detroit board. As a profession we do a wide variety of things and all have different interests. We need to provide opportunities for our diverse membership to plug into the AIA and we need to provide reasons for new members to join. I also believe that we need to reach out to allied design fields and the creative community to raise the level of public dialog about architecture and the arts.

This is an exciting time to be living and working in Detroit. The AIA needs to be part of the changes that are going on in our region and become a cultural organization in addition to being a professional one.



Najahyia Chinchilla, Associate AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Najahyia is the Co-Studio director of Workplace design at Gensler. She has been with Gensler for 8 years, starting in the NY office then requesting a transfer to her hometown of Detroit. Najahyia was the design lead for the new offices of Miller Canfield and Commonwealth, 2 projects submitted for AIA Detroit design awards this year. She is very excited to be working in Detroit with great clients and is especially excited about her current project the Detroit Achievement Academy (DAA), which started classes in their new location this fall. DAA is a non-profit charter school in Northwest Detroit with an incredible performance record. As a person that attend Detroit public schools Najahyia is excited to be part of a team that is designing inspiring spaces for local kids.

Najahyia has been an active member of the AIA since graduating from the University of Maryland. In NY, fresh out of school she became involved in the NY AIA Emerging Professionals Committee and organized the 2010 HighBridge Ideas Competition. When she moved to Detroit she was excited to meet and join the AIA Detroit Urban Priorities Committee. As a UPC committee member she was pivotal in the 2012 Riverfront competition and 2013 June on Jefferson Pop-ups. She is currently a member of the AIA Detroit Board and a board member of Land Inc.

Statement of Intent
Dear AIA Detroit Members,
It has been an honor to serve as a member of the board for the past two years building on my participation with the Urban Priorities committee and the Emerging Professionals committee. As a member of the board I have participated in the organization of the Celebration Event, which I am proud to say has grown each year and has become an industry event that has demonstrated our leadership in the community and is highly anticipated by the design community each year. As a communication liaison I worked closely with our Executive Director to relaunch our website, (please visit it regularly and contribute articles to share what you are doing).

In the past two years our organization, via the UPC committee, has also had an exciting collaboration with the City of Detroit Planning Department and were influential in the development of the Michigan Avenue Business Association. We have provided vision for areas of development and partnered with community leaders to help make that vision become a reality. Working in partnership with our community, sharing our talents and unique perspectives as designers, we are impacting this city.

In the AIA Detroit I have found a group of passionate and dedicated professionals. It is a network that has enriched my professional and personal life and supported my ongoing learning. It has given me the chance to meet people I consider mentors and to develop relationships with young architects that are growing and already leading the profession in many ways.

I would like to continue to contribute to this organization as a board member and Secretary. I hope to influence the organization to make it relevant and inspiring for all of the membership. It is an exciting time in Detroit and critical for our profession to be an active voice as we define what our city will be in the years to come.
MICHIGAN DIRECTOR (1 Position Available)

Fred Butters, FAIA
Frederick F. Butters, PLLC

Frederick Butters is admitted to practice law in all Michigan courts, the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, The Federal Court of Claims, and the United Stated Supreme Court. His practice is concentrated on business and construction law matters, including litigation and arbitration of contract, construction defect and property disputes, construction lien and surety bond claims, construction-related copyright, and disputes involving architects, engineers and environmental professionals.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture, a Bachelor of Architecture degree and a Master of Architecture degree from Lawrence Technological University, as well as a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University. He licensed as an Architect and Attorney in Michigan, and is NCARB certified. He was a founding member of the AIA Michigan Government Affairs Committee (which he continues to chair today), and has been a
member of the Design Retreat Committee and the Honors and Awards Committee. He served AIA Michigan as its regional director, and has served on the AIA National Diversity Council, and both the Licensing and the Risk Management committees. He is a member of the AIA College of Fellows, he is an AIA Richard UpJohn Fellow, and he has received the AIAD Young Architect Award, the AIAMI Hastings Award, and the AIAD Gold medal. In addition, he teaches law and practice management courses at both U of D Mercy and LTU in their respective graduate schools of architecture, and he was appointed by Governor Snyder to a seat on the Construction Code Commission.

His legislative accomplishments include legislative initiatives that expanded standing for Design Professionals to enjoin unlicensed practice, the removal of statutory construction supervision obligations for Design Professionals engaged on School Projects, prohibition of “sole negligence” clauses in state contracts, and establishing a 2 year statute of limitations for malpractice claims against architects in Michigan. He has been a long-time supporter of the Michigan Architectural Foundation, and has raised over $20,000.00 for its grant activities. As a past recipient of the LTU College of Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award, he is working extensively on the Affleck House restoration and in addition to investing hundreds of hours in hands on work he has raised of over $40,000.00 to advance the project.

A frequent speaker on various professional issues Fred continually provides architects with opportunities to meet the continuing education requirements necessary to maintain their licenses at no charge.

Statement of Intent
AIA Michigan has made significant changes that reduce substantially the representation AIA Detroit members have on the AIA Michigan board. With the number of directors allocated to AIA Detroit cut by 40%, that makes attendance at and meaningful participation in the board meetings all the more critical, and it makes lax or non-attendance and participation all the more objectionable. In addition to bringing a unique and diverse viewpoint to the leadership dynamic derivative of my regulatory and legal background, I pledge to AIA Detroit members that if I am elected, I will attend the board meetings, I will engage the AIA Michigan board and I will serve as an effective conduit between AIAMI and AIAD as I was between AIAMI and AIA National when I served as regional director. I short, if you elect me, I will bring the same focus and dedication I have brought to every aspect of my AIA involvement . . . . I will do what you need and expect me to do . . . . what you have a right to expect me to do.

Chuck Lewis, AIA
Integrated Design Solutions

Charles E. Lewis, Jr., is the Director of Architecture at Integrated Design Solutions. He has over 25 years of experience in the AE industry. Chuck’s experience is wide-ranging from college and university facilities, K-12 schools, laboratories, sports and recreation and airport work. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Houston.

Chuck has served on the AIA Detroit Executive Committee for the last 4 years as Treasurer, Vice President, and President. Deeply connected to AIA Detroit’s mission and vision, Chuck understands the importance of AIA Detroit representation at the State level as we continue through the Institute Repositioning and Chapter Restructuring. He is dedicated to moving the organization forward as a respected voice in the community for the practice of architecture, and he is passionate about reaffirming our ties to other design disciplines and civil leaders. As AIA Michigan Director, Chuck will continue to be an advocate for AIA Detroit Members and their interests.

IDS is a full-service Architectural/ Engineering firm of over 80 professionals, located in Troy, MI, specializing in architecture, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, technology and interior design.

DETROIT DIRECTOR (2 PositionS Available)

Andrew Dunlap, AIA, CDT, NCARB, LEED AP

Mr. Dunlap is a Principal in the Building Technology Studio at SmithGroupJJR, Inc. Mr. Dunlap’s primary work experience is focused on the analysis and development of building enclosure systems including wall cladding assemblies, air barrier systems, roofing, skylights, fenestration systems, and waterproofing. Specializing in the Energy and Hygrothermal Evaluation and Analysis of wall, fenestration, and roof systems, Mr. Dunlap utilizes a number of advanced computerized analysis and simulation tools to perform his work. His work extends from evaluating existing buildings, investigating problem buildings, revitalizing historic structures, to the design of new modern specialty facades.

Mr. Dunlap received his B. Arch, B.S. in Mathematics, and M. Arch degrees from the University of Detroit Mercy. He is active participant in the design and construction community, providing presentations and publications to several industry organizations including ASTM, BETEC, BEC, CSI, AIA2030, and the USGBC. He has been involved in the local chapter of the Building Enclosure Council since its inception in 2008, currently serving as Past Chair. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). He is currently serving on the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) Board of Directors. He holds NCARB certification, CSI/CDT certification and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Mr. Dunlap is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, and is on the University’s advisory board for the Architectural Engineering program.

Statement of Intent
I am honored to have been nominated to a Director position on the AIA Detroit Board. I have been actively involved in the Detroit architectural community for over two decades starting with my decision to attend the University of Detroit Mercy in 1996. Since then I have been fortunate to spend the past sixteen years of my career at SmithGroupJJR, Inc. where I have always been supported and encouraged to get involved in the community and to participate in activities that will enhance our profession.

My most recent endeavors related to the community and general architectural / construction industry was my involvement in our local chapter of the Building Enclosure Council (BEC), a joint committee of AIA Detroit and the National Institute of Building Science (NIBS). I was fortunate to participate in the steering group committee that started the chapter in 2008. From that point, I joined the board and just this last year completed my final term as the chair of the committee.

I had an amazing experience working with the passionate and dedicated members of our successful BEC chapter. The primary reason for interest in the AIA Detroit Board is to continue to foster a collaborative environment where all parties of the architectural / construction industries are appreciated and encouraged to participate. Owners, Architects, Contractors, Trades, Manufacturers, and anyone else that has a vested interest in the built environment are all critical to include in the process of continuing to make our great city even better.

Please contact me if you are in need of any other additional information. I look forward to continuing to work with the current board and to serve the local Detroit architectural community.


Matt Rossetti, FAIA

As President of ROSSETTI, Matt leads the firm’s passion for reignting urban enviroments through architecture and design. The firm is currently involved in a dozen Detroit-based projects and is headquartered in Detroit’s historic Federal Reserve building. A third-generation architect, Matt became president in 1999 and has grown the 45-year-old business into an internationall-recognized design firm with a portfolio of award-winning sports, entertainment, corporate and interiors projects.

Matt believes that architecture must have a third dimension beyond form and function in order to meet our client’s vision and provide value. To further this goal, Matt founded Return on Design, ROSSETTI’s unique approach for generating value through design solutions. His passion for urban revitalization has driven the firm’s methodology to integrate sports with commercial mixed use to create sports anchored developments. He was elevated to the College of Fellows by the AIA for his expertise, study and work in the field of sports and entertainment. Matt regularily lectures on the convergence of sports, economics and civic design at conferences, universities and business forums throughout Michigan and around the world.

Matt is a member of the American Institute of Architects, on the Executive Committee of the Urban Land Institute, and is on the Board of Governors at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He received both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Michigan.

Charlie Klecha, Associate AIA
Quinn Evans Architects

Charlie works with Quinn Evans Architects in their Detroit, Michigan, office as a Staff Designer, having recently completed his one year term in Washington, DC, as the National President of the American Institute of Architecture Students. Based on his previous position with the AIAS, he currently serves on the AIAS NationalBoard of Directors as Past President, and on the AIA National Board of Directors as Student Director. He holdsseveral committee and related roles for both the AIA and AIAS at the national level, and continues to engage at the local level with AIA Michigan and AIA Detroit, as well as committees within his firm.

As National President of the AIAS for 2014-2015, Charlie served a one-year term as the Chairman of the Board and a full-time staff member at the National Office in Washington, DC. The AIAS is an international, student- governed 501(c)3 NPO representing more than 26,000 students of architecture and design across the country and around the world. This position involved acting as chief spokesman of the AIAS among the collateral organizations and other external partners, providing the central strategic vision for the organization, and acting as Chief Elected Officer, alongside the permanent Executive Director.

In the spring of his term as President, Charlie initiated a new scholarship campaign for the AIAS, titled the Professional Advancement Support Scholarship, incentivizing recent graduates to begin taking the Architect Registration Exam immediately upon graduation. To promote the campaign, and underscore the value of licensure, Charlie spent seven weeks preparing to take all seven divisions of the ARE back to back in one week. Following a social media campaign documenting his preparations and testing, he was able to successfully pass all seven divisions.

Prior to his term with the AIAS, Charlie received his M.Arch from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Theatre Production. His broad and varied experiences across the design and management fields have contributed greatly to his perspective on the architectural profession, and the issues and opportunities it currently faces. As he begins his architecture career in Detroit, he plans to continue his advocacy and engagement with the AIA and other local and national organizations, and to work toward professional licensure.

Statement of Intent
Having just returned home to Detroit to begin my career in Architecture, I’m thrilled at the opportunity to run for AIA Detroit Associate Director. Seeing the overwhelming and exciting progress the city has made in the last few years alone, I feel a great sense of duty to contribute to its continued growth. My experiences in the last few years have prepared me well to work with the AIA Detroit Board, and membership, to do just that.

In May of 2014, I graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with my M.Arch, and immediately moved to Washington, D.C. to begin my elected position as AIAS National President and full-time staff member at their National Office. During that year, I worked closely, and on a daily basis, with top staff at the AIAS, AIA, ACSA, and NCARB, on issues and programs directed at engaging and empowering the emerging generation of architects and designers. Especially in a place as full of potential as Detroit, the enthusiasm and optimism of my generation can serve as a powerful catalyst for change, and I would relish the opportunity to serve as a bridge to—and voice for—that community.

As an additional facet of my position with the AIAS, I have also served as the 2015 Student Director on the AIA National Board of Directors. As both a Director, and full time employee in the AIA building, I have a deep knowledge and understanding of the many significant changes and initiatives that have taken place this year, including the formation of the Strategic Council and reduction in size of the Board, the national “Repositioning” Campaign and its associated content and programs, and the many updates that NCARB has made to the ARE and the licensure process. As we seek to welcome students, young professionals, and our allies in related fields into a new AIA, I hope to bring this knowledge to bear as we seek to both align ourselves with our National association, and celebrate the many unique characteristics and opportunities that we hold dear as Detroiters. Having recently completed the ARE myself, I also look forward to the chance to mentor and advise other young professionals as they work toward achieving their initial license.

I have a great deal more to share, and to learn, and I hope that the membership of AIA Detroit will allow me to do so as their Associate Director.

Aimee Zoyes, Hon AIA Detroit Affiliate
Zoyes Creative Group

A born creative, Aimee Zoyes has been drawn to the arts from her earliest days. Shortly after receiving her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Toledo, Aimee moved to Metro Detroit in 1995 to cultivate her career as an architectural illustrator, and worked for several years in the fast-paced agency world. In 1998 she launched an architectural illustration and graphic design business, serving local architects, designers, builders and developers. In 2009 she and her husband, Dean Zoyes, decided to join forces, merging their businesses to combine rendering and design with architectural model making, laser cutting and display services. As President of Zoyes Creative Group, Aimee manages client relationships, strategy and business development, and provides creative leadership for the firm’s ten member team. Established over 15 years ago, initially as AC Illustration and now as Zoyes Creative Group, the firm continues to maintain strong relationships with the architecture, art and design community here in Detroit. Aimee has been a repeat participant in Detroit’s annual DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS) event, guest speaker at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture and at the Center for Creative Studies. She has also been a returning keynote speaker at Michigan Design Center, two-time presenter at Pecha-Kucha Detroit, and an active member and sponsor of the AIA Detroit Awards Event Committee. Today, she remains an art and architecture devotee, splitting her time between work, local creative events and family time with her husband and equally creative daughter, Evangelina.

Statement of Intent
It is with great pleasure that I, once again, accept the nomination for the Affiliate Director Position of the AIA Detroit. I believe that my participation in 2015, while serving on the AIA Detroit board, has not only strengthened my relationships within the architecture community, but has also allowed me to contribute to the successes the organization has realized in 2015. For that I am grateful.

Over the past several years, I’ve enjoyed being an integral part of the Awards Celebration Committee and Sponsorship Committee. Reaching across the architecture, real estate, and design communities to help the event succeed has been a privilege and a pleasure. The collaboration and commitment level of the group has been inspiring for me.

My sincerest thanks for this opportunity. I look forward to serving again as Affiliate Director for AIA Detroit in 2016.

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