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Pillars Leadership Program

AIA Kansas City is proud to introduce Pillars, a leadership training program for AIA Kansas City members. The purpose is to prepare a representative cross section of the chapter’s emerging leaders for their role in shaping the future of both the architectural profession and the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. The training program includes active participation in programs and exposure to community leaders and issues. Applications are accepted for the program once each year. Criteria for acceptance include proven career success and community involvement. The benefits of the program include: development of relationship skills, skill development, team performance, and chapter and community leadership.

Topics that will be discussed throughout the year include: politics and advocacy, academia and mentorship, business and legal issues, project delivery and partnership, communication methodologies, outreach, industry trends and economic development.



Zack Arndt, AIA - Hufft Projects

Valerie Baehr - PMA Engineering

Randi Brunner, AIA - AECOM

Laura Beth Cochran, AIA - Momenta

Brooke Craig, AIA - Populous

James Evrard, AIA - Hoefer Wysocki Architecture

Jeremy Hoefer - Henderson Engineers

Jacob Laha, AIA - TreanorHL

Tim McDonnell - SKS Studio

Tony McGrail, AIA - HOK

Amanda Moore, AIA - STRATA Architecture Inc

Mark Neibling, AIA - Helix Architecture + Design

Chase Pitner, Associate AIA - Helix Architecture + Design

Kyle Rogler, Associate AIA - BEK Inc

Emily Tilgner - McCownGordon Construction

Matt Turley - Hoss & Brown Engineers

March 2017 Overview

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Vision Metcalf Plan - Panel Discussion

The March session began at McCarthy Construction where the class arranged a panel discussion to understand the Vision Metcalf Plan for Overland Park and how it has spurred development along Metcalf Avenue. The panel consisted of Mike Berenbom with LANE4, Jack Messer, Director of Planning & Development Services in Overland Park and Bill Ebel, City Manager of Overland Park. The panel provided a history of the Vision Metcalf Plan and how it is helping the city evolve and adapt to modern needs of the area. The group also discussed how members of the community are impacting decisions on how land is or is not developed. The Metcalf South project was of particular interest, the location of a former mall currently owned by LANE4. The class learned about the process of planning the new development, the initial project supported by the community compared to the final project, and the challenges and costs associated with each.

The second half of the day was a presentation and tour of the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, a project which repurposed the former King Louie ice rink, bowling alley and pool hall into a museum and community space. The class heard from Brian Garvey, an architect with SFS, Chad Foster, project manager with Johnson County, and Joseph Waters, Assistant County Commissioner. They shared the complex history and timeline of the project, including unique requirements for having portions of the project open during construction, specifically to serve as an early voting location for the county. The group learned from the panel the importance of not only finding a home for the museum and community functions but also the necessity to preserve the building as an iconic landmark in Overland Park. Extensive restoration was done to maintain the existing structure while still updating the interior of the building to fit its new purpose. Some of the functions include county offices, community meeting space, rentable event space, a black box theater, dance rehearsal space, museum and store. The project is successful in marrying all the different functions through a common architectural language, with as color, graphics and design elements that lead visitors through the building.


Year in Review

2015 Pillars >

2014 Pillars >

Pillars applications

2017 Application >

Applications Due May 24 by 5:00pm


Contact Tiffany at (816) 979 3181 or

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