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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.



Nicholas Bosman, AIA - BRR Architecture
Diamond Bronson, AIA - Hoefer Wysocki 
Zac Buckmiller - Lankford | Fendler + associates
Jesse Crupper, AIA - hufft
Julie Garvey, AIA - McCownGordon Construction
Janet Getz, AIA - TreanorHL
Ellen Hailey, AIA - Helix Architecture + Design
Nicole Mater, Associate AIA - DRAW Architecture + Urban Design
Ryan McCabe, AIA - BNIM
Danny McGrail - Henderson Engineers
Mandy Moore, Associate AIA - Odimo
Michael Patrick, AIA - Hollis + Miller Architects
Vanessa Petersen - PMA Engineering
Jean Stoverink, AIA - Gould Evans
Timarie Trarbach, Associate AIA - Populous
Callum Virthaler, AIA - Pulse Design Group

October 2018 review

2018 October Recap_Page_3.jpgAn old Kansas City favorite, Arthur Bryant’s BBQ Restaurant, situated in it’s original 1908 location at 18th and Brooklyn, is where our class’s story begins. This October session had a political focus, but instead of featuring local politicians, the Pillars Politics Group decided to focus on the construction industry and how our daily lives have
been and will be affected by the Political Tariff War our country is facing.

The day continued to A. Zahner Company to learn about architectural metals. But we learned more than we bargained for. Angela Orsheln, Director of Supply Chain and Contracts, greeted us with a well prepared interactive slideshow presentation that made notable mention that the 10% aluminum tariff increase has sparked a noticeable price increase in architectural aluminum. Raw aluminum ore almost doubled in price much ado to supply and demand as domestic mills are backed up through 2019. She presented charts, diagrams and years of experience and knowledge on the subject of metals and how the industry is discovering new ways to introduce metals such as stainless steel, pre-weathered zinc and copper as costconscious replacements for typical aluminum fabrications. We were also joined by Bill Zahner, Tony Birchler and Eric Steele followed by a fabrication tour lead by James Coleman.

Next stop, Hollis + Miller offices for a panel discussion lead by Erika Winter-Downey and Christ Stanton from McCownGordon along with Donny Tennyson and Kelly Jarman from JE Dunn Construction. This round-table panel discussion focused more on the affects of the 25% steel tariff increase. One important fact to remember is that although the tariff hike represented a 25% increase, this equals about an 8-10% increase to the overall construction

The panelists presented slides, but this was a very informal dialogue that was targeted to encourage the Pillars class to have more conversations like these with their respective contractors to be more engaged with the entire construction process. We might not be part of the team looking at the affects politics has on our individual workloads, but there is no harm in being equipped with questions.

The day of learning finished up at Beer Hall of Boulevard Brewing Tours & Recreation Center. We were met by Boulevard’s Director of Supply Chain, Justin Deardorff. Justin shared the creative ways company’s are reacting to the aluminum tariff increases. With a few adjustments to where their glass bottle caps are fabricated, companies are finding ways to shield consumers from paying too much of an increase.

Wrapping things up, we realized that our industry trade partners and local brewers alike are reacting to the Tariff adjustments. We as architects and engineers need to watch for changes that local and government politics throw our way. As tomorrow’s leaders, we need to be
ready to have these types of conversations.

Learn | See | Do
We learned about tariffs and our industry’s reaction.
We saw amazing metal work at the Zahner shop.
Do - the challenge was given to all Pillars to Get Out and Vote in the November State Primary Elections.


Session in Review

October 2018 Review >

Year in Review

2017 Pillars >

2016 Pillars >

2015 Pillars >

2014 Pillars >

Pillars applications

Applications go out each year in April.


Contact Tiffany at (816) 979 3181 or

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