Pillars Membership Application


The Pillars Leadership Training Program of the American Institute of Architects Kansas City prepares a representative cross section of the chapter's emerging leaders and individuals from the building community 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 class will spend their time exploring core issues that affect our profession and the region within which we practice. Through discussions with leaders and colleagues, dialogue among themselves, tours and research the group will be able to understand and present to the AIA as a whole how we can make a positive change within our community. The AIA Kansas City Pillars program is a nationally recognized program for its originality and depth and has inspired similar AIA leadership studies in other US cities. The program continues to raise the bar of what young professionals want out of their profession and how we as professionals can make an impact on our built environment.



Participation in Pillars will be limited to a maximum of 15 participants: AIA Kansas City members (Associate AIA or AIA), recruited from the emerging professional demographic within the chapter, and up to three candidates from professions other than architects in the construction industry (i.e. contractor, engineer, developer, etc). A firm may have only one person at a time apply to participate in the program. Participants will be selected on the basis of a written application, recommendations, and personal interviews. Successful applicants will represent a diverse group of men and women, each with strong potential as a future leader in the profession and the community. Each participant will be sponsored by a member firm, as evidenced by a signature below from the firm’s managing principal. For the non-architect applicants, you or your firm must be a member or sponsor of AIA Kansas City.


Time Commitment

The monthly task force meetings will be held on a day selected by the group from 12pm – 5pm, August through May. If a participant is in charge of planning a session, there will be additional time commitment needed to arrange for speakers, etc. In addition to monthly meetings, all participants are required to participate in 10 hours of community service to be coordinated by the Pillars class. It is imperative for the success of the program that all members attend every session and attendance is mandatory. Each member will be allowed one excused absence. If two sessions are missed, a fine of $50 will be sent to the firm. A third absence will result in a $50 fine and expulsion from the program. 


Tuition and Funding

Tuition is $800 per participant and covers luncheons, administrative fees, and other miscellaneous meeting expenses. Half scholarships are available to four participants from small firms (5 or fewer employees) or who are sole proprietors.

Further Information & Deadlines

Refer to the Pillars section of the AIA Kansas City website for information on previous Pillars Classes: www.aiakc.org/get-involved/pillars-leadership-program

Applications, letters of recommendation, a $25 application fee (which will go toward scholarships) and the scholarship application (if applicable) are due by 5pm on May 28. Interviews with all applicants will be conducted in June and each applicant will be notified of the selection results by the end of June.

For more information or if you have any questions about the program, please contact Tiffany Shepherd at 816.221.3485 or tiffany@aiakc.org.

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Pillars Leadership

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