AIA Strategic Council

Formed in 2015, the Strategic Council advances the architecture profession by informing the Board and other Institute bodies about important professional issues, opportunities, and threats. For more information about the council, see here.

The AIA’s Strategic Council and AIA Washington Council are seeking candidates for consideration and appointment as the AIA Washington Council Strategic Council Representative for the 2023-2025 term. 

The Strategic Council advances the profession by informing the Board of Directors and other Institute bodies of important professional issues and opportunities. The Council is charged with surveying the profession to identify opportunities and threats, and engaging in strategic planning to inform the goals, objectives and strategies of AIA. The Strategic Council is tasked with ideation/research/generative thought-based activities. It is an outward-focused, forward-thinking, and member-centric group.

  • Do you want to make a difference?
  • Are you an individual committed to action?

If so, the AIA Strategic Council needs you!  Those interested in this opportunity are encouraged to see here for application information.  

Rico Quirindongo AIA

Rico Quirindongo AIA, serves as the Strategic Councilor for Washington state. Rico is Acting Director of the City of Seattle Office of Planning & Community Development. Rico was a mayoral appointee to the Historic Seattle Council for six years, was a founding member of the National Organization of Minority Architects Northwest Chapter and Rico sat on the AIA+2030 national steering committee, helping 24 cities nationally provide curriculum to meet the 2030 Challenge.

Rico works with organizations to positively influence communities through design. He was chair of the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority Council, was a Downtown Seattle Association board member, and was AIA Seattle President in 2012-13. Rico’s first Ted talk is called Transforming Communities Through Architecture. In 2021, he was given a Commercial Real Estate Leadership Award as a Neighborhood Champion by the Puget Sound Business Journal. He was recognized by AIA as a Citizen Architect in 2020 and is a Northwest & Pacific Regional Representative on the AIA Strategic Council.

Young Architects Forum

The AIA Young Architects Forum is the voice of recently licensed Architects and the catalyst for progress within the Institute.

Specific goals of the group are to:

  • ENGAGE recently licensed Architects in leadership to become agents of change within the Institute and the profession overall.
  • INSPIRE professional growth among recently licensed Architects through fellowship within the Institute.
  • ADVOCATE for issues of particular relevance to recently licensed Architects to the Institute.
  • SERVE to make AIA memberships meaningful to recently licensed Architects through programs and services that effectively anticipate, meet and exceed their needs.
  • PROMOTE mentorship at all career stages to enhance personal growth, community involvement, and professional development.

For more information about the YAF program, see here.


Tanya is an Architect at Weber Thompson, serving the community by designing affordable housing that advances the health and wellness of occupants throughout Seattle and Tacoma. She is a fierce advocate for affordable housing beyond project work too. In her hometown of Edmonds, she was chosen to join the Citizen’s Housing Commission to devise policies that expand the range of housing options across the city.

In addition to being a LEED Green Associate, Tanya is a WELL Accredited Professional, a standard that focuses on the impact of a building on human health and wellness. Sustainability is one of Tanya’s core passions and she seeks to integrate sustainable strategies into her projects whenever possible. She is a member of Weber Thompson’s Sustainabiliteam, helping set goals and lead sustainability initiatives within the firm.

Tanya is also part of the inaugural cohort of AIA’s Next to Lead program which is a pilot association program that removes barriers to AIA leadership positions for ethnically diverse women.

National Associates Committee

The National Associates represents and advocates for associates, both mainstream and non-traditional, at all components of the AIA. By promoting excellence, providing information and leadership, fostering inclusiveness and encouraging individual, community and professional development, the NAC strives to integrate the growing associates community of the profession into a strong voice within the AIA. More information about the NAC is available here.

Katie Cherrier Assoc. AIA

Katie serves as Washington’s representative to AIA’s National Associates Committee. A member of AIA Spokane, she is an architectural associate at Integrus Architecture. 

In 2020 Katie graduated from the architecture program at Spokane Community College, and in 2021 she received the Certificate in Women’s Leadership from Gonzaga University. Her passion for community and problem-solving led her to serve as president of the Spokane AIAS chapter. In 2021 Katie became a Board Associate on the AIA Washington Council Board, and she continues to serve in that role.

A native of Southcentral Alaska, Katie and has called Spokane home for the past eight years

Small Firm Exchange (SFx)

AIA National’s Small Firm Exchange works to advance the interests of architects practicing in small firms by advocating for the value of small firms; developing and disseminating resources and information; and informing the AIA of current issues facing small firms and areas in which current resources and information are lacking.

Approximately 75% of all firms within the AIA are small firms (10 employees or less), which equates to 14,288 small firms within the organization. SFx exists to leverage that size for collaboration and influence.

More info about SFx is available here.

Jamie Walsh AIA

Jamie represents Washington on the SFx Board. The Board is currently comprised of 22 representatives. Members serve three-year terms with an optional one-year extension.

Jamie serves on the SFx Outreach Sub-Committee, which focuses on social media; as the SFx board liaison to the AIA Knowledge Group that specializes in Design for Aging; and as the temporary SFx board representative for Alaska.

Jamie holds an M.Arch I degree from UCLA School of Arts and Architecture and a BA in Economics from Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts.   She is licensed in the states of Washington and California and has lived and worked in Aberdeen since 2004. She started Jamie Walsh Designs in 2012.  Her practice focuses on small-scale residential, commercial, and institutional design.  She currently serves on the Grays Harbor County Planning Commission and Board of Adjustments.

Email Jamie here:

Thomas Lawrence AIA

Thomas serves as Washington’s representative to the SFx, where his role is to surface small firm members’ concerns at the national level. State representatives serve one year terms that are renewable for up to five years.

Tom has lived and worked in Seattle for almost 40 years, focusing on single-family projects. He worked at architectural firms in the Seattle area, North Carolina, Maryland and Florida prior to starting his own small firm in 1995. Tom has a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University.

He has been an active member of AIA Seattle. Among other chapter activities, Tom has served on the Board of Directors 2003-2006, as a member of the Small Office Roundtable 1999-2008 (chair 2003-2008), on the Residential Design Forum organizing task force 2002-2008 (Chair 2003-2006) and 2015-2020, as a member of the Future Shack awards program organizing committee 2009-2012, as a member of the Small Practice and Residential Committee 2016-present (co-chair 2017-2020), and a member of the Honor Awards Committee 1989-present (chair 1994).

As the Washington representative for the Small Firm Exchange (SFx), Tom is looking forward to connecting architects in Washington with those in other states and regions.

Email Thomas here: