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Who We Are

The mission of the AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx) is to advance the mutual interests of architects practicing in small firms. The objectives of the AIA SFx are three-fold:

     1. Advocate the value of small firms, the national SFx, and local
         SFx groups, both within the AIA and to the public.
     2. Curate and disseminate the most pertinent resources and
         information, from the AIA & elsewhere, that benefit small firms.

     3. Inform the AIA of current issues facing small firms and areas
         in which current resources/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. 

~25% = sole practitioners = 4,750

~35% = 1-5 employees = 6,650

~15% = 5-10 employees = 2,850

We need to find ways to leverage that size for collaboration and influence, just like the individual large firms do.

Be sure to "Join our Community" !  This will ensure that you're a part of our mailing list and receive our quarterly newsletter and important small firm information.

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Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

  • 1.  Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-01-2020 02:09 PM

    I wanted to share this conference we are creating. The Small Firm Roundtable in Houston put on a 2-day prosperity conference for the State of Texas in January 2019. As the current pandemic/economic situation got underway, we all came together again to create a conference of speakers we would want to hear from right now to help us with our firms.

    This is the announcement that went out today. Please consider joining us. It's great to hear and talk with other that understand what you are going through and provide ideas.

    Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    The AIA Small Firm Roundtable invites you to a 2-day virtual conference, May 28-29, on business best practices in this new economy. Register for one day or both. Conference topics and speakers are developing. Registration and more information
     Speakers will include:

    • Phillip G Bernstein, Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer, Yale School of Architecture
    • Simon Goodhead, COXE Group
    • Dan Hart, Executive Vice President at Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, and Co-Chair, AIA National COVID Task Force on Business Practice Resources
    • Enoch Sears, Business of Architecture

    This is a sneak peek of the session topics we are lining up and are not official yet.
    1. Closing the Deal… online
    § How to deliver a sales presentation and win the work through web applications?

    2. Business Development Strategies during and after the Pandemic
    § Review and discuss different strategies for networking, maintaining client
    relationships and developing future work.

    3. Leading in a Crisis
    § Leadership strategies for managing and directing employees, projects and
    clients in uncertain times.
    § Speaker: Simon Goodhead, COXE Group

    4. Architect's Guide to Business Continuity
    § Discuss processes and strategies for business continuity planning to keep the
    office operating, productive and profitable.
    § Speaker: Dan Hart, AIA National COVID Task Force: Business Practice

    5. Lessons Learned from the 2008 Recession
    § Discussion with different firm leaders who survived and blossomed after the
    previous recession.

    6. The New Work / Life Balance
    § As working from home becomes the new normal, how do we create healthy
    boundaries, both mentally and emotionally, among work, spouses, children, pets,
    chores and ourselves?

    7. The Evolution of Tech
    § How has the pandemic transformed technology and software, with the
    standardization of online project meetings, staying connected to employees,
    networking with potential clients virtually, and beyond?

    8. Maintaining Client Standard of Care
    § How do our contracts, standard of care and project delivery evolve and change
    along with our business practices?

    9. The Future of Practice
    § The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for architects, designers, and the
    future of the profession.
    § Speaker: Phillip G Bernstein, Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer, Yale School
    of Architecture

    Alyssia Makarewicz AIA
    AMB Architects
    Houston TX

  • 2.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-04-2020 05:31 PM
    Any women speakers at this event?


  • 3.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-05-2020 05:26 PM
    Good Question.


  • 4.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-06-2020 06:03 PM
    Yes, there are 10 sessions. I should have an almost complete speaker schedule by tomorrow. It looks like so far there have been 4 female speakers confirmed. I’m waiting to get the correct spellings of their names before I share them.

    This event was pulled together quickly. We have been working on it for less then a month. Diversity has been a topic we have discussed.

    I hope you are having a phenomenal day!
    Alyse Makarewicz, AIA
    713-202-7818 cell

  • 5.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-08-2020 03:35 PM
    I attended a conference Alyssia organized here in Houston last year......Fantastic content and speakers! 

    I expect this one to be even better.

    Mike McIntyre, 
    McIntyre + Robinowitz
    718 Heights Blvd.
    Houston, TX 77007
    TEL 713-520-9336

  • 6.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-05-2020 05:44 PM
    or people of color?

    Judith Wasserman AIA
    Bressack & Wasserman
    Palo Alto CA

  • 7.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-05-2020 06:16 PM
    CRAN organized a symposium last year that had almost exclusively white male speakers. When some of us pointed that out and asked them to do better in the future, they responded defensively, saying that the organizing committee was mostly women so they couldn't possibly be sexist and that they chose speakers based on the speakers' knowledge. Ugh.

    Dawn Zuber, FAIA
    Studio Z Architecture
    Plymouth, MI

  • 8.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-05-2020 06:48 PM
    When every event is on ZOOM these days, there is a newfound space where equity of (nearly) every magnitude is possible. Cutting across all timezones, all demographics, all sectors, all scales of business and all models of innovation. Perhaps your research just wasn't that deep? PLEASE, out of respect for my fellow women-owned, POC-owned small firm owners, explain how this could be a such a HUGE fail. I stand by in solidarity with my sisters of design.

    Petia Morozov
    Montclair NJ

  • 9.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-06-2020 06:14 PM
    Ok, I’m going to get defensive now. There are 10 sessions. I explain that the 4 names are what we’re confirmed. We have been working to diversify the speakers.

    Because women architects that might be subject experts don’t promote themselves, no one knows they exist. That’s our fault not the people trying to put together an event to help each other during tough times.

    If you haven’t noticed, I’m female. This is my 3rd recession and I offered to be on one of the panels talking about strategies.

    The conference is still in development.

    I hope you are having a phenomenal day!
    Alyse Makarewicz, AIA
    713-202-7818 cell

  • 10.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-06-2020 07:19 PM
    If finding diverse presenters is a problem, may I suggest doing a call for presenters and target organizations with a diverse component. If you can find the time to promote this conference, the same effort can be made to find presenters.

    Not being able to find women versus women who choose to not participant are two completely different topics. Staying within your circle and asking each other ‘who do you know‘, will only result in the same propaganda of ‘we can’t find women experts’. Madame President, you are a leader who has the power to bring up other women and make them experts. Get out of your comfort zone and create the next great speaker. #nomoreexcuse


  • 11.  RE: Thriving Through Challenging Times Conference

    Posted 05-07-2020 07:55 AM
    You could start by using this space to solicit presenters.

    Petia Morozov, AIAS, LEED™ AP
    MADLAB LLC | Architecture | Design

    7 Oak Place, Suite 180
    Montclair, New Jersey  07042
    T 973/233-9296, ext. 1
    F 973/233-9294
    C 973/902-3878