I have been an Architect and a member of AIA for I don't know how many years. I was one of the original members of the "Architects In Industry" prior to the name change to "Corporate Architect Committee". (Lots of us had no involvement in industrial projects.)
We met four times a year, originally meeting at AIA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Then we wised up, realizing that we came from all parts of the US so decided that we could meet anywhere in the US....more "friendly" climates than Washington in the hear of summer or the dampness of winter. We did agree that one of the four meetings would be at AIA headquarters, and a 5th meeting would be our "Conference" where one of the members would be responsible, at their site, to provide interesting and educational..to us, activities.
This allowed us to experience a number of really neat experiences in a number of neat places... i.e. FLW Falling Waters, etc. Also San Diego in winter, or Phoenix, etc.
I had been in private practice for five or six years when I was offered a job at 3M in St Paul, MN. Back then there was a definite prejudice against non-traditional architectural practice. I had been quite active in the AIA in Iowa prior to joining 3M and remember the first AIA meeting I attended in St Paul. Everyone seemed very friendly, until I said I was working for 3M...suddenly I was given the cold shoulder. There was only one fellow who was friendly. I volunteered for a committee, but was never told when they would meet.
That was then...since then things have become quite and very different. I am still a member of the AIA, have served numerous officer positions and have always had a very close relationship to the MSAIA staff and administration. I have now been retired for 19 years, but still have many good memories of my times of Architecture. .I do maintain my registration.
And I miss the Corporate Architects Committee...i had some very good friends from that group..Corning Glass,AT&T, IE Lilly, Bell Telephones..several of them, IBM, Westinghouse, National Bureau of Standards, Walgreen's, etc. etc. At that time active members had to be employed by Corporations or Government organizations. Some private practitioners were allowed for our "conferences".
Our committee had quite a bit of "clout" because we had quite a bit of money...we would decide to do something and then we would do it, sometimes telling the AIA that we didn't need the approval we were going to do it and pay for it ourselves. That also involved the establishment of a scholarship for the training of non traditional architectural practice at a school in Florida.
Oh, those "good old days".