Pub 2 2021-2022 Issue 1

By Philip Haderlie, AIA President AIA Utah

President’s Message


This story appears in the
AIA Utah Magazine Pub 2 2021-2022 Issue 1

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I hope everyone is having a nice and safe summer. I wanted to share some thoughts and provide an update on what is happening at AIA Utah in the next few months.

I love to read fantasy books as they are a nice distraction from the stress and pressures of life. Recently I read a book by Brandon Sanderson called The Way of Kings. In it, he shares this thought: “I declare that no accomplishment has substance nearly as great as the road used to achieve it. We are not creatures of destinations. It is the journey that shapes us. Our callused feet, our backs strong from carrying the weight of our travels, our eyes open with the fresh delight of experiences lived.”

A few years ago, we returned home from a family event in Sheridan, Wyoming. I convinced the family we should “take the scenic route” through Thermopolis and the Wind River mountains; my logic was that it would only add one hour to the trip and we would see sights that we had never seen. Unfortunately, we found out a rockslide had closed the road at Thermopolis, which added six hours of backtracking to our trip. I’ve never seen the family so mad, and from then on, I’ve never been able to convince them to “take the scenic route.” However, I would argue that even that unexpected setback had some value, and we still had fun as a family although it extended our travels by almost a day.

I guess my point of sharing this is to explain that since early 2020, the journey taken may have had more setbacks than we planned, and we all struggled with a pandemic and countless other trials, I’m sure. But I’m hopeful we are starting to see the light now at the end of that tunnel, but I would recommend we should all be grateful for this journey. Hopefully, we feel strengthened by the “weight of our travels,” and our “eyes have been open with the fresh delight of experiences lived.”

AIA Utah has been part of that journey for me in a big way this year, and we have seen our share of setbacks but also our share of delights. I appreciate the efforts of our leadership team and volunteer committees in planning and executing many great events, and I’ve seen a lot of folks give up their time and energy to keep AIA Utah moving forward. Thanks especially to the whole AIA Utah Board of Directors who have been instrumental this year. And a huge thank you to many of our local AIA member firms who donated temporary staff to help us keep the AIA office open.

Let’s not forget to enjoy “the scenic route” once in a while, even if there may be unexpected setbacks along the way. And let’s make sure we don’t focus too much on the destination that we forget to enjoy the journey!

Updates from the President’s Desk

Executive Director Update
As you will remember, Heather Wilson, our past executive director, left us in May of this year. Since then, we have sought applicants to take the position and are close to making a final decision on this issue, but we’re not ready to announce just yet. However, I would like to send out a special thank you to RK Stewart, FAIA, our Search Task Force Chair, along with task force members Peggy McDonough, AIA, Bruce Fallon, AIA, Clio Rayner, AIA, and Christina Haas, AIA, for their work in the executive comprehensive search process.

Golf Tournament
I’m excited to join all of you for the AIA Utah Centennial Golf Scholarship Tournament to be held on Sept. 16 at Stonebridge Golf Course. Special thanks to Jarod Maw, AIA Past President, and the rest of the Golf Tournament Planning Taskforce. There is still time to register for hole sponsorships or foursomes. Register for the Golf Tournament at

Honors & Design Awards Submissions
I wanted to call attention to the wonderful Design Awards program planned for this year. Special thanks to Travis Sheppard, AIA, Director of the Honors & Awards committee, and Daniel Rogers, AIA, the Committee Chair. While the deadline for submittals has already passed, we are excited to celebrate some great architecture.

Please save the date for our Annual Member Gala Oct. 22, where we will celebrate these award winners and spend some special time socializing. Registration opens soon, so check for updates.

Conference update
This year’s conference theme is CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CELEBRATE. We are excited to welcome – via virtual means – our National AIA President Peter Exley, FAIA, who will kick off the conference on Sept 20.

During the week of Sept. 20-24, we will hold several CEU events organized by AIA Utah Committees that will provide opportunities to connect, collaborate on key issues, and catch up with colleagues. We will wrap up the conference on Sept. 24 with a luncheon, business meeting, and closing keynote featuring Noelle Pikus-Pace, a Silver medalist skeleton athlete from the 2014 Sochi Olympics! Early bird pricing is available, so save your seat by visiting!

Keep an eye out for AIA Utah 100 Best Buildings Poll. We are excited to see our favorite buildings around the state go head to head in the battle of the “BEST.” More details are coming soon.

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