Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA

Helene serves as Executive Director of The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design and the Executive Vice President of AIA Virginia. In 2014 she served as National President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as well as AIA Secretary (2011-12) and National Vice President (2000). Helene has been named the 2015 Honorary Chair for the AIA Leadership Institute program, as she has been a key advocate for the program’s success.

Philip G. Freelon, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

Phil Freelon is the founder and President of The Freelon Group, Inc. In 2014, Freelon joined forces with global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will. He leads both Perkins+Will North Carolina offices. Phil has led multi-faceted design teams on museum projects across the United States. Phil has been a leader for the vision and creation of his firm, the design and development of award-winning projects, and has dedicated his career to giving back to the profession.

F. Michael Ayles, AIA, NCARB

Michael Ayles is Principal of Business Development at Antinozzi Associates in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Michael has served as a local, regional and national leader. He also serves as his state’s Architect Licensing Advisor, as a board member for the ACE Mentor Program of Connecticut, and as an elected official on his town’s Board of Finance.  He is a contributing author to the AIA resource Living Your Life As A Leader, created in 2010 and updated in 2015 for the Leadership Institute. 

Mickey Jacob, FAIA

Mickey Jacob, FAIA, is Exec. Vice President of BDG Architects, and has been practicing architecture in Tampa, Florida for 32 years. He served as the National President (2013), National Vice President (2009-11), Florida/Caribbean Regional Director (2007-09), and AIA Florida (2004-05). Mickey has been active in government advocacy, bringing awareness of the importance of political engagement, and is a vocal advocate to position AIA members to attain leadership positions.

Jess Zimbabwe, AIA, AICP, LEED AP

Jess Zimbabwe serves as Director of Urban Development at the National League of Cities and founding Executive Director of the Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership—a partnership of NLC and the Urban Land Institute. Jess was the Director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and served as the Community Design Director at Urban Ecology, providing pro bono community planning and design assistance to low-income neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area.