Hosted by: AIA Arkansas 
Local Contact: Susanna Watt, PA and Michael Lejong, AIA 

local Programming

November 16, 2017
Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern ArtThe Landing Suites, 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712
8am-6:30pm (Local Time)

There is no better time than now to develop yourself as a leader, especially in your own community and region.  Every day our area representatives are looking for experts to provide leadership and guide them through complicated environmental, civic and social responsibility.  As architects, we are trained to look at the intricate layers of complex issues and provide rational, educated and thoughtful solutions to some of the most challenging problems, including those that surround you.  Let’s make architects the leaders of our communities!

Register now > 

Participants will earn up to 6.25 LU|HSW

Follow the discussion online #AIALi17 or #AIALi17_AR


08:00 - 08:30a Breakfast / Registration

08:30 - 08:45a Local Program Welcome by Michael Lejong

08:45 - 09:45a Leading our Communities Through Education

featuring Peter MacKeith

09:45 - 10:00a Coffee break

10:00 - 11:00a Passageways - Leading our Communities through Outreach

featuring Jared Hueter

11:00 - 04:00p National Plenary Broadcast (click to view Central Schedule)

04:10 - 05:10p Leadership Training – Living Your Life as a Leader

featuring Kevin Thompson

05:10 - 05:30p Recap and Debrief



Michael Lejong, AIA

Michael served as the AIA Arkansas Fort Smith Section Chair and AIA Arkansas Chapter President. During his leadership time on the AIA Arkansas board, he represented the chapter in various capacities including; convention chair, design awards chair, speaker’s chair, Grassroots representative, as well as, serving on the financial planning, membership, legacy foundation, legislative and political action committees. In addition to his board involvement, Michael has been active for several years on the AIA State Government Network (SGN), serves as AIA Arkansas Legislative Affairs committee chair, and on the AIA Small Firm Exchange. Michael will also be presenting at the 2018 AIA National Convention in New York for the workshop – “Focused Leadership for the Proactive Professional.”


Lori Yazwinski Santa-Rita,

Lori is a partner at Jennings+Santa-Rita Architects in Fayetteville, AR. She is currently serving as Treasurer for the Arkansas AIA and is a founding member of Women in Architecture Arkansas. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas in 2005, Lori was appointed to the City of Fayetteville Environmental Action Committee and has been involved with various non-profits in Northwest Arkansas. Her role as a mother and business owner drives her to serve her community.  Lori’s dedication to the profession of architecture and work with the Gulf States Emerging Professionals Symposium was recognized with an AIA Component Excellence Award in 2017. 


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Peter MacKeith
Dean and Professor of Architecture,
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Arkansas

A nationally recognized design educator and administrator, MacKeith was Associate Dean, Professor of Architecture, and Adjunct Associate Curator for Architecture and Design at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, from 1999-2014. MacKeith has been recognized twice by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture with national awards for "creative achievement in design education." Since receiving a Fulbright Fellowship to Finland in 1990, MacKeith has worked as a liaison between the architecture, art and design cultures of the United States, Finland, and the Nordic region. MacKeith was installed as a Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of Finnish culture in February, 2014.

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Jared Hueter, AIA

Jared Hueter is an Architect with Cogent Studio, LLC in Chattanooga, and a graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. He has been an outspoken advocate for responsible design and a community volunteer since 2005. Jared worked in New Orleans where he was actively involved in rebuilding efforts following hurricane Katrina. Coordinating with multiple Katrina relief organizations, Jared managed over 60 clean-up, demolition, and reconstruction projects. He is the 2017 Vice President, 2018 President Elect of AIA Chattanooga, and 2017-18 Glass House Collective Board Member.  He has served as AIA Gulf States Regional Associate Director, AIA National Associates Committee Director, and Board Member of the Gert Town Revival Initiative. Jared has been awarded the ACSA Collaborative Practice Award, the Design Corps Design for the Underserved Award, AmeriCorps VISTA Service Award, Alpha Rho Chi Medal, and was featured in Architect magazine’s the Millennials.

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Kevin A. Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson is an author and lead pastor of Community Bible Church, a multi-site church in western Arkansas. He is a frequent speaker at corporate events, retreats and conferences. His blog at focuses on leadership, marriage & parenting (specifically parenting a child with special needs), humor and current events. In the past three years, his articles have been read over 10 million times. As a pastor, Kevin often interacts with people on their worst days. While every situation is unique, many common themes can be found. Some areas in life are more difficult than others — fear, mistakes, relationships, and work often become stumbling blocks for people. Because we focus on the wrong things, ignore our responsibilities, and make bad decisions, we often struggle with many aspects of life. Too many people are waiting. They are waiting on a boss, or a job, or a break, or a friend or spouse. They are waiting on someone or something to change their life. Kevin will show us how to stop making excuses, tell yourself the truth, and help transform yourself into a more confident leader.


Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern Art, The Landing Suites, 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR72712.