Hosted by AIA Detroit 
Local Contact: Charlie J. Klecha, Assoc. AIA

Detroit will take part in a joint dual-broadcast between Washington, DC and Detroit, Michigan for the National Plenary Broadcast. In addition to this national programming, our local programming will include three session:

Leadership is Fundamental

Thought Leadership in Practice

Exercising Leadership Beyond

Detroit Local Programming

08:00 - 08:30am Breakfast / Registration

08:30 - 09:30am Leadership is Fundamental - K12 Programs

                            Andrew Dunlap, SmithGroupJJR, AIA Detroit Treasurer (Moderator)
                            Mike Ford, Hip Hop Architecture Camps
                            Kelly Lyons, AIA Detroit ABC:D Program
                            Bryan Cook, NOMA Project Pipeline
                            Tracey Alfonsi, CAM 3D Program

09:30 - 10:30am Thought Leadership in Practice

                            Jon Disbrow, ROSSETTI, AIA Detroit President (Moderator)
                            Emile Lauzzana, USGBC Michigan Director of Community
                            Karen Burton, Founder, SpaceLab
                            Meredith McLellan, SmithGroupJJR
                            Ceara O'Leary, Detroit Collaborative Design Center

10:45 - 11:30am (Ring)leading in a Bigger Tent

                            Kim Montague, Herman Miller, AIA Detroit President-Elect (Moderator)
                            Ann Phillips, AIA Detroit CKLDP Chair and 2017 AIAD Associate Award winner
                            Ashley Flintoff, Interim Director of Planning, Wayne State University
                            Karl Daubmann, Dean, College of Architecture and Design, Lawrence Technological University

11:15 - 12:15pm Lunch and Casual Conversation

                            AIA Detroit Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program Scholars

12:15 - 12:30pm Countdown to National Plenary Broadcast


R. Steven Lewis, FAIA, NOMA
Urban Design Director, City of Detroit

Steven Lewis is an architect and a tireless advocate for social justice and diversity within the field of architecture. In 2016, Steven accepted an appointment by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to serve as Urban Design Director for the central region of the City. Steven is also an entrepreneur, previously launching "Thinking Leadership" - a consulting practice distinguished by a facilitated approach to collaborative problem-solving. Prior his work in Detroit, Steven worked with TRC for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Parsons Corporation in Pasadena, and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) as a Program Manager with the Office of the Chief Architect in Washington, DC. 

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Kimberly Dowdell, AIA
Partner, Century Partners

Kimberly is a Detroit-based architect and real estate developer who officially launched as an entrepreneur in June 2016. A native of Detroit, Kimberly grew up with an ambition to revitalize cities using real estate development and sustainable design as tools for renewal. Through her experience as an architecture student at Cornell and as a young professional in Washington, D.C. and New York, she has been working toward her goal of creating transformative development projects in a variety of urban contexts. Kimberly returned to her hometown in 2015 to serve on the City of Detroit's Housing and Revitalization team. Prior to Kimberly's public service, she was a Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellow within the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard.

Kimberly Montague
Herman Miller

Kimberly Montague has been a licensed architect for over 25 years and has worked in many capacities; as a project architect, medical planner and healthcare design strategist. In her current role at Herman Miller, she serves as Healthcare Knowledge & Insights Program Lead, working to develop strategy and research knowledge programs toward innovations in human-centered design. Prior to joining the healthcare team at Herman Miller Inc., Ms. Montague was the Director of Design Consultation Services for Planetree, Inc. As Director of Design Consultation, her primary focus was dedicated to assisting a variety of health care institutions improve not only the patient-centered aspects of care, but also the safety and health of those who work in and are treated at these facilities. Previously recognized by Healthcare Design Magazine as one of health care’s Top 25 Most Influential People in health care design, Kimberly launched the Planetree Visionary Design Network to recognize excellence in creating patient-centered healing environments for architectural and design firms. She currently serves as Vice President for the AIA Detroit Chapter.

Meredith McLellan
SmithGroupJJR’s Workplace and Building Technology Studios

As a Project Manager with SmithGroupJJR’s Workplace and Building Technology Studios, Meredith McLellan has more than 15 years of architectural and project leadership experience. She has served as a project architect and project manager for various clients including the University of Michigan, Oakland University, Michigan State University, Cranbrook, the Detroit Institute of Arts, General Motors, Boll Family YMCA, Bedrock and many more. Most recently she led the Campus Workplace Master Planning efforts for the Ford Motor Company. 
Meredith is active in the community through volunteering, engaging with multiple professional societies, and was recently the chair of the Building Enclosure Council Greater Detroit.  

Michael Ford
Professor, Madison College

Michael Ford is a designer, born and raised in the city of Detroit. Ford received his Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), where he completed his graduate thesis titled “Hip Hop Inspired Architecture and Design.” He has worked as a designer at Hamilton Anderson Associates located in Detroit, Mich. and as an adjunct professor at his alma matter. Ford has also worked as a designer at Flad Architects located in Madison, Wisc. Ford has spent the past decade working to blur the lines between professional practice and academia. He is dedicated to stimulating cross disciplinary discourse between practitioners and residents on the sociological and cultural implications of architecture and urban planning on its inhabitants. Ford’s Hip Hop Architecture research has been published in a variety of places including FastCo Design, Blavity,  The Fader, CityLab and Vibe Magazine. Along with these publications Ford has been a guest lecturer at several universities including the University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign, University of Detroit Mercy, UPenn and Carnegie Mellon University. 

Emile Lauzzana, AIA, LEED AP
Director of Community in Michigan, U.S. Green Building Council

At USGBC, Emile Lauzzana works to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. Lauzzana previously served as the Director of Energy and Sustainability at Detroit Public Schools where he was responsible for the oversight of $20 million annual utility budget for 96 schools and 12 support facilities. Lauzzana launched the DPS Go Green Challenge to incentivize schools to undertake sustainability projects and the development of the district’s Sustainability Management Plan. Lauzzana is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited green building professional. He has taught building science and sustainable design at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. Improvements that he and his wife made to their own home were featured on the annual National Solar Homes Tour. He received his bachelor's degree in history and master's degree in architecture from the University of Michigan.

Kelly Lyons
Curator of Education, Cranbrook Art Museum

In summer 2013, Kelly Lyons joined the Cranbrook Educational Community to serve as Curator of Education for the Cranbrook Art Museum, including outreach efforts for engaging both young and adult learners with a focus on art, architecture, and design. Prior to joining Cranbrook, Kelly held teaching, outreach, and administrative positions at the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. She has developed and collaborated on the execution of curricular materials, teacher training, and programs related to K-12 architecture education, and taught collegiate courses on architectural pedagogy. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, where she double majored in Philosophy and minored in Design; she also holds a M.S. in Education from Duquesne University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Architecture at Carnegie Mellon, focusing on K-12 architectural education. Kelly serves as a Director for the Association of Architecture Organizations AAO, Co-Chair of AAO’s Architecture + Design Education Network, and on the Historic Districts Commission in Rochester Hills, MI.

Karl Daubmann
Dean, College of Architecture and Design, Lawrence Technological University

Karl Daubmann is an architect at the forefront of design and computation. He is Dean of the College of Architecture and Design at Lawrence Technological University. Daubmann is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.  His architectural practice is DAUB (design, architecture, urbanism, building) which focuses on expanding the relationship between design and technology, particularly between digital/robotic fabrication and building. From 2001–12 he was a partner of PLY Architecture, co-authoring a range of award-winning work exploring design and digital fabrication with a focus in Michigan. As the Vice President of Design and Creative Director for Blu Homes, he led a multidisciplinary team that developed green, prefab houses that fold for shipping across North America.

Ashley Flintoff
Interim Director of Planning and Space Management, Wayne State University

Ashley Flintoff is a dual graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Community Development. She is currently the Interim Director of Planning and Space Management for Wayne State University’s Facilities Planning and Management department. Ashley is currently pursuing a Master of Urban Planning at Wayne State University. An avid fan of urban environments, Ashley is one of Detroit’s biggest cheerleaders. She is a founding Board Member of the Volterra-Detroit Foundation, a member of the Association for Community Design Board of Directors and teaches Regional Development and Sustainability for the UDM Master of Community Development Program. She also manages social media for the MCD program and the Association for Community Design. When not sailing on their 1973 Pearson 26 in Lake Erie, Ashley, her husband Tim and their pets Hunter, Ares and Nora are renovating a 1914 Victorian home in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood.

Tracey Alfonsi
Dir. of Education and Safety Services, Construction Association of Michigan

Tracey Alfonsi joined the Construction Association of Michigan in 2010 as the Director of Education and Safety Services.  From 2010 to 2015, she coordinated the classes offered by CAM and provided construction safety training to more than 3,000 workers.  In 2015, Tracey was promoted to Director of Sales & Marketing.  In this role, she oversees all of CAM’s marketing and sales activities, including membership recruitment and retention, new product development and roll-out, execution of networking events, and website and social media management.   In addition, Tracey has played an important role in the development of the 3D Workforce Development program.  She is an Authorized OSHA Outreach Instructor, an adjunct faculty member at Oakland Community College, and a member of the National Association of Women in Construction.


More details on speakers and schedule coming soon! 


The Loft at Madison, 1555 Broadway, Detroit, MI 48226



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