Call For Volunteers

AIA Colorado seeks member volunteers to serve on committees that embody the mission, vision, and values of the organization. 

These groups are organized under four overarching themes of Policy Impact, Practice Advancement, Career Leadership and Community Outreach to move the profession forward. We encourage candidates from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds including career stage, firm size, practice type, location, and personal demographics. Volunteering with AIA Colorado is a great way to use leadership skills, meet like-minded colleagues, expand your network, and shape the profession. 

As you consider involvement, note that many committee meetings take place via video conference, allowing geographical participation from across the state. 

Before applying, review all volunteer opportunities and descriptions. Commitments for committee participation are for one calendar year and committee chair positions are appointed annually.

Selections are made at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors. Assignments are made based on the stated preference and qualifications of each applicant along with team composition, capacity, and competence needs. We will endeavor to find a place for everyone but cannot guarantee appointments for all applicants.

To apply, complete the form below by 11:59 MST on Sunday, December 3rd. Thank you for your interest in serving!


Beginning in 2013, the AIA|DC chapter undertook an initiative to develop a program which would help train and nurture the next generation of leaders. The year-long program consists of nine individual half-day sessions attended by a competitively selected group of 16 emerging professionals (an emerging professional is defined as someone who has graduated from college with an architecture degree and is within 10 years before or after their professional licensure). Prospective participants must go through an application process for selection where proven career success, community involvement and the individual’s firm support will be considered.

Honoring Christopher Kelley

Christopher Kelley, AIA, was an active member of the DC architectural community and suddenly passed away in May of 2012. He was a respected leader within the Institute as well as within Gensler’s Washington office. Through his volunteer efforts, he participated and contributed to initiatives and programs that have had a positive impact on emerging professionals at different stages of their careers. In 2010 Christopher was honored with the AIA Young Architects Award for which the jury stated, “Christopher has proven himself a young leader within and around the AIA, a real example for other young professionals.” This program is intended to continue his legacy of leadership and activism. 


The curriculum focuses on core professional skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management, working together and collaboration, the art of negotiation, client development, community leadership, industry trends, and developing your future within the practice. The selected scholars to the leadership program are responsible for planning and participating in each of the individual sessions.

The program will be kicked off by a “Boot Camp” session to introduce the participants and to further develop the desired curriculum for the year. This session is mandatory and will be held on Friday, January 19th, 2024 from 11:30am – 5:00pm. Remaining sessions will be held monthly through October.

2024 Schedule

  • Boot Camp; January 19
  • Session 1: Management and Mentorship; March 8
  • Session 2: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; April 12
  • Session 3: Community Engagement; May 10
  • Session 4: Business Development and Entrepreneurship; June 14
  • Session 5: Contracts and Negotiation; July 12
  • Session 6: Sustainability in Design; August 16
  • Session 7: Research, Education, and Technology; September 13
  • Session 8: The Future of Architecture and Closing Ceremony; October 18
  • See full schedule and session descriptions here

Application Process

Individuals will be selected on the basis of a written application, recommendations, and resume. Successful applicants will represent a diverse group of emerging professionals that demonstrate a strong potential as a future leader. A jury will convene in December to make the selections of the 2024 program scholars. Candidates will be notified of their selection to participate in the program by mid-December.
PDF version of Complete CKLDP 2023 Application Requirements


Tuition for AIA Members is $450; non‐AIA member tuition is $650. AIA Colorado may choose to offer tuition assistance to individuals that may be from small firms that would otherwise not be able to participate. The amount and number of tuition assistance will be at the discretion of the Selection Committee.

AIA Membership

Though AIA membership is encouraged for all scholars, it is not mandatory. A preference will be given to AIA Colorado members, though other emerging professionals are welcome to submit an application for review.

AIA Continuing Education

It is intended that this program will have AIA CE credit made available for its participants; targeting a total of 36 CEUs, some of which are intended to be HSW.

Required Commitment to the Program

The program’s success is directly related to the attendance by the participants and therefore attendance is mandatory. Each participant of the program will be required to sign an agreement form that will require a signature from one of the participant’s principals of their firm. Provided due notice to the Executive Committee, with extenuating circumstances, each scholar will be allowed one excused absence. If two sessions are missed, a fine of $50 will be sent to the participant’s firm. A further absence will result in an additional $50 fine and expulsion from the program. All scholars are required to attend the “Boot Camp” Session and the Closing Ceremony, no exceptions.



  1. Letter of Recommendation – each application must include a letter of recommendation. Letters are limited to one page and should be uploaded in PDF format. (named as Last Name-First Name-Letter of Recommendation.pdf) 
  2. Personal Resume – including applicant’s education, employment history, organizations or activity involvement, and honors and awards. Resumes are preferred to be no more than two pages and uploaded in PDF format. (named as Last Name-First Name-Resume.pdf) 
  3. Agreement Form – completed, signed, and uploaded in PDF format. Please see additional  application materials on AIA CO CKLDP website to download a copy of the form. (Last Name-First Name-Agreement.pdf) Find it here
  4. Short Answers (named as Last Name-First Name-Short Answer.pdf) 
  • Statement of Interest (250 words) 
  • Is the applicant an emerging professional (Within 10 years of first architectural registration and has graduated from an architectural degree program)?  Yes/No
  • Is the applicant a 2024 AIA member?  Yes/No
  • What do you feel are the three most significant issues and opportunities facing the profession today? (250 words) 
  • What are the specific skills or knowledge you hope to gain from your participation in the CKLDP? (250 words) 
  • How do you define leadership and how have you demonstrated leadership skills to this point in your career? (250 words) 

      5.  Tuition Assistance Form (optional) Find it here

Tuition Assistance is limited to AIA Colorado members and dependent upon firm size. Individuals are encouraged to apply for tuition assistance if they qualify. Please review the criteria carefully.


For questions, please contact 

For more program information, please see our website: Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program


2024 Executive Committee: 

  • Chelsea Wade, AIA - Chair email
  • Johann Duran-Hunt, AIA - Vice Chair email 
  • Leah Gordon, Assoc. AIA - Chair Emeritus email
  • Sarah Long, AIA, NCARB - Outreach Director
  • Lauren Hiatt, AIA, NCARB - Marketing Director 
  • Ben Ludeman, Assoc. AIA - Business Development Director 
  • Benjamin Champagne, AIA, NCARB - Treasurer

The Ascend Program connects emerging architecture professionals with mid-career architects through mentorship as an intentional first step into the profession. These connections will support EP’s in the early stage of their careers, guiding through challenges, setting goals, and developing the skill set to succeed. Ascend groups are organized locally. 

Mentors and Mentees are invited to apply no later than December 11, 2023.

Program Outcomes

1.  Guidance 

  • Awareness and identification of culture of architecture profession. Training on professional etiquette and expectations. Negotiate the adjustments from academia to profession.  

2.  Support, problem solving

  • Preparing for and dealing with challenges in the working environment. Problem solving. 

3.  Career Planning, Goal Setting

  • Understanding the different career paths in architecture. Setting goals in a career and developing a pathway to achieve those goals.


This program’s success is directly dependent on the consistent attendance by the participants and therefore attendance is mandatory. Each member will be allowed one excused absence. The agreement form must be filled out and signed by the applicant. The signature of a firm principal is also required showing the commitment of the firm to the applicant’s full participation.

2024 Schedule:

  • Ascend Kickoff meeting: February 8
  • Session 2: March 7
  • Session 3: April 4
  • Session 4: May 2
  • Session 5: June 6
  • Closing session/Ascend Reunion: August 1

Program Requirements

  • Emerging professional and AIA member 
  • Currently working in the architecture field
  • Between 1 - 5 years of professional office experience
  • Unlicensed
  • Started AXP process Perferred
  • Recent Graduates can apply

Program Overview

The Ascend Program will empower people to see the future of their career in architecture, and develop a path for their next 5-10 years in the profession. 

This program has been developed to fit as the first step in a series of established AIA Colorado opportunities to enrich careers and provide opportunities for leadership. Graduates of the Ascend program are encouraged to continue their professional development through these other programs:

1. The Ascend Program

2. Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program

3. Volunteering

A. Local advisory councils

B. Committee work

C. Knowledge communities

D. Board membership

4. College of Fellows

Mentor Selection

  • Licensed Architects
  • Currently working in the architecture field
  • Between 10 - 15 years of professional office experience
  • Hold a leadership or Senior position
  • Engaged on active projects

AIA Colorado