The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program was featured in Building Excellence. Read the article here.

2019-2020 Cohort

“It was a great experience, and I really enjoyed spending the year learning with my cohort.” Katie Werner Grajewski, AIA, kRm Achitecture+

“My experience with the CKLDP has been extremely educational and eye opening. It has allowed me to look at our profession, and related professions, in a new light. It has also allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and have important conversations affecting our profession on a daily basis. I am grateful for the connections that I generated, and the friends I have made throughout this process. I highly recommend the program to any young professional in our local AE community.” Daniel Potash, AAIA, arcDESIGN

“CKLDP has been very enriching and the most exciting Friday I have looked forward to, every month, right from the boot camp. I enjoyed interacting with such a talented bunch of leaders who brought with them deep insights through every session, every topic, every activity and every discussion. I can confidently say that it has expanded my understanding on business development, strategies, and more importantly, what makes a true leader. This program definitely helped me get out of comfort zone and network with people from different firms and specialist/leaders who share similar passion and interest. I have benefitted a lot through this unique program and highly recommend design professionals to participate in this early in their career.” Gayathri Kesavan, AIA , Herman Kittle

“Through the CKLDP, I have been exposed to myriad aspects of architectural practice that I had never thought about in depth. The program encourages the scholars to “choose their own adventure” in a way, by allowing the session leaders to dictate the direction of their topic. Creative thinking and professional connections gave way to many unique and interesting speakers and presentations. Each session was different, yet all have jump started inspiration and conversation between the future leaders of the profession. I came out of every session with a long list of ideas, books to read, videos to watch, websites to explore and topics to delve into further. While each session went in depth of a specific topic, they also pushed me to pursue the topics further on my own time. The experience and knowledge I have gained through the CKLDP can be directly translated back to my career pursing architecture as well as shared with my firm to help us stay relevant on trends and continue to push the boundaries. The connections I have made with fellow scholars will surely continue to grow as we learn to find our voices and become leaders in our field.” Austin Zehr, Assc. AIA, DELV Design

“I am grateful for the experience CKLDP has given me on the essential components of leadership and business. I hoped to gain more confidence on the business side of of architecture, and I gained that in ways I never expected. By hearing from professionals inside and outside the architectural world, I gained knowledge on everything from examining personal communication styles to trying new interview tactics. Former insecurities I might have had about my negotiation or communication skills were recognized to be assets and just alternative, not lesser, ways to connect with others. I am grateful for the opportunity to get to meet other scholars outside of the Fort Wayne area, and reconnect with the young professional arm of AIA Indiana.” Karen Fisher, AIA, Barton-Coe-Vilamaa Architects-Engineers Inc.

“The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program is a great experience for anyone looking to grow their network and career path. The wide range of professional experience from the scholars provided engaging conversations and thoughtfully planned sessions on topics to help us all become better architects and designers. This program has given me insight on business development techniques and how to better lead and manage a project team. I am proud to be a Christopher Kelley scholar.” Ashley Thornberry, AIA , AXIS Architecture + Interiors

“The AIA Indiana Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program has been a truly rewarding experience. Throughout the year we have been exposed to several aspects of the profession that most of us had yet to be a part of in our individual firms. The program provided the opportunity to develop a broader sense of the industry, leadership, and most importantly – collaboration. The practical hands on learning with some of the activities along with the insightful and honest feedback from speakers created a very tangible experience for me. One that has had immediate results for my firm as well as setting me up for long term success in the profession.

I believe the CKLDP not only strengthens the individual but also fosters collaboration within each year’s cohort which will expand to past and future cohorts strengthening Indiana’s architecture community.” Emily DeSmit, AIA, RATIO

2018-2019 Cohort

“This has been a remarkable program with exceptional speakers, I’ve built an extensive network, and have directly applied these session topics into practice” – Victoria Templeton, RQAW

 “The AIA CKLDP has been a beyond beneficial experience. It is everything an emerging leader program should be and will greatly benefit the scholars and the architecture community in Indiana. Each participant is now more prepared to insert themselves into tasks and responsibilities that are typically reserved for more experienced staff. This advantage is due to the CKLDP’s ability to expose young architects to information at an earlier stage of their career and provide an environment where the scholars can test their skills in real scenarios with feedback from industry experts. I highly recommend any architect in Indiana to take this course, the earlier in their career the more influential it can become.“ – Matthew Jennings, American Structurepoint

“It has been a pleasure to participate alongside the scholars of the 2018-2019 class of AIA Indiana’s CKLDP program. For me, the real value of the program was in the group; the round table discussions on a broad list of professional topics and the new network that I now have in them through this experience. Each session exposed me to their unique viewpoints on current topics; many of which I may not have come into contact with otherwise. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in dedicating time to focus on professional development alongside a group of talented and driven peers.” – Zach Hilleson, RATIO

“From the Bootcamp, I was excited about the opportunity to join with this cohort to listen to the innovations that firms around the city and state were making, to grow with a stellar group of professionals from various backgrounds, and to look at the big picture to help our profession, my firm, and my clients to be more successful, in turn helping me to grow also.  There are so many great experiences from each session that have opened my eyes.” – Rick Rush, arcDESIGN

“AIA Indiana CKLDP was a great opportunity. It allowed me to meet and network with Architects as well as learn more about the field. The various categories discussed throughout the monthly classes expanded my knowledge not only in architecture but also how we as Architects and future architects have to adapt to the changes that are happening in the world.” – Myrisha Colston, Schmidt Associates

“The scholar-led format of the CKLDP was an excellent format to encourage creativity and accountability in the sessions.  Knowing that you were responsible for making a meaningful day of content for your peers and the understanding that 16 people are sacrificing their time to be there, really put the pressure on each of us to develop great sessions. These sessions also allowed us all to form meaningful relationships with other peers in the industry.  This format allowed each of us to connect more than what you would typically do at an AIA event.  I also appreciated the candid conversations that we had in the sessions and the opportunity to air out important issues facing our industry and our roles within our respective offices. I think the skills learned and the conversations we had have already and will continue to improve us all as leaders and mentors.” – Martin Sams, Synthesis

“The AIA CKLDP program has been very beneficial to me. I have enjoyed meeting other peers in the architecture field in Indiana. The program has been a way for me to reevaluate my role as an architect and as a productive member of society. It is nice to see what my peers are doing within their companies and the community. The AIA CKLDP has provided me with an expanded network that will benefit me throughout my career. The AIA CKLDP has provided an educational setting for the benefit of the scholars within the program. It provided a forum for learning and discussing ideas. There is a great deal that architects can do to change our community, and I enjoyed the intellectual exercises and the thought-provoking presentations. I was glad to be able to express my ideas and be part of the group. It was nice to venture outside of the day-to-day office environment. I appreciate the effort the committee put forth in creating and facilitating the program. I appreciate the new relationships formed and the dedication of my fellow scholars.” – Brendan Brown, Kovert Hawkins Architects

“The AIA Indiana Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program more than exceeded my expectations.  I enjoyed the opportunity to work with other young architects to explore all the facets of architecture, which were presented to us from highly acclaimed professionals in their sector.  I appreciated most the opportunity to explore business development techniques and negotiation skills, both of which will greatly benefit me as I progress in the profession.  I also enjoyed learning about other firms processes and strategies through my fellow scholars’ experiences, ideas which I was able to bring back to my firm.   The support our cohort gained from industry partners was most generous and resulted in a jovial atmosphere.  I would highly recommend the AIA Indiana Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program to any young architect looking to advance in the architecture profession.” – Jennifer Miller, Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf

“The CKLDP has been a great experience that has helped me grow with each topic that was presented. It was also a great networking opportunity with the scholars in the program as well as the speakers that presented at each session.” – Brad Brutout, Schmidt Associates

“The Christopher Kelley leadership development program is a great collection of emerging professionals whose energy and passion for the profession of architecture really help to energize a lot of great conversations. The topic areas that are talked about within the program really add a lot of value to the progression of myself as a leader and my continued education. Furthermore, I believe that this program is also a great place to meet like-minded professionals who share the same passion. The connection and relationships created by participating in this program are very valuable. This is a great program for emerging professionals and the architecture community of Indiana.” – Sean Costello, atelierRISTING