South Atlantic Region Young Architect Regional Director
The YAF Regional Directors work with counterparts in the College of Fellows (Regional Representatives), and the National Associates Committee (Regional Associate Directors). Young Architect Regional Directors are responsible for gathering information about issues facing young architects within their geographic areas and disseminating information about national/regional activities and resources for use on the local level. Of equal importance, Young Architect Regional Directors serve as an important link between young architects and the national organization. Architects who have been licensed for ten years or fewer are eligible. The Young Architect Regional Director position is a two-year term with the opportunity to re-apply once for a maximum of 4 years as a volunteer leader within the position. For more information on the YAF and Regional Director positions, view the YAF Handbook.
Candidates for Young Architect Regional Director
Stephen Ramos, AIA
LS3P Associates Ltd., Charleston, SC
At the 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta, I participated in the Emerging Professionals Ideas Studio organized by the YAF. Within small groups, we brainstormed challenges and obstacles facing young professionals. This was an eye-opening event for me for many reasons. A diverse group of young professionals from all over the country gathered to share similar challenges with the profession. Despite the challenges discussed that day, there was a tremendous amount of optimism in the room. It was the highlight of the conference for me and I decided then that I would get involved with YAF whenever the next opportunity presented itself.
I have been very engaged with the Charleston section of the AIA, but I would like to take a larger role on shaping the profession. My diverse background as a professional, an educator and advocate for architecture make me an ideal candidate for the Young Architect Regional Director position. At LS3P, I have emerged as a design leader with my primary focus on commercial projects in the Charleston region. I am passionate about education, periodically taking on teaching positions and participating in design juries. My newest passion is writing a blog for BuildingsAreCool.com. The main goal of this blog is to elevate the profession through sharing and advocacy, which is directly aligned with the goals of the YAF.
I embrace all of my experiences as opportunities for leadership and advocacy, which is why the SAR YARD position would be an ideal position.
Benjamin Ward, AIA
Curtis Group Architects, Pawleys Island, SC
We practice in a dynamic, fluid time in the profession. It is my desire to be a voice for young architects as we navigate the second phase of our professional careers. In keeping with the mission of the YAF, I will seek to promote the future of the profession through leadership, mentorship, and fellowship. My service at the local level as AIA Grand Strand President and on the AIA South Carolina Board has given me the experience to promote, engage, and advocate for young architects in the South Atlantic Region.
I look forward to working with the College of Fellows to increase mentoring opportunities and providing young architects with the career guidance they need to move into firm leadership positions. I will also collaborate closely with the Regional Associate Director to serve as a voice for the Institute’s emerging professionals. I have reached out to the current YARD, Shelby Morris, and his predecessor, Robert Barfield, and will continue the work they have begun to advocate for young architects in our region.
In recent years, I have attended Grassroots and the National Convention, and the connections I have made from these experiences will allow me to have an immediate and positive impact for young architects if I am able to serve as the South Atlantic YARD. I recently participated in the AIA Leadership Institute and was inspired by the level of energy coming from young architects all over the country and feel empowered to be the voice representing young architects from our region.