2019 President’s Message

By Rob Beal

It is an honor to serve as your 2019 AIA Central Pennsylvania President, and I am very excited for what this year has in store for AIA Central Pennsylvania.  We have hit the ground running after an outstanding 2018, when our Board of Directors voted to pursue a partnership with AIA Pennsylvania, and become a ‘Section’ of the State Chapter.  The leadership team at AIA Central Pennsylvania is committed to our members and offering the best possible programming and events. The transition is tentatively planned to take effect in 2020, and we are working diligently with AIA Pennsylvania to put an appropriate agreement in place for the relationship.  Please reach out to any of our Board members for more information on this transition. As a Section, we will maintain our own Board so we can continue to host and expand upon our many programs and events.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Grassroots Conference in Washington D.C. with our President-Elect, Kyle Solyak.  We were both very impressed with the turnout of over 650 architects on Capitol Hill, all lobbying for safe school design and energy efficiency upgrades in existing buildings.  We met with the staff of Senator Pat Toomey, Senator Bob Casey, Congressman Scott Perry, Congresswoman Susan Wild, and had the pleasure of sitting down and speaking one-on-one with Congressman Lloyd Smucker.  We had an amazing day of brainstorming and discussing issues that everyone can support. Our day culminated with a Congressional Reception at the Library of Congress where we were able to share stories from the day with other AIA members, members of Congress and their staff.  The following two days at Grassroots consisted of the annual conference which included leadership sessions, networking and inspirational stories for AIA members across the country. This was my first experience at Grassroots in D.C., and spending the first day lobbying on Capitol Hill for two very important issues that directly impact me as an architect and father of two young children provided a new perspective about being a local component leader.  As AIA members, we have the ability to impact change in our community by speaking directly with our elected officials and their staff on issues that reflect our passions.

I encourage all of you to participate in our many events and programs throughout 2019, and to get involved with one of our committees, where you can help shape the future of AIA Central Pennsylvania.  In 2019, AIA Central PA will have two very exciting lectures, a monthly “Made in PA” Series, and our Annual Expo & Design Awards. The Made in PA Series is a new initiative focused on facility tours to learn about building products that are made here in Central Pennsylvania.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the AIA Central Pennsylvania Board of Directors, please feel free to contact us.  I hope to see you at our next event!

Save the Date for the Spring Lecture!

–          Lecturer/ Thomas Phifer

–          Date/ June 13, 2019

–          Location/Armstong World Industries

Click here to look through our past Lectures!

Save the Date for the Conference, Expo & Design Awards:
– Rock Lititz
– Thursday, October 3rd
– 12pm-9pm
– Including:
– Lunch
– (2) CEU Seminars
– (1) CEU Building Tour
– Vendor Exhibit Happy Hours
– Keynote Speaker
– Design Awards Presentation
– Click “here” to look through last year’s Conference

AIA Central PA Architects Foundation Fund Annual Scholarship- Open to Submissions!

Are you or do you know someone who is currently attending a NAAB accredited school? Do you currently live in the Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon,
Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, or York counties? Click here to learn more about this scholarship opportunity!

The AIA Central PA Architects Foundation Fund is a scholarship awarded annually to an area Architecture student has been a fulfilling way in recent years for Frank Dittenhafer of Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects to help advance both the field and local communities.

Each year it brings smiles, excitement and great pride for the recipient, Dittenhafer says.

“This is a way for us to reward a young, talented person we feel can make a strong contribution,” he says. “The recognition means a lot to them, too, and they’re very grateful.” Click here to read about last years winner, Christina Accomando!


ACE Mentor Program of Central PA

ACE Mentor Program of Central PA Fundraiser Breakfast

The ACE Mentor program of Central PA will hold its annual Fundraiser Breakfast on May 15, 2019 at the Conference Center at Central Penn College from 7:30-9:00am.  The event will feature Keynote Speaker David Barto, PE of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.


The Central Pennsylvania ACE program began in York County in 2004 with the support of firms like yours. Our affiliate has grown to offer quality programs in four counties (Dauphin, York, Cumberland, and Lancaster).  The ACE Mentor program’s mission is to “enlighten and motivate high school students to career opportunities in Architecture, Construction and Engineering and related areas of the design/construct industry through mentoring”.  


In 2019-2020, Central Pennsylvania remains one of the largest Affiliates in the nation for the eighth straight year with over 100 students participating from many high schools across the Central PA region. Your donations at this event will help determine the scholarship amounts for those eligible students selected that demonstrated their commitment to the building construction industry by either pursuing apprenticeship training in the skilled trades or higher education in architecture, construction management or engineering.  The financial support of our sponsors to date has provided over $80,000 in scholarships to local students across the region. Your commitment is critical to ensure that we can continue to invest in our future as well as the future of these students.

Please see the link below for invitation for sponsorship and RSVP information. And thank you in advance for your continued support of the ACE Mentor Program.



Government Affairs Update

AIA Pennsylvania’s Government Affairs Committee and subcommittees have been hard at work gearing up for the 2019-2020 legislative session and implementation of the 2019 Legislative Priorities.  District Days are occurring over the month of April in district offices across the Commonwealth. Topics of discussion will be the continuation of the Historic Tax Credit in Pennsylvania, School Construction and School Safety, and High-Performance Buildings.

For more information on what AIA Pennsylvania is doing regarding Government Affairs and Advocacy, contact Amal Mahrouki, Director of Legislative Affairs at amahrouki@aiapa.org. 

Don’t forget to save the date for Architect’s Action Day on June 11th in Harrisburg and make your annual contribution to the PA Architects PAC! 


MADE in PA Series | Volume 1 – High Concrete Plant Tour

Click here to check out the Gallery!

Central PA is proud to introduce MADE in PA to our membership.  MADE in PA is a series of monthly events that will showcase companies who manufacture locally the construction materials and products that we specify everyday.  

Volume 1, held at High Concrete on March 22, was a huge success with about 40 in attendance!  The day started with a 1 HSW lunch and learn entitled “Designing Architectural and Structural Precast Concrete Buildings” presented by Jamie Sweigart, Senior Sales Representative.  After lunch the group went on a guided tour of the plant (the largest precast concrete manufacturing facility in the country), which was led by Bob Pabst, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  AIA Central PA would like to extend a huge thank you to High Concrete for hosting our well attended event!

Register now for MADE in PA Series | Volume 2 – Glen Gery York Plant, April 26, 2019 in York, PA https://aiacentralpa.org/event/made-in-pa-series-volume-2-glen-gery-york-plant/

UPCOMING TOURS – These are all still in the planning stages, but be sure to check our calendar events and look for emails with more information in the upcoming months!

May – High Steel (Lancaster, PA)

June – Bench Dogs (Denver, PA)

July – Carlisle (Carlisle, PA)

August – Pella (Gettysburg, PA)

September – Armstrong LVT Plant (Lancaster, PA)


June 11 | Harrisburg