"I am excited to announce my candidacy for the At-large Director position at AIA. It would be my great honor to serve our AIA members in this position. My mission focuses on encouraging more communication and engagement throughout the Institute and on enabling all of our members with the information they need to lead in their communities and in the profession while solving the big issues facing us today. I am sharing the text of my candidate speech given at AIA Grassroots to give more information about me and what I hope to accomplish if elected."
Belinda Stewart, FAIA
for AIA At-large Director
I am a Citizen Architect.
I am Belinda Stewart – and 23 years of civic leadership as the Mayor of the Village of Walthall, Mississippi has taught me a lot about economy, diversity, equity and the tangible power of design. It has made me a better leader and a better architect.
I encourage all of us to be Citizen Architects. Not necessarily as mayors, but as engaged, enabled leaders of our communities and our profession.
I believe harnessing the power of our members is the key to our future and to our ability to provide leadership that advances our mission in communities across the country and around the world. We do that by increasing the flow of information and by strategically engaging our members – empowering all of us to do more.
30 years ago, in the small town of Eupora, MS, I started Belinda Stewart Architects, PA.
We’ve grown into a mid-size regional firm with the mission of inspiring and enabling
communities to value their built environment, embrace their uniqueness, and celebrate
their embodied history and energy. Our company motto is “There’s Always a Way”.
As the first woman elected as president of my state AIA chapter and the first woman in my state to be elevated as Fellow, I placed importance on mentoring the next generation of architects, especially women.
With the Strategic Council Awareness and Engagement work group, I created an AIA conference session titled - "how to get the most out of your AIA membership" which outlined AIA resources to help members navigate and effectively engage in the groups most relevant to their practices, interests and goals.
As AIA members, we have access to a great amount of high-quality information created by the work being done throughout the Institute. Through our connections and communications, we can create a more engaged institute – one that helps us better connect with each other, with our clients and communities, and supports us with the information we need.
We are AIA. This is our voice. The work of our Institute is done by all of us. It takes all of us working together on all levels to be successful.
I am a diligent and dedicated worker and would be honored to serve our membership on the Board. I promise to be open, transparent and helpful. Just as importantly, I promise to work with every level of the organization to help every member find support and engagement when they need it from our Institute.
Together, WE are the Way!
Watch the video recap below!