2022 Annual Report: The AIA Trust

The AIA Trust is the premier risk management resource for AIA members, focusing on educating members about new and evolving practice risks, how to manage them effectively and practice successfully.

In 2022, the AIA Trust transitioned to new leadership with a new Executive Director.  A big effort was made to develop a Strategic Plan focusing on the future of the profession to meet AIA member needs in a changing world.  All the while, the AIA Trust continued to enhance its resources with new webinars, articles, and risk reports.

2022 Highlights: Member Value

  • Began an email campaign with the help of AIA marketing to share topics of relevance to specific AIA member groups.  These topics included highlights of our services such as Practice Coach and also curated information for Small Firms.  Additionally, we covered topics such as Transitioning a Firm and made our guides more accessible using this campaign, too.  These emails will continue to cover helpful topics for our members in 2023!
  • The AIA Trust together with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and the National Society for Professional Engineers (NSPE) work annually to conduct an insurance carrier review and interview of professional liability trends and risk management issues.  Our 2022 highlights are available here.
  • Published member resources that included:
  • 3 webinars, free to members and offering continuing education credits, with most now available as recordings, handouts, and self-assessment tests on the AIA Trust website, about various risk topics including:

– The Champlain Tower Collapse by Glenn Birx, FAIA and Daniel McKelvey, AIA, of Ayers Saint Gross, and James Lee, Esq., examine the history of the Champlain Towers leading to the events on the day of the collapse and identify the issues from the forensic analysis of the building’s construction and maintenance history that possibly contributed to the collapse.

– Demystifying ESG for Design Firms: Risks and Opportunities by Victor Risk Management Director Yvonne Castillo

 Financial Planning for Women by  presented by Equitable in conjunction with the AIA Trust, is designed to help architects, specifically women in the profession, succeed in saving for retirement.


AIA Trust and the AIA

To familiarize AIA members and components with the many AIA Trust practice benefits and resources available to them, the AIA Trust works in partnership with the AIA, sponsoring many programs and events and providing valuable resources. The 2022 collaboration included:

  • The 24th year for the AIA Trust-Victor and CNA Component Grants program, awarding another $15,000 and bringing the total to more than $350,000 in total grant awards paid directly to AIA Components! It was exciting to be able to recognize our 2022 program grant winners: AIA Brooklyn, AIA Honolulu, AIA Illinois, AIA New York State, and AIA Kansas City.
  •  2022 Grassroots sponsorship featuring the AIA Trust with AIA President-elect Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA in conjunction with Victor & CNA.
  • The 2022 CACE Annual Meeting sponsorship hosted in Memphis, in conjunction with Victor and CNA, allowed AIA Trust the honor of sponsoring lead Keynote speaker Glenn H. Tecker of Tecker International, LLC and speak at the CACE Annual Business Meeting.
  • Moved forward with our work that originated in 2021 with encouragement and data from the AIA Strategic Council ESG Committee and created an AIA Trust ESG committee that resulted in our adoption of an investment policy.
  • Sponsored the AIA Strategic Council Breakfast at Governance Week in conjunction with Victor Insurance to brief new council members about the AIA Trust and invite greater collaboration between the AIA Trust and Strategic Council.
  • Continued our participation on the advisory group for the Center for Practice (CFP) with a former AIA Trust Chair sharing relevant ideas and content from the AIA Trust.
  • Truly embodying our trademark tagline as “The AIA Trust: Where smart architects manage risk” in 2022 we worked with AIA to eliminate duplication and overlap with committees and assume the role as the lead resource for risk management resources for the Institute.
  • The AIA Trust provides timely insights on evolving risks and practice tips to AIA members through its quarterly electronic newsletter, Managing Your Risks. This year’s issues included articles about client selection, IPD risks and rewards, general liability coverage issues, firm management strategies, and architecture firm retirement plans among others. Articles are available on the website for future reference and may be reprinted in AIA component publications with a link to the AIA Trust.
  • The AIA Trust also worked with AIA as our shared office building began the transition towards its planned AIA Headquarters renewal.  AIA Trust worked diligently to digitize, organize, and archive all documents and say farewell to the office while it undergoes its transformation.


About the AIA Trust

While the AIA Trust began as an insurance provider for AIA members, today it focuses on creating member value by offering practice-related resources as well as benefit programs, available 24/7 in its growing online library.

As the premier risk management resource for AIA members, the AIA Trust is one of the largest enterprises allied with The American Institute of Architects and currently maintains approximately 10,000 policies and plans––many serving additional members within firms and member families, with a dollar volume of more than $100 million managed by AIA Trust providers. The AIA Trust operates on a break-even basis, using no AIA dues dollars and reimbursing the AIA for all overhead costs.

The net of operating expenses is frequently invested in AIA Member and Component activities and benefits, including the development of practice resources. AIA Trust resources are accessed tens of thousands of times annually to assist members in their practices. For a complete listing of all AIA Trust practice resources which can be filtered by topic and type, click here.

The AIA Trust was established over 70 years ago to provide quality benefits to AIA Members. It was formed as a separate entity from the AIA due to IRS regulations governing ERISA trusts. The Trustees are comprised of AIA members and one component executive, along with the executive director, who all work with independent consultants to evaluate new and ongoing programs ensuring the best available plans are offered to members and components. The AIA Trust negotiates and monitors these agreements and serves as a member advocate. All programs are found on the AIA Trust website with links to enrollment details.


2022 Trustees:

Amy Slattery, AIA, Chair

Glenn Birx, FAIA, Chair-elect

Jeff Yrazabal, AIA, Secretary-Treasurer

Sara Kay, Hon AIA, Trustee

Juan R. Self, AIA, Trustee

Victor F. Body-Lawson, FAIA, Trustee

Theresa Ridley, AIA, Trustee

Ann Casso, Hon AIA, Executive Director (retired July 2022)

Elizabeth Wolverton, Executive Director


Statement of Purpose

It shall be the purpose and the policy of the AIA Trust to develop and make available at the greatest possible value, insurance and benefit programs for members and components of the American Institute of Architects; and to serve as a risk management resource for the practice of Architecture in cooperation with the Institute.

Goals of the AIA Trust

  1. Identify & address current and future AIA member and component needs for benefit programs.
  2. Be a valuable risk management resource, tool, benefits provider to AIA members and the Institute to enhance members’ professional practice.
  3. Remain financially stable.

AIA Trust 2023 Plans

  1. Carry out our new Strategic Plan.

At our November 2022 Trustee meeting an extra day was spent considering the visibility, market penetration, risk management resource development and committees of the AIA Trust.  With the help of our facilitator we developed a plan to lead us into the future so that we may continue to serve as many AIA members and components as possible with all the services they have come to expect, and then some.

  1. Add value to AIA Membership by expanding its risk management resources for members.

Working with AIA components, member knowledge communities, the AIA Risk Management Committee, the Center for Practice, the Practice Management Knowledge Community, the Small Firm Exchange, and other member groups, the AIA Trust will continue to identify ways to strategically meet members’ risk management needs, by developing and offering webinars, guides, articles, and other resources about emerging risks to better understand and manage them.

  1. Emphasize member value.

Working with outside expert consultants, the AIA Trust continually evaluates marketplace opportunities and current program offerings to ensure the highest level of quality and responsiveness to members.

  1. Emphasize member service.

Working with its program providers, the AIA Trust will identify program enhancements that can assist members in their practices by addressing member needs promptly and accurately.


The Trustees invite members to submit their ideas for future risk management resources to help them practice effectively.