The AIA Trust Annual Report

The AIA Trust is the premier risk management resource for AIA members, focusing on educating members about new and evolving practice risks and how to manage them effectively. In 2020, the AIA Trust enhanced its resources with new articles and webinars about managing a firm and controlling risks successfully. The Trustees invite members to submit their ideas for future risk management resources to help members practice effectively.

All AIA Trust programs and resources are available 24/7 on the AIA Trust website to assist members with their practices. The AIA Trust website is now being refreshed with a new look and organization that will make it even easier for AIA members to find the benefits and resources that they need in their practices, no matter where they are in their careers.


In 2020 the AIA Trust launched three new member benefit programs:

  1. A new auto insurance program offering member rate discounts.
  2. A new pet health insurance plan endorsed by the ASPCA offering member rate discounts.
  3. A new healthcare service in time for Open Enrollment, along with live and recorded webinars explaining various options for individuals and firms with employees, such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and HR administration, offering access to multiple carriers and coast-to-coast coverage including the nation’s top insurers.

 In addition we

  • Transitioned the AIA Trust LegaLine program to a new law A/E law firm, W&D Law, LLP, launching as “Practice Coach” in January 2021,upon the retirement of LegaLine founder, Charles Heuer, FAIA, Esq.
  • Created a “Pandemic Risk Management Assistance” box on the AIA Trust homepage offering numerous articles throughout the year about strategies for managing firms during the pandemic and handling insurance matters, along with AIA Trust benefit program assistance.
  • Created a webinar, Negotiating Contracts: Understand Your Risks about contracting basics in conjunction with Victor experts and two Trustee panelists with 380 attendees—now available online, to be supplemented early in 2021 with the booklet, Managing Risk to Contract Language, and a short video series addressing vital contracting topics.

And, we published new AIA member resources:


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 AIA, sponsoring many programs and events and providing valuable resources. The 2020 collaboration included:

  • The 21styear for the AIA Trust-Victor and CNA Component Grants program, awarding another $15,000 and bringing the total to more than $330,000 in total grant awards paid directly to AIA Components! The 2020 program grant winners were AIA Atlanta, Boston Society, AIA Central New York, AIA Cleveland, and AIA Illinois.
  • The 2020 Grassroots awards luncheon in New Orleans sponsored in conjunction with Victor & CNA.
  • The virtual 2020 CACE Annual Meeting sponsorship in conjunction with Victor and CNA including a Q&A about AIA Trust member and component benefits at their general session and held an insurance workshop about component insurance considerations.
  • Contributed to the AIA Guide to Business Continuity regarding risk management issues, relevant AIA Trust products and resources.
  • Identified more than 30 AIA Trust resources for ArchiPrep that address ARE topics regarding Practice Management and Project Development Documentation for use in their short form section.
  • Continued Center for Practice (CFP) participation with a former Trustee on the advisory group, sharing relevant ideas & content from the AIA Trust library of practice resources.
  • Practice Management Knowledge Community (PMKC) Digest contribution of article for their publication regarding managing risks when returning to offices during or following the pandemic.
  • The Trustees continue to collaborate with members of the AIA Risk Management Committee to coordinate resources development and update the page of resources for members.
  • The AIA Trust provides timely insights on evolving risks and practice tips to AIA members running firms through its quarterly electronic newsletter, Managing Your Risks. This year’s issues included articles about various pandemic risks, including cash flow issues, video conferencing risks, professional liability policy enhancements, and insurance coverage concerns 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 offers Learning Units (LUs) through the live and posted webinars it offers annually and through Self-Assessment Tests (SATs) on its website that members may complete in conjunction with the many AIA Trust practice resources offered.


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. AIA Trust resources are accessed tens of thousands of times annually to assist members in their practices.

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. View a complete list of all AIA Trust practice resources.

The AIA Trust was established 67 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, who are AIA members and one component executive, along with the Executive Director, work with independent consultants to evaluate new and ongoing programs to ensure the best available plans are offered to members and components. The AIA Trust negotiates and monitors these agreements and serves as a member advocate.


Thomas Bradley Benjamin, AIA, Chair

Anne Marie Decker, FAIA, Chair-elect

Amy Slattery, AIA, Secretary-Treasurer

Terrence O’Neal, FAIA, Trustee

Sara Kay, Hon AIA, Trustee

Glenn Birx, FAIA, Trustee

Jeff Yrazabal, AIA, Trustee

Ann Casso, Hon AIA, Executive Director


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.


  1. Identify & address current and future AIA member and component needs for benefit programs.
  2. Offer risk management tools to enhance members’ architecture practices.
  3. Be recognized as a valuable risk management resource and benefits provider within the Institute.
  4. Remain financially stable.


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

Working with member knowledge communities, the AIA Risk Management Committee, the Center for Practice, and other member groups, the AIA Trust continues to identify ways to strategically meet members’ risk management needs, 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 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 identifies program enhancements to assist members in their practices by addressing member needs promptly and accurately.