2021 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 2021, the AIA Trust launched an entirely new website to make it easier for members to find the benefits and resources that they need in their practices, no matter where they are in their careers. The AIA Trust also enhanced its resources with many new webinars, articles, and risk reports. The Trustees invite members to submit their ideas for future risk management resources to help them practice effectively.

2021 Highlights:  Creating Member Value

  • New Practice Coach program launched replacing the former LegaLine program with four attorneys of W&D Law, to assist members with their practice-related questions.
  • Published member resources that include:

-New risk report about the unique risks and rewards of collaborative delivery.

-New risk report about cyber risks to architecture firms, including case studies.

-2021 updates for the BIM risk report and for the cyber liability insurance guide.

-More than 20 synopses of AIA Trust risk reports and guides for new website.

  • Updated AIA Trust video highlighting all the AIA Trust offers with new website screen shots, available on the “About” page for member and component viewing.
  • Implemented an ESG Screening criterion for all AIA Trust programs.
  • Launched an all-new AIA Trust website, with 18 benefit program website pages, five product guides highlighting appropriate benefit plans and resources geared to various member segments and components, and dozens of new and updated risk management resources such as articles, reports, and webinars.

  • Held 9 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:

Condominium Projects led by Practice Coach attorneys, Peter Stacy and Jacquie Pons-Bunney of Practice Coach reviewed risks and guidance, CE credits awarded, self-assessment test (SAT) posted with webinar recording to AIA Trust website.

The Risks and Rewards of IPD in a 90-minute panel discussion with the architect-author of the new IPD paper, a Victor Insurance representative, and a builder.

Mediation for the Design Professional led by Practice Coach attorneys, Peter Stacy and Leila Sadeghi.

Practical & Tactical Retirement Planning Strategies for Architecture Firms presented by AIA Retirement Plan provider, Equitable, to AIA Pittsburgh.

Taking the Lead to Address Climate Change presented by Victor staff about architects’ role in addressing Climate Change

– A Q&A webinar discussing critical legal issues for architecture firms conducted with Practice Coach’s four a/e attorneys for the AIA Tennessee Conference.

– Three webinars about healthcare plan coverage options for individuals and sole-proprietors and firms with employees.

  • Conducted a member survey about risk management issues sent to Grassroots attendees and firm owners to guide Trustees’ future planning.
  • Sunset four ancillary health-related insurance plans lacking member participation. Currently investigating options for a short-term disability insurance plan.

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 2021 collaboration included:

  • The 22nd year for the AIA Trust-Victor and CNA Component Grants program, awarding another $15,000 and bringing the total to more than $340,000 in total grant awards paid directly to AIA Components! The 2021 program grant winners were AIA Austin, AIA Connecticut, AIA Detroit, AIA Orlando, and AIA Triangle.
  •  The 2021 Grassroots sponsorship Q&A session about the AIA Trust with AIA President-elect Dan Hart in conjunction with Victor & CNA.
  • Conducted a panel discussion for A’21, Transitioning Your Firm for What’s Next, about critical ownership transition planning steps with three expert panelists.
  • The virtual 2021 CACE Annual Meeting sponsorship, in conjunction with Victor and CNA, presented a new AIA Trust website tour which was recorded and distributed to all attendees and components.
  • Work with the AIA Strategic Council Scalable Climate Action Group on professional liability insurance implications affecting the practice and next steps to educate members about relevant issues.
  • Sponsored the new AIA Strategic Council Luncheon in conjunction with Victor Insurance to brief new council members about the AIA Trust.
  • Contributed to the updated AIA Guide to Business Continuity regarding risk management issues and pertinent AIA Trust products and resources.
  • Participate 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.
  • Practice Management Knowledge Community (PMKC) Digest published an excerpt of an AIA Trust article about managing firm risks with the pandemic when returning to offices.
  • 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.

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 you can filter by topic and type, click here.

The AIA Trust was established nearly 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, 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. All programs are found on the AIA Trust website with links to enrollment details.

2021 Trustees:

Anne Marie Decker, FAIA, Chair

Amy Slattery, AIA, Chair-elect

Glenn Birx, FAIA, Secretary-Treasurer

Sara Kay, Hon AIA, Trustee

Jeff Yrazabal, AIA, Trustee

Juan R. Self, AIA, Trustee

Victor F. Body-Lawson, AIA, Trustee

Ann Casso, Hon AIA, 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. 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.

 AIA Trust 2022 Plans

  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 AIA Trust:  Where Smart Architects Manage Risk®