Member Involvement

The mission of AIA Arkansas is to develop, promote and sustain the practice and practitioners of Arkansas through a focus on advocacy, inclusion and education.  In support of this, we offer our members the opportunity to participate on many different committees, in legislative and education events, state convention and local networking activities.

Member committees include Legislative, Diversity, State Convention, Emerging Professionals (within 10 years of graduation), Public Relations or Regional Section Leadership.

See below for a brief description of our committees and members serving on them now.

Interested in getting involved? Please drop an email to to request more information and to be put in touch with our member committee chair.


Convention Committee
Help plan and organize the chapter’s big event of the year every October. Get involved in logistics, selecting speakers and workshops, coordinating the exhibit hall, promotion, planning networking events, finding sponsors, and more.

Craig Boone, AIA (Chair)
Tim Varner, AIA (Design Awards)
James Meyer, AIA (Speaker)
Heather Davis, AIA (Bike Tour)
Graham Sharum, AIA (Graphics)
Frank Barksdale, AIA (Golf)
Patty Opitz, AIA (Diversity)
Matt Poe, AIA (EP/Associates)
Lori Santa-Rita (President)


PR Committee
Help our members demonstrate why architecture and AIA Arkansas matters to communities and leaders across the state and region. Develop marketing plans and be involved in enhancing the AIA Arkansas website, social media and e-newsletter, Columns.

Lisa Skiles, AIA (Chair)
Thomas Merritt, AIA
Galen Hunter, AIA
Nate Deason, AIA
Jonathan Opitz, AIA


Emerging Professionals Committee
Help encourage and prepare associates, architecture students, and newly licensed architects (licensed 10 years or less) in our state.

Matt Poe, AIA (Chair)
Katherine Lashley, Assoc. AIA (Assistant Assoc. Director)
Chris Sullivan, AIA (AXP Coordinator)


Legislative Committee / PAC Committee
Help track bills and ordinances in Washington, DC and across the state that will impact architecture, and advocate for issues that matter.

Michael Lejong (Legislative Chair)
Randy Palculict (PAC Chair)


Diversity Committee
To encourage retention and leadership and celebrate the contributions among
minorities and women in our general membership of AIA Arkansas.

Patty Opitz, AIA (Chair)
Lori Yazwinski Santa-Rita, AIA
Lisa Skiles, AIA
Casey Hoffman, AIA
Anne Hamilton, AIA
Ngozi Brown, AIA
Brandon Bibby, Assoc. AIA
William Hall, ASLA


Section Leadership
Central Section Chair: Brandon Bibby, Assoc. AIA
East Section Chair: Todd Welch, AIA
Fort Smith Section Chair: Nate Deason, AIA
Northwest Section Chair: Anne Hamilton, AIA