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David reflects on his AIA work

Published April 26, 2022
'I want to be a positive impact and voice'
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David addresses the AIA Oklahoma "Blitz the Capitol" meeting
Photos courtesy Melissa Hunt

David Reed drew several encouraging signs from his first four months as AIA Oklahoma president. 


"It's been enjoyable," said Reed, the founder and principal of Reed Architecture and Interiors of Sapulpa. "It was great to see our members and politicians visiting over a beer and nachos for our 'Blitz the Capitol' event March 29. We had a good group with a lot of interaction with our elected officials. It was great to see how many of them showed up for our happy hour event. Lots of great conversations and connections were made. And I've enjoyed learning more of the national perspective through my interaction as a strategic council member with AIA National." 


That reflects on how Reed fills two AIA roles this year. While serving as the American Institute of Architects state president, he also represents Oklahoma on the AIA National Strategic Council. Reed said that panel takes up more time than he expected, but is worth it. 


"It's been a good three to four hours a week, between emails, reports, and zoom meetings," he noted. "But I see it as a great opportunity to help represent Oklahoma's values and opinions on the national stage as well as report back to our Oklahoma members what national is doing for us." 

As president, Reed focuses on improving AIA's connections with the state government and other construction groups. 


"I'm working to see how we can better help legislators when construction industry issues come across their desk," he said. "I'm working to build relationships with legislators, the Oklahoma Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, and Registered Commercial Interior Designers, and our members. I'm also trying to strengthen our ties with ABC of Oklahoma and AGC of Oklahoma." 


Reed went so far as to join the Associated Builders and Contractors’ state chapter. 

"That's worked out well," he said. "I've enjoyed getting to see our contractors working together and looking for ways we can help each other make positive change for our built environment."

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David addresses the AIA Oklahoma "Blitz the Capitol" meeting

Although the Legislature will not complete its current session until May, Reed believes this year's AIA lobbying hurdles are essentially over. With member voices heard and positive progress made on all significant bills facing state architects, Reed said their legislative efforts now focus on intersession meetings and dialogues for the 2023 session. Preparations also advance for the AIA Oklahoma annual conference, Sept. 29-30 in downtown Tulsa. 


"Fortunately, I have a great subcommittee team doing a fine job on this," he said. "We have several board members working with our executive directors to secure good speakers and sponsors." 


Serving AIA Oklahoma exposed Reed to a "broad spectrum of great work" by AIA members across this region. 


"I'm excited about the future of our state and the architects coming out of school," he said. "We have some outstanding architects and designers in our state producing amazing work. I'm encouraged by the diversity of design talent and the success they're having in both small and large firms." 

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David mingles with others at the AIA Oklahoma happy hour event

He pins some of that on technology's leveling effect. 


"Advancements in the tools we use allow small firms to do every bit as much if not more than large firms," he said. "My firm has been able to adopt newer technology because it's not as large an investment for five or 10 software licenses as it is for 50 software licenses." 


Having served as president of AIA Eastern Oklahoma (in 2018) and its statewide umbrella, Reed's uncertain if he will advance his leadership efforts with AIA National. 

"I'm never going to be a fan of public speaking, but I'm getting more comfortable talking before people," he said with a smile. "My strength, I feel like, is building relationships. My AIA work helps in that sense, for it gives me more opportunities to meet people. 

"My heart desires to serve," said Reed. "If I can continue serving eastern Oklahoma or the state, whether locally or nationally, I'll do everything I can. I want to be a positive impact and voice. Hopefully, we can continue to feed the pipeline of young architects and share our experiences often."

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