Tuesday, October 4, 2011

 On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, prior to our guest speaker, AIA Akron will be holding our Annual Meeting beginning immediately after dinner at 6:45.  During the Annual Meeting, our President, President-elect, and Treasurer will be providing an update to the members of the current year as well as the 2012 vote for the new slate of officers.  If you have any questions prior to the meeting, please email Carolyne Tinsley at

Due to unforseen difficulties, Martin Pangrace will not be the speaker at the meeting. We have a change of topic and new speakers.


Building Your Brand House

Brand identity is usually associated with product marketing, yet the intangible nature of professional services makes creating a brand even more important for architects. Join Jean Leathers, President of Practice Clarity, LLC and Professional Affiliate AIA Cleveland, and Rachel Downey, President of Studio Graphique, to learn how to clarify your brand, communicate your brand to establish your position in the marketplace and cultivate relationships that lead to work.


Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to dig down to excavate your authentic brand.
  • Identify tools you can use to build your brand foundation.
  • Explain how to communicate your brand message to establish marketplace position.
  • Explain how brand helps cultivate relationships that build business and trust.

Rachel Downey is the principal and founder of Studio Graphique, a lead branding and wayfinding firm with expertise in shaping how humans interact with public environments. They help communities, developers, architects and institutions create positive and connective experiences, enhance pride in place and increase economic vitality. Studio Graphique has deep experience in the building industry, having worked with more than 60 AEC and D companies in their 14 years.

Rachel holds a BA in visual communication design from Kent State University and believes that truly good design is rooted in rationale that helps meet broader objectives. She has been recognized by the business community as a Distinguished Marketing and Sales Executive, Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Forty under 40 and by the Rock + Roll Hall of Fame as a Riot Girl.

Recognizable projects include the vehicular and pedestrian wayfinding programs at University Circle, the in-store brand experience for 12 Heinen’s stores and numerous interpretive signs along the Ohio & Erie Canalway in Akron.



Jean Leathers is president of Practice Clarity, a national consulting firm dedicated exclusively to helping architects build business from new and existing clients.

She helps firms to clarify business position, establish marketplace presence, and cultivate relationships that lead to work.

Jean began her career at URS Cleveland and then transferred to San Francisco where she sold seismic engineering services, directed marketing and handled corporate communications and investor relations for URS Corporation.
After five years with URS, Jean founded a consultancy in San Francisco providing strategic business development planning, thought leadership development, marketing and coaching, then re-established her practice in Cleveland in 2003. As a consultant, she’s been advising and coaching architects for 16 years. Jean speaks and publishes nationally and is currently working with firms in Ohio, Texas, Nevada, California, and Ontario, Canada.


Location: The Tangier,  532 W Market St, Akron, OH 44303-1893, (330.376.7171)
Time: 5:00 – Social | 6:00 – Dinner | 6:45 Annual Meeting, Report | 7:30 Program
Cost: AIA Akron members (including student members) – included in 2011 dues.
Non-chapter AIA Akron or guests – $25.00.
To Register: Contact Carolyne Tinsley at 330-699-9788 or – Extended deadline noon Wednesday, October 3 , 2011
Learning Units: 1.0 AIA LU will be issued. The presentation is equal to 1.0 contact hour for other organizations requiring continuing education.

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