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AIA members: how much do you pay?

101
BlueGoose
"AIA is essentially an evil corporation. Either you drink the $700 bottle of Coca Cola to improve your career, or you don't. Good luck suckers..."

sounds like a whine to me ...

i'm happy to pay my annual dues (out of my own pocket, i might add) and i don't, for a moment, feel like a sucker ... don't assume

Jan 15, 06 4:43 pm  · 
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garpike

Who is whining? I can see how you misread "good luck suckers". It is meant to be read as the AIA saying "good luck trying to be an architect without us" so with that you are not a sucker. In fact you are insured against being a sucker. But I digress.

Who is whining? I made what I feel is a valid point. One often reads criticism and feels attacked personally by the criticism. I am not criticising anyone's personal decisions here at all. BG, I am sorry if you felt attacked. I too may become a non-sucker one day. I will hand over my fees, although quietly begrudgingly, without whining.

Jan 15, 06 5:01 pm  · 
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quizzical
strawbeary

... in my experience, i cannot ever recall the aia projecting itself as "title givers" ... the aia simply limits full membership (and the use of the initials after your name) to licensed architects

Jonash ... thanks for the link to the 990 ... didn't know you could find those online ... i'd like to spend some time looking through this 140 page document 'cause i'm really interested in getting to the bottom of the matter

abracadabra ... thanks for asking the question of what people want from the institute ... discussions about cost and value, without a grounding in expectations, are somewhat pointless

interesting thread ... now if we can just get garpike and BlueGoose to shake hands and make up.

Jan 15, 06 5:15 pm  · 
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Ms Beary

quizzical. why does the public believe that AIA means licensed architect? Because the AIA leads them to believe so.

Jan 15, 06 5:22 pm  · 
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garpike

He started it! Ha ha. Ok ok - really, though I never intended to start anything.

Jan 15, 06 5:22 pm  · 
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Ms Beary

and wrongly so.

Jan 15, 06 5:22 pm  · 
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garpike

Yes!

Jan 15, 06 5:27 pm  · 
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abracadabra

it sounds like,
AIA tries/leads people to believe that its members are mo better, ethical, knowlegable, trustworthy and educated.
that is 'unfair competition' and wide open for big class action law suit to counter AIA language.

Jan 15, 06 5:41 pm  · 
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quizzical
strawbeary

... using 'aia' behind your name does mean you are a "licensed architect" ... however, not having 'aia' behind your name does not mean you are not licensed (like that triple negative ?)

you suggest that aia actively promotes this misconception ... i'm really interested to know why you feel that way ... since i don't believe the aia actively promotes this misconception, i guess i don't quite understand why you feel the aia is acting unethically ...

there are quite a lot of people i know outside the profession who understand clearly that aia and the state board serve different functions ... i also know quite a lot of architects here in my community who use "RA" proudly behind their own names

if you feel the aia should undertake a pr program -- at member expense -- to correct this cultural misconception among what garpike defines as an uncaring public, then i guess i don't ever seeing that happening ... why would they do that ? i'm pretty sure the membership would object to a campaign whose only aim would be to benefit non-members ... that's not a rational action ... not doing it is not an unethical stance

Jan 15, 06 5:55 pm  · 
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Ms Beary

it is against ethics to use a membership to a professional club as a credential.

one thing AIA loves to do is make sure members use the 'title' AIA everywhere they possible can. My new office doesn't do this, but my last one did. Those guys didn't write their name without AIA on anything. If it's not a 'title', what is it?

Jan 15, 06 5:56 pm  · 
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Janosh

Yeah... I think the AIA is skirting around the issue and willfully causing confusion by never tackling the issue head on. You won't ever see the AIA distinguish between simple licensure and AIA membership.

Jan 15, 06 6:12 pm  · 
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quizzical

well ... i guess where we really diverge here is over the use of the word "club" ... i've been an aia member for many years and from where i sit it doesn't feel like a club at all ...

sure, i pay my dues, but I give much more of my time ... i serve on committees at the local and national level, i've been deeply involved in the growth of the knowledge communities, i help produce programs and services that i believe advance the state of practice, i help produce authoritative publications that are available to anyone who practices, not just aia members, i've lobbied my state legislature and the federal congress on topics important to all architects ... i have used my participation in aia to advance the profession of architecture, for all architects ... along the way, i've learned a great deal ... those are not the characteristics of any club that i know

i happen to be proud to write aia behind my name ... i don't think it makes me either "elite" or "better" than any of my professional colleagues ... but i do think it stands for something positive, despite the fact that aia does have it's weaknesses and it's problems

the use of "aia" is not a credential ... it is only one way of signifying that i have earned the credential, just like using "ra" ... i don't feel the need to apologize for that, although i understand that others here may not feel that way ...

my active involvement as an aia member has made me a better architect, in ways that i cannot begin to describe here ... were i simply a mailbox member or a non-member, i suppose i might identify more closely with some of the negative views expressed by others here

Jan 15, 06 6:48 pm  · 
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abracadabra

^ did you want to sound like 'elite' and 'better' or you haven't 'earned' that..., yet?
you did't earn it, you paid for it..

thanks for what you did for me.. if i was doing, for us, all that you have done for them, i would like to get paid for it..
7-8 hundred dollars and you can add AIA. right? you don't earn it, you pay for it. thats what the application says..
c'mon.
if you think you are us, i am them.. and we ain't no infidels..

Jan 15, 06 8:12 pm  · 
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Cameron

Abra, you're an insurgent.

Jan 15, 06 8:44 pm  · 
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Rim Joist

Strawberry -- mind saying where you went to school? Or hinting strongly? You mentioned having Kate as a teacher -- as did I. Kate was also on my thesis commitee.
I can get on board pretty easily in criticizing the AIA as an organization. But as for Kate as a person -- wow, she was great. A willing attitude, and always UP...

Jan 15, 06 9:15 pm  · 
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quizzical

i 'earned' my license ... i 'pay' for my aia membership ... i 'gain' a lot by being a member ... i 'give back' a lot by volunteering my time and my expertise

abracadabra ... what part of that causes you to be so disrespctful

Jan 15, 06 10:30 pm  · 
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abracadabra

quizzical, i respect you and the AIA. my sincere apologies to you..

' were i simply a mailbox member or a non-member, i suppose i might identify more closely with some of the negative views expressed by others here',
i guess that pushed some buttons, thinking that was prejudgemental on your part.
i am debating right now if i should become a member of the organization or not and i appreciate some of your insights and other's 'negative' views and critical points of existing members. @ around $850.00, it is a little dicey for me.

Jan 15, 06 11:11 pm  · 
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abracadabra
Jan 15, 06 11:36 pm  · 
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citizen

Wow! This is quite a can of worms I opened. Thanks to everyone for the ongoing debate. I'm learning quite a bit ...about the AIA, and about some of y'all.

I don't question the AIA's motives or even tactics, only its pricing. It does what a professional/trade association is supposed to do. I just wish I could join in for fewer $. As someone mentioned, I suspect it's the local Big Urban Chapter that makes the bundle so expensive.

Jan 16, 06 10:24 am  · 
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scratches

Just wanted to point out that neither the ABA nor the AMA encourage their members to use those letters following their members' names--and I'm not sure, but it may even be against the code of ethics for those organizations, as there is a lot about what you can and can't use as a title or in advertising. Lawyers use "Esq." and doctors use "M.D." And don't engineers use "P.E."?

I agree that the AIA has no responsibility to campaign against using the "AIA" title like that, but I don't think it started because individual members spontaneously started using the letters themselves and it just caught on.

Also, "Assoc. AIA" is the most ridiculous designation ever. Talk about people desperate to distinguish themselves from others (or to ingratiate themselves with others).

Jan 16, 06 10:44 am  · 
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Cameron

Also if we are using the 'code of ethics' as a lynchpin for why to join the AIA let's look at and revise the code of ethics - and the reprecussions of breaking them.

----

Frequently Asked Questions About the AIA Ethics Process

Can I file a Complaint against a non-AIA Member? NO. The Code of Ethics applies only to Members of the Institute.

Do you have to be an AIA Member to file a Complaint? NO A Complaint may be filed by a Member, an AIA Component, or anyone directly aggrieved by the conduct of a Member.

Is there a time-frame on when the Complaint must be filed? YES The Complaint must be filed within one year of the alleged violation unless good cause for a delay beyond that period is shown.

How do I initiate a Complaint against an AIA Member under the Code of Ethics? To initiate a Complaint, the complaining party (the "Complainant") must prepare and submit a Complaint in the format of Appendix B of the Rules of Procedure. Four copies of the Complaint must be filed.

How long does it normally take for a case to be processed? The Process could take more than a year from the time the Complaint is filed.

Does every Complaint become a case? NO

Does the full Council hear a Complaint? NO

Does the full Council decide the Case? NO

What kinds of penalties may the NEC impose if an AIA Member is found in violation of the Code? (a) Admonition (b) Censure (c) Suspension of membership for a specific period of time or (d) Termination of membership

Can I get a list of AIA Members who have been found in violation of the Code of Ethics? NO

---

quick review. code of ethics -
Only applies to members (non-members can make a complaint), it takes a year, it is impossible to find out who has broken it and you don't get a full hearing.

Here is an alternative - you brake the code we will print your name in the Architectural Record detailing what you did. a) it makes the AR a more interesting read b) you would do it again.

here is the Interior Designers code and for the ASID (who WILL fine you]

Jan 16, 06 11:43 am  · 
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Cameron

that should be wouldn't....

also I'd get Aric Chen to write the 'rule breakers' column.

Jan 16, 06 11:45 am  · 
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liberty bell

Just a quick observation: An architect in Philly a while ago had his AIA membership terminated for ethics violations. It was written in the news section of the AIA Bulletin. So the info may not be accessible as a comprehensive list of ethics violators, but it is out there in some form or another, I guess. Perhaps if you inquire of the AIA about one specific person you can find out more.

Jan 16, 06 11:54 am  · 
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Cameron

who reads the AIA bulletin, I'd guess less than 25% of the members.

If I was hiring an AIA architect I'd like to know whether they kicked a puppy on the job site or say defrauded the client. stick that in the search engine and smoke it.

Jan 16, 06 12:06 pm  · 
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liberty bell

(raises hand in air)

Pretty regularly. It's one of the things I'm payin' for, after all. ;-)

And that was not intended as a broad criticism of your previous post, Cameron, just an observation.

Jan 16, 06 12:13 pm  · 
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Cameron

i know. man, is this 'tread lightly month'?

I think we should impose an archinect 24 hour 'sin-bin' for anyone not going for the jugular.

kidding aside I wonder if Kate/RK Stewart or Glenn Fellows might be up for an interview. Paui?

Jan 16, 06 1:01 pm  · 
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abracadabra

i feel like shit after what i wrote about quizzical's AIA experience post. i am in the 'sin-bin' waiting for godot.
god have mercy for this 'muslim' brother..

aaaiiiiiaaaaaah..

Jan 16, 06 1:14 pm  · 
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liberty bell

...and if I find any architect acutally did kick a puppy on a job site I'd go for his/her jugular w/ my exacto. It's part of my Code of Ethics.

Jan 16, 06 1:27 pm  · 
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e

abra, from time to time we all say things we shouldn't, but to admit fault takes the character of a wise and decent person.

Jan 16, 06 1:37 pm  · 
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abracadabra

thank you e, that helped a great deal.

ladies and gentelman, let it be known that 'E' is one of the coolest person s in this forum.

lb, i can get you a scary looking switch blade from los angeles for the puppy jobs.

Jan 16, 06 1:48 pm  · 
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e

you are too kind mr. cadabra.

Jan 16, 06 2:41 pm  · 
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quizzical

aia has a very good section on its website about Ethics

but first, you probably should know this about ethics claims brought before the national component:

"Under the Rules of Procedure, all matters before the National Ethics Council are confidential. The only time the names of the parties are published is when a Member has been found in violation of the Code of Ethics and the penalty imposed is censure, suspension or termination. In that event, a report of the case appears in a publication which is distributed to AIA Members but may be available elsewhere.'

confidentiality is required as a result of the need for due process and fairness ... however, you can do a search on aia.org for "termination" or "suspension" or "censure" and articles will be identified that describe specific cases where a member (by name) has been suspended or terminated or censured

also, aia makes available at its website a writeup about all ethics cases brought before the National Ethics Council where a decision or an opinion was found to be justified. this information can be viewed by anyone who wants to know:
NEC - Decisions
NEC - Decisions and Advisory Opinions re. Credit for Work
NEC - Advisory Opinions
these rulings and opinions document prior cases related to confirmed violation of the aia's code of ethics. the members who serve on the National Ethics Council volunteer their time, without charge, and meet 3-times a year to conduct the business of the NEC

additionally, this is not just an aia issue ... it's also a state issue ... most state boards make available information about individual architects who have been subject to disciplinary action ... for example, my state lets anybody verify the status of any architect's license on-line, and simulaneously determine whether that architect has been the subject of past disciplinary action

Jan 16, 06 6:38 pm  · 
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Formerlyunknown

The AIA's ethics decisions and the states' disciplinary actions are really very different issues.

Some of the more popular complaints that the AIA deals with are former employees who report their previous firms for not allowing them to take drawings or photos of projects they worked on there for their portfolios, firms who are taking full credit for projects on which they worked jointly with other firms, cases in which firms are using resumes in their project proposals of former employees or of people who they haven't hired yet...

These are mostly issues that the states would not bother with - because in some cases (such as the portfolio issue) there aren't even laws that specifically address that issue.

When architects are listed on the states' sites as having disciplinary action against them they usually fall into one of these categories: they have committed a felony (whether related to architecture or not); they have misrepresented themselves as an architect at some point when they weren't one (but sometimes this is a technicality due to lapsed licenses/unpaid fees); they were involved in a project in which there was structural failure and/or someone was injured, and this was found to be at least partially their fault.

The problem I have with the some of those state websites is that they will indicate that an architect has been subject to disciplinary action but they don't always say what type. I'd think it would be useful to the general public to know whether their architect was disciplined for delinquent dues (as is the case with a coworker of mine), or because his last project fell down....

Jan 16, 06 7:26 pm  · 
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quizzical
Formerlyunknown

makes good points ... these are different issues

it's true there are issues with some state boards being somewhat "casual" about their reporting policies ... aia has tried to be much more circumspect and only identifies offenders once due process has been completed and a ruling issued

Jan 16, 06 7:34 pm  · 
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Ms Beary

Rim Joist, to answer your question, I went to school where Kate went herself back in the 70's. I don't know if she is associated with any other school. Did you go 'there' too? I did the B Arch. Sounds like you did the Masters?

Jan 16, 06 7:51 pm  · 
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Rim Joist

Strawbeary -- thanks for the "hint"... and yes I did go "there" as well. Great to find a former alum... we should compare experiences sometime. I sort of fell into going there after working some pretty awful jobs after high school, and ended up just really loving it. (By the way, I worked for a few years for the "famous" firm to the south in D.M. - any "local" work experiences of your own?)

Jan 16, 06 8:25 pm  · 
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e909

sounds like people bitching about unions :-)

Jan 18, 06 5:04 am  · 
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babs

e909 ... you got that right ... and what's interesting is that it seems like those here who seem to think a bit more like "management" are arguing in favor and those here who seem to think a bit more like "labor" are arguing against ... go figure ?

not trying to stereotype anybody, but you probably get my drift

Jan 18, 06 8:59 am  · 
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citizen

FYI, for anyone thinking of joining the AIA:

If you're a first-time joiner (as a full member, registered architect), then you get free registration for that year's AIA convention. This year, that's $285. This is what I was planning to do this year, but I'm still choking on that 700+ per year, every year number....

Jan 18, 06 10:35 am  · 
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abracadabra

after reading all this and putting posts myself, i decided not to join aia.
i already know a lot of architects over the years. my clients come from referrals and thats just fine. i do not plan to have an office with employees. always been a lone ranger with occasional outside drafting help. i am comfortable calling myself with simple 'architect' without the aia or any other initials at the end. i am terrible networker it just does not fit my personality, i tried a few times to network but i do sound like an 'insurgent' and nobody calls back.
as far as taking the issues to national agenda and help the profession etc, i try to do that by being an honest professional who does not milk the clients for more money, doing the best work i know how and never shy away talking children and adults about architecture, to name a few.
i've never been a member of anything (except archinect, yahoo etc). a project i officially collaborated did get an aia award and i was at getty center by myself recieving the award with people clapping and all and meeting mr. meier who got a gold medal that night. i was not even a registered architect then. attending the party with an envelope in my hand and all the networking corporate ivy leager suits wanting to meet me and i having nothing to say to them was weird, because they were talking in almost in a foreign language of firms and connections etc.
this does not mean that i'll be silent if an issue concerning architecture draws my attention and i choose to get involved.
a lot of aia's services and events are available to non members for a few extra dollars and thats just fine. like the other day i ordered contract forms and they were happy to sell them to me.
again , i don't have anything against aia and its members. i just feel that, i will not be an active member and it will be a waste of my money and their expectations.

Jan 18, 06 11:20 am  · 
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Ms Beary

perhaps the value of the dues related to benefits just isn't there, hence the discontent with the AIA. From quizzical's post and others, it is apparent that the AIA does provide some benefits and what you put into it - you get out of it. But the value of paying so much for that just doesn't calculate in my mind. I like what abra says about serving the profession not thru AIA - I do these things, we probably all do, talk to kids about architecture, maintain a high standard of ethics etc.
If the AIA dues were $205, I don't think I would have the need to stand out against membership. Also from Abra's post, you DO have to have a certain mentality to network in that manner. I do fine networking thru volunteer work, friends, recreation, etc. If the AIA dues were affordable, I might add that to my method of networking. Right now, I can't.
By the way, quizzical, it looks like the AIA should be paying YOU.

babs... what? My managers have ill opinions of the AIA. I know plenty of younger architects that think all the world of the AIA. It has nothing to do with experience.

Jan 18, 06 12:42 pm  · 
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quizzical

aia has "paid" me richly ... in experience, knowledge, lifelong relationships and leadership development opportunities ... that gain has come at some sacrifice of time ... but, i have no regrets whatsoever

Jan 18, 06 1:23 pm  · 
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Dazed and Confused

I like the AIA - yes it is a monopoly, but it is still optional.
Just like hiring an architect is becoming optional.
We need the AIA and we should be glad for the option to pony up - so pony your asses up!

On a side note - For the reasons many of you give for being disenchanted with the AIA, I am seriously thinking about quitting the IRS.

Jan 18, 06 6:11 pm  · 
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snooker

I always get excited when I hear the AIA, is positioning itself with the public by advertising on TV...Then I see the Ad and a feeling of dissapointment comes over me when it involves public school architecture. Number one... this kind advertising is only good for
approximately ten firms in the State where I live because of the
selection process, which involves school experience, and well greased
pockets....near as I can tell. They don't give a crap about design.

Jan 18, 06 6:45 pm  · 
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LightMyFire66

I know this is a little late, but we used to stay after classes occasionally and chat (in 1995) about the AIA and its role in our lives and society. Most of us tended to agree with Cameron, snooker, abracadabra. Just for the hell of it I looked back at some of my records from 2003 when I was working for the State, basically doing the same thing as now. I paid $323 per year for membership to the National Labor Union known as AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) which recently helped many States pass an increase in the minimum wage. You can see the basics at http://www.afscme.org/join/ Anyway, I was actually able to FULLY participate, at least locally (not at big national meetings as I was not President or V.P. of the Local) and feel that they did a hell of a lot more for us than the AIA... ESPECIALLY FOR THE MONEY. If the AIA would actually REPRESENT US instead of stroking the very few with Award Lube, we would ALL make more MONEY, get more RESPECT, and have more consistent Health & Retirement benefits as well.

Jan 21, 06 2:11 am  · 
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quizzical

in earlier discussion on this thread, there was a lot of controversy about Cameron Sinclair's post, stating "AIA has $56 Million in the kitty"

using publically available records and several direct communications with two separate members of the current aia board, this seems to be the factual sitution:

a) at the end of 2004 (latest available public records) the aia had "net assets" = $5,868,465 ... this included about $23 million in investments and bank accounts and $34 miillion in liabilities (mostly the mortgage on the building and certain deferred revenues associated with events that will occur in the future.

b) in 2004, the institute took in $13 million in member dues and $29 million in "program service revenues" which mostly means revenues from the annual convention, fees received from Knowledge Community conferences and revenues / royalties resulting from publications, such as The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, the Contract Documents, etc.

c) in 2004, aia received total revenues of $44 million and experienced total operating expenses of $41.6 million ... meaning it had an operating surplus of about $2.47 million -- or, about 34 dollars for each of the 72,000 members

d) from direct communications with current members of the Board, i was able to confirm the 2006 operating budget is $56 million ... aia doesn't have that sum of money sitting in the bank ...

personally, for an organization this large, with activities as diverse as those aia pursues, these seem like very reasonable numbers to me

Jan 26, 06 10:59 am  · 
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quizzical

ps ... obviously, in my paragraph a) above, there are additional assets beyond the bank accounts ... including equity in the building, furnishings and equipment, accounts receivable, publication inventories, etc.

"total assets" exceed "total liabilities" by about $5.8 million

Jan 26, 06 11:18 am  · 
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AIA

obviously want to reach to younger audiance. dance the night away.. not bad.
are you ready?

Jan 31, 06 3:54 pm  · 
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garpike

Everything about those dancing silhouettes scares me.

Jan 31, 06 4:00 pm  · 
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e

i hear ya garpike. jeezus.

Jan 31, 06 4:02 pm  · 
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