AIGA: Next steps

After much deliberation and lively discourse, the AIGA board voted yesterday to proceed with negotiations to sell the AIGA national headquarters building at 164 Fifth Avenue in New York. The national board, advisory board, chapter leadership, medalists, past presidents, past board members and general membership were all part of this conversation, and the debate on the issue has been essential to our decision making process. The decision was made to move forward with several conditions:

  • The board will review and approve or not approve any potential sales contract before the building can be sold.
  • Anthony Russell, former AIGA national president who presided when AIGA purchased 164 Fifth Avenue, will be enlisted to assist in negotiations on the sale of the building.
  • The net proceeds of a sale of 164 Fifth Avenue will be invested under professional management in endowments and only with the explicit approval of the board will any proceeds be reallocated to a combination of new real estate purchase, liquidation of debt and AIGA program initiatives and activities.
  • An advisory committee will inform the programmatic needs for the purchase of new physical offices for AIGA, better suited to the current organization.

Within the context of AIGA's existing strategic framework and direction, the board will also engage in these action items:

Strategic planning

Immediately begin work on detailing the existing strategic framework: thoroughly define and evaluate AIGA's current and future initiatives, including budgets, timing, prioritization, success criteria, metrics and sustainability. This planning will be conducted by the national board, outside experts, the executive team and representatives from the membership.


Create a committee of board members and outside experts to re-evaluate AIGA governance and propose changes to the roles, responsibilities, and inter-communication of the board of directors, advisory board, executive team and chapter leadership.


Create a committee of board members and outside experts to evaluate and refine, if necessary, the financial activities of AIGA, including oversight of the investments and endowments resultant from the sale of 164 Fifth Avenue.


Create a committee of board members and outside experts to evaluate the communications strategy and methods of AIGA, and make recommendations on how the process can be improved.

Leadership succession

Create a committee of board members and outside experts to consider the association's leadership needs moving forward, including a review of the ongoing duties, responsibilities, compensation and evaluation of the CEO. The contract with the current executive director runs through the end of 2015, and so the board wants to begin to consider leadership needs for the future.

This has been a rigorous process. The positive outcome would not have been possible without the hard work and dialogue from everyone involved, reinforcing AIGA as a dynamic and vital organization. Now we start the hard work with a historically strong foundation of involvement and energy moving into AIGA's next 100 years.

Thank you for your ongoing support of AIGA,

Drew Davies and Sean Adams,
AIGA co-presidents