Robert Ivy is the executive vice president and CEO of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a professional association. There are many perks to joining a professional association and there are over 92,000 trade and professional associations throughout the United States. The difference between a trade and professional association is that a trade association represents entire companies and groups while a professional association represents individuals. Robert Ivy agrees with many of the advantages that comes with joining a professional association. He says that although there aren’t many architects, they have still been able to affect tax legislation through their organization’s dedication and commitment.
Professional associations can also be used as a sort of accreditation; before joining, it must be verified that you have a certain degree, license or other certification. It can also show current and future employers that you have leadership skills and accountability. It also means that you have taken the extra effort to stay up-to-date on innovations and other developments in your field. Robert Ivy and the AIA follow a certain code of conduct and expect their members to do the same. Members are held accountable for all their actions and future employers can see that you have a strong sense of commitment to your field.
Besides being an advocate for architects, Robert Ivy has recently been awarded with the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL). This award is given to a Mississippi-connected individual who have, throughout their lifetime, been able to either support art, create art, or perform in exceptionally wonderful ways. Being a native of Mississippi, this is received as one of his greatest achievements, especially because an architect has never been given the reward.
Robert Ivy has been the CEO if AIA since 2011 and since then, he has been able to increase their membership to the highest it has ever been. He is also an author, a practicing architect, and editor.