Photo by Dave Blanchette

Mike Waldinger, who has served as the executive vice president of AIA Illinois for the past 18 years, will be stepping down to take on a similar role with AIA Colorado, based in Denver. However, Waldinger says he’s not leaving just yet, as he won’t begin his new job until October.

“I’ll take some to wind things down here and help AIA with hopefully an orderly and productive search for my replacement,” said Waldinger. “Ideally, there will be a month or so overlap with the new person.”

“The architecture profession has had a tireless champion whose passion and dedication led us to unprecedented achievements in advocacy, outreach and leadership,” said AIA president Terence Moeller in a written statement.  “Mike is highly regarded across the country, and his reputation has given Illinois architects a stronger voice as a result.”

Waldinger serves as a special consultant to the executive vice president and CEO at the national American Institute of Architects and has received numerous national honors. He also cofounded AEC Cares, an organization which extends free architecture and construction services to communities in need.

Waldinger noted that he has been a part of the Springfield community since he took part in an internship during his senior year of high school. He later served as a Dunn Fellow in the governor’s office and worked for the Illinois House of Representatives and Capital Development Board before joining AIA Illinois in 2001.

“To quote someone much more significant than me, ‘To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything,’” said Waldinger, referencing Abraham Lincoln’s farewell address upon leaving Springfield to assume the presidency.

“I’ve been in Springfield in some capacity since 1989,” he said. “This will definitely be a change of scenery.”